I'm writing this letter to you, my sweet baby girl, not for the purpose of revealing details about my life prior to your birth, but so that your life has a better chance of not following the same path. I suppose that every parent has a story like this for their child, and this is mine to you.
When I was 27, I married a man named Jon.
It didn't work out.
The specifics of this are not hard to understand, but are hard for me to articulate to you without crossing the line into "too much information" coming from your mom. Suffice it to say that words were said, events occurred, and choices were made.
A wise man once said: "Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth."
So for whatever it's worth ... here is what I have learned from these choices.
1. However much you think this word weighs, however much you think is packed in bags to go along with it, multiply that figure by 700. It is likely that, at the first inkling of wanting to get divorced, very little is understood about the magnitude of what lies before you.
2. If you have a house, you will fight about it. And this fight, money, stress, and responsibility could carry on for years.
3. Someone out in the world, possibly even long after the divorce is final, will hate you. With a capital HATE. This may sound easy to reconcile, but there will be days that you won't want to look at yourself in the mirror.
4. You will have to move again. And you'll realize it's still as much of a pain in the ass as it was when you were in college.
5. You will lose all of your money. One way or another, you will have to use every financial resource to start over. But there is a new future ahead, just you wait.
6. Love is still out there, for both of you. And when it comes along, you will do everything in your power to never have to go through divorce again. Because it changes your life once, and that is enough.
I should tell you, though, my sweet girl, that without divorce we wouldn't have you. And the best thing I learned from the divorce is that regret will get you nowhere. That life will surprise you even on your darkest days, to give you your brightest light.