The sun glimmered faintly from behind a thin veil of clouds, the water slapping against the hull as the sailboat creaked and danced its way before the wind. I felt like dancing too, if not for the tip and slant of the curved boards beneath my feet. Cheeks glowed on every one of a half-dozen faces, pinched to rosy life by a wind both cool and brisk and bearing the promise of salty brine.
This was a moment, where life felt vibrant, and real. I felt alive, with that same wind raking its fingers through my tousled curls, and the freedom of clear water before me. The last time I felt like this, was when I traveled overseas with friends a few years ago. I thought I fell in love with foreign countryside, but I think I fell in love with being responsible only for myself. No snarky or belittling comments. No cleaning up after anyone else.
Now? I’m free. I’m happy. And all I wanted, 8 weeks ago, was to sleep. I feel like a different person, entirely. Laughter comes so much more readily, and I find myself smiling without any particular reason. My heart is so light, I feel like it could float away.
A few nights ago my out-of-town friend who came to visit met up with the rest of my super-hero friends, a ladies night with wine and some Cards Against Humanity. It was nice to catch them up to where I’m at, and they seemed to be glad to all get together. To all get along. I am so grateful for them, for I would not have had such wonderful experiences the last two days without them.
It’s sad – but I’ve come to realize just how much I had committed to gritting my teeth and bearing it. I’ve always felt that love is a choice, and I always chose to love. But the feelings must have been gone for a long time, for me not to even feel a momentary flicker of regret or missing him. My pets even seem happier, in their new place.
I stayed because of my marriage vows. Because of a commitment to try and be supportive of a mental illness, not wanting to turn my back on my spouse because of a disease. I loved him, at least at first, though he twisted that into something that more closely resembled a parent taking care of a spoiled child’s every desire. Being stubborn is both a blessing and a curse, because I stuck it out so much longer than I really ought to have.
But I’m in a better place now. I wish I’d realized how wonderful life could be. Even if I am single the rest of my life, this would be worth it.
Later I can worry more about the details. Follow up with so many things that need to be dealt with regarding legal matters. But for the next few days, I’m just going to revel in this newfound Freedom.