Starting Over Never Stops

It’s been ages since I posted here, but that’s because the starting over never stops! I just moved me and my son into a new house in a new town, leaving New York City after 24 years. After all the change I’ve been through—starting with my divorce in 2004, and then falling in love again, losing my parents, changing my career, and going through another heartbreaking breakup—I felt like it was time for a change of scenery. And oh, it feels fantastic!!

One of the most difficult things about divorce is giving up the dream you had of the life you had imagined for yourself. And yes, that dream deserves to be grieved and wept over. But please remember this, also, to comfort yourself: That life isn’t what would have happened. What we imagine our futures to be is not what we get. In the end, we live some combination of things we’d dreamed and things we might dread—and then there are all the magical surprises we would never have been able to imagine.

For me, our new house is that. I had never thought past living in New York City. I don’t think I’d ever imagined staying there forever, either, but the house was not something on my horizon. Until suddenly it was, and the urge to have it became very strong. As I wrote on my other blog, “Filling In The Blanks” (which is sort of the story of everything that happened after my book ends, though I don’t write there as often as I would like), sometimes you hear a whisper in your head that says, “It is okay to want a life that is different than the one you have. Go and get it.”

That came for me years after my divorce, but it was nonetheless an aftershock of the divorce, of the reshaping of my family. Now, just one year after my second round of heartbreak, I am fully at peace with the shape of my little family: me, Zack and Zack’s father. Zack’s father has been so supportive about the move, knowing that it would be good for Zack, but also knowing that it would be really good for me—and therefore, also good for Zack. We all rely on each other, the three of us. It’s a natural and beautiful thing.

Eight years ago, I could never have imagined that would be true, that the three of us would feel like a family. But that’s just the point: The change, it never stops coming. Let that comfort you, because what we can’t see coming our way is not always bad. Be open to all the good that will find you in your life, if you can stay open enough after heartbreak to let it in.

2 thoughts on “Starting Over Never Stops

  1. Stacy,

    I came upon your book “falling apart in one piece” when I looked in my library’s catalogue for books about divorce. I cannot explain to you how this book came to me at just the right time. I am 2 years into divorce and also did the “in between” for 1 year. I never knew what to call it and I love how you named it. I am at the point of selling the house and yes it has so many problems….water in basement etc. I just cannot tell you since I have had the book from the library I have read it twice. Can I tell you how many nights I cried on my kitchen floor. I had chills when I read that you had done the same. I have two girls and am just spending my time trying to make sure the three of us navigate this mess and survive it. I have been able to continue working and yes yes when I walk in the office I pretend that all is good and it has helped me. Cannot imagine if I stayed home I would have nothing to get my mind off of how horrible things are.

    Well now I am rambling but I am beyond words thankful to you for writing this book. I want you to know that you have made a huge difference in my life and I thank you

    Joan Hemminger

    • Joan, thank you for finding me to tell me that the book has been company. That’s what I wanted when I was down on the kitchen floor, to be able to look at someone who could really get how insanely empty it feels to have to rebuild your life. I know people do it all the time, from much darker tragedies, but much to the negative, I think we take divorce very lightly, like, “Oh, it happens so often.” Yes, it happens so often. But so do children die and people get cancer and soldiers don’t come home…. Each of us must carry some pain in our lives, and I am so, so glad I could be company for you while you are carrying yours. Best wishes to you and your daughters. Just keep walking toward the woman you want to be — she is waiting for you!! xo, SLM

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