Falling Down

In 2008, I ended my blog’s anonymity and announced my divorce. This post comprises those concurrent leaps of faith that ended up pushing me where I needed to go.

The first day of kindergarten, September 2007.

This post is a long time coming. I’ve written it in my head, phrase by phrase, for months, trying to anticipate what this week would feel like when it finally arrived. But now that the day is here, I’m as confounded as ever. So let’s start at the beginning.

Arriving today is a new anthology of essays about fatherhood edited by Heather Armstrong, who graciously asked me to contribute to it. Heather found me a few years back, and when she links to me my SiteMeter shoots out of my laptop and punctures a hole in my plaster ceiling. So when she contacted me I figured it was the least she could do, as the money might help offset the security deposit I won’t get back.

When I chose the subject matter, I struggled for a long time over whether to maintain my anonymity. But after I read it a few times, and I realized how deeply personal it is and how proud I am of it, I took the plunge and asked the publisher to attach my full name. So for the first time in its almost-five years, this blog is a lot less anonymous. And my name is a lot more Google-able.

Naturally, I didn’t want my employer to find out about the book secondhand, so I met with the big boss yesterday, book in wavering hand, and explained that oh-by-the-way I’m a blogger who values his day job more than any other he’s had. World A and World B slammed into each other, and my knees are still feeling the ripple.

The book is being released today, and with it is the sad revelation that my wife and I are divorcing. We’ve been mediating for months, and we finished our negotiations last week (on what was, strangely enough, our 9th wedding anniversary). We’re at the drafting stage, and if all goes to plan we’ll be living apart by the end of the summer.

I’ve managed to keep a rather even keel over the past few months, but now that the end is so tangibly close, all the desperate sadness from before has bubbled back up into my chest cavity. It’s that same sadness that plagued me when it all hit the fan two Thanksgivings ago, and that led me to write my essay, which tries to tell my boys how much they mean to me, and that even though I’m moving out, I’m not going anywhere.

So in the past week I’ve seen my writing in print, taken a huge leap of faith at my job, and announced to the world that my marriage is over. The walls I’ve tended for so many years are crumbling inward, and I’m filled with joydread over what will rise from the rubble.