Along with the Ralph Lauren bath towels and glass mixing bowls (both of which I still use 17 years later) and the martini shaker and glasses (rarely used), was a gift on our registry invisible to the eyes of the Bride – a divorce. I never saw it and never imagined it a possibility. Which is a fine example of human naiveté. But I believe it was there all along. It was going to happen. Absolutely unstoppable.
To go with the basics – kitchen must-haves, bed and bath essentials – every Wedding Registry should have a new category – The eventuals. Eventually lots of events are going to happen that the veil obscures. These eventuals are gifts, too. Even divorce.
My divorce was all but done before I said I do. Not because of anything in particular that I did or didn’t do or who I was as a person while married. It was part of my overall game plan (and that of my former spouse for needs particular to his journey). Part of what I needed to experience here
in school on Earth, part of my quest to create genuine happiness and contentment, not society’s definition of happiness. Part of my desire to experience the full range of all human emotions. How I learned about creating contrast to eventually come to understand the complexities of being a spiritual being having a human experience.
How I learned that I wasn’t being me.
In the years leading up to the moment at which I met my former spouse, my Ego was the Emperor, presiding over and regulating my every move. My emotions ran amok like 6 year old boys after two hours of playing Minecraft while eating a pound of candy corn. Case in point: A few weeks before meeting my former spouse I wrote as part of a goal setting exercise, I will not marry or procreate. My Ego wanted to wear the mask of the independent woman, a professional success, not desirous of the typical fairy tale with a Prince and house and bouncing bundles of joy.
I was engaged within a few months. (The dudes arrived many years later. Perfect timing on their part to have me be the woman I am now in the process of becoming and not the lost girl I was then.)
Image. Image. Image. This is who I am, not that. Oh, wait. Hmmm…That looks like fun. I think I’ll be that!
At the time I thought it was funny, an entertaining story to tell about how I went from certain I wouldn’t marry to engaged within ten weeks of meeting him, without a doubt in my mind that it was our destiny. I was certain he was my soul mate, and we would be married for life.
Just like I was certain I would never marry or procreate.
Isn’t that funny?! I said as I flipped my hair and tugged on the lip of my margarita glass. We just knew! Not a doubt in my mind that we were meant to marry. The Spring sun brought out beads of sweat; we hid behind our dark glasses. Spending a Sunday, riverside on a deck, with reggae pumping through the speakers, salty chips and my first guacamole tempering the affects of the tequila. Adults on the verge of marriage and building a life together, laughing, dogs at our feet, salt on our hands, music in our ears.
I was completely unconscious of being unaware that I knew nothingabout what I thought I knew.
But if you told me then that I would be divorced now I would not have walked down that aisle. I was meant to marry. And I was meant to be divorced. So I’m glad you didn’t tell me. (That understanding has allowed me to let go of the need to blame or be angry.)
And now I get to make divorce happen.
J, a kitten who has a vat of knowledge about all things legal and is gracious enough to share, gave me a gift. A gift that came a day after I made the choice to not get tweaked and twisted over the fact that only I signed the divorce documents, meaning I was no closer to being divorced, and I blew 10 bucks on a notary.
His gift? The knowledge that I could have been divorced a year ago. And nobody could have stopped me.
See, there’s a form – bifurcation something or other – that grants a divorce after six months from the date of the initial filing. J and I both wondered why lawyers don’t advise their clients of this, or why the courts don’t automatically send the form out at the six month mark. After I printed them out at the court house I realized why I didn’t know about it until now.
I wouldn’t have done it. I wouldn’t have wanted to agitate my former spouse. No, strike that.
I wouldn’t have wanted to take matters into my own hands. I wouldn’t have wanted to say, I’m doing this! I would have let my Ego talk me out of it. You’ll piss him off. Just wait. It will eventually be done. It’s just a piece of paper. It’s not like you’re dating or planning to get married. It just doesn’t matter.
The piece of paper doesn’t matter.
But taking action does.
Taking action is essential. Especially when the Ego turns little actions into big scary deals or says they don’t matter or that my choice is wrong because how could I possibly choose the right action to make. Look at all the bad choices I’ve made!
The night J told me that I control my divorce destiny I observed the state of things that really matter, not the hand prints all over the windows or the fact that I’ve had a bag of planting mix sitting in front of my cottage for months and apples laying under my apple tree, or that I still don’t have a rug in the living room. But being a good mentor for the dudes, becoming consciously competent at living through my heart and not my Ego, being fearless and proactive, making choices and gracefully welcoming the outcomes, cherishing the lifelong journey of getting to know myself – those are things that truly matter.
Little bites, I said. There is no need to create a feeling of being overwhelmed. The process of life is to nibble daily on all those needs without the fear of taking the wrong bite. There is no wrong bite. Every nibble of life, even the ones that taste bad, are nourishing. And then I went to sleep.
In the morning, before I got out of bed, High Maintenance Kitty and I read the following sent to me via email by The Universe: (I love it when the Cosmos adopts the use of technology.)
Cleo, if you go first and reach for the fruit; I’ll shake the tree. Do a little dance; I’ll add some music.
Move in the direction of your dreams, even though at first nothing seems to happen; I’ll align the stars, butter your bread, connect the dots, trim the hedge, move some mountains, float the boat, and see you at the ball.
Metaphorically. Except for seeing you at the ball.
If you go first,
If I go first…
Filing the forms that will end my marriage and conclude this stupidly long divorce process in six weeks is a small bite with big gains.
It moves me forward. I am taking the step. Making the move.
To remain in limbo is a soul killer. On a mountain it’s a death sentence.
Making unconscious choices can also lead to death. Metaphorically or literally.
There was a time when I couldn’t decide – what to wear, where to go, what to eat, how to be. Because the Ego delighted in the attention it received, the position of authority it held, while I remained in limbo. Then, when I made choices they were influenced heavily by friends, family, my environment.
It’s exciting – making conscious choices that aren’t influenced by anything or anyone other than my own intuition and self-love. There will always be the voice of the Ego whispering sweet fear into my ears, but I know what she sounds like now. Her threats aren’t real. Her arguments for inaction lame.
On the day I completed the paperwork for the divorce I also finished my application for the winter climb of Mt. Rainier, made an appointment with an accountant, and filled out the form to create my sole proprietorship DBA.
Small bites, but they all lead to a great big ball.
This divorce, this gift, has made me a better Mom, a better friend, and better person…
…a better human.
Time for a much overdue thank you note.