Navigating the waters of divorce is quite the adventure to say the least. Dealing with the ups and downs, healing a broken heart, and all at the same time creating a new life. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I really wanted to crawl into my bathtub with a bottle of vodka, loudly blare Fade Into You by Mazzy Star, and let mascara run down my face while eating donuts. But alas, that isn’t the type of life I am looking for and when I eat donuts I want it to be a happy occasion. Donuts = happy not sad.
I am a newbie at this divorce thing, and although it was a very mutual and peaceful decision, it still hurts and there’s broken hearts to be mended. We decided we are better friends than marriage partners, and we had some tough raw conversations that led to making the best decision for us and our lives. I am grateful that we are friends, that we can speak to each other with kindness, and that we are both there to support each other through this the best way we know how. It’s very new for us and we are learning what works and doesn’t work for us as friends, a family with two kids in their 20’s, and the general day in and day out living of life.
Is it weird that we are friends? Maybe. Is it easy? No. Is it difficult? Depends on the day. Will I make it? Yes. Will he make it? Yes. Will our kids make it? With some time and healing, I believe so. Am I mad? Sometimes. Am I bitter? No. Am I sad? Sometimes. Am I scared of the unknown? Hell yes! Am I a hot mess? Surprisingly, not as much as you would think, and that may have to do with the fact that I am older and have some wisdom and life under my belt … or it could totally be because I have the best dog ever and he is pure therapy.
I have learned 4 things during this very short time of being a divorcee and I know I have so much more to learn and I will gladly embrace it.
1. Divorce Is Not Easy – Give Yourself (and your ex) Some Grace
Regardless of a divorce being mutual, not mutual, peaceful, horrific, etc. it’s not easy at all. It just plain sucks! Emotions are high, words are exchanged, and you’re now entering into a world that is completely unknown. Give yourself some grace and give your ex some grace too. You’ll be a better person for it, and you have to remember that everyone is hurting. I’m not saying to accept and embrace any unreasonable behavior, but keep in mind where it’s coming from: hurt, sadness, and stress. Grace is key.
2. You Are Not A Failure
Divorce doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It’s simply a new transition in life that happens to be sad and new all at the same time. Sometimes things don’t work out how we thought, or sometimes tough decisions need to be made in order for two people to truly live a happy life moving forward. A very good friend shared this piece of wisdom with me, “When things get tough and chaotic, look for the simplest answer. You have to keep going. People want a formula but overlook this glaringly obvious truth: You have no option but to keep moving forward! Simple as that, you are not a failure, life happens, and you keep moving forward.
3. A Fantastic Tribe Of Women Is Key
I love my family very much, they are very important to me. But in this stage of life, my tribe of women are everything to me. Words cannot even begin to express the amount of love and support that comes from a tribe of women in an unconditional manner. It’s one thing to know your family loves you and supports you and wants to help, BUT it’s a whole other ball game when your friends know exactly what you need whether that be lunch, dinner, laughter, good vibes, weekly coffee dates, time with their little kids, events, social time, ice cream and movie nights, dancing in the living room, being silly, or letting you cry and yell like a maniac and then make you belly laugh right after. The women in my life are key and it’s crucial to nurture those friendships and realize that your divorce isn’t the center of the universe, don’t lose sight of your friends lives.
4. Old Self Meet New Self, It’s Going To Be Okay
I will be completely honest with you – I do not know who this new person is or is going to be? I haven’t introduced these two people to each other. I don’t know who this new woman will be, and when I do know her, I will introduce myself to her and slowly in my timing evolve into fully embracing her as my new self. There will be aspects of yourself that will stay put, but be fully aware that it’s okay that you will be evolving into a new person too. Transitioning into a new normal for yourself means that you will also be transitioning as a woman, it’s important to accept it, embrace it, feel, deal, and move forward.
I am only a month or so in living this new life, and I am positive that I will be learning so much as time goes on. I choose joy, but I let myself “feel” at the same time. Operating in misery, bitterness, and anger is such an energy waster. Do I get angry and sad? I sure do. Do I stay angry and sad? No. Your divorce doesn’t define you, but what you do with your words, actions, and lifestyle do define you. My Pastor told me, “You can make this the best season of your life moving forward, or you can make this the worst season of your life, bottom line: It’s your choice.” He’s right, everything moving forward is all about choices and I am the only one who is responsible for those choices.
I am sure you will hear more from me and my new season of life, and for those of you that have been through this…we would love to hear your positive vibes about what helped you. Your insight and wisdom is welcome, and sharing the good vibes is much appreciated.