I’m divorced. And I’m 28.
It’s 2:20 a.m. and I woke up to an overwhelming need to start writing down what’s been fogging up my brain. Lots of “feels” and those stone cold bastards needed somewhere else to live than in me, so here I am. I’m considering this therapeutic.
First off. Woah. I’m divorced and I’m not even 30. OK, cool. Let’s move on.
But do we ever really “Move On?” I’m not sure that we fully do. I think we “Move ON-ward” from heartbreak, sadness and life lessons but each experience teaches us something. About ourselves, about others.
My divorce has been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. But, I can now say, it’s also the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.
I’ll keep it simple: It forced me to take a hard look in the mirror.
I came across this quote that resonates with me:
“I find it extremely liberating to see that I was the cause of all of my problems. With this realization I have also learned that I am my own solution. This is the great big gift of personal accountability. When we stop blaming external forces and own up to our responsibility we become the ultimate creators of our destiny.” — Jenna Galbut
And while my divorce was a two-way street and a (mostly) respectful break, we both realized we weren’t good for each other anymore. And now I know, I need to be good for myself.
Did I come to that realization over night? Hell no. I was counting the seconds, days and weeks to when I would feel like myself again. I’ve spent nights crying. Days crying. I’ve lied in bed trying to grasp for my own identity that, over the years, I had lost in some fog of an idea that it needed to be dependent on someone else.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved being in love. We, as humans, are meant for relationships — and at all levels. And all stages of our lives. We’re emotional beings. But, what I found after being forced to be alone was that the single most important relationship I have is with myself. THAT relationship needs to be cared for in order to give my best self to others.
Onto the dating part.
So. Long story short, I’ve been riding solo (sup, Derulo?) since my divorce. Last December, I decided to get back into dating. I joined Bumble. Before I joined up, I assumed — because I live in Chicago’s suburbs and not in the city itself — no one my age existed out here. News flash: they do. Some pretty cool guys, as a matter of fact. Also, I don’t know what dating is or how people my age even meet these days, so Bumble just made sense.
I swiped so much I thought my thumb was going to fall off, but I honestly enjoyed meeting new people. Regardless of expectations, I thought it’s what I needed to sort of move on from my last relationship. I mean marriage. OH GOD. So I kept it for about six months. I deleted Bumble three times and deleted it for the last time in March/April.
It became exhausting and just felt like a lot of work. Wow. No shit though, right? Meeting people and creating relationships takes WORK. Recognizing my indifference to the effort made me realize something: I have no idea what I want and shouldn’t be on here. So. Peace out, hive.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve met some pretty cool dudes, developed some feelings and actually still talk to some of them to this day. And dare I say some are now friends of mine. It’s not weird, I swear.
What I’ve Learned:
- Being alone is NOT a negative. I’ve actually come to enjoy it.
- I need to drink less beer.
- I want to better appreciate the people in my life that know me in my rawest forms and still haven’t bailed.
- I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ve been selfish for good reasons and also selfish for bad reasons. To family, friends and even some Bumblers, I apologize for anything I did that hurt.
- I need to continue to find myself and what I want at this stage of my life before truly pursuing something outside of myself.
- I love the people I work with more than I did before all this. I consider them all friends of mine and they have been instrumental in this journey.
- It’s so important to know what you want and what you are looking for before wasting your own time or anyone else’s time.
8. It’s okay that I took a rough road to realize all this.
Time to dive further into the feels pool and see what’s at the bottom.