Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful. 2010 version.

This Thanksgiving was so different from last year. I am sure I don't need to explain why.

Thanksgiving is usually one of my favorite holidays. It's like the only American holiday that isn't completely over-commercialized. And it's all about delicious food. I don't think I need to spell out how awesome that is. But it's also all about family time, and holidays like that are tough, being separated and still in the middle of all the divorce stuff. I woke up this morning feeling pretty bummed. I moped around the house for awhile before getting ready to leave with Caroline for our Thanksgiving plans. I fully planned on being that newly divorced girl and drinking too much wine and making things awesomely awkward by talking loudly about my divorce.

But once I got moving and spent some time with family and friends, I started thinking more about how much I really do have to be thankful for... and there are so many things...

I'm thankful for my daughter, who amazes me and entertains me and melts my heart every single day. I'm thankful for my family, and for my close friends who are family to me, even if we aren't related by blood. I'm thankful that I did go back to school to finish my degree, and thankful that I'm finally graduating this May.

And now I've typed "thankful" so many times that the word is starting to look really weird and I keep questioning whether or not I'm spelling it right. But, anyway...

I'm thankful for my freedom from a relationship that was no good for me, and that I don't have to pretend anymore that I am happy. I'm thankful for this chance to have a new life and a fresh start. I'm thankful to have hope for the future.

Life is good, really. It gets better every day. And I'm really, truly so thankful for that.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dear Caroline,

When you are old enough to understand, these are the things I want you to know. First of all, I love you more than I ever thought it was possible to love anyone or anything. I hope you know that already, even without me ever having to say so.

I worry that you will hate me someday for making the decision to split up our family. For compromising your relationship with your father. I hope that you will be able to see past the sad parts and appreciate the reasons why I did what I did. Your father and I were not going to be able to live happy lives together. We weren't going to be able to give you a happy, stable life, and that was so clear to me that I knew I had to part ways with him... and I had to do it while you were still young enough to not remember the awful process of it all.

I hope you don't think that I did it out of selfishness, out of flightiness, like so many people seem to think that I did. Continuing to pretend would have only hurt us all more in the end, and the last thing I want is to hurt you...

My hope is to give you more stability than you could have had, more love than you could have felt, surround you with more happiness than I could have done if I had stayed with a man I did not love. I am certainly not perfect, and maybe I'm doing it all wrong. I don't know. But all I can do is the best I can, and what I feel is right for us. I hope that someday, if you are ever in a similar situation, the decision that I'm making now can give you the courage to realize that you are never stuck, you are never trapped. If you've tried to make things work and are truly unhappy where you are, there is a way out, you can be happy again, and you shouldn't be afraid to say that you want to take a different road than society tells you to take.

I love you. I only want the best life for you. Maybe I can't offer that "perfect" life, living together with your father and a sibling and a dog and a white picket fence out front. But I can offer you all my love and hopefully, two parents who are happier apart than they ever could have been together. I hope that, even if your life is different from your friends' lives, you believe in the end that your two happy homes are better than a single unhappy one.

I love you.