My new year's resolution is to stop being divorced.
No, I'm not getting married. Not that I know of, anyway... but who knows? A lot could happen in twelve months, right? But I digress: I'm not getting married.
And yes, I am the same woman who has eschewed New Year resolutions in the past. But here's the deal: I'm tired of being divorced. I'm tired of talking about it, writing about it, blaming everything on it.
It happened, that can't be denied. Did it hurt? Hell yes. Was it fair? Hell no.
Does it define me?
For the past six years, I have been Divorced. For a long time, it was pretty much the only thing that you needed to know about me.
"This is Jenny. She's divorced."
Everything else was secondary. The fact that I have four awesome kids, that I can make people laugh, that I'm kind of messy, that I can draw a really good picture of a mermaid... none of that mattered for a long time.
It's my fault, really. No, not the divorce. I still blame most of that on my ass of an ex and the sweet young thing he was banging. But letting myself become Divorced Jenny, rather than Just Jenny... that was mostly my doing. I let it become my personae, my identity. I talked about it, over wine and at classroom parties and in the grocery store parking lot. If you knew me more than five minutes, you knew I was divorced. And in some ways, that's okay. It's to be expected, when one has their heart ripped out, for one to walk around and want to discuss the fact that their heart was ripped out. Talking about stuff like that is good. It helps you process things, it lets others know that you're hurting and might need some extra love and maybe some comfort food. It allows you to work through the grief and the rage.
I wouldn't have started my blog if I hadn't been Divorced Jenny. I was getting to the point that most of us Divorced People eventually get to, that point where you see eyes starting to glaze over at the mention of the "D" word, where you find yourself repeating scary stories of lawyers and your kids finding "lacy ladies underwear" at daddy's house so often that even your bestest of friends can no longer feign interest.
So I started writing about it, instead. And that helped. It not only helped me -- more than I could have ever imagined it would -- but it helped a lot of other ladies out there. And it still is. Every single day, dozens of women find my stories by typing "what to do when your husband leaves" into Bing or Google. They stay, sometimes for hours, and peruse my ramblings. Sometimes they leave comments, sometimes they send me an email. Sometimes they just read. And that's good. That's one good thing that came out of me being Divorced Jenny. I've helped some others through their dark moments.
And writing my blog has opened a few other doors for me, as well. Doors of all shapes and sizes, doors I wouldn't have found had it not been for that slightly crazy diary of mine. So yeah, I can say that being Divorced Jenny hasn't been all bad.
But now it's time for me to start remembering who I really am. Who I was before. Who I am becoming, who I will be.
Oh yes, I will always be divorced. But it's my hope that in 2013, and the years that follow, my divorce will end up being something like a bad, tiny tattoo on some hidden slope of my body. Something I vaguely remember doing, something I may regret... but something that I don't see every time I look in the mirror.
If you're struggling to find yourself in 2013, especially if you've been through the wringer called divorce? I hope you find YOU. Not the Divorced You, the Getting Over it You... just you. Beautiful, strong you.
Divorced Jenny, over and out.