So there we are… the courthouse. This long, rambling hallway contains heavy wooden benches and small clusters of chairs. Off to the sides of the hall are carved out waiting rooms for privacy’s sake. All of these spaces contain an array of soon to be divorcées (what a truly terrible word!), huddled with lawyers or exchanging what can best be described as awkward pleasantries.
Of course I’m early. I even rushed from the parking garage around the corner to ensure I was early. Not necessarily out of excitement, but my obsession with being punctual prevails without fail even on strange days such as these.
When Bo arrives, we sit amongst ourselves in a pair of chairs. While we casually smile, a mix of niceties and Landon updates are exchanged in spite of the obvious distance that has grown between us. Although the distance exists, it’s also clear that we’ve known one another a good 20 years. We can laugh and make sarcastic comments about the other patrons of the court, but then those smiles fade when one or the other quickly hides behind our new emotional walls.
The waiting time at court seemed never ending. Not just because of the intermittent silences, but because the 30-minutes-tops morning court date lasted TWO AND A HALF HOURS! (not to mention I was starving).
Something I am prone to do is fill any awkward silence or space with chatter. I am SURE this unnerves anyone that’s had to experience my barrage of random thoughts and this morning was no different. I stammered on and on about Landon, and Frozen, and the cute thing she did last week. I asked politely about he and his girlfriend’s weekend plans; told him all about work and the stress of it all. And then as I continued to stammer on in a frenzied state, I did something generous. And as I learned… maybe-too-soon generous.
I offered him more time with Landon.
This might not sound overly generous at all to you. It might sound totally normal and just plain old kind to give him more time since he travels so much. BUT. It would mean 4 nights away from my baby. It meant doing something selfless for someone who has left scars on my heart and mind. Although it might sound dramatic, it meant crossing an emotional boundary for me. It meant losing time with Landon following this particularly strange, emotionally draining day. Standing in front of a judge, saying “Yes Sir, No Sir” 100 times, signing your name in 50 spots, all in the efforts of a failed marriage… it’s depressing as well as wonderfully happy shit. To lose time with Landon on top of it… made the roller coaster a little more rocky.
How did I know this? Well, let’s just say when the end of the day came and it wasn’t my night with Landon, I was a total emotional wreck. I was angry and truly bent out of shape (my back has gone out). And what’s so stupid about it is it wasn’t a lot of time. I would see her soon and I was happy she’d see him. Also.. I offered it. That is not the point though. Doing something generous was very, very hard for me to own in the end. And in typical fashion, it’s taught me something.
Since discussing in therapy, since meditating on it, since processing, I’ve discovered that if I live with a generous spirit especially toward him, if I act and treat others how I’d like to be treated, I need to own those choices. If there are boundaries that I’m too fragile still to move, I need to be honest with myself about those as well. Know thine self, and all that jazz. Generous actions should have generous responses and real kindness should flow more easily between two people. That was my goal, and that’s been the result. For this I’m very glad and will remain optimistic it continues.
I will also be more thoughtful with myself, instead of only thoughtful of others. I will respect my own boundaries, my own needs. And I’ll do these things while still offering a generosity of spirit. Because that is who I am and I’m proud to be myself again. If this journey has taught me anything, it’s to celebrate who I am and what I’m here to offer myself, Landon and others.
Sending you a reminder for self love, self knowledge… and all that jazz.