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Unraveling

van life May 30, 2018

My husband and I decided to end our marriage on a Sunday morning while drinking coffee on the living room couch.

I sat facing him—expressionless, hair unbrushed, stomach queasy—waiting to hear his intentions. And waiting to share my own.

I’d known the man staring back at me since we were eight. We were high school sweethearts and prom dates, separated for more than a decade before reuniting for the proverbial second chance at the fairy tale.

This wasn't part of the plan.

We knew the conversation was coming. We'd scheduled it days in advance, knowing we’d need plenty of time to process the weighty decision at hand: Stay and do the work to save our marriage, or go our separate ways.

Those were the only two options on the table.

And as much as I’d love to say this was the first time in our short, 8-year marriage that this conversation had taken place, it wasn’t. Many months ago, we sat on the very same couch having a similar discussion.

But this time it felt different. Our dispirited silence told the story of finality long before any words were spoken. It was clear we’d both arrived at the same conclusion. The question was no longer what, it was how.

We’d both been through divorces in our 20’s, so we knew just how taxing the uncoupling process would be—physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. Even so, it was impossible to prepare for an unraveling of this magnitude. Shattered fairy tales are never pretty.

A few days later I found myself lying on the bedroom floor with my sweet friend, our miniature dachshund, Zoey, saying my final goodbye. Her departure was unexpected, but not surprising. She would not be joining me on the next leg of my journey.

Alone.

A few days later a For Sale sign glowed like a white ghost at the end of the driveway--yet another life-changing event that was not in the original plan. The house we once believed would be our forever home would soon belong to another family.

Uprooted.

Next, I found myself standing in line at the county clerk’s office, blinking back tears as I waited to file the dissolution documents. How had it come to this? I watched in disbelief as a blurry case number was stamped to the front page of my documents.

Next.

As the days passed, sadness came in waves. And then anxiety.

Where am I going to live? How long will it take to sell the house? Will I be able to afford health insurance? How long will it take me to drive to my nearest family member? Will my car make a transcontinental trip? Self-care. Self-care. Self-care.

And it's moments like these that remind me why I do what I do. Self-care is oh so powerful—especially in the fragile moments that often leave us feeling shattered and broken.

Self-care is what helps us find the beauty hidden behind our suffering. It's what empowers us to find creative solutions despite our paralyzing anxiety. It's what helps us experience peace in the face of uncertainty.

Yes, I've been in ultra-power-saving-survival mode for the past few weeks, but it's because I know exactly what I need to pick myself up and move forward. I may not know exactly where I'm going, but I'm going forward nonetheless.

That is resiliency in action.

And what I’m about to do next is bold. It’s completely unconventional. It will either be brilliant or moronic. (Still too early to tell at this point.)

But either way, it’s going to be amazing AF.

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