by Elyse Rafferty Mitchell, author of “Meatballs and Peanut Butter”
As I look back on this past month – my first month since the finalization of my divorce – one thing is certain: I am feeling very uncertain.
To think back on that day (affectionately referred to as D-Day), I am thankful for the one, maybe two, “dry runs”…those Court Date Dress Rehearsals I had to endure. At the time, these days of judicial incompleteness were ridiculous. But in hindsight, they were a great way for me to get over the drama and stress of THAT day ahead of time and actually be “present” in the moment on that fateful day in late May. I still remember it as cold, very odd and extremely business-like. Even dream-like. If I did not know it had been a month, I would think it happened years ago.
After the fog of that day lifted, I found myself wondering: Now What?
I’ve always been a planner, a dreamer, someone who’s enjoyed having something to look forward to, a life event to plan or even a vacation to look forward to in the near (or distant) future. An end goal. And somehow, I found myself staring at this metaphorical blank page. An open calendar of sorts with no big plans, no life events, no direction as far as the eye could see. For so long, Divorce had been my end goal. Now what? And of course, this blank page was now staring back at me, white space and all, mocking me, shrugging it’s shoulders as if to say, “What are you looking at?!”
I guess this life post-Divorce (although, with kids, is it ever really over? I digress…) is anything I want it to be. It’s anything and everything I plan or arrange and anything that I don’t. And with that comes plenty of excitement and opportunity, yes. But what seemed to be staring back at me was filled with a tremendous amount of anxiety and uncertainty.
I began to think about what I DID know for certain:
I am a mom, a sister, a daughter and a friend (and some days, I’m pretty damn good at all of those).
I am a strong and loving woman, full of emotion, fears and dreams.
I am independent and know that I was once successful prior to being a wife and I know I can be successful again, even without a spouse.
I am brave, determined and dependable.
And in this time of uncertainty, I needed to depend on myself and all of the great things that make me who I am. Today, yesterday and, for certain, in the future.
I mean, I got through the process of Divorce in one piece. I can do this “after Divorce” thing, too.
Focusing on the things that I know for sure, the certainties in my life – this wonderful life – I am able to build on those to build this new life. I am rediscovering who I am, re-experiencing things I’ve forgotten, learning new things about myself and deciding to change the things about me I could do without.
Yes, uncertainty is scary. Some days are easier than others, as they were in Divorce. But one thing I know for sure is that I’ve come a long way. And relying on my strength, my support system and the love I have for my boys will get me through this, too. And remembering all of that, uncertainty seems a lot less intimidating.