While most people were toasting and kissing their loved ones on New Year’s Eve, I was alone, newly divorced and working. Just for perspective, normally my New Year’s Eve celebrations would consist of my husband and I dressed like celebrities amongst our friends sipping alcohol at some hotel bash.
This year was different.
At the beginning of 2017, I was broken. It sounds ignorant, but I never thought something like this could happen to me after I realized my marriage of almost 3 years was over. We had been together for a total of 10 years and just like that, it was gone. The life we had, the world I’d known and my own identity pulled right from under me like a magic trick.
Holidays were hard.
Valentine’s Day was hard. I sat at my desk and signed packages for women whose husband’s sent them flowers and candy. That stuff used to matter. It didn’t anymore. Songs now had meaning and Adele was slowly turning into my spirit animal. I was the “negative” friend and I could feel myself going into a hole. A dark hole of depression; food had no taste and rainy days seemed endless.
Depression was a new experience and I didn’t know how to deal with it.
See, the problem with life changing events is the aftermath doesn’t give you a manual on how to fix it, how to continue and where to begin I assumed everyone had problems, but not me. I was special; until the universe was like “you tried it”-And just like that…I was the person rolling their eyes to the thought of “love” and all the other bullshit that came with it. The sadness from love is an internal pain that just stays in your gut and won’t budge until time decides to let it’s loosen its grip.
I was empty.
I remember my support team was strong. I will forever be indebted to the people I saw and talked to everyday who also mourned my loss. The people who would remind me to eat and call just to see how I was feeling. I trusted them. I loved them. Still do. My close friend would tell me “take it day by day” “You can’t rush the process” I never understood what that meant.
I cried and didn’t eat for about a month until I decided to do something.
It was time for me to take a more active role in my own life. I started reading self help books, reiterating inspirational quotes and going to therapy. It was cheesy, but I started the process of learning my own self love. Self care. I started to understand what that even meant. I noticed that once permanent gut pain slowly started to diminish and little by little, I was becoming me again. Therapy was becoming easier. I cried less and laughed more. I was appreciating the small things and internally I felt good. I made myself a priority and it was paying off.
After 4 months, I decided it was time.
I’ve always wanted to move to NYC to pursue a career in comedy. My husband always made empty promises of us going and after the 4 year of it not happening I accepted it as a pipe dream. The fantasy of being in the big apple and collaborating with creators turned into credit scores and planning for a baby. It was 2017 and I realized I didn’t have either of that; no house, no baby and most importantly no one holding me back. This was the time to make shit happen. So I did
September 2017 was quickly approaching.
I picked up a serving job and busted my ass to save as much money as possible. Yeah, it was petrifying. I was leaving my good job to move to a city by myself and go for my dreams? This is the type of stuff you only hear about in movies. I remember hearing my family members try to talk me out of leaving. “This is irrational.” “You should sleep on it”
What they didn’t get was this was my time.
The first time I made a decision for myself…selfishly.
Fast forward to January 2018 and I’m typing this article from my one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. Not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for my journey and where I am today. I am exactly where I need to be. My heart is full.
The process was hard, brutal and at times downright devastating.
I look back in retrospect and it’s crazy to believe how far I’ve come. I’m able to pick people up and give the advice of “day by day”; I now understand the meaning. I decided to play an active role in my own life. I learned to forgive and internally invest in me. The scars of my past will never leave but they also are a reminder of how far I’ve come.
For my family and friends, I thank you.
But most importantly, I thank myself.