On my own
The past 3 weeks since my husband left me have been a whirlwind of learning, doing, and grieving. The first thing I learned was how to draft a legal separation agreement to protect my future assets from being subject to California’s Community Property Laws. The next thing I learned was how to calculate child custody payments and arrangements. And then I learned how to disentangle 20 years of shared bank accounts and other financial obligations. And then last night I learned how to buy a car (my spouse got our old car in the property split and I couldn’t continue borrowing friends’ cars).
But more than anything, I am learning how to do things on my own. That first night sleeping alone was strange, as I contemplated how I would stretch my body into the spaces that usually John filled in our queen-size bed. Then the feeling of coming into a dark house alone, locking the door behind me because I knew I would be the only person coming in that entire night was a bit eerie–if something happened to me, who would know? And then there was the recent visit to Trader Joe’s where I wandered the aisles contemplating how to buy food for just one person (it’s harder than it sounds, after feeding a family for so many years). And then feeling the awkwardness of going to a cafe and asking for a table for “just me.”
I married so young, 21, and never lived alone before that. I’ve just recently begun traveling alone, so it still feels a bit odd to not have children or spouse tagging along.
Because we’ll be sharing custody of our children, there will be many times that I’m not alone over the next few years, but about 50% of the time I’ll be solo. It’s not an easy transition, and I’ll confess that I’m more than a bit scared. But something tells me that I’m going to be okay.
Note: this picture is of me, just before leaping into Walden Pond last September. Though I went there with friends, I swam alone. I felt completely alive and free in that moment, which is also how I’m feeling now…