Pearls of Wisdom

Today, I have a long list of things to do. There are work projects that must be completed, meetings to attend, a haircut appointment, and household chores. Today is like any other Monday, except it would have been my 30th wedding anniversary.

Thirty years ago today I said “I do” to the promise of sharing my life with another. It was a beautiful day filled with happiness, love, laughter, and a world of possibilities.

Growing up, like most other young girls, I dreamed of the day I would find love. I had my entire life planned out. And for two decades, for the most part, I lived that life. But, as I soon learned, it takes two people to make a marriage work and ours wasn’t meant to be.

When you’re young and envision your life’s trajectory, there are certain milestones that are anticipated – a 30th wedding anniversary is one of them. And, while it saddens me that I will not celebrate this special day with my chosen partner, I don’t regret my marriage or wish it had never happened. The birth of that marriage led to the birth of many things, including two incredible children. And while I usually take tremendous comfort in the gifts of that union, today is a reminder that the unlimited world of possibilities for that young couple no longer exists. 

No one goes into a marriage thinking it will end one day by choice. We go in it for the “happily ever after”. But over the years, people change, priorities shift, and couples grow apart. Without constant nurturing, attention, devotion and negotiation, divorce may be inevitable.

When a divorce occurs, it is a loss so deep that it impacts every aspect of the rest of your life. I believe it is worse than the death of a spouse, because with divorce, the other person is alive and moving on with his/her life. There is no burial or saying “goodbye”, there is a constant reminder of the loss.

As time passes, it does get easier and there are more and more days of normalcy. But, then there are days of significance, like today, that stir up a tsunami of emotions and its hard to ignore the mixed bag of feelings that once joyous day now conjures up.

In the past, I would have allowed today to consume me with sorrow. But no more. While I am not going to ignore today, I’m going to face it head on with a different perspective. I’m going to acknowledge it for the special day it was and not allow the pain to get the best of me. I’ll feel my feelings, but not get lost in them. I’m not going to watch my wedding video or look at pictures and cry. I’m not going to go over every detail of the union and analyze what went wrong. And, I’m not going to make a list of regrets and what ifs. I am going to remember the joy I felt that day and focus on the blessings I have received.

A 30-year marriage is represented by a pearl and a pearl represents wisdom through experience. Now, that’s something to celebrate!

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