Dear (Newly Divorced) Me: A Letter From My Future Self

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Dear (Newly Divorced) Me,

Yeesh girl, you have been through quite a storm! But, you made it out of eye of the hurricane and, believe it or not, your world remains intact. Yes, it looks a bit different than it used to. Some of the people and places have changed; others have remained. The overall landscape is different. The lens has been adjusted. You have changed, too. You're not the same woman you were not so long ago.

Right now, your heart hurts. Your family ties are irreparably broken. Your children are disoriented and sad. Your ability to focus has waned. Just one short year ago, your family was intact, happy, and unified. Or so you thought. The tide had actually already turned, but you didn't know. Change was already in the air and behind the scenes; you just hadn't been apprised of it. Your heartbreak was lurking around the corner, just out of sight ready to pounce when you least expected it.

It won't always be like that.

One day, you'll look back on this difficult time in your life and revel in how strong and resilient you were. You will remember fondly those who were there for you, witnessed your pain, and lifted you up when you felt down. You will be grateful for the lessons you learned and the grace and restraint you showed when you truly wanted to react so differently.

Right now, your head hurts from managing the logistics and details of your new life as a single parent. You are exhausted from sharing the same information over and over again as though you're the only one who can remember an account number or a password. You are fatigued from taking the high road when the low road seems so much more readily accessible.

It won't always be like that.

One day, you'll look back on this difficult time in your life in awe of your ability to stand tall when your spirit was broken and to forge ahead when the future appeared uncertain and bleak. You'll be amazed that you got out of bed, went to work, cooked meals, helped with homework, kept appointments, and volunteered.

Right now, you are still confused about what happened to your marriage and how in the world you didn't see that metaphorical Mack truck that hit your family head-on and seemingly without warning. You wonder how someone you loved so much and for so long could turn your entire world upside down and walk away without so much as a backward glance. You wonder how 25 years together could be so easily dismissed and you could be summarily replaced by a brand-new love interest. You wonder how your daughters will make sense of the abrupt breakup of their once secure, rock-solid family and how this will affect their perspective on future relationships.

It won't always be like that.

One day, you'll look back on this difficult time in your life and be proud that you didn't make a habit of bad-mouthing your ex-husband to everyone who would listen. You'll wonder what took you so long to grasp that sometimes people change in ways you could never have fathomed and that there is no satisfactory explanation as to why. Sometimes things just are.

Right now, your spirit hurts. You wonder how to make sense of a relationship gone wrong, a middle-aged turn of events, a roller-coaster ride that you never wished to take. You wonder when food will taste good again, when music will sound sweet again, and when you can feel relaxed, safe, and loved again. You wonder when you can exhale.

It won't always be like that.

One day, you'll look back on this difficult time in your life and be heartened by the fact that you remained grateful for the blessings you gained or retained rather than bitter for the ones you lost. You'll be proud that you made efforts to help someone else when you still needed help yourself. You'll be honored to recall the people who shared their own stories with you because they knew you would understand their grief and sorrow. You'll be glad that your children witnessed your strength as well as your vulnerability.

So, for right now, breathe, stay strong, and keep moving forward one step at a time. You will arrive at this place in due time.

Yours truly,

Future Me


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