I got married in July of 2010.
I was separated in June of 2012.
I was officially divorced in August of 2013.
And somewhere in between being separated and divorced, I fell in love again with the most amazing woman. Her name is Erin.
Love is something you want to celebrate with your friends and family, and really anyone personally connected to you. Divorce is something that makes you want to crawl under a rock and hide. Or at least for me it was.
Divorce is not something you want to share. It's not something you record and put on display for the world to see. It's definitely not something you want to talk about. For me, there was never going to be a post on Facebook announcing that my marriage failed. It was a highly personal thing. Quietly, I changed my status on Facebook (....at one point I even took a Facebook break), I went back and removed many of the images and updates celebrating my past relationship. I just figured anyone paying attention would figure it out. My closest friends knew of course. The people I spend 'in real life' time with, they knew. But there were a lot of people to which I didn't feel like I owed an explanation. Definitely part of it was that sense of failure. Maybe part of it was embarrassment. Whatever it was, I never planned on publicly talking about my divorce.
And then I met Erin.
Love doesn't give you the luxury of being ready. Love doesn't abide by some arbitrary clock. And Love certainly doesn't allow you to hide behind your past failures. It demands that you face the world again. It makes you wake up and take stock in what's really important. It shows you that the people that matter will support you no matter what ups and down you experience.
And slowly I started to realize that our biggest failures can often lead to our greatest successes.
Had I never had this failure, I'd have never met Erin. I'd have never met this amazing woman who has shown me how to love in a new way. I'd have never met this amazing woman who has shown me how to be a more compassionate human. I'd have never met this beautiful person that loves me despite my flaws (and there are many, haha).
I should probably put extra emphasis on the word: S...L..O...W...L...Y. A lot of the reason I was so slow to realize it was because, initially, I was ashamed to celebrate my new found love. The main reason was because I'd never made that public declaration of my divorce.
I'd never been divorced before this. And even more so, I'd never been divorced in the age of social media. I'd made such a spectacle (not in a bad way mind you, just in a 'over the top and definitely out there and in your face' way) of my previous relationship on social media, and yet I didn't want to even talk about the separation or the divorce. So there I stood, unsure of how to publicly celebrate the best thing I had going in my life because I wasn't willing to admit that the last one didn't work out.
If I had a one on one conversation with someone, I was never shy about sharing my story. 'Hey, my marriage didn't work. But don't feel sorry for me, I'm incredibly lucky in love. My new partner is amazing and I still consider myself incredibly blessed'. That's the angle I took. And yet, I was still had a hard time publicly admitting that my marriage failed.........even though I had this amazing woman standing by my side.
I met Erin before I was officially divorced. The marriage was over, but I think I always felt bad about that. I wasn't able to realize that the timing of it didn't matter. It's no one's life but mine. And if someone was going to judge me because the timing wasn't right, their judgment meant nothing.
And yet I was still reluctant to face that judgment. And that was hurting my ability to move forward. And the only one that could do anything about it was me.
I've been thinking about this post for a while. If you are still connected to me on Social Media, you know I'm happy in love. Erin is amazing. You're not going to see my life on display the way it was before. I learned from that. I took my Facebook page from over 3000 friends down to somewhere in the 500 range. My criteria was 'do we have a personal relationship'. I've added a few people back here and there as I probably overreacted during the purge.
(by the way, the process of removing 2500 'friends' was the most time consuming thing I have ever done in my life. It was done over the course of many, many, many hours and a few different days. It literally took FOREVER!)
I'm a sharer. It's always been in my nature. I'm the type that can sit next to someone on a 4 hour plane ride and have meaningful conversation the entire 4 hour ride.
As such, I've started talking about Erin in my blog posts and in my presentations and in my webinars. She's one of the best sales people you would ever hope to meet. I've learned a ton from her in our short time together already. But if you weren't paying attention, and you thought I was married to someone not name Erin, hearing me talk about it could have been strange.
I didn't write this so you could say 'sorry about your divorce'. There's nothing to be sorry about. If you have gotten to this point, you probably care enough to want the best for me. You'll never hear me bring it up again and if you comment about it below, I'll delete it and probably send you an email saying something like 'never comment on my blog again without reading the whole thing'. See, I'll know you didn't read the whole thing beacuse I just told you not to do that.
If you would like to comment, share with me some failure you've had in your life that lead to an even bigger success.