Growing Up, and Apart.

Four years ago at this time I was dancing to the best cover band in Cleveland, wearing a long white dress and forgetting to eat dinner (even though I swore I wouldn’t), surrounded by my closest friends and family.

Tonight I’m sitting in the Bend riverfront apartment my husband and I planned to live out the next chapter of our lives in, wearing a backwards hat and no pants, still slightly hungover from last night’s therapeutic consumption, alone. I did remember to eat dinner this time, at least.

There won’t be any anniversary celebrations, nostalgic trips down memory lane, or jokes about “that time we got dressed up and threw a really awesome, really expensive party!” like the past few years. Instead I spent the day tying up loose ends (updating insurance policies, splitting joint accounts, boxing up little mementos from the “Sarah and Brian” era) and signing a new lease for a new apartment, one that’s just mine.

It’s easy to see now that we were both too busy growing up to realize we were growing apart. Slowly, starting whoever-knows-how-long-ago, we stopped being lovers and started being people who just loved each other. That might sound stupid, but it’s the best way to explain it. It was so gradual neither of us saw it happening, and by the time we realized how far we’d drifted from each other we were (figuratively and literally) hundreds of miles away. It was somehow an equally anti-climactic and tragic ending.

Even though we mutually and amicably decided to end our marriage, it’s still been a roller coaster of emotions, even for someone who’s alarmingly vacant in the feelings department. Loss, anger, betrayal, inconvenience, relief… all have come and gone in various forms and in a wide range of severity. But the hardest part has been finding a balance between appreciating the 10 years of memories and wanting to erase everything and start over. I suspect I’ll battle with that for a long time, and that a lot of things will forever remain bittersweet.

The move to Oregon afforded a clean break and a fresh start, and for that I’m really grateful. Going through a breakup without bumping into mutual friends, having to avoid old haunts, or worrying what’s spreading through the gossip mill makes this process infinitely easier. Most people here don’t know this past chapter from my story, and they don’t have to if I don’t want them to.

It’s been six months since Brian left. I’m very clearly still working through some things, including learning how to live a life that’s solely mine.

I’m really excited to see what that turns out to be.

42 thoughts on “Growing Up, and Apart.

  1. Oh Sarah…. I am so sorry to read this post… I hope you will find happiness In Oregon and that your heart will heal and be open again…. Hugs from California xxx


  2. So sorry to read this Sarah. I know EXACTLY what you mean and this too shall pass. You’ve obviously learned a lot about yourself and that’s a gift you take from this time with Brian and can be thankful for. Onward and upward. Every day is a major achievement, and you did it all yourself. Hugs, girl.


  3. UGH. Divorce was the hardest thing I ever did, even though I knew it was what had to happen. We were together for 10 years too, and it’s incredibly painful to realize that someone who has been such a huge part of your life for so long is just suddenly not there. It gets better. I promise.


  4. We went through a period that was exactly as you described, so it’s not stupid. Not at all. Without these kids (and almost with them), I’m sure we wouldn’t be married right now. Good for you for having the guts to make the change, even when it’s so uncomfortable.


  5. Marriage is hard. What you described, its not stupid, its the truth. It happens. Marriage is hard! Be thankful that you are brave enough to make a new beginning. Some women aren’t and they will stay in a marriage for “safety” even though they aren’t happy. Be happy.


  6. Beautifully written, yet sad. So sorry you are going through this. Divorce is harder than death, in my own opinion. I know you don’t know me, but I’ve been there. We can chat anytime. Everything happens for a reason, whether we like it or not. Keep yourself surrounded by positive, amazing people, and you will come out of this stronger than you ever imagined.


  7. Hearts and love <3. Life is unexpected, exhilarating, and sometimes heartbreaking. But the cool thing is that I'm not worried about you – I know you will be ok because you are a strong-ass lady and have so many exciting things ahead of you :).
    Margot, ex training partner in crime, current supporter of all things Oual


  8. Oh my goodness, Sarah. I’m so sorry to hear this … can’t imagine how tough this is but at least it was amicable. Hope you’re doing ok and things are moving in the right direction.


  9. This was beautifully written. I am sorry for this hard time, but you are resilient and will eventually recover. It’s a shame you aren’t in Houston because I would welcome you with open arms into my single girl wolf pack!


  10. Virtual Hugs to you. My mom would say, “This too shall pass.” Try to remember the good memories, and not dwell on any unhappy ones. You are so fun, love your personality, passion, cuteness….and love for others, that your future will be so bright, you better wear shades, my friend. So glad our paths crossed. xox


  11. I’m sorry you’re going through this hard time, Sarah.

    The good news is that dating gets so much better as you get older. It’s an adventure! Ups and downs for sure, but for the most part fun. As you get older, you figure out what you want and put up with less B.S. Trust me on this. You’re hot, athletic and witty. You’ll have a grand time as a single woman.

    P.S. My best races came after bad breakups, so I’m sure you’re headed for PR City. :)


  12. Oh Sarah, I’m so sorry. No matter how amicable things end, situations like this are always so hard.

    I wish you the best in this new chapter.


  13. Im sorry to hear of your Break-up, you seem to me a very Strong and Independent Women. Remember
    What ever makes us weak, will make us Stronger . Take care :)


  14. i don’t know you Sarah. Ive read your blog on and off for years. Anyway. I went through a similar thing a little over a year ago, but my husband left unexpectedly and abruptly and my god. The emotions. The fucking emotions. Things i didn’t know existed. I literally fell apart. I was a huge fucking mess, and looking back, i wish i had the courage to up and move and start over….no matter how hard that has been for you. I left my home country to follow my man for grad school….and this shit is hard. don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. However, knowing there are other smart, fun, accomplished, fun women going through this shit, made this process slightly easier for me. It has been a lonely road for sure. but know you’re not alone…this shit gets easier. and by god, i long for the day i get to the other side and feel not only healed, but..indfferent to the whole thing. As they say, the only way through this…is through.

    chin up girl.

    I’m half tempted to move to oregon. ha.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Darn it. I’m sorry. I don’t even know what to say to someone who isn’t my real life friend— but, damn, I like you on the Internet and I’m bummed if you’re hurting…


  16. I am so, so sorry to read this but I really commend you on handling it with such grace and even writing about it publicly when it would have been so easy to mention nothing and carry on like nothing happened. That take a lot of guts.



  17. Sarah,
    I am so sorry. Thank you for having the strength to share, and I am reading a lot of wise, true comments in support that I hope will sink in and comfort you. Dating will be much better now that you are older and know what you want. You have so much to look forward to. We have never met, but you appear to be beautiful, smart, and funny with a lot to offer. I am so glad you are excited about learning to live a life that is solely yours.
    I was married on my 24th birthday to my boyfriend of 6 years. We separated exactly a year later, then divorced 6 months later and it devastated both of us.
    I used to think the most positive take-away from going through something that heartbreaking was that I could understand and help people in similar situations. This is true. But at 31 I am still unraveling that thread where it diverged from the life I thought was ahead of me, and the life I am now walking – no I mean running – towards. This 2nd thread is more glorious and fulfilling than I could ever have imagined.
    Practice forgiveness for both him & yourself and you will find that balance with bittersweet memories.
    I wish you the best!!


  18. “Slowly, starting whoever-knows-how-long-ago, we stopped being lovers and started being people who just loved each other.”

    The PERFECT way to put it, from a fellow divorced lady reader… :)


  19. Sarah I am truly sorry to find out just now that things have ended between you and Brian. I do hope being in Oregon truly does help you find new beginnings. Just remember if things get old in Oregon thag Ohio is always still here. Was an avid reader of oual when I found out that you had skin cancer while doing a cancer walk in our old Ohio hometown. But haven’t checked in for awhile and to find out this had happened to you, I’m truly sorry for you and hope you find your way back to happiness. Just remember the Trixareforkids days. :)


  20. Ugh, that’s tough. And I feel ya as I’ve recently gone through a major break up too. But like you said, you get to figure out a life that is truly yours, and it’s an exciting process.


  21. So sorry that you are going through this. My first marriage ended quickly for some of the reasons you mentioned, particularly that we grew up and apart from each other. But my time alone after was so important for me, and while I’m glad to not be in that place anymore, I am glad I went through it. Best wishes to you in your new adventures with yourself. :)


  22. I checked into today, for the first time in a while, because I have really missed your writing. I am sorry that you are going through this, and wish you nothing but the very best. Hugs!!


  23. Pingback: Episode 9: Sarah Conklin, 3:37 Marathoner and Picky Bars Employee - Ali On The RunAli On The Run


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