This morning, while having yet another imaginary conversation with the bathroom mirror, a new perspective came to light on the phrase ‘for better or worse’.
This particular imaginary conversation involved the underlying reason for wanting to write my memoir, with the assumption that the book was already written and published. For those who know me well, talking to myself is something I do quite frequently (one of the best sayings I ever came upon was ‘I’m not talking to myself; I’m consulting a genius’). Too bad I don’t talk to myself more about getting the darn book actually written!
In this make-believe conversation, I defended why I wrote the book, as well as the reasons for why I did not write the book. Let’s deal with the latter first. When (not if) my book is published, it will not be because I sought out revenge or needed to ‘get even’ with anyone. Retaliation does not come into play one iota. The book is not about anyone else. It is, unequivocally, about me and my experiences at various times of my life.
When asked at a writers workshop, back in 2017, what the definition of success was for my writing, the response was quick and precise. My book will be deemed a success if just one woman picks it up, reads it and is fortified to some degree to make a change for the better in her own life. That is the message I want to convey: That she can have the life she wants, that she deserves that life, and that she starts to believe she can go after that life filled with the people, places and experiences she truly wants.
That’s when the phrase ‘for better or worse’ made an appearance. Catapulted back to an incredibly gorgeous September afternoon in 1994, when I myself repeated those very words in my vow to the man standing opposite me, I was struck with how the foundation of those words had changed over the years.
In 1994, it was about ‘us’, the two of us, specifically; that no matter what life dished out for either him or me, we would stand together and see it through. Through thick or thin, sickness or health, better or worse.
20 years later, as I prepared to leave my marriage, for better or worse took on an entirely different focus. Gone was the vision of a team, of the desire that, no matter what, we would do whatever it took to remain a two-some. That sometimes having to accept less than ideal situations would be for the overall benefit of both of us.
Turns out, in the end, I stopped thinking of ‘us’ and started thinking of ‘me’. In order for me to be happy, I had to leave. In order for me to be part of a different world, I had to leave. In order for my life to be better, I had to leave. For better or worse was no longer in terms of ‘our’ life together, it was now in terms of ‘my’ life, and how much I needed that singular life to be better. That meant a life on my own, no longer part of that once dynamic two-some.
My marital departure was all for the better of me. I can only hope that by writing down and sharing my experiences and insights, an unknown reader will believe a bit more in her personal strength and her ability to make her life better, too.
Happy Thursday, everyone.