A Righteous Revival

It’s fascinating how one day someone who was once the very center of your life is no longer the center, the back or front, not even the very far side. This person is simply no longer a part of your life – This person whom for years was considered in almost every single life decision you made right down to the minute dinner plans on a Friday night after work to the living arrangements thousands of miles away on the other side of the country.

It has come to my attention that I rarely speak of David, let alone think of him. This does not mean I don’t have any more stories to show and tell but in case any of my dear readers were curious, I thought I’d use this blog to address the lack of tales of life with David.

My therapist is frequently encouraging me to express pride in my accomplishments and I can say that I am extremely proud of the woman I have become for having made it through the three years I spent with David and the three years thereafter. I would not be the person who I am today had I not met him and married him. The past three years since our split have opened so many doors, professionally and personally, that I can no longer confidently utter regret for the short life I spent loving him.

I have come so far in self-awareness and personal growth that I simply don’t think about that past life very often. And when I do, the thoughts have thankfully taken their proper place among my life experiences and my perspective is no longer one of cynicism and bitterness but realism and subjective development. I suppose one could call it a righteous revival.

 

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Better Without You

What if the first song David and I danced to was “So High” by John Legend instead of “Forever” by Ben Harper? What if my mother had never died? What if my dad had never died? What if I hadn’t moved to New York City? The number of what-ifs I could ask myself and whoever would be so kind as to listen are endless but that was the thought that entered my mind this evening as “So High” began playing on my Pandora. Probably because that was the song I always foresaw myself getting married to should that day ever present itself. The eerie what-if entered my mind as a sort of superstition as if something as simple as the song we first danced to as an official married couple that hot, July afternoon could have anything to do with the outcome of our marriage; The dozens of pictures of us in each other’s arms, slow dancing in sweet reverie to Ben Harper begging, “Give me your forever…”

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It probably has absolutely nothing to do with the outcome but one can ponder, especially when one is out of divorce limbo and in the finality of grieving a great loss. Though, I’ve reached the point where I can confidently proclaim that the immense loss isn’t so much mine as it is his. Sadly, I’m not sure that is an accurate depiction of David’s feelings but what he feels is simply irrelevant to me now and not because I wanted that to be the case but because after all this time, it had to be.

There was a time when I truly believed we’d conquer all odds, overcome any trials and tribulations that stood in our course, for better or for worse as we vowed – we were better together as we reiterated countless times over the phone across great distances, echoing Jack Johnson’s aptly named tune, and whispered in the middle of the darkest part of the nights to each other as we fell asleep, hand in hand. The present reality is that I’m better without him though better having once loved him. I’m surprisingly reaching a conclusion that finds me feeling deep gratitude for that tumultuous three plus years of my life. Whether I have been making progress toward this point the entire two years and ten months since we decided to part ways or I simply didn’t realize I was already in the midst of this gratitude until I held the finalized divorce papers in my hand this past Saturday will remain a mystery.

A Champagne Toast

I had it in my whimsical mind that beautiful, spring morning in New York City that one should dress up for such occasions. I wore this midi length, violet hued short sleeve dress with a high-waist belt and, of course, heels. David was equally as put together as we jauntily waltzed into 141 Worth Street in lower Manhattan to obtain our marriage license. And that night, after work, we excitedly made our way to 230 5th – the rooftop bar where we’d claimed to have fallen in love almost two years prior – in our fancier than usual attire to celebrate this momentous day. With champagne in hand, my husband to be and I toasted to us, to the life we were already creating together against a stunning backdrop of fake palm trees and the Manhattan skyline, the mesmerizing sunset easily stealing the show with the iconic Empire State Building coming in at a close second.

It was there, on that very rooftop, two years prior that I had asked this person before me, “Where did you come from?” as if he was some never before seen or experienced alien life form from Mars and by the entanglement of butterflies in my stomach and the way I kept losing my breath every time our eyes met, I might have actually speculated such. The truth, however, was that I didn’t expect to fall head over heels for someone as quickly as I did and my verbalized question was more of a million thoughts – “How did this happen? Why is this happening? Oh my God – No and Yes” – all in those five little words. My question was a simpler way of interrogating the Universe’s plan and the soundness of my own decisions in a city that wasn’t even my home yet, in a city that had inexplicably claimed my beating heart for so many years. When David responded, “The same place as you,” all of those questions, speculations, concerns and trepidations flew off the side of that skyscraper, on to the trash-lined sidewalk of Fifth Avenue. My only available transportation left was a leap of faith.

Our official meeting in July of 2010 was a serendipitous account of unrelated, idealistic circumstances that by even the most starry-eyed, hopeless romantic’s standards would be deemed a fictional story. It was so uncanny that our friends and family members would ask to hear a retelling of the account, intently listening to each of our perspectives with such palpable attention, it had the ability to recreate those butterflies in my stomach. Even I had vowed one day to write the story as if it were a young adult novel with fictitious characters based heavily upon what David and I were toasting atop that rooftop in early June of 2012, just a month shy of our wedding date.

I certainly didn’t anticipate this fairy tale’s ending to be anything less than a happily ever after with potential room for a sequel. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and while that fairy tale ended quite some time ago, its official and legal ending arrived today in the form of a large manila envelope addressed to Lindsay Taylor (insert my married surname), which is no longer my surname as of May 18th, 2016. After a tumultuous, seemingly unending, almost three-year process, that marriage license, that David and I were celebrating when he snapped my picture in my violet dress in the evening’s glow of the setting sun, is no longer valid.

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After all of the countless Mondays through Saturdays that I’ve patiently walked to my mailbox, anticipating that very envelope I found there today, one would expect me to be relieved, overjoyed, even jumping with sheer delight! And while relief is certainly profoundly present and I was clearly excited, shaking with overdue expectation as I ripped open the envelope – sadness is also a glaringly prominent emotion. So is a sense of failure. I suppose in layman’s terms, one could deem the surreal and somewhat shocking day as bittersweet. It tastes like dark chocolate mixed with fresh blood, the kind of blood from all the metaphorical punches thrown, the figurative scratch and bite marks that we leave upon another’s life that can act as an open wound at any given moment. Today, my wounds were gouged wide open as the date May 18, 2016 was repeatedly stamped all over the paperwork in front of me and the stupid legal description, “dissolution of marriage,” in its stupid serif font recurred along every other line. Today, I was reminded of all of the reasons why I married this person who had come from the same place I had and all of the reasons why I no longer am.

At the Edge of the World

I have come home in anxious pursuit of unlocking my mailbox to find that letter – that letter from the Los Angeles County Courthouse confirming my freedom, proof that my divorce is final. I have done this every single day for the past two and a half years. I have yet to receive that letter but I know that day will come. I know the day will come that I am no longer addressed as Mrs. (insert married last name), and my past mistakes can truly become just that – a part of my past.

Everyone jokes that a celebration is in order once I do obtain that piece of paper but I don’t find it a joking matter at all – I most definitely intend on celebrating in a very grand way. Ever heard of a divorce party? Well, it’s a thing and it will be a thing in my life – hopefully very soon.

I mull over the last two and a half years since deciding to end my marriage and that repetitive saying that, “life is crazy” doesn’t even begin to describe the roller coaster ride I have been subjected to. Life is downright insane! Life is a bitch as my mother liked to say. I’m a fucking survivor and I have to hold on to the hope and the belief that there will come a day where the fight, the struggle, the need to survive isn’t so necessary anymore. In the meantime, I’ll hang on to enjoyable memories that make my heart go pitter-pat and meaningful distractions that remind me of life’s greater pleasures.

I have been forever young, basking in the wondrous delight of indestructible spirits and I have inhaled the recycled air of last breaths, sharing space and time with destructive disease. I have spent lingering nights tasting the cool, crisp earth of immortal youth and reveling in its naïve sheen and I’ve laid next to death’s inevitable, unbiased truth, shivering in its finality. I have danced in the dim candlelight, made time stand still for an entire song and I have shed endless tears to a single repetitive chorus, red, swollen eyes shielded by a culmination of metal and plastic. I have soundly slept on winter’s sand at the edge of the world without the anticipation of another sunrise and I have wished to peacefully fall into a permanent sleep, one where my mortality calmly meets with a world I am unsure even exists.

Conversations with My Dead Mother (Pt. 2)

Dear Mama,

It has been a week of ups and downs – So much to celebrate but my damn anxiety really inhibits the celebration. I wonder if you had anxiety? I don’t recall you having anxiety or maybe that was one of the “evils of the world” that you tried very hard to keep from me, like dad’s drug addiction. I still marvel at how you were able to keep that one a secret for fifteen years. Normally, this would have angered me but I think I was old enough to understand that you did it out of pure and intense love for your children. I thank you for that.

I filed the final judgment paperwork for my divorce today at the courthouse, ma. Ya know, I thought I’d just go down there, turn in the paperwork and not feel much different. If I felt anything, maybe just a bit of relief because I accomplished an errand but no, I felt tremendous weight lifted. I think having no expectations was what made it feel so damned good. I wish you were here – you would have been the first person I called. You’re with me all the time, though, right?

I can’t wait to receive the mail informing me of my official divorce date. It is a date in the near future that I greatly look forward to and I have every intention on celebrating in a very big way. I’m fortunate to have some friends and my boyfriend that will be right there with me, toasting to my freedom as well.

Today, though, I came to the conclusion that there are some people who simply have no interest in my life yet I continue to exert my energy with interest in theirs. I shouldn’t say I came to the conclusion because this has been on my mind for quite some time but rather, I was able to arrange it in my thoughts in a way that is plain and simple to understand. I think, sometimes, I confuse things easily or I begin with the self-doubt but really it’s just a matter of no longer giving a part of myself to others who have no interest in giving me a part of him or herself.

And then, as if the Universe was speaking directly to me and I believe it was, one of my dearest friends (Meg, you know Meg!) posts this on her Facebook wall:

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Or trust the vibes you don’t get, I suppose!

I think that’s about all for now, mama. I love you more than words could ever convey.

Love,

Linds