The other day I was in my office, having a tidy session.
I came to the file in which I keep important stuff such as my will, birth certificate etc. In there as well is my marriage certificate, right next to my decree absolute of divorce. Date of marriage: 3rd April 1992. Date of divorce: 7th July 1997. All the 7s. Never really noticed that before. It’s got me wondering now if it was simple coincidence or some planetary realignment?
Anyway, as the numbers reveal, I was not long married. Thereby hangs a long story, most of which I do not want to tell. I have tried, but the words won’t come. For the record, I lived with my ex-husband for a total of about 6 or 7 years However, the basic premise of this blog, from which I’m afraid I regularly depart, is that I am telling my 26 year old self, stuff which I would like to have known at that age. My theme is “live and Iearn”. That means, I can’t really pass over this aspect of my life, without some mention, not least because I probably learned as much in a few years as I have over the rest of my life.
So what was it that I learned from my number 1 biggest mistake of all time?
- Trust your instincts. If something feels very, very wrong, it usually is
- If you think you have or might be making a mistake in your choice of life partner, stop. Don’t get deeper into a relationship because you think you should, or because you think others expect it of you
- Sometimes the hardest thing is the best thing for you to do. Have courage
- Think long and hard about what you want from a relationship and from the person you may spend the rest of your life with. Don’t allow yourself to be swept along, unthinkingly
- Actions have consequences, good and bad. As much as you may revel in the good, know that you may have to live with the bad for the rest of your life
- There may be times in your life journey when you reach a fork in the road. Think so, so hard about which fork you take. If you get it badly wrong, you may have to learn to live with the deepest regrets
- Forgive yourself, even if you have acted totally out of character and against your moral code
- Only when you forgive and learn to like yourself can you build a good future for yourself
- Women are much, much stronger than they think
- Experiencing the bad is part of the human condition and everyone passes through light and dark at different times in their lives. Even if you experience the deepest pain and sorrow, there will be joy to be found on the other side of that. Make sure you look for that joy
Here endeth my ten lessons. Forgive the rather cheesy, amateur psychology.
Would I have heeded the ten lessons back when I was 26, the age at which I met my ex? Probably not. I learned today that the human brain does not stop developing until age 25 years. Perhaps that explains it. I had only had a mature brain for one year before I totally blew it.
Of course I had to live a life to learn this stuff, as we all do. I’m still learning how to do it, still stumbling and faltering on my life road, picking up metaphorical cuts and bruises along the way. I don’t find it any easier, even with a now much-matured brain, and I’m sure I face as many challenges ahead as lie behind me, but I have made progress on the self-like, self-forgiveness, self-not beating up front. It’s better.
Bonne chance all you fellow travellers.