I’ve been putting this post off for a year now. I know that I’m under no obligation to talk about my divorce, but I know writing this post will make me feel better. I hope it will make other people going through the same thing feel better. I’m guessing few people write about divorce because divorce sucks. Weddings are pretty and their antithesis is horrid. My divorce made me feel sad and lonely and the last thing I wanted to do was write about it. But it’s been about eight months since everything was finalized, so it feels like the right time to open up.
What this post will not be about: I have absolutely nothing bad to say about my ex. Rather, I’d like to talk about my experience. He is part of that, but I will never write that kind of post. I’m also going to speak from my experience rather than in generalizations. Despite 50% of marriages ending in divorce, it’s very much a personal experience.
A few years ago, I wrote a post called “Young and Married,” which for my own sanity, has since been made private. However, you can find it on the Way Back Machine if you are so inclined. My first naive post boiled down to me basically telling people to fuck off and let me make my own choices for my life. I still feel that way, which is why this current post title is so fitting.
At 23 I didn’t know what I wanted from life. I knew I was in a great relationship with someone I loved. Getting married made sense. My marriage was way more complicated than dating. Not just because of all the added bonuses like budgets, finances, jobs and moving, but because I truly had to ask myself, honestly ask myself, “Do I want to live the my life the same way my partner does?”
The answer for me was no. At 28 I know what I want from life–I want to travel, I want to live in a lot of different places, I want the life of a nomad. I didn’t realize any of this at 23, because what did I really know at 23? This is not to say the way I want to live my life is any better or any worse than any other way. What I am saying is that’s what I want.
I’m not one to give advice. In my life, I try to be as honest as I can be with myself and with others. What I will say to any twenty-something longing for a wedding, and presumably a marriage, is this: Ask yourself, honestly ask yourself, if you can achieve what you want from life with your partner at your side. Be brutally honest with yourself and how you want to live your days. Life is so short, and some compromises are too big.