On Bombshells.

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.

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9 thoughts on “On Bombshells.

  1. Wow, that was quite a month. Keeping up a pretense and being someone you are not to please others is exhausting, and can crush you over time. Good luck working through it all. It sounds like you did what was best for you.

  2. So. Proud. Of you. I am a stronger person, a more honest person, a better mom and a better wife for having known you through this journey. Thank you for sharing. You deserve a beautiful life. Own it!!

  3. Now things are getting seriously interesting… There’s nothing like taking the rug under your life by the corners, giving it a good shake and seeing how things land. This is when it turns into a magic carpet… Very best of luck.

  4. You can do this thing. I’m so glad you know that. It is a selfish thing, and that’s exactly why it’s so, so crucial. Because if you need it badly enough that you’re willing to shake everything up to make it happen, than in the long term, it’s also the right thing.

    I once ended a relationship everyone thought would end in marriage after reading Eat, Pray, Love and spending several nights sobbing on the bathroom floor. I mean. But once I got over it being selfish and stereotypical and terrifying, life became So. Much. Better.

    I wish you all the best possible things on this journey.

  5. WOW! I’d have been less shocked had you written that you were pregnant with 14 babies than I am about this.

    Did you guys get to spend any time together in Ireland? It must have been an amazing experience. Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do.

  6. I am really impressed (and emotionally impacted) by the raw simplicity of this entry. I have plenty of conflicting thoughts and impressions, but I suppose this is what real writing is supposed to do. Plenty of thoughts and intentions your way during this challenging and transformative period!

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