There are so many sayings that people throw at you when they hear you are divorcing such as “God never closes one door without opening a new one”, “Just move on . Sometimes you have to give up on people, not because you don’t care but because they don’t” or “Moving on doesn’t mean that you forget about things. It just means that you have to accept what happened and continue living”. All great quotes to help those of us walking in the valley of Divorce to make sense of what has happened to our lives. But here is the million dollar question: how do we move on? How does one create a new life?
My life for so long as a married woman was controlled in every aspect, down to the clothes I wore. I fought to be able to do the things I wanted to, most times losing the fight and just giving up to what I was “allowed” to do. Now, like a convict recently released from prison – I have all of this freedom to decide what I want to do and how I will spend my time and most definitely what clothes I will wear. And although I began this journey thinking I needed to rebuild my life – My thinking has shifted AND… I am BUILDING a new life. Rebuilding tends to lead you to believe it will look the same or very close to what it was before and I DON’T want my life to look the same. I have been purposeful in choosing to do things that will increase my friend circle, feed my need for adventure and competition, embrace my love of sports and allow me to be myself.
It has not been an easy task – building a new life. I have had to be diligent in keeping my momentum moving forward and not letting myself become stagnant. One of the biggest challenges a newly divorced person must overcome is having to redefine or recreate a friend circle. As once being part of a married couple, my life was surrounded by married friends. When divorce happens married friends tend to go away – its awkward as you become the third wheel. But I must admit, my community of friends included a few very special married friends that surrounded me, embraced my singleness and never ever make me feel like a third wheel. I have also reclaimed high school friendships, those where we picked up where we left off 27 years ago (yes 27 years) and had acquaintances move into my “close” friend circle. And as I mentioned in my previous post – I am surrounded by people that want to be in my life – want to take part in the things that are important to me.
“Freedom of choice” is an essential thing in moving my life forward – like the air I needed to finally breath. I have embraced that freedom and have chosen to reintroduce tennis into my life after not being allowed to play for so many years. Tennis was always an ever present activity in my family. I remember my entire family spending many summers on the tennis courts together. Reconnecting with that sport has been very nostalgic for me and I feel at home when I play. I started playing with a weekly community league in Lake Charles and have met many great people through that league. I am also playing in a competitive League and again it has led to some great opportunities to increase my territory. For the upcoming fall league my mother is even dusting off her racquet and playing on my team – and that feels good and right.
I like competition but also like competing against myself. I have ran 5Ks, a 10K, will be running a half marathon, completed several triathlons and a duathlon. Even in the moments during a race that I think, this is hard – I want to give up – I push myself through it. I have to – I can’t quit, just like I can’t quit my life because it isn’t easy sometimes. I have a “partner in crime” that pushes me and competes with me, as well as a group of people from my AMAZING TRAINER’S gym that compete alongside of me for the running events. We encourage each other and celebrate our accomplishments, even if they are small in nature.
I have traveled near and far to some amazing places: from Bora Bora to Phoenix for the NCAA Final Four to Disneyworld and back. I have more places on my bucket list to see -although I might have more things on my bucket list than I have actual time for. Being single does present a problem when traveling and even when vacation should be a happy time I find a bit of sadness that comes along with me. But I am not letting that stop me or put a damper in my spirit. My big kids are great travel companions but are not always available so I have researched travel groups or adventures where I can go by myself. Be looking for me to document some of my travels in 2018 – my tentative list includes some breathtaking places.
There are so many, many things that I have become involved with and have chosen to do in the past couple of years that make my life full and make my life look “different” – the different that I envisioned. Each activity, each interaction, each trip, a block that is stacked upon the other – building blocks if you will – that help me build that new life.
So do I have the million dollar answer? I am not sure that I have mastered it enough to say that, BUT, what I can say is that there is healing in me CHOOSING to do whatever it is that I want to do, asking no one for permission and that my friends is worth more than a million dollars.