As I began to rebuild my life post-divorce, I slowly realized that I had embarked on an adventure to some mysterious destination, yet to be determined. I was evolving from what I once was, as part of a couple, to being single, and the transition was fraught with both fear and excitement.
I felt awkward when I turned up at social events unescorted. I would laugh and pretend to be happy. But when people asked me about life and work, I could sum up a whole year in five minutes. If I threw in the details of my divorce, well, that could have lasted five hours. But that would have been a good way to isolate myself even further, as very few people want to discuss divorce at a party. I knew I was a good mother, a person with lots of interests, a loyal friend. But I felt different, rattling around in society with nothing to ground me in the events I was a part of.
I soon realized that I had choices, and it was up to me to build a good life post-divorce. I could choose to be a victim, or choose to move on. By opening myself up to new experiences, and being open minded, I learned that divorce is rich in opportunity to learn and grown from. Life is certainly different as a single woman in my fifties than it was when I was single in my twenties. I now have a sense of who I am. Responsibilities and worries that I never thought about are now a reality. I am much more mature, realistic, and comfortable with where I am in life. Introspection, and a desire to heal emotionally helped me to achieve this perspective. I consider myself to be very fortunate. Not only do I have three amazing children and an extremely supportive family, but also an incredible group of dynamic friends. I certainly did not have such a rich life when I separated. I gained it through a lot of hard work and a desire to be content and happy.
I now embrace my life with open arms. The difficulty I now have is reconciling who I am today with who I was during and even before my marriage. I now have long, straight hair, when before I had short, curly hair. There are fine lines around my eyes. I've changed. The changes are more than just physical, however. I have had so much more life experience. Not only am I learning to settle into the new me, but my parents, siblings and friends have had to adapt too. They find it interesting to relate to this newly reflective, assertive, smart, sensitive, and, dare I say, sexy woman.
As I reflect back, there were a number of things I did that helped me work through this transformation; strategies that helped me to get where I am today.
Here are the five things that can help you find the smarter, sexier me:
Move outside your comfort zone. Try new activities; get out there and socialize. You are not going to meet people by sitting at home alone.
Pursue your interests and passion. Connect with people who share the same hobbies and positive outlook. Do you want to become a runner, a potter, a great cook? Weave these activities into your life, and learning -you'll marvel at how your life is changing and becoming more fun.
Work on your inner beauty. Feeling good about yourself and who you've become, will attract people into your life who have a similar positive outlook and energy
Include your married friends into your activities. Let them see the new you, and what you have to offer -- an interesting, stronger, happier and independent person.
Be your own role model. Strive to become the type of person you admire. Make a list of the attributes you most respect, and do what you need to get there.
Above all, it's important for you to think of yourself not just as a newly single person, or parent, but as someone who is so much more. A worker, a friend, a volunteer there are so many roles that you can play. You need to weave these other roles into your definition of yourself.
You know, I find most people's perspective on divorce and how a divorcée should feel to be interesting. Many people have said to me, "Oh, you're divorced; I'm sorry." And my response has always been, "Don't be sorry; I'm happy." Living happily ever after--it's not just my experience. I know many others who have achieved the same goal.
Copyright ©2011 The Smart Divorce® and Deborah Moskovitch
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