I’ve been seeing a lot of sad news in my social media feed lately. Of course there are the hurricanes and the state of our nation, and then there are the little stories about people being horrible to their children or pets, and while those are very upsetting they aren’t what’s been keeping me up at night.
There’s been a trend among those I have known for a long time, people from the first three of my four perceived stages (childhood, college years, and Colorado time) to be divorcing and moving on to a new life. I’ve honestly found it shocking lately to see so many happening all at once. There’s this great comedy bit that Louis CK does about how he never says he’s sorry when someone tells him they’re getting a divorce. Instead he tells them congratulations because he imagines it’s for the best.
The idea of saying congratulations to someone who is getting or just completed a divorce didn’t used to sit well with me. It makes me sad to know that happily ever after wasn’t actually that. The thing is, it’s because I’m not thinking about the parties involved but I am internalizing their outcome. I guess it’s partly my anxiety that triggers it all, especially with the concerns I always have because of the way I look now as a result of the cancer, but other people’s unhappily ever after always scares me. And it might not even be an unhappily after! There are lots of stories of people who just weren’t in the right marriage at the right time and they go on to find the love of their life later. This could easily be a bump in their road and, like Louis says, it might be what finally makes them ok.
So, instead of feeling sad about what’s happening to others because I’m afraid it could happen to me, I’m going to ask friends to share with me how they feel. If they’re happy, I will congratulate. If they’re sad, I will console. Either way, it’s time to stop being afraid and stay being a little more selfless and offer my heart to my friends. I’m part of their forever after, and I owe it to them.