Even after all this time I am surprised when people are supportive. I’m even more surprised when people call me brave. Calling it quits on my marriage, selling our big, beautiful house, and moving to a small apartment in my old college town did not feel brave. It felt like failure.
At first, when I told someone what I was going through and they said, “I’m sorry,” I heard, “I’m sorry you failed.” I realized, perhaps too late, that what these folks were actually saying was “I’m sorry you’re going through this.” I know now that I feared failure above all else. In recent months I’ve learned how to release that fear, how to be where I am when I’m there, and, most importantly, how to forgive myself. I can’t say I always do these things well or with grace, but I’m sure as hell trying.
It was well over a year ago that I confided in a dear friend about my struggles. I told her even if I came to the conclusion that I hadn’t, in fact, married the right person I would probably still stay because I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. The way she looked at me in that moment spoke volumes. Living for other people is no way to live. Even then, I promised myself I’d give it the old college try. I knew if I walked away with any shred of doubt, I’d never be able to forgive myself. I jumped headfirst into trying to fix what felt broken and trying to disprove what I likely already knew.
This site is about my journey and my experience starting over. I won’t write about my ex-husband here, what we went through or what went wrong, but I will say that there is no one I’d rather go through this with. He is a great person, but he is not my best person and I am not his.
And that, my friends, is okay.
Over time, and with the support of some very magical people, I started to internalize that there is bravery in asking for and seeking out what you want in life. Sometimes things fall apart, especially when they are built without a solid foundation. And that too is simply okay. You grow and you change and you learn what to do differently next time. Slowly but surely you start picking up the pieces and getting your life together. And this is that journey. This is Ellen getting her life together.