Sunday, November 23, 2008

What now?

What's interesting about this site is the variance in its participants backgrounds, points of view, and world experiences. I'm pretty sure I'm the senior of group, at 52 years of age, although I claim my mental age to be about 10-15 years younger than that and if forced to, I could produce statistics to back that claim up (e.g. my insistence at putting prepositions at the end of sentences). Thus the fact that I'm well into middle age makes the life changing event that transpired in my life last week all the more confusing. For the past 25 years a huge part of my identity was that of someone with a partner in a committed relationship. I had another half, someone who completed me, someone who shared the bulk of my adult life experiences. Now, for the first time since I was a young, doped out rock and roll musician, I am single again.

Divorce is a funny word, that brings all sorts of connotations along with it. My parents were never divorced, nor were my grandparents, and, although I don't know for certain, I'm pretty sure that none of my great-grandparents were either. I have one sister. She's divorced as well. Does that mean that my parents, may they rest in peace, fucked up somewhere when it came to teaching us about how to have a proper relationship? Who the hell knows. I'm not going to blame anyone for what I'm going through, certainly not my dead parents. But I'm not going to blame myself either. Not that I've been the perfect husband. Not by a long shot. But from my perspective, I never did any of those things that typically one can point at and say, "Oh, so that's where you fucked up." I never cheated, I pretty much quit drinking and doing drugs a long time ago, I'm a good father, although I have a penchant for switching occupations a bit more frequently than most, I am and have been gainfully employed at least as much as is possible in this fucked up world these days. So, no, one can't really point the finger and narrow this down to one glaring error on my part.

Maybe I should change the way I think about divorce. My preconception of the term has always begun with the word "failure". Divorced couples "failed" to make their marriages work. Divorced couples screwed up. Divorced couples didn't work hard enough to keep their marriages together. Divorced couples should burn in hell. Maybe we're guilty of all those things. For me, I got to the point where I just couldn't figure it out anymore and, in fact, stopped trying to figure it out. Our relationship was going downhill, and I stopped trying to figure out why. I had a therapist once who said that I had to do "my work" first and worry about the relationship second. That if I do "my work" the rest will take care of itself. It sure did.

What started with a ceremony of celebration before friends and relatives with all the joy and pomp of a major step forward on wondrous path life lays out before us, ended pretty much with a barely audible last gasp standing in an empty courtroom before a judge who, when all was said and done, wished us luck.

Luck? How the fuck can anyone by any stretch of the imagination put this in the same category as luck? Luck is when my ipod decides to play two Chili Peppers songs in a row. Luck is when I go to get a cup of coffee and all that's left is the charred remains on the bottom of a pot that some asshole in the office should have turned off when they took the last cup. Luck is when I cross through an intersection that 2 seconds earlier or later would have been blown through by a drunk driver.

Getting divorced has nothing to do with luck. And neither do relationships, which leaves me in really weird situation, one that I'm not altogether equipped to deal with. At 52 years of age, I have no idea how to go about this dating thing.

I love reading our friend Brennan's observations on the dance between men and women when placed in the position of looking for love. By the way man, congratulations on passing the bar. That's fucking awesome. You're young, successful, and you have all the opportunity in the world before you. Well, maybe not all, but a lot. Maybe as the days, months, and years progress, I'll have some observations of my own on the dealings between opposite sexes. Right now I have none. I could probably share some of my private rants of rage I'm holding inside regarding my now ex-wife, but that really serves no viable purpose and on the surface at least I wish her well (crazy bitch). But for now, I'm sure anyone who's managed to at least skim through this post is on the verge of suicide so I'll stop with no words of wisdom or caution. Everyone's got their own life and no two are the same. This is just a little peek into mine at the moment.


Sebastian E. Encina said...

So time for strip club hopping?

It is interesting to call it a failure. I have had several jobs in my lifetime, and if things go right I will have a few more before all is well and done. Because I don't keep one job all my life, is that a failure?

You had a marriage, and I am sure it had its good points. Obviously, it had some low points. You lasted as long as you could, and now you move on to some other, exciting adventures. Maybe you meet a new special person in your life. Maybe you become a recluse. Maybe you join a monastery. Maybe now you go do the things you have always wanted to do but always felt too tethered to something/one to go and do them. Or because you were married, you didn't feel adventurous enough to do them.

Don't look at this as a failure; look at it as an opportunity. Look at it as a chance to add to yourself. By divorcing, you are freeing yourself up of burdens you no longer need to carry. You are still a young guy, and there is a lot to take advantage of in this wonderful world. Go do them!

Brennan The Anti-Blogger (aka LakerSanity) said...

Ending a marriage I am sure is almost like dealing with a death... the difference being that one must mourn the death of the relationship instead of the death of a person. No doubt you lost something important to you and that's okay to admit because avoiding those feelings does nothing but open up space for them to inevitably arise once again when the timing is even worse. Mourning is an important part of the process as it allows you to accept the change, then truly be able to just move on.

So, failure or no failure, all that matters now is moving on, moving forward. If your marriage ended, it was because it was holding you back from finding your true happiness, so its now time to find it. I truly believe, as Encina said, an ending is necessary for a new beginning... and that's what you have, a new beginning, take advantage of it. You have a fresh slate... that, in a nutshell, is true freedom. Therefore, it's time strap up, fill your pocket with wads of $1 bills, and the first drink is on me.

Sebastian E. Encina said...

And the second drink is on me!

Joli said...

I agree with Brennan about mourning the relationship and that it can be a very liberating thing. It opens up your life for new things (hopefully more positive).

My parents divorced at a very young age and I think it was the best thing that could have happened for me, my sister and them. Relationships like everything else in life ebb and flow and sometimes die.

Good luck and the third drink can be on me just as long as it's not in a strip club ;)