Vices I’m Willing to Live With

It’s surprising how easy it is to fall into a life full of  vice after having gone through a divorce. You don’t even see yourself falling into the many traps until you take the time to reflect on your life.

Once I took the time to wonder, what do I have to work on?, I realized what vices I had succumbed to, not only during my marriage, but also after my divorce.

And as much as it hurts to accept the person I let myself turn into, it gives me hope that, because I realize where I’ve gone wrong and because I’m willing to work on myself, I might just have the chance to narrow down my long list of vices.

Of course, although I have hope, I also have fear, weakness and attachment issues- all vices I must work through first before I can start my journey back to me. Because when you’re left alone after a divorce, you come to realize that no one can hold your hand; no one can help you through your fears and weaknesses, you’re on your own. It’s tempting to attach to someone else, to lean on them, to let them to guide you through; but I’ve come to realize that I don’t want that.

I only want to lean on me.

And maybe that’s moving on to another vice: egoism or self-importance.

But if that’s the case, those are Vices I’m willing to live with.


Make That Mistake


After a divorce, you have to start anew. In my case, I’ve been working on transforming into the kind of person I want to be and thinking about what I want out of life versus what I don’t. During my marriage, I didn’t get to explore and experience the world like I’ve always wanted. Now that I’m alone and have nothing holding me back, I can’t seem to find the strength to go out and have an adventure.

I want to make mistakes but I’m still healing from my last one.

Yet despite the fear, I’m still drawn to this idea of making mistakes. As I consider what this means, I realize there’s a difference between making a mistake and staying with a mistake. Sometimes, it’s clear that *this* is wrong and we don’t do it, like drinking and driving. Listening to our gut say “no” is smart and it keeps us safe. Other times, we don’t really know the outcome, though we have an idea, and we have to decide if we can handle the consequences.

Hot Plate

Maybe something good will come out of the mistake; make a new friend or lover, find a place that feels like home. Or maybe nothing will and you’ll find yourself in an unhappy marriage.

Either way, it’s important to take a leap of faith, to make the mistake so that you can learn and grow. Have those experiences even though you aren’t sure you should. Just don’t let yourself get stuck; move along if the outcome harms you.


Make God Laugh

I’m not the adult that “little me” had envisioned. Anxiety and depression have played a big role in the demise of that vision but more than that, the way I let those disorders take over my life has played an even bigger role.

A few months ago, I read some old diary entries and I couldn’t believe how long I had been suffering. I didn’t even realize how much of my life had been consumed by anxiety and depression. And my marital problems didn’t help. I didn’t think my life would ever get better. I felt stuck. I couldn’t see how I’d ever feel happy. Now that my marriage is over, I feel like I can breathe. This feeling didn’t come over night though. My heart and my brain threw my anxiety and depression into a frenzy during our divorce. I didn’t think that I would ever feel better. And while I still don’t feel like a fully functional person, I don’t feel like I’m drowning anymore. I feel like my life is once again unpredictable; who knows what will happen but at least I know it won’t continue in an unhappy marriage. I have the chance to live.

I keep wanting to plan the next stage of my life but there’s just so much holding me back. Money, fear, and just confusion. I know what I don’t want. I know some of what I do want. I just don’t know how to narrow it down and make it happen.

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A Piece of Advice

Past Me,

Don’t marry him.

You love him more than anything but it’s not enough. Maybe he loved you, even now I don’t really know, but I’m not sure even he ever convinced himself the marriage was real. He’s not ready for this. He won’t be ready, five years later.

I think deep down you already know this. I think you’re scared of losing him. I think you’re scared of what your future holds without him. That you’re not strong enough without him. You’ll spend years fighting for your relationship but it’s futile. He’s not a fighter. That’s why he turned to you. You were the easy path. One he didn’t have to fight for and once he had to, he walked away.

And it sucks.

You’ll feel like you’re dying. You’ll feel like it won’t ever get better. Even now, it still hurts. You feel like you’ve been robbed of years of your life.

Sure you’ve learned some lessons. But you did it all wrong. You fought for yourself in the end and he left. But had you fought for yourself in the beginning, maybe you could have learned those lessons faster and less painfully. Maybe you’d have traveled more like you wanted to, finished school, written a book, or even had kids. Maybe you would have married someone right the first time.

They say everything happens for a reason, that life sends us hurdles so that we can learn from them. But in this case, it’s just not necessary. Make other mistakes. Learn those lessons in other ways. Live your life without him, even though it’s hard. You’re strong enough to live without him. I’m doing it now. You can too.

Take back the last five years for me.

Just don’t marry him.


Future Me


For Posterity, My Dear

She heard his footsteps.

They echoed through the dark stairway. She stepped out of the shadows and turned the corner to follow him down the stairs. Barefoot, she matched each of his steps to her own, making sure not to fall out of step. She couldn’t risk getting caught.

Everyone told her to just leave it alone. People disappear in this town and it’s not our place to question. They come back eventually. Maybe a little different. Maybe with a little darkness in their eyes. But they never know where they’ve been or what has happened to them. They don’t realize they’ve been gone at all. So what’s the harm?

But she knows better. The recent deaths have been unexplained but share one thing in common: they have all disappeared at one point. The families mourn without any closure, never knowing but refusing to demand answers. They light candles and say prayers but won’t say out loud what they know: something caused this, and it happened when they were gone. Maybe it was guilt. Maybe it was fear. However they wanted to justify it to themselves you could see in their eyes that it wasn’t enough. The guilt extinguished their drive to avenge their loved ones.

And she wouldn’t let that happen to her.

His footsteps stopped, and so did she, and she heard him insert a key into a door knob. Rusty hinges creaked and the door closed gently behind him.

Damn. Still, she had faith. With one hand on the cement wall, she tip toed down the steps until she felt a cold metal door. She slid her hand around until she found the handle and her heart skipped a beat when it turned. Cocky bastard. She took one deep breath and swung it open.

Her jaw dropped and her head spun. He was sitting at a desk, typing on a computer. Behind him were ten people, most of whom she knew but some she didn’t, all laying unconscious and naked on white tables. Bags containing green liquid dripped through the IVs that had been inserted into their arms and electrodes were placed on their heads and bodies. White machines ran their vitals and other numbers she didn’t recognize.

She sputtered, “Wha-what are you doing?” He looked up and smiled at her in a way that chilled her bones.

“Why, I’m helping humanity, of course.”

“Helping? How- how are you helping? People have been dying. Everyone you’ve brought here- everyone. Families have lost their loved ones.” Her breathing quickened. She pointed at the limp bodies. “These people have families. And their families will lose them!”

“Not necessarily. I’m getting very close.”

“Close to what?”

He just smiled.

Close to what?” Her voice was shrill. “Answer me, dammit! Why! Why are you doing this?”

He poured a liquid onto a white cloth and walked toward her. She eyed the cloth nervously, backing up into the wall.

“Why for posterity, my dear.” He covered her nose and mouth with the white cloth and the world went black.


Glass Slipper

She feels it slipping. She knows she can’t turn back and so when it falls, she just keeps running up the stairs. Behind her, the glass slipper tings down a few steps before it shatters. Still she must run. Before the magic slips away. Before she loses this perfect night.

Barefoot, she runs, clinging to the lone slipper as her gown turns to rags. She can already see the magic fading from her coach up ahead. She must make it in time. As her feet hit the rocky ground she leaves behind a trail of blood. This pain is nothing.

Finally, she opens the coach door and pulls herself inside. The driver signals the horse and the Prince quickly fades in the distance. The coach hits the bumpy road a little too hard and a wheel comes off, turning to a vine as it hits the ground. The other wheels turn to vines as well and the coach crashes and rolls to a stop.

She crawls out of the pumpkin and curls up in her rags behind the nearest tree. As she cradles the remaining slipper, she sighs. Now the Prince will never have a way to find her.

She rolls over in her bed, wondering for a moment where she was before she realized it had all been a dream. There had never been any magic. She never had a fairy godmother. There was never any Prince. She wasn’t in a fairy tale, she had been here the whole time. In this bed. As alone as the first night he left her. Her heart broke a little more as she looked at the empty bed beside her and she wondered how many times it would break before it finally shatters like the glass slipper.