Today I turned 22! (ninth year in a row! weeeeeeee). It’s been one heck of a year and I’m ready for what this year brings. I’m so grateful for everyone who has been a part of my life this last year. Like everyone, I had both joyful and challenging experiences; it has been quite a ride. I’ve grown and learned new things about myself, become more calm, made amazing new friends in this wonderful industry (shout out to SueBlue Events) and even traveled off of the continent for the first time. I am indebted to those around me for their place in my life and the impact they have all had on me. With that being said, there’s something else this post is about.
This post is a heavy one, so if you aren’t in the mood for lifting, look away. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
This post is about a personal experience that has really affected me the last year, and as much I hate to talk about it because I am an extremely private person (hey, internet) and it is nothing I am proud of, we have come to the point in life (and social media) where we have to let everyone in on it. Many aren’t aware, but about 8 months ago, my marriage took an unexpected turn. We both kept it from everyone- both ashamed, and afraid to say, “we couldn’t make our marriage work”. We lied to most (all) of our friends and family about our life.. continued our house remodel, and pretended to be excited about our non-existent life together. We still made sure to do things with friends every so often, or do dinner with our parents as to not worry them, but, we were living a lie. We did what we could to make the best of our situation but eventually grew apart, and drifted so far that we weren’t even living together the last 4 months of our relationship, … but we chalked that up to having to be in different places to “work on our house”.
There’s a certain amount of pride I have to swallow to write this, it’s one of those ideas you think about in your head, but never actually push “publish”. Who tells the world about getting divorced? Well, we do. Truth be told, I’ve had this typed out on my phone for a few days now, and sent it to him to make sure it sounded okay; is it too open ended, or too transparent, are we on the same page with what we want the people in our lives and beyond to know about us? Although we made the decision to go our separate ways, we were lucky in that it was a mutual decision. We don’t hate each other, we want the best for each other, and, we are on the same side. I like to think that maybe we are different in that way; our marriage didn’t work out the way we had planned, but we really do want each other to be happy, and thats okay.
I told some of my clients for the first time a few weeks back; the first people I’ve told that aren’t my best friends. It was a simple question, something along the lines of, “so, are you married!?” I froze. How do I answer this? Do I keep lying? Do I tell them I’m going through divorce? How do I handle it? After what felt like 2 whole minutes, I stumbled out the worlds, “I’m…. divorced”- shame- So much shame immediately washed over me, and I mean, immediately. But, instead of making me feel awkward or terrible, they told me that one of them had also been divorced, and I instantly felt some sort of weight lifted- as if I was the only one in the world for those 25 seconds prior who had been through this.. As if our situation was different than anyone elses.
I’m pretty sure I know that parts of our story differ, but in the end, we aren’t unusual. We both began our marriage with the best intentions, poured everything we had into making it work and always tried to make the best decisions for our relationship. Regardless of what we are sometimes told, there isn’t a generic equation or set of steps that can apply to everyone, 100% of the time. Sometimes, the best course of action is to accept the situation we are in, be grateful for the lessons that were learned, and move forward with an open heart and compassion for those who’ve been affected (including ourselves). We are both good people but at the end of the day, we learned we just weren’t right for each other.
As we were trying to battle the loss of our relationship, I was continuously celebrating the beginning of others’ life-long commitments. I pour my heart into my couples on their day; I sense their love for each other, and somehow, I think I almost tap into their emotions because I get this surge of energy from them and it has always made me so happy. This is selfishly one of the things I love most about shooting weddings; I get to feel the love too. At the end of these weddings, I would get into my car, super excited to edit my photos (always thinking about what I’m going to post on the gram the next day) exhausted, but also feeling fulfilled. Suddenly, without warning- the tears would start. Without fail, any wedding I shot by myself, this happened. Reality check Kati, that wasn’t your life. Welcome back. I knew that no matter how badly we wanted it to work, it wouldn’t. We would never be those people that gave others those happy, energetic love feelings. Wake up, re-soak, repeat. 6 months later, here we are.
I tossed about writing this, due to privacy reasons obviously, but also because so many people have wiggled their way into our live’s without the invite. Neither one of us have wanted to talk about it, and because of that, people tend to jump to their own conclusions about our situation. Before you know it, a wild fire of what seems to be middle aged school kids are talking about a regular old couple getting divorced. So, we talked, and decided to put it all out there. We appreciate the support we have both received from our friends and family that we have already spoken to, and hope this makes things clear for those we haven’t. Although we haven’t wanted to talk about this ( and still don’t, so plz don’t text us with questions :)) I do hope that it offers others out there going through this same thing a little piece of comfort. You are not alone, and I am here to chat if you need to.