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As a woman in her 20s, I never thought divorce would be on the table. Finding myself wondering how does one bounce back after devoting the last few years to building a life with another person. There is no doubt that regardless of the outcome, I am hopeful. And as I look back in hindsight and toward the future, here is what I have learned so far.
Being Honest with Yourself
When I did have the conversation with my former husband about where our relationship was going, we came to a conclusion that our values were no longer singing the same tune. We were dancing at two rhythms that neither of us could keep up. To think that is was all coming to an end terrified me with the worry that I would have to start from scratch, the fear that I would be judged for not having the capability to keep the marriage going and what it would mean to our friends and family.
Although letting him go was incredibly difficult, there truly was a silver lining. This meant that we were now on the path to find the right person for us. It meant that we could free ourselves from a routine that no longer felt natural. Whilst it was hard, it brought us both clarity in what we wanted to do, who we wanted to be and remain optimistic about our own love lives someday.
There is nothing wrong with feeling lost.
In fact, it’s more of a comfort to know that at some point my path will make sense. As I scrambled through the anxiety of managing my own self-doubt, putting pressure on myself at work and wondering what to do now that I was separated from my husband, my manager reminded me something that I completely forgot. He reminded me that I was in my 20s and I could afford to take risks.
As a youngster I need to cut myself some slack and devote this time to look forward to the future. Let’s face it, as millennials—we think we are entitled to everything—but we are not. What we can do is take all our losses, pick our shit up and figure out what we are passionate about and stick to it.
Do what makes you happy.
Surely it’s easier said than done, but thinking about the meaning behind it can be eye-opening. Spending time on my own has allowed me to focus on writing more, go back into my love for the arts, build relationships with wonderful people and give me the right headspace to assess my own goals.
Independence has never felt better on my skin, than any outfit I’ve ever worn. I’m not looking to change myself but rather be the best version of myself. And I know when the right person comes along, that will shine through with ease.
Self-love is a great feeling.
There have been days where I’ve asked dear friends around me if I’m a failure because of what’s happened. But the truth is I’m not. No one is ever a failure for needing to start from scratch. The bittersweet ending of a breakup can help you to figure out how you can learn to love yourself. And while we may have days where none of it will ever make sense, and we will always wonder, “What if?” what would be the point of giving yourself to someone, if you can’t even love yourself first?
Confidence is a powerful tool that I’m learning how to use, and it’s bringing more clarity to my own needs and wants.
I have realized that dating apps are not for me, because I would rather be courted the old-fashioned way. There is no point for compromise when it comes to the matters of the heart, and for this, I am grateful for the little things that I do for myself.
Overall, I came to the conclusion that coming to terms with how you feel about what you want can be terrifying, especially when there is another person involved. But asking yourself where do you want to be in five years will ultimately be more important in the long-run, than the shortcomings of a heartbreaking decision. Our narrative was coming to a close, to make room for a new set of adventures that meant for growth, self-discovery and happiness.
As I grow into whomever I become, I have confidence that I will only look back on the fond memories of those who have come and gone. I will be grateful for finally taking matters into my own hands, and believing in myself and in love when the time is right. But now it’s my turn to start a new chapter and re-discover what I’m capable of. I’m ready to let go and move forward, in style.