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365 Days of Divorce

Exactly 365 days ago I was arriving at the courthouse all by myself. No lawyer in tow. No support system. Just myself and my nervous thoughts about where life was about to go. Shaking and partially sick to my stomach… I walked into the courtroom and sat down amidst the cold, wood pews and walls. Flashbacks of the last 7.5 years of my life crept into my mind. My wedding ceremony, Zeyad’s birth, worldly travels together, Zain’s birth, all the good times… I questioned what I was doing sitting in a courthouse about to be divorced. Divorce often times isn’t black and white or clean-cut. There can be the greatest of times, but there can also be the worst. And unfortunately, the bad times overpowered the good. It’s so weird to have to grieve a relationship, it’s nothing like I had done before. When I got married I was head-over-heels in love and NEVER pictured myself in a courthouse about to be divorced. That’s how crazy life can be. So the judge finally called my name and I walked up past the gate and sat down at the table on one side. My ex-husband’s attorney on the other side. The judge looked at me and asked, “Is this what you want? Is all that is in this divorce decree true and accurate to your knowledge?” I took a deep breath, voice shaking, and replied, “Is this what I want? I never wanted to be divorced, especially doing it all alone. But here we are and I am fighting for my future, so yes, this divorce decree states all that needs to happen.” It was at that moment, I felt relieved and empowered. I didn’t tear up, I didn’t fold under the overwhelming pressure of the situation. At that moment, I chose to not just survive, but to THRIVE in my life going forward. I got up, walked out and never looked back as the courtroom door closed behind me.

As I closed the door on that chapter of my life, it hasn’t been easy. But there’s a choice that we always have, it is either to sink or to swim like HELL so we don’t drowned. And I chose the latter. I had no idea where I was going to live or no idea how I would financially be able to afford to live by myself and take care of my two kids. But you just find that grind in your soul and make it happen. I was made to believe that I wouldn’t succeed and that I would need all the help in the world in order to do this. But I have fought for every bit of the life that I now have. I’m glad I didn’t focus too much on people judging me about getting divorced. It was hard to not take things personally, but I got through. I have found my passions again and my voice. I am an independent, strong woman and I don’t feel like I have to hide that anymore. Life is WAY too short to be unhappy. Strive to find happiness within yourselves and see how much you can thrive.

I feel like a lot of the emotion that didn’t come out in that courtroom that day has come out recently as we approach the holiday season. This time of the year is full of stressors in a normal year, but as the holidays arrive this year it brings back the reminder of what happened during this time last year and it makes me feel even more overwhelmed. I have chosen to focus on helping others this season to try and bring back the happiness that the holiday season should bring.

Within this last year my heart has been opened up and I have allowed myself to love life again. I have met the most beautiful people and I am SO proud of my ability to not just give up when times have been horribly difficult. I’m not looking back with any regret, as I am so grateful for the experience and knowledge that I have gained from going through a divorce. I have learned what I want in life and in a future partner. I have learned to stand up for myself and to not allow myself to change completely for anyone if it’s not what is in my heart. I’ve learned how to communicate better and be a better partner myself. I pray that as I move forward I will continue to pursue the true purpose of my being.

I am okay. I am happy. I am sad from time to time, but it’s okay to have conflicting emotions throughout a divorce journey. I am a human after all. (As much as I try to convince myself and others that I’m a robot, I know I’m not. Lol)

A year later I am so happy with moving forward and to keep crossing paths with the people that are meant to come into my life. Whether they come and create a lasting impression and leave or come into my life and stay, I love and appreciate all of it. And heck, maybe I’ll even be open to going on a date or two. Some still might convince me that I want to be single forever…but at least I can get out there and have someone appreciate me and take care of me for a change. I think I’m ready for that. I can only hope someone can sing my favorite Luke Combs song and think it’s about me. “The way that she dances, ain’t afraid to take chances, and wears her heart on her sleeve, yeah she’s crazy, but her crazy is beautiful to me.” One day I pray it’ll all make sense.

Life is messy. It doesn’t go how we think it’s supposed to go. But hard moments pass, beautiful moments come to the surface and we always have a choice to thrive if we want to. It’s crazy how much can change in a year. 365 days ago I was shaking in my boots (literally) not knowing my worth and jumping blindly into my faith. I’m SO happy to be sitting here now realizing that it was all worth it.

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