I guess I was 26 years old when my parents split up; or maybe I was 25. When I say it that way, it makes it sound like it happened so long ago, even though it was just at some point in the past twelve to twenty-four months. Either way, it happened slowly and then all at once, like most things in life.
The past year or two have been dizzying with changes in my family, and I haven't told you guys about it until now, which has made me feel a bit inauthentic. Not because I feel like I always owe the Internet an explanation of what's going on in my life, but because there are so many things I've wanted to say--to express--and I haven't felt comfortable doing so until now.
Rob and I went to the lake this weekend and so many different feelings struck me from strange angles: happiness, nostalgia, anger, sadness. The morning air was brisk and billowy fog rolled over the surface of the cold water as it always does this time of year, and I sipped my coffee and thought about how all of this used to feel; marveling in the fact that at times, it still feels the same. It's a bouquet of emotions--some with luscious petals, fragrant and full of hope; others dried up, the blossoms falling apart one at a time.
I'm an adult. I don't need my parents to be together and to be really frank, I also don't want them to be together. But none of this was easy, the way I thought it might be a year or two ago when I thought well, we aren't kids any more so what's the difference? You grow up and you realize that your parents are just people like you, and you want them to be happy. First I felt lost. Then I was mad. Now I'm okay.
The weirdest thing was the very ironic pride I felt whenever someone would mention (usually in a Facebook post with old wedding photos) the strength of their parents' marriage. It's always the same: Happy anniversary to my wonderful parents, who are celebrating [insert number here] years of marriage! Thank you for showing me and [insert sibling or spouse's name here] what a successful marriage looks like.
At first I took this really personally, like Rob and I were going to miss out on something because we didn't have their positive influence in our lives. But that's just ridiculous. My parents have still taught me more about marriage than they could ever know, and for that I am thankful. Because whether it's cute and heartwarming or really incredibly sad, you can learn a lot from the people in your life, whether they've decided to stay married or not.
That's where I am now--letting things be what they are, and trying to make the most out of it. And no longer hiding this thing that's been on my heart for quite some time.