The Privilege of Choice
Last week was hard. It started out on an eerie cloudy Sunday. They weren’t just clouds though, it was a thick impenetrable wall of white surrounding the city. I went for a walk on the beach that morning and the waves were huge and relentless and soaked my shoes as I walked on the sand. I walked the beach between 9:30 and 10:00, at that same time Kobe Bryant’s helicopter was falling out of the sky. Beautiful lives were ending for no apparent reason while I stared out into the waves and thought about my day.
My daughter was visiting, and I was disappointed with the cloud cover because she was visiting from Seattle, where it was cold and rainy, and I was hoping she would get some California sun. I went to go pick her up, and that is when I heard about Kobe’s helicopter accident. It seemed unreal, but as I scrolled through social media and saw all the posts, I realized that it was true. I felt like we were sleep walking through the morning as the blanket of clouds reflected our confused mood back at us and kept us in the dark.
My daughter and I could feel the thick ominous energy in the air that went along with the eerie cloud cover as we went to brunch. We sat down at a busy cafe on Sunset Blvd and started catching up on our lives. We were drinking our coffee, and eating our eggs, toast and fruit, when someone 2 tables down from us passed out cold and an ambulance had to be called. We all sat in stunned silence. Everyone’s emotions were already running high, so people at the restaurant looked at each other for answers as we watched this person being taken away on a stretcher.
The week continued with the whole city of Los Angeles in mourning and disbelief. The sun came back out, but nobody seemed to notice as people were just trying to make sense of such a tragic event. It seemed like everyone was taking stock of their lives, their families, and realizing how short that life really is.
Life is short. I can’t believe I am 54 years old. Where did the time go? Am I where I want to be? I don’t know. I looked at my situation in a new light and I realized that I needed to make some tough decisions that I had been putting off. I needed to make some decisions in order for me to truly emotionally move forward in my life. For me, this event didn’t bring me closer to someone, but made me distance myself from someone further. So, I made the phone call to start my divorce.
I felt a lot of sadness this week, but I also felt a lot of anger. The anger isn’t about anything that happened now, but just anger that I have kept bottled up for so long. Anger that I held in, because I felt like I needed to protect my family. But this week, I got in touch with it. It was not pretty, it didn’t feel good, it exhausted me. I like to think I am a person that can forgive, and I am working really hard on that. But before I can forgive, I have to let my body release the anger and resentment I have onto for years.
The reality of being divorced is a harsh one. There was a small part of me that fantasized about reconnecting. I would imagine my husband coming to Los Angeles and looking at me lovingly with his brilliant blue eyes that I fell in love with so long ago. Then I imagined that he would take my hand and we would walk along the beach and have a real talk about real things. That somehow we would reconnect, and move forward to our next chapter in our lives together.
But I know that will never happen. I know that chapter of my life is over. I am sad, angry and disillusioned, but I am slowly accepting reality. I learned a lot about myself through it all though. I learned that I am loyal beyond measure, and I love with all my heart and then some. And that isn’t a bad thing. But loving deep, makes you hurt deep.
Letting go, and accepting that the universe has a different plan for me has definitely been a process. Some days I am on top of the world, and I am in disbelief that I live across the street from the beach with everything Los Angeles has to offer at my fingertips. Other days, all of that is overwhelming to me and I just want to stay in my bed and pull the covers over my head. It has been a back and forth of moving forward and falling back.
This transition has made me question everything. What do I really think about marriage, do I believe in it anymore? What do I think about relationships? I would like to have a relationship, but what do I want that to look like? These are things I am trying to figure out, that I haven’t fully explored yet.
As this week comes to an end, it has left many people in confusion about their own lives, me included. But I feel fortunate that I have the luxury to decide. I have the privilege to think about all the different possibilities that are available to me, and I get to choose which direction to go in. That fact in itself is more than most people on this planet have.
I am blessed that I have that choice, that I can change everything about my life just because I feel like it. I am blessed that I have a beautiful home by the beach that I can sit and contemplate all my choices for the future. Right now, as I recover from an emotional week, I am so grateful for that simple fact. I am grateful for the privilege of choice.