Shortly after my divorce, someone told me a story about the native language of a North American Indian tribe I’d never heard of (and whose name I can no longer recall). He said their language didn’t have a word for “why.” He said they had no linguistic concept for asking “why” because it was a pointless question to ask. What was, simply was.
When the world tilted and I watched the life I knew slide right off the edge, I only briefly asked “Why me?” The question seemed kind of lame. Why not me? Who was I to get off scot-free? I was happy, I was healthy, I was married to a man I loved who loved me in return. I had three healthy children. I had resources—both emotional and financial. My problems were of the champagne variety. I was more fortunate than most, and I was grateful for it.
It’s not as though I’d never been visited by heartache. I had. There was a miscarriage and there were The Ex’s lost jobs and there were friends and family who died and were missed. But in the grand scheme of things, I knew I was damned lucky. So why not me? Maybe it was just my turn. There is no free ride, after all—none of us escapes this world unscathed. Many times before, I’d felt as though I had it too good … as though the salad days couldn’t possibly last. I worried that a take-down was coming, and as it turns out I was right. When it happened, there was (in a way) some small sense of relief. An expelled breath releasing the dread I didn’t know I’d carried. A thought of: “Well, here it is and at least now I can quit waiting for it.” Isn’t that strange?
I don’t feel immune to further heartbreak. I’m certain more bad times will come (and undoubtedly, times tough enough to make the past two years look like a walk in the park). More golden days will come, too, though—I’m just as certain of that. I’m still lucky. I still have it good … just in different ways than I did before.
I try not to ask why. Life just … happens. Sometimes people disappoint. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes good happens, sometimes bad. Some days are so draining that I can’t wait for them to be over and some days are so fantastic I never want them to end. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard and it’s all wrapped up together and it’s all just life. I have a sneaking suspicion that when you get to the end of it, whenever that is, you’ll only wish for more of it.
The Ex is marrying The Girlfriend today. I feel sort of … nothing about it, which is strange. I don’t understand how they’ll manage to promise each other what was already promised to others. I can’t fathom that they don’t feel the weight of the hypocrisy. I still resent all that they have put my children through and I most likely always will. But I’m not asking why. “Why” is an unanswerable question. What is, simply is.
Also? I sold my house today. After months of waiting and stressing and worrying, the signed contract came through on the same day that the final door of my old life closed. And that’s strange, too, isn’t it? I swear fate has a wicked sense of humor … and impeccable timing. But I won’t ask why. Asking “why” is a waste of time—and there’s already way too little of it to waste. I’m just going to open the new door wide and step on through. See y’all on the other side.