Aiden and I are in Puerto Rico, hanging out by the pool. I'm sitting pool side taking pictures of him because I want to savor this moment. (I was just swimming in the pool with him, but I remember that I didn't take any pictures today.) Aiden is busying himself doing cannon balls and blowing bubbles and swimming like a little fish.
I take a few pictures.
Then I sit back in my lounge chair and smile.
This moment right here makes me so happy. Aiden is happy. And thriving. All is good in the world of Aiden and Alicia. Life is good right now.
Sometimes it's mind-blowing to me that I'm in such a different place and space right now than I was in a little shy of three years ago when things ended with Aiden's other parent and me. It almost seems like a lifetime ago and I'm happy that I'm not in that emotional space anymore.
But every once in a while, I'm reminded of the place that I was once in. Sometimes it's a comment that someone makes about me, sometimes it's an email from one of our readers, sometimes it's seeing that Aiden's thriving, happily...
Once my relationship with Aiden's other parent ended (and coming to that point where I knew it was time to call it quits wasn't easy at all because it took me a long time and a lot of chances, tries, and failed attempts to make it work), I let myself feel exactly what I was feeling. And for as long as I needed to feel it.
I felt angry, scared, nervous, confused, ashamed, embarrassed, and downright pissed off. Sometimes all at once. Sometimes all in one day. Sometimes all in one week.
But I took it moment by moment.
There were moments when I was just pissed off at myself for allowing this to happen. There were moments when I was angry because I felt as though I'd made my life a lot harder than it needed to be by becoming a single mother. There were moments when I felt that other people were going to judge me because of my single mom status. (I was right about that. They did judge.)
I felt a spectrum of emotions.
But I kept reminding myself that I did all that I could to keep that relationship together. But it wasn't a healthy one. Not by a long shot. It wasn't a good one and I knew that I made the right decision to end it. I kept reminding myself that I did the right thing. And I took it day by day.
The day became weeks, and the weeks became months.
I can literally remember when I hit that one-month mark of Aiden's other parent moving out of my apartment. And I remember hitting that two-month mark. And, before I knew it, I wasn't even thinking of the monthly milestones anymore. Because I was living life.
I went from taking it day by day to taking my life back.
And living. I was happier because of it. And Aiden was happy. It was good. And we were making it.
That is my hope and wish for everyone who reads this blog that's going through a breakup (or recently went through a breakup), and ends up becoming a single mother as a result -- That you take it minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. At first.
And then you start living.
And then your old feelings become a distant memory as you grow into a different place and space emotionally.
It can happen for you, just like it happened for me.
I'm not at that place that I used to be anymore. And I'm happier because of it.
Thank goodness for progress.