Ever since I filed for divorce, I’ve been hearing comments: I knew when you got married. You guys were never a good match. I never thought it would work.
Well-meaning friends who love me are saying these words now, forgetting the old adage that hindsight is 20/20. And I have to wonder, when they danced at my wedding to the thump-thump of the band and professed that they loved my new husband and were so so happy for me, were they lying? Or did we all walk around in a foggy haze then, hoping for the best, fearing the worst?
I’ll admit, I had an inkling that Avy and I were not perfect-upon-perfect even before we tied the knot. A long-time friend told me she had “cold feet” before her first wedding, and her mother waved her concerns away, saying every bride feels that way. I’m beginning to think we are raised to ignore our instincts and listen only to the voices outside ourselves, rather than the inner ones that know absolute truth.
But if we did listen to those quiet, inside voices, telling us we were about to make a grave mistake, would we take action? Or would we continue along as I did, toward the beautiful 350-person wedding already planned, invitations out, responses fluttering in with the day’s mail?
It’s easy for my friends who love me to say now, now that I’ve decided to end this marriage and venture forth alone, that they always knew something wasn’t right. They want to back me up, be my support, and they are. But these comments produce a little twinge nonetheless – have they been looking at me oddly, or worse, with pity, all these years?
The sun is rising in Michigan as I write these words. It’s a cool morning with filmy blue sky. My children are still asleep, my coffee cup half drunk. I can’t tell you what will happen at 2 o’clock or whether I will score any baskets tonight in the Akiva gym.
There is a favorite book on my office shelf called The Journey Is the Destination: the journals of Dan Eldon. It is a collection of photographs, collages, and journal scribbles by a Reuters photographer who was stoned to death in Somalia in 1993. He was 22 when he died and his mother posthumously published his musings to record his journeys in life.
My muse told me the other day that the journey is so much richer with me, it’s part of our passion, the anticipation, the expectation, the enjoyment of the right-now without much worry for the what’s-next? For the first time, I am actually sitting in this moment and feeling its fingers close around me in a soft embrace. I’m not running toward the finish line because, frankly, I can’t even see it.
And so I breathe a deep, deep sigh of contentment and smile. Sit back in my office chair. Stare at the Tiffany-glass shade of my desk lamp and the brass angel who dangles beneath the lightbulb. It’s all good. It’s all good.