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When two people are truly in love, marriage is the most beautiful thing this world has to offer. I was lucky enough to experience it for a brief moment. Over time, there was a gradual shift until slowly everything started to turn horribly ugly. Now that the love is gone, I’m left in the middle of a hideous mess. This is divorce.

Nothing in my life has ever been conventional or simple. My marriage was no exception. I didn’t get to have the typical fairytale wedding that every girl dreams of. I got married in a plain white dress off the clearance rack while I rocked wet, frizzy hair. The whole experience was a complete disaster. We got lost on the way to the court house, it was pouring down rain, and we only had a few witnesses whom I barely knew. Afterwards, we had a less than fancy dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings and went on a thrilling shopping trip to Walmart. We had a super romantic night playing Candy Land and watching Step Brothers on the hotel TV. This pretty much set the tone for the entire relationship. The day my husband and I separated, we both walked away with a mugshot. We could never do anything the normal way.

I don’t blame him or myself for any of the events that unfolded that day. Our relationship was far from perfect and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see that the end was rapidly approaching. It all happened like an earthquake. We could feel it rumbling underneath our feet until our foundation split in two, and we were left standing on opposite sides.

In the days that followed, I was practically comatose. I couldn’t eat or sleep and I didn’t shower or even change my clothes for longer than I care to admit. Lucas was living in the barracks and I was left alone in the large empty house haunted by our memories. I had one close friend in North Carolina that I met on the dance floor at a local bar and she was my first and only call. Sarah came right over, brought me an energy drink, picked me up off the floor that I had been glued to, and compiled a very detailed To-Do list. I was reluctant to get anything done at first because I felt traumatized, but she didn’t put up with my shit for five seconds. Sarah was like a petite, Christian music listening slave driver. I will forever be grateful to her for crashing my pity party.

Once I became a functioning human being again, I came up with the brilliant idea to have a 14 hour garage sale on a Sunday. I sat in my lawn chair in the garage equipped with my two page long check list of things to sell, just hoping for the best. Meanwhile, Sarah packed everything in the entire house. The news of my upcoming move spread like wildfire, and people started pouring in to my sale. Every single girl I had ever sold to in the past, came by to show support. Some of them bought stuff, but mostly they just donated to my moving fund without expecting anything in return. Emotion struck me like lightening with every single hug I received, tear that was shed, and goodbye that was uttered.

The road back to Texas stretched endlessly, and was lined with more pine trees than I ever wanted to see. I spent three terribly long days in a bumpy moving truck with a grouchy old man (my dad), and a hyper puppy. My driver refused to turn on the radio, so we rode in deafening silence and I was left to sit there and contemplate recent events. Every mile that we drove weighed down on me until I felt like I was being crushed by every negative thing I’d ever experienced. Frantically, I made several phone calls to my therapist but was never able to reach him. My survival instincts started to kick in sometime around day two, but to this day I’m still not really sure how I managed to get through the trip from hell.

Now, Maximus and I are safe and sound at my parents’ house. The transition hasn’t been easy to say the least. We are resilient though, because we have to be. Through all of this, I’ve learned that there are two different types of people in this world… People that just let things happen TO them, and people who MAKE things happen. Looking forward, I’m choosing to be the latter.