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Last year’s (Not So Happy) Anniversary

It’s July 1, the day of my 3rd year wedding anniversary and I’m at Kroger. I’m in the parking lot in my car crying. It’s not a happy day. I thought it would always be. I picked the date out perfectly. It was the same forward and backwards 7-1-17. It was cute! It was a nice, hot, summer day-perfect for an outside wedding.

But anyway, here I am. Crying. In the car. I need to go inside and get groceries for my 4 kids. They are hungry and I need to make them dinner. Going to the grocery store is my new escape. When I need a break, I go to the store. When I need to cry, I go to the store. When I am bored, I go to the store. These store parking lots are great places to cry, pray and release whatever it is I’m holding it. The store parking lots are where I am able to do the things that I can do at home in front of my children because I don’t want them to ask questions, or worry. So I sit here and cry, wipe my tears, go into the store and shop as if nothing happened, then go home and be a bomb ass Mom.

Today I grieved. I grieved the life I thought I’d have. The family pictures I thought we’d take each year to show how much we’ve grown. The family trips we would take with the kids. The memories we would have on holidays. I looked through my wedding album. At how beautiful my smile was. How I remember my cheeks hurting because I smiled thee entire day. I grieved the late night talks I’d have with my husband in bed. The plans we’d make together. Dropping off our kids to college. Watching our grandbabies run around our house. I cried and cried until my head started throbbing. Then I dried my face, looked in the mirror from the car’s sun visor and told myself “it will be alright.” I often listen to Ledisi’s song “Alright” when I cry.

“Life can bring us through many changes, it’s alright. Just don’t give up, know that it’s gonna be alright. People come and they go, that’s just the way that it goes, everything is everything, it’s alright.”

It amazes me how different your life can be from year to year, month to month, day to day, hour to hour. My moods are pretty unstable here recently. I will laugh and smile, feel like a bourgeois bad b*tch, and then cry hysterically the next. I have never been much of a feeler, so going through this divorce has caused me to feel everything. I have felt every single emotion, sometimes within 30 minutes. It has also brought me closer to God and my ancestors. I have never prayed so much in one day, in one hour, than I have been these days. I know the pain will subside soon, but sometimes it is just too much to bear. Sometimes I feel like I have a heavy weight on my back and I want it off of me. Sometimes I feel light and free with no worries. Again, it all depends on the day, hour, minute and second.

What I have learned is to not ignore red flags, to not put someone’s feelings and emotions before my own. I have learned to speak up in the moment and not let things linger because they only build resentment. I have learned to love myself and lend myself the same grace and compassion that I lend everyone around me. I have started speaking to myself in the mirror, telling myself how cute I am and how beautiful and worthy I am. I have learned to stop waiting for another person to love me or show me attention/affection, and to do it for myself. If I don’t like me, why would anyone else? I have learned to do things with intentions. I will no longer date just because someone is interested in me, if he is not what I want and desire, I won’t waste my time or his. I have always just been interested in who was interested in me. I never really thought about what my type was or what I liked. I always compromised too much and became resentful. I always let things go that really bothered me. I was a people pleaser. I withheld my emotions and thoughts for fear of being seen as weak or a nag. I am learning and growing. I know that with growth there is discomfort. I know that with elevation, some people and things must fall off. I am a seed that has been planted. I am sprouting.

I wish there was a shortcut or a way around the pain, but I’m learning that the only way to get through is to go through. No shortcuts. I am used to things being a breeze. It’s easier to stay the course when you can see the light at the end of the tunnel or you know what the end result will be. I have no idea where that light or tunnel is, but I know that what’s coming has to be better than what was.

I can’t speak for the rest of the July 1st I’ll have each year, but as for today- I’m going to grocery shop, go home and make the best damn vegan taco salad that I can and finish my evening on my back patio sipping some sweet red wine. Praying that every July 1st going forward is celebratory and is better than the one before. Nothing was a waste, but a lesson learned. I will celebrate my growth. Cheers to that!

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