I began with a decision before me that I decided to blog my way through. My decision was whether or not to stay in a marriage for the sake of staying married.
This was a more complicated path than I realized at the beginning. There were a number of tasks I needed to work my way through first.
One was to get some clarity on whether or not the unhappiness in our marriage was due to some fault in me. I needed to satisfy myself as to whether I was generous enough, reacting too much, expecting too much. Could I change something in myself in order to remain in this marriage in a way that made a generative atmosphere for my sons?
I also needed to know if staying, or leaving, would do more harm to my boys.
I needed lots of time, and thousands of pages of writing to really look at those questions.
My cousin Sheri over at Wild Women of the Universe pulled The Star as the Tarot card for Thursday. She pulled it for another of her commenters, Quiet Dreams, but it could have been for me as well:
The renewal indicated with The Star card is one of re-discovering who you REALLY are, dropping any facades or roles that you have been filling and carefully shedding the parts of you that now seem "fake" or "put on." It's not that you were intentionally doing this to fool people (even though at times you may have even fooled yourself -- temporarily), it was more a function of upbringing, old beliefs and survival.
The reflections of my past two years have revealed the function of "upbringing, old beliefs, and survival." In responding, Quiet Dreams could also have been speaking for me:
Definitely. In the house I grew up in, there were very strict ideas about what it meant to be "good." I have been learning to expand my definitions for a while now and learn that those "survival" days are over.
This blog has officially changed from being about a decision whether or not to divorce, to a blog about the process of divorce.
My vision for the process:
We can do it amicably. We can do it without lawyers so we can minimize the hit to our resources.
The boys remain in their house, with Gary and I rotating in and out on a weekly shared-custody schedule. Hopefully we can be amicable enough that we can buy or rent another place and share that.
I'll need to find work. The nature of, the hours of, are yet to be determined.
It's strange to be in this latency period, where the decision has been made and the basics agreed to, but its implementation is still ahead.
I've been thinking a lot about a movie that I watched with the boys over Thanksgiving, called "Rudy". It's based on a true story, and though not all the movie elements hew to the factual history of this man, the essentials do. From childhood he had a dream of playing football for Notre Dame, even though he was small and light. His grades weren't great in high school, certainly not for admission to Notre Dame. Four years after graduating from high school he's working in the steel mill his father works in when his best friend is killed. This galvanizes him to live his dream and he leaves for South Bend Indiana after the funeral. The strength of his desire persuades a priest to admit him to Holy Cross, the junior college in the same town. If he has the grades, maybe he can transfer to Notre Dame. Over 2 years he applies 3 times and isn't accepted. He discovers he has dyslexia, which was the cause of his poor grades in high school. On his fourth try he is accepted, and then bends himself to the task of being a 'walk-on' player for the football team. For two years his function on the team is to be a stand-in for opposing teams to help get the players ready. Finally, for the last home game of his senior year he is allowed to dress with the team, and is even put on the field for a play.
I've wondered for the past week or since watching the movie at what sustained Rudy's desire for all those years and set-backs. What would keep him connected to that reality he finally realized? (Even though in truth he had to scale it back: his dream had been bigger. He'd wanted to be an active playing member of the team. However, there is no denying that what he achieved is impressive indeed--he was on the team for 2 years, in addition to being a graduate from Notre Dame.)
He had a Star that he followed and kept him connected to a reality that everyone, even his own family, told him was impossible to achieve.
I have a Star too. Mine is less clearly defined than Rudy's, but I think, like him, has been guiding me since childhood.