I remember when I first discovered that ‘divorce parties’ were a thing. The entire concept fascinated me; why would someone celebrate the end of something so huge they said vows for? Why would you ever want to celebrate separating from a person who – at one point in time – you loved so much that you planned to spend your whole life together. What about the sanctity of marriage? Celebrating beginning the process of living a life separate to a person who was once your soul mate was something I really struggled to comprehend. That was until about a year ago, when I began a journey not too dissimilar to those jilted divorcees I so unfairly judged. That’s when I realised that these ‘divorce’ parties were not about celebrating the relationship’s end and they weren’t taking place to bitch and moan about the ex-partner (although, perhaps a little of that happens). These parties are to celebrate independence. To celebrate, once again, becoming themselves. Now, I have never been married. I do not know what it feels like to be divorced. But what I do know, is how it feels to become yourself again after being part of a couple for years.
Long story short, a year ago today my relationship of six years ended. Six years may not be that long to some, to others it may seem like a lifetime. To me, those six years covered some of the most important events of my early adult life; milestone birthdays, graduating, learning to drive etc. but no matter how great those six years were; how loved I felt, how much I achieved, I really didn’t know who I was. I always came with a suffix; I was never just ‘Leanne’, I was always ‘Leanne and…’ It was always ‘we’, ‘I’ was something that I barely uttered. The beginning of my adult life was shrouded in a cloud of ‘we’ and I never truly got the chance to find who ‘I’ was.
In the past year, I have more than made up for this. Sure, I may have made a few mistakes – cutting my hair being number one – and may have found myself in some ridiculous situations. But I’ve been able to go out without being questioned, I’ve had to fend for myself and – to my surprise – not having someone looking out for me all the time has been oddly invigorating.
So, happy one year anniversary Leanne. Here’s to one year of being you, and whilst I know that you secretly hope that one day you can become a ‘we’ again, I hope that you continue finding yourself, going outside of your comfort zone and breaking your own boundaries.