Just over 14 years ago I moved from Salt Lake City to Seattle.
And just over 13 years ago my marriage went up in smoke. Poof.
Six years of marriage brought to an end with a few papers, a few signatures and a few hundred dollars.
I’ve never written a single paragraph about those six years. It’s as if Agent K from Men in Black showed up with his "neutralizer" pen and wiped the years, 1990-1995, from my mind.
Yet it’s never that easy. Even though people with good intentions act as if those years never existed. But I don’t blame them because I’ve tried to forget those years too on many occasions.
Time heals most wounds. Over time most of my anger turned to reflection. I learned to trust again. I gained friends whom I’d lost. Most importantly, I learned to love again. Never underestimate the sheer strength of the human heart.
But it did take time. For years I felt isolated and lonely. Divorce isn’t a topic one brings up among friends watching SportsCenter. It’s a "black cloud" topic. It was difficult to admit that I had failed at the very decision I’d been taught was the most important one I’d ever make.
But somehow I bounced back.
In hindsight, it was a blessing that I lived 900 miles from family during this time. I didn’t have friends or family to feel sorry for me and say everything would be fine. I had to pick myself up and get on with my life. That’s a valuable skill.
They are a part of my life. They include moving to Seattle and working for some of the largest technology companies. They include meeting many of my best friends. And they put me in a position where I was lucky enough to meet Whim.
Yes, they include many memories I’d prefer to forget. But with the bad comes good. Even when it’s hard to find under a pile of mixed emotions.
That’s how life works.
I no longer look back at those years as a miserable slice of life I’d soon forget. It was a time of growth, pain, learning, and humility.
All of which are worth keeping.