This past Friday was my Not-A-Versary. I like the word Not-A-Versary to describe a day that used to be an anniversary, but since that relationship no longer exist the day doesn’t hold as much meaning as it once did. It still holds meaning, and I may be the only one thinking about it, but I’ll never forget.

This particular Not-A-Versary is the hardest one for me, the day I was married. There are two more I have – dating anniversaries of previous relationships. Since the end of those relationships those days have passed with me barely noticing, but the wedding anniversary is different. I believe it’s because this one carried more weight. It wasn’t the date I started dating someone, but the date I choose to legally tie myself to them, and did so in front of the people who meant the most to me at the time. I made a promise for life and I truly meant it at the time. I went through the best and worst times after that day, but my marriage would be marred with more bad days than good. I am thankful that through the bad memories I can find joy in the years with Wasband. That’s important, of course, because I spend almost half my life with him.

This Not-a-versary was unique, as it was the first time I would go through not married. Somehow that felt like an important distinction. The days leading up to Friday I felt a lot of intense anxiety spikes, but I still felt mostly in control. By the day before I felt I would get through the day mostly intact. And then Thursday became an emotionally wrecking day and I went to bed dreading Friday … how was I going to get through it when I felt so depleted?

One of the true magical things about life is that it keeps going … no matter how wrecked you feel, no matter how much you feel you’re struggling … time keeps ticking, days keep going, and somehow so do you. This is the knowledge that got me through the divorce and kept me going afterwards. So my Friday started like most other Fridays – I gave myself permission to be less-than-perfect, but I was dressed and at work on time. I worked through my day and didn’t cry and didn’t lose my temper. I kept myself together until I got home and gave myself permission to be more vulnerable with BF (where [1] I hate feeling and being vulnerable and [2] I was not going to hide what this day was because being honest about our marriages have helped us). We decided that taking ourselves out to dinner was a great idea, and we went to a favourite pub to share a great meal and a few drinks and watch hockey. While at the restaurant, for the first time all day, I forgot what day it was and enjoyed spending time with him and being ourselves. For the first time in awhile I stopped focusing on what failings I had in my marriage and what was my fault and just existed in the moment. Afterwards, I thought a lot about leaving the past in the past … not forgetting it, but remembering it helped shaped me into who I am today, and now I have a chance to move forward into whatever future I could choose. That it is okay to be sad with how things ended, but know that if I am happy with myself and my life in this moment (and I am) then maybe this was how it was meant to be.

Or not, who knows? Sometimes I believe everything happens for a reason and sometimes I feel we choose our own fates. And sometimes it’s neither, and things just happen and they suck but life keeps moving, and so do you.
A Not-A-Versary doesn’t mean you have to be sad that something is over. Sometimes it’s opportunity to be happy that you’ve lived.

~ J

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