Five years ago, give or take a few days, my divorce was final.
In those five years, I've learned much about myself and others, but mainly about myself. I've grown as a person, as an artist, as a friend.
I've learned it's okay for something you valued to come to an end; not everything can or should be held onto forever, sometimes things live out their natural lifespans and cease, even relationships, even friendships. Change is scary, but necessary.
I've learned that I'm not in a race; Having recently entered my 30's with no relationship, no family, and no real career I'm happy in I had a minor freakout about where I am in life - I am, apparently, behind (as my parents take frequent care to remind me). But life isn't a race...where my parents were when they were my age, where the kids I went to school with when they were my age... where my ex-husband is now, none of this has ANY bearing at all on where I am, where I am going, and my pace in getting there. My main aim should have been to be happy and to pursue that happiness, and while in some ways I definitely have, I've been comparing myself to others for far too long and punishing myself emotionally while holding myself to another's progress. I am me, and I will get where I'm going when I get there, with whomever there is in my life at the time. As long as I'm happy, that's the main thing.
I've learned I'm smarter and more talented than I think I am; One of the things I did when I first was separated from my ex was to go back to college. I ended up in an honors curriculum and one semester I even took 18 credits - 15 honors credits, 3 Japanese 201 and still managed to pull a 3.8 GPA out of the whole thing. For years I've had this perception of myself of not being particularly bright or good at much of anything useful. This couldn't be further from the truth, and it's not only okay that I acknowledge this about myself, it's essential.
I've learned that I was never anything but beautiful in the past, and by extension I am beautiful now; this is a VERY recently learned lesson, but it speaks for itself. Anyone who has been and is unable to see that....well that is about them, not me.
I've learned that I do not have to continue to try to be a good person; that I am one, and I can stop beating myself up for mistakes made in the past.
And finally I've learned it's okay to be okay with the mistakes I've made in the past...because it's those mistakes that have helped me become who I am today, and have helped me grow.
I really hope that the next five years and beyond bring more lessons for me to better myself, though perhaps a little less painfully learned. ;)
For the record...I'm not angry really at anyone anymore. I forgive...not only because they deserve forgiveness but because I deserve peace.
But then so does everyone. :)