That was a quick year.
It will be one year ago tomorrow since my husband told me he was leaving.
Was that the end of something? Or the beginning?
It felt like the end, to begin with.
There was the initial shock of course, but then the realisation that I wasn’t really surprised. It had been 50:50 whether he left me or I left him for a while. Bit by bit, the implications hit me. Hit us, to be fair. What about the business, what about the house, what about the granddaughter that I love to bits like she was my own. What about the cats.
We worked our way through things. Oddly, we were able to work together on splitting up. We went round the house deciding what he would take and what he would leave, and we disagreed about surprisingly little.
And I’m just about through all of the firsts – our wedding anniversary, his birthday, my birthday, Christmas, New Year. I just have to get through the anniversary of him actually leaving (that’s 20th February), and that’ll be that. Onwards and upwards.
I wish I could go back to the woman who was in tears on the sofa on 8th January last year and tell her that things will work out OK. I wish I could go back to the woman who didn’t sleep that night and tell her that things will work out OK.
Now, a year on, it feels more like a beginning.
I’ve learnt that I can do this. I’ve learnt that I can take control and get things sorted and that I can do it on my own. I’ve learnt that I’m stronger than I thought – but I’ve also learnt to ask for help. That was perhaps the hardest lesson of all.
I married my first husband when I was 19. I was with him for 19 years. I was with my second husband for 19 years. And the next 19 years? They’re for me.
It’s the next 18 years now.
I’m looking forward much more than I’m looking back. So tomorrow, I will raise a glass – to what is, what was, and what is still to be. Mostly to what is still to be.
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