WHAT DIVORCE TAUGHT ME ABOUT “ME” — “JUNGLEDIVA”
If 10 years ago you told me that at the age of 32 I would be divorced, I would have probably laughed so hard in your face.
Never in my entire life had that thought ever crossed my mind.
I clearly remember just after I got married and I went to visit one of my relatives and my uncle said to me: ‘’Well, wishing you all the best. Keep in mind that children from divorced families always end up getting divorced’’.
This came as a complete shock to me, especially coming from a blood relative, but that statement somehow always lingered behind my sub conscious.
Fast forward 2012 when my ex and I parted ways. Nobody really prepares you for this part of your life. Forget about the conversations and agreeing on going separate ways; the hardest part is actually walking away from it all, from what has been your life and love for years. Nobody can prepare you enough for that!
But once you are out, when you have the balls to actually move out, then you are ready for the next step.
Finding a place to live in a foreign country with a foreign language is extremely hard, especially when you are not conversant with the language.
That was my biggest struggle, but thanks to Google translate, I was able to understand part of documents that I was signing.
Hard part was when I had to move! I did it all alone! The day I actually drove back and forth between my ‘new home’ and what was soon to become my ‘old home’ made me realize how people live such isolated lives in the West.
I missed my friends and family back home so much it hurt. I remember crying all the way to my new apartment and all the way back.
I had never felt so alone in my entire life! I was going through so much emotion at some point I got numb from it all. At that point I realized that I was in a foreign country all alone and I could either crumble down from my pain or actually be strong and get moving! I decided to get moving!
Then came the pain….when I was all alone in my new apartment, with just walls around me…pin drop silence…just me and my thoughts.
When I was forced to face my emotions and what I was going through head on. I cried for hours!
It felt so good to be able to cry. I realized just how much I had died inside. I numbed my emotions for years in order to avoid the pain, but here was I all alone and the reality hit me so hard that tears came down freely. I needed to do that. I needed to water my soul again after such numbness for years! And boy didn’t I drown my soul!
After that night, it was one step at a time. The meeting with the lawyer, drawing up the divorce covenant , separating accounts etc.
Signing the papers with the lawyer was such a relief!
I felt like a heavy burden had been lifted off my shoulder!
I knew I had my life back and I was determined to live it to the fullest! That included finding love, and this time I was determined to find love that would help me grow as an individual, love that would be unconditional, love that would have respect and trust, love that would bring friendship before anything else.
Love that would let me be myself and not a shadow of someone else, love that would set my sprit free. And I found it!
6 months after my divorce! I have never been this happy as I am at this moment in my life!
I can honestly say that the divorce was a good thing for me. I have no regrets about my previous marriage, it was part of life that I needed to go through to cave me into this wonderful person I am today.
I know 100% for sure that I would not be half the person I am today if I hadn’t gone through the life I did in my previous marriage and through the divorce. There are so many things I could have done different, but I wouldn’t change anything because the experiences made me.
I should have walked out sooner for sure, but I wouldn’t change my past. I learnt so much about myself in the whole process.
- I learnt that I am responsible for my own happiness, nobody is and that is the truth and the naked truth. I owned my happiness and it was my responsibility to take charge of it, nobody was going to hand it to me on a silver platter.
- I learnt that if you suppress one emotion you suppress ALL emotions. You can never fool your subconscious! For many years I suppressed my anger and pain so much, in the process I killed love, laughter and joy. I got numb from everything, a mistake I will never make again.
- I learnt that if you don’t speak up or stand up for yourself, people will walk all over you and trust me they will! Being brought up in a typical African culture, I was taught to never really say exactly what I was feeling. I was so passive. This meant that I let people walk all over me all the time including my ex husband.
- I learnt that the mind, soul and heart will always adjust to any situation: bad or good. Take one step from your emotions and make a decision using your brain rather than your heart. Everything else will adjust later on.
- I learnt that I am ‘Society’ and I could make my own rules and live my life the way “society’ wanted me to live. I was my own “Society” and I made my own rules. I stopped worrying so much about what the rest of the ‘Society’ viewed divorce and decided that the rest would just have to adjust to my choice. This included my friends and family.
- I learnt that friendship has levels and purposes. Some friends are only meant to be in your life for a specific period and nothing else, some friends are meant to come into your life to solely help you get past something and move on, some friends are meant to only love with you, some friends are meant to cry with you, some friends are meant to lift you up emotionally and spiritually, while some friends need you to lift them instead. Once a friendship has served it’s full purpose, it’s best to let it go. Holding on to it, when it’s purpose is complete will only cause pain to friends. With that in mind , I have been able to let go of friendship that don’t serve any purpose and been able to make amazing new friendship, temporary and permanent!
- I learnt that there is so much love out there! There is someone who is ready and open to love you! There is someone whose heart and yours are waiting to connect. There is someone who is waiting for you to get into their life, either temporary or permanently! There is so much love in this world, you just need to open your heart!
- The best I learnt was that I am an amazing soul..a wonderful sister,a great colleague, a good daughter, a beautiful friend. I am a strong woman who is not afraid to get in touch with her emotions. I am a strong women who is not afraid to take chances! I am no longer afraid to stand up for myself and to speak when I need to. I am no longer ready to live behind the shadow! I am no longer afraid to be vulnerable; to take chances on love; to let people in and out of my life; to be comfortable in my own skin! I am no longer afraid to be me!