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Thoreau says, "Most men live lives of quiet desperation." I first heard that in high school. I thought it beautiful and sad, and completely untrue. Through high school, through college, through much of my 20s, I couldn't even imagine that kind of mindset: There was too much that was lovely and exciting and unexpected about the world. Three years ago I was flipping through an old notebook, found that quote and realized it was me.

I get hung up on semantics. I love definitions. I can't feel something unless I have the word for it. When I'm in a mood I can't define, I panic. But this was a definition I didn't want. And this, I figured, was a sign things weren't working out. When had I become this person?

It's been about a year now since my ex left and as I take stock of my day-to-day, I'm not feeling that anymore. There have been some white nights, some wake-up-in-a-cold-sweat at 3 a.m., evenings curled on the couch holding onto a pillow for dear life as I concentrate on merely breathing, merely getting through the next minute, the next hour, the next day. But those nights are fewer and fewer as I find that happiness, that bounce, that look-around-at-this-world-that-is-so-beautiful is back - and it's returning more consistently each day.

I loved my husband. I'll never regret marrying him. But, without him, I'm whole. Without him, I'm happy.

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