Some of my most awkward moments included having my first date since Y2K, attending dinner parties as the sole single person, telling the neighbors we were divorced and assembling an electric edger upside down.Laughing about these things instead of internalizing a sense of shame will not only foster healthy resilience, but will make you attractive to others as you own your humanity.His face was so blanched it was as though he had doused it in flour. Had he been sleeping with her when that photo was taken? And then I wondered: What the f–k was I going to do with the 10 pads of personalized letterhead I had just ordered with all the members of our family cartooned across the top? That night, from my daughter’s window, I watched Phillip’s shadow slowly load each bag into his trunk. They say there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. And why couldn’t I buy flowery crocheted dresses from Anthropologie anymore? My brother Daniel would pick up the phone at any time — during business meetings or in the middle of the night — to listen to me sob. She helped me realize very quickly that my kids needed a happy mother. My biceps became defined, my collarbones poked out of my skin, my ribs protruded. I was starting to feel like our separation was a blessing in disguise. I could walk in the heels my sister had insisted I buy. It was me who soothed them and cleaned their barf at 2 a.m.
When he was home, his eyes were trained on his Black Berry. Gone was the man who held my hand during my terrifying emergency C-section, the dad who changed our baby’s very first diaper. Songs I’d never noticed on the radio suddenly had meaning for me. In those first few weeks of single motherhood, my family rallied around me. We agreed that he would take them for dinner two nights a week and for a sleepover every Saturday night.Embrace Vulnerability More than any other thing, the key to personal transformation is the willingness to remain open -- open to new people and open to life.In other words, the decision to embrace vulnerability.Moving through grief looks like surrendering to it -- even partnering with it -- until it has been processed. If you travel light, you will notice that you will attract like-minded travelers. If you were betrayed, it is going to be super hard, but acknowledge that until you do, you won't have the space for new joy to enter your life.This feels uncomfortable because there is no timetable for feeling better. Anger, like love, is a powerful connector and this is why there are many people whose divorces are final, but their emotional attachment remains intact. I thought we were going through a slump, that it was normal.