I spent an excruciating amount of time re-hashing the past over the last year.
You know, probably as a way to figure out how in the hell I got to where I am today…perhaps maybe trying to determine how I turned into the “who” I am today.
Life altering event like divorce will do that to you.
Too much time reflecting…too little time living.
That was me.
I’m like that.
All analytical-ish and all..over-thinking basically everything and anything.
Today, I had an interesting revelation.
(Well, I kinda think that someone else had it…but, I’m one of those people who likes to take the spotlight away and shine it on myself).
So, I was lucky enough to get to meet one of my all-time favorite people for sushi and margaritas (umm…don’t judge until you try it) and I learned something important.
I learned that who I am now…is in fact, who he has always known me to be.
Let me explain.
Here I was thinking that this last year I have been out-running this identity crisis that came about because of divorce.
I was on this mission to figure out who I was and where I fit into this new world of Single.
And, apparently, all I had to do was stop living like I was just someone’s forgotten wife, but live like I was when I wasn’t in my ‘wifey’ hat.
So – this friend I met in a fairly academic place.
(graduate school is tricky like that…they shove you in the ivory tower where you think that you need to be all smart and do fancy research and really all you need is a flask, a friend and keys to an institutionally owned golf cart. Those, my friends, are the secret ingredients to creating a ‘fairly’ academic experience)
He knew me in a very ‘academic-ish’ way.
We wrote stuff together, we taught people stuff together, we drank profuse amounts of stuff from travel coffee cups, laughed, smiles, laughed, drove people absolutely crazy, drank more stuff, wrote, learned, analyzed, discussed, debated, drove more people crazy, drove golf carts and walked away with fancy diplomas.
We were kinda like academic soul mates.
And he only ever met me as the “wife” maybe once.
I was only ever me.
So, it was kinda of validating.
To know that I existed completely, entirely and wonderfully.
I kinda liked that.
And more importantly, it is good to know that not only did my marriage not ruin “Me” – the divorce didn’t either.
As I thought I was living in the shadows of life for so many years, it is good to be reminded that there was a nice period of time where people only knew me for me…regardless of marriage based identities…or expectations of wifey-ness.
My time in graduate school was an interesting one.
I lived a double life, almost.
I had my life at home.
I had My Life at school.
And somewhat like today, home and schools lives never mixed.
People at home then didn’t care much for what school Life consisted of.
There was jealously and animosity.
And in retrospect, I think that is when I started to really hide pieces of My Life from home.
Home didn’t care.
But, really…I think that school is who I am.
So, it is sad to learn that I was hiding Me from the place that should most entirely support Me.
People have openly admitted to me that the start of the failure of my marriage was when I went to graduate school. And I didn’t agree.
But, today…I think I get it.
That was the first time I existed as an independent entity outside of my marriage during my marriage.
And I don’t think that my marriage counterpart liked that.
There was a crack that started to form when I got my MA that broke into an unrepairable gaping canyon 2/3s of the way through my PhD.
Now…statistically speaking, women who enroll in PhD programs and are married have some 60plus percent divorce rates…as in 60% of the women who start the program married graduate divorced.
So- here we are.
Do I blame my education for my divorce?
I blame the basics: bad communication, narcissism, ego-centrism, cultural variances in expectations, lack of trust, lack of empathy, an unwillingness to waver and an inability to listen (and here I’d like to note that I’m not pointing fingers…just in case you are the person that wants to take this bullshit out of context…feel free to manipulate meaning…demonstrating your willingness to act unethically…but that is your wishes for future dances with Karma…not mine).
Me becoming educated should have been a celebration…not a fight.
And I’m glad I fought it.
Margaritas and Sushi reminded me that the place where I have been openly allowed to exist is within Education.
And although I didn’t realize it then…my little mid-western sojourn this past summer was another reminder that I exist independently of the titles I wear around Home.
Titles that Home, once again, doesn’t care (or need to care about, really) for.
And that is OK.
And I guess the moral of the story is that regardless of the bullshit I tip toe around and stomp through…I’ve actually been able to withstand the stank and remain true to myself somehow without even realizing it.
So – Sushi and Margaritas was a good night for me.
Outside of driving home with abs that hurt from laughing so damn much, I drove home knowing I have an amazing friend who isn’t subtle in his ‘honesty’ metrics and not shy to remind me that I’m more than the labels I wear stuck to my back.
And after a year of rehashing a past I have no interest in re-living, it was nice to re-hash a past that brought me back to center today.