“She confirmed my reality. I sat in my therapist’s office and hazily nodded in agreement for the first time facing the words I knew were coming. ‘Leah, this is your hell, but we’ve got to walk through it.’ That is what I did. Day by day, I walked through my hell, and as time has promised, it slowly diminished. I can now look up and see so much light.
Becoming a single mother has been an adjustment I never anticipated, but I have grown more within this past year as a woman than I ever knew I could.
The world around me has evolved in a softer way. I observe the people around me and can visibly feel an array of grief, pain, beauty, strength, and struggle. Only with my own pain has the beauty of others’ imperfections shown me what the definition of perfection actually is. An assortment of bad choices, risks, painful lessons, and laughter. Within this observation, the outlook I carry on my journey through separation and single motherhood is a colorful one.
It was a painful decision. Thoughts of doubt, guilt, and grief danced around in our heads for many nights at a time. We struggled with knowing what to do, and what would be the best decision for all three of us. Ultimately, we realized we were a better parenting team than we ever were as a romantic couple. It wasn’t fair to our daughter to grow up without a clear and positive example of ever changing and forgiving love. We spent the following months after separation learning how to adjust and keep our daughter thriving within the changes. We have spent our days pouring all we have into her, and we love it this way.
My daughter and I are experiencing this transformation together. I hope when she looks back on the next few years, she will express this time as witnessing the blooming of her mother and father as individuals, instead of a fall in her family. That is not what this has been. There may be more nights of endless cuddles, a few more tears, many Facetime calls, but the same amount of random dance parties and giggles. Things may be changing, but I have been dedicated to keeping her everyday life on track as it always has been. Full of good choices, adventures, lessons learned, and laughter. Within this, I hope the outlook she carries on her journey through the separation of her parents is a colorful one.
It didn’t work out. He wasn’t mine to keep, but through that epiphany, I have realized what our relationship was meant for. I continually thank my daughter’s father for giving me the greatest gift I could ever know. Although it didn’t work out between us, this path was always meant to be our ending. I now understand the reason we were brought together was to create a beautiful human being who will grow into a wonderful life alongside a healthy co-parenting relationship. Our romantic relationship may have ended, but it served a mighty purpose. Not just for us, but for all the people whose lives she will touch. In the future, I can only hope our blended family will create a colorful life for all of us and she will be loved by so many. She is so lucky through this imperfect journey.
Everything is temporary. When you feel like you have nothing left to give or you can’t seem to find the light – there will be light in every situation and your heaviness will fade. Even if you don’t feel like it, you are loved. Even if you are unsure of your future, you have one.
Our lives have moved on differently than we imagined and planned, but it isn’t any less beautiful because of it. These days when my daughter is in school, I find myself deep within coffee shops in Austin, Texas, accompanied by laughter, peace, and a newfound bliss. A place I never imagined living has brought me so much joy and endless beginnings. I realize even more how life leads us exactly where we need to be. A few months ago I didn’t know if I could go on much longer with the pain I felt from the initial separation. I had mornings where I looked at myself in the mirror and had to force every move I made to make it through my day. I slowly walked day by day and fell more in love with a city that met me at the strangest time in my life. The more our family walks through this ever-changing time, we begin to understand, this is just a hard moment. Yes, that is what this is – a moment. A small blip in a big life to come.”
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