Since

Because I am getting married is short order, here is a (non-comprehensive) list of things I have learned in the years since my divorce:

1) How to fill the fancy lighters – it took me almost seven years, but I finally (successfully) refilled the beloved lighter we got as a freebie in Innsbruck at Christmas in 2008 (NB: there is absolutely nothing special about this lighter, except it is the perfect weight and length to light virtually any candle on the planet)

2) How to buy a car without asking a dude to do the heavy lifting

3) Which remote control goes with which television

4) How to rewire the lighting in the apartment (my ex had an engineering degree and a soldering iron for every occasion, to put that in context)

5) How to properly crate-train a dog

6) How to tell people I love them in the words that mean something to them, not just me

7) That everyone should take some time to travel alone, and be organised and thoughtful – not just tick-the-box – about doing it

8) That my ex was not (entirely) crazy with his exhortation to always be prepared for a lot of different contingencies – semper paratus – but that we absolutely did not under any circumstances need an industrial air compressor and a machete in the back of our Jaguar sedan

9) That it is not wrong for me to be a runner, and that it was wrong for him (or any partner) to insist six ways to Sunday that there is no place for me to be a serious athlete in our relationship (in fact, two of the first things I did upon my split from Andrew were to climb Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, and run the New York City Marathon)

10) That the friends who were jerks to me when I got divorced were the ones whose marriages were about to end. It feels better to “like” the albums of photos of their second marriages on Facebook than it does to hold on to hurt feelings

11) That it will never not bother me to see the bikini pictures his new wife posts on Facebook, no matter how many years over the marriage is

12) That you never, ever know what someone else is going through, and it is foolish and/or arrogant to assume your experience gives you the authority to speak to someone else’s

13) That nobody will ever convince me that Channing Tatum does not look like a potato, and yes, this is a hill I am willing to die on

IMG_4997

14) That one of the loneliest feelings in the universe is being alone in a marriage, and acknowledging that was not a failure

15) That it’s okay to be scared of what comes next, but that it would be scarier to have never moved forward at all.

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