Divorce is a funny thing. Even in a case such as mine, where everything is amicable and hunky-dory, divorce by its nature represents change. It’s now been almost 14 months since my ex and I filed for divorce, and nearly three years since we officially separated. And not surprisingly, the impact of that action has continued to change, morph and mature as time has gone on.
On the eve of our divorce, I predicted this:
But as I write this, on the eve of our divorce, I know that tomorrow we will walk into that court, listen to the judge, answer honestly, and walk out again the same people with the same fundamental relationship that we had before. And when we wake up on Thursday, we will live our lives much the same way we have done for the past several months. And yes, there is change, but it’s a change that has been happening over the course of years, not captured in a moment; a change that will continue to evolve over years, particularly as we eventually separate domiciles, as K grows up, and as we potentially meet new partners and “move on” with our lives.
And in this year, much of that has happened. J moved out and now lives with his boyfriend A. K has become accustomed to having Two Homes. J and I continue to have a strong partnership as we work together to raise K. Our friendship has morphed a bit, but remains strong.
But this post isn’t about how the impact of the divorce has impacted J or K or our relationships. It’s about how it’s impacted me. And last night, as I walked around Faneuil Hall and had dinner alone in a bar, I realized that I was more content to be by myself – comfortable in my own skin – than I can remember having been in a long time.
What’s funny is that I never thought that I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. My personality by nature is an adaptive one (more so than most I think) – I tend to adjust it to those around me – even to the point of picking up lilts in speech when speaking with my Chinese parents or British friends. It’s always me – a little sassy and sarcastic, opinionated, occasionally inappropriate (poor impulse control!), a touch intellectual – but the elements that come to the fore vary pretty dramatically based on who I’m with. And while I often like to present otherwise, I’m probably a little too concerned about what other people think for my own good, which is why five years ago, you would never have seen me eating dinner by myself in my own city and you certainly wouldn’t have seen me enjoying it so much.
I find that even more than before, I like who I am. And I’m not afraid of it. I’m also not afraid to work on those qualities that make me happy. I’m not as confident as I like to portray myself, but I find that the more confidence I present, the more confident I feel. I like being quirky and whimsical (hello – blog title!), and I no longer worry about whether people are going to think I’m weird.
And for this moment, at this time, at this place, I’ve given myself permission to pamper myself a little. To do things I would never have thought of doing – either because I was too scared or because it didn’t fit into my lifestyle. To just enjoy. To savor. To live.
I’m not planning to become a hedonist, mind you, and I still have to work on my poor impulse control issues or I’ll find myself in a mountain of debt, but there’s a joy in living in the moment and experiencing life that feels freeing.
And I’m loving it.