So today would have been my 14th Wedding Anniversary. I guess that technically, it still is. At least until such time as things are finalized. It’s been… Quite a year. I think back on where I was LAST October 15th, and I compare that to where I am now. It’s been a year of change. Some good, some REALLY good, some bad and thankfully, not much that has been REALLY bad. Last year, as I was preparing to embark on this new adventure (if you can even call it that), i.e. the life of a Single Dad or as I like to call it, “Single Dadhood,” a lot of people told me that Year One is the hardest. Those people? They were right, and while I don’t really have a point of comparison yet–ask me for that next October–I feel comfortable saying that it HAS been rough. Despite the good–a new job, a new relationship etc.–I’m probably more tired now than I was last year at this time.
Do I regret it? No. Not at all. I pride myself on living my life regret free and while an argument or two can and HAS been made about how I handled… A lot, without going into specifics? I regret nothing. I’ve thought long and hard about it friends, family and oft times casual readers. And like Robert Downey Jr./Tony Stark/Iron Man said in “Avengers: Endgame,” regret is toxic. Better to accept the choices you made, learn from them and move forward, content in the knowledge that you have learned from all of them and their results, good OR bad.
So where does that leave me, this sun-speckled and Fall-like day in mid-October, 2019? That’s a damn good question, and one that I do not have a complete answer for at this time. I could bull sh*t you… Could tell you what you want to hear like I used to back in college (majoring in English is the equivalent of majoring in bull sh*t), but I can’t. I won’t. I’ll only tell you that there are days when I’m happy, and days when I’m not. There are nights that I welcome and embrace the peace that comes with solitude, and there are nights when I miss my kids, and curse the silence that falls over my house after I say “goodnight” to my girlfriend. I miss the life that existed before. I remember how utterly perfect that day in 2005 was–so similar to this one–and how amazing the years that followed were, even after they weren’t.
Change, like Thanos, is inevitable, guys and gals. If nothing ever changed we’d never learn… Never be able to move forward. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. That doesn’t mean that just because you’re in a better place and you KNOW you’re in a better place, despite the struggles that you face sometimes that you’re 100% happy, 100% of the time. That may sound like me, being repetitive and maybe it is, but it’s true, and it bears repeating.
I said to a friend at work today that the best way to not get divorced is to not get married. True? Yes. But I wouldn’t trade my once-marriage for anything. Not the kids that came from it, nor the memories made, nor my decision to stick it out for as long as I did and TRY. If you love someone, folks, and you’re considering a future with them, or you’re IN a future with them, never give up unless you have no recourse left. Always try. And IF the day comes when you look in a mirror and say to yourself, “I can’t do this anymore” and you know in your heart-of-hearts–deep down in those places you don’t like to talk about at parties–that you really can’t? Then THEN and only then will the universe on this side of the proverbial wormhole of existence give you permission to move on. When that happens? Do so. And understand that you’re going to f*ck up along the way. But learn from your f*ck ups and try not to make the same mistake more than once. Or twice. But no more than three times, everyone. That is unforgivable.
All that said? A few “thank you’s” before I end this little piece of mental flatulence and get back to my day. To Nicole, my once-pharmacy intern turned wife turned co-parent of our minions, thank you. Thank you for our life together. I’m sorry it didn’t work out… Really, I am. But I hope you’re in a better place now. I know that I am.
Thank you to my… to OUR minions for adjusting so well over the last year plus to your new life. Your resiliency continues to amaze me and I look forward to the day when you can both read this, and see in black and white how important you are to me and your mother. That doesn’t mean you’re getting an iPhone 11 for Christmas this year, but hopefully my words and undying love are gift enough. Don’t worry, girls. You’ll still get stuff. Cross my heart and hope to NOT die, at least not for a while.
Thank you to “Avengers: Endgame” for being a kick a** and take names culmination of a decade of obsessively watching Marvel movies and TV shows. Why? Just because. This puppy has not one but TWO “A: E” references in it. The MCU is a pop culture phenomenon and whether you believe it’s going to continue at the level it has for the last 10 plus years or the quality is going to drop-off, you cannot deny the impact it has had on society and culture. Plus, it validates life long Geeks like me and the sh*t we read as kids and, consequently, STILL read from time to time.
And last but certainly not least, thank you to YOU. Yes, you. You know who you are. Thank you for standing beside me through all the changes I have gone through and continue to go through now. Thank you for your love and support. Thank you for teaching me that gluten free food is actually pretty good if made right (something which I have not yet mastered but hopefully, eventually will). Thank you for seeing what I see when we look at the stars together and being a part of my past, present AND future. If you had told me a little over a year ago that I would feel the way I feel about you now, someone I have known for over 30 years, I would have looked at you askance and said, “DAFUQ?” But now? I wouldn’t want it or us any other way. Thank you, Heather. There. I said it, kiddo. Now it’s social media official. Winky emoticon. Smiley face and… that little heart, kissy face thing, too.
That’s all I’ve got, folks. Booyakasha. Respect. And good night.