Today is a symbolic day. It represents the day I woke up. It represents the day I came out of a cocoon. It represents the moment in time when I realized my life as I knew it was in fact no longer. And NOW, I had the chance to create a whole new life for myself!
Eleven years ago today I went home after work to find that my husband of 1 1/2 years had left me. I walked in the front door of our small apartment to find the couch in the middle of the living room - with what was left of our belongings piled on top of it. No tv, no dining room table, no recliner, no coffee table - just the couch. He even took the can opener. That's so significant because when he "left for work" early that morning he kissed me goodbye and as I was still in a state of dreaminess I remember him whispering - "When I get home from work we'll go grocery shopping - the only food left in the house is canned."
The problem was he knew he wouldn't be coming home. In fact, his brothers knew he wouldn't be coming home. His family had planned ahead of time to take this day off of work so they could help him move out while I was at work. And from here on out I will spare you the rest of the messy details...
What stands out about this day is that Lori could now be herself again! When I fell in love with this man I fell hard. And I was willing to sacrifice a lot of myself and who I was just to be with him. In fact, I had lost who I was in the process.
So, as I drove to my parents' house later that evening a bittersweet realization came over my entire being. I could now, finally, go back to the old Lori. This crazy, you-never-know-what-to-expect, trouble-makin' girl had a mind of her own ... and within that mind was housed big dreams!
It happened on a Friday afternoon... and this year's anniversary of what I affectionately call my "Freedom Day" is a Friday as well. This day will long be remembered as my day of re-birth. Friday October 20th. About 2 pm.... I realized my life had once again begun.
Here was my chance to emerge ... but not necessary "like new". I was well aware of my "scrapes and bruises", and at the same time I was nearly proud of them. If I were given the chance to change anything about my past, including those 2 years of my life I wouldn't change a single decision ... because of those events I emerged a stronger, wiser, less naive, and yet gentler woman.
Today I stand proud of myself - proud of how I conducted myself through both the marriage and the divorce. I'm proud to say I gave that marriage everything I knew to give. I gave all I could and did everything I knew to do to keep it together. I walked out of that half-empty apartment knowing I hadn't given up with any "ifs" running through my head. And still, I'm proud of who I've become in the wake of some pretty harsh emotional abuse and the ultimate abandonment. I'm proud of me.
Nothing could be better....