It’s hard to believe that we’ve already entered the second month of 2020. Last year was full of big changes and a lot of learning for my family and me, and I’m constantly reflecting on that as we move forward.
I personally learned a lot from being single for the first full year in my adult life. My second marriage was over long before we separated at the end of 2018, but the end of any deep relationship hurts – and in my case, that relationship couldn’t be fully severed because we share children.
That means we have to do whatever will keep us as sane and well-adjusted as possible in order to co-parent. It is much easier to type that sentence than it is to live it some days.
In each of my marriages, I changed my last name, adopting my then-husband’s family name. It was something I felt I wanted to do at the time, but when those marriages ended, I had to decide what name I would keep or go back to. My four kids obviously have their father’s last names, but I felt it best to go back to my maiden name after divorce numero uno.
I feel very differently about this divorce. My ex has been in a serious relationship since our split, and the chance that another person will adopt his last name is a real possibility. I was going to return to my maiden name until I had a better offer.
In 2014, the salon I was working at hired an assistant, Chris Trevena. I had no idea when I met him that he would become one of the most important people in my life. In fact, my friendship with him has been one of my greatest joys thus far. It’s been filled with love, and the fact that we both love men is just another thing we have in common.
I know there are endless stereotypes and cliché terms that some would use to label or define our relationship, but it is so much more than that. I have not met my soulmate in the romantic area of my life, but I have met my soul-bestie.
I thought many times that I had met my soulmate, hence my two failed marriages, but I was wrong. I know now that I was looking at my life incorrectly. While I’m a true romantic at heart, I wasn’t choosing people who were good for that heart.
Last year opened my eyes to the fact that I was someone who based much of her happiness off of romantic relationships, something that was never beneficial to me. I was so focused on what I didn’t have and what didn’t work out that I took so much for granted. I was ignoring much of the amazing love that I had in my life to dwell on romantic failures.
My eyes are fully open now to the idea that life isn’t just about meeting your one true love. I’m still a romantic, and I’m still open to romance, but admission is more of a VIP situation now. I will happily wait to meet the right one while I enjoy my fantastic children, family and amazing friends. All of those people love me and I am grateful for them all. Chris is very high on that list, and that is why I am taking his name when my divorce is finalized.
I don’t recall the exact moment Chris said I should take his last name, but I was flattered. I hadn’t had an actual conversation with either of my ex-husbands about switching names, as is customary, but having someone ask you to take their name just felt different.
This was coming from a man who respects, loves and values me 100%. We have been through so much in our friendship – failed relationships, health scares, losing parents, losing family members, job changes, moving, tragedies, successes – you name it. Chris and I have supported each other through it all.
I haven’t had a man in my life treat me as well as Chris has. This 25-year-old human, my gorgeous inside-and-out soul-bestie, has backed a U-Haul into my driveway blaring club music while helping me move. He’s left bars to talk me through hysterical, crying panic attacks. He has even taken my kids out for countless adventures with me (“family time”) and without me (“mommy break time”), and so much more that only we will share.
I’m sorry to report to any interested parties that Chris is taken, by his boyfriend and obviously by me. He is my rock and he loves me just the way I am. I love him just the way he is in return.
My new focus on living in the moment and being grateful for all that I have instead of dwelling on what I don’t has allowed me to be excited for my second divorce. When the ink dries on my divorce paperwork, I will become an official Trevena – something that even my own father thinks is great.
Even if no one understood this event in my life I really wouldn’t care, however, thanks to my new outlook on life. The old me – with her old last name, old attitude and old mindset – would want everyone to be on board, but I left that lady back in 2019.
Thank you for reading my last column as Sylvie Griffiths. Sylvie Trevena’s “Mama Bearings” will return in the Spring.
Sylvie Griffiths, soon to be Trevena, is a proud mom of four whose eclectic interests include hairdressing, horror movies, mental health, advocacy and writing. She holds a BS in Behavioral Healthcare and an MBA.