Cut Away the Past- Trash the Dress Excerpt

Hi friends,

Here’s chapter 5 of my book, Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s—and this is where I take scissors to my wedding gown!

Please share with your friends and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss my next release, as I’ll be posting the entire book!

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Also, stay tuned for future newsletters on Trash the Dress Substack because I’ll be announcing my NEW BOOK soon!

Cut Away the Past

I cut up my wedding dress. The $1,600 exquisite ivory, intricately beaded, floral, drop-waist, sweetheart neckline, designer gown that I wore on what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life; the day that I planned on as being my gateway to happily ever after. I sliced into it with scissors and ripped it apart with my bare hands, performing my own open-heart surgery—on national television.

After my wedding, I stayed in touch with Alexa, my makeup artist. When Planet Vergelaunched our Internet TV show, Alexa offered to do the makeup for our host photo shoot. I had been married for about six months at that time and as you know, Max and I were already on the rocks, which I confided to Alexa. Not long after that day, Alexa was cast on a popular reality television show, which led to her own spin-off.

By the time her spin-off entered production, I was divorced and a few months into working on my new project, this book!  I enlisted Alexa to do my makeup for my “trash the dress” photo shoot. It ended up airing on an episode of her show and the producers even threw in a hair makeover for me.

You will recall that the only thing I missed about Max was his talent for cutting my hair. Finding a stylist to replace him had been a series of disastrous adventures and I hoped this makeover would give me my edge back. I anticipated looking in the mirror afterwards and feeling like my old self.

That didn’t quite happen. As viewers across the country witnessed, I was mortified when I first looked in the mirror after my hair makeover. The short pixie crop showed my ears. If there is one thing I dislike about myself, it’s my big ears. Not only was the cut way shorter than I expected, but I wasn’t a fan of the black and red color blocking technique at first. Everyone else raved over it. Maybe I did look out-of-this-world, as in out of a world in which I would ever live!

Nevertheless, I dug up my confidence and forged ahead with the photo shoot. Once my makeup was on, I actually felt pretty sexy and was grateful to have been pushed to try something I never would have done on my own.

The show’s fashion expert reconstructed my wedding dress into a sexy one-piece jumper short. I felt like a pop star wearing it as I cut up the remnants in the studio salon for the photo shoot. It was the perfect setting to say good riddance to Max.

I held my head high and took a deep breath.  I was 30 years old and more than ready to check the baggage of my 20s, send it on a one-way trip to the past and jetstart my destiny.

With the spotlight shining on the stage of my life, I shredded all of the bottled up feelings of sadness, disappointment and failure that resulted from my divorce. Emotions ran rampant. My heart broke as I cut the fabric of my dress. Worn on the day I felt the most beautiful, it ended up making my life ugly.  The garment was supposed to represent my happily ever after.  It was supposed to lead me to a loving and supportive husband, a house that smelled like fresh-baked sugar cookies upon entering, and a white picket fence lining a backyard in which my husband and I would read newspapers and eat breakfast on Sunday mornings while the dogs ran around and children played. Instead, it left me a victim of deceit, feeling empty, lost and scared.

With every cut into that couture Greek thread, I reclaimed my dignity. I made peace with the fact that my mother spent thousands of dollars on my wasted wedding, that I can’t look back on that day and smile, or hang up those photos of myself with family and friends.

Up until recently, I thought I wasted the most important years of my life on Max. But while tearing that fabric apart with clenched fists, I forgave myself and began to heal. Sure, I have scars. But that’s OK because they made me who I am today.

I’m thankful for the venom. This mid-mid-life crisis may have shattered life as I knew it, but not my life as it is meant to be. Now, even on the most dismal of days, I look outside the window and see a clear blue sky.

With my dress trashed (though not the final time, but more about that later), I was finally 100 percent free of Max. As Ajnira, my spiritual healer, advised, I had become the heroine in the novel of my life. I survived the aftermath of an earth-shattering disaster: divorce in my 20s.

It was now my self-assigned duty to tell the stories of others who had emerged from the rubble, picked the sticks and stones out of their wounds and healed. My story is just one of many from women who survived young divorce. I have been privileged to meet others who came forward to share their experiences of heartbreak and triumph for this book. Together, we will inspire and guide young women whose lives are just about to enter a state of emergency.

Like what you just read? Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss when I post the next chapter of Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s! Get this acclaimed book on Amazon.

Trash the Dress is a collection of stories based on a series of interviews with empowered young women who raised their naked left ring fingers high and waved their ex-husbands goodbye as they took charge of their futures. It has been featured on Huffington Post, Yahoo! Health, Cosmo Middle East, Sunday Times, Globe and Mail, International Business Times and other leading outlets.


Always grateful, 


Empowering girls of all ages and life stages.


TRASH THE DRESS (How to navigate divorce in your 20s and celebrate the life you were meant to lead. Subscribe for expert articles and community) 

THE STORY SELLER (calls for expert sources for stories and I am writing and links to published stories) 

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Instagram: @thejoellesperanza and @trashthedressbook


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