“Love is an act of sacrifice”
This is from my favourite poem I’ve written over the past 3 years.
This line is poetic. Beautiful.
But now I have to put it into practice.
I’m sitting in a cafe trying to arrange a coffee with my ex-wife. She’s received a lucrative job offer that will take her and our 10-year-old daughter out of London.
Where exactly? I don’t know yet. My ex-wife wants to discuss the details over a cup of coffee. It’s apt. I don’t think I want to have this conversation on the phone.
But I’m feeling very emotional. I’m sat in a Pret a Manger just off Berwick Street in the West End and I’m crying. The pain is too intense for me to have any success in fighting off the tears. I let out my emotions but occasionally scan the room self-consciously.
I need to hear my ex-wife out and carefully listen to her. Process what she says and then figure out what’s best for our daughter.
It may mean that my ex-wife takes the new job and I’ll have to make the compromise of not living near our daughter.
I feel like I’d just got my life back on track and now this development has knocked me off centre.
Over the past 3 years, while my ex-wife and I navigated our divorce, I hopped around from one dwelling to another. Eight times in total. Each place in which I lived was not suitable to bring my daughter back to when I had my weekends with her.
Then in November 2019 I moved to Morden in South London to be closer to my daughter. Finally, I’d found a place that was suitable for her to come and spend time with me.
My daughter currently lives a short 15-minute drive away. I’d managed to engineer the perfect set up. However, several weeks into settling into Morden, my daughter and ex-wife told me they’d be moving to Kingston Upon Thames.
My daughter wants a shorter commute to her school. Her mother wants a shorter commute to the school she teaches in. I can’t knock that.
This required minor adjustments and I wasn’t bothered. However, now, I’m sitting here, speculating over today’s development. This isn’t a slight move around South London, this move will mean I can’t just pop down the road to see my daughter.
How far away will my daughter and her mother move?
Can I put what’s best for my daughter above my own selfish desires?
Assuming I’m able to do that, how will I adjust to this new dynamic?
The only way to find out is by leaning into the change. I must learn to trust myself.