At the time when I started Ring Finger Tan Line, I was sad. Consistently, profoundly sad. Almost incurably so.
Just weeks before my first post, I made the choice to end my marriage. It took me two months to decide, but once my mind was made up, I could not pretend for a second longer - I had to leave. Not tomorrow. Not even tonight. Right now.
I remember coming home from the counseling center that day. I called my husband on the way and asked him to come over from his separate apartment. He said he was nervous. I was, too.
I opened the door to my balcony while I waited for him. The outside air was beautiful, and the way it surrounded me gave me a sense of hope I hadn’t felt yet. As if the wind was gently nudging me to say the words that were fighting to get out.
When he arrived, I was strangely at peace. Serene in the calm before the storm. The soft melodies of Iron & Wine filled the room as he walked in. He asked who it was. We never did have the same taste in music.
There was a strength in my presence that was new. Still vulnerable and a little uncertain, but more than either of us had expected. We gazed at each other without a word, and it was in that moment I knew that he knew why I had asked him to come.
Whisking me up from the couch, he wrapped me in his arms. His touch was tender, more so than ever before. He held my hand in his, and buried his head in my shoulder. And without a single sound, we began to dance. Slowly, deliberately. Savoring each other like it was the last time we’d ever touch. Because somewhere down inside, we both knew that it was.
He held me lovingly, without hope or agenda. He knew there was nothing more he could do to make me stay. But somehow, for both of us, it was enough to just be. To feel the depth of love we still had for each other. To recognize its beauty. And as Iron & Wine sang to us softly, I knew that he appreciated me more than ever before. Because he knew exactly what he was losing.
When the song was over, we sat on the floor. I wept openly, in a way I had never experienced before. The kind of tears that result from both of your pain, because at the end of the day, I loved him more than one should love. I could feel what he felt, and my heart broke for his as I told him what he already knew.
That he wasn’t willing to work hard enough to stop the cheating.
That I couldn’t take the risk.
That I could never bring a child into the world with him knowing the chances that this might happen again.
That it was over. For good.
A few weeks later, I wrote down how I felt on the internet. It was before most people even knew what had happened. To me, it was a private struggle, but the anonymity of a blog allowed me to express exactly how I felt in a way that I wasn’t ready to say to anyone aloud. It gave me the strength to put myself out there. To be exposed. Even if nobody knew who I was.
And then, something amazing happened. I started getting comments, emails, messages. Women who were young, who were broken. Strong, beautiful women who came out on the other side. Men, too. People who could relate to what I wrote, who had been through the same. Some, much worse. People who loved me, but had no clue who I was. People whose own struggles were helped by reading my words, and simply knowing that someone else felt the things they felt. That somewhere in the universe, someone understood them. That’s when I knew this was something special.
I’ve spent most of my time as a blogger hiding behind other people’s photos, because I was scared. Scared that people would find me and take away my honesty. Learn things about me that I didn’t want them to know. But gradually, the guise is dropping. The people I was scared of finding my blog have already found it.
Hi, Dad. Hi, guy I hooked up with and never called back. Hi pseudo-boss who thinks I don’t know he reads my blog. Surprise – I know.
And somehow, I don’t care anymore, because this is who I am. I have come a long way in the past year, and far too far to keep hiding myself.
So here I am. Modeling for my own blog, just as the rest of the blog world does. For once, unashamed.
And I daresay – I might even look a little happy.
[florals in flowers]
[a more subtle take on pink + purple]
[perfect for chilly weather]
[from happy hour to night out]
[booties, booties, booties]