So I was thinking about how yesterday would have been my 21st year wedding anniversary and this week marks 14 years that I've been divorced. Now, when people hear that I remember these dates and actually think about what the date is every year, they tend to believe that I'm still holding on to things and that I have not gotten over my ex. Not so. Unfortunately, I just have that type of memory. For some reason, seemingly insignificant details get stuck in my head, especially dates. Like I remember that Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered on my birthday and that Anna Nicole Smith died on the day of my brother's funeral. I even remember that Barry White died on July 4th because I heard the announcement on the radio right before getting out of the car as we were headed to the Taste of Chicago. I also remember the birthdays of random co-workers, old classmates, and acquaintances; I'm talking people who probably haven't thought of me in years or ever! Weird, I know, but that's why I remember these sucky September dates and every time I remember it's like a band-aid being ripped from an exceptionally hairy part of your arm. You know how you let out a yelp from the shock and the sting, then have to deal with the residual redness and soreness until it all fades and you forget you ever had a band-aid, or an injury for that matter? Well, I'm writing this in the middle of the redness and soreness.
I'm not sad, but just reflecting on the pain that I endured in my marriage and then in my separation and divorce. As I mull over different scenarios, I finally just stop and thank God that I have come so far. From depressed, stressed, and broken to happy, peaceful, and whole. There were times when I had no idea how I would make it through and points when I thought that it would be impossible to survive. When I think back, it's nothing short of a miracle that I made it to the other side of so much despair. As I continue to reflect, I'm grateful and relieved and now the soreness is beginning to subside and the spot isn't as red.
Now, I'm reviewing my journey through singledom and that's where I linger for a while. I'm not quite sure what I expected when my status changed from married to divorced. I definitely didn't think that dating or finding love again would be a big deal. Linda, listen. This whole single, dating thing has been one of the hardest phases of my life! It was difficult for me to jump back in the saddle, especially when I had never really been IN the saddle! I was married at 18 and pretty much missed the years when most young people usually get into the swing of dating. I was a total fish out of water and honestly, at times I still feel that way. At first I felt kind of desperate and obsessed with the idea of dating and trying to find a new man aka I was acting real thirsty! LOL! Over time, I realized that I needed this measure of singleness, to heal, focus, and find myself. So I did that. I discovered my likes and dislikes, handled some business, embraced my style and personality, cultivated relationships with family and friends, traveled, realized some talents and dreams, and just got to know and love Cheryce. I thought that once I did all of that and was content and comfortable with myself and my status, that dating would be easier. *insert eye-roll here*. For ME, it isn't easy and it ain't fun. I'm not Catholic, but I've contemplated leaving behind my earthly possessions to join my nearest convent. In 14 years, I have not had a substantial romantic relationship and that baffles me. Although (mostly) optimistic, I can't help but have moments of sadness and frustration. This is where I get stuck. The redness is basically gone and the soreness is leaving, but the spot is starting to throb on its way out. I ponder and consider. I dissect and analyze, and I still can't figure it out...I continue to think about the people I've encountered, the experiences I've had, the lessons I've learned, the bullets I've dodged and again, the feelings of relief and gratitude return. I'm starting to conclude that everything regarding my love life will unfold as it should and in its perfect timing, as long as I go with the flow of life and rest in the fact that despite detours, my steps have always been ordered. I just need to keep doing me and living my best life. I don't need to pick up my nun habit just yet...Wouldja look at that? I don't even remember where that band-aid was!