Happy Anniversary to Me!
I once read that the body regenerates itself every 7 years— that in essence, we are not the same person we were 7 years ago as every cell in our body has died and been replaced. I am quite certain cell regeneration is much more nuanced than this simple narrative suggests and I extend my apologies to all biologists and medical doctors. Nonetheless, the idea that we recreate ourselves every 7 years feels a bit magical to me. I love the idea that our bodies and our lives are in constant flux and that who we are today is different than who we will be in 7 years.
This September, it has been 7 years since my marriage ended. If the 7-year-body-regeneration-theory holds any semblance of truth, the body that left my marriage exists no more. I am fresh and new.
Happy Anniversary to Me.
Marriages end for many reasons and every experience is unique. Likewise, navigating the world independent of a romantic dyad is also a unique experience.
I have caught you watching me.
Melding what you know of me with your own consciousness and lived experience.
For some of you, I read on your faces a longing to be free— wonderment at the idea of being released from the matrimonial chains that bind you to a life you are aching to recreate.
In others I see fear– fear is as unique as the faces that betray it. This was especially true in the early days of my separation. For some, I am the cautionary tale… For others, I am a sad story… And in more than a few cases, I am the reminder that marriage is precarious and there are no guarantees. I see men imagining the financial burdens of divorce and I see women wondering how they would survive on their own.
I have seen admiration in some. They feel no need to change their life, and are subsequently disinclined to project their hopes and fears onto me. But they appreciate my chutzpah nonetheless.
Now tell me dear reader… are you curious about my own assessment of my story… 7 years out. Living in a body that holds no trace of the cells from when I was a wife?
As Mary Oliver would say, what have I done with my one wild and precious life?
I have built a home for myself.
I have parented to the best of my ability.
I have travelled on my own and with my children.
I have loved. I have lost love.
I have followed my dreams.
I have pursued my ambitions.
I have learnt oh so much. About our world. About justice. About great thinkers who have taken up residence in my head.
I have advocated for myself and my children.
Developed skills to deflect the ongoing ploys of sabotage from my former husband.
I have learned how to be a better friend.
I am learning how to need others.
Have I mentioned I have the most comfortable bed? Sometimes late at night, when I am embraced by its comfort, I marvel at the life I have created. It is a good life.
Happy Anniversary to Me.