I have spent the day in a flurry of lesson plan writing and handout printing. And I realize I am back where I belong. This realization requires some self-forgiveness. I feel like I owe myself a huge apology for the past years of my life. But I also have to remind myself that I wouldn't know that I am exactly where I need to be if I hadn't taken some detours...so... it's a quandary.
So, to be concrete for a bit, here are the things I am sorriest for...Note to self:
1. I am so sorry I didn't know what love was. I am sorry I let myself enter a relationship that seemed like the real deal without noting all of the signs that it wasn't. I promise I kept thinking that it could be. I know, I know, no more Emily Dickinson and "dwelling in possibility." I'm fully grounded in the reality of situations now. I promise.
2. I am sorry I let myself become depressed, and I am sorry that I didn't recognize that the reason for this was my choice in partner. I looked for other reasons. I ignored the one right in front of me. I kept hoping it was because I was working so much. Whoops. Inverse was true: I was working so much because I didn't have any reason not to.
3. I am sorry that I changed my name. I know, this is causing a huge series of headaches as you try to rectify it. Maybe you can cut me some slack on this one. Or not.
4. I am sorry that I'm such a perpetual romantic that I never considered a prenuptial agreement. Nuff said.
5. I'm sorry I fought for resolving conflict and figuring out how to salvage a commitment. I know your ego has taken a hit over this. But, truly, I had to make certain--it was a big life decision, and not one that I had in my repertoire. I had to act on my beliefs at the time. I understand it was misguided, but it's never easy to simply admit you made a mistake.
I don't need apologies from anyone else, nor do I seem to have anyone to forgive but myself, and this seems to be the most difficult thing I've done in some time. The scariest realization in the last while? It's that there isn't anything I've missed about the partner I lived with for a decade. This, in itself, deserves an apology. There aren't any moments of "if only" or "wow, it was so cool when..." or "I loved how he..." Wow.
If I can give myself the benefit of the doubt, and if I can stop beating myself up for my stupidity, I can enjoy what I do have:
1. A gorgeous life filled with truly amazing people.
2. Lots and lots of love.
3. A job that is both challenging and truly truly amazing...on every level.
4. A dissertation to write, that can finally be written...and well.
5. A belief that the future holds more than I could have imagined just a year ago.
6. A lot of laughter.