It's been almost three years since I came out and my life crumbled before my eyes. And on March 11th my divorce became final. That chapter of my life is officially over according to a few pieces of paper and thousands of dollars.
I feared the day it all became final because I thought it would throw me for a tail-spin, even though I knew the day was coming. But when my ex-wife mentioned to me that it was finalized I was saddened but there was also a sense of having been desensitized to the reality because we've been living apart for so long.
The road has been a long one to get to today but one thing I gained from all of this pain and loneliness is that I have truly found myself. This period of time, being a single adult man has given me a true sense of self and clarity that I don't think I have ever had.
I was known to most people as part of a couple for half my life. I was the type of guy who fit into a mold and followed the logical path in life and never wanted to inconvenience anyone else. Then one day I wasn't someone who followed the life path that so many take. I struggled with my own identity and had to fight for the rights to even see my son on regular schedule.
And in walking this new path, I had to develop my own new community. I had to find new friends and develop a support system. And I had to be okay with sleeping alone, in an empty house and eat meals by myself. The silence was deafening and I'm sure I showed signs of depression.
I was lucky to find a few key people who have given me tools to be okay. One of those people was a guy named Jake who introduced me to hot yoga. Hot yoga has become a way for me to escape the outside world and focus simply on breath and heartbeat and I leave the studio feeling renewed and with a sense of peace. I know it sounds clichéd but it's true.
Time has also been a vehicle that has helped me gain some clarity. I know I'm a good person. I know I have a lot to offer anyone I have a relationship with. And I'm completely capable of being a single man. I've always been a man who cooked and cleaned, but I can now say that I'm a man who has created a comfortable home for my son. And this passing of time has allowed me to transition from fearing my days/weekends without William to someone who made the most of that time by catching up on chores that may have slipped, catching up with friends, or spending a Friday night being lazy on the couch because the 5:45 wake up times had caught up to me. It's okay to be alone; I'm independent and perhaps that is a trait that my son will notice and incorporate into his own development.
Three years ago I don't think I would predict that I would be where I am right now. I think I would have predicted that I'd still be struggling to find a new equilibrium, but I'm happy to say I survived and came out the other side knowing myself better than I ever have. I have a strength inside me that I underestimated and although I don't want to be single forever, I know it's okay. And I've set certain standards for myself in hopes of never losing myself again.
Sure I still have some work to do but I know I will be okay.