I moved from Boston (where I had lived my. whole. life.) to LA. I left my job in advertising to start my own consultancy. And I ended my marriage. Well, I was one half of the 2 parties that ended a marriage.
I feel a lot of guilt, in general, about the things that I should do. As a business owner I should blog. I should keep up with my newsletter. I should put myself out there. And in my “real life” I know I should do yoga more. I should commit to my 5 Minute Journal. I should stop procrastinating (no, really, I should).
As a wife, I should have done a lot of things differently, too. I should have been more present. I should have expressed my love more. Maybe if we had done a lot of the things married couples should do, we wouldn’t be where we are now. (Or maybe we would be, who knows).
It’s easy to start off with great intentions.
This year I set out to create more. To write more here. And I’ve done some of that… But largely, I’ve failed. I’ve neglected this space. I’ve done just enough to keep afloat. It was easier to talk about, harder to do.
Similarly, I think what people neglect to understand about divorce is that no one gets married thinking they’re going to break up. It’s easy to dream and have great intentions. It’s easy to say you want to be with someone forever. It’s harder to do it. Largely, I failed.
It’s not surprising to me that my two biggest failures in the past year are likely related. Anyone who has been through a divorce can attest to it being the worst. It’s no wonder I am not inspired, why I’m not putting myself out there more. Who wants to read a blog post about the days I spend in bed? Or the seemingly unending pile of paperwork (not to mention time & money) that it has taken to get some random person I don’t know to grant me approval to not be with my partner anymore? (No one.)
I have failed other times in my life, yes.
But nothing quite as great (or public) as getting up in front of all of my friends and family, pledging to be with someone until I die, and then less than 5 years later having to tell them JK we didn’t mean it. It’s not a dissimilar feeling to the one I get when I think of how I, quite publicly, committed to growing my business this year by writing more (and did none of that)… except compounded exponentially and thrown in a blender with all of the hopes and dreams of the. rest. of. my. life., my family, etc. Yeah.
Surprisingly though all of the cliches people say to you during times like these are true. Things get better. Time heals. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And eventually you just start to feel OK with it all. You accept. I’m mostly OK with my failure now. I was so embarrassed at first. But I see now – this failure has been important. I don’t want to be a person that’s never failed. That means I’ve never tried. And fuck, I want to be known as the girl who tried. Hard. Even if it means I failed. Every great woman I admire, they’ve failed, too. I imagine it would be far worse to continue accepting a life that wasn’t in alignment. That wasn’t true or honorable or fair to me (or my partner, for that matter).
Another cliche: You can choose to start over at anytime. And it’s true. I can choose right now to pick back up where I left off. I can start my Year of Creation on August 5th. The only risk associated with that is that if I try – even if I have the best intentions – I may fail. But the thing I’ve learned about failing is that once you’ve done it a couple of times, you see oh-so-clearly how the only real risk is trying to avoid failure at all.
If you liked this post, please share it with someone else who needs this reminder, or check out my follow-up piece on Medium: Your Assumptions About Divorce Are Wrong.