A couple months ago my love story imploded.
(Couldn't think of a smooth transition there. Sorry.)
|A card I received exactly when I needed it|
Through challenging circumstances and what seemed to be the same conversation over and over again...thoughts of calling off the wedding and ending the relationship resided only in my mind's shadows, but they dawned bright as my imagined future loomed gray, devoid of peace and trust, and not brimming with the life I wanted.
Some truths have emerged from the aftermath of heartbreak.
The hardest thing you can imagine doing is what you have to do. This truth struck early...day two in fact. This truth gets you through telling your mom and the mom you would have called your mother-in-law how things ended, how wedding arrangements will be canceled and family and friends notified. This truth gets you through cutting off all contact with a man you loved deeply, a man you made plans with, dreamed with. I can't count the number of times I have embodied this truth since the beginning of May, at times clearly marching towards my green light and at others fiercely clinging to a whispered mantra "You can do hard things. You can do hard things. You can do hard things."
Journey with your grief. The ending of an engagement is a unique grief. It's not only the loss of love, but the loss of dreams and hopes. And it lacks the finality of death. I listened again to this Upper Room podcast about lament in the weeks following. Sheryl encourages listeners to "journey with your grief," to commit to the whole process of death, burial, and resurrection. Maybe it's the forward movement implied in "journey" that gave me hope when I was afraid of my sadness, confused with my anger. She says "There's no growth without change. There's no change without loss. And there's no loss without pain." I felt like I was starting on the "pain" side of the equation and desperately hoping for this experience to grow me into someone better and not worse. Now, I ride out the waves of grief. I don't fear sadness.
"Only anguish leads to life, only grieving leads to joy, and only embraced endings permit new beginnings." Walter Brueggemann (2001)
This blog won't wrap up like a perfect 3-point sermon. Or maybe that is the third truth: I'm still in this. Not too long after our ending, I was trying to make sense of what happened (really, I was trying to control my pain) and already trying to figure out why this had happened, what was I supposed to learn, and how was I supposed to change...all while I was still very much in the midst of it. I feel like I was dumped on some foreign planet and I have no idea what to do. But...I'll figure it out as I need to. Shelter? Check. Food? Check. Friends and family that rally when needed? Check.
Now, to the title of this blog. I know the responsible thing to do would be to take this money and put it towards my student loans. But Responsible Kadie is taking a three-week vacation (literally) to Romania to hear Gratiela laugh, spend as much time in the Bates' kitchen as they'll allow, enjoy all the soup I can, and take in the unique beauty that is Romania. I plan to fall in love all over again. In a surprising moment of panic, I recently asked my mom "Romania...what if it's not the same?" She wisely asked "Well, are you the same?" No. No, I'm not. And this is a good thing.
"You are partnering in the ongoing creation of your actual life, which is endlessly unfolding, artfully constructed, and filled with hidden beginnings that sometimes flow out of unexpected endings." Steve Wiens (2015)