I think September 2013 was the beginning of the end. Wedding season was late and I shot 7 weddings on top of working Monday to Friday. I skipped walks with the dog to cull, answered clients emails during dinner, declined a weekend trip to Seattle because I was booked, and regularly stayed in the office until 2am editing. I had exactly one day off all month.
I rewarded myself in October when I finally got my chest piece. It cost five (painful) hours of my life and approximately one month’s rent. She said that she loved it. I think she did. On the surface. But underneath it just served as a reminder of our differences.
I wanted to work hard to play hard. To give it my 500% to reap the benefits later. I wanted tattoos and weekend getaways and annual photo sessions and anniversary trips to Disneyland. So I worked hard so we could have these things. I think her happily ever after was a little more simple.
Later in October, she introduced me to a new friend. She told me she was getting her PhD and I spent an hour rearranging the living room bookshelf to hide my favourite young adult books at the back. She came over for dinner and they sat together on the couch. She was thoughtful and well spoken and had a genuine laugh. I liked her and had no idea our first dinner together would be our last.
On November 9th, I was shooting my last wedding of the season with another photographer. Both partners were also teachers and I couldn’t wait to share the details of their day with her. She was on her way back from an overnight trip to Bowen. As per our tradition, I called her on my way home. She didn’t answer. I texted. No response. Finally she messaged to say she would talk to me when I got home.
I finally got home and collapsed on the couch after a long day of shooting. She sat on the love seat and, without taking a breath, told me that our marriage was over. The conversation is a blur to me now, but I remember pleading to get counselling. And her saying it wouldn’t change anything. And that it wasn’t about somebody else. And I remember not believing her. And countless “why”s between tears and clenched throw pillows.
Talking in circles turned into walking in circles around the park next to our apartment. I called anyone I could think of who would still be awake. I remember laying in the cold grass and crying until I couldn’t cry anymore. And then I went home. If I could even call it that anymore…
Read the rest of the Resurgence Series:
Resurgence: A Wedding Photographer’s Journey Through Divorce – In the Beginning
Resurgence: A Wedding Photographer’s Journey Through Divorce – In The End
Resurgence: A Wedding Photographer’s Journey Through Divorce – Looking Back, Moving Forward