Independence Day is a good day to sign divorce papers! It is especially symbolic because my first date with that husband was on the 4th of July. I met him at a party the night before.
I cannot say the relationship resembled the fourth of July. There weren’t fireworks, or explosions or much independence. He was mellow, we didn’t fight and we did everything together, for awhile. While he liked me, he did everything I wanted to do and I did everything he wanted to do. Sometimes, we probably didn’t want to, but we did anyway. When he stopped doing what I liked to do, I had other friends who would join me. I became busy working and wasn’t able to do everything he wanted to do. The bad thing about that was that we would usually not even discuss the issue. He would clam up and stew and I just ignored it. I didn’t even know how much until the end.
Maybe it was before the end, when he was drunk enough to yell at me and tell me all of the things he didn’t like about me. These were the very same criticisms that my first ex had pointed out on a continual basis. Up to that point, I thought I was with a man who loved me unconditionally with all of my faults. I was wrong, he thought I would change.
In fact, I did change. In my view, I changed for the better. But, in his view, I didn’t change the way he wanted me to. In order for him to stay in our relationship he might have to develop personally. This might require introspection. This could be painful. It was painful for me. At that time, I considered change hard. Everything was a struggle. I am happy to report that I am free from struggle.
And, so, this Artventure is a journey to freedom to be who I am without the concern of other people judging me. At the same time, I am trying not to judge others. This is not an easy task. I have to throw away expectations and consider everything a choice or something I have created. If I don’t feel like I have control over any part of an event, then I must choose my reaction. Will I judge, will I shift or will I do something different? The most important part of the reaction is to detach from harmful emotions. Or, feel it, acknowledge it and let it go quickly. These were totally foreign concepts when I first heard them. Now, they help me to enjoy my life more and the imperfect people in it.
I always have to come back to this. I love myself. It was not an easy thing to do. I am getting to know myself better and better all the time. We are all like onions, with outer layers that hide inner layers unless we uncover them to discover what is really driving our reactions. I do things that I enjoy. I do things with a variety of people, then when one leaves me hanging, I have options. And, I am not afraid to do things by myself. I did this before husbands and children and I am doing it again, sometimes. I find, all I have to do is reach out and it isn’t too hard to find somebody else who thought they might be doing something by themselves, but now, doesn’t have to.
The hardest step that I am working on is trust. This starts with trusting myself and the divinity that resides within me. I trust enough for some things and not others. This is like loving yourself, which you must do in order to truly love others. I have learned that where I am at this moment is exactly where I should be for some reason. I may not always know why. I may see the learning later. I am loving life and designing it to be fun and easy.
Independently, for now: )