Starting from Scratch
This is, by far, the most challenging time of my life.
It feels like starting from scratch, though, truly starting from the beginning means that I would not have the benefit of experience, which I do.
I never imagined myself to be in the position I am in but here I am. A book that was referred to me called “The Happiness Hypothesis” talks about “post-traumatic growth” – the type of personal growth that comes after a significant negative event occurs. I like the idea of this because it finds the positive side of “not wasting a crisis.”
Divorce is not necessarily a crisis nor a traumatic event, particularly when considering disease, war, abuse or as recent news would tell you, any number of near-death experiences that Brian Williams apparently encountered.
In all seriousness, however, there is a lot of growth that comes out of tragedy, particularly reframing the way in which we see the world. I have lost more money than it has taken me 2 years to save and I’m not even done. And I say “lose” and not “spent” because I am really getting nothing in the way of any value for what I am spending, but that’s another conversation (or rant) about the realities of our legal system that I will save for another day.
This is difficult for me, in particular, because money has always been about security, not things. It has been about the ability to provide for my family and then stock it away so that we can have experiences, the type that build connections that things never can nor never will be able to do. I will get back there some day and if a serious loss of savings is the worst outcome, then I can handle it. My kids are amazing – really – and for that, there is no price too steep.
For me, it has made me really get off the fence about the two sides that so many of us feel necessary to carry around with us – 1. the real, authentic us who we show to just a few close friends and/or family and 2. the us that is ready for public consumption, as to not make us or anyone else “too uncomfortable.” More and more I am shedding #2 in favor for #1. This is not to say that every authentic thought or feeling that I have becomes a part of daily conversation with anyone who happens to be in my path. To me, it does mean, however, that I am not going to pretend that life is perfect and that things aren’t messy. They are.
Maybe this is why I continue to be so attracted to comedy – those stripped down, raw people who have nothing but a microphone between them and complete strangers. There is nothing that can hide them from the truth because they will be called on it (by people called “hecklers”). There is no wrapping that can even obfiscate who the comic really is. Unlike the musician who can at least divert some attention through her music, the comedian has nothing but his truth – even if he uses unconventional means to get at it. This is the beauty of reveling in the messiness of life.
The thing about messes is that they can always be cleaned up. It’s never that bad.
Until next time,
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