"See your relationships, even ones that have ended," she told me, "as having added to you, not as a loss."
So I'm thinking of this and I want to write a gratitude list as this year wraps up.
In random order, to those I have loved and appreciated since my marriage ended:
To the aqua-eyed boy:
The lessons you taught me were difficult but I understand so much more now.
To the artist:
Thank you for trying so hard to love me. You found me at a time when I was particularly vulnerable -- reeling from the loss of my marriage and aqua-eyed boy deporting to a war zone. You made me feel valued when I needed it most. Thank you for believing in me.
To the armchair philosopher:
Thank you for buying me a bed even when you knew we would never lie on it together. I hope you are happy and your new lady treats you well, your gentle heart deserves to be cherished.
To the dark-haired boy whose arms I fell into unexpectedly (aka: mr. epic makeout session):
You reminded me that when it *really* clicks, the joy is palpable. If nothing comes of our brief union but that tiny lesson, it will have been one of my most important reminders this year. Thank you for lifting me (both physically and metaphorically).
I'm also so appreciative of all the great friends that have made me laugh, listened when I was down, checked in when I was silent (even on Twitter!), sang-shouted on city streetcorners, and shared their own achingly intimate stories to help me not feel alone. You make me feel like the richest girl in the world.
To anyone I inadvertently hurt during this awkward time in my life, I am so sorry. Being in a terrible place does strange things to the heart. I appreciated your effort to reach me anyway, even the smallest acts of kindness mattered even when I was not in a place to reciprocate or respond. Thank you.
And to the universe for the many hardships, lessons and beauty impressed upon me over the years: it is such a wonderful life.