It's weird, the way we change. When we're not even looking, we start becoming who we are, and one day we compare ourselves to who we used to be, and we're unrecognizable.
This can be a good thing, but it can also be a very, very bad thing.
Who I am today is hardly the woman I was two and a half years ago. And who I was two and a half years ago doesn't compare to the Maggie of the late 90s.
How do I know this? Well, the people who love me best tell me it's true. And, sometimes, if we're lucky, someone holds up a mirror for us to see it for ourselves.
I share all this as the long way of explaining that on Thursday, I'll be meeting up with Christopher to take care of the final bits of paperwork to bring an end to our wedded "bliss." As I sit at work today, I'm remembering the sad, scared girl of early 2006, who had just learned her marriage was ending and didn't think she could go on. Every night, I cried myself to sleep. Every day, I tried to figure out how to heal our marriage. Every moment, I prayed the pain would end. I wanted to die, because I could not stand another moment of agony. Anything was better than the life I was "living."
I don't recognize that girl any more. She is gone, lost in the same heap of rubble that was our marriage. So I thought to myself, what would happen if one day he came back and wanted to try again?
I laughed out loud at the very thought. It's funny to think about being in a relationship with anyone; it's completely ludicrous to think about selling myself short ever again.
I tied the knot once. And if I'm honest, I'll admit that I'm a little bit tied up in knots over the idea of ending it. But just a little bit. Because Maggie Now is so much stronger than Maggie Then. And Maggie Now deserves so much more than what she settled for in the past.
While I was on vacation, many conversations were had, much wisdom shared ... I came away stronger and more knowledgeable. Here's a sample of what I was told:
From Bex: "When you were with Christopher, you weren't the same Maggie. It's good to have you back."
From Ryan: "I never met him. I don't have to meet him. He's a moron."
From Racheal: "Next time, we'll pick for you. We won't let you down."
And from Mike: "Eh, fuck him."
Would I have done anything differently if I'd known (or acknowledged) any of that ahead of time? I don't know. But what I know for sure is, if I ever surprise myself and decide to travel down the relationship road again, I will acknowledge and accept the opinions of those who know me best. Because they are the ones who pick up the pieces when the chips are down. They are the ones who provide me with a soft place to fall. They are the ones who truly understand commitment.
I take thee, my friends, to be my wonderfully wacky companions, as long as we all shall live.
*Because I foolishly left off the most important quote.