I spent hours today reversing what I’d spent days doing exactly two years ago. I called all my creditors to inform them of my name change. It was something I had been putting off because I remembered just how long and tedious the process had been the first time around. But I knew it needed to be done, and what better time to do it than now? Heck, I even went to the DMV to get a new driver’s license.
As I was sitting there at the DMV waiting for them to call my number, I witnessed something so sweet and heart-warming that I couldn’t stop staring. An older woman had just gotten her new license and was walking over to her husband. They were both very small and gray, and matched each other perfectly from what I could tell.
But the thing that really struck me, and made me audibly sigh and giggle, was the fact that the man, whom I presumed was the husband, had stuck his arm out for her. He crooked his arm, smiling warmly, and turned his head to the side in a manner which invited the lovely lady to take his arm. And she did just that, allowing him to accompany her outside. It was the sweetest gesture I’d seen in ages.
And even though I do not expect any man to make the same offering of kindness toward me, I know that I would melt if he did. The fact that he had offered his arm told me that he respected and admired her. The fact that he smiled and willingly did this small act of chivalry told me that he loved that woman. And the smile on her face showed how grateful she was to him for the thoughtful gesture. And I sat there, silently watching this small act of kindness unfold before me, and thought, “What a lucky couple.”
Someday I will be respected and appreciated like that couple did each other. Maybe not in the same ways, but all the same it needs to happen if I am to be truly happy. Over the past few years I’ve learned that it is important for me to have those things in my life. It’s not just a desire, it’s a necessity. And once those two things are in place, love will follow naturally.
Until then, it cannot happen. It will not happen.
And so I wait. Newly divorced, I feel I am born again. If only I had the eyes of an innocent the way I did when I was originally born again. But I have lost most of my naiveté and joyful innocence in the process of gaining invaluable knowledge.
I stand before you today on a foundation built of my own blood, sweat and tears. It is not a smooth surface but pock marked and battered, much like my soul. However, it remains an even stronger foundation than originally anticipated because of its history and experience, trials and tribulations, joys and miseries, and yes, loves had and loves lost. It is mine. I will not be ashamed of it.
I will move on, feet firmly on this solid foundation, eyes focused on the wide open skies ahead of me. And as I inhale the bittersweet air around me, I lift one foot and gently place it ahead of the other. And I progress. One. Step. At. A. Time.
(The eyes of the innocent are always so full and breathtaking. I wonder if I ever had such a deep and meaningful look on my face?)