As 2016 comes to a close I am apt to reflect on how much this one year has changed my life. It created a pivot. I must now choose a new path, and the path pre-2016 will never exist again.
Before this year my life was pretty much the same as it had always been. Safe and steady. Always following the most reasonable path. Yes there was an undercurrent in my marriage that was unhealthy which I didn’t understand, but in general I had a life plan with no drama.
Then 2016 hit with lots of drama, intense emotions, and several life changing moments. I had an affair; I had a second child; I fell in love with another woman; this other woman experimented with a woman; that woman’s jealous lover exploded on the scene; I had a night with my affair partner and her husband that seemed promising and ended in disaster; she moved away from me and nearly out of my life; followed by intense heart break over my affair partner and also over my wife.
The ups and downs have been more intense this year than in any previous year. The highs were unimaginable. Dreams and desires I’ve had for decades finally achieved. The lows have been lower than I’ve ever experienced. The loss of a soul mate. Watching my life devolve, and knowing that I’m lying to my wonderful wife. I have worked so hard to create a calm, boring, safe life, and 2016 blew up that life. It is almost like I broke out of my shell and finally started living.
There has been much to learn as well. Not everything is as it appears in life. There are emotions I’d never had to face. People are flawed in ways I hadn’t imagined. In any group of people there is probably more drama going on behind the scenes than you know, and I have so much more empathy than I used to. When you think of yourself as the last person to ever have an affair, and then you find yourself in one, it really changes your perspective on what people are capable of.
One thing I know for sure is that right or wrong I cannot unknow things that I learned this year. They are now part of who I am. Part of the package of experiences in my life. Looking toward 2017 I will have to use this new experience and combine it with wisdom to chart a new course. That wisdom may have to come from others as both wife and I will be seeking counseling to help us through this.