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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jen in transition

Some people might advise me to let go of all the landmark dates related to my divorce.  Move on, forget about it, get over it...however you want to say it.  And maybe they're right, maybe I should.  But then I wouldn't have enough stories (some good, some bad, some slutty) to fill a book.  It's not like I use these dates as an excuse to mourn (anymore), I use them as an excuse to celebrate.  Any reason to share a cocktail with friends is a good reason in my book (literally).  Today, June 1st, happens to be the third anniversary of the day my husband left me.  I'm not crying about it.  I'm not even sad anymore, really, but that doesn't mean I will ever forget it.  I will never forget that June 30th was the day we got married, February 11th was the day our divorce was final and February 24th was the day I found out.  Four dates.  That's only four days out of 365 so, if you do the math, there's not very much to let go of.  It's amazing I have as many stories as I do.

Transitioning from "married person" to "divorced person" to "single person" to "person" is messy.  It feels like what I imagine identity theft feels like.  I was Married Jen and it was great.  I had a husband and we had a house and cats and favorite TV shows and travel plans.  Then a thick stack of stapled together court documents said, "Sorry, but now you are Divorced Jen.  Good luck!"  Suddenly, I was a statistic and that became my new identity.  I was a divorced person and it sucked.  I felt like a stranger in my own body.  I had emptiness in my heart and mushiness in my head.  I forgot how to smile and I spent a lot of time crying.  I went through a slutty phase.  Then Single Jen kinda snuck up on me.  I am a single person and freaked out.  The thought of going on a date scares the crap out of me (after the few times I have been asked out I immediately felt like I had to pee, poop and throw up all at the same time) and I can't talk to attractive men without sweating profusely.  But on the positive side, I'm learning to be independent and getting stronger every day.  I can still feel Divorced Jen waiting in the wings like an alternate personality on that show U.S. of Tara, but she's slowly fading.  Eventually, I'll just be Jen again.

So, you see, turning those landmark dates from sad to celebratory is part of the process.  So, if you know someone who has gone through a divorce, or even a nasty break up, and you find you're about to tell them to let it go, move on, forget about it or get over it, remind yourself that they're still in transition and share a cocktail with them instead.  Cheers.

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