Sometimes I think I have multiple personality disorder. One is mom, who can make breakfast and pack lunch while making the shopping list for dinner, quizzing for the spelling test and, more often than not, smelling under her armpits when nobody is looking to see if she remembered deodorant. This woman is unflappable. No clean underwear and school starts in 9 minutes? She laughs at the challenge, knowing where every drugstore, department store, convenience store and children’s store is between school and home. Nobody knows how to run her family as well as she does. Of course, she sometimes forgets her own deodorant, but she keep backups in the car and at work, so even that can’t throw her.
Second is the working me, the Pilates teacher. Encouraging, strong, tough but empathetic, she knows how to push and get someone’s best from them. Upbeat and funny, knowing how to turn a physical challenge into a mind over matter victory. Confident, she knows that she’s good at what she does.
Friend-me, flirt-me, eventually girlfriend-me, cooking-me… there are so many of us in here. But, the one who surprises me the most, is…
The me that is an ex-wife. I’m still trying to get to know her, as she is the newest member of my overcrowded brain. There was a moment when she was not a nice person, reactive and defensive. Lately though, that’s changed. Lately, this is the me that not only is patient and communicative, but also supportive and loving. Open to discussion and compromise, this me has stopped judging and starting embracing. She is the one most willing to learn from mistakes, change patterns for the future, and grow. The amazing thing is, she is a product of my ex-husband. Like a child we gave birth to, we created her together.
I see friends, clients, and acquaintances deal with their ex-spouses in so many different ways. Some, even years later, hold on to an anger they can’t escape and there is a sadness in them that will be there forever. Some are lucky enough to have a best friend in their ex. I have been lucky in having always seen the man I chose to spend my life with and raise my kids with, when I look at my ex. Our marriage didn’t work, sure; however, we have both remained adamant, with our children and with ourselves, that love and respect were the foundations of our marriage and that they should be the foundations of our divorce as well. Certainly, we didn’t get there overnight, but I am grateful to him for the lessons he has taught me through our entire relationship.
Life is about growing. Changing. Breaking old patterns and creating new ones. Being open to lessons that are taught to us. I would never have expected to learn so much from my ex. However, I am grateful every moment of my life that I have.
Even if it is getting a bit crowded up in here.
Image Credit: Naza