I’ve debated publishing this post for weeks now, because it breaks the one cardinal rule I established for this blog, the one essential boundary I swore I would never cross: it requires that I air the dirty laundry of someone I care about. I’ve spent over a year now discussing the intricacies of my internal organs and the idiocies of my daily life in this public sphere, so it’s not like I feel as if personal business must stay private. However, I believe I’ve done an excellent job keeping the personal lives of other people out of it. And in order to explain this, in order to make this make sense, in order to be able to keep using this blog as a forum I love and as a way of communicating with a group of people I really adore, I have to lay someone else bare for once. So here goes.
I am responsible and polite and respectful, but I am also a big personality. I can be loud and crazy and obnoxious and hysterical, given the right circumstances. And I have spent the last several years shrinking. I’ve stopped going to dinners with friends, stopped having hilarious adventures, stopped even going to the movies. I’ve passed on travel and experience. I’ve internalized stress, for fear of upsetting someone else’s balance. I’ve lived a very small life, and I’ve accepted this, because I chose it and I’d committed to it.
Then I went to Ireland, and in literal seconds, my entire world exploded. As soon as I got off the plane in Dublin, having survived my first international flight by myself, I felt like my universe had infinitely expanded. I spent five weeks being just myself, around people who had no preconceived notions about how I should act or who I should spent time with. I was confident, capable, interesting, social, fun. I had the best, most fulfilling, most incredible time.
And all the while, I was confronting some horrible, inevitable truths, the most fundamental being that I cannot be married to my husband anymore. I cannot have my old life back.
This came as a shock to him, and to most of my family, because I am polite, I am responsible, I am respectful. I don’t talk about the things I want or the things I need or the ways in which I had accepted not having those needs meet or those wants fulfilled.
After I dropped this bomb on everyone, there was much talk about how I went away for a month and came back a different person. That something traumatic or insidious must have happened to me. Did I meet the wrong people? Was I on drugs?
The simple truth is: no. Nothing terrible and sinister happened to me. However, I am a different person. I want to be happy. I want to be myself and I don’t want to apologize for it. I want the pursuit of my own happiness to be the most pressing thing for a little while.
Most importantly, I am finally convinced that it is all possible for me. I can have everything. I can do anything. Even this, this hard, terrible, terrifying, selfish thing. I can do this.
And we will both be better for it.