Monday, April 02, 2012

deciding to be happy.

Some one once told me a story about a little girl who grew up on a farm with her family. She was in the barn one day, and happened to be near the chickens at just the right time - one of the eggs was moving and a baby chick was about to be born! The little girl watched the little chick struggle and peck and huff with exhaustion as it worked its way out of the egg. Impatient, and mostly wanting to help, the little girl tore open the egg shell, doing what she thought would ultimately save the little chick from unnecessary struggle. What she did not realize, was that these baby chicks need this struggle, this ultimate fight, to gain the strength that they need to survive. In the end, the chick did not survive. The point is that struggle is a necessity of life, and sometimes taking the ''easy was out'' only causes disaster. But, if we are patient and we work and work to break free from our shells, we come out much stronger. The fight is almost always worth it.

I will admit that I am only human, and while I try to show those around me that I somehow ''have it all together,'' the reality is that I don't and I've been going through a hard battle on my own since November. Divorce is ugly, it's hard, it's frustrating, it's embarrassing, it's lonely. It breaks you down bit by bit, and at first everything seems so much easier... but in my experience, once the novelty wears off, it can be one of the most difficult things a person goes through. Sometimes I wish I could curl up in a cocoon for several months, and then magically wake up and all of these tough emotions would be worked out on their own. But life doesn't have a fast forward button, or even a pause button. I have already learned so much about myself and those around me from this experience, and I have a feeling that the lessons will never cease to show themselves.

The other day I left a pretty passive-aggressive status on my facebook. I don't usually do that - I don't see facebook as a place to broadcast your personal life, but it was a weak moment and I wanted my voice to be heard. Chances are, if you read that status and you are trying your best to be friends with both me and my ex, that was directed towards you. Lately I've found myself so angry, because I feel like these friends, these people who have only known me and my ex as a couple, are in the midst of their own struggle of trying to keep both of us in their lives while not hurting anyone's feelings. Being human, I was tired of being sympathetic of this struggle that these people are going through, because I was so hurt and felt so left out and have felt so alone lately. When Sean first moved out, I had an overwhelming support system and any time I needed some one or something... they were just there. But, months and months have passed and at some point people have to get back to their normal lives.

I've felt betrayed lately. Financially, this divorce has crippled me and as my debt piles up higher and higher, I find myself unable to go out or participate in things that cost money because honestly - I don't have it. When I see people posting on twitter or facebook, people who I consider some of my best friends, talking to Sean about hanging out or planning summer trips... it causes me to pull back and push everyone away. I try really, really hard to see their perspective - Sean and I were together since we were 14 and all of our friends are mutual... but sometimes it's so overwhelming and I feel so betrayed and hurt that I let my feelings get the best of me. I get tired of trying to see others perspectives, because frankly I'm going through the hardest battle I have ever experienced and for once I'd like some one to see my perspective. I miss the support I had at the beginning, but the reality of the matter is that I cannot rely on other people to always keep me as a number one priority - I may still be a priority, but they may be going through battles of their own that I don't even know about.

I'll be honest, I've had an extremely hard month. I'm planning to move out of Richmond towards the end of July, and I feel myself getting so anxious to leave that I sit and try to think of ways to get out of my lease sooner so that I can just get away from this environment that is causing me so much pain. I want to escape and never look back.

But then I remember the story about the girl who opened the egg too quickly and the little chick died. I still have things to learn in Richmond, and I need to stick to my timeline - a timeline I made when I was thinking more clearly and rationally and wasn't totally lost in my emotions. These lessons will be worth it in the end. Until then, I need to choose to be happy.

But that doesn't mean that I can't get away for a few hours. I don't have to allow my burdens to overcome me. Nature has always been a place for my deepest scars to heal, and I woke up Sunday morning with the aching desire to see the ocean. So that's what we did.


We packed up a beach bag, gathered our three pups, got in the car, and drove to Virginia Beach. It was so nice to touch my toes in the sand and to watch the dogs run and play in the ocean. But the best part was huddling together in our sweat shirts and blankets and napping in the sun with the sound of the waves in the background. Laughter came easy, and for a few hours I didn't think about all of the thousands of things that have been stressing me out to the point of exhaustion lately.

I read my horoscope today, and this is what it said:
"If you went over a large waterfall in a wayward raft, you would not have much control over where the water took you. However, you could hold on as tightly as possible, you could try to avoid the rocks and branches as they came flying at you, and you could recognize when it was appropriate to hold your breath as water came flying at your face. All of these things are important. You may now be facing a small crisis of some kind. Although you probably feel that you don't have any control, you do have an important measure of control. Stay alert, and you will do very well.''
I know that my best bet in overcoming the insecurities that are bound to come from a divorce is the decision to choose to be happy. When rocks and branches come flying at me, I can do my best to duck or take a step back. And when I feel totally overwhelmed, I can take a few moments to hold my breath knowing that this will all pass.

It's all much easier, I have found, when I decide to be happy no matter what. When I don't take things so personally, or allow other peoples actions to ruin my day. There are so many things to be greatful for in this beautiful journey of life - and the lessons that I am learning are sure to bring strength and knowledge that will undoubtedly give me the ability to overcome other obsticles that are placed in my path. Because let's be honest, life is all about learning and after this lesson has passed it will be time for a new one.

Your overall outlook means everything, and my choice is to choose happiness.


  1. i'm definitely trying. i think the fact that we were SO close to our wedding and buying this house that i'm stuck with is what makes this that much harder. i definitely feel lost and alone. thank you so much for your inspiration <3

  2. Trust me... It's not easy. It's been 5 months & I still have days where I cry or feel totally lost and angry! You are never alone... It's a hard process, but it's life changing & what you'll learn I promise will be worth it!

    Stay strong, I'm here for you!

    xx, kara

  3. A big thank you to you Kara for this post, I spend days now jumping around on the net finding bits and pieces to rebuild my life that has fallen apart around me. In the middle of a divorce, have no one to talk to and generally feel lost. But a few days ago I took the decision I had it, said STOP loud and clear to myself (still do when bad thoughts come along). Anyway, found your blog and just want to say thank you and hope it all goes great for you :)


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