I crouch down, in the back storage area of our office building. The sun streams in through the skinny horizontal windows in the large overhead door, onto me. It is warm in comparison to the coolness of the concrete below me.
I crouch down, looking at the shipment of vinyl that came in this morning. I check pieces off the packing slip, to ensure we received everything. You know, a regular day in the life of a small business owner.
But in truth, I am hiding. Even though I am open and honest with our team members about this whole separation thing, sometimes, you just need to hide. 10 minutes ago, I started crying while working with my Mom, assembling decals, in our main production area. I was telling her that I just spoke on the phone with my ex-husband. That we're sorting through the last of the papers (vehicle registrations...who knew there would be so much paperwork?). And that he just told me that they got their new Brewery permits and ordered equipment and they were featured on a beer blog and then a radio show, and that he has to go because his friend is there to pick him up to go see his sister and new niece. And that Ruby is doing well - she goes on daily walks and has only escaped the house twice to go on solo adventures.
As I relay this information to Mom (as Mom and my ex worked well together for 5 years, she wants to know his exciting updates), I suddenly feel a mixture of extreme gratitude, grief, and something I can't quite put my finger on. Sadness, perhaps, that we didn't have that life together, where we were both happy and thriving. Relief, perhaps, that I had the courage to make the scary change. I know that if I had held desperately onto my marriage, that this possibility of his opening a brewery in Nova Scotia wouldn't have happened anytime soon (it may have happened without him...but he likely would have stuck it out in our marriage, despite the unhappiness...and I do love him for that). So this moment of crying is not out of simple sadness. It is out of an overwhelming mixture of feelings...and it simply needs to escape.
As I meticulously receive our vinyl order, I try to gather my composure. I don't often cry at work, and we have customers coming for installations and orders. I need to pull my sh*t together.
And this is where the beauty of sisterhood comes in (yes, my Mom is one of my sisters): my Mom knows I'm crying, as she sees me bolt to the back storage area. She knows it's busy as hell at work...but she comes out to see me and says: "I can throw your car keys out the back door so you can go home and don't have to face anyone if you don't want to. Whatever you need to do."
But I pull my sh*t together. Some days, you need to crumble. But some days, you need to dig deep into your depths and find strength.
And in that moment, I realize this: This is exactly where I want to be. This is exactly what I have chosen. Because even though the sadness and letting go of what 'was' hurts, it is far outweighed by the beauty of my life right now.
Freedom for me, freedom to be myself, freedom to keep creating my life. Because my future feels amazing.
Gratitude for my ex, and how he is making strides to be happy. To do the thing that he loves. I've only ever wanted him to be happy...and if that means that we are no longer together...then that's okay. In fact, it's perfect, and could be no other way in this moment.
I stand up. My legs ache from squatting for so long, and I shake them out. I look out at the sunlight (god, I love summer), and I shake everything off. Nothing like a little shimmy to make everything right, amiright?
I am grateful. I am happy. I am okay.
Now? On with the day.
Sending you so much love,
P.S. Thank you for all of your support lately. Support for my personal stuff (like this post) and for our Mental Health Collection and related blog posts. We appreciate your kindness and for simply being here, reading these words. It means the world to us!
Photo credit (photos taken before Ruby left for Nova Scotia): Jade Lauren Photography