Several years back, I watched a thread unfold on my friend’s Facebook wall: “I just passed a car in a parking lot decorated with the words ‘Just Divorced’ on it. Disgusting that someone would celebrate their divorce like that.”
The comments flooded in. “Tacky,” said one. “Pathetic,” said another. “Is this what society has come to? What is wrong with people?” still another quipped. And the hits kept coming.
Perhaps because I had considered writing the same thing on my own car when I got divorced, I felt compelled to speak up. I stepped – no, pounced – in.
Most people don’t take marriage lightly. And I would venture to say that most of us who are divorced or are going through it certainly didn’t take the thought of divorce lightly either.
For me, the decision alone was a two-year process. One day I could talk myself into giving it yet another go-‘round to make it work — ya know, “for the kids” — and the next day I couldn’t take another minute of the mental and physical anguish that my marriage was causing me.
It’s not just looking in the eyes of your spouse and uttering the words, “I want a divorce.” It is each and every equally agonizing step of actually getting the process started and keeping it going (often in the face of losing everything).
Each step was a minor victory in the overall battle to empower myself to make the best decision for me and my kids.
And I’m not going to lie, my legal battle was more like kids shoving one another on a playground and not an all-out war.
For others it is far worse.
Even once all papers were signed and all court dates wrapped up, even once we got settled into our new lives, the road behind us to get the divorce was nothing compared to what we knew we’d be facing in the miles of life still to come.
It’s never “Just Divorced.”
Sometimes though, we need the reassurance – either from ourselves or our own support system – that we have made the right decision.
And maybe, just maybe, the “Just Divorced” car was actually that little reassurance that someone needed – and it could have easily read “Empowered” instead.