For the past four months, I’ve been wondering what I was going to do on April 30. It would have been my fourteenth wedding anniversary. I’m not being maudlin, I’m not obsessing, I don’t want Kate back—I’m very happy with the way things are going for me right now. But fourteen years is literally one-third of my life, and I can’t pretend it never happened.
We made it work for about thirteen years, and then she quit. I understand why she wanted to split up, even if I may never forgive her for how she went about it. Being divorced at this juncture is one of the best things to happen to me, but there was a period of time where she was the best thing to happen to me.
With her I’ve lived in all sorts of interesting places. I’ve seen the world, in South America, Europe, and the Middle East. I’ve become a career editor. I quit smoking and drinking. I got into and out of shape. When I was with her, I felt like I reached my potential, and that’s got to count for something. And now that I’ve reached my potential, I’m out on my own, in a dynamic city with a really amazing roommate, and that’s exciting.
In a month and a half, I’ll be signing the papers that mark this phase of my life completely over. Am I over it? I’m not. I’ll think of something I want to share with her, and I can’t. Or I’ll think about one of the ways she’s treated me during the split or deceived me during our last months together, and I’ll get a cold pit in my stomach. Fourteen years is a long time, and as much as I want to forget it, I never will.
I’m going to celebrate my fourteenth anniversary, but not the fifteenth. And in a few years, April 30 will be simply be the day before one of my dearest friends’ birthday.