Daily I walk around my small, picturesque town with a thought bubble over my head: “Person Going Through A Divorce.” When I look at other people, I automatically form thought bubbles over their heads. “Happy Couple With Stroller.” “Innocent Teenage Girl With Her Whole Life Ahead Of Her” . . . “Young Kids Kissing Publicly.” Then every so often I see one like me, one of the shambling gaunt women without makeup, looking older than she is: “Divorcing Woman Wondering How The Fuck This Happened.”
–Suzanne Finnamore, Split: A Memoir of Divorce
I often wonder when perusing through the streets alone with eyes smothered with running mascara after a frustrating day, or a face full of anxiety while holding each of my children’s hands rushing to their schools in the morning aiming to make it to work on time, that people also categorize me and label my “bubble” on my head as a “Divorced Woman On The Brink Of A Break-Down”. When deciding to end your marriage and starting over, you anticipate adversity, however you plan and believe it is manageable and there is a means to an end. But at times it seems you are always running making sure you cover all bases, meet deadlines, aim for happy smiles on your children’s faces, but something is always missed. Periods of being overwhelmed is an understatement. The mountain that your climbing keeps appearing taller and taller as each day goes by. You are aiming to re-build your life, find inner-happiness and create a fulfilling foundation that your children can call home. However, chaos is your life….every place you perch symbolizes confusion. Unorganized work desk of mounting deadlines, a bottom-less overflowing laundry basket that never is a 100% empty despite the numerous of loads you put in the wash, toys astray on the living room floor despite efforts of picking up all the doll house furniture, crayons, playing cards and toy-airplanes the other day, escalating bills which 10% are still addressed to your former spouse. There is not much time for self grooming let alone pampering, a day at the hair and nail salon…maybe next weekend there will be time. That balanced routine you aim at mastering all on your own seems an incredible task to accomplish.
However, these battle wounds and struggles are signs of strength and perseverance. I have not yet threw in the towel and say “Screw It”. Divorce is not easy. Piloting the co-parenting situation is exhausting as well as managing your career, maintaining your house and living independently. Yes, everything can be fucking overwhelming! But the journey in becoming a “Happily Me” is well worth the battle! So why the bubble over my head can be “Puzzled Divorced Woman Trying To Figure It All Out” it will eventually transcend to “Happily Divorcee Doing Her Thang”
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