So, I finally did it. I filed my divorce papers. And the "finally" must be included because it's right there in black and white on the papers that our date of separation was March 1st, 2009. And chances are, that separation was at least a year overdue. So yes, finally.
I have known this day was coming. I have made several promises to my mom... that I would file it by my 40th (last June) or by this past Christmas or by Valentine's Day this year (because come on, that's kind of funny). I'm sure there were other dates I'd thrown out and missed just because everything else I have to do is so much easier. And I didn't think it was hard because of the emotional component; I figured all of that was water under the bridge. As far as I knew, I'd already done all the mourning of my marriage I needed to do when it was falling apart and shortly thereafter. The past two years featured some sadness and anger, but mostly it's been about me having a great time as an unencumbered grown-up (nope, the awesome kid doesn't count as an encumbrance, apparently) with a great group of friends and just loving life, mostly.
So when the bout of sobbing hit me this morning in the bathroom, it was unexpected and unwelcome and confusing as heck.
I had just finished printing and copying everything I needed to file. I knew I had some sorting to do, but I needed to take a break and get in the shower and get myself ready. I was brushing my teeth. I was thinking about having to go to Martinez to file the papers, and all of a sudden it was 2002 and I was younger and fresher-faced and I was happy and in love and getting a marriage license in Martinez. So I could get married and spend the rest of my life with this guy. And the next thing I knew, my mouth full of foamy toothpaste, I'm crying. No, not crying, but like, chick flick dumped girl sobbing. Like, pmsy forgot to take my meds for two days distraught.
I wanted to go and get a hug from my mom, she was already here so she could watch the baby while I took care of my business, but I was like, no... I don't want the baby to see me crying and I don't want my mom to think for a minute that my meltdown had anything to do with wanting to stay married. She and I have had that conversation like eight gajillion times. She's known I have been done emotionally for ages, but of course, as my mother, she wanted my rights protected and the only way to do that is to have it be official on paper. She's known the number one reason it hadn't happened yet was that I'm a lazy procrastinator. It's true, I am. For my part, I know that there were other things going on that prevented me from doing it sooner... but really, mostly, lazy procrastination.
Anyway, I had to just take a few minutes this morning to cry it out. Not for me now. Me now is fantastic. I guess I was crying for me from 2002, so (relatively) innocent and full of hope with all kinds of plans. Dang it, I'm tearing up now. Yes, I'm sad for that girl (I was almost thirty-two, but so much more of a girl than I am now!). Would I have it any other way? Absolutely not. And I always come back to thinking that things happen when they happen for a reason. I feel like I'm where I am supposed to be at this moment in time, and part of getting here was dragging my feet with this divorce. But now it's done and it's right and I don't think there'll be a need to shed any more tears.
As I walked away from the court clerk's office, I felt relieved. I didn't for a minute wish I could go back in there and change my mind, which is good, since the line was really long when I left. Had you told me at thirty-two that I wasn't going to live happily ever after with my ex, I wouldn't have believed it and I would have been devastated at the thought. At almost forty-one, it's not how I planned it, but as I sang along at the top of my lungs to Pink's So What the whole way home, I knew this is how I want it.