“One morning I was on my way to a networking meeting with a woman I really didn’t know well. I wasn’t feeling quite myself. I’m normally excited and high energy when on my way to an in-person networking event. That morning I was low energy and feeling blah.
Then out of the blue, I looked at her and said “I don’t think I want to be married anymore” … and promptly burst into tears.
You see, I had a decent marriage. My husband was good to me, made me laugh, sex was good and he didn’t hold me back from too much in my life. Never really did, despite the arguments about my business. He was somewhat supportive and accommodating and yet I wasn’t satisfied.
And the guilt. Oh my God, the guilt. From my perspective, here I was in a good (not great, but good) place with a decent man and I wanted to blow it all up. And worse … I was going to blow up his cushy, comfortable life as well.
We weren’t without our challenges … after all, what marriage is? There had been the betrayal that hurt like hell but we got past that more or less. Our sex life had been challenging for a while, but we overcame that. We survived living with my parents and my brother. Our finances were horrible but we were coping … sort of.
We had a nice home (nothing fancy but it was good for the two of us) on a good sized lot in a beautiful area in South Ajax, we had a car that was paid for, Barry had a steady job and I was building a business.
So why was I so unsatisfied?
I had exposed myself to new and exciting things over the previous four years. New people, books and videos. It’s all contributed to opening my mind, my heart and the possibilities for myself. “Good” was no longer good enough for me. I wanted great. I wanted amazing. I wanted a technicolor life.
You see, for most of my life, I knew I was meant to do something important; something significant for people. But because I had been discouraged and “put down” and never encouraged to soar, I felt braggy to think that I could do something truly meaningful. I mean really … who was I to think that I had anything important to contribute to the world? Then I remembered the quotes that Andrew had given to me early in our work together.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Steven Jobs
I kept these quotes pinned on my workstation wall when I was still in the corporate world, and they came home with me when I finally “retired” to work my business full time. Whenever I start to question “who am I to do something significant and important?” I remind myself of these two quotes.
I tried. I really did try. Barry and I would have these talks about what was missing from our relationship. He would make changes and do what he could but he was doing it for me … not for himself so those changes never stuck. It got to the point where I felt like a nagging record on repeat.
For almost a year I struggled with this persistent feeling that I really wanted out of my marriage. Oddly, even though I didn’t want a commitment from Chris, having him in my life helped give me the strength to seriously consider leaving Barry. We used to joke that we were the only ones on either side of our families who hadn’t been divorced. I waffled a lot. I hadn’t been on my own in almost three decades. I wasn’t looking to get into another relationship; I wanted my freedom to do what I wanted and needed to do.”
An excerpt from my upcoming memoir “From Invisible to Technicolor” to be released in 2023.