I have found that I use the word “navigate” more now than I ever have in my entire Life. It refers to all aspects of my life. As I navigate post-divorce life, I’m also navigating my job, my family, my friends. How to I move through the world with my head up, when life is dragging me down. So, navigating to me is more than just left, right, and forward. It’s also up and down. I have a LOT of ups and downs. Thankfully, my ups are plentiful, so that when the downs occur, I have lots of resources to draw upon. My entire life, I have been what I call “directionally challenged”. I have zero internal sense of direction. Even though I live in Colorado, I’d be hard pressed to tell you which way is west. I just can’t think in terms of directions. If not for my GPS, I’d probably be stuck in my house! So, what I’ve had to develop is a new kind of GPS. Post-loss GPS. I need a map. A voice in my head telling me which way to go. And, where do you find this map? Good question. I have no idea. I’m making mine up as I go. Some days, I feel like I’ve got it plotted out correctly, but all it takes is a text, phone call, or email to throw me totally of course. It’s tough. But, the best thing that I’ve ever done to hone my GPS is join rebuilders. They provided me with a group of like-minded individuals who were also thrown off course. Together we were able to cobble together some sort of path, and we use each other to keep us headed in the right direction. When I’m down, they lift me up. And when they are down, I’m there with a glass of wine, a hug, or a simple
In this journey that I’ve found myself on, I have realized that you can’t navigate alone. Even if your sense of direction is better than mine, you’ll still get lost. You’ll still find yourself wondering which way to turn and how to get where you want to be. There are a ton of resources available if you just ask, but that can be tricky.
When I was younger, I would have NEVER predicted that this was the path my life was going to take. When I got married, it was forever. My wedding day was the happiest day of my life. My husband was my dream come true, and I floated down that aisle. And, sometimes, remembering how I felt that day gives me such peace and hope. I didn’t make a mistake when I got married. In fact, none of the days that followed were a mistake. Sure, I wasn’t perfect, and neither was he. Our lives just didn’t grow together, they grew apart. And ending it was excruciating, but I am grateful for our happy days.
If I could go back and talk to that 28-year-old version of myself, I probably wouldn’t tell her a damn thing. This journey is one that needed to be taken, and I am so much stronger and more resilient than I ever thought possible. That girl was innocent and naïve. With stars in her eyes and a heart full of hope. I love that girl. I’m proud of that girl. She’s still in there and she’s ok and she’s a fighter.
So, it’s been two and a half years since my husband moved out of our home. That’s a long time. I tried to navigate life by myself for 2 years, and once I finally cracked, I reached out to rebuilders. I tried to go it alone. It’s impossible. I needed people who have been there, done that. I discovered that I had advice for those who were newly separated or divorced. I was shocked by that! I also
realized that nobody has it all together. But, I wasn’t the first to get divorced, and I certainly won’t be the last. Leaning on others for help is the only way to do it. And, the sad and scary thing is that each time you figure something out, there’s a whole new adventure for you to navigate. Life changes constantly. Relationships evolve and come and goa Kids grow and their needs change. You start dating, and that’s a WHOLE new ballgame. Then, dating and dealing with an ex. And dating and dealing with kids. His kids. My kids. Schedules. Households. Homework. Sports. Clubs. Jobs. LIFE!!! It’s insane!!!
But, the bottom line is that you need to tune into your GPS. When you are overwhelmed and when life is pulling you down, you’ve got that voice in your head telling you that you are going the right way. Your path certainly isn’t a straight line, and all you can do is try your best to stay facing the right way. Don’t look down. Don’t look back. Look forward. Look to the left and the right. Look up!
You’ve got so many opportunities and so many things that will push you along. Happiness comes in a million different versions. Seek them out. Make them a Priority. Find the happy. Reach out and grab it. Even when you feel low, which you will, there is happiness nearby. Think of things that give you peace and hope.
Remember your happy days.
Navigating this life is the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do. Getting it right seems like an impossibility, but we’ve made it this far in one piece!! Look around and see the happy…. Right now I’m looking at my sleeping kitten, Tater. I’m looking out the window at a sunny day. I’m looking at an empty sink, because I finally did the dishes. All happy!!! The little things are sometimes all we can count on, but it’s enough.
So, ask yourself. Do you have a GPS? Do you have a support group? Do you have someone you can go to when you are off track? Do you need someone? Someone to hold your hand and remind you that you are doing ok?