So I've repeatedly failed in my attempts of picking a blog topic this week, so for the sake of consistency....I decided to "think outside the box" of the typical photography session blog. I've apparently landed on the topic of "adulting." Maybe just life in general. I'm not really sure...but we will see how it comes together.
No, i'm not going to make claims that I've got it all figured out and give you a checklist of steps to take for a happy life, or that bad things happen for a reason and blah blah blah because that's BS, and I'm not even going to tell you how I've got all my shit together....(I've got some, but not all)
Most of my lessons I've learned the hard way, and I'm less than proud of the way I've coped with some of those lessons....but hey, that's what therapy is for, right?
I'm not sure if I grew up being one of the more blissfully ignorant types, or if everyone goes through a period in life where they realize the world isn't all rainbows, that there is no fairy godmother, this isn't a fairy tale, and there will be no knight on a white horse to scoop in and save you? Just me? no? Anyway. <spoiler alert ahead>
Lies. All lies.
I think we all go through a bit of that in one way or another...sometimes gradually, sometimes like a 100lb steel basketball to the face. Mine was the basketball.
But anyway..... as I was saying, no one ever told me that would happen. No one ever told me it would be this hard....and no one ever told me that life doesn't need to go exactly as you planned for it to still be happy.
I think most of us grew up in a metaphorical shoe box. With a set of unspoken "guidelines" society has given us to follow that will eventually lead you to success and happiness....and anything outside of that is a risk...or the wrong path.....or a failure.
You know what I mean. You grow up, you go to prom, graduate, have the college experiences, find a career, maybe do some other shit in the middle, marry the love of your life, pop out some kids.....and drive around in minivans and shop at Target... and post pictures on social media of your weekends at sporting events... or the flowers your husband sent you today for no reason (that you probably sent to yourself) or the cute thing your golden retriever did that morning. You know....
THAT ONE. I know not everyone has the same visions, but you see where I'm going with this.
Don't get me wrong, its a beautiful dream....and there is nothing wrong with any of it....and your lucky if you have it. I think maybe for a while, I had it too. And I will be completely honest when I say its taken me some time to not give minivans and happy families the middle finger.....and If you have ever been through a divorce, you know the kind of bitter hag I'm talking about..... You don't just get to skip over that. #sorrynotsorry
For the rest of you, now you understand why the woman in the car next to you with a messy bun and mascara running down her face.... just flipped you the bird. your welcome. Throw her a bone....that shits not easy.
But as time has a way of doing, it goes on. I'm finally able to smile and realize that my happiness is my own personal choice, and not measured by what others have that I don't. its not all black and white.
Life happens. Shit hits the fan... your husbands shit hits the lawn...you know...
that kind of shit.
So in short, here I am. I'm a 32yr old divorced woman with two children.
I've never owned a home, or a minivan, and neither of my kids play soccer. (but I totally love target, I mean, come on)
like most divorced parents, I have a shared custody arrangement with my ex husband, and the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life is look my children in the eyes, and try to find the words to tell them why daddy is moving out tomorrow.
Divorce is hell. Plain and simple. Fucking hell.
They spend 40% of their time away from me, and with their dad and his girlfriend at their home 30 minutes away. They are good to them, and the kids now love going with them, just as much as they love coming home. They are amazing children and I can't believe they are mine, and most of all, they are happy. Thank god they are happy.
So anyway.....What the hell am I trying to say here?
No one gets married and expects to turn around and get divorced all before the age of 30. No one earns a degree only to never even use it. No one expects the people we love to hurt them in a way they never thought was possible. No one expects their greatest hero to be their sixty-something year old divorced therapist with a bald head and beer belly who spends his sessions with you on his front steps chain smoking Marlboro lights. (true story)
No one expects to be 32, divorced, with two children. I know I sure as hell didn't.
But that's life. life is messy. The most beautiful people I've ever met are often the people with the messiest souls and most bumpy roads. The ones who don't fit in a box or stay between the lines, but who's integrity is greater than any rule book....the ones who wear their heart on their sleeves as well as their stories. these are my people.
I learned something more important than mini vans, flowers, soccer games, mortgages, and golden retrievers.... I learned that none of that shit matters. Its just shit.
(except Golden retrievers, they are definitely not shit and are super cute and I still want one)
And just because someone else is living their life with the canvas of what you had painted for yours, has nothing to do with how happy they are. Everyone has obstacles, everyone's marriage has problems, everyone's family has a drunk uncle or a mentally ill grandmother or just had to chose between their utility bill or groceries.... life is hard....marriage is hard..... people screw you over....friends come and go....and you may spend more of your life cleaning up your mess than you do building it.
But at some point through it all you will realize that you have to stop being so angry, you have to stop being sad, you have to let it all go and just be happy...you have to spread love instead of being afraid of it.
And dammit, you gotta do this for you. This isn't about anybody. Live for you, honor you, Never lose sight of that. Don't waste your life being unhappy over bullshit and relationships that didn't work. Don't do it....Don't do it to yourself....and don't let other people do it to you.
Sometimes you won't know a damn thing about love, until you know what it isn't. Sometimes the only way to find yourself, is to lose yourself, and the only way to love everything you have....is to lose everything else. And sometimes the only way to get it right, is to fuck it all up.
Why did I just tell you all this? I don't really know. Maybe because I want people to see my humanity, the pain behind my work....that I'm not always about cracking jokes and being sarcastic and avoiding vulnerability. (although thats mostly it)
That I'm no one special.... I just found some light at the end of my tunnel and I'm here to say it all ended up being okay even though I had times I was sure it wouldn't.
That its so important to find yourself, and to be yourself before you live for anyone else. That there's so much more to life than finding someone who will want you, or being upset over someone who doesn't. To try your very best to do all things with love, but don't romanticize life like you can't live without it...Live for yourself first and find happiness on your own. I promise you, it isn't any less beautiful.