Two years ago, I was supposed to be spending Christmas on a beach in Mexico. With him.
Instead, I sat on my couch feeling stunned and heartbroken, trying to figure out what happened to my happily ever after.
Today, I’m celebrating Christmas in Mexico. On the beach. Alone. By myself. As a strong, confident, single woman. And with a much more fuller and happier heart.
Me: Are you sure you want to book this trip?
Him: Yeah, sure.
Me: But they won’t refund the deposit if we have to cancel last-minute.
Him: It’s fine.
Me: Hi, I’d like to reserve a spot for two at Mar de Jade. The credit card number is…
The whole time I was giving out that number, I knew we wouldn’t be going. Something didn’t feel right. And sure enough, he ended the relationship the very next day. Again. For the last time.
Him: Let’s sit on the couch.
Him: Fiana, I don’t love you anymore. I want a divorce.
Me: Uh…what? Are you sure?
Me: But you’ve said this before…the exact same thing…on this exact same couch…three years ago…really?
He had given me the task of booking a holiday vacation for us. We typically went somewhere for Christmas since our families were so spread out. Too hard to choose one spot. I have no idea how I found this wellness retreat called Mar de Jade in Chacala, Mexico. Every time I mentioned the place to someone, I’d get a blank stare. Chaca who? Mar de what? Because of that, I knew this was the perfect spot to resuscitate my marriage (which I honestly didn’t know needed resuscitating at the time). We’d be away from everything, doing yoga, relaxing, eating organic meals. I should have known it was the end…he hates yoga.
I sent a note to Mar de Jade, asking for the deposit back, citing a family emergency. In the kindest way possible they gently reminded me it was a non-refundable deposit but that they’d be happy to hold onto it for another year.
Ugh. How could I ever go while knowing this trip was meant for me and him? And who would go with me to this random ass town in Mexico?
That following year, 2015, I started YES. I was YESing all over the GD place. I was at shows, festivals, at dinners, on planes, meeting new people. I felt run down and sick almost every weekend. I was essentially avoiding it all, avoiding my reality. I honestly didn’t know this at the time because I was kinda sorta having the time of my life.
Marlene: How are you able to push through this divorce when you’re gone all the time?
Me: It’s happening. It is. I promise.
Yet, my apartment looked the same as it did when we were together. His underwear was still in the top right drawer of my/our/his dresser. All his nightstand junk? Still there…in his nightstand…which quietly sat to the left of the bed. His side of the bed. And we were still working on the divorce nearly a year after that godawful talk on the couch.
I e-mailed Mar de Jade.
Me: I just can’t seem to find the time to go this year. Plus, I had planned the trip with my husband who is now my future ex-husband. I can’t bring myself to go. Is there any way to get the deposit back?
Mar de Jade: I’m sorry, Fiana. Maybe bring a friend? We’ll extend the deposit another year.
When we jumped into 2016, I decided YES would still live on but I’d get more shit done. I’d get rid of his things; I’d redo my apartment so it was mine; I’d still travel and enjoy life but I’d put my health first; I’d slow down; and I’d make sure this never-ending divorce was finalized. I had to move on.
With all those things on the agenda, I had one hell of a tough year. I endured more challenging moments than I can count. I was weighed down to the ground and hard. At one point, I think I hit rock bottom and thought I’d never be able to get back up. The pain in my heart and chest was heavy and I just couldn’t understand why so many difficult situations were being thrown at me all at once.
So I asked for help. I leaned in. I faced it all head on. And I focused on getting back up. The universe forced me to learn what it really meant to let go. And eventually I did.
Michelle: So are you divorced now since you both signed the agreement?
Me: Sort of. The judge still needs to sign the decree for it to be official.
Michelle: What’s the hold up?
Me: I don’t fucking know. New York, maybe? I bet it will be official at the start of 2017.
Michelle: Ugh. How do you feel?
Me: Ready for this to be over.
As the year was nearing its end, I was becoming incredibly exhausted. My travel had ramped up and it seemed like I had plans every single night. I hadn’t given myself time to process what I had been through. It was a lot. I mean, a lot. So I decided that I needed some Fi time. And I would give this gift to myself for Christmas.
Laura: What are you doing for Christmas?
Me: Staying in New York.
Laura: By yourself??
Me: Yeah. Why not?
Laura: Ok…but just make sure you’ll be ok with that.
The thing is, I knew I’d be okay. I haven’t been home much this year and I was looking forward to some peace and quiet with my new furniture and those cats that I never see. I also had some home improvement projects I wanted to tackle and books that I’ve been anxious to dig into. It would be the perfect Christmas.
I know what you’re thinking: But…you’re in Mexico?
Yes, yes, I’m in Mexico.
Ok. So here’s what happened. Mar de Jade had already extended the deposit through 2015 and now–since it was December–all of 2016. I considered asking them to extend for a third year and then realized that 1) I didn’t want to send yet another e-mail asking for an extension because I had already sent 47 e-mails by this point and 2) Right now would actually be the perfect time to go. I didn’t have any plans for the holidays, I was more than ready to visit Chacala without him, I truly wanted alone time and that deposit was still in play. Hmmm…
I sent them a note. There was no way they would have space over the holidays. They immediately responded. There was one spot left. Without knowing at the time, I booked it for the same exact dates I had booked it with him two years ago. And that deposit I had already paid would cover my entire stay. I bought my flight with miles that I racked up this past year and BAM! I was leaving for Mexico in a week. This all happened within about four hours, by the way.
A day later, I got a note from him telling me the judge signed the divorce decree. It was official. I was divorced.
So here I am. Solo dolo in Mexico. Kicking back at Mar de Jade, a place of simplicity, peace and pure beauty. The second my taxi pulled up onto the property I knew this was exactly where I needed to be. There’s something about it. I think there’s a bit of magic here. I feel completely embraced by the sweet breeze, the gentle sun, the soothing ocean waves and the small community that lives here. I feel happy. At ease. I don’t know…I think the universe had my back on this one.
Today, Christmas Day, I’m starting it with a little meditation, some yoga, and a 60-minute massage, of course. Then I’ll order myself a piña colada, set my towel up on the beach, and open that book I’ve been meaning to open all year. And breathe.
Feliz Navidad, mis amores. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your love, support, encouragement and friendship this past year and beyond. I’m doing it. I’m really doing it. And I couldn’t feel any more loved and grateful than I do right now…this very instant…while hanging out with myself…on the beach.
Freedom from the past is available to you when you show up for your reality in the present. So show the F up and move along now.