Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The company you keep

Ever had one of those weeks when things just seem to… happen? The kind of things that halt you in your tracks for a moment. That make you stop and think for a second.

Anyone who’s been reading this blog since the early days will know that I’ve been separated from my ex for some time (in fact, it’s about four and a half years). Those days were not the most pleasant of my life… she was unfaithful and I went against every instinct in my body in giving her a second chance. It all became quite traumatic as the lies and deceit continued, and if I learnt one thing it was that second chances are not things that should be given without a great deal of thought! Anyway, I digress…

A few days ago, I received a letter from the solicitor who’s been dealing with my divorce proceedings (finally). It seems that the Decree Nisi is to be granted on 18th September; and thereafter, the Decree Absolute will be granted on 31st October.

I read the letter and then tried to determine what it was that I felt, and the conclusion was stark and mildly surprising. I felt nothing.

Then - yesterday - I was taking Sam to buy a new pair of football boots, and I decided to question him, subtly, about a text I received a couple of days ago that seemed slightly strange at the time. He was a little reticent at first but then gladly relieved himself of the burden of information that for some reason he'd been made to promise not to divulge; it seems that my ex – who’s now 40 and was sterilised whilst we were married – has successfully undergone IVF and is now expecting in February. In fact, she’s expecting twins (god help her!).

As we sat in the car, and indeed later that evening, I again tried to determine what I felt, and the conclusion was just the same. Again, I felt nothing… save for trying to ascertain how it would impact the precious time that I spend with my children.

We’re all shaped by the sum of our experiences. Those experiences can be hard to deal with but deal with them we must, because the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about… a life in which we deny ourselves the opportunity of finding contentment. Of being happy again. And I don’t mean happy with another person; I mean happy with who we are, as individuals. Because in a sense we have to get through life alone, whatever our circumstances.

I realised with a degree of certainty that was comforting that I now find myself in that position – happy with who I am. And it reminds me of a few lines from The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer…

“I want to know if you can be alone with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.”

I can, and I do.

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