The Divorce Diaries: One Essential Thing You Should Do While Going Through Life Change

Guys,

It’s been five years since I signed divorce papers (six since they were filed), and when I think back to that time when my life was, quite literally, imploding, a lot of my memories are hazy. So many tears. So much fear. Perhaps, at time, a little too much wine. But there were a few bright spots in that time of life upheaval, and one was a last-minute trip to … Paris.

Here’s the thing: you can plan your life out to a T, but sometimes the very best things come in the form of last-minute ideas and spontaneous detours. For example: In November of 2014, one of my good friends mentioned that his company was sending him to Paris for a week, and he casually asked me if I’d like to tag along, like, in a couple of days. Wait, but who goes to Paris with a man who is not their love? Well, me, I guess! And it was one of the most memorable trips of my life.

I bought a cheap, last-minute ticket (as I recall, I was smashed in a middle seat at the very back of the plane, right by a restroom), packed my bags and got myself on that plane. Everything about that trip was memorable–listening to a band play 1950’s rock-and-roll in an underground cavern bar near the Moulin Rouge, strolling through the Christmas markets near the Eiffel Tower, exploring the cobblestone streets along the Rue de Cler, seeing Monet’s water lilies in real life. Sitting by myself at cafe after cafe, dreaming up my second chapter.

My heart was aching that whole time, and I was so very lost, but there was something profound about forcing myself to be spontaneous and bold and say yes to Paris on a whim listed my spirits and boosted my strength.

My friend Natalie is a big believer in going to Paris solo. She’s always talked about the power of sitting in a quiet cafe, wearing your prettiest red lipstick, and letting life unfold as it may. I believe in that, too.

Whether it’s Paris, or LA, or a tiny dot on the map or even your great aunt’s weird cabin by a lake two hours away, I encourage anyone going through the horrors of divorce to give yourself permission to make a journey to mark the new chapter of your life.

Hang in there.

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