Tuesday, February 4, 2014

comparison

This weekend, Elle and I went to visit some friends in NJ--we rented a car, packed up the dog, and took a little road trip.  We spent a lot of time in a confined space, I was tired from having already had a long, busy day by the time we set off, once we got to NJ I heard some things that--to put it mildly-- irritated me, and yet, at midnight when we piled back in the car to head home, I was happy and looking forward to spending another hour-plus in the car, because it would be more time with Elle, and she is my favorite person.

This is a big deal you guys.

In my life before, my ex-husband and I would spend a lot of time visiting friends, driving around, and had many late-night drives home after being in social situations together.  On SO MANY nights, by the time we were back in the car heading home, I was miserable, embarrassed, confused, irritated, or all of the above, baffled by the myriad things my ex had done in the course of the past several hours to make me question all of my life choices up to that point.  He would say something or do something completely callous, he would make me feel stupid, or worse, irrelevant, he would be utterly and completely himself and I would be horrified that I was associated with someone so obnoxious and oblivious.

And so those car rides would either be filled with me asking him what the hell he was thinking, or trying to explain to him why whatever he had said or done was really not okay, or why that other thing he had said or done had hurt me and yes, I really do have a right to be upset right now, or the entire ride would be spent in silence, him blissfully ignorant, me tired of trying, and wondering, again, how my young life had come to this, sitting silently in a car with a husband I could barely stand.

That was what I was used to, before.

And so last weekend, as I cheerfully got into the car, though I was tired and weary, I was also so very happy. Because my time with Elle never feels like it did with him. I feel loved with her, I feel seen, I feel known, and I feel happy and proud to with her. I like her. Even if there's a spat or a moment when we miss each other, we always come back, she notices it too, we talk about it, we laugh, we share, and it feels safe.  Such a novel thing.

I feel so lucky to have the chance to see how love can be.



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