The Dividing Line
My heart broke in two at the turn of the century when my first love and I broke-up. I was sitting in the kitchen of my childhood home on a cold winters day in Connecticut, where tears streamed down my face and tracked the wooden table like a pinball machine from memory to memory of a love I thought was for forever. I was somewhere around 22 at the time, and I remember thinking it was never going to get better, but it was also never going to get worse.
My wise mother took my hand and whispered: "it's not the past that's hard to let go of; it's letting go of the dreams you both had for a future together." She was right, and it hurt. This was my first dividing line; I was ready to create a life and call my own shots. I recalled all of those wishes made on carvel ice cream cakes at that same table in the years that came before and decided, I would shift gears alone, even though it burned.
Now, decades later, I am reconnected with my younger self that wanted the world, and then some. When I filed for divorce, I felt as trapped as I did that day when I was 22 years old. My life, from the outside, had the sheen of happiness, love, success. On the inside, I was exhausted, confounded, and lost. I was not only choosing to end my marriage and change the course of my children's life by now having to live in two homes, but I was also disconnected from what it meant to have a partner and truly build a life together. We had reached our daydreaming expiration date.
For me, there is a dividing line in any marriage that ends in divorce. For many, the dividing line comes when we are less afraid of separation than we are of spending the rest of our life in a marriage that no longer fits. For every person I meet that tells me their marriage ended due to infidelity, there are at least a dozen more that tell me their marriage ended simply because they lost their way; their partner stopped daydreaming with them. The daydreaming is critical, not only in a partnership but for living our purposeful life.
Young love fills us with adrenaline that allows us to believe anything is possible. It's why we make out in the kitchen and pull mattresses outside to sleep under the stars on rooftops. When we are young, and in love, we are unafraid, and our hearts are open. We live and love genuinely in the moment. Unfortunately, after the demands of growing up and getting older intersect with our playful youth, we become part of a marriage machine that does little to keep our hearts open. We begin to close our hearts and protect our turf; our homes, our children, our careers. The more our hearts close, the less room we have to love another, let alone ourselves.
Regardless of what your dividing line is, when you see it, shift forward even when it burns. Recall the days of sitting in your childhood home and wishing on birthday cakes, but notice now, when those wishes are coming true. And know, you are here to make all your dreams a reality regardless of your relationship status. James Taylor has a great quote that goes something like 'I wish everyone would stop mourning the end of a ten-year marriage, that's a long time, and we should celebrate that.'
Create a wish today for your future, daydream, play, walk outside. It's worth it when it's for you. Promise. xx
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