Since my divorce, I've met a lot of divorced people. It's funny that when I was married, I knew mostly married people. I guess that's what we humans do, we gravitate towards our kind, and now my kind is divorced with kids, and I'm surprised to say I'm happy about that. I'm also well into my forties and, guess what, I'm happy about that, too.
After a year of being sad and scorned and hurt and scared that I'd never find love; I'd never make enough money to support my kids; I'd never have the life I dreamed of as a young girl -- something finally clicked. As I watched my divorced friends scurry off to recreate the past, I didn't. For about a year, I did what I had to do to support my kids, but I knew it wasn't a forever thing. I didn't feel the need to plant myself anywhere, to rebuild or to fix, I just sort of floated about and then it hit me. You know what? I actually don't have to do any of those things. I am completely free to do whatever I want. Whoa...you mean I don't have to find a husband? I don't have to stay in the career I was in while I was married? I am completely free to reinvent myself any way I want? That's awesome. Like really awesome.
Lucky for me (and for all of us), we live in a time where we don't have to follow the program; we can create our own, and that's exactly what I did. I decided I probably wasn't interested in getting married again, and I certainly wasn't having anymore kids (I have two amazing kids already). I decided what I really wanted to be was a writer, a story teller -- not too far off from what I did before, but new enough that I was both frightened and exhilarated at the thought of attempting to support myself and my kids on such a lofty, artsy endeavor. I found faith in myself. I looked back on my marriage and I saw a resourceful, creative, fun loving being who may no longer have all the accepted labels of a woman my age (Married with children, awesome husband, house, car and a Chino wardrobe to boot), that even though my marriage had ended, I was still alive and growing! I saw for the first time the freedom to explore life and trust that I am capable of raising my kids and living fully at the same time.
Divorce after 40 doesn't have to be the end of your life; it can also be the beginning of your new one. I look back on my marriage as a chapter in my book, and the next pages are mine to write on and no one else's. I don't have to follow a script, I don't have to play by the rules, I am free to do and be anything that I desire. So are you.
If you're sitting here reading this and you're in the early stages of your divorce, you probably wish you could reach in to your computer and throttle my perky little neck, I know, I get it. It's ok to be mad, to be scared, to feel alone, but don't get stuck there, because if you do you'll miss out on some of the most amazing times of your life. Oh, and guess what -- the sex is way better, too!