I used to read Dooce regularly, but in the last few years, that dwindled to only an occasional visit. On that visit the other night, I learned that Dooce and her husband recently separated. This was shocking; from what I remembered of her life, she was married to her best friend, her soul mate, her rock. And that may all still be true, but to the two people living that life, it wasn’t enough to make sharing each day better than living them apart.
Seven months ago, some things in my life changed significantly. They had already been shifting and breaking for months, maybe even a year or two prior, but that marked a turning point. I thought the change would be for the better, that everything would work out, that time and space would heal old wounds and lead to a joyous renewal of the good feelings of the past. That never happened. Instead, the time and space grew and became unimaginable to cross. I held onto memories and hopes and a foolishly romantic notion that things would just work out, but they didn’t. Instead, they ended.
Sometimes, loving a person and believing that they are your soul mate and rock just isn’t enough. It isn’t enough to overcome mistakes, bad choices, selfishness, immaturity, uncertainty, distance, and the challenges of daily life.
I’ve realized now that it is time to let go. Time to stop hanging on to the past and thinking it will somehow lead to a future. It won’t. When I began training several years ago, my coach told me to trust her and to not try to rush through building a solid foundation that would carry me through my cycling career. I believed her and still believe the notion that you cannot build something indestructible on a foundation filled with gaps and cracks. He and I had reached a point where the gaps and cracks were just too much to fix, and so it is time to move on.
To make way for new things, you must first be willing to part with the old. Well, unless you are a hoarder. But I’m pretty much the opposite of a hoarder; if you accidentally leave your coat at my house for too long, I will relocate it to a charity donation box. In that spirit – the desire to cleanse materially and mentally – I took a large spoon and some mementos into the woods behind my house today, dug a hole, and said goodbye. Goodbye to hanging on to the past, to clinging to childish notions about love and fairytales, to the ties that held me and him together and in the end started to suffocate us both.
I don’t feel miraculously better now that I had a stuff funeral in the woods with my dogs and an old man who wandered by. I didn’t expect that I would. Only time will heal this, time and focusing on things that are healthy and positive. I want the best for him and I want the best for me, and as sad as it is to realize, we are not that for each other. He can do better than the person I was for him and I want to be more than that person.