This is My Happy Ending
I’ve avoided writing this for awhile, hoping that eventually I’d know what words to put down where, and the way I’d go about organizing the mess of my heart into nice neat paragraphs, giving some sense of structure and ground to the groundlessness of my present situation. But there isn’t any easy way to say it.
My husband and I have separated.
That seems so dramatic that line standing out all on its own. It doesn’t feel like I’m writing those words, but as if they are being written for me. Like I’m somehow watching my life take place on a movie screen or in a book. But it’s not. Its being lived right now, and there is no back cover to read and find out how it ends.
As I look at those five words above, that float about this page like a lonely island, I am struck by the starkness of them.
It’s a hard reality to accept. I find I vacillate between the poles of worry and fantasy and get lost in weaving stories spun of hope and fear about how it will all work out in the end.
But what end? And what does “working out” even mean? Do things work out only when reality matches the picture we created in our minds? Does it work out only when we get what we want, or when there is a certain amount of money in the bank, or when the house is painted the right shade of yellow, or the next project is complete, or when we have enough accolades hung on the wall?
But then we find ourselves tightening our grip on the people, places, and situations that we perceive to be the foundation for our lives to be built upon; that sense of peace and ease which we so desperately seek becomes even more elusive.
The truth is, this journey of love and life is ever-unfolding and we never fully arrive.
I guess that’s the secret beauty that is revealed when the illusion of stability and solidity breaks down. It strong-arms us into living in the present.
In this moment, my husband and I are separated and that’s all I know. We don’t know what comes next – if this leads to greater distance, or if this leads to reunification. But if I can let go of living today in fear or in hope of the outcome, then I might see that this is, in fact, my happy ending. It exists in this moment exactly as it is. Happily ever after exists in my acceptance of the uncertainty and groundlessness of life.
I write these words in our home that we dreamed of for so long together. I write these words in the same spot that we sat on our first night here when we contemplated all the memories that this house would come to hold.
I slip into thinking about the future, and if one day, many years from now we will sit again in this same spot with a glass of wine, as husband and wife or as friends, and recall this moment when life urged us to move beyond our comfort zones.
It seems that, in order to grow, we must be willing to let things die. Perhaps that’s the relationship or the notions we’ve held of it.
But we must be willing to jump off of the edge of the cliff knowing in our hearts that there is something below to catch us.
This is what true courage and warriorship mean – to walk with our hearts exposed to the world, to not avoid our pain or mask uncertainly, but to sit in it with a deep and knowing trust in the ebb and flow of life.