Its been bittersweet, and we did things very differently than any other couple I've ever met... but really how haven't we been different? From beginning to end, we set our own course.
When Bean-girl came along, I'd been working from home for a few months. I enjoyed my work tremendously and worked very hard, even with an infant attached to my breast all day. When Marshall and I split I faced the sad realization that I couldn't support myself and Bean-girl as a single mom work-at-home freelance graphic designer who blogs on the side. (Phew, I'm tired just typing that.) I've had to work very hard to grow my business while still being a really stellar mama, and he has sacrificed his wants for our needs. I pride myself in sleeping little, accomplishing much, and not giving up despite no real sense of financial security. Its gotten me far, but I could never have done it without Marshall. He's made it possible for me to continue staying home with our daughter and doing what I love, despite the end of our marriage. I am so very lucky, and so very grateful.
Marshall, you're one of my closest friends and forever will be such an important part of my life. We obviously weren't meant to be together, but you gave me a gift I never expected to have... one that has turned my life so very upside down, and I love you for it. From the day we found out Miss Marti Pearl was on her way, I knew I'd found my purpose in this life, and I could never thank you enough. I know you'll accomplish the things you've always wanted, and I'm glad that even though we won't be standing side-by-side, I get to watch your life unfold and witness all of the great things you're destined to accomplish.
Its hard not to write all of this with tears in my eyes because of the finality of it all. We made a hell of a team, but we were just too damn young for all of the pressure of being real married adults with a child. We grew up so fast, but we grew into different people than we ever expected to be. With my growing came dreams of bigger things, of independence and self-motivated success. With his, a yearning for a life we didn't have... security, simplicity, and iced tea on the front porch. Even through the toughest times we both realized that we really liked the other person, we just weren't on the same page anymore.
So we've all moved on. This is such an amazing time, a new life complete with a sense of personal success and accomplishment for being able to provide for my daughter and I. We'll be moving into our new house soon, just the two of us. I'm finally making it doing what I love... the independence I've been longing for. My baby has grown into a beautiful girl who sings me songs and kisses me on the cheek just to see me smile. All of this made sweeter with friends that I can't imagine my life without, a new love, and a newfound self-confidence. I am looking so forward to where this interesting road is taking me. I absolutely love my life right now, and while I feel anxious about the emotional complexities of what's to come, its not as if I'm facing this divorce as a new thing. I've grieved the ending of this relationship privately and openly for over a year now.
My entire "divorce diary" was full as of May. I wrote it in hopes that I'd be able to share it someday, in the form of a book... catty and unemotional at times, overcome with fear and mourning at others. I started it not to chronicle my separation and divorce, but to begin confronting the issues that led to the end of my marriage. As I finished it I realized it would never be something I could show to anyone... its the most deeply private thing I've ever written, embarrassing and therapeutic at the same time. In June I tossed it into the Arkansas River... seemed the only fitting place for all of those secrets to lie.
Marti Pearl will never know of a messy fight over possessions or tight-lipped every-other-weekend hand offs. Her father and I have a fantastic relationship which despite its immeasurable changes, has proven to be stronger than we ever realized. Withstanding this divorce and committing ourselves to a close friendship is more than many couples twice our age can accomplish, and we owe it all to the one with his cheeks and my sassy disposition. Thank you, Marti Pearl... you are truly more powerful than you could possibly realize.
Happy divorce announcement day, Marshall. May the next time I see your name in print be for a happier reason. <3