We all know her. She’s that crazy divorcée. But she’s not interested in your opinion, your divorce advice, because, “how would you know??” She’s fine. In fact, she’s better than ever! She’s just signed up for THE BEST tantric workshop, a class she’s always “longed to do” but never had the time. You wonder how she’ll make it to that class, this woman you used to know, because she seems so tired these days. Is she carousing? Then you see her later, driving, in a little lime green thing, a sporty rig, she’s leased. And she’s smoking. She waves, and pulls over to chat with you like she’s on some other timeline, when you mention, in a well-intentioned kind of way, that nicotine is not so good for her; but that, that purple streak in her auburn locks looks amaz-ing. She doesn’t hear you. She’s taking another drag and checking her OKCupid emails. You’ve seen the logo before, you recognize the layout. You mention again, she should take care of herself, when she replies, she’s gotta run. She’s taking her kids out of school. To play hooky. They’re going to have pizza. And it’s only Tuesday.
You are in shock. But not so frozen that you’ve suspended judgement.
Until now, flash forward, you are facing your own divorce, and guess what?
You may be headed with her.
Oh, you won’t stay there for long, but you will sow your oats, too. You will act out. You will go backwards and frontwards and lurch to the side, looking for the life you think you didn’t have. The life you should have. Then there will come a point where you won’t want to stay there anymore. You will slow down and grow calmer as a sense of peace begins to come from within. How do we know? Because we’ve been there, tottering around in those crazy-ass stilettos.
It would be good for you to know this now, that there will come a time in your divorce recovery, when you are finally experiencing freedom you haven’t had in awhile, if ever. And mark our words, it will be THRILLING! You will not care what people think. You will be doing what you want because YOU CAN! You will only have yourself to answer to, and after all you have been through, this moment feels euphoric, because it is.
You will shed your old self, your old hang ups, your old high-waisted pants, and those toxic people who ever held you down. You’ll experiment with your looks, your hair; you’ll buy stylish new clothes. You’ll reconnect with old friends and find common ground with new ones. You will sleep around – just a little or a lot or maybe not. You will open yourself up to new thoughts, new restaurants, new places to go. Maybe you will get that makeup treatment you’ve always wanted, because your energy is coming back, your self-esteem, it’s growing too. You will go to the movies by yourself. You will start a journal, because you are becoming more self-aware and more grateful. You will be trying on new things, both literally and figuratively – as you find yourself and your new identity.
But as your divorce coaches, and women who have been there, let us also share a little divorce advice: You may feel a little “Jekyll and Hyde” when this time comes around. You will seek thrills and yet, you will still be terrified; you will feel victorious and independent one moment; then defeated and lonely the next. You will have a sense of hopefulness for the future but still, you will fear the unknown. Understand that this is where you will need to be then. It will be perfectly normal and oddly, appropriate. This is the erratic part of your divorce recovery. Things will be in flux, but you will need to give yourself permission to work and dance through this phase, because it is vital. It’s a rite of passage. And it’s temporary.
But when you arrive here, proceed with caution.
You will still have a lot to figure out . . . you will have to face the practicalities of life and the aftermath of your divorce, the remaining details and decisions, big and small. Despite your urge to experiment, you will remember, you’ve come too far to abandon your responsibilities completely. You will need to help your children adjust to the new rhythms of life at home and they will need you to be reliable. You will still have to perform at your job or perhaps get your résumé together to go back to work. You might be in the middle of selling your house, hunting for a new one, or setting up your new household. Whatever life is handing you in your official post-divorcedom, you will have to deal with it. And for your future, you will continue to plan.
Your challenge right then and there will be to find yourself — and your growing power. How will the new, brilliant and beautiful you manage the tactical requirements of your life?
More unsolicited divorce advice: When you hit this place of being single again, give yourself some rope to swing on. Enjoy, pump, kick out, and swing high! But don’t give yourself so much rope that you get caught and hang yourself. Be careful with the big decisions that roost here. They may have bigger consequences on your family, your career, your health and your financial future. Be patient for the dust to settle and try to compartmentalize your time. Give yourself permission and time to play. For example, when your ex has the kids, make your time yours. When the kids are with you, or during the work week, hunker down and be the best mom possible.
One of the surprisingly, good side-effects of divorce is that you get a fresh start, a chance to make the changes in your life that will make you happy for the long haul. When you hit that place, take care of necessities, compartmentalize, and embrace your inner Jekyll and Hyde. It’s the necessary bumpy, but exciting ride you must go through to get to the other side.
What do you need to take care of while you swing high? Let us support you as you move through and forward. Connect with us for your free “Map to the Next Step” session.