In January 2010, when I met Elizabeth Gilbert at her book signing, everyone was thanking her for sharing her story. By the time I got to meet her, I decided enough people had thanked her, so I said something different. I said, “Liz, congratulations on finding the courage to love again.” She stopped midway through her signature and looked up at me with an inquisitive glance. I then explained that I am a divorced divorce lawyer, so I understand how hard it is to let go of the past and move forward. She mockingly told me that I did not need to read the book “Committed” because I already knew everything in there, but I shook my head and said, “no, unlike you I have not found the courage to truly love again.”
Lots of people have been telling me that I have exhibited great courage over the past six years: I decided to run my own law firm while raising an infant; I gracefully managed to get through my own divorce without destroying my family; and just this past week I made the journey to find my father and his whole family. Many have asked me how I did all of this, and the only thing I can really say is that each action was carefully undertaken after a thoughtful cost/benefit analysis. Any major decision in life requires us to consider what will be the consequences of our actions. Another motivating factor for me is the desire to avoid regret. Of course we all have regrets in life, that is because we all make mistakes.
Ultimately, very few people will understand us and love us despite our flaws, that is what makes friends and family so special. When certain relationships do not work out, too many view this as a rejection. I do not see it this way- I truly believe the saying that some friends come into our lives for a reason, some come into our lives for a season, and it is a select few that are life long friends. Try to just remember the good you derived from each experience, and let go of all the disappointments.
These past few months, it has been my life long friends that have really come shining through for me. I appreciate all the encouragement everyone has given me over the past five years, but I am here to admit that I am not as brave as you might think. I needed answers to the past, for my own peace of mind. And I am so glad I was able to forgive my father after all these years, so we can enjoy whatever time remains here filled with the love of family in our hearts.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.