Both of those are true. We are all living testaments to it. That our lives are a series of events, both good and bad, filled with laughter and tears - times when our heart leaps, and other times when it breaks. The only real thing I've learned in my 50+ years of life is this ...
Nothing Lasts For Ever, Everything Goes Away and Ends
It's a simple truth, that if you don't come to grips with, can tear you to pieces and leave you in the ditch, dying a slow death.
So, why am I writing today? Because there was another life event which happened yesterday - my daughter graduated from High School, and is not on her journey to whatever lies next in her life (at the present time, it's college). I also had the opportunity to spend time with all my kids, (x)wife and her extended family. Once I got home last night, I was amazed at how my life has changed over the past few years, and how content I am with it in general. Are there areas of improvement? You bet your ass there is, I'm not dead, so there is always something that can be improved. But in general, I'm good with all of it. So, I thought about five things that I really enjoy about being divorced, thought I'd share...
1) I don't have to take things personally anymore
My (x)wife took a couple shots at me yesterday during our time together. Underhanded comments, those cross-eyed looks, etc. - those things would have landed with such power during our marriage, and I would have either catered to her in some way, apologized for something or gotten mad as hell and stewed. I didn't do any of that. I don't have to - I'm not married to here anymore.
2) I don't have to "support" her version of the truth
Have you ever heard your wife say something and you thought to yourself "that's complete bullshit" - I have on more than one occasion. Since she's my (x)wife, I get to make a choice, to listen and just roll my eyes, say something, call her on her bullshit or do nothing at all. Anything is an option, because I don't have to support her version of the truth - I don't have to pump her up - I'm not on the sideline being her cheerleader anymore.
3) I can "hang" out with her, but I know I get to leave
There is power in knowing that I can leave at anytime. I don't have to stay. When I was married, I believed I had to "take" everything, including spending time with her, without an option to leave. I don't mind spending time around her, and since we have kids, there are times when it happens. But I also know, I can walk away from her - could she get mad, upset, rand-n-rave about it - sure, but I don't care and if she does, she can go yell at the fence post.
4) I don't feel stuck or lost anymore
I hated the fact my family was broken up - and I didn't get to see my kids every night. That was the worst part of the divorce, not being a part of my kids lives - physically - on a day in, day out basis. That took a significant amount of adjustment. It's been five years since my (x)wife and I separated - about three since the divorce - the most powerful and wonderful thing in my life is that I don't feel stuck in a single place. I can do what I want, when I want, how I want. I don't have to include anyone in my decisions. The decisions are mine and the outcomes are mine. That is liberating.
5) Each day is a new day
If you take everything, and boil it down - what is left is that simple truth - Every Day I Wake UP, I Can Make New Choices. I never felt that way while being married. I had responsibilities. I had people depending on me. I was carrying the load, plowing the field, making things work. I didn't have time to thing about me, what I wanted, who I was, where I was going - I was "doing" everyday for one thing ... my family. I still do that. I still have obligations, but I don't feel the burden of them. I know if I stopped doing them, there might be some pissed off people, but the world would still turn, and the sun would still rise.
Now, here's the point ... it took me being divorced to find out those five things ... and I'm still working through how to turn those to my advantage. What I didn't know, is that you can have those things married or single. None of them is exclusively a "single" thing - they are a mindset. I chose to be mad; I chose to feel stuck; I chose to limit my opportunities. Those were choices I made, based upon a crappy set of false rules I learned from a broken society that doesn't exist anymore. So, if you've read this far, just realize - you can take years to get to some or all of those, or you can take days. You can be single, married, divorced, widowed, in a LTR or multiple LTRs. Ultimately, you make all the choices - it really is that simple.
Eyes front gentlemen. Live. Learn. Lead.