I waited a whopping 4 months to post another blog piece lol.. Vulnerability is HARD. Though I envisioned my blog would be full of travel information, IVF pointers and funny ass mommy and daughter moments by now, it isn't, and that's okay. As much as I want to share all of the fun thoughts, experiences and information I have floating around in my head, every time I began to write a piece I subconsciously diverted off to an ex-husband bashing dark place, even recipes *face palm* which was a clear indicator, for me, that I needed to take a step back and put some more effort into my healing process.
So here we are.. Four months later. Healing. Laughing. Loving. Learning. I have decided to share some of the insights I have gained over the last few months, that have reshaped my life for the better.
Do I enjoy my own company? Of course I do! But after years of neglecting me time, avoiding self reflection and an unexpected divorce, here I was, awkwardly trying to get reacquainted with myself and create my new normal. Breakups can be scary and induce a cesspool of emotions and feelings; loneliness, uncertainty, abandonment, fear, confusion etc. and my divorce was no different. Of the many ways in which folks cope with separating from a partner, I have come to realize that embracing my singleness and revering my time alone has healed me in ways I did not expect and helped me navigate the overload of emotions that come with breaking up.
When I finally grasped the reality of my divorce and began to peak my head out of the blanket of hurt, anger and denial I had buried myself under, I began to recall moments from my life as a single woman and what I enjoyed about it. This exercise changed my entire perspective on transitioning from marriage to a divorced single parent.
Eventually I realized that when I took my attention off of my divorce and assumptions I made around future experiences I thought I (and especially my daughter) would be "losing", there was a much longer list of things I would be gaining; that I had already began to gain even while wallowing in my hurt.
This is not to say that you cannot be or feel free in a marriage but when you become one, much of the decision making becomes heavily intertwined with one another’s goals, feelings and validation. Of course we all make spin-off decisions here and there, but I always considered how my partner would receive my decision and knew that the fruit or consequences of said decisions would be a direct reflection of his feelings. Knowing that many of my decisions would be critically judged made me an anxious mess and by the end of it all, I found it difficult to trust my own judgement, even in situations unrelated to my marriage.
As a free spirit I was yearning to show up as my authentic self without the risk of embarrassing my partner. I wanted to live in the moment, love big and laugh loudly. Now that I am divorced, I feel free to show up in ways that are meaningful and serve me. I am free of gnawing worry that hugging an old friend or smiling at a weary stranger or laughing loudly in a dull space will be met with disapproval by my partner. This reintroduction to the authentic, unapologetically grand, happy and carefree version of myself feels refreshing and free.
2. Control of my environment
This literally boils down to existing in spaces of my choosing. For example, this may seem minuscule to some but for the first time in years I decorated and organized my home in a manner that is ascetically pleasing to me; intentionally designed to be a sanctuary, in every sense of the word, for both myself and my daughter. It is safe. It is fun. It is comfortable. It is peaceful and I can exhale and let my guard down. When I moved out of our shared home I scrambled to find a “decent” place for myself and my child, thankfully my therapist reminded me that I am no longer making decisions that compromise my pleasure to “stay safe” I am making decisions that bring me pleasure and are safe by default. That reminder guided me in creating spaces that I love and deciding to exist in environments of my choosing.
3. Realization that I am pretty damn funny and fine too
This may come off as vain.*shrugs* I find myself laughing at my own jokes again.. Laughing and smiling wholeheartedly with a joy I had not felt in a long time. I walk past mirrors and double back to smile at and laud over myself *cute ass mommy pudge and all*. I feel secure, loved and confident in myself in ways that I had not realized I’d missed until now… The lesson and less vain part of this revelation is that I was in serious need of unconditional love and I found exactly what I needed right inside of myself.. NEVER again will I make the mistake of shrinking myself for outside approval. Nothing is worth compromising your self worth.
4. Giving my daughter the best parts of me
In getting reacquainted with the highest version of myself, I am able to introduce my daughter to this version of her mommy. A version of womanhood that I hope inspires her to follow her wildest dreams, advocate for herself and live a life full of purpose and fulfillment.
5. Clear mind
Now that my mind is not preoccupied with avoiding conflict or pleasing someone outside of myself, I am able to attain a level of clarity and productivity that seemed impossible. I now find myself picking up goals I previously sat down, excitedly heading out of the house to workout and finding optimism in nearly every situation. My prayers have shifted from cries of help to praises packed with gratefulness. I am now better equipped to see the blessings and lessons in the good and not so good experiences I have had and am having.
6. Renewed faith
Somewhat in-line with gaining a clear mind, when I took a step back and began to recall all the things I have survived and thought I wouldn’t; infertility, the death of my father, health scares to name a few.. I was reminded not only did I survive but I thrived. I mean REALLY thrived! Traveling the world, receiving a great education and mentorship, birthing a miracle child and enjoying many of these moments with a friend-spouse.
Though the relationship with my partner has shifted in ways that we did not plan for, I am learning to appreciate it for the season that it was. With this new perception of my divorce, the confusion and disparity that came with it, has begun to fade away into a peaceful yet excited assurance that everything is okay. God has me, always has.. and navigating my divorce is no different. I have faith that I will survive and thrive beyond anything I can imagine.
There are so many things that I am learning about myself and life in general during this season. Though I have moments where self-pity and uncertainty rears their heads, I can always comeback to the fact that there are so many things I have to be grateful for, many of which have always existed inside me all along. There is a plethora of wonderful experiences awaiting me to show up and show out… baby in tow. And I plan to seek them out and live them up.
I hope by sharing my process someone else feels encouraged to be patient with themselves and find some time to tap into the power, love and courage that exists within.