What happens when your plan for life doesn’t work out? Everything was going good, you were married and seemingly happy but something was missing. Doesn’t everyone want the nice house, the dedicated husband, two cars and a dog? At the end of the day, people are different and not everyone wants the fairy-tale life where their husband works full time while they stay at home and tend to the house. This was the case for a friend of mine. A recent divorcee, Alice, her name was changed to protect her identity, made the difficult decision to leave her picture perfect life and follow her dreams and wants into a new career and a new life.
Alice is a 26-year-old Alaska native with goals of going to school and finding her own career. So her journey began, moving from a small town in Alaska to the big (sweltering) city of Scottsdale, Arizona. She describes the move as both exciting and terrifying. Though she feels large amounts of sadness from time to time, from her divorce being finalized to the division of her ex-husband and her assets, she is also ready to see what the future has in store for her.
There is a root problem here though, and it is something many women deal with all the time. In the midst of Alice creating the fairy-tale life with her husband, she completely forgot about what she wanted. After being with him for a total of 11 years, she was 14 when they met, her aspirations were put aside to create dreams for her relationship and marriage as a couple. Eventually, that festers and unfortunately for her it came crashing down. Alice said it took years for her to build up the courage and not feel guilty about wanting a divorce. For good reason of course, her entire life had been spent building a joint one, so why now do something for herself when it was time to have some kids and officially settle down? Plainly, Alice said, “I feel like I finally had to take responsibility for myself and I had to be true to myself no matter how much it affected other people.”
In this effort for her to be true to herself, she has also discovered a lot about her personality and growth as a person. Alice knew who she was in a relationship but not who she was out of one. Her advice to cope with a completely changed life path is to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. Going to the grocery store she doesn’t see anyone she recognizes, which at times is slightly lonely but also creates a home to build independence.
Despite the challenges and the difficult decisions, Alice finally took the time and consciously changed her life path. She worried about what she wanted and though she still cared for her ex-husband and cared what her friends and family thought, she ultimately put herself first in the best way possible. What better way to be a strong woman, or a strong man for that matter than to take your life into your own hands and do something completely for you.
Did her age cause the relationship to end? Are all marriages at a young age doomed to fail? Alice doesn’t think so because if two people truely know what they want it will work. Is it ok to want the white picket fence and 2.5 children? Is it ok to change your mind and start life over? Of course; own your decisions, be true to yourself and be sure you can live with whatever decisions you make and the rest will fall at your feet.