Almost Her Chapter 2
In the past year I didn’t know if my road was going to lead to writing again. Sharing things that felt so deeply personal can honestly be a scary thing.
What I DID know is that if I ever started up this blog again, it would be with this exact moment and this exact story.
I’ve felt it welling up and ready to spill out for over a year now. I’ve lost sleep over it and I’ve written it down so many times and scrapped it because I wanted to make sure I got it just right. I pray I do. It helped me through a lot. And it’s just that important to me.
Here it goes…
I sat curled up on my parent’s oversized brown chair holding back the tears that were bound to make another appearance.
I had just typed “Divorce in Wisconsin” on Google and felt defeated.
My whole life was changing and I had no idea how to move forward. How to even make the first step in any direction, however small it would be.
At the time I had moved back in with my parents. I was sleeping in a crowded room on a cold air mattress, but I went to bed every night feeling grateful that I had somewhere to go when I’ve heard first-hand accounts of those who felt like they didn’t. My heart goes out to you.
My dad walked into the living room and sat across from me on the couch.
To this day he never asked me, “What happened between you and Dan?”
He didn’t have to.
He knew that if I was there, it was for a reason. I still can’t tell you how much it meant to me that he took my actions and words, without having to share much, at face value. I hadn’t realized that full support in a while and it’s part of what helped me trust myself and my own thoughts again.
After he sat down he looked over at me and just said, “Well, what are you going to do?” I had been there for a few weeks now and hadn’t taken steps in any direction. I was stagnant.
As much as you know your parents love you it still feels disappointing to admit that you’ve failed at something, which is how I felt at the time having to say these next words out loud:
“I think we are getting a divorce….” I squeaked out as I felt the hot tears burn my eyes. I blinked hard and wished them away.
My mind started to race again with my overwhelming to-do list. I had too many things to look up. Too many things to change. Belongings to move. People to tell. Faith to rebuild. Finances to change. Location to consider…the list went on and on. It felt hopeless and debilitating.
I think my dad could sense the weight behind those words, so he spoke to me in the best way someone could speak to me. He told me about a concert he attended.
“I went to an REO Speedwagon concert alone once…” he started, “I remember facing that stage when the lead singer grabbed the microphone and said something that I will never forget. It was important, and I’m going to tell it to you now…” his eyes glossed over and he cocked his lower jaw slightly to the left for a beat, before he continued,
You know that little thing that you can’t stop thinking about? That little thing that’s been in the back of your head day after day just gnawing at you?
Do that thing NEXT.
My dad paused for a brief second. “Notice how he didn’t say SOMEDAY. He didn’t say TOMORROW. He didn’t even say later TONIGHT…He said NEXT.
I understood. And I listened. I pulled out a notebook and made one of the longest checklists of my life and then immediately got started on it. That was the day I made an actual game plan.
It was the first day that I really felt like I took a step forward in my new life, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget those words. Looking back on that checklist now I have everything crossed off of it. I just kept telling myself this over and over again until I got through it.
One step at a time…starting…NOW ❤
So to those of you that read this and felt something jump into their own mind: I urge you to listen and do it. (And then please comment here to tell me about it because I love that kind of thing. We should celebrate these moments together.)
And to those of you that are still reading my written thoughts after all of these years: I really truly love you and appreciate you. I hope you like what I have in store for the coming posts. Please stay tuned. And please feel free to share this in case there is someone out there that you feel could relate to this or might need to hear the same thing.
P.s. I told this story to my younger brother in one of our morning chat sessions. I said it to him because I couldn’t stop thinking about how much it helped me. He stopped me as soon as it was over and quickly stood up. “Anna,” he said, “I need to apply for college today” before he turned and headed toward his computer. That’s the day we both know as the day he applied for his college, which he is now currently attending. 🙂