(I wanted to write this post to help anyone who may be struggling to get over a divorce whether it was their decision or the choice was taken out of their hands. This is my story and experience of divorce. I hope it helps someone).
When you come through the other side of divorce, you’ll wonder if it ever really happened. Was that really me that walked down an aisle in a white wedding dress before vowing to spend the rest of my life with just one person?
Yes it was…
But it seems like an ethereal dream. A moment in time that you witnessed but never actually took part in. Maybe I was a guest, looking on as two people who seemed so in love to the outside world, pledged a vow to never leave each other before I witnessed the bubble burst and the end of a union that just was never to be.
But with the death of anything comes new beginnings, and if I had never suffered the loss of my future dreams, and leaving my marital home, I would never have got the strength to be where I am today.
This blog has been a journey, that started from day one of my new life. One at times of adventure, excitement and amazement at pushing myself to the very limit, and others, of despair, of wondering what the hell I had done, giving up a life that was absolutely fine, in the search for what? For the missing piece of me that maybe I would never truly find…
I’m not going to lie, it was tough but as cliche as it sounds – travelling saved me. It gave me hope when I felt so lost and pulled me out of a place that at the time, I never thought I could pull myself out off alone.
At first I cried everywhere: on the boat to Robben Island, hotel rooms in China and in gers in Mongolia when I just couldn't fight back the tears. And there were times I felt those pangs of loneliness hit me so hard that they took my breath away in Africa.
I underestimated divorce. I underestimated the pain, the loss, the grieving that all came in a little box packaged as ‘divorcee.’ But now instead of the words ‘I’ve failed,’ divorcee to me means strength; of coming through something that at the time, was the worst point in my life.
I remember when it all started to change, when I began to feel at peace with myself in an Indian ashram, when I began to believe in myself again in Belize, throwing myself into extreme adventure and building myself up piece by piece until one day I awoke and realised ‘I’m actually okay.’
Nine years ago at the age of 36, I made a decision to change my life. Today I am the happiest I have ever been. I have no house, no car, no 9-5 job and virtually nothing to my name but not knowing where I’m going to be in 6 months fills me with excitement and gives me a sense of freedom that I would not trade with my previous life. Yes, I was secure and I had everything I ever needed but I was living a life that wasn’t true to me.
I have been through the roller coaster of emotions, the uncertainty and the fear that maybe, just maybe, that was my only chance of ever having a family and becoming a mum. I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t slot into a conventional society and that it’s okay to choose a life like this for myself even if others don’t understand or even accept my way of life. Most importantly of all, I have no regrets.
If I had the chance again, I would still have gotten married. Why? Because it’s part of who I am. It was a chapter in my life that moulded me and shaped me to who I am today, and for that I am grateful that someone loved me enough to say those vows to me, to promise me a lifetime of what I thought I wanted back then, and for someone who I hoped to have helped grow too.
But…divorce is tough.
And even through the other side those moments of loneliness still come. This time, they’re fleeting, and I acknowledge them and allow them to pass by, knowing that they’re just part of life.
My advice for anyone going through a divorce is to be kind to yourself, take time to heal and find something that makes you happy. I was privileged to have been able to fling myself out into the big wide world and re-ignite my love and passion for travel again.
It does get better. So much better in fact that it’ll soon be a speck of history, a tiny chapter in your life that will fade as you rewrite shiny new chapters full of you and everything you ever want to be. It’s okay to ask for help to get you through the dark moments. It’s all part of the process, but there is a light at the end. I promise you that…