I'm Joelle Speranza.

Author. Lifestyle Writer. Publicist. Empowering girls of all ages and life stages.

Why I’m Grateful for September 21

September 21st never sneaks by without me remembering it’s the day I married my ex-husband. The first September 21st after my divorce probably wasn’t as easy (honestly, it was over a decade ago and I forget!) Today, I celebrate this day.

September 21st was the beginning of the end for me. It took me walking down the aisle emotionless to release I was not marrying the man of my dreams. I was marrying my best friend and someone who came from a stable family, which I didn’t have. But we didn’t share the same goals for the future and I thought marriage would change his mind about things like having kids. I was wrong and learned the hard way.

But if I never got married, I never would have gotten divorced. And If I never got divorced I would not have all my dreams coming true today. Without my first marriage and divorce I would not have:

-Met and married @frankiedadbad (and cry real tears on our wedding day)

-Have my dream of being a mom come true and experiencing life with an amazing little girl and little boy

-Found my dog Lucky on the street during a thunderstorm while living with my ex-husband and start my passion of rescuing dogs

-Accomplished my dream of being an author and wrote Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s.

-Been on national TV trashing my wedding dress, reconstructing it into a new outfit, forming a worldwide support group for other women divorced in their 20s, made new friends, changed women’s lives, made headlines, and got my byline published on Glamour UK

-Lost my best friends who didn’t support me through my divorce and form new friendships with women who are always there for me

-Gone on a honeymoon with Frank to Jamaica or taken our kids to Disney

-Gotten anxiety after I had Luca and had my liver health scare and learned how to manage it, becoming a stronger person

-Started therapy, which I may one day use to explore childhood trauma if I want

-Got more dogs with Frank: Lulu, Gracey, and Griff

-Moved to the best town ever and live in a lake community

-Have a partner who works just as hard as I do for our family and his own dreams

-Published Princess Genevieve: The Hero with Girl Power and my other children’s books for my kids

-Have my dream job working from home as a book publicist for a company that supports me

-Been freelance writing about parenting and health topics and published on outlets like @oprahdaily, @insider, and @littlethings

And those are just some of the reasons why on Sept. 21st I will celebrate my first marriage. I always says, “Divorce isn’t the end of your life. It’s the beginning of the life you were meant to lead.” And you can’t get divorced without getting married first. So I will never view that as a mistake or feel ashamed. I will own my decision with pride and know that it was just a chapter in my life story.

I have no idea where my ex-husband is or what his life is like, but I hope he found peace and happiness too.

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