The Moment I Knew: Cinderella's Running Shoes

It was a few days after announcing here that I was in the midst of a separation that I saw that Huffington Post partnered with to solicit essay submissions for their "The Moment I Knew Writing Contest" .  The writing prompt was as follows, "Was there a moment you knew your marriage was over? The split-second you saw the writing on the wall---even if you didn't acknowledge as much until later?" As soon as I read the call for submissions I knew exactly what my moment had been. And there was something about the timing of discovering the contest that made me feel like I had to write a submission to it.  I started out just writing the piece. I told myself I didn't have to send it. I also told myself that even if I was lucky enough to be one of the winners that I didn't have to agree to publish it. I could always change my mind. I could always withdraw the piece. Well, I wrote it. I sent it in---and I was one of the winners, and I decided not to withdraw the piece from publication. It is a bit of a surreal moment to win a contest and get to write on the Huffington Post because of the dissolution of my marriage. It was a lovely surprise to have my husband respond to this news with pride about my accomplishment and some shame at his behavior that I described in the piece. Instead of being angry at me for posting the piece he used the moment to apologize for the interaction I described in it. Which brings me to one of the things I am so grateful for, I am so very grateful that we are able to continue to be kind to each other and to treat each other with respect and love. I am beyond grateful for that. I can't imagine how much harder this would be if we couldn't remain friends. I am still stunned that I wrote this piece for the Huffington Post. I am in absolute shock that my piece was chosen. This shock is compounded by the feeling I have had ever since I separated,"I can't believe this is me. I can't believe I am doing this." That said, there is a certain kind of freedom that comes from no longer seeing yourself as the self you used to be. All the things I believed about myself no longer feel so *true*. I am learning so much about this new me and I really am liking this process of discovery. Everything is up for questioning. Do I really like red? Or am I more of a blue girl now? Do I really not like white wine? Is this new me who says yes to spontaneous offers the real me that has been in hiding? What kind of clothing and furniture and objects will I like now that I am on my own? Does this new me like yoga? Am I really an introvert? So many questions and so much delight in learning the answers. So far I have learned for sure that the new me isn't afraid to drive in the rain or in traffic or in rush hour( the new me is a MUCH bolder driver). The new me prefers high heels to flats. The new me laughs louder than the old me.   The new me thinks fitness boot camp sounds like a fantastic idea. This new me is bolder and braver than the me you knew before, she takes more risks and isn't much afraid of failing. The me you knew before would have never written the piece let alone shared it here with you. That said, here is my winning submission, "Cinderella's Running Shoes".