Careers are like marriages, and after 20 years of pouring my heart and soul into this relationship, it is over. Just like that. Education has abandoned me, and my love has grown cold. I have to admit I saw it coming. I wanted to ignore all the signs, but trouble has been brewing for a while now. I have gone through the motions of trying to adjust to make things work. I have committed myself, over and over again, to do the work it takes to make things better. I have tried to be flexible and change. I have poured money and time into this relationship and, quite honestly my soul.
All of this only to be passed over for the younger version of me. A newer, cheaper model. I have to say it hurts. If we had made it to our 30-year anniversary there would have been a celebration of our love for one another. As it stands now, hushed whispers behind my back are the norm. I have chosen to leave with my head held high, and there are so many who have taken my side privately. Thanked me, even for speaking up against my cheating partner who promises one thing and delivers another. I have walked through the goodbyes, and now the separation of property. I have packed up and moved out…have turned in my key. The last box is stored away, until…until when? I have no idea. I am trying to pick up the pieces and determine if they are worth salvaging or if I need a whole new beginning in a new field.
I am wandering through the ‘what’s next’ stage. I feel a bit lost. I have found my heart is pretty shredded, but hopeful. I am trying to get on with things, and distance my heart from the hurt. I am trying to focus on the good times and all the memories. All the times we had together, Education and I. When we were in unity and had the same goals. In those days, it was so very good. The hundreds of children we have together were thriving. They were happy. We were happy. But then Education became a harsh task master, forgetting all that we had worked for…blaming me for every issue. I knew it wasn’t a one sided problem, but the more I tried, the more the relationship deteriorated. Before long, the writing was on the wall. The children were suffering, and Education didn’t seem to care. In abandoning what was best for our kids, I was abandoned as well. An old dog, pushed to the side.
In making my decision to leave I gave up custody of our kids. So there are tears. I wonder what will happen, but it is no longer my concern, or so I have been told. From here I will try to rebuild an amiable relationship for the sake of the children. You see Education and I run in the same circles. I think it would be impossible for us not to. So for the sake of the kids, I will forgive and forget…or try to. I will tell myself it isn’t personal between us…just a difference of opinion. Irreconcilable differences. I will move on and wish Education well, because honestly I hope with all my heart that things will turn around. That success will abound and that my kids will be taken care of to the fullest ability possible. How could I not wish that for them?
There will be new horizons for me, and eventually that will be a good thing. Today it is all fresh. The Band-Aid that has been coming off one hair at a time for the past month was ripped off today revealing an open wound underneath that is trying its best to heal. There will be a scar, and with it will come wisdom and strength. My future is bright and full of possibilities I had thought could only happen once I reached retirement age. I am choosing to see this as early retirement and an opportunity to Live Fully. Here’s to the future!!!
(A bit of a disclaimer here…I am aware that the pain of divorce is much more severe than losing a job. I have walked with several friends through the horrible deep pain that divorce brings. I am only making note of similarities, not comparing the depth of hurt. In fact, this experience has brought even more compassion, because if this hurts this bad…the loss of a marriage must hurt 10 times as much. Bless you my friends who are survivors!)