Tuesday, April 17, 2012
My (Im)Perfect Life
Don't you think it's time for another divorce post? me too. I just got home from visiting Ashley for the weekend. Every time I go on a trip since I got divorced, I get a pit in my stomach coming home. I finally acknowledged to myself that I just don't want to return to my imperfect life. Then I come home, my kids smother me with kisses and loves and I get busy and forget that I didn't want to come home.
I was at Costco recently and saw a girl I have known (from afar) since college. She doesn't know me but I have seen her over the years and everything seems to go perfectly for her. She is beautiful with four beautiful kids. She was at Costco in darling clothes with sparkly pink Toms to match her daughters' sparkly pink Toms. I was there sweaty from the gym with my two ragamuffin boys in the clothes they had worn the day before because they slept over at Sam's. I thought, "Oh there is Nikki (name changed!) still living her perfect life." I don't hate her for it but I would be lying if I said I wasn't envious of her for just a moment.
I never thought about my life before my divorce as perfect. But now I realize it pretty much was.
I remember saying to a friend a few weeks before my world fell apart that I had never really had any big trials in my life. I felt like life was pretty easy. And then the roof caved in. The next few months after that were Hell for me but very few people knew what I was going through. So to everyone on the outside, I was still living a perfect life. And because of that, it was the worst time in my life.
Then the time came to get separated. Somehow, in some way, telling people was liberating. It was excruciating on one hand because so many people had no idea that Sam and I were having problems. I felt the guilt of letting others down in addition to my own sadness with what was going on with our family. In reality, I didn't care what anyone thought. I just wanted my kids to be okay. But there was still a part of me that felt like I had joined the island of the misfit toys.
The holidays were hard. We were getting our papers ready to file. The Big D (as I call it) was first and foremost in my mind and seemed to overshadow Christmas in a lot of ways. Christmas night was especially difficult for me. Sam had spent the morning and early afternoon with us and then left about 3:00 p.m. to go back to his house. I think that was my most difficult night. The holidays are for people with perfect lives. At least it's easy to believe that. Having Sam here for Christmas, I was able to forget for a moment that we were a "broken family". Luckily, that night, my mom sensed my sadness on the phone (or I might have completely bawled to her, I don't remember) and she and my dad came over and brought us dinner and cheered us up.
The truth is...I am imperfect. I always was. Now, it is just a little more obvious. I'm just starting to embrace it. My house will always be a mess. There will always be bags on the floor of clothes the kids bring back from Sam's house. We will always be that family at church with no dad...at least for the time being. I hope that by being imperfect, I am allowing others to be imperfect also. The Savior, who was the only perfect person to live on this earth, spent his time healing the sick and the afflicted and lifting others from sin and despair. The more broken I am, the more humble and teachable I am and the more willing I am to let Him into my life.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
(From the poem Anthem by Leonard Cohen)