Saturday, 11 February 2023 12:45

The Life You Planned Vs the Life that Is Waiting for You

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You must give up the life you planed in order to have the life that is waiting for you.” Joseph Campbell

When I got married, I thought my life was going to be predictable. My husband and I had our own hobbies, habits, routines, and traditions that we introduced to each other and we were starting our own together. I enjoyed cooking and baking new healthy food from the YouTube channels I watched, I did Yoga, and I worked out probably way too much. My husband played Magic the Gathering online and in person, went fishing, played other video games, and was part of the Men’s rugby league in our city. We were both teachers and had the same days and summers off. Every few years we would go to the Florida Keys to fish, snorkel, and kayak. We visited our family in the summer and at Christmas. His parents would come to spend Thanksgiving with us. I couldn’t imagine, nor did I want to imagine, anything other than that. It was familiar, comfortable, and safe.

That is until the end of 2020 when the world was already full of unpredictability. A friend gave me a questionnaire to fill out about what I wanted from the future. My husband also had one. I don’t remember everything, but I do remember “travel” was near the top of my list. I don’t recall what my husband had, or if he even wrote anything down. I only remember the words that crushed me: “I don’t see a future with you.” That sentence, those words, the sound of them pouring from his mouth shook me to my core, rattled me to the point that I could not stomach food. They split my insides into pieces and my body down the middle. They were the most devasting words that I could hear. 

He asked for a divorce, pressured me to move out as quickly as possible, and then erased me from his future and past. Just like that, nine years of a life I thought I’d always have and it was gone.

After almost two years of a bleeding heart, crushing blows to my emotions, hundreds of walks in nature, talks with friends and family, self-help books, podcasts, writing reflections, and prayers, I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I accepted the life I once imagined would not be, but that it didn’t mean I would have no life at all.

 I began my own journey, becoming a solo traveler to cities in Florida and along the east coast and to California twice. I joined dance classes, met new people, found a new job that wasn’t teaching, and reinvented myself. I barely remember the girl that was married and living a very different life than she is now. Granted, that girl had a house and a husband, had a false sense of security, not realizing that it could end at any time. Now she knows that it could. Anything can.

I am not living the life that I thought I would be after I got married. Truthfully, I don’t know if I am living the life that I am meant to yet. But my future is open. Still young and with a healthy body, I am willing and able to go anywhere. If the life I am meant to live is be a nomad, I could get on board with that. If my life is meant to be a writer and an inspiration to others whose lives also took another turn, I can do that, too. I am taking each day as it comes. It’s a hard concept for me since I lack any kind of patience when it comes to my own destiny. The last two years have also tested my patience. I still don’t like waiting in the unknown, but it’s the only choice I have that is certain.

I don’t have a house that I own, or a dog, or a husband. I’m lonely many times and think about “what could have been” often. I am working hard to love myself just the way I am and not worry about what others think of me. I am a far-removed version from the shy, unconfident, anxious woman I was just two years ago. 

Most times we can’t see what is happening for us when we are in the middle of things. I can see that the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met wouldn’t have happened if I remained in my marriage. As a species with cognitive capabilities, all of us have at one time or another wished to go back in time and have a redo. Of course, we would be better this time. We’d know what to do differently. Despite everything that happened during the last tortuous months of my marriage, I would go back as the person I am now, the changed woman who carries herself with a truer confidence and strength than ever before. I don’t know if that would make any difference at all, but I would be willing to try.  

Maybe I have something to prove to my former husband or to myself. I am not sure. But the thing is, I’m not the only one who changed. He also changed and if we were to meet one another again and sit down for coffee, we may not even be compatible anymore. My curiosity still gets the best of me though. My imagination goes wild. And I always will wonder, “What if?” 

Has something happened in your life that you were not expecting? How did things play out afterward? Where are you now in your journey? Looking back from where you came from, can you see all the little things adding up that you didn’t see in the moment? Has the pain been worth it? Are you living the life you are meant to now, or not quite yet?

If you are still in the midst of the pain, it’s going to feel like there is no way out. I wish I could comfort you and tell you everything will be okay. The truth is I don’t know that and you don’t know that. All I can tell you is that nothing is forever, not even pain. Life isn’t over until your heart stops beating. Keep moving forward as best you can.

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