So…I did a thing. There was no fanfare. No celebratory colorful explosives. No banners were unfurled. No parades occurred. It just–Happened.
Scroll back about 4 weeks. My daughter was planning the birthday party for her two baby girls. During this planning process it came out that my ex’s new girlfriend would be at the party. Now, for several months, I had been saying openly that “I am fine with him dating. It’s all good. I can even meet her!” But….
When the rubber hit the road, I caved. Hard. Many tears were shed. Many angry, bitter moments occurred. I was furious. Hurt. Betrayed. ANGRY.
How dare she be at the party of MY granddaughters? How dare she try to be a part of the most precious aspect of my life? How dare she???
Fast foward to last Sunday. Calmer nerves had prevailed. Reason had returned. I was, again, OK with her being in the presence of not only my granddaughters and my family but also…ME.
Then, Sunday happened. And everything changed.
She wanted to send balloons to the party. But she didn’t because she didn’t want to ruffle feathers. My daughter told me this. And my daughter loved that she wanted to do that.
And suddenly, I knew.
I knew how important it was for my daughter to want to be happy for her dad. How important it was for my daughter to want me to be happy for her dad.
Monday morning, I sat at my desk at work and knew. I just knew. I knew that I had to tell him.
So I did.
I told him that it was amazing that she wanted to be a part of our daughter’s life, in any way she could. That she wanted to honor the birth of two of the most amazing individuals I’ve ever known. That it meant so much to my daughter that she would even think of doing that.
So on Monday, I told him. I told him I wanted her to know that she should always follow her instincts and if she felt like sending balloons, or whatever, she should. And that by being angry about an act like that, I was denying her and my daughter the joy of giving and receiving. And building a bond.
This one might be THE ONE for him. And my overall desire is to make sure my children are happy.
So if it makes my baby girl happy that she wants to spoil them, then by all that is holy, I want her to do the same.
After I told all of this to him, I sat at my desk facing the very real threat of the UGLY CRY. In public! So I escaped to my office bathroom. And let the tears flow.
Have you ever tried to ugly cry – in silence?
Trust me when I say, it’s even uglier than a normal ugly cry. I needed to sob. OUT LOUD. I needed to sob. Hysterically. And with lots of noise and snot. But I was at work, so — no.
So I cried in silence. And trust me when I say it took ugly to a whole new level. And then just like that, it stopped. I looked in the bathroom mirror and my world changed.
Without warning, I said to my reflection, “I am done crying over that man.”
And without a second warning, I said, again, “I am DONE crying over that man!!”
Almost instantly, I was calm. I was able to open the door and walk out of the bathroom and be normal. Cue the lack of fanfare, fireworks and parades.
I sat at my desk. And I worked. I worked! I didn’t cry. No tears dripped from my overwhelmed eyes. No sobs wracked my body. No sorrow overwhelmed me like a wave from the depths of hell. I required no pharmaceuticals to get me through the rest of the day.
I simply worked.
And I was fine.
I realized that I really was OK. I was OK with him being in love with someone who wasn’t me. I was OK with him being IN LOVE.
I. WAS. OK.
I didn’t cry anymore that day. Or the next. Or the one after that. I simply kept living. And suddenly, it hit me.
I had been at a corner for a while — well, maybe years — and suddenly, I had turned that corner.
It was as if I had been standing at this corner for so long that I had taken up residence until I had finally, at last—
I turned the corner.
I think I had been looking back at how things used to be. At how it was when I was married. And how I was so sad to see it drift away. I held desperately on to what it was and how it was and how it used to be.
When my mother said, “It was so great to see everyone, but it just wasn’t the same,” I finally realized what had been bumping against me for years.
It’s OK to let go. It’s OK to say goodbye to yesterday. But more importantly – to say hello to tomorrow. So — I did a thing.
And guess what? I. Am. Fine.
Am I still sad? Yes, of course! Am I going to hold on to yesterday in order to live in the now and tomorrow? No.
I am done crying over that man. I have turned a corner. So watch out…
‘Cause here I come.