Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Chapters

When I first started this blog, I had no idea how I was going to craft my life.  I was desperate to escape my unhealthy marriage, coming out of cancer treatment, unemployed, with next to no savings and way too much debt.  In the header, I wonder out loud how I will "return to the workforce" and "get my financial life in order" while getting through divorce.

And I did it.  I really did it!

I am approaching the one year anniversary of my employment.  I have paid down debt through a refinance, and I actually have a little savings account.  (Nowhere near what it "should" be, but I no longer stress nightly about car repairs or groceries.)  The divorce is final, and my beautiful daughter is doing well.

So, it's time for me to move on.  I refuse to live my life stuck in my divorce, and while I don't have my entire life figured out (ha! does anyone?) I no longer live thinking about divorce all the time.  I'm moving up Maslow's pyramid, thinking about the great wide world and my place in it.  My blog has served the great purpose of helping me to process my life's events, but the reasons I set forth for having a blog have come to pass, and it's time to end PollyAnna's Divorce.

I'm moving on to other things in my life.  Serious writing - the kind where I actually draft it and edit it, not just spill whatever comes to mind.  Travel.  Career advancement.  Volunteering for causes I believe in.  Sharing time with friends.  Reading.  And of course, being with my beautiful daughter, teaching her and learning from her and just plain enjoying her.

I am so grateful to each of my readers here for caring about me, and for sharing your stories with me.  I think that it's so important to change the divorce paradigm from one where angry adults hurl insults at one another to one where two adults acknowledge that it doesn't work but that there were lessons learned and beautiful children gained.  If you found me here, perhaps that is what you were looking for....and I hope you found it.

My relationship with my ex is often strained, but somehow we have found a way to a co-parenting relationship that works well enough.  Not a minute goes by that I do not mourn that my life could not have had the happy marriage I craved, that my daughter's nuclear family had to be so broken...but not a minute goes by that I am not grateful to have put my ugly marriage behind me.  I hope that readers here see those two sides, and know that if I could set aside my anger to find some peace for my daughter AND for myself, maybe it is possible for them, too.  That if I can navigate the rough waters between being a stay at home mom and a single working mom, they can too.  That if I can land on my feet, they can too.

There will be future challenges - of course there will.  There will be future joys, too.  But the time has come to end this chapter, to focus on what is to come.  I'm no longer a woman fighting through divorce: I've survived that battle, and now I'm putting it behind me, taking its lessons and its scars with me, but refusing to let it define me as a human being.  The divorce and its aftermath will last a lifetime, I have no doubt about that, but it is no longer the central part of my existance, and for that I am grateful.

I don't know what the future will bring.  I have many hopes and dreams, and these days, I'm working on them more than I'm working on staying afloat.  I am grateful.

I wish you all the best.  May you, too, find that distant shore, and may you, too find peace.

*****

And as my parting gift, I leave you with a favorite poem.  May you know what kindness is.

http://www.elise.com/q/poetry/naomi.htm

Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.



Naomi Shihab Nye
from The Words Under the Words: Selected Poems

10 comments:

  1. Good for you! Please keep up somehow because I'm going to miss you!

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  2. I have such mixed emotions, Pollyanna. I am so proud of where you are and the obstacles you've overcome. You've come so very far. I am also so sad. Sad to lose the encouraging insight you bring to me, especially being as I'm in the much earlier stages of where you've been. I've been following you for the better part of 8 months, and check frequently for your updates. Your unfolding path, as I've experienced through your blog, has been such a source of encouragement and reassurance for me. I sure am going to miss you! I wish you all the best

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  3. Congratulations on this new chapter! I've been following your blog for about 4 months now and read all the back posts... I too am at the much earlier stages of where you've been and I have drawn much courage and insight from your posts. I adore your positive perspective and it has given me a very good example to model as I walk this path in fits and starts. All the best to you and your beautiful daughter! Thank you for sharing your story with us for so long.

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  4. If your relationship with your husband feels like you’re sinking in quicksand, then it’s probably time to end the marriage. It would best serve any woman’s interests if she would get out of the unhealthy relationship, especially if there is violence involved.

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  5. PollyAnna, I want to thank you for your courage in sharing your journey, your story, and yourself with the world through your blog. You've spoken such truth, shared yourself with honesty and integrity, and have really made an impact on me.

    Though our stories were similar, they ended very differently. (My estranged husband died suddenly in an accident on Thanksgiving Day, so there's no divorce on my plate). But your insight has resonated with me over the past year and brought healing to my heart. Thank you <3

    And best of luck on the next chapter!

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  7. Divorcee is frustrating experience. Thanks for sharing great post.

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  8. Getting a divorce can either go relatively smooth or it can get very messy. I have had friends who have gotten divorces. Some of them have been devastated about it, but some of them have been glad with how it turned out. It has been interesting to see how their lives are now. They are all doing great though.
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