Monday, July 24, 2006


posted by Michael Piwonka 9:34 PM
As I rapidly approach the 1-year anniversary of my separation, I've found myself recently amazed at the state of my existence.

When I first learned of Penny and Charlie I was shocked, hurt, depressed, angry, pathetic, rejected, betrayed. I wondered why and how this could happen to me, and I fretted about the future, about what I would do, what would people think of me, how would my kids would respond.

But now, almost a year on, it almost seems surreal to me, like it was more dream than reality. I sometimes recount the experience to others and it feels like I'm describing someone else, not me.

I find myself using worn-out cliches like every cloud has a silver lining, and when one door closes, another opens. I have discovered a whole new world.

For example, my relationship with my kids has changed, for the better. Perhaps because I have limited time with Allie and Mason now, we spend much more meaningful time together. It may be that we don't have the opportunity to tire of each other's idiosyncrasies; absence makes the heart grow fonder.

My social life could hardly be better. I'm meeting lots of wonderful people and doing those things that I always intended to do "eventually". But even more importantly, I'm doing things I never envisioned I would. Like decorating a new house, investing in real estate, joining social groups (like Charlotte Outdoor Adventures), going out on dates (and getting asked out on dates).

I was talking with a new friend (also separated) the other night, and we were astonished at how much fun we were having, how our new routines were refreshing, a change that we wouldn't have initiated ourselves. I believe we both feel like we've been given a new opportunity.

I was raised to believe that everyone should work hard to make a marriage work, that you make do with what you have, even if it's not optimal; it's just part of life. I would have felt guilty if I had given up on the relationship, that I was being too selfish.

However, once I got over the heartbreak, I realized that I wouldn't have to deal with that guilt; in some regards, I've been given a free pass. Now it's up to me to make the most of it.

I didn't know what I didn't know. A year ago the glass appeared to be half-empty, but now it's definitely half-full.


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random. arbitrary. completely unnecessary. yet refreshingly therapeutic.

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