How Are You?

I have not written (and posted) much over this past year and to be honest, I have missed it.   I can give you 100 reasons why I stopped writing, but reflecting on it, it was probably due to my mental state having gone through a divorce.  Any reasons beyond that are simply a subset of that issue. 

As I decided to jump back into writing, I thought about where to start. What do I say and what do I share.  The one thing that continues to come up in my mind is the question I am asked often: “How are you?”. It is a question that I hate, despise and understand all at the same time.  The person asking the question seemingly cares enough to ask, but many times, does not want to hear the real answer. When we hear that question, we all know that the expectation is a one word short answer like good, fine or great. Or perhaps a brief funny sentence such as “I’m on the green side of the grass”.

We give these answers to protect our privacy and ourselves many times. Only a few people, that truly know us, or care enough about us, get close to the real answer. 

So how am I?  After 23 years of being married, I am today, a single, divorced middle-aged man living in suburban Atlanta. I have two dogs (who I love), three kids (who I love more), and a 4,500 sq. ft home sitting on two acres of land.  

While parts of that may sound wonderful (house, dogs and kids), it is not what I wanted or expected in life. I thought the word “wife”would be part of that sentence forever. It seems as though I was wrong. When the divorce process started, I did not want to make that change.  I didn’t think our marriage was unsalvageable. While I knew it was not perfect, the glass was certainly half full, in my opinion, and I thought we were both working on it to make it better. But the ideas that we all have do not always work out as planned or thought out.

What I struggle with today is not looking back, but looking forward. After a year of transition, getting used to the new normal, it can still be a challenge.  Being alone in the house, wanting to share your day with someone, those moments can be lonely.  But the part that is starting to show through is that I now have an open path that I can make my own. I can decide how best to move forward. What do I want the house to look like, what pictures to put on the wall. I can try and find new things to be passionate about. Obviously the kids are still the #1 priority (sorry puppies), but that does not mean that the entire universe needs to focus just on them (sorry kids).  I also need to focus on me.

None of it comes together overnight, and not all of it will be easy. But it is up to me to ensure that the glass is and remains half full or better. I am not sure I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I know it is there.  And that is a step in the right direction.

So next time you see me, if you don’t want to know the full answer of how I am, just say something along the lines of “it is good to see you”.  That will make us both happy.