Today I was crouched on my haunches, pulling dead blooms from a cluster of purple wave petunias.
I am a slow learner, but this is my fourth year growing these flowers, and I’m starting to get it. Today it finally dawned on me why this tedious work is necessary: new flowers cannot grow where dead blooms linger. There’s no room.
But shortly after I pull off the dead weight, the opportunity arises for a new flower to blossom, fresh and lovely.
And so it is with marital separation, and now the impending divorce.
I have been taking my time, slowly peeling back the layers.
First I kicked Zach out, nearly a year ago, but hoped so desperately he would come back. I hated changing those locks and nearly gave him a key many times.
Then, after I discovered the depths of his drug usage, I met him at my lawyer’s office to sign a legal separation document, protecting my assets and children from him. I was still trying to change him, though. I thought for sure he would get better, change in the way I needed him to, after we signed that paperwork.
Four months later still, a judge met with us and after seven minutes, we were officially, legally separated. I did not cry but only because I did not make eye contact with him. I started to see that the only person I could change was not him: it was me.
And so I have… slowly.
I exercise almost every day, and as a treat I just bought myself new workout gear which is a joy to wear. Who knew wicking fabric and non-riding-up shorts could delight me so?
I pray and go to meetings and church regularly. When I feel lost I write, or breathe, or go easy on myself and take a nap.
What I’m not doing as much of is: obsessing about him, calling him late at night in desperation, or trying to change him.
I guess inching towards this divorce is like deadheading those pansies: I needed to get rid of the dead weight to let myself bloom.