As I was contemplating how I wanted to tackle the second part of this post, something happened. I received news that someone from my old neighborhood had passed away. She was a vibrant 50-year-old with a caring, open heart and a beautiful smile.
Being jarred by sudden death, especially when it happens to someone close to your own age, is an eye opener like no other. Yes, life is short… Yes, time passes very quickly… Yes, we should live every day to the fullest. So much wisdom has passed my lips as I have faced the untimely passing of my peers. Saying it is one thing. Living it is quite another. I have faced each day with my subtle smile and my easy-going demeanor and believed in earnest, that life would be fine. And often, it was.
I loved my husband for a long time, though love can change, and does not last always. I have had two beautiful babies, but children grow and drift from our laps into their own experiences. I have made many mistakes, yet I learned more about myself with each misstep. And now, I stand at the threshold of something brand new. Poised in front of an open door… one foot lifted from the ground… advancing slowly toward what lies beyond.
And here is where I freeze, slam the door and run back inside to huddle in a corner. I’m not proud of how many times that has happened, and I was glad to find that there are always more experienced voices to help me come to terms with my fear:
Your life is not ending, but a section of it has come to a close. It doesn’t matter that you are standing outside of the door that closed upon the story of you when you were married. What matters is that you are still standing. Your situation has changed, but …you are still you, whether you are single, separated, divorced or married.
Accepting yourself and your sexuality was a big step, but don’t make it the focus of your life. In hindsight, your marriage didn’t fail because of what gender you prefer to love, but because you grew apart from the person you loved. Worrying about the future and fretting over the past is a waste of time, and time really does change everything.
A year from now, it won’t matter if you call yourself gay or straight or bisexual. It won’t matter what the lady down the street said about you behind your back, or the time you got drunk and sobbed hysterically over the phone to your ex. You’re a human being and you make mistakes. So please stop blaming yourself for everything you’ve done wrong….
Joelle, Coming Out After You Married Him: Finding Yourself after Divorce and Living the Next Chapter of Your Life, First Wives World
Live your life or shrivel up and die like an old sour raisin. That is how I’ve expressed it before, with lightness and humor. But to die in a holding pattern would be the worst thing in the world, I’m sure. With my song unsung, with my dreams unfulfilled. Or with this burning inside of me extinguished before I get the chance to see how brightly it lights up the night, how it warms the surface of my skin, or how it washes her face in the flush of sunset, setting her full lips aglow in phoenix fire.
Deep breath. Sure, steady steps. Turn the knob…