Looking at the calendar, I counted off the months. It’s been a year and a half since Husband #2 proclaimed his desire for a divorce and moved out. I don’t really count the brief 5 week period when he returned home to help me ready the house for sale. He adamantly insisted in sleeping out in the workshop, even though I had a separate room ready for him. So technically he wasn’t living under the same roof.
Has anything really changed? Not really. We still each dig in our heels in an attempt to be heard. We’re still separated with no talks of any reconciliation. We live independent lives where there is little, if any, crossover. Basically I have a vacation husband.
Yep, I’m living alone again, just like I did when I was in college, just like I did after starting my first job, and just like I did when Husband #1 and I maneuvered through our long drawn out divorce. (Side note: Marriage #1’s anniversary date just occurred at the end of last month. If we would have stayed together, Husband #1 and I would have been married 22 years. Things that make me say, “Hmmmm”.)
If I’m living alone, does that mean I’m independent? (Say it with me like Herbie from Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer…In-deee-PEN-dent…)
What is independence? Is it doing what you want to do without caring what other people think? Probably not, even though that’s along the lines of what Son #1 believes in his new phase as an adult. Maybe independence is believing in yourself, being self-motivated, being handy, being self-sufficient, or doing things alone? Does calling a repairman make one less independent? Or doing things with friends instead of alone…does that mean dependence?
Merriam-Webster defines independence as “freedom from outside control or support.” Based on that definition, none of us is independent. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly not free from outside control or support. My employer provides me with support money and based on some recent 12 hour days, they’ve been exerting a lot more control over my time than I’d like them to. Change jobs, perhaps? I’m old enough to know – you’d think it would be different but it’s not. And that goes for every field, not just the one I’m in right now. Changing careers four times in my life has taught me that very valuable lesson!
Should we instead strive for inter-dependence (between: among: together), knowing that we are all connected and part of a bigger system. Just as our cells are a collection of interdependent molecules, and those molecules are made up of interconnected, interdependent atoms, who in turn are composed of those tiny sub-atomic particles all tirelessly spinning around each other in their own nest of interdependence.
No man is an island.
And those that try to be end up typing manifestos in the backwoods of the great outdoors and sending letter bombs to unsuspecting strangers.
So I think I’ll celebrate my time alone knowing that I’m not really alone. I have friends, acquaintances, and coworkers with whom I interact with every day. I’m still part of a bigger world with much heavier and bigger issues than my separation (global warming, human rights, famine, war, drought, floods, maybe even a plague of locusts to round things out). It’s just being alone lets me do most of the things that I had to compromise on before with Husband #2. Tonight I’m eating strawberries and cereal for dinner. No meat, no potatoes, no problem. Tomorrow I may have a hamburger for breakfast. I still can’t buy my Arhaus sofa, but that’s a limitation of my pocketbook and the dimensions of my largest entrance.
Maybe I’ll move to a place with a bigger door…