Retiring experience into wisdom

In February of 2006 my husband told me that he didn’t love me anymore and he wasn’t sure that his love would ever come back to me.

I was gutted, torn apart, and like many other type A personalities was hell bent on finding a solution. I signed us up for marriage counseling, I went to individual counseling, I took days off to journal and reflect, I declared that we were going to have mandatory date nights from now on. I did everything I thought I could do but I was too late.

He had already moved into the guest room physically; mentally and emotionally he had already moved a thousand miles away. He was so removed from our marital life that our marriage counselor told us that he could not longer see us because we both weren’t committed to making progress. He said this as he looked directly at my husband.

People often ask me, “Did you know something wasn’t right? Did you know he felt that way?” My response used to be, “No! I was blindsided”.

The truth is, yes I did know. When I look back now, I know that the language he used when speaking to me wasn’t respectful or loving. Our communication was lacking or I should say non existent. I signed myself up for tons of volunteer opportunities and extra curricular activities so I had something to do in the evening rather than sit on the couch and watch TV together. So yes, there were tons of whispers telling us that we needed to do something to save each other. And one day, that whisper turned into a huge red flag, a red flag that he was holding in my face because he had the courage to say something, to speak up that something wasn’t right anymore.

By April of 2006 I asked him to move out, to find an apartment because living in separate bedrooms was nothing different (in my view). In May of 2006 I decided to move on, so I began looking for jobs outside of the city we were living in- a city I never liked. Come June I had two job offers, one in San Fransisco and the other in Nairobi, Kenya. Despite my family’s opinion that I should play it safe and move to San Fran, I chose Nairobi, Kenya. I wanted somewhere exotic and somewhere where I was guaranteed that no ONE knew my story.

Each time I would interview for the prospective jobs I would call him up and say “Well I have another interview, looks like it is promising… are you sure we are not going to get back together?” I am sure, he would respond.

In September of 2006 I landed at Kenyatta International Airport and I felt completely free and at ease. I had no idea where I was going to live or what type of work I had signed myself up for or if I was going to find friends. What I knew is that I was choosing this adventure on my very own. It was my choice and I was going to make it happen.

Life is about choices. You can choose to make the best of things or you can choose to wallow in what could have been. I chose to make the best of things and explore an entirely new world.

I chose to retire that experience and transform it into wisdom.

In October of 2006 I met a man. He was working on the same project I was working on through the BBC and the Open University, UK. We were work colleagues and he informed me that he was going to be going off the project in a few weeks to go snowboarding in Colorado for six months.

I remember thinking, that’s too bad, he seems like a cool guy, someone I would enjoy working with.

In October of 2007 that same man came back into my life and as circumstance would have it, we have been together ever since.

On Saturday mornings when I lie in bed next to my man and my new baby son, I often think to myself, “You know what? If I had to do all of that heartache over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. NOT ONE THING”.


3 thoughts on “Retiring experience into wisdom

  1. Everything happens for a reason. This is an insensitive thing to say out loud to someone when she is in the midst of a trial, but it remains true nonetheless. Your words moved me to tears.


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