It’s a shame we have to die my dear
No ones getting out of here, alive
What a way to go, to have no fear
No ones getting out of here, alive
— Foo Fighters, DOA
Sometime after the divorce process, I started holding my breath, but I never realized it. I let chaos and decay build up around me in my workspace (a no-no, thanks to ADHD – the more clutter, the less productive), and I there were so many things I could have been doing that I hadn’t, both in my personal life and in business.
Divorce, no matter if it’s amicable or not, is a hard process. It’s a death in the family you created. It’s losing a large part of yourself. It’s looking for a moment of closure, when you finally can say goodbye. Not to the other person, but to yourself.
In a long term relationship, we give up a bit of ourself. We merge it with the other person in the relationship, and we become a new person – even if we don’t want to. In many ways, I don’t mind this – I’ve been many people because of some really great loves and relationships in my life. I’d never give those people I’ve been up. There’s been times I didn’t like who I became. The other person also goes through a similar process, becoming a new person. And, for those who are Biblically minded, those to people also contribute to a new entity – two people who are echad (a plurality of one. Two distinct entities who also are one entity. It’s an ancient Hebrew word that doesn’t have a good parallel in English, and it’s a little hard to wrap your head around to fully understand the implications.)
So, when you split, it’s more than just changing yourself again. It’s also dealing with losing the other person, and losing what you had become together. No two ways about it – it’s rough.
But, I’ve been through it before. Long term relationships and divorce both have happened before for me. One might say it’s a little sad that I’ve lost enough of those relationships over the years to fully understand the process, and know how to brace for it. I’ve also gone through the re-invention process that comes afterwords, after that old you that you had became dies and you have to become someone new. And I started the process, but somewhere along the line, I started holding my breath. And it wasn’t just that, though – I had other wars I had taken on, and some of those had to come to fruition one was or another. My old tax problem finally got resolved, things like that. Stuff that’s taken so much emotional energy even when it wasn’t something I could actively work on at the moment. It was there, and it took part of my energy.
And, don’t get me wrong – I’m not done with all my wars. I didn’t even win them all.
It’s OK. I expect to excel at everything, to be perfect, and to win every war. I’ve gotten smart enough over the years to know I can’t be perfect, or win every war. That doesn’t mean I don’t kick myself when I don’t manage it – and I doubt that ever changes – nor that I don’t strive for winning them all anyways. I hold myself to a weird standard, and I don’t plan on giving that up.
Sunday night, I cleaned my office, and I as I was nearing completion, something snapped. That voice in the back of my head told me I could breath again. Those wars were over. I had filed away my enormous pile of tax information. The divorce papers were put in the file folder, and put in the file cabinet. All the cruft, including sentimental items, that had built up on my desk and workspaces were cleaned away. That phase was really done now. I could breath. There was room for the new. Room for growth. Room for me to continue the process of reinventing myself.
Davis is dead – long live Davis.
What changes? Who knows. I’m still not done becoming a new me (not that we are every truly done becoming a new person. There’s just a sort of level of change that is different.) And I’ve got a long war ahead of me – I’m still trying to get myself out of a deep, deep hole when it comes to business. I’m still trying to get to the point where I’m not living thanks to the kindness of some great people who’ve given me a space. I’ve not been winning that war so far. But, having freed up mental resources, maybe now I can take this war on more easily, then the wars after it.
Of course, being an optimistic pessimist (every sucks, but it will workout right in the end), I look at this with a sense of hope – I look forward to those wars I need to take on now. Because, if you asked me right now, while new energy is flowing through my mind, body, and soul, I’d tell you I can’t lose. I’m indestructible again. Life can beat on me all it wants to, but I’m still going to win. (I’m sure reality has other things in mind, but fuck reality. 😉