No doubt that my life is different from anyone else’s. We all climb out of bed in the morning, put our socks on one foot at-a-time, eat, sleep, and have relationships that matter to us; yet, we all have our own priorities, preferences, and individual stories. Every decision I’ve ever made and experience I’ve ever had has culminated to make me into the person I am today. Including my divorce.
I’ll never say that divorce was a better time than when I went to Disney World as a kid. Never. However, as much as I enjoyed Disney World, I can’t say that it taught me anything, and it didn’t impact my life or influence the person I’ve become. As much as divorce has rocked my world, usually for the worse; it’s undeniably part of who I am, and part of my story.
Divorce is one of the sadder chapters in my story, but I would not edit it out, and I would request that I receive no pity because I’m divorced! Here’s why:
I’m happier than ever! No one’s sad here, so pity is wasted on me! That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have my period of grieving and adjustment wherein I was a ball of emotional mayhem; but my life has purpose, and I don’t spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about my fate as a divorced person or mourning what has become of me. My sadness is behind me, along with all of my reasons to be sad, so life is good!
I’m in a better place. I know, that sounds like what we say when Fido crosses the rainbow bridge to “doggie heaven.” I’m in a better place mentally and emotionally, which kind of makes me feel like the pot of gold under a rainbow! I am more balanced, at peace, and able to see the positives in life because the negative is gone!
I’m free of my ex. That was the point of divorce, right? Divorce means that I no longer have to force myself to listen to his insensitive and uneducated remarks. I don’t have to endure his irritating habits, take care of him, or be around his family. My life no longer revolves around him, and his issues are no longer my problem!
A weight has been lifted. For at least three years, I felt as though I was trapped under a 275 pound weight. I kind of was! It’s hard to breathe, think, or appreciate life when pinned down like a butterfly in a museum display. I had my wings, but I was paralyzed to be able to move or use them because my life wasn’t my own. That’s no longer the case! I can flutter however and wherever I want to, and breathe freely at the same time!
I call the shots! It’s not as though I have this huge desire to dictate how everything and everyone operates in my life; but, boy, is it ever liberating to know that my destiny is in my own hands! While I may still make mistakes or face hardships in my future, they will be my mistakes to make, my lessons to learn, and it will be me who owns the solutions to those problems. What’s not to love about answering only to yourself about what to buy, do, wear, eat, or where to go?
Please, it’s not as though divorced people need to be classified in the same lot as abandoned pets at the pound or third world orphans! We don’t need a tele-thon, an awareness ribbon, or ballad of support sung by a choir of famous pop stars. We’re not doomed to an eternity of returning home every night to weep over a pint of ice cream while watching romance movies and petting our dozen cats!
Even if we choose to remain single after divorce, that does not mean that we need continued attempts by well-meaning friends and family to set us up on dates, nor do we need to be made to feel like oddball outcasts relegated to the kid’s table at Thanksgiving or the “miscellaneous unattached” table at your wedding reception. You don’t need to avoid the subject of marriage around us for fear that we’ll have an emotional break-down, nor whisper about divorce in our presence as if we’re somehow responsible for releasing a marriage-eating contagion.
I’m just an average person, as is every other divorced person I’ve met. We represent every lifestyle, political affiliation, race, socioeconomic status, and any other factor you can think of. We’re intelligent, interesting, and generally stable. I have both good days and bad. Not all of my bad days have anything, whatsoever, to do with my divorce.
My divorce is part of who I am, but it’s not a singular defining feature of my identity. It’s not a reason to single me out, behave differently around me, or, for God’s sake, to pity me! I’m okay, really!