“Que sera sera. Whatever will be will be.” – Doris Day
I remember my step-Daddy singing that to me as a child. I didn’t understand those words back then and I didn’t much care to. It mattered that he was singing to me was all. Things are different now. Who knew I’d one day have a chance at clarifying those words...
I can’t say I’m one of those people that believe life “just happens” to you. “Things” happen, yes. Life? No. Life is the thread through those “things”; the thread that dictates who you are and how you let those “things” affect your life. And the way you allow that thread to be woven, at some point in time, becomes entirely chosen by your own hand.
2012 was a year of “things”. Many not-so-happy things. Many test-your-strength things. Many ah-cheesy-Petes, give-me-a-break things.
Following the eye-opener that was 2011, 2012 just proceeded to rip my eyelids clean off. Because, obviously, I wasn’t seeing clearly enough. And, obviously, there’s so much more to divorcing happily-ever-after than anyone ever expects.
There’s being seriously conflicted while sifting through physical memories, separating everything into “truly mine” and “truly his” piles. There’s packing and boxing up only those things that don’t continue to impress confliction, those things you know in your heart you could never redefine as “truly mine”. There’s being confounded as you peer over the edge at the depths to which one man will go to intentionally violate personal boundaries. There’s the scrambling to find safety for yourself and your children and, amidst that scramble, to create stability and continuity for your children and to make for them some sort of sense out of all the chaos. There’s dismay at the amount of unfairness demonstrated by exes, attorneys, employers, families and “friends”, and, goddamn, what begins to feel like the world in general. There’s being purely and totally lost because all of this territory, for you, is new and uncharted and absolutely no one has a map.
And then there’s the unrelenting sadness caused by disappointment in your own self for all the consequences that come from no longer wanting tobe part of a façade.“For every heartbreak there’s a sermon to be said and this pastor in my head is preaching to the choir.” – Train, Felt Good at First
Disappointment settles in, deep with-in. Long after you’ve moved out of the old life and into a new one. Disappointment lingers, waiting. Clearly, it has no qualms about waiting because it knows you’ll come down to it once you process all the other emotions of divorce: the I-can’t-believe-any-of-this-is-happening, the I-never-thought-I’d-actually-feel-my-heart-g0-through-a-shredder-yet-there-it-goes, the holy-fuck-why-me?!, the what-was-I-thinking?, the oh-thank-gaaawwd-I’m-free, the omfg-he’s-the-epitome-of-a-FUCKING-ASSHOLE-arrrrggghhhhhh!!!, the why-me-oh-sweet-baby-Jesus-WHY-ME?!, the when-will-this-ever-end?, and then, when that end finally does come... the astonished and gaping what-the-hell-was-THAT?! uttered after the cloud of dust settles in the now deafeningly quiet war zone that was once your marriage and subsequent divorce.
But disappointment. No, disappointment is a different beast altogether. Disappointment is what you get when you’re human. Or a perfectionist. (At this point, I can’t tell much of a difference between the two...)
Even though you’ve mulled it over in your head a hundred thousand times – and been told a bazillion damn times by others - that the life and death of a marriage takes two, you still feel deeply responsible for every wrong doing in your marriage, every devastating consequence of divorce on your children, and every miserable position you’ve put you and your children in just to break free. That line of thought is permeating, unrelenting. It becomes branded into some small, barely breathing (but just as much alive!) part of you that you’ve somehow left wide-open and vulnerable. Because you’re a classic hopeless case wearing your heart on your sleeve and your ex, well, he’s the type who chooses to remind you constantly that all of “this”, all of these “things”, are solely and intrinsically your fault.Not his, mind you. Yours.
Because, to quote him, “things will happen”. Which, in his mind, means no responsibility at all for choosing to live his life as a reaction simply because “things” have happened to him.“Jump-start my kaleidoscope heart. Love to watch the colors fade. They may not make sense but they sure as hell made me.” – Sara Bareilles, Uncharted
Life, for me, however, hasn’t just happened. These past two years of hell have been an arduous trek I chose to take, a journey not unlike the constant changing, shifting, and turning of a kaleidoscope. If these past two years weren’t so much for him, well, they were undoubtedly for me. (And, for him, I highly doubt it was anything other than a moving from one lump of unsuspecting flesh to another.)Yes, 2012 was indeed a year of things. It wasn’t a year of Life just happening. No. It was my life. My choosing whether or not I let the things that “happened to me” devastate me, destroy me, define me. It was my year for clarifying and choosing to define my life by how I wanted to live, by how I wanted to be affected, and by the strength I wanted my children to find in their mother.
And if I’ve anything to do with it, these “things” that have happened to my children over the past two years, won’t define them either. Love, perseverance, clarity, hope and strength will.
Que sera sera. Whatever people will be will be. Because life isn’t “things”.