I almost didn’t realize it.
Time can slip by so quickly, so silently. A feather floating through the air. Offering no significance of its own unless you take a moment to ponder how it got there. Yet, the story it could tell would be one of intrigue. It would tell of life. Of happiness. Of soaring. It may tell of turmoil and challenge, or possibly of birth and connection. That feather has a story, it takes only us to take a moment to reflect.
It was one year ago that the Final Judgement of Dissolution of Marriage was signed by the judge which formally ended my marriage of 14 years. That was the final nail in the coffin of a life I now had to leave behind. And like with any death it took a while to grieve. It took a while to accept. As we had been separated for a year at that point, I had come to a rational acceptance of the situation. However, it took many more months before I emotionally was able to step outside again.
But I did step outside again. Today I am in a much different place that I was even just a few months ago. I am so grateful for all the support I have received from friends, grateful that I have found new friends along the way, and so grateful for the love of my two boys. Two boys who’s hugs warmed my heart and my soul, and kept me focused on what was important.
During this past year I found my children had three powerful gifts; the gift of a child’s eye, a gift that enables them to see right through me and read me like an open book. They have the gift of the child’s tongue, a gift that allows them to tell me when I am on the wrong path with no concept of diplomatic prose. And lastly they have the gift of a child’s heart, a heart that loves unconditionally and never fades in the face of pain or suffering. It was through them that I found my path forward, and it is for them that I remain committed to tomorrow.
I am so grateful for the struggles in this last year as they have helped forged me into the person I am today.
One year ago I was left hurt, confused, and scared of the days to come. I felt the world had turned against me, I was a helpless victim watching everything I had built in life be taken or destroyed. However, over time I noticed that the story I was telling to anyone who would listen eventually became a story I was only telling myself. The story had lost its flare, its drama. The story had to change. I realized that I had to stop being a victim. That was the point I started to find my strength again.
I started making decisions to improve who I was and focus on what would make me happy. I focused on me, not on what my ex would desire from me, not on the media’s image of what a father should be. I focused on me. Which is why you find me here, writing to you. The outlet offered a means for me to share my experiences, thoughts, and emotions. However, the act of just writing them down allowed me to changed my mindset in ways I never imagined. I found I could no longer stomach the perspectives I had been telling myself. Many of my thoughts never made it to a digital page. Just the act of processing the events and working to shaping them into a positive topic and article to be shared changed their emotional impact on me. I started to see the situations through a different lens and as a result I am stronger today, more confident in myself, and more secure in my role as Dad.
I still keep the pictures of our past and all the memories that go along with them. I remain grateful of the life that we shared. I miss the many moments and the adventures we went on. I find myself reflecting from time to time on our past life, looking back at what was good and what went wrong. Reflection is good, it is healthy. Reflection is a way to recognize what you did right, what you enjoyed, and what things could have been done better. It is how we learn and grow as individuals.
So tonight, I take a moment to reflect on the life that we shared and the love the still lingers, but it is also a night to reflect my rebirth and dream of the many paths that lie ahead.
It is a new day, it is a new life, it is a new beginning.