“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” ~ Maya Angelou
After I left my husband, the euphoric feeling of independence was soon replaced by fear. Marriage had afforded me the luxury of financial freedom and the benefit of sharing parenting responsibilities. Being a single parent soon took its toll. I worried about what would happen in the future. How would I provide for two little ones and myself? My anxiety manifested itself in loss of appetite, weight loss and insomnia.
Divorce can leave you so mentally and emotionally depleted that you feel like you have failed at everything. There were moments where I felt completely hopeless. Yet, somehow I realized there was nowhere to go but up. My divorce initiated my personal renaissance period. I started trying to figure out who it was I wanted to be and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. What would bring me joy?
After a divorce, you are doing more than piecing together a new life, you are piecing together a new you. Why not lead a life driven by your passions?
Here is how I did it:
Revisit Old Interests:
After marriage, I put my educational goals on the back burner to support his career. Though I cherished being a wife and stay-at-home mother, I was not fulfilled. When we split, I returned to college to earn a second degree because I had always wanted to. My goal was to stick it out until the end, which was more than I was able to do in my marriage. Graduating was an amazing confirmation that I could still accomplish anything I put my mind to. The dissolution of your marriage does not have to ruin the rest of your dreams.
Get A Life:
My life had grown isolated after he accepted a career opportunity in a new state. So, I decided to return to my home state, where I reconnected with family and found employment. I also joined a gym and started dating for fun. I dragged myself to art openings, wine tastings, yoga classes and anything happening in the community that seemed remotely interesting. In essence, I got a life. Gradually, I built my new normal – a life that barely resembled the one I shared with my husband, but one that was more closely aligned to how I wanted to live. You may not be ready to make bold changes, but you owe it to yourself to start taking small steps to move forward.
Find An Outlet:
Everything about my life was changing and I grew inspired to express myself creatively. As a child, I loved to write and sing. As an adult, writing and singing became creative outlets that were healing. Eventually, I gained the courage to share my talents with the world by completing a musical recording project and entering the world of freelance writing. Outside of being someone’s wife, or mother, I was developing my identity as an artist. Pursuing a creative career felt more authentic to me than any moment I had ever spent trying to mold myself into the perfect wife. It may have taken several decades and a painful divorce, but I found my passion and so can you.
Though my divorce was difficult, I cannot imagine returning to the life that I once lived. I am proud of my journey and where my life is heading. There is nothing better than living life on your own terms and spending your time doing what you love.