There are so many things that are different about me, now 6 years post-divorce. It’s actually pretty incredible when I look back on the person I was, seeing how insecure I was, and how cloudy my judgment and mind were.
My husband and I just saw the movie ‘The Post’ last night. If you haven’t seen it or don’t know what it’s about – it follows The Washington Post during the 70’s when its heiress (Katharine Graham) is faced with a decision of whether or not the paper should publish sensitive government information relating to the Vietnam war. She was a woman in a powerful position (by inheritance) surrounded by men on all sides – within the publishing industry, and within her own organization. Katharine was portrayed as initially lacking confidence in her ability to run the paper and in making critical decisions around it – worrying about how her decisions would affect her family and the people she employed. Her decision to give the green light to publish information that painted the POTUS and other parts of the government in a negative light was BRAVE. There was a possibility of losing her company, and even imprisonment.
Remarkably similar to many of our own lives, isn’t it? Being a part of a marriage or being with a partner that makes you question yourself…makes you doubt your abilities, your priorities, and forgetting what is most important in your life. Getting to a point where you have to make a difficult and many times, brave decision that will ultimately affect everyone in your immediate family. Getting your power and your voice back. It is not easy – it is very, very hard. In the movies, it looks like these women just have some sort of epiphany and switch into a fearless leader who gives the finger to everyone that has ever bullied her. In reality, it’s hard and awkward to take that first brave step in finding your voice.
When I look back on the woman I was during my first marriage, I wish I had seen the pattern of indecision that fraught my life. The pattern that had become a part of my daily being – questioning myself, doubting any decision that was left to me. Yes, indecision can be normal for some – it is for me – but there are levels. I look back and realize that I didn’t feel that I had a gut instinct. I didn’t share my problems with many people, so I lacked a support system to help lift me up. It was only when things got to a point of me feeling like a caged animal that I acted. Finally realizing that I had two little girls watching every decision I made (including the one where I put up with things I did not deserve). I had a moment of clarity, and the ability to take that first step.
Each step after was easier, but at times, it was a one step forward, two steps back experience. I’m proud of myself for getting uncomfortable and making a tough decision that would ultimately change my life (and I believe my girls’ lives) for the better.
Pay attention to those times of feeling insecure and indecisive – start recognizing that there is a difference between compromise, and constantly giving up your voice and your power. Marriage and partnership is work – but it must be a labor of love between two people that have empathy for the other. You are important, and you matter – and if you have started feeling like you don’t, start figuring out what might change that. Be who you want your children to be – they are watching you…you are their guide. Persist in your search for yourself, and happiness will follow. Sending you hugs and this picture because it’s just how I’m feeling right now. 🙂