The day I signed my final divorce papers, I flew to New York to meet up with my girlfriends.
It wasn’t a celebration, just a coincidence really. The trip had been planned long before my besties even knew I was ending my marriage.
I boarded the plane, and before I put my phone into airplane mode, I sent out a text: “Final papers signed today. I appreciate your support but I DO NOT want to talk about my divorce this weekend. I just want to forget it all.”
Watch: Mamamia Confessions - Relationship deal-breakers. Post continues below.
The girls, who I’d know since we met in our first year of uni, knew I’d been unhappy in my marriage for a long time.
They knew that I was the one who had finally decided to end it and that I’d left my husband heartbroken. They knew I was optimistic and even excited about the future.
Yes, I was also anxious, overwhelmed and nervous. But that was all normal; life had been incredibly difficult for the last few months.
As the plane touched down at JFK, I took a deep breath. I closed my eyes and pictured myself breathing in my new life. I let the air fill my belly and chest, and I held it in my lungs for a few counts. I exhaled slowly, imagining all the anxiety and negativity leaving my body as I pushed the air out through my lips.
I got off the plane in New York City and symbolically stepped into my new life. I knew that my divorce was the end of my marriage, but what I didn’t know was that it was also the beginning of my grief.
I had heard other people compare divorce to death. But honestly, I thought those were the people that got left. It made sense that you would grieve losing something that you still wanted. But for me? Grief wasn’t going to happen. I was sure it was time to set my marriage down. I was ready. I didn’t feel like anything was dying. It had been dead for some time.
The weekend played out exactly how we’d planned. The six of us walked every inch of New York City like we were our own little version of Sex and The City.
We ate pizza in Brooklyn and banana pudding in Manhattan. We rode the subway and spent every evening at a Broadway show. We stayed up way too late and drank in absolutely everything the city had to offer.
And even though our days were filled with the magic that is New York, when I climbed into my hotel room bed each night, there was a heaviness. I could feel it in my chest anytime I stopped moving for too long. It was this heaviness that would keep me from sleeping. Not only for the few nights I was in New York, but for months after I got home too.