Now while I was looking somewhat optimistically at the future, this wasn't going to be some kind of instant happy ending. I worked hard for what I had, my family, my friends, my home, my marriage. It isn't always a matter of what you did or didn't do right; I think it's more a case of what you think you did right or wrong. If you really believe you did it right, that you played by the rules and tried your best, failure is a big lump to swallow.
And so here I was, that first night. I had no furniture, ragged shades on the window. I was sleeping on a sleeping bag on a floor that had just been refinished. The apartment reeked of varnish or lacquer. I had nowhere to sit, no TV. I didn't exactly earn a medal for good planning. So after a career of hard work spanning 14+ years, I was living in an apartment with nothing.
I remember my first meal: Papa John's pizza, sitting on the floor on a Sunday night, feeling very much sorry for myself as it got dark out. Not exactly a memorable start to the new life, so to speak.
But as sad as I was at the moment, I knew it was like healing pain: hurts now, but will hurt less and less every day and will help rebuild strength. Heartbreak and disappointment are funny that way...they hurt the most but leave you better once you move past the pain.
But man, it was lonely that first night.