I got divorced by myself on a hot February day in downtown Miami. My attorney was with me, but my husband didn’t show up. I couldn’t really blame him, though; I didn’t want to be there, either. Really, it was a sad state of affairs, as I sat in a bone-chillingly, over-air-conditioned courtroom, where broken promises and unfulfilled dreams permeated the air. It was depressing to say the least.
My soon-to-be ex-husband was in New York City working, while I waited for a judge to dissolve the vows we had both taken so lovingly together. I replayed them in my mind while I was killing time…”to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death do us part.”
My eyes welled with tears at the memory of the exchange. I didn’t want to torture myself, but I couldn’t help but reflect on the love I had felt on that day and the love I still had for my husband. It all seemed crazy, really. I mean, if I still loved the guy, why was I divorcing him? What’s more, why was he letting me? We had an amazing relationship, our love story was the stuff dreams were made of and we were the couple that everyone always said would actually “make it.” We didn’t.
After the judge granted our divorce, I thanked my attorney and hurried to my car, where I locked myself inside and cried…for hours. After pulling myself together, I did something totally out of character; I called American Airlines and booked a ten day trip to Mexico. Alone. I didn’t tell anyone (besides asking my boss for time off.) I didn’t think anyone would notice.
I was always on the road for work anyway; traveling was actually 75 percent of my job. Until that moment, though, I had never really thought about venturing out on my own (for lack of a better description) to go and find myself. Perhaps it was because I didn’t really know I needed to be found. I arrived in the Mayan Riviera in one piece, but a few days later, ensconced in the lush greenery of Tulum by the breathtaking, crystal blue-green sea , I unequivocally fell apart.