I got together with some old friends on Friday night, friends who I hadn't talked to since the split. Tyler had told me they didn't want to see me and that they had said all kinds of various awful things about me, and I believed him so I never made contact. But we did finally get together and had so much fun. I hadn't really realized how much of a weight it had been on my shoulders, the loss of these good friends and thinking that they hated me. My relationship with Tyler hasn't been so great lately, and when you constantly hear all kinds of terrible things about yourself, it's hard not to start believing it on some level. It was just a huge relief to know that even our mutual friends still love and support me, and understand why I did what I did.
After that, I walked around with a smile all weekend. Caroline was in a great mood and we did all kinds of fun things, like playground trips and shopping with my mom and making huge finger-painting messes.
I even actually enjoyed a classmate's bridal shower that we went to on Sunday. I have always hated those things, more so lately than before, for obvious reasons. My standard gift is a blender so that if their marriage goes to hell, then at least they can make margaritas and get drunk. (They'll thank me later. I told a friend that and he disgustedly told me that I was so hopeful and optimistic, I should give speeches around the country.) But Caroline and I had a good time. And I even gave the bride a pizza stone and some cooling racks. No blender this time.
I don't know what it is that changed. I feel really good about the way things are going for me. I'm done with my school requirements-- I'm graduating next month. And I wanted this exact life so badly... just living alone peacefully with my daughter, making her and my friends my priority, not always wishing for someone to come home (or leave again). Just wanting what I have, not what I don't have.
I occasionally hear my upstairs neighbors fighting and screaming at each other, and I shudder and remember how things used to be, how they could have continued forever. Then I stop listening, and I give a kiss to the happy little girl playing with puzzles on the floor, and I turn my back on the past and face the future instead. With a smile.
Life is so good. I am so lucky to have what I have.