What I did over summer vacation…

This summer, I got a divorce.

Which, hey, is not something I thought would be included in any how-I-spent-my-summer-vacation essay. Of course, the divorce started many years ago, before I even fathomed it happening. It started before my youngest was even born, a toxin of bad choices, cowardice and inconsiderations that ebbed and flowed into the relationship until divorce was the only option. A complete absolute. A welcome relief.

Last summer was much better than that spring, or that winter, or that fall. This summer, I saw Yosemite for the first time. I vacationed with friends and family. I let myself Not Write. I climbed mountains with my kids. I had exhilarating sparks ignite in my career. I stood up for myself and refused to be mistreated. We swam swam swam. My eight-year-old told me it was the best summer of her life, and as sad as it was to drive my kids to a far away park and share the news they already knew was coming, this summer is also something I’ll look at with fondness.
I got myself through, I got them through, and at the end of summer was something wonderful: FALL.

This fall, I watched oodles of Gilmore Girls. I got back to work. I said yes to a project that was exactly the kind of thing I’ve wanted to work on for years. I traveled. I connected with old friends. I dated boys who liked things about me I had forgotten were there. I worked out. I quit working out. I leaned on my family. I worked with my girls on their jumbled emotions. Most importantly, I laughed again. I didn’t realize I’d lost my laugh, but there it was, all high-pitched and joyous. Fall was glorious. The only thing better would be: WINTER.

This winter, I did every flipping holiday thing with my kids I could think of. I started new traditions and stayed true to the old. I had, quite surprisingly, the best Christmas I’d had in years. I met my editor(s!) in NYC. I went to therapy. I had some parenting wake up calls. I had some parenting victories. Mostly, I parented.
Within my Vegas bubble, I had to listen to a steady stream of gossip and ex-updates and did-you-knows, but it was fine because I started to get to that liberating place of I. Do. Not. Care. The not caring happened largely because I opened my heart to the possibility of love again. Which is remarkable and amazing and as I feel myself slipping and sliding, I keep thinking, “Wow. I’ve written how many stories, and yet I had no idea that this whole like/love/live thing could be this raw/right/real.”

Now it’s a new year, with more mysterious seasons ahead. Mylanta, I’m excited. There were some horrible detours, but now I feel in control and free and so so alive. 2015 is the first year in five that I haven’t had a book release, so instead I want to spend some more time blogging again, starting with a post I put up on Facebook to announce the big D.

Yep. I have a flair for drama. It was cathartic as all get up to articulate these feelings precisely as I was feeling them. Divorce is still a part of my day to day life. I have to interact with a person I would rather never communicate with again. It’s the nature of co-parenting, no matter what custody arrangements were made.

On the other hand, so many of these emotions and struggles seem very far away, a lifetime ago.

A chapter I’m glad to end in a book I never even wanted to write.

So anyway. Here. Read. If you are in the same boat, I hope this helps. If you are not in the same boat, more power to you, nurture the crap out of those you love. Nurture regardless. Forgive. Grow. Learn. Love.

When I first started writing ten years ago, I never thought I’d write something like this. “I never thought” is something I’ve said a lot lately—too often—but that’s where I am, and as every inspirational quote I’ve hung on my wall or on my heart would say…
It’s okay.

It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to cry in the Taco Bell drive-through. It’s okay to be honest, even if everything and everyone in the world feels false. It’s okay to expose your scars. It’s okay to admit when you’ve been judgmental, or naive, or just plain wrong. It’s okay to laugh at the most agonizing of absurdities. It’s okay to rage. It’s okay to try and try and still try.
It’s okay to blossom in the poorest of soil.

Did I mention that it’s okay?

There’s a fine line between honesty and professionalism, and I probably cross it more times than I should. I text my editor pictures of churros at Costco, because she’s my friend, and those churros are things that should be documented. The first conversation I had with my publicist was about a major life crisis and possibly feeding me green M & M’s at my signing. In relationships of any kind, I value authenticity and integrity. Yes, I write fiction for a living, but I write to reveal emotional truth. All truth. I hunger for truth.

So I know this is a bold forum, but my options are limited. I’m not Gwyneth Paltrow and I don’t have access to her website, Goop.

That’s right. It’s a conscious uncoupling. Or as us non-Goopy folk call it, a straight-up divorce. Imagine typing that. Imagine SAYING that. Out loud. Even in an attorney’s office, discussing cold words like assets and fault, I would whisper “the D word”. I thought the D word was for other people—people who didn’t try hard enough or love big enough or just… weren’t enough. Trust me. It takes oodles of therapy to fall from and gloriously reclaim enough. We are all galaxies beyond ENOUGH.

(Side note: I’m embroidering that enough line on the new body pillow a friend sent me. But first, I’m going to learn how to embroider. That seems like something a modern, divorced gal should know how to do, right? Maybe after I take up macramé…)

When I committed to this marriage, I signed up for forever. I was 19 when I made that choice, and if I could go back, 19% of the time I would still say yes to that proposal. No, 100%–I got three remarkable children out of the deal. When this marriage began, my ex-husband was in love with me, and I was in love with him. We went to prom together. Lived through 11 years of advanced schooling, 8 moves, 3 babies. We formed joint friendships and bank accounts, became a part of each other’s families, started a business. And we were a “we”.

But toxic choices were made and destructive things happened that tore that “we” apart—tore me apart. “We” chose blatantly different paths, different lifestyles. In the end, my decision was easy.

I resolved to stay true to who I am.

As a result, my ex lost my family—my supportive, loyal family. I lost a relation to caring and sweet in-laws. I’ve grieved for him, for me. I’ve grieved for everyone involved. The D word is awful, sad, and something no one should ever have to utter, especially to their children. Especially.

That said, Divorce (capitalized!) is my new favorite word. We are here on earth to be tried, but we are also here to be blessed. And I can’t even begin to count the tender mercies and clear-cut miracles that I’ve witnessed. I’ve never been more assured of God’s existence than in the dark, deep crevices of divorce. He is there—always—in every trial, prayer, tear, breath or signature. I’ve had friends show up at my house just to listen, clean, or force-feed me chicken wings. My family and church have helped me discover strength that I never imagined possible. My children have been children… innocent, imaginative and the reason I get out of bed every morning. The pieces of me are syncing right back together. A few more chicken wings and I’ll be whole. Better than whole.

Fierce. Grateful. Fortified.
I am ready to soar.

What I’ve learned: People are kind. We take risks for others. We want each other to succeed, and when that doesn’t happen, we cushion the falls. The people in my life—and in my ex’s life—will never, ever know how much their efforts have radiated the bleakest of days. As David Bednar said, “If you are in a totally pitch dark room and there is the smallest element of light, then that light chases the darkness. The darkness can not overrule the light.” So you. Yes, you. Thank you for your light. You took a blowtorch to that darkness. Put that blowtorch down and pat yourself on the back. Now let’s hug it out.

Next up? The future. I want my ex to find a happy, new normal. I always have and always will wish him health, peace and truth. The bad doesn’t completely erase the good. Together we have these tender girls. I want him to keep living, keep working, keep parenting, keep loving, keep praying, keep hoping, keep trying. He is a child of God, and God wants us all to know joy. True joy.

As for my new normal, I’m relieved and excited that I have more stories to write, relationships to build, children to love, people to serve and experiences to gain (and weight. Dude, I know. Divorce diet is no joke). I still want to notice the sunsets and forgive the mistakes. Instead of being a Mrs, I am now the mysterious Ms. Lindsey Taylor Leavitt. Y’all know I shall rock that Ms. title with irreverence and glee. If my new relationship status is the elephant in the room for any of you, then I’m hanging tinsel on that elephant and starting a Congo line. Friends, this is life, and life dances on.

So to end this super long, rambling post which was probably not what you thought you’d find on your facebook feed this fine Tuesday (sorry, I’ll post a pic of dancing cats on Wednesday. Or maybe a dancing giraffe? Who doesn’t love a twerking giraffe?), I just want to say thank you for your support, respect, and not probing that ever elusive “why?” Trust me, I’ve asked this plenty. It’s a thorny rabbit hole and it doesn’t do anyone much good—especially my kids. The Leavitt girls are warriors, but I’d like us to step out of this arena with minimal bruising on our futures and roaring applause in our souls.

~Divorcingly yours,
Ms. Leavitt

PS—And yes, I love the irony that I wrote GOING VINTAGE and I’m using a social network to announce this. Oh… life.

10 Responses to “What I did over summer vacation…”

  1. LinWash

    Wow. What an honest and awesome post. It's your time to soar. Glad your family and church were there for you during this time.

  2. myra clinton

    i never beleive Dr Eziza can get Hayes back to me after several ways to get him back all failed until this memory day that i saw how Dr Eziza helped a certain lady call Mabel, i contacted him and he also put a smile on my face. In case you are having a tough time in your home with your lover contact him on ezizaoguntemple@gmail.com or call +2348058176289

  3. Jessie Oliveros

    Lindsey, My best friend just went through a divorce. I hope I've been one of those people offering her light. I'm sorry for your pain, but I'm glad that you and your daughters are doing well. Thanks for the honesty in this post. It was good for me to read.

  4. Louis Gloria

    hello everyone this really worked and i am proud to testify of it too. i saw a post on how a lady got her man back and i decided to try Chief Priest Amros that helped her because my relationship was crashing. although i never believed in spiritual work i reluctantly tried him because i was desperate but to my greatest surprise Chief Priest Amros helped me and my relationship is now perfect just as he promised my man now treats me like a queen even when he had told me before he doesn't love me anymore. well, i can not say much but if you are passing through difficulties in your relationship try him here is his email holytempleofsolution@hotmail.com or call him via mobile number +2347060458342 of a truth he really helps

  5. Lindsey

    Dear Louis,
    I am so happy for you. I'm even happier that you chose to write such sage advice on THIS post, of all posts. Seriously, I don't think you will ever know the degree of My Happy. It's somewhere between petting a pony and eating ice cream. Where was Chief Priest Amirs when I needed him? Had you only intervened years ago, when my relationship was crashing. Then I could have achieved perfection which, contrary to popular relationship expert opinion, is a totally obtainable goal. Oh to be treated like a queen. Do you think, Louis, Chief Priest Amros could have made me a Mary, Queen of Scots? Marie Antoinette? Anne Boleyn? What worth I could have found in a man (who, you'll remember, once told me he doesn't love me anymore) suddenly start laying on the royal treatment. Stark changes in behavior from untrustworthy companions is always healthy. Having a Chief Priest schlep me back together with such a scrub would, truly, be a dream come true. Oh Louis. The regret. The envy.
    Alas, sweet Louis. I was so busy saving my children from the perils of divorce I did not take the time to read spammers comments, thus unveiling this pearl of wisdom. But it's not too late for you, fair readers! Send a solicitation to the hotmail message above* and go forth, loving and living and Not Crashing.
    Thank you, Louis Gloria. For all that you surely are not, from all that I surely am.
    *kids, do not email this hotmail. It's hotmail, for Pete's sake

  6. James Bugger

    I want to use this medium to say a very big thanks to
    dr ebosele for restoring my relationship back. I lost
    my husband to another lady who happens to be his superior
    at the office. my husband was going out with her after two
    years of our marriage, when found out that my husband was
    having an affair with another woman, i confronted him
    and all he did was to send me packing. When i discussed
    the issue with my friend jenny, she told me not worry
    that maybe my husband was under a spell and she suggested
    that we consult a spell caster named dr ebosele. my friend
    told me she came in contact with his email on the
    web when she was searching for answers to a similar problem.
    we contacted him for help and behold he gave me the answers
    to my problems. I was surprise the day my husband and his friends
    came to my house asking me to come back to the house,at first
    i taught i was dreaming but behold it was real and now we are
    happy together again. THANK YOU DR EBOSELE i will forever be grateful.

    OR CALL HIS MOBILE NUMBER +2348157534383

  7. dr abel justus

    This is my testimony about the good work of a man who helped me..My name is NINA GEORGE. and I base in London.My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end,and was falling apart. Thanks to a spell caster called papa Justus who i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I was searching for a good spell caster that can solve my problems. I came across series of testimonies about this particular spell caster. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb, some testified that he can cast a spell to stop divorce and so on. There was one particular testimony I saw, it was about a woman called grace,she testified about how papa Justus brought back her Ex lover in less than 72 hours and at the end of her testimony she drop papa Justus e-mail address. After reading all these,I decided to give papa a try.

    I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 3 days, my husband came back to me. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before. papa Justus is really a talented and gifted man and i will not to stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man…If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster to solve that problem for you. Try the great papa Justus today, he might be the answer to your problem. Here's his contact: drabeljustus@gmail.com
    Thank you great Justus. Contact him for the following:

    (1)If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3)You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4)You want women/men to run after you.
    (5)If you want a child.
    (6)[You want to be rich.
    (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (8)If you need financial assistance.
    (9)Herbal care
    10)Help bringing people out of prison
    (11)Marriage Spells
    (12)Miracle Spells
    (13)Beauty Spells
    (15)Attraction Spells
    (16)Evil Eye Spells
    (17)Kissing Spell
    (18)Remove Sickness Spells
    (21) Charm to get who to love you.
    (22)Business spell.
    (23) Find your long lost family.
    Contact him today on:
    You can also CONTACT HIM ON whats-app on the same phone number.

  8. Lindsey

    I.. I.. I can't. I just can't. So your husband did the classic sleep-with-a-professional-superior (which will either equal gain in employment or financial status. Soooo cliche. Let me guess, she's blonde and younger too, right?) and Dr sdfkljdsfkdsjfsd claimed it was a spell??? Then that spell was canceled and now you're all, like, super. Let's get it back on with a MAN WHO LEFT ME FOR HIS DEMON BOSS? Who wants those spoiled goods? If you "taught i was dreaming" then honey, YOU ARE.
    Cost of advice: Free Fifty
    Call me at 23897235983598735798453897345987

  9. Lindsey

    You know, I was super on board with healing all these spells, especially the ones that are serious because THEY ARE IN CAPS. But then I get to number 9. Herbal care? What a bunch of hogwash.

  10. Koolwater

    Dr Abel Justus is a scam. He far from helped me. He made my situation worse. He convinced me to take money from my husband without him knowing and said he would be angry at first and then it would be fine. He made threats to me and even blamed me. I did everything he asked me to do and he failed me with broken promises over and over again. I plead with anyone who reads these comments to not fall for this bologna cause that's what it is. The positive reviews are from people put under a spell themselves. You want to be taken advantage of and lied to repeatedly then yes please do call or contact dr Justus cause that is exactly what you will be given. Oh and don't forget the blame and threats. Had to turn it over to the authorities

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.