I WENT ALL IN! And will do it again.
It is my birthday tomorrow and yesterday I got divorced.
And I wouldn’t have believed it, if anyone had told me a year ago. I probably would have laughed quite hard and wondered what that lunatic is thinking. First of all – that I would be divorced requires that I would be married before. And second of all, if I (EVER) got married, I didn’t think I would be getting divorced half a year later.
But – this is what happened.
The story could be told in many different ways, some of them could be quite dramatic, or it could be more in the style of a hollywood comedy. You can imagine all the necessary components for this and then make up the story – it should be partly romantic, painful, partly relieving and quite entertaining.
The story I want to tell today though, is about going all in. It is about really throwing myself into something unknown, beyond anything that I, or many people who knew me, would have expected of me, flying, falling and getting up again.
I was together with someone who I value highly and I thought, I would stay with him for a long time. We seemed to be quite understanding of the fact that we’ll probably not always have the same needs and in lots of ways a working relationship is a kind of commitment and decision. We got together quite fast and moved in, bought an apartment together and talked about children. All the while thinking and also talking about the fact, that this might not last forever. At some point I made the decision, that it is something I would like to work for; this is a way of living life I’m willing to invest in and commit myself to. I took this decision unconditionally and without any promise from the other side. I wanted to dare. I wanted to let go of the security blanket of „I’ll leave whenever I’m uncomfortable“ and experience where this will bring me. I wanted to stay free of making promises and then feel safe from those…
Along the way there were many moments of daring, getting closer and committing. We were experimenting with ways of being together and being free, meeting each others’ families and traveling together. Meeting people together and on our own. When we (after 2 years) decided to get married, it was more or less for administrative reasons and we didn’t tell anyone beforehand. It was the two of us and two friends, going to the townhall, then a day of climbing, swimming and dancing together.
Already this was exciting, but actually going beyond the administrative, private decision we had taken and telling family and close friends afterwards made it suddenly a bigger event. Those were the moments that I really had to dare and be me… There were some people who were super happy, others confused, or angry or disappointed. Suddenly I was presented with a whole range of emotions and even though I kind of anticipated this, I was still surprised how strongly people reacted on the basis of their understanding of marriage.
In some moments I got angry at them, that they wouldn’t take into consideration more how they have known me before – in earlier relationships, my ways of dealing with people and life.
Imagine one half of a family with a very traditional background and the other half less traditional but in some way still quite romantic when it comes to marriage. Again – the various reactions could fit into good hollywood movies – the ones where you cannot predict every single thing but some of them.
I noticed what I earlier would have avoided by not telling them: that I would have to deal with their reactions on the background of their own concepts and I’ll have to stand with my own understanding, using the same words and legal frame…
But now I was more excited to find a way of living our own way, discovering together how we can enjoy life the most – together and each in our own way. Learning to fly in a common direction.
Back home after a great summer holiday, life happened. Several demanding situations and decisions in my professional life were calling for my attention, and my grandfather’s health, which had been quite unstable already for the past months, was getting worse and he died. While noticing that my partner simultaneously was exploring what he is and wants without me, I did not want to start doubting that our „project“ was in question. I still wanted to go all in, dare to see what this intense and tumbling situation would bring for us and how we could grow from it. I decided to trust us, breathe fully and focus on dealing with my business and family, with my companion in the background and our future to come.
So when he wanted to split up in this time of turbulence, I was surprised and hurt. I was confused and angry and there were moments when I felt let down. The change between wanting to spend the next couple of years together, thinking about moving around in the world together and considering children to – not wanting to be together, moving in with someone else and moving on alone was sudden for me.
There were nights alone in bed that were physically painfull, the discontinuation of getting to know his family was sad and letting go of dreams and ideas about the nearest future frightening.
All of this at the same time with not having the companion I had gotten to know and trust in the past two years felt like falling.
Again I was presented with a range of emotions, that I didn’t expect to meet and sometimes didn’t know how to deal with. I went through a more or less obvious mixture of anger, pain, confusion and love; of looking back in time in order to understand, just feeling lonely and also feeling relief and freedom of a new and clear situation. What was most surprising for me was noticing moments of resentment: Resenting life for the fact that – now that I had dared to open up, let go of the security blanket and even shared with other people – I did not get rewarded with eternal bliss and a golden star for daring to go beyond what I know of myself.
Realizing this made me laugh and although it didn’t take away the struggle, it gave me energy and made it easier for me to go on. It was clear, that I had to deal with the reality of the risk that I had taken. I was facing my own anger, my families pain and confusion, my former partner’s new decisions and priorities.
And I got to look at my own life and choices in a new light, setting new priorities and exploring new thoughts. I’m meeting new people, and see long time friends with a new perspective. I’m also realizing that three years ago I went ‘all in’ when I moved to Copenhagen, not knowing how this would ever turn out, daring to commit to my dream of living here for a while.
Today I’m well and excited to look at a new year ahead of me. I don’t know what it will bring and which unexpected turns it will take until march 2016. But I do know that I want to dare and go all in for things and people I love. I’m curious to discover the new kinds of relationships I’m going to create with my friends and my former partner. I’m curious to discover totally new ways of challenging the perception of myself and the world. I’m curious to meet more people who want to do that – to challenge their perception, what they know about themselves and the world. To meet people who dare, in many different ways, and to grow with them. I know there is the risk, that I will be hurt or disappointed. I know there will be moments of struggle. But there is also the chance, that I will make amazing experiences, find beautiful and unexpected places and create a home and base for me to grow from.
Thank you for being in my life and challenging me. It’s a pleasure!
Trackback from your site.