Come on get post-divorce happy! How to be quintessentially divorced and lead an enviably full, rich, happy life
Some people get divorced and think of driving their SUV off a cliff or throwing themselves under a fast-moving train. Others divorce and go on to live in sybaritic splendor, in their own “rarefied bubble” where, it turns out, the divorce was the best thing that ever happened to them.
How do they do it? Is it all an act? Or a sick case of amour propre that makes some people seem completely un-phased by the implosion of their very marriages? Who knows. The one thing for sure that these people have in common is an optimistic personality and a will to survive. And they were not “defined” by their marriages. Think Jennifer Aniston. The girl may have a lot of movies that flopped but she knows how to be quintessentially divorced. Right now, she looks much younger and happier than Brad and Angelina combined! (Sorry Brad and Ange, no offense, but look at the girl. She’s indefatigable.)
It’s as though people like Jennifer chant “I will survive!” all day long and really believe it; and then, no matter what happens, the show goes on and she at least looks happy and it’s as if the divorce is a mere blip on her radar screen. And look how the whole thing ended up? It’s like, wow!
How can you be more like these types? Well, first understand that happiness is your job. No man, woman, job, child, house, car or hair color or marriage or drug, can make you happy, or is responsible for your happiness. That’s all surface stuff. You get happy only when you choose, simply, to be happy for the sake of happiness itself. In other words, happiness is a personal responsibility and it has to start within each individual person; it’s a choice, a decision you make, that no matter what else is going on in your life, divorce or no, you are going to be happy dammit! You happy! You are not going to fall apart, get grey and fat, and otherwise atrophy and whither just cause someone else has left your radar.
Many, many years ago, I did this experiment whereby I was going to be “happy” and let go of all the teen-age angst that was wrecking havoc on my emotional well-being. Being so young, life hadn’t quite beaten me up as it has now and so, it wasn’t all that hard to find my bliss, actually. You should have seen my face after a few short weeks! I’ve never glowed quite as much since. I was like this lamp post of light that just radiated. Seriously. I grew a permanent crease around my lips because I smiled so much. And crows feet too. (I got these subtle little crinkles around my eyes from so much smiling, which I love.) I stopped complaining and worrying and obsessing. And I just went with it, you know? I just found my inner bliss.
The thing was, I did have my problems at the time, like everyone else. I wasn’t divorced or anything, but it wasn’t that life was perfect. But the interesting thing was how my “happiness” affected other people. It had a bizarre opposite effect to what I expected. It didn’t go over well at all! The happier I got, the more pissed off people seemed to be not only at me, but at their own lives. Oh, girl, did they start to shove me around, slap me around, kick me around! I would greet them with my exuberant, “morninggggggggggggg!!!!” 🙂 (that’s like my trademark, with like, my big grin) and people would all but tell me to go bleep myself and kick me in my pearly whites and pour hot coffee all over my happiness. It’s like, they’d get annoyed by the fact that I was happy. Seriously. It’s as if they were asking “why the hell are you so happy, beyatch! We are gonna fix you!!!”
And it crushed me. And eventually, you should have seen my face. I got so sad. And I never had the courage to try that again. I tend to try to hide my joy so that it doesn’t make other people feel threatened or irritated – even now. I always try to calculate how much of my true mirth and joy I can show and how much I need to conceal, in order not to get on anybody’s bad side.
But you know, now, a former divorce attorney and all that I am, you know what I think? I think it was a big mistake for me to have allowed my centre of gravity to come from outside, so that people seeming pissed off because I was happy, rendered me unhappy. That was a big mistake. The fact is that people, including ex spouses, are not typically invested in your happiness. They prefer that you are miserable, as a matter of fact; because that is what they are. Most people are fucking miserable. That is why there is such a huge drug problem in this country as a matter of fact. People aren’t happy and they are trying to be happy and they are looking for something outside of themselves to be happy: the husband, the wife, the big house, the fancy car, the career, the perfect kids, the extravagant jewelry, the stock portfolio. Whatever. And that is not to say that each of these things when taken in whole or in part, can’t contribute to your sense of well-being and accomplishment. After all, all of these things taken together do make up your life. And so, when you lose parts of the whole, like you get a divorce, say, it’s quite natural to feel out of sorts to an extent.
But to totally crumble up and stop living and throw yourself under a moving train because your marriage “failed?” I don’t know. I don’t think that makes any sense. I think that only happens when you lose sight of the big picture and the bottom line, that your happiness is your job and responsibility. And sometimes, one of your happiness duties is to rid yourself of anything or anyone that gets in the way of your own self-realization.
So what I would say with regard to this question of “leading an enviably full, rich, happy life post-divorce” is simply to, like Jen Aniston said “refuse to be defined by your marriage.” Take responsibility for your own life and your own joy. That must come from within you and not from some outward source or person. Just make the choice to be happy. And come hell or high-water, no matter how other people react to it, you keep that trend of thought and that modus operandi. You stay happy, girl. (Or boy). Be a happy dog. Because you deserve to be.