I’ve been rereading a book that I loved the first and second times I read it. It’s a divorce memoir called Breaking Apart by Wendy Swallow. It is beautifully, wisely written, a heartbreaking story about a marriage and what happens when that marriage falls apart. I’m not sure what compelled me to pluck it from the bookshelf—maybe the sadness within resonates with my own sense of sadness these days? Or maybe it makes me grateful that by comparison, I’ve had a very easy breakup, one that caused minimal collateral damage to my daily life? I don’t know. I am finding, however, that there are so many great passages from this book, paragraphs that make me stop and think. I thought I’d share a few of them with you, over the next few weeks. At the risk of seeming disjointed, I’m going to mix content chronologically on the blog here—I’ve got another little series that I want to share, too. But you are sophisticated readers who can handle some content-mixing, right? Right!
I knew you could do it.
Without further ado, the following is from Breaking Apart.
“The challenge is not just about what to do with my spare time either. It’s about redrawing the outline, this time in bolder ink. It is about moving into middle age with a clear sense of who I am—not by default this time or someone else’s vision of me—but my own vision, my own compass. It is also about taking responsibility for who I am, about no longer hiding behind someone else or blaming another for my life’s problems. Spouses make great deflectors, great scapegoats. Now, I’m on my own. By standing alone in the world I stand more honestly, more nakedly than ever before. It’s my story now. I’m no longer a footnote in someone else’s book.”