My life had come to a point: If I didn’t leave my husband I would be abandoning myself.  The pain of trying to abandon myself for the sake of this marriage had left me a whimpering empty vessel. My whole upbringing told me that I did not have this choice.

Upon close examination, I did have the choice. But the choice was to step away not only from my husband, but from everyone.

When I chose that, the whimpering vessel shattering into a million pieces of pain and loneliness.

That was all a long time ago. This is not a story about my divorce.

This is a story about looking at the future.

After my divorce, I didn’t know how to look at the future. I had never conceived of a future in which it was possible to make my own decisions. I lived out of books, and I had a superstitious impression that I was doomed. Like Madame Bovary and every other “bad girl” I figured there was a cost—probably death—for choosing myself above my obligations.

The Future was so inconceivable I had trouble making plans for the weekend.

Except in other ways, I was starving for what I wanted. I’d been postponing it long enough.

I enrolled in college classes. Would I really have a chance to get a bachelor’s degree? I didn’t know if I would make it that far, but as long as I drew breath I knew what I’d be doing for the next few months.

I would be doing the homework. One step at a time to get a little closer to my big goal.

A small signpost in the impenetrable fog of my future.

“This way.”

Ok. I will move that way.

Big dreams are like that. Full of small actions with an eye past the horizon.

I heard an inspirational speaker telling me this week to look toward the future.  She said “You can’t change the world from the rear view mirror.”

After my divorce, the present was drowning me. The future was barely better, but I was pulling towards it. I stumbled and found it.

And it found me.

Facing forward is where it happens.

I am reminded of this when my inner critic tells me how I’m doing it all wrong because I haven’t properly finished all the things I’ve started.

That I have some work to do before I can do the things I really *want* to do.

It’s a big job to change the world. I don’t know if I’m up for it.

And yet…

I want to change *my* world.

Some of the tired old projects can wait.

Or maybe they can face the future too and help me understand how to move it forward.

I am done with the past. There is so much more that is ready to happen.