One day you’re a dog. The next day, you’re in space.

white_dog

“One day you’re a dog, and the next day you’re in space. Can you even imagine?”

This is what my friend Peter said to me more than 20 years ago. He was referring to a movie that I can’t recall the name of right now, but in it they refer to a dog that was sent into space.

We marveled at the thought. “It’s not like you could have told the dog ahead of time or prepared it for orbit. It happened just like that- boom! One day you’re a dog. the next day, you’re in space.” Peter shook his head.

That’s sort of how it happened for me – crossing the threshold. It came out in a blurt during a therapy session. “I can’t do this anymore. I’m not staying in a miserable marriage for the rest of my life.”

Everyone’s eyes got big. And when I say everyone, I mean my husbands’ and the therapist.

“I don’t even think I can do it for one more second.” I added.

Orbit.

A lot happened after that. There was a lot of yelling in the months to follow. There were a lot of tears. I slept at friends’ houses. It was scary and terrible.

One day you’re a dog. The next day you’re in space.

I didn’t plan for it to happen that day, nor did I know how clear I was until the words fell out of my mouth.

My friend Nate had asked me earlier that day, “If you were a natural disaster, which one would you be?” I scrunched up my face, perplexed. “I’d be a forest fire,” he declared.

I thought for a moment. “I think I’d be a lightning storm.  A bolt of electricity. Sudden. Precise. Not too much damage.”

It’s a year later now and we are still living together, just starting the mediation process. There has been a lot of healing.

But what I really want to tell you is this: Sometimes life changes like that – one day you’re a dog, the next day you’re in space.

No one prepared you for it.
No one warned you or reassured you.
They don’t even speak dog.

And yet, there you are just the same.

 

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

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30 Comments

  1. Bella

    Dear you. Eternal love for the path behind you and peace for the road ahead. xo

    Reply
  2. Peggy R

    This is so ironic, today I just started reading another girls blog that sounds so much like what you just said. She was a decorator and then one day after months of not loving her life she up and got a divorce and moved to Thailand. It is a must read, I have never thought so deeply as I did when I read her blog. I went back to Sept 1 when she started her journey to Thailand. Amazing this is her blog. I Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.http://blog.jennasuedesign.com/

    Reply
  3. Tia Tuenge

    It sucks being in a bad marriage, even more so with kids involved. It took me years to extricate myself from my bad marriage. Getting out was the hardest and best thing I ever did. Fast forward six years, I’m remarried to the love of my life, finally friends with my X, and my daughter is thriving. You’ll shine on the other side, it’s just getting through the tunnel that’s hard. xoxo

    Reply
  4. Amanda Lipnack

    My day was June 13, 2013. I knew it was coming and I even worked with my therapist to try to help facilitate the process because he didn’t see it coming despite the fact that it was a freight train right on his heels. But once I said the words, I knew I couldn’t turn back and I knew I didn’t want to turn back. The process of separation and divorce took longer but once you speak the truth, you can’t turn back. That’s the beauty of truth – it sets you free. I’m proud of you.

    Reply
  5. Amalia

    Andrea, this is beautiful. And brave. And amazing.

    Reply
  6. jmbh

    so deeply courageous and well articulated. thank you for sharing

    Reply
  7. Kate

    I’ve been in space for 2 weeks now – still can’t get used to the view.

    Reply
  8. Lynne

    Andrea, I am so moved by your words and what you are bravely facing. We all have our defining moments, our truth revealing declarations that our own hearts and minds find surprising. I remember 15 years ago standing in Washington’s Dulles Airport, it was late at night and I was about to board a flight. I was on the phone with my husband and I said, “I simply can’t live this way anymore, I need to leave you.” I can still feel the pound of my heart, the sting of tears flooding my eyes. A woman seeing me cry came to console me. I’ll never forget her words, “You did a very brave thing, this will hurt for a long time but you will find love and happiness again and you will see how necessary your leaving is.” Her words were prophetic, it was true, I hurt, I healed, I found real Love again (for the first time) and I found contentment. I wish you all the strength, all the grace and all the Love to fill you to overflowing during this transitional time. ~Peace

    Reply
  9. Peggy Nolan

    Bravo. Brave piece!

    –a fellow Laurie Wagner student

    Peggy

    Reply
  10. sara

    Holding you in my heart. As always, I’m amazed by your bravery (it may not feel like bravery to you, but it looks that way from here) and just so happy that you are in the world and that I have the great fortune to live in the world you live in. Andrea, your heart shines through in each and every word you write. Much love & peace to you in your journey!

    Reply
  11. RookieMom Whitney

    This sounds weird, but I’m impressed! You are so brave and so strong.

    Reply
  12. Kimba

    And you write with such precision. Striking right to the heart of the matter. Gorgeous and thought provoking always. Brave you. xoxo

    Reply
  13. Annie

    Oh Andrea! It is the hardest thing to admit and the best thing to admit when it’s not right. I remember trying to give my marriage one.last.try. I need to find out if its last thread was made of titanium or tin. I walked into a grocery store that afternoon and there was a man wearing a shirt that said titanium. While I fully believe in signs, I learned that day that not all signs are the right ones. That was seven years ago and I feel renewed, happy and grateful for that challenging choice. My ukulele playing daughter just told me she’s interested in Berkeley…maybe we’ll see you there next summer! On another random side note, I was at a brunch the other day and the speaker gave a Brene Brown book to someone as a prize. I asked to see it – because, yes…it was your photo of her on the back! Sending much positive energy your way!!

    Reply
  14. Cathryn

    Sometimes “all the sudden, over a long period of time” is how life happens. Bravo, brave beautyFULL you.

    Reply
  15. W. Lotus

    Blessings to you. Peace to you. Even more healing to you. Love to you.

    I believe in you.

    Reply
  16. Lori

    Brave and beautiful post. This is the kind of real,and heart-centered sharing that helps others find their own brave voices and stand fully in their own integrity. Thank you Andrea. xo

    Reply
  17. Elisa Mikiten

    Yeah, and not just once, but many times in a lifetime. Boom. You’re in space.

    Joann Rivers talked about this. There was a moment when the phone rang and her world changed permanently. But look how she lived with it….with a seize the moment and find the humor attitude.

    RIP Joan.

    Reply
  18. Kristen

    You are an amazing writer, truthteller and inspiration. I have come here for over a decade and hope that I get the pleasure of reading your posts until we are old and in our 90’s. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Reply
  19. Alexia

    The depths of your experience resonates in your work. Your courage and strength are inspiring. Thank you for being so willing to openly share.

    Reply
  20. Andrea p

    The movie was ‘my life as a dog.” The dog’s separation from the world as he knew it was heartbreaking, mainly because he had no choice, and didn’t know what the inevitable outcome would be (that he’d never make or back). Separation is tough, and you are so brave to speak your truth in a mindful, authentic way- no matter what that truth is. Thank you for being authentic. It makes you so beautiful.

    Reply
  21. holly troy

    That is how it goes, isn’t it.

    Reply
  22. Barbara

    Having been with you via this blog for years I do believe this is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever written/shared/expressed (and that’s saying something as you are remarkably clear so very often). Amen sister. Authenticity rocks!

    Reply
  23. Jenn Higgins Privett

    I love this! I felt this exact same way when my Mom died. It was like my life was just changed so expectantly and there was no warning, or preparing. Boom! My life is forever changed and you have no choice but to deal, walk again, and learn this new normal. It was awful. I do think i am still 6 years later learning that new normal and it’s a lot easier now than it was then.

    Reply
  24. Barbara

    I am out the other side. This stage of our life journeys happened about the same time. I have sold one home and bought another smaller place in town I am very happy with and My husband is showing increasing signs of dementia and I am dealing with the place where he lives,incidents that have put him in the hospital for a week with a misdiagnosis, rehab and feeling very torn between trying to make sure he is cared for and giving myself the love and attention I need to be healthy. No matter what your stage of life or age, it is an incredible dance. You are dancing the dance.

    Reply
  25. Mira

    Raw truth and unimaginable courage to speak it. Thanks for sharing the beautiful post. Struck a deep tone within me. Sending enormous hugs.

    Reply
  26. Robin

    sending you love and light!

    Reply
  27. Robin

    sending you love and light and peace

    Reply
  28. traceykinohio

    I applaud you for having the courage to set yourself free!! I’ve been unhappy in my relationship for a long time, but can’t quite find the courage to end it. Instead, I have panic attacks from not being my authentic self. It’s amazing you two can still live together. Wishing you the best.

    Reply
  29. Gin Ferrara

    Wow. I am so glad I have gotten to know you. It’s incredibly brave to tell the truth, and act on it, when it is so terribly inconvenient. Thanks for sharing yourself with us. <3

    Reply
  30. Betsey

    I just love this, Andrea. I will try to remember this as a mantra: dog in space. Thank you.

    Reply

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