Saturday, February 13, 2010

Behind the Music

Training for a marathon leaves one with less time to do but more time to think. Today while out for my run I was listening to some old tunes. I have ridiculously few albums, so those I have, I have listened to. Again. And again. And again. I had only three or four loaded on my mp3 player a couple of years ago while I was going through the divorce. Two songs in particular, anthems really, could revive my workouts and give me strength to do what needed to be done on the home front as well. One, Desert Song by Alice Smith repeats, I'm going away, and my favorite stanza is My momma said....life is for living....if you are unhappy....go out and reinvent yourself (I still get chills when I hear that part). And an Alicia Keys song that spoke to me was "Go Ahead" sending the message that it's time for him to go (he suggested we split, so I thought he was supposed to leave), including A change is going to be made, so you'd best be on your way.

Anyway...(you're here because I can make a short story long, right?), today's running music reminded me of those workouts that kept me sane while I fought against, later accepted and finally embraced the demise of my marriage. The songs walked me through much of the darkness, the pain, and eventually hope. And today I again reminded myself that while I would not recommend divorce to anyone, it was absolutely one of the best things I've ever done for myself.

Minutes after I finished my run, I received an email from the mother of one of Audrey's friends. She was giving me the heads up that she is in the process of a divorce so I wouldn't be surprised if Audrey came home from school with this information. Upon delivering this news to her daughter, she immediately latched onto the fact that Audrey has two houses like she soon will and looks forward to sharing this with her.

And I was heartsick.

Now, I don't know this gal all that well. She and I have chatted numerous times and she helped out to a tremendous degree while The Ex- was out of town a coupla weeks ago, but we've never grabbed a drink and shared war stories. So my picture of her life has been that of a lovely marriage and happy kids and a two car garage and family vacations. And maybe that is all true. But even if it is, it isn't always enough.

So because this revelation was such a surprise to me, it induced me to reflect on how lightly I approached the divorce once I truly accepted it. I'm sure I offended many a friend with my happy-go-lucky delivery of the news, but it's so much deeper and uglier and harder than any of us let you know. Because even though we know that getting that divorce is the right thing to do, there's nothing easy about ripping your children from the lives they knew, shredding your own dreams and aspirations and starting from ground zero. So we keep all of that under wraps, deliver the news with a nonchalant smile and an "It was hard to come to the decision, but we know it's for the best."

And while that last part is usually true, I think I'll always be sad for anyone who has to go through this. Then I will wish for them the amazing adventures and happiness that I've experienced along my path. Because while I've taken some ridiculous missteps, they've all added up to the magnificent life I enjoy now.

Though magnificent missteps and a ridiculous life might be more accurate.

1 comment:

Jill said...

One's life is the sum total of every decision (for good or for ill) that we have ever made in our lives. Usually things end up working out for the best, though...the journey and all the pains and glories usually make us a better person.

My divorce was a liberation, but it was also a devastation. I hurt so badly at times I literally wanted to die. But I didn't. And now I can't imagine my life being much better than it is now. And I wouldn't be here if I hadn't been there. Still...I wouldn't wish that kind of pain on anyone.