The night I texted Joel and said, "Goodbye. I'll pack you a suitcase and leave it on the porch," I was TERRIFIED. I honestly had no idea how long that goodbye would last or what it meant or how I could possibly even BEGIN to think about my life without him. I just knew I had to say it.
It was HARD.
A million times scarier than ending my twelve-year marriage. Saying goodbye to someone I no longer loved was a cakewalk compared to this.
But as horrible as I felt when I said it, I also felt... better.
We loved and respected each other so much that we'd been trying to make an impossible relationship work out when the only solution all along was to BREAK THE FUCK UP. He needed to move out and have his space. I needed to stop trying to make him be someone he wasn't and meet my own goddamn needs for a change. Neither of us has any regrets.
We've also never been happier together.
Our relationship has come full-circle. It's almost like when we first met: I'm back in the dating pool. Joel is, too. We're still dating each other, sure, but there aren't all those pesky obligations getting in the way of us genuinely enjoying one another's company. I still get to make him scallops for dinner, but now HE GOES HOME afterwards and I go back to writing sex scenes and talking to cute boys on the Internet.
The best part is that starting today I HAVE MY CHILDREN ALL TO MYSELF.
Week on, week off, bitch! I need to get it tattooed on my palm so I can remember that this is what my life is supposed to look like. Mom week, selfish week. Never the two shall meet! The selfish weeks make me better at being a mom and the mom weeks make me better at being selfish. Either way, I have my SELF back.
And as much as they'll miss having Joel and Liza around, I think even my children will be relieved when we tell them tomorrow. They won't have to share me anymore. In fact, relief is my overwhelming emotion about all of this - relief that we're not torturing ourselves anymore, relief that it wasn't a forever goodbye and relief that we didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Not to mention relief that I'm pretty sure I've found a solution to my financial situation and I won't need to worry about renting out the basement any time soon.
So for those of you who think I should "date myself" and "get a job" and "be alone" and "focus on my children," you're all correct! But I'm going to do that MY WAY. I'm an extrovert squared and that means I can't grow as a person by sitting at home every other week missing my kids. I'm going to get out of the house. I'm going to meet new people. I'm going to stretch the limits of my comfort zone and thrive on as much discomfort as I can possibly round up.
(Then, I'm going to write about it.)