This week, I am celebrating something fantastic in my life. There are certain things in life that are meant to be celebrated. The standard birthday, anniversary, pregnancy, delivery, graduations, etc. Rarely does one think to celebrate the end of a marriage. In fact, to some, the thought of celebrating a marriage ending is horrible and depressing. And trust me – I totally see that. The sadness of that failure – the fear of that failure – allowed me to hang on just a little longer. But to this little southern girl, this day is one I’ve been waiting on for nearly two years. So for anyone who wonders why I’m celebrating, I am celebrating because it means I can finally close that chapter and move on with my life.
To say I’m breathing a sigh of relief is barely scratching the surface. Have you ever been at a huge milestone in your life, but you can’t “check it off your list” because it isn’t finalized? Imagine running a race that has been long and exhausting; a race that has tested your limits and your patience and your courage. Now imagine you get to the end of that race, but you are forced to stand at the finish line without crossing. You can see the life that you can have across that line, but you aren’t allowed to have it yet. That is how I’ve felt for entirely too long.
Twenty-one months ago, two very enormous changes occurred in my life. The first being I began nursing school, and the second being that I separated from my husband. While I had no question that both decisions were the best choice for my children and myself, I had no idea the marathon would be so lengthy and emotionally exhausting. And while both have been technically over for months (I graduated from school and my divorce papers have been sitting on the judges desk since the beginning of July), there has been no finalization or licensure. I am currently awaiting the nursing Boards exam which involves an unprecedented amount of stress and anxiety, and until this week, I was still awaiting the judge to finalize my divorce. So there I stood….just staring at my finish line. And this week, I took a step – my divorce was finalized on Monday! And it is so incredibly liberating!!!
The most difficult part of the past three months has been the feeling of being in a holding pattern. I’ve graduated and the judge has my divorce papers. But nothing is finished – I cannot land. So all I’ve been able to do is circle this beautiful destination, as if I’m merely viewing the airport from the plane. But Monday, I got the first feeling that my plane was beginning its descent. And I realized that after over a year and a half of holding my breath, I finally got a gust of fresh air.
Now while I am not completely across the finish line, I am one step closer. And that means I am one step closer to truly having the new life I’ve worked so hard and waited so long for. And that, ladies and gentleman, is why I am celebrating the end of my marriage.