I feel like my life has a huge sever in it; my life before my divorce and life after it.
It took a long time for me to be comfortable being divorced. Shortly after getting divorced, I moved to a new province and I did not even tell people who I created friendships with that I was divorced for years. People knew me, for years, and never knew this big part of my life because I felt it was weird to blurt out something that felt so personal.
You do not introduce yourself to someone and tell them every test you have failed, your family issues or if you have been arrested, but people pretty easily disclose if they have been divorced. At the beginning, it felt like admitting that you failed, at one of the most important life goals in society.
It took me a long time to become comfortable with my identity, as a divorced person, and I still do not disclose it to every person I meet on the street willingly.
I also felt that I was now damaged; not a damaged woman, but kind of a damaged woman. I felt like I had this mark on me. I vividly remember, pre-divorce, shouting from the rooftops about how I would never date someone who was divorced. I felt they were beneath me and were damaged.
Now, here I am, in the damaged boat, and all of my youthful judgements of others are coming to haunt me.
I learned a lesson with my divorce; divorce can happen to anyone and it is not a defining characteristic of what makes a good or a bad person. It is an event which happens when two people, who are not meant to be together, have the guts to admit it and walk away.
It takes a lot of guts to get divorced.
There is a lot of judgement and gossip that happens when you are getting divorced. I heard so many rumours and accusations about myself that I honestly could not believe that people actually believed them. People love to believe the worst in people…it provides them a sense of joy that they are doing something right.
You have to let people talk shit and not listen.
You have know who you are and what I have learned is that people who do not like you or revel in your misery, will talk shit about you whether you are saving babies from burning buildings or robbing from the poor.
I also learned that not everyone who was my friend was my real friend.
I lost people in the process of getting divorced; people chose sides and some of those choices were not in my favour and it shocked me. I do not know why it shocked me so, but it did. It is hard to accept that you are not the preferred person in a partnership, but it does help you grow. It helps you grow a lot and very quickly; extreme pain does that to a person.
I had some wins in my divorce; by moving to a brand new city I had the opportunity to rebuild myself without bumping into people from my past on a daily basis, but I also had no nearby supports.
I dove headfirst into redefining who I was and making a better, shinier version of myself. I needed to prove that I ‘won’ because I am more successful post versus pre-divorce.
I lost myself in this process.
All I focused on was the idea of external, measurable success and I stayed there for years. It took me and is still taking me the time to find out who I really am. It can be really challenging to find the happiness in the day because happiness is not a byproduct of success, but I really, really thought it was. If it was not for breakdowns, stress and people who love me seeing the self-inflicted strain in my life, I could have continued living that disjointed, unhappy life forever.
I am learning that failure does not make you a bad person.
Mistakes do not tattoo themselves on your person, but you must learn from them, otherwise you will keep circling that drain until you do. Life is a series of lessons, challenging, temptations and expectations and you must pick and choose what and who takes your time, money and energy and why.
Do not be afraid of starting new, because the idea of the unknown is scary.
Do not be afraid to cut people out of your life if they are damaging. Do not be afraid to take great risks because at the end of the day we are all going to die; the end of the story is clear, so the journey is the only thing we have true control over.
I was young and inexperienced.
I was not even thirty when I got divorced, which is a good thing and a bad thing. Everything in your twenties seems like it is the end of the world. I cried for months about having to start dating again as a twenty-eight year old because I felt that my ‘prime’ years were gone. Now that I think about it, I laugh, I love how dramatic we are when we were younger.
Divorce can be tough, totally, but do you know what is tougher?
Waking up next to someone who does not support you. Waking up next to someone who puts their needs before your own. Waking up next to someone that you really do not like all that much.
I know a lot of people who are making their marriage work and I try to support them as best I can.
I understand that divorce is not a real option for some people, for a plethora of reasons, but I am so, so, so glad that I am not one of those people.
Yes, the process broke me, but the journey, since then has been so eye opening.
I have learned so much about society, Punjabi culture, myself and my people through this journey. I never thought I would be divorced, but I am so glad that I am because I am becoming a stronger, happier, more confident person because of it. If you can fail at a promise you made in front of almost a thousand people (yes, there were a lot of people at my wedding) you are willing to take more risks in life because you are no longer afraid of failure.
Do not like your life?
Do not blame anyone other than the person in the mirror because you have all the power to choose who is in your life and how.