Yup. I'm write and immediately "publish" kind of dude :D
So there I was a single dad of four kids. Not much family living near me and a whole lot of sadness. Side note: I really don't like when people tell people who don't have children going through a divorce, "at least you don't have kids." I couldn't imagine losing a child (it has to be the worst and more horrific thing on the planet). In my mind, that's like telling a parent who just lost a child "At least, you still have other kids." Divorce sucks. Plain and simple. It sucks if you have kids or if you don't. It sucks if you have been married for 1 year and sucks if you have been married for 40 years. I mean, yes in some aspects, I found some sort of relieve. There was many issues way out of my control. Cutting free from that was somewhat freeing. But there's just so much emotion, it seems impossible to find joy. You feel guilty for feeling relieve. You feel sad that you're not going to have that person by your side. You feel fear that you're not valuable as a mate. You feel anger that you've been wronged by that person. Seriously, it's just crazy trying to process it.
Granted my situation was a bit different, I had time to process many emotions during the last year of our marriage, I felt like the divorce would be easier for me. Was I right? In some ways, yes. Soon after that I found out I was really just kind of numb and still needed to process a lot of stuff. I think the best decision I made was going through DivorceCare. One it was nice being in a safe place to vent and be around people just as confused, sad, angry, depressed, etc. as I was. There little videos we watched that were surprisingly insightful, and then we had our discussion time. Everyone talked. No one really holds back, but everything is met with love, care, and practical advice. One of the biggest things I got out of it is that I was allowed to deal with these emotions. As I said in my previous posts about divorce, before all of this started I was pretty much the typical man. I didn't really feel much emotion and when I did, I did not know how to process it. Breaking down that barrier to actually feel things and understand them was a big step. Guys tend to just bottle that kind of stuff up. That really wasn't healthy for me. Because eventually those feelings would find their way out and that was never pretty because I had no clue how to control them. The class helped me lay all that stuff on the table and helped me deal with it head on. Another thing that really stuck out to me what the idea of really taking at least a year before jumping into any new relationships. Actually, I did develop feelings for someone during that year wait, but nothing ever happened from it. I'm glad it didn't. Staying single and focusing on improving me, my relationship with God, and my relationship with my kids was a life saver. You are trying to pick up the pieces of yourself and your life after it was pretty much blown to bits. Trying to build something new, before you have yourself complete is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. I learned I have to just love me for me. I had been married ten years, so much of my personality was tied to Crissy that it was hard for me to figure out who "Seth" was. For so long it was "Seth and Crissy", that I kind of needed a reminder that I'm still complete just being "Seth".
So it's been about a year since my divorce. I can honestly say I feel amazing. Yes, I'm completely unsure of what my future holds, but I can't explain how incredible it feels to be able to drive past places where we had our first kiss and not get sad or seeing a place that I've heard rumors about and not get angry. Mostly, it's nice not feeling numb. People tell me sometimes to "remember the good and forget the bad". Well, to be frank. That's just horrible advice, hahaha :D I can't make myself forget things. However, I can come to the point where when a memory like that comes up, I can just think how much God had his hand on improving my life from that particular point in my life and how much I have grown from that specific event.
Mostly, I thank God that He's stuck by me this long. I felt I've grown so much over the past year. (Note to past Seth: you can be kinda a jerk sometimes and you need to have more fun in life). Seriously, I can't remember being this happy in a long time. I think I'm really starting to find my stride here ;) Throughout my entire life, I wanted to know my purpose or calling. Like besides being a husband and dad. I never could quite grasp it. One thing that I feel was the "lightbulb turning on" was dicovering my depth of empathy I feel I was gifted with but never bothered to grow or focus on. Once I started to feel empathy towards people, it radically altered my life. I guess I got so caught up with my great marriage and awesome kids, I couldn't really understand the need for it. Now though, I love being empathic. I mean I'm not trying to sound braggy. I just feel it's one my the main ways I've grown. Everyone has gifts and strengths, we just have to find out what they are. I found mine through prayer and more prayer.
I love the fact that I love myself. I love the fact that I feel I make a difference by making people smile and laugh. Nothing feels better than giving an encouraging word and doing a small act of kindness for someone you can sense might need it. Back to my purpose, I finally found it. It's encouragement. As my papa liked to say "Brighten the corner where you are". People can sense true joy and contentment. I've had friends in my life that were bubbling with joy and I was so jealous of it ;) I wanted to just be "that happy". Well, I might not be there yet, but I do think I'm learning to be!
My kids are happy and healthy. They have grown in ways that astonish me. Even at their young age, their compassion and love for life amazes me every day. Each of them have their own memories and views on how things went down, but at the end of the day they are confident that God, Dad, and Mom love them very much. While they miss mom, they truly love her dearly and I make it a point to keep that alive everyday.
Now that I found my way out of all the crap and my kids are healthy, here's the million dollar question... What's next in terms of adding another Megow (or several Megows) to our crazy little clan. I don't really know. For the longest, I constantly beat myself up about it. Who in their right mind would want to be with a dude who was divorced with four small kids? I think now that God and my friends have shown me who amazingly awesome my kids are and rebuilt me in a way that I can be proud of, I think who in their right mind wouldn't want to join our clan? ;) For so long, I had this little formula of different traits and positions in life, I thought I should be looking for. Well turns out Ole' Seth isn't the match maker genius he thought he was. About a month ago, I just told God that I'm through putting prospective women through all of my filters that I thought would work well into my family. I just verbally out loud told God "Geez, you've brought me this far. I'm sure you can find me someone who I can love, who loves me, loves my kids, and loves You. Also God, I dont want to be picky but I would really appreciate it if they had a cute smile, enjoyed poop jokes, loved having their feet rubbed at night."
So I guess that's all. I'm so excited to see what He has in store for me and my crew. Will I move somewhere or be single for a long time? Will I finally learn to hula-hoop or grow my afro back? Will I develop feelings for someone soon or maybe learn the art of ice sculpting? Who the heck knows :)
I know one thing for certain about my future...
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I can get down with some prosperity and hope. So thanks God. He's awesome and if you're curious, I do think God loves to laugh and he probably cracked up at this picture just as much as I did :D