Twelve nights a month, my girls go to their father’s and I am left to my own devices. At first, this was probably the most difficult thing about the separation and divorce…last summer, I remember spending nights alone where I simply couldn’t bring myself to do anything remotely productive, and instead simply reflected on my general unhappiness and how much I missed the girls. (In case anyone was wondering—this is not a good plan.) Luckily, I realized the futility of this exercise and within a couple of months, I was out and about and staying pretty busy. I hung out with my friends a lot, dated a guy that was so obviously completely wrong for me, and loitered in various places…anything to avoid being at home alone in the evenings, when I’m normally hanging out with my kids.
This was a better plan, admittedly, than hanging out alone and feeling sad…but it still needed some adjusting…first, I started dating a guy who was somewhat LESS wrong for me; a guy I genuinely liked and had fun with, even though I knew his place in my life was likely a temporary one. Before I knew it, I found myself looking forward to my nights out with him. While we’ve never really been serious, we clicked, and it made a world of difference. I stopped dreading my “nights off,” when I had struggled to figure out how to fill my time, because he made it so easy for me. For that, I will always be grateful. I see him less often now, and that’s okay, even though he still means a lot to me.
You want to know the best part? Sometimes I don’t even go out…and I seldom loiter anymore. I still spend a lot of time with my friends, and that’s as it should be. I still date. But in the past few months, I’ve learned how to be by myself without going completely Bridget Jones. I’ve devoured books in a single night and caught up on the few TV shows I watch. I’ve tried new recipes with varying degrees of success…and it’s been nice, and it’s given me time to heal. It turns out I’m pretty good company. I just needed someone to show me.