Because no one talks about it. Because our society isn’t used to celebrating the end of cycles. Because it’s not always pretty. Because today is my birthday and I’d like to give voice to the not so pretty and not so comfortable within us all.

It’s taken over 2 years for the dust to nearly settle - a term I never really understood until I woke up one morning and ended the relationship with my love of 15 years. Such cataclysmic shaking of all internal structures and the echoing vibrations that ripple out into the external post their destruction take considerable time to settle.

We had met in our second year of high school and literally grew up together. No break ups, no change of heart mid-relationship. After school came travel and then, somewhat unexpectedly, came our first daughter, followed by the blessing of two more. We bought a house and studied hard, driven by our growing little family and our desire to be epic parents.

It could have kept going like that. More work. More houses. Maybe more babies.

But almost inexplicably, something shifted so deep within me that doing anything other than following that hunch to leave felt worse than staying in something that I no longer

There is an evolvement of being that is not recognised in our society - an acceptance of change that is not celebrated in our society. Longevity in all its forms is preferred over the innate truth of the situation - where peoples preference of extension of life or situation clouds the reality of the moment so gravely that quality of experience is compromised. This results in a magnitude of tragedies - painfully extending life through unnecessary medical technologies and couples sitting in silence across the table at restaurants where the distance between the two screams louder than any attempt at a ‘Date Night.’ We are so afraid of being alone that it feels far safer to just remain. We are so afraid of acknowledging the end of something that we cling on, at times, desperately.

Ageing is avoided on the magazine covers but the youthful rigour of change is avoided in how we truly embrace life.

How do you explain a break up? How do you suppress all sense of fear, let go of the secure and and jump full frontal into the unknown? I literally googled this in the days following the realisation that it was time. And there was nothing. No manual from those who had done it before. No pill. No guide. No support. As I reached out to those around me, I quickly realised that most people had been so negatively affected by the ending of a marriage at some stage in their lives that their opinion on my own situation was overwhelmingly coloured by their own trauma. Family projected their own regrets onto our situation, whilst friends found themselves at impartial crossroads navigating their own versions of the ‘story.’

I think anyone who stands up and says ‘this isn’t for me anymore’ and leaves a situation with honesty is deeply brave.

For me though, it was motivated more by the realisation that I couldn’t face whispering to my daughters “you can do anything”, but living within a state of stunted expression within myself.

I want to live deeply. Honestly. I want to love widely rather than wisely and show up fully in all that I do. I want to practice self-sourcing so I can own what is mine, stay true to my path and give to my lovers from a place of abundance rather than need. I want to view all my relationships as illuminations of my own triggers that light up the areas where I can own more of my experience and meet my being more closely. I want to not be afraid of folding my cards if all it requires is trusting that something more aligned is just around the corner.

To love. Then to lose. Then to love. Whilst kids are watching. Whilst time is moving. Whilst people and places are shifting. All with an open heart, an acknowledgment of knowing very little and a refusal to let fear have any real say in dictating the path ahead. Here we go.

~ Nikki Rhodes

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