They say that 60% of Americans are getting divorced. I find that shocking! How can that be true? That means that 6 out of 10 Americans are so unhappy that they are giving up the American dream?
What ever happened to the structure of monogamy and “till death do us part”?
Two and a half years ago, I joined that growing statistic. I went from 20 years of dedication to my best friend and the structure of a “normal”, cohesive, family structure to being solo. It was just me, my two children and our sweet puppy dog. No longer did I have a counterpart to travel with, go to parties with or confide in. It was me - sink or swim, exposed and on my lone and desperately in search of how to start a new family structure. A structure that was strong, independent, and non-traditional. Now, it was a family of three, no longer the organic 4.
There have been many people that have said, “I’m so sorry to hear about your divorce.” Sweetly, that was the first thing out of their mouths when I told them about our parting. My response has always been constant: it’s a new chapter in life. It’s an opportunity to learn from my behaviors of the past.
I fully recognize that my marriage was at least 50 percent me. And in order to start a new life, it’s my responsibility to change those old, destructive behaviors. It was time to relearn the skills of communication and love. For if I stay blinded and don’t make a change, I am sure to replicate that same, negative behavior in future relationships with another.
And so, my journey began. Single, after 20 years with a wingman. Yet, the prospects of a new life were incredibly enticing and I was hungry for a change.
Fast forward 2 1/2 years from our initial separation, and I am fully encouraged by life’s prospects. So many that look at divorce as a subtraction. I did the opposite and saw it as an addition. An addition of time to start focusing on myself, to develop a new lifestyle. It has become the solo Kate life, the Kate with children life, the Bold Babe life.
I believe that gratitude and love are the foundational cornerstones in life. If you focus on those two principles, great things will flourish. A surprising thing I found out about divorce, is that if you share custody, you get back 50% of the time you spent holding your marriage together. With that extra time, you can now spend it on your personal growth and development. What an incredibly novel concept, right? All of a sudden, after 20 years, I had time to focus on me. I had the time and space to evaluate my future. It was time to unapologetically explore my curiosity, interests and desires.
Almost two years ago now, I was at a party with my beloved neighborhood tribe. Somehow, all the single ladies found ourselves in a circle. We started sharing our divorce stories and the heartache and difficulties we had endured. But out of it all, I remember the four of us remarking of how strong we had become as women. Never in our lives did we think we could handle so much sadness and heartache at one time. But somehow, when life had us on our knees, we endured and kept putting one foot in front of the other. Never did we think that we could have become so capable, so efficient and so independent. And we all agreed that it was the pain of divorce that forced our growth and movement forward. I give gratitude and thanks for all that we had survived. Because that which does not kill us, only makes us stronger.
I have worked hard over the last two and a half years to find myself again. I have explored my career, found passion in building a business, and I have started to finally figure myself out. And I have to say, I surprised myself! I am no longer that conservative, Connecticut girl. I have changed, evolved and morphed as a human. I am finding that I truly enjoy living outside of the box. I am more of an artist - a sort of bohemian - happy wandering the land in my big trucks.
For the first time in my life, I am truly accepting of the person that I have become on my life journey. What a gift to be at that place in life! I give gratitude and thanks for the long journey it has been. May I be wise enough to learn from my mistakes of the past and creative enough to build a future of love and success.