Life has a way of surprising you, showing you things can change from one moment to the other without a clear indication of what's supposed to come next. You know that terrible feeling of being pushed on your bottom and catching yourself sitting there wondering how you fell? What happened? That's me... except I don't have a choice but to get up, dust off, and put one foot in front of the other. To learn how to look beyond what's going on right now.
This is what it's like when your marriage ends and you are 10 weeks pregnant with a three year old daughter and at the onset of launching a new business. In the past month or so, I have come to realize how resilient we women are, how unconditional family and friends are and how much clarity comes from whirlwind and chaos. To be honest, I didn't have that smooth sailing kind of love with my significant other, but then again who does? I do know now that the gnawing feelings in my gut, of things not feeling right, they were spot on except that I did not feel drawn to speculate and navigate and instead had faith that things would unravel and provide me an obvious solution. You hear people saying marriage is hard, that it's work and that's a truth I always used to justify our bumps on the road, but I also struggled because it just always felt like mine was that much more work and now I know why.
I realize now that not everyone is capable of being authentic and true. I didn't realize the struggle that some face with this when it comes so natural to me. It makes perfect sense to understand now, in retrospect, how this idea can shape and affect decisions on a daily basis. To be comfortable in one's skin, to stand true to your word, to be a dignified individual with morals where integrity is held in high esteem is not something that everyone is capable of. I realize that now. I understand now that for the last 12 years, I was seeing the glass half full, and this simple idea shaped my general view of the relationship in its entirety. Now I am able to clearly see that the person I was with, the person I married, was not who I thought; perhaps someone I just did not want to see. I was simply holding on to the idea of who he wanted to be but never who he really was.
So what do you do when your spouse, the father of your children, causes you intentional hurt and selfishly disintegrates your family? When the person you are intimate with, that you planned a second baby with, tells you he is fathering another child? You tackle life! Every single part of me feels that things happen for a reason and although unknown to me right now, I know there is light. I feel the strength of my very strong-willed grandmother raising me every day, turning my chin up, having me look straight ahead and helping me focus on myself, my girls and my business. I am not going to sit here and say that the first few days post-shock were not characterized by mixed emotions of sadness, anger and disillusionment but I do admit it was all like living in a surreal existence. Sofia keeps me going and there is no other way to put it. She gives me a different perspective on life. I want her to see happiness at home, to understand hard work and resilience, I want her to embody strength and be able to take on all life throws at you. It was sad to have "the conversation" with her about Mami and Papi not living in the same house anymore, it broke my heart to hear her crying for her Papi and wanting to sleep with both of us. Having her ask me if I am happy a few times a day doesn't break me though, each stride, each step towards tomorrow makes me more confident that this is where we are supposed to be.
I can only assume my role of single mom now taking refuge in the fact that it takes a village, a community to raise a child and my community has always done just that. Some might ask themselves why I choose to be so candid about my personal business and to them I say this, speaking about this process gives me the strength and motivation that I need to keep things moving. It also allows me the opportunity to nurture relationships that speak to the female experience, to find other women that have gone through something similar or worse which makes me feel like I am not alone and can overcome.