Today’s Featured Comment
Slowly I have rediscovered myself and some of the manifestations of that have been a little surprising and kind of fun. Although some of them seem a little superficial, given I live in the buckle of the bible belt in rural Alabama…they aren’t really.
1. I stopped wearing suits to work. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? I have an administrative position at the central office of a school system and the standard for my position was suits and/or conservative apparel. I relaxed my wardrobe although it’s still appropriate. I lightened up, laugh with my staff…and am much more approachable and, I think, effective. And just a shade on the funky side which suits my true personality.
2. I started saying yes to things I normally would have immediately discounted because my husband would not approve, and I started saying no when I just didn’t want to do something. No explanation to the no…just a smile and a no, but thank you.
3. I stopped going to church where I left angry every week because of the narrow-minded, judgmental attitudes and holier-than-thou rhetoric. One of my very best friends is a gay man and if I had to listen one more time about how he and others chose to be gay…I would explode and embarrass my sweet parents which I wouldn’t want to do. I tried a few different churches, but have decided for right now that God and I are fine, but church and I are not. I can’t tell you how many people ask, “Where do you attend church?” I used to say…”I am looking for a church,” which satisfied them. Now I just say, “I don’t” and maybe at some point I will get to the point to ask why they want to know. Maybe. I still live here and they mean well.
4. I stopped putting on makeup and fixing my hair to go to the grocery store or the hardware store or most anywhere else on weekends. Another biggie for rural Alabama me. I do still bathe and brush my teeth.
5. I stopped feeling sorry for my ex husband.
6. I stopped letting my children…who I love dearly…express their opinions about what I do. I told them they could do that to me only if I could do that to them. They are 25 and 27 and don’t want my intrusion in their lives, so they may not approve, but they don’t want the consequences .
7. I stopped letting my parents’ approval shape my behavior. They have been doing that for 56 years. I sat them down and gently told them I appreciated all their parenting endeavors…for 56 years…but I thought I could take it from here. Same thing for my baby sister who always knows what’s right for me .
In other words, I declared my independence and does it ever feel great!
Then I met a man online who is absolutely nothing like what the old, contrived, appropriate me would have considered. And we are having fun. And I like him…and he is completely disinterested in my wardrobe or any other trappings I used to think were important. He is interested in THIS Vicky. The real one. The happy one. The slightly funky one.
There is life after a divorce, but sometimes it takes a lot of soul-searching and a healthy dose of plain old courage to find it!
[This comment was originally posted in this conversation. ~ Eds.]