One year ago my divorce was finalized. Two years ago I left New York City. Today I am sitting in my friend Danny’s restaurant, in Queens, about to embark on another new adventure. I will get in my Honda full of everything important that I own, drive to a new location, move into a cast house where I don’t know anyone, and get ready to put up a brand new show in two weeks. And I will love it. I will love waking up in the morning full of purpose. I will love creating a character and an atmosphere with these cast mates whom I haven’t met yet. I will love feeling like I am back at home, even though I’m not exactly sure what “home” is anymore.
Last year, when my divorce papers were returned to me, I felt the last piece of my heart die. I knew it was coming. I had signed the papers. He had signed the papers. We had gone through the division of “things” that don’t really matter, we had agreed upon terms, we had decided to end our covenant. And then, just like that, legally we were not a “we” anymore. And it was at that moment, that realization that “we” would never be a “we” again, that I felt my heart completely leave me. When those finalized divorce papers arrived I was in a safe place. I was at my parents house, surrounded by people who I knew loved me. I was working for my mother and I had to call in my baby sister to take over for me at work. When she arrived, I went in the back, called my friend Cheyenne, and I wept.
I still don’t fully understand why I wept. Could anyone who has never been through a divorce even understand my feeling of loss? At this point, everyone knew we were getting a divorce. It wasn’t a surprise. Those who loved me were even, in a way, happy about it. I could finally put this nightmare behind me and move on. They didn’t want him to be able to hurt me anymore. How could I explain that I would always hurt? I would never be the same. I was forever changed and didn’t know if it was possible to find my way back to love and happiness and hope. And so I wept. I wept for what would never be. I wept for the loss of a heart full of love that had disappeared. I wept because I was emotionally exhausted. On one legal document, my entire future had been erased. And I felt that hurt all over again, so I wept. And she listened. And in the silence of her listening, she loved me.
When I went home I drank an entire bottle of red wine. Because, to be honest, sometimes that is how I coped. I ate Taco Bell for dinner (which oddly enough pairs well with red wine). I tried to wait until I knew he would be free…because I hated when my crazy divorce issues affected my friend’s regular lives, and I text Jake. Because that is also how I cope(d). By now I’m sure he was used to getting random texts dealing with whatever new emotion was making me spiral downward. And, in his usual fashion, he didn’t make me feel like I was ruining his evening. He let me say whatever I needed to say. He assured me that drinking a bottle of red wine at my parents house didn’t make me a sad and pathetic woman. And through the giving of his time, he loved me.
A year has passed since that definitive day in my life, and I knew looking back on it would be emotional for me. My friends would tell you that EVERYTHING is emotional for me. And they would be right. I knew I would need to write about it, because it happened and it’s a part of me and I don’t want to feel ashamed of that. But, here I am, one year later, about to embark on a new adventure. I am sitting at a bar in a restaurant looking at my friend Danny, who, over this past year has become one of those special humans to me who knows how to listen through love and give of his time through love. And he is another one of those examples in my life that proves that I do still have a heart and it is still capable of love. The beauty of looking back at the times when I wanted to crawl into a hole and forget myself completely is that what stands out is not the pain…what stands out is the love. The love of a friend who will listen, a sister who will drop everything, a soulmate who will give of his time, and a new human who may have not been there for the initial pain, but who understands my heart and will help it heal in any way he can.
And so, now, I can say to anyone who is still in pain, who wonders if the despair will ever cease, who still has sleepless nights where they cry and feel sad and want to never wake up…it will end. One day you will look back, and you won’t have it all figured out, but you will feel loved, and you will head out on your own new adventure, and you will praise the God who would not let you fall. The God who continues to give you the gift of humans who will constantly remind you that your presence in their lives matters. The God who has kept you wrapped in his warm embrace this entire time. He is and has been and will continue to be the one who will lead you “home.”
Philippians 3:20 “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”