People are usually surprised to find out that I’m divorced.
Most people’s first reaction is to say “Oh my God! How old are you?! You’re not old enough to be divorced!” which is weird, since I am divorced. What is the minimum age requirement for divorce?
I also get a lot of “Wow! What happened?!” Um, well, in short, my ex husband said “I want a divorce” and so now we aren’t married anymore. The long version of that story requires you to buy me a drink at a cocktail bar and listen to me talk for a long time.
When I got married, I thought it was the next logical step in my life. Graduation, check. Dating a guy for three years, check. Buy a house, check. Buy a car, check. It all seemed to fit. It’s like I was playing with Barbies in my Barbie Mansion in my bedroom when I was six. I was completely blind to the fact that my ex husband was kind of a big ass hat and that I wasn’t a good person when I was with him. I was unhappy most of the time and alienated from my support system. I learned so much from my divorce about people, good and bad, and honestly, I think I now have the best group of people in my life that I could ever ask for because of the lessons I learned during that time in my life.
All of us know people who suck the life out of us. That friend that only texts when they need something from you. That guy you obsess over who occasionally talks to you and you think you’ll get married but really you’re just waisting your time and energy on making nothing happen. The relative who is constantly getting into drama and sucking you down with them. That person you went to high school with and now you have totally different opinions on being a good person but you can’t bring yourself to delete them from your Facebook because you were such good friends once.
Let me tell you what I learned in my divorce.
There’s a really great book that my friend Melissa told me about called “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide)” by Sarah Knight. You can click that link to buy the book and change your life. The title is pretty self explanatory, but she basically equates f*cks (or what you care about) to money. You have so many f*cks to spend in one day. You can spend your f*cks however you want, but if you only have 20 f*cks in one day, why would you spend them on anything less than stuff you really love?
Sometimes we have to do stuff we don’t want to do. That’s basically what adulting boils down to way too often. But we can prioritize our lives to be sure that the things we really care about get put first. That way, at the end of the day, if you’ve run out of f*cks to give, you don’t have to feel guilty about not taking out the trash or going to the gym. You can do those things on a day when you have more f*cks than you did today.
For me, I was giving way too many f*cks about what people thought about me. This really hit home when I told everyone that I was getting divorced. For the most part, everyone was super chill about it and very supportive. But there were those people who were very judgmental, rude, and down right ignorant. I was hurting so much during that time and the last thing I needed was someone telling me that I needed to go be the wife I signed up to be or God was going to punish me. Really?! How is that helpful?
That’s when I realized that I had to cut out the negative energy and dead weight from my life. Like when you go to declutter your apartment and you throw things out that you don’t use or that you don’t like anymore. You have to get rid of people and things that you spend so much energy on but you get nothing in return. It’s just not worth it to have piles and piles of useless people and things in your life. It takes up space in your life and in your soul that could be used for things and people that bring you joy.
With the political climate the way it is right now, this decluttering of f*cks is crucial for my mental health. Scrolling through Facebook is exhausting sometimes. Visiting family can become tedious and unbearable. I have learned to just stop checking my feed so much, change the subject, or just straight up delete people from my social media accounts. And tbh I don’t care if you get offended because you make me sad/angry/frustrated/unhappy and ain’t nobody got time for that.
Because of this decluttering and prioritizing f*cks, my life has drastically improved over the last 5 years. I am healthier, happier, and I have friends and family who surround me with positivity and love. I said bye to a job that was giving me panic attacks at least once a week and started a new job that is bringing me so much joy. I got rid of a car that I had to constantly worry about and was a huge financial strain. I got a new husband who is really damn awesome and loves me beyond measure. I only spend time with 10 to 20 people on the regular because they’re the ones that bring me the most happiness. I stopped going to movies because they give me a headache and I want to talk too much during them and started going to quiet bars and coffee shops with friends instead because I want to have a conversation.
Pro tip: if your Facebook friends list looks anything like mine (too damn many people), and you can’t imagine sifting through the thousands (yeah I know) of people you met once, delete them on their birthday. Seriously, it sounds so mean, but everyone has a birthday and Facebook tells us every single day. All you have to do is hover over their name on the birthday list and hit unfriend. It’s so easy and in a year you’ll have a friends list that you can tolerate.
And you’re not saying “f*ck you!” to that person or thing you’re letting go of (unless you really want to…), you’re just simply saying “Thank you for the impact you have had on my life and the lessons you have taught me. I appreciate the time we had together.” Move on and allow yourself some space for new experiences. Hit unfriend on social media, delete their number from your phone, write them a letter saying it’s been real, do whatever you need to do so that you can say bye and not look back.
I still work out, because you’re supposed to (and no I don’t feel “so good” after a work out it’s still the worst), and I do chores and take care of things I don’t like dealing with, but at the end of the day, I feel fulfilled, happy, and exhausted from having so much fun doing things I love with the people I care most about.
Because if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right. Life is way too damn short to live any other way.