The shit we don’t post on Facebook. It’s been over a year since my husband, now ex-husband moved out of our home and I can tell you the last 14 months have been filled with every emotion possible; anger, sadness, redemption, gratitude, soulfulness, tears of joy, and of course tears where the gut-wrenching pain of losing someone you loved so fierce feels like you will never be able to move on. And it comes out of nowhere. I still can’t listen to certain music, drive-by places we used to live, and then you get that god damn Facebook memory showing up to remind me that we were happy, sometimes. This is the shit I don’t post on social media. Could you imagine if I posted one of our memory posts? How funny would that be?
Nobody posts the bad shit. It’s all smiles, peace signs and look where I’ve been, look who I’m with, look what I’m wearing, look at my dog – look, look, look at me! I’m not posting the photos of me being alone, crying, feeling sorry for myself (which is the epitome of the worst), or me and Bailey sitting on the couch watching Netflix hour after hour. Nobody wants to see that. Sadly, that’s the crux of moving on and having that ever relenting spiritual growth, especially during a pandemic. As my friend, Meredith would say, “we have to have the sour in order to get to the sweet”. I’m doing 12 step programs, doing the work, journaling almost daily, seeing a Reiki healer, taking numerous walks on the beach with Bailey, talking to friends near and far and praying hard, and then not praying at all. At the end of the day, I’m exhausted and tired of feeling all these emotions; good and bad. They say when you lose someone, a piece of your heart is lost. I’ve lost both my parents and my ex-husband and there are pieces missing that will always be grey and dull. Luckily and gratefully, I’ve been able to make a family of friends here that feel like family, while my family of origin is snugly back home (on the East Coast).
Most days I’m grateful for just having a job, where I work from home, and being able to live close to the beach. Bailey brings me more joy and love than anyone else can. She loves unconditionally and she’s always with me, and her excitement level is that of a circus dog when I walk in my front door. Isn’t that the love we all crave? Real human love is elusive and hard to keep, but when you find it – it’s glorious. I had a boyfriend for a few months after my divorce was final and it was great and loving and fun. I was really happy to know him and have him in my life. It didn’t last and that’s ok. There are always lessons to be learned through any relationship. Life lessons come to me when I don’t even realize it. It’s weeks or months later when I feel that shift where I know I’ve grown, and I didn’t fall apart.
This isn’t a post about me being a victim or feeling sorry for myself, and I hope it doesn’t convey that. It’s a post about my reality of life post-divorce, during Covid, and the healing and teaching moments that a single woman in her 50s gets to experience. I have never felt so blessed (yes, Amy I know you hate that) in my life with where I am today and who I am. God, Mother Earth, the Universe – whatever you call it, keeps showing me what life has in store for me. I keep showing up, managing my days, doing meetings, being with Bailey, spending time with friends, and most importantly remembering the lessons. I’m grateful for the shitty lessons – they keep me humble and grateful, and the learning lessons – they keep me in faith and hope for a better day.
A few months ago, due to my insomnia, I started listening to sleep music. It plays melodically in my room with ocean waves, raindrops, or soft and slow piano riffs. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Then I hear that loud snare of the midnight cargo train which seems more familiar than any ocean, raindrop, or piano melody. That’s my reality, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.