There are no rules

One of the many things my divorce taught me was that there are no rules in life. Sure, we have goals, we have dreams and we have plans. Big plans. But there are no rules. We work our arses off so that our dreams come true, our goals are achieved, and our plans come to life. But who is to say that they should follow a set of rules? 

When it comes to navigating high school, there are no rules. Society pushes us to be great at math, great at English, excel at sport, but whose rules are they? When it comes to our career, society pushes us to climb that corporate ladder, earn that bigger pay check, but whose rules are they? When it comes to relationships, society pushes us to find ‘the one’, to settle down with, to buy that dream house, to buy that expensive car, to throw that big white wedding, to start making babies, but whose rules are they? 

There are no rules. I dreamt, I had goals, I planned and one day they all went away. So now, though I still have dreams and I still have goals and I still have plans, I no longer play by the rules. I just do life. I take it as it comes. When I started seeing Mr Wonderful, right from the get go we talked about living together and having children together. We just both knew it was what we wanted. But of course we decided to let it just happen whenever it happens. There are no rules. There is no timeframe. There is no set period. It is up to us. When it feels right. For both of us. 

Lately I’ve had many thoughts on living with Mr Wonderful. The babies thing I can put on hold for now, but the living together thing has been occupying my mind. I think he’s wonderful and I think we’re wonderful together, so my brain loves entertaining the idea of us possibly living together. But this is where I get stuck with this whole dating thing again – I’m not quite sure how to bring it up. Yes we’ve talked about living together some day. But not today. There are no rules. But we both need to be ready. I’m not pushing anything but I just wonder if he’s ready. Am I really truly ready?

Memory lane

Most of the time, a trip down memory lane is what I need – that time the girls and I decided on an impromptu girls’ trip to Hong Kong, that time I traveled solo across Italy and France – memory lanes can be soothing and comforting as I relive fun, exciting, and wonderful moments.

Other times, a trip down memory lane isn’t the best idea. But I’m so far down the lane that it’s just a little too late to turn back. That trip kind of happened tonight. I intentionally decided to take that trip and I went through some photos from my past life with the jackass. I’m not quite sure why. I’m known (by myself) to provoke self-torture, for what sane reason I cannot say. And so down memory lane I went. 

Photos from my past life still makes me feel a very familiar kind of sadness. The kind that I don’t feel too often these days but at the same time, it is the kind that I probably won’t forget anytime soon. I’ve said this to myself numerous times and also to those around me that I’ve never wished to have my past life back because I can’t ever imagine going back to it knowing what it ultimately had in store for me, but there is still some sadness there attached to a life that I once existed in, and to a life that I sometimes still can’t believe did exist. 

That particular trip down memory lane made me think of my current relationship and it made me think of just how lucky I am to have found this incredible man of mine. I am also in the throes of the last couple of episodes of Grey’s Anatomy where we’ve lost McDreamy, and like I do with so many of my favourite TV shows, I somehow manage to relate it all back to my reality which gets me emotional in a million different ways. 

Now that I’ve spent almost a full year with this wonderful man, I simply cannot fathom doing life without him. Going through the ups and downs of this roller coaster ride we call life, pushing through each time lemons are thrown our way, celebrating the great times, getting excited for new adventures – I don’t want to ever do it all without him. Hopefully I won’t ever have to. Hopefully, my McDreamy won’t ever have to leave way before his time. 

He is here

This is how I know that what we have is real. I’m about to embark on one of the most stressful few weeks of my working career. Over the last couple of weeks, I have had days and nights of heart-racing, sobbing anxiety, purely in anticipation of what is to come in the coming weeks. But amidst the tears, the debilitating fear, the worry and the stress, the deepest part of me is comforted just by the fact that he will be standing by my side as I walk through the next few weeks. He is always by my side. Through thick and thin, he is here. Who knew that over a year ago as he fought for us to be together, that we would be here. And who knew that I would feel this way. Completely loved and protected. 

One hell of a ride

When the jackass and I separated, I had no doubt in my mind that the journey after would be one hell of a roller coaster ride. It was. Dealing with the aftermath of a divorce continues to be a roller coaster ride. No surprises there.

When I entered into a new relationship almost nine months ago, I had no idea that it was going to be one hell of a ride. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I certainly did not expect to have met a potential partner so soon after my separation and divorce. In fact, a few months into my separation, I clearly remember telling a friend that there would be no chance in hell that I’d find anyone in the next five years. I was clearly wrong because about eighteen months after the jackass and I went our separate ways, I did meet someone and we started a relationship. 

This ‘new’ relationship has been a roller coaster ride for me in a million different ways. As beautiful and exciting as it was for the both of us to have found a relationship that just felt right in every possible way, I still struggled. I struggled a lot with opening up my heart completely, I struggled a lot with trusting him and trusting that history would not repeat itself. And I would feel completely and utterly guilty for having trust issues with a man who only gave me no reason not to trust him. He was paying for the jackass’ mistakes and I knew just how unfair that was. 

Luckily as the months went by, my heart gradually gave in and I learnt to let this wonderful man in. I am still learning. I was and am continuing to fall in love with a man who has shown me in the course of nine months that we are building this solid relationship from ground up, relying solely on trust, honesty, love, respect, compassion, empathy and joy. He has shown me through actions, through words, through every fibre of his being that he is here to stay – no matter how rough things get, no matter what life throws at us, no matter how emotional I get, no matter how irrational I may be at times, no matter how much I try to self-sabotage myself and push him away – he is here. Always. His love, his promises, his commitment has never wavered, has never faltered, not one bit. He is always the high in this roller coaster ride of mine.

The lows, however. I am my low. I am my own enemy. Lately, I have realised that I have been self-sabotaging all that is good in our relationship. Why? Why do I feel the need to push him away? I know I am worthy of a great relationship and a great man, like him, who makes me his priority, who tells me every single day that I am beautiful, who is the most perfect gentleman I know, who has been nothing but kind, gentle and patient with me and my emotions. I find it difficult to understand why it is that I try to self-sabotage this amazing relationship that we have. It’s not too good to be true because it is good and it is true. It’s right infront of me. I tend to silently blame the jackass and my divorce for the mess that are my emotions, but alas, I’m trying to look in the mirror instead of pointing a finger. 

There is so much I have yet to learn about myself. I still have fears from my divorce, I still have fears of being in another committed relationship. But I am trying. And I am present. I am completely aware of this beautiful relationship I have right now and trust me when I say that I am grateful and that I know just how lucky I am. I just need to keep riding this ride and figure things out as I go along. 

Flashbacks

Sometimes, actually a lot of the time, this post-divorce journey surprises me. It’s been over two years since the jackass and I separated and twelve months since our divorce was finalised and yet, today, I find myself looking back a lot. Naturally, it isn’t one of my favourite things to do and believe me when I say that I do everything in my power to not look back, but as it turns out, my mind has a mind of its own. Funny that.

So yes, even though I’m in a new relationship and am nothing but hopelessly in love and happy, I still find myself looking back now and again. And believe it or not, the questions are still there, the lack of understanding still exists. They may not be at the forefront of my mind or my heart, but they’re there. I presume they will be there for awhile. Like ghosts. Lingering. Haunting.

I know I’ll never get the answers I wanted so desperately over two years ago. I guess my ‘why’s these days are more rhetorical. Recently, I stumbled upon pictures of the jackass. As spiteful as it sounds, I simply can’t deny that a piece of my heart hates that he can look happy in a photo. Sure, I’ll never know how genuine his smile may be in a photo – he looked pretty damn happy in all our photos together leading up to our separation – but the fact is that life goes on. For him, for his friends, for his family. And part of me still thinks that he doesn’t deserve a ‘life goes on’ ending. Do I want him to suffer for what he did? Do I want him to hurt, to be depressed, to self-loathe for what he did? I don’t know. All I know is that when I see a picture of him in his current life, with a grin on his face, it makes me want to throw up as I recall the tremendous hurt and pain I endured in the months that followed our separation.

So maybe I haven’t fully let go of the past. Even though I’d like to think that I have. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t been able to forgive him for all that has happened. It’s a huge catch 22. For had he not betrayed me like he did and walked away from our marriage, I would never have ever found this new relationship I’m in today and I would never have experienced love like I do now. If this is what real love is and this is what real love feels like, then perhaps maybe I need to forgive him for his wrongdoing and thank him for this new life that he forced me into.

Thank you. Maybe that’s what I need to say. Maybe that should be my new perspective on all that has happened over the last two years. Utter thankfulness.

Head over heels in love

There is no doubt that, five months into this new relationship, that I am falling head over heels in love with this man. I’ve been falling fast in love and it feels right in every way. Till this day, this relationship amazes me in a billion different ways, but mostly, it amazes me in the simple fact that we are just so completely open, honest and ridiculously loving and affectionate towards one another.

What I have with him, now, right this moment, is far beyond what I ever had with the jackass. When I think about it, it pains me to type those words because I clearly had no idea what love was at the time when I thought I did. But knowing what I know now and feeling what I feel now, I am thankful and grateful for what I had with the jackass because if it weren’t for that, I would’ve never known what real love feels like and the true meaning of unconditional love for a spouse.

I am deliriously happy and in love and I never ever dreamt that two years post separation and one year post divorce that I’d be feeling this. Never in my wildest dreams. It’s pretty fucking cool.

A different perspective

Every now and then my best friend asks me about my current thoughts on the jackass. I tell her so, openly and honestly. I must admit, I don’t speak negatively of him. I just don’t feel the need to. The other day though, a question came to mind that I then put to my best friend.

“How do you feel? As someone who used to know the jackass and considered him a friend, what is your memory of him?”

Many times I’ve wondered what my friends and family think of the jackass – today, 2 years post separation. And this was her reply:

“He is a distant memory. He remains someone I once knew. But also someone who caused tremendous pain and hurt to my best friend. Because of that, my memories of him are clouded. Even the good ones.”

Good to know.

I must remember

Navigating a new relationship post-divorce has proven to be more challenging than I ever thought it’d be. The one thing that I’m constantly reminding myself as I wade through the waters of a brand new relationship, a fresh start is that this beautiful, genuine, kind, open, honest and loving man is NOT the jackass. But it’s not that easy. I am petrified that this man who is utterly in love with me will one day fall out of love with me. The fear is still there. It isn’t showing signs of disappearing. Not just yet. Until it does, I take this new relationship day by day.

Dating post-divorce

This is what I’ve learnt over the last few months. Dating post-divorce is tricky. Very tricky. I am in the most open, honest and loving relationship I’ve ever been in. But I still have my guard up. As much as I don’t want this solid brick wall of fear between myself and this relationship, it’s there. My head knows that I don’t need it. That it needs to come down. But my heart is protecting me. My heart has a mind of its own. It’s been abandoned, it’s been broken. I don’t blame it for feeling so. Trust continues to be an acquaintance to me. It’s not a stranger, but it’s certainly not a friend. I don’t want to be this way forever. Those closest to me tell me that it takes time. It takes time to trust and let go again. Wholly. Completely. But, how much time? I’ve let go off my marriage a long time ago. I’ve come to terms with my divorce. Being in a 11-year relationship seems a lifetime ago. One that I sometimes find hard to believe even existed. But the aftermath continues. The ripple-effect is still underway. Life post-divorce continues to be a journey. A work in progress. I just hope that I have it in me to know the difference between what’s real and what’s just a side effect of my divorce. The last thing I want to do is sabotage the most real relationship I’ve ever had.

Happy Birthday

I turn 33 today. I know I’ve been absent from this space for two months now and the posts have been lacking for the majority of the year… It’s been a bit of a whirlwind my friends.

But I’m here to report that I’m happy. Happy to be here. Happy to be where I am at 33. I couldn’t ask for any more. I’m in great health, my job is secure, my family is doing well, my friends are as awesome as ever and mostly, I have met a man. One that is all kinds of wonderful and one who has treated me over the last few months in a way that no one has ever treated me before. He’s amazing.

I’m not entirely sure where it’s all heading but here simply soaking it all in and taking it for what it is. I also have plans for the future and I still have so much on my bucket list that I want to tick off. I am making promises to myself on a daily basis that the items on this list will be ticked off. They just will. Over time. There’s just no other way to live life than by following a bucket list as closely as possible.

This year is moving so fast. I’m still working hard at my personal theme for 2014 of living in the moment. At times it’s been a challenge. At other times, it’s been the most natural thing to do. Whatever it is, it will be a continued effort for the rest of the year… And beyond. I have walked my life for 33 years, I can’t wait to see where I go over the next 33 years. And more of course.