today’s the day

Today’s the day — the day that five years ago I publicly chose Jean-Guy. This day has snuck up on me and the week that’s preceded it has been hard in some very unexpected ways, and easier than I expected, too. In the collapse of my marriage, there is so much I have learned about what it means to be married that I wouldn’t have otherwise, not to mention what I’ve learned about myself and life in general.

I’m still sorting out the life lessons I’ll ultimately pull from the last 8 years. Maybe I’ll have something presentable or otherwise sensible by the time the divorce goes through at the end of the month, but for now, this set of lyrics speaks volumes:

You see I wanted to love you baby
But neither you nor I’d been loved before
I thought I could change the world if I just held you high enough
The truth is I couldn’t hold you up at all

I couldn’t hold you up
I couldn’t hold you up
And I sure ain’t gonna hold you down

One thing I have been able to accomplish this week is to put together a playlist that I feel encapsulates our relationship. It’s super weird to listen to. It’s weird to listen to songs that so early in our relationship were so woven into our experiences together, and to be able to fully feel myself enmeshed in the fabric of who we were and the circumstances that surrounded us, and to also feel simultaneous sorrow and relief. Truly bizarre. It’s interesting, too, to listen to the songs I played over and over again in anguish early this spring and to be able to tap those raw feelings of hurt and abandonment and feel the contrast between then and now and the strength I’ve found within myself that’s truly my own.

Life’s a journey. And the only closure you ever get is what you make for yourself: it’s up to you to make the things that happen to you, good and bad, mean something worthwhile. No one else can do that for you.

“Cause nothing in this life is good or bad
It’s we who dress it up as happy or sad
And no one in this life is sinner or saint
It’s just energy running up the stream
Or down the drain
And nothing in this life is a sheer must
Yet in living and loving indeed we trust
indeed we trust

Hey brother stranger you know we shall sail
Even if even if only to fail
’cause winning and losing keep journey amusing
Down down down
Your destiny trail”
— We Shall Sail; Gogol Bordello

Quote

Maine was trying to teach me something, but I was a slow learner. I thought I’d gone to Maine to face my demons and turn them into art, but it turned out that I couldn’t face them, and not only that I couldn’t even find them. I was trying to write about what I knew, which in itself probably wasn’t a bad idea, but I was mistaken about what that was. I thought that what I knew most about was myself, but I could not have been more wrong. I didn’t know the first thing about myself, and Maine wasn’t going to teach me. You don’t learn about yourself by being alone, you learn about yourself from other people.

[…]

I lived like that for two more months before I called it quits; I lasted six months in all. Afterward I told people I left because I ran out of money, which was objectively true, but it wasn’t the real truth. The real truth was that I left because I was sick of being cold and lonely and a lousy writer. I had finally reached the tipping point where the misery of living alone in Maine outweighed the misery of having to admit to myself that it wasn’t working, that I did need other human beings, and that I wasn’t a genius after all. I would have admitted anything as long as I didn’t have to live in Maine anymore.

[…]

What I hadn’t figured out yet was that it’s OK not to be a genius, whatever that is, if there even is such a thing. Since then I’ve learned that the creative life may or may not be the apex of human civilization, but either way it’s not what I thought it was. It doesn’t make you special and sparkly. You don’t have to walk alone. You can work in an office — I’ve worked in offices for the past 15 years and written five novels while doing it. The creative life is forgiving: You can betray it all you want, again and again, and no matter how many times you do, it will always take you back.

— Lev Grossman; How Not to Write Your First Novel

January 2012

I feel as though I should chronicle the transition of our marriage from closed to open. It’s certain to be a challenge and at times a struggle, but I think it also has great potential for rewards. I suffer no illusions that it will be easy or without pain. But I know that we are strong. And I know why I am with him. And I know why I need this.

I am with him not just because I love him. Not just because I love having sex with him. But because I love living with him. But because he is my best friend and closest confidante. But because I want his children. But because I know we will make an amazing team of parents and raise beautiful, smart, gifted children. But because I know he is who I want by my side always.

And the fact that he is able and willing to give me this gift is the greatest of all. The fact that he is able to allow me to continue to explore not just my sexuality, but who I am is a gift of immeasurable worth.

So yes, this was my idea. But it was not a new one.
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