We’re all going through a lot this year. Besides pandemic-related loss of loved ones, jobs, and homes, many of us are facing personal obstacles. Dreams deterred. Sanity sailing away. Relationships falling apart. But it’s so important to be grateful for what we are going through because we are going to come through this stronger! And we will find ourselves where we are meant to be.
I’m reminded of that every Thanksgiving because it was the day my first marriage officially ended. While my friends were bagging Black Friday sales, I was hauling boxes out of the condo I shared with my then-husband back to my mom’s house.
I am so grateful for getting married and divorced in my 20s. I was married a little over a year when life as I knew it came crashing down. Not only did I lose my husband, but I also lost my home, some of my best friends, and my job. All at once. Talk about your world falling apart! It could have been the perfect storm for self-pity, depression, or addiction. But my personality and mindset has always been to stay positive, understand that everything happens for a reason even if it doesn’t make sense at the time, and… I’m straight-edge so I don’t drink or use drugs.
I spent that entire holiday season in my hot pink childhood bedroom hiding my shame from extended family. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about what I was going through. The only company I wanted was my two dogs at the time, Skye and Lucky, who offered my unconditional, unjudgmental love. (Note: I also got Skye on a Black Friday and she was my rock through so much in life. I’ve lost both Skye and Lucky– my other rock- since then. But I always must champion the power of animals for our love and mental health. We don’t just save their lives when we rescue them- they enhance ours!)
Getting divorced at age 28, when my biological tick was ticking so fast the hands were about to fly off, made me feel like I would be too old to have a child by the time I picked up the pieces. I’ve accomplished many goals, but the most important has always been motherhood. When my ex-husband told me he that he didn’t want to be married-not just to me, but anyone- and that he decided he never wanted to have kids, it was over. There was nothing to work towards. We weren’t happy and I had the confirmation that I would never have my happily ever after with him—but I did get my happily EVEN after!
Little did I know at the time, but my divorce was simply the end of life as I knew it, but not the life I was meant to live. I cried and then I conquered. I owned my status, picked up the pieces, wrote a book about it (Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s), and today have the life I always wanted.
It’s ten years later and I’m proof that in time your life will come together!
I’m happily remarried, the mother of two kids (and two rescue dogs), enjoying my career, and living in a home my husband and I worked together as a team to create for our family.
I used to think I had wasted the most important years with my ex-husband. Now I know the most precious time has just begun.