Today is Holy Thursday and it is technically, it is the last day of Lent.
I had originally intended to spend the season giving up take-out, but that lasted all of four seconds. My Q1 went from 0-175 in a matter of moments, and I had to revamp that plan. What kind of self-respecting attorney can give up take-out while billing 15 hour days? Not this one. Roasting a pork loin is a terrific idea in theory. Not such a great idea when you are struggling to crank out contracts and review thick files and get up at 4am for another 6am flight to heaven knows where.
The events of the last 40 days of my life were unexpected. I suppose, during a time of repentance and renewal, one foolishly comes to expect a certain kind of reprieve. As if the mere fact of being following and offering to make a sacrifice is a free pass. As if to say, “I’m doing this right, why can’t you let things be right?”
My ex-husband did some things during these last 40 days about which I quickly found myself becoming…bitter. Throughout this process, I have strived not to become bitter. From the day I left Las Vegas, one year ago today, and went back to Los Angeles–to the arms of my best friend who had said, “When the time comes, come home. I’ll feed you and take care of you, and do the things I promised to do on your wedding day.”
And I got back on the literal and proverbial horse, and made these hard decisions.
I’ve come so far, I thought, why this? Why now?
Instead of giving up take-out, I gave up bitterness. Throughout the rest of Lent, I wrote my ex-husband a card every single day, thanking him for something about our marriage, about our relationship. I wanted to remember why I had married him; why we had spent seven years together. On the road, or at home, I wrote a card…saying thank you.
Thank you for being the man who cares for the dogs I love, because I am not able to take care of them at this point in my life. Your ability to be kind and gentle with them is something I have always loved and respected.
Thank you for planning the trip to China, and giving me the once-in-a-lifetime experience to take time off of work for so long, and experience the things I had always wanted to see and do.
Thank you for being the one who found my brother his attorney–the man who helped save his life–a labor of love that will not be soon forgotten by me. And thank you for not judging the man that my brother was, and for giving me space to celebrate the man he has become, even though I am not sure you and I were able to be there for each other during those times.
There were days when the cards were hard to write–harder than I care to admit. There were days when I wanted to write, “Thank you for nothing, you son-of-a-gun. You ruined my life.” (He didn’t really, but some days, it certainly felt like it.)
But the cards reminded me that this experience of marriage is something I am grateful to have had.
I cannot always relate to my single girlfriends. Sharing my life with someone for nearly a decade has altered my consciousness of myself for better or for worse, in such ways that make the idea of the bar scene, or the singles scene, or any of that…quite unfathomable to me.
Not tonight. Work.
You’re no fun. Come afterwards. We’re going to meet cute boys and drink wine.
Afterwards, I think I’m going to troll Petfinder [dot] com and think about my future dog.
Regardless of anything–of difference, of sameness, of singleness, or strangeness–this exercise made me realize: I am on the road to Emmaus, and I am ready, open for that moment of recognition; transformation; being set free.