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4.75 Words of Wisdom for the Recently Divorced and the Folks Who Love Us

Divorce unfortunately is becoming the norm.  It’s not like in the old days when people shunned or judged because you were in the minority. However, regardless of how much times have changed, people still don’t get us.

Everyone’s situation is different.

Some get a divorce and are really happy about it–like that guy that had two winning lottery tickets for life. Woo Hoo!!!   For some, it’s the worst thing that ever happened and the wonder of how life could ever go on causes undeniable stress. For some the court process is a quick experience and for some (especially if you have kids and/or multiple properties) it is a drag-em out, duke-em out, hurry-up-and-wait experience.

In all of these situations is a common denominator:  It does something to us.

 

steel heart

 

You’re just never the same.  That can be good.  That can be bad.

For those of you who love us, if you haven’t been through this process you just don’t know what to do or say to make us feel better. Please know your presence, love and support speaks volumes

About a month ago, I had a meeting with my money guy.  He gave me some paperwork and for the first time I saw the dreaded set of boxes to select from: Single…Married…Divorced….Widowed.

I said “Ughhh, do I really have to check this box?”  I wanted to check the “Single” box so bad, but I had to check the other one.  I felt dirty.  I felt like a failure. I felt embarrassed.

I then took 60 seconds to woo-saah and get me and my money back together.

 

 Embarrassment is a choice.” -Rev. Geneva Hackett

 

Somehow, I have become a poster child for perseverance–like I have some little secret esquire title behind my name. People come to me all the time to get advice about their next steps if they are just starting the process or just finished. The #1 statement that people make to me is “You seem to be doing great and moving on with your life.” This statement is true and false at the same time.

They think because I smile, I am happy, content and came out unscathed.  I am pleased to announce that I am happy and content.  However, I am sorry to report that I did not come out unscathed. This is the case for most of us.

What people have to understand about “us” is we have to put ourselves in a place mentally to maintain control of the situation.  Half of the time, we don’t know what’s going on or where this whole thing is going.  It’s scary.  You don’t want to do something stupid that will land you in jail or make you lose your job.  So, we have to keep quiet and ride the storm out.

 

I don’t see divorce as a failure. I see it as the end to a story. In a story, everything has an end and a beginning. -Olga Kurylenko-

 

Ok, think about times you were in an emergency situation and you had to keep it together until it was over.  After the situation ends, then you decompress.

So take these words of wisdom from me and my divorced friends to get you to the next place in your process:

1. Take a deep breath. I know your life stood still for a while and it was frozen, full of restrictions. You couldn’t spend money the way you wanted to because in most cases, you anticipated that money going to your attorney.   You limited your travel and avoided social functions because you didn’t want to deal with the uncomfortable scene of running into your ex or other people who don’t know you broke up and ask “So, how is ______?”

Honey, it’s over. Count backwards from 1,000 and GO OUTSIDE!

2. The dating scene is NOT the same. Actually people don’t really date anymore.  For the most part, they just want to “hook up.”  Dudes, don’t want to spend any money and would rather go for walks or sit on your couch, watch tv and eat all your food.  Ladies are fighting the “all the good men are taken” syndrome and sinking their standards to a new low to get a man. The younger generation (35 and below) want to text all the time instead of actually talking.

When you decide to go out, just focus on having a good time. Don’t go out with the focus or intent of trying to meet the person of your dreams. Just enjoy the ride—but feel free to roll if the person will eventually be a waste of your time. Don’t get discouraged, there are some wonderful people out there.  Unfortunately, you have to sift through all the trash first.

3. Don’t wish ill on the other person. Child, if you don’t just MOVE THE HELL ON!  Now don’t get me wrong, there will be situations where you hear about something that your ex did that was a hot mess and you have no choice but to chuckle or smh.  It’s ok. Just don’t dwell on it too long. Maybe even pray for them. Just try to not to laugh and pray at the same time.

4. Give yourself a few months of fun, then do some self-reflection.  For the first few months, you are relieved and every day is a party. Then reality sets in and you find yourself in a weird zone. Almost two months ago, I woke up one morning and just freaked out. I was in this creepy space and couldn’t put a name to it.

Just feel it out!

The space looks like this:

Rebellion: You have been living under some major rules and restriction and you just want to “do you.”  You don’t really care what other people think.  In my case, it resulted in me skipping out on the gym, eating what I wanted, chilling and watching tons of TV and not blogging.  It’s ok to do this, just don’t go for too long. Now that I look back, it also mirrored a form of depression.

Depression: This comes in many forms, but basically means that you seriously deviate from your norm. You could procrastinate, eat a lot, avoid your friends.  You might not be sad about any specific thing but you know your life is different. You have to take a deep look at yourself and explore your state of “new normal” to get out of it.

New normal/Who am I: This is the part where our friends are key.  Now friends, just let us be for a little while.

Let us explore new things. Some things may be stupid. Some things may be right on the border. We are no longer that elephant in the circus that is chained to the floor, psychologically trained to stay in tight space.  We have been unchained and can move out of that space.

Pretend that we are just like that dog whose owner takes the leash off and let’s us roam freely for a bit.  Allow us to sniff every piece of gravel and blade of grass. Don’t judge if we lift our leg over every tree, bush and hydrant.  We have walked this path a million times, but now it seems to be a whole new world.

Now if we act a fool and wander off into the street and into the traffic, then yes, YANK US BACK ONTO THE SIDEWALK!

Some random ish that kind of relates to the post

Over the last two weeks, I had an opportunity to watch Alfonso Ribera on Dancing With The Stars.  As many celebrities that became famous because of a character in a show, he has being trying to separate “Carlton” from “Alfonso” for years.  He actually hates to be called “Carlton” and works hard to shed that character (which I found funny because he used that character to nab votes). We all know that “Alfonso 2.0” won the finals and we are excited to see what he is going to do next with his revived success.

Us divorced folks are the same way.  You know us as our married self, but there’s a part of us trying to resurrect our old self and hopefully transform into a newer and fancier model. Cheer us on as we go through this process.

So with that being said, I leave you with two of Alfonso Ribera’s winning performances from Dancing With The Stars. You can pick whichever one you want to watch.  They both crack me up.  Enjoy!

 

(The “Tonto, Jump On It” Dance)

(The “Carlton Dance”)

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.keepitmovingblog.com/2014/12/07/4-75-words-of-wisdom-for-the-recently-divorced-and-the-folks-who-love-us/

20 comments

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  1. Miss Sassy

    Great post! Entertaining and enlightning.

    1. Nichole Renee

      Thanks Stania!

  2. Sharon Sadler

    I love you Nichole Renee Johnson! ! Your words always bring reflection and life. Don’t worry chica…you know I’ll be the first to yank, drag, or push you back on track. So I leave you with this, in the words of one of our favorite women, Iyanla …”in the meantime “…. live your life to the fullest because there’s a whole world out there thats waiting to get what you got! I’m right here boo, no plans on going nowhere except to Keep it Moving right along with you!

    1. Nichole Renee

      I LOVE YOU TOO BIG SIS! And yes, I have the burn marks on my neck to prove that you are one of the key yankees, lol! But, “in the meantime” life is great!

  3. Valerie (aka, Mom)

    You can be the nice one, I got #3!

    1. Nichole Renee

      LOL!!!! I’m sure you do…smh

  4. Donetta A McQueen

    “Just try to not to laugh and pray at the same time.” LOL!!! Sorry, I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t do one and not the other. I had to pray for forgiveness when I was done.

    Love the post. Thanks for being so transparent.

    1. Nichole Renee

      Well Donetta, sometimes God wants a good laugh too…

  5. Kate

    All very interesting. I particularly enjoyed the piece about Alfonso. And I love that quote: “Embarrassment is a choice”. Well said!!

    1. Nichole Renee

      Kate, that quote saves my butt EVERY TIME!

  6. Oglatha S. P. Ingram

    woo, woo, woo, woo, woo! – an open an honest discussion – thanks for the education and humor. (BTW – that embarrassment quote may help those who are burden with the shame and guilt syndrome.)

    I love your blogs!

    1. Nichole Renee

      Oglatha, just like I told Kate (above), that quote has saved me on many a day. Thanks for reading and be sure to pass it on…since that is what you do best!

  7. Keisha

    I love this post. I commend you for being transparent, for sharing your insights, and for moving forward with strength and positivity. God bless you!

    1. Nichole Renee

      Thanks Keisha! The transparency is going to keep coming. Next weeks post is a doozy!

  8. Em

    Nic- I love you no matter what box you check :) Agreed about the choice… so many times we can choose to feel another way. I always aim to make positive feelings a priority.

    1. Nichole Renee

      Thanks Em. I FEEEEEL the love!

  9. Barbara R

    Excellent! It has sure been a roller coaster of feelings and events since the “big event” but I am happier today than I have ever been. I know who I am and what I want. For me moving to a new city was a way to move past the “married” me. People here don’t know my past and take me for who I am and what I offer. I am loving my life and am grateful to God for holding onto me when I felt so lost and confused.

    1. Nichole Renee

      Barbara, I agree. I am glad that you got to get a fresh start in a new place. I am fortunate to be able to “create one” in my environment and everyone has either being very supportive…or silent.

  10. Fred

    What a courageous post!! It is difficult for anyone to peel the onion all the way to the core, because most people either think they know what they’ll see or fear what they’ll see. Emerson said “no one can bring you peace but yourself”. If you really know and love who you are, you can live with what you see. I’m dating myself, but about 30 years ago Johnny Carson was interviewing a millionaire on his show (The Tonight Show) and asked him if he woke up the next morning and all his money was gone, would he be devastated. The man said no, not at all! Johnny was really taken aback by his response and asked him why not; and the man replied “because I know how to make a million dollars”. Cheers to my million dollar daughter!!
    -Dad

    1. Nichole Renee

      Aww dad, you sure know how to make a black girl blush! Some people have asked me how I felt about all the money and time that I lost with the divorce. I said I wasn’t pressed about it because I gained so much material from the whole process I would get it all back and then some. So you’re right, I see the million dollars I’m sitting on. :-)

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