Moving on. What does that mean? Well, in his case it meant me packing his clothes up and leaving them in the garage for him to pick up. He decided he didn’t want to be married, so he didn’t need to be coming and going in my daily world. So it was my turn. Now me. Now I move on, now I…what, exactly? Where do I go? What do I do?
How does one decide the time is right to move on, to date, to open up again with the ever-looming possibility of getting hurt again?
I thought I was ready right away. My ex was already engaged, so I should move on, be in a relationship and get married again. Right? Wrong.
I felt like I was just left on the curb for the trash truck. I had no idea who I was, what I wanted, what I liked, or where I wanted to go. There were so many unknowns to deal with.
I got out, first being drug unwillingly by a good friend, but eventually on my own accord. I even traveled. I didnt know where I wanted to go, but I knew I wanted to go places I was not allowed to go when I was married. Thanks to a friend at the time who was unable to use her timeshare, I went to Mazatlan Mexico for a week. It proved to be a great getaway and awesome girlfriend time as there were 5 of us that went. The former “we” never traveled to many parts of Mexico because we owned a vacation home in a part of Mexico that was just 4 hours from home, so why would we spend money to travel anywhere in Mexico?
I went to the Bahamas with a friend, and it was so awesome the following year I and my friend took all our kids back. I had never seen the likes of Atlantis as it was too far for the former “us” to travel.
I then traveled to Spain; wow, what an experience! I went with 3 girlfriends and we had a wonderful time exploring a week of places I had never dreamed of going because “we” couldn’t go because he didn’t want to be on a plane that long.
The next year I traveled with a girlfriend to Crete, Greece for a week of relaxation and rejuvenation for the soul. What an incredibly beautiful place with amazing people.
I also traveled to the vacation home “we” owned in Mexico and visited friends within the United States.
These were all done during times our children were with their father, as I still didn’t want to miss a day with them.
During this time of travel, looking back, I think I was running, masking the truth.
I had friends, even male friends, that I hung out with. I even dated a man for an extended period of time. I loved him, though I am not sure I was in love with him (I was so unclear as to what that meant after what I had been through). I will be eternally grateful for the growth he allowed and promoted within me. He is a huge part of me being who I am today. He taught me so much about being myself and being happy. He taught me to believe in myself, that I was a good person, a good parent, and worthy of respect and love. But in the end, I needed to grow beyond where and who I was with him.
Besides traveling, I did some me things, things I would never have done before. I trained for and completed the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer 3 day, 60 mile walk over a 3 day period not once, but 3 times. The training was at times defeating, but at others exhilarating. I never thought I could do something like that.
I took a course and passed the exam to be licensed to sell insurance. Not that I wanted to sell insurance, but remember that volunteering I did for a year, it enabled me to do more things in that office.
I traveled alone. I sold a car and bought a car by myself. I took my kids on trips as a single parent. I made new friends. I volunteered a lot in my daughters school. I attended sporting events with my kids or friends even out of state. I went to dinner with friends. I did charity work.
I know some of you are reading those things and thinking, “yeah, so what?” Well, this is what: for 24 years I only did with my husband or what my husband wanted or allowed me to do. Now don’t get me wrong, he may not have ever verbally said I couldn’t do something, but it was certainly implied by words or actions.
So I began MY life. It was scary. It was full of many firsts. It had its ups and downs. But it was mine. It was slow going and took a long time, but I think once I decided that I liked me, I liked my time by myself, that I really enjoyed my time with my kids, and that it was okay that I wasn’t part of a couple, I think this is when I began to move on.