"OMG Susan it sounds a bit depressing!" my girlfriend responded when I shared the title of my new speaking gig, "Divorcing with grace: From Mansion to Garage Apartment in 7 weeks”.
At that moment, I realized that her reaction reflected a dilemma of modern society: in our fast-paced lives, society often defines us (women) by what we possess, if we are married and to whom.
Driving home later, I wondered about the mindset of other “divorcees”. At that time, I was going through a divorce, but I didn’t seem to see the same "mindset" and challenges as most women.
Divorce is never a "walk in the park," especially when children are involved. I too, was in an "emotional tumble dryer" for a long time. But I knew it is a part of the transition and that leaving everything that was safe in my life and step into the land of "the unknown" would be scary at times.
Born in Denmark, a very liberal country, and with the opportunity for women to become and stay self-sufficient. Divorce is not the end of the world. I know that most of my friends from Denmark consider happiness more important than holding on to a spouse just to have a provider.
In the US, however, I found the culture a bit different. At least from my experience interviewing divorced Prime Time Women (age 40 plus). All of them it seemed, had similar concerns…
- How to move forward financially
- Who am I without my social status of being Mrs…?
- Will I ever dare to love again?
- How will anyone love me at my age?
- Where do I find new love? Aren’t the good ones already taken?
- The fear of dating again was universal, and so was the fear of being betrayed or making the same mistakes another time.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t have the same thoughts after divorce, but I decided not to let fear take over. I still had the power to control my thoughts and create the life of my dreams.
Today, two years after my split, I feel free, happy, new, younger. I don't have the same financial freedom, but I will create that for myself.
I reinvented myself, started a new business, healed the past, forgave (myself and others) and most importantly, I see every day as a chance to start over.
To write a new chapter. If I can do it, and so can you.
Remember, that you hold the key to your happiness.
About Susan Binau
Susan is a motivational speaker, published author, and survivor of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses that changed her perspective on life.
Her mission is to inspire others through "hands-on tools," educational programs, coaching and self-help books.