Nine years ago, I said “I do.” I stood in a church, surrounded by family and friends, standing awkwardly in an ill-fitting tuxedo, too preoccupied with what needed to be done to be nervous, and said those two words.
Knowing where I am now, sitting alone in a quiet house, naked fingers rattling on the keyboard, would I change it if I could have? Would I have thrown away eight years knowing that it was going to come to an end?
I did not waste my life over the last nine years. I lived my life to the fullest that I knew how. I had contentment and I experienced success, and I will always have stories and fond memories. I am glad that I had what I had.
Now, my perspective on life has shifted. I know what I need for me to be truly happy, and I see that there may have been holes in my life of which I was completely unaware. I may be living my life differently now, but 9 years ago, 20 years ago, 33 years ago, it was still MY life and that will never change. All I can do is look back at each stage in my life as a series of steps. I don’t know where they’re leading, but I’m taking them one at a time.
On this date, though, while I sit here with wet eyes, I regret the pain I’ve caused. I reminisce somberly on the times I’ll miss, and on the love I experienced that has now ended. This date will always be important to me. It may no longer be an anniversary of my declaration of eternal love for my bride, but it will serve as a reminder that I made a choice to say “I do” and I made a choice to move on. I will always know that I didn’t have the strength of character or faith in myself to become who I needed to be confined by the bonds of matrimony, and that I must own my decision to sever those bonds, just as I must own my decision to say “I do” in the first place. I will embrace my past, my choices, my life, and never stop learning as I move onward and upward. One step at a time.