I believe divorce is an opportunity for a new life. I divorced at age 39 and decided I needed some fresh experiences. I was open to taking risks. However, this resulted in some mistakes. Here are a few of my misadventures.
Mimicking Reality Shows
I am addicted to reality TV shows. Bravo TV's The Real Housewives of Whatever and The Millionaire Matchmaker. Lifetime's Girlfriend Intervention. I decided they had great ideas and proceeded to copy them. So, I got my first Brazilian waxing and took a twerking class on the same day. Ouch. Picture a skinny, middle-aged woman trying to twerk immediately after being waxed. It was a recipe for crotch fire while looking pathetically absurd. I quickly discovered that I am not Beyoncé. Yet, I honestly enjoyed trying both.
However, when I bragged to my friends about these courageous experiences, embarrassment resulted. For example, I recommended my wonderful esthetician to some twenty-something women and boasted about enduring the pain, which led to a TMI moment and uncomfortable silence. Oops. And when I talked with Baby Boomers about twerking, they would immediately watch Youtube videos and ask me to demonstrate it. These conversations would end with me explaining that my butt could not jiggle in different directions and they were always disappointed. Conclusion: Baby Boomers are strangely curious about twerking.
Never Suggest the Movie The Devil in Miss Jones
I discovered that all classic movies are not appropriate for new relationships. There was a movie called The Devil in Miss Jones. I read about it online. This classic was created in the 1970s and has a fascinating plot about a righteous woman who commits suicide and ends up in limbo. While in limbo, an angel gives her the option of limbo or Hell. She chooses to enter Hell by accepting the sin of lust. Intriguing, right? I was curious and wanted to watch it. [To my mother, please do not select this for the family movie night! It's a porn!]
My next step was to find someone who would enjoy watching this movie with me. So, I naively selected a date from an online dating service. I had chosen the criteria that I wanted in a man. It was like shopping on Amazon! Poof! The dating site identified the man of my dreams within minutes. I had a date. Wow! Who knew it was this easy?! This was so much better than dating in the 1990s!
That is, until I realized we had very different definitions of "independent films" and "spiritual". During our first dates, I said I enjoyed watching independent films. He did, too! He said he was spiritual, but not religious. Me, too! We had so much in common. But I was wrong.
Very embarrassingly wrong.
This awkward moment happened when I suggested watching The Devil in Miss Jones. We were planning our next date. How about a movie? Okay! Hm. I said, "how about this independent film about a woman struggling with the sin of lust?" And then I told him to google, The Devil in Miss Jones. There was an awkward pause and then he assumed I was joking. Instead, he proposed a Christian movie, like Kirk Cameron's Fireproof. Huh? Apparently, my definition of "spiritual" meant agnostic, bordering on being an atheist and crude. His definition meant attending church every other Sunday. It was awkward. Really awkward.
[And no, I still have not watched this movie, but maybe I will when I am alone this weekend...]
Not Living my New Life
Sometimes I get stuck in my old life. I found myself sitting on my couch, depressed and crying about the life I left behind. I was an ugly mess with mascara running down my face. I had just talked with my ex about our old dog. She was like a child to us and he got her in the property settlement. I missed her. I so really missed her.
I had planned a Girls' Night Out that evening. But I was too busy throwing myself a pity party that afternoon. As I wept, I texted my girlfriend if I should bail on our friends.
Me: I am depressed. Should I cancel tonight? I won't be much fun.
Awesome Friend: No. You need to start living your new life. Go turn on music. Start moving. Come out!
I sat there for a moment. Actually, I sat there for a very long time. Utterly sad. I re-read her text several times: Start living your new life. I repeated that over and over.
Begrudgingly, I obeyed. I turned on my favorite music. Then, I wiggled my toes. Then, I wiggled my fingers. It was literally that painfully slow. The music eventually inspired me to stand up and it filled me with a new energy. Somehow, I danced a little. Two hours later, I was at Girls' Night Out and living my new life.
What I am Doing Right
I am going to make some embarrassing mistakes over the next year, but I have wonderful friends to steer me back on course. They laugh at my misadventures and tell me when I am being a dumbass. As payment for their support, I entertain them with the tall tales of my new life. It is humbling at times, but hella fun.