LincolnI’m getting divorced.

That’s kind of hard to say out loud. We’ve told family and friends and now I’m trying to get comfortable forming the words to others. Trying to settle into this reality. So, yeah. Divorce.

I’ve spent countless hours with it, twisting and turning all the whats and whys in my mind. I haven’t slept very well for many weeks and often prowl the house cleaning things in the wee hours of the night. My house has never been so clean.

I have the mind of an analyst in that I need to poke and prod something until I understand it, so I’ve been poking and prodding my life quite a lot lately. You see, this is my 2nd divorce.  I feel like I should have to walk the earth with one of those big pointy hats. DUNCE! FAILURE! What the hell is wrong with you, lady?

That first one I found a way to forgive myself for. After all, I married him at the wise age of 18 while I held our baby in my arms. And while 18 year olds think they know everything, they rarely do. Marrying was a poor choice then. He and I were not on the same page. Hell, we weren’t even on the same planet most of the time.  So, on that one, I’m calling a mulligan.

This one has been very different. Eyes wide open and all that. I wasn’t an innocent lamb when I married him. And we have been married for over 22 years. So clearly a lot of poking and prodding has been necessary to try to understand this.  You may get a pass in blaming one divorce on the other party, but don’t try to pull that shit with two divorces. Time to look inside and figure out your own culpability, missy.

Don’t worry – I’m not brave enough to tell you all the things I did wrong, all the ways I fell short. My ego isn’t strong enough for that and, besides, you have things to do – you can’t sit around for days reading about my many shortcomings. (Right? Because if you can, tell me if you want them alphabetical or grouped by category. I’ll get right on it.)

As I travel through this 2nd divorce, I have thought long and hard about a few things and have made some decisions for myself. This, then, is my emancipation proclamation. It’s not about being emancipated from the marriage; it’s about emancipating myself from the some aspects of me that were (are) not working.

I’m going to be more selfish and less apologetic about it.

I have spent my life mired in the grey areas. I see both sides, always. And so I waffle. (Yum, waffles. BRB.)  That grey-area thing makes me very empathetic to others. This is often seen as a very good quality but it can also muck things up. It can make a person wishy-washy. It can cause a person to do what others want instead of what is best. So that’s gotta change.

I’m going to do what is best instead of what others want.

I am going to trust my gut more when it screams “No!” and second-guess myself less.

And when my gut screams “Yes!”, well, I might get a second opinion just be be careful.

I am going to work harder to see things more black and white. Not completely black and white, I will always leave a margin of error, but I can’t stay stuck in the middle. I have to pick a side.

I will no longer, from a position of pity for others,  make decisions that negatively impact me or my family. I will stand firm with  the choice that is best for us.

If I have made a decision that I later realize has a negative impact on me or my family, I will be brave enough to rectify it in spite of the fallout that may come from doing so, even if it causes pain to those I love. We will get through it.

I will stand firm in my own beliefs and, because of that, I will be more consistent and dependable to those who need consistency and dependability from me. They may not always like my positions or my decisions, in fact I can guarantee they will not, but they won’t be surprised when I stand firm inside them.

Lastly, if I’m hungry in the middle of the night, I’ll get something to eat.

OK, that last one has nothing to do with the emancipation proclamation, but I thought I’d sneak it in because sometimes I get hungry in the middle of the night. All this 3AM cleaning works up an appetite. I want waffles.

Anyway, this proclamation probably doesn’t impact you in any way unless you were going to ask me to borrow money or to foster your pet monkey for the summer or something.  And if you were? NO!

(How’d I do??)