You weren’t supposed to leave him. You weren’t supposed to take away the perfect family you were raising with your young babes.
You were supposed to stay, you were supposed to be ok with “good enough” and you were supposed to grin-and-bare-it, for the kids.
You were supposed to accept that the unadulterated joy you saw in others wasn’t meant for you.
That having a life outside of your kids, wasn’t a necessary part of living.
That who you were didn’t matter anymore, now you were mom — and that was the only identity needed.
You were supposed to push down the creeping feeling that things weren’t quite right. You were supposed to fight off the thoughts about a more fulfilling life.
You weren’t supposed to wonder what a different kind of partner might be like.
He was supposed to do what he signed up to do, and you were supposed to do the same, and neither of you were supposed to change your minds. Ever.
So when you met her, you weren’t supposed to meet her eyes. You weren’t supposed to watch her a little too long. You weren’t supposed to wonder what life might be like with more of her in it.
You weren’t supposed to ever consider walking away from him, from your traditional life, for her and the nontraditional path.
You weren’t supposed to want that; nobody is supposed to want that.
You were supposed to see what is good and right and responsible and necessary. You were supposed to shut yourself away until your kids were just old enough to let you come out.
You weren’t supposed to come out before anyone told you to. You weren’t supposed to make your own choices. You weren’t supposed to choose her.
You were supposed to stay stagnant, complacent, fine. For the kids. For him. For society. For expectations.
You weren’t supposed to change the rules and start a new game altogether. That was never supposed to be an option. That was never supposed to be your next chapter.
And her? She wasn’t supposed to let you either. She wasn’t supposed to jump when you jumped. She wasn’t supposed to support your change in plans, she wasn’t supposed to play the game with you.
She was supposed to walk away. She was supposed to convince you to fight for the life you’d built, to work harder at it, to change your mind. For the kids. Yes, for the kids.
She was supposed to be the reasonable one, the one that saw the importance of keeping the family together. The one who told you that it wasn’t fair to him, so you couldn’t leave.
She wasn’t supposed to want this too. She wasn’t supposed to see a glimpse of a life that felt like fire, and walk right towards it. She wasn’t supposed see the beauty in the mess. She wasn’t supposed to see you.
She wasn’t supposed to be passionately patient, or strongly supportive. She wasn’t supposed to wait with you, for you, beside you. She was supposed to get fed up, push too hard, ask too much, and break before your life was too broken.
She wasn’t supposed to be the one you’d been waiting for your whole life.
But she was.
And when you chose her, and she chose you right back, you stopped playing by someone else’s rules.
You stopped listening to the shoulds and the have-tos, the mustn’ts and the cants.
You knew that the choice to live a whole life, was the only choice you could make, for the kids. Yes, for the kids.
That showing up as your true self, was the only way to raise your children right. Nothing less, nothing more.
That he would be ok, because he deserved what you found in her, in someone new. He deserved a chance to play a new, better game too.
And the kids would be free of the burden of an “okay” life, they would learn to be so much more than “fine.” Because they were surrounded by so much more than “fine.”
They watched you undo a life that was perfect on the outside, for a life that was perfect on the inside.
And they watched you break down, come back, and build something stronger. Everyday.
And you taught them that messy isn’t bad, different isn’t wrong, and we are strong.
So when everyone questions the rules of the game you’re playing now, it’s not because they don’t want to play. It’s because they are afraid that they are playing by the old rules, that they are living the “just okay” life.
You didn’t mean to scare them with your choice, but you have. And she scares them even more. They’ve never seen love show up like this, they’ve never stood so close to anything so big, bold, and beautiful.
They’ve never walked through the fire, only to come out burned, and still rise above the ashes. They aren’t sure they can believe it’s possible, they don’t know if you’re real. There must be something wrong with you, there must be something wrong with her.
You can’t make the impossible choice and be stronger for it. You can’t.
Because if you can, so can they.
They can change their minds. He can change his mind. She can change her mind.
Just okay might not be good enough.
And you and your happiness? You remind them that risks are worth taking, that love is worth fighting for, that life is worth living — completely.
And they don’t want your constant reminder. They don’t want to inspect their own lives so closely. They just want to stay in the bubble of “good enough.”
So let them. Let them stay.
You are out of the bubble, and you are with her. And together, you are loving out loud in a way so many others never get to experience.
And the kids? The kids are alright. The kids are so much better than alright.
Forget what they say. You were always supposed to do exactly what you’re doing. Never let their fear rule you, show them their rules never applied to you anyway.
And then just keep showing up with your whole self. Just as you were meant to.