2012 has proven to be an eye-opener for me.
In the past 12 or so months, I witnessed several of my closest female friends and relatives endure the pain and loss that comes with getting a divorce. And the marriages have run the gamut from 23 years all the way down to four years and everything in between.
The one common thread in speaking with all of these women is how much time they've not exactly wasted, but consumed, only to begin all over again. For the person who was married 23 years, she is learning during her middle-aged years how to live on her own. Despite having successfully raised three children and running a household, she is finding great difficulty in becoming adjusted to the one-income lifestyle which is something I've been doing for the past eight years.
She is also dating again and enjoying that. But it's like she is rediscovering our hometown. For the longest, she was one of the many people who immediately dismissed Detroit and would say there's nothing to do there. Not anymore, she is going to poetry events and finding underground venues and just having fun with the current man in her life. Yet, it still amazes me that I seem to know more about our shared hometown and she is that much older than me.
She is also coming to a point where she is considering returning to school which is something that she never thought about while married. She may actually travel somewhere for something besides a family reunion. It's almost like while she is burdened more than ever, the sky is also the limit.
While my other friends have not had as drastic situations, they do acknowledge that pretty much all of their 20s was experienced as married women and they are not exactly prepared for what is out there now. I've seen it and depending on how you look at it, it's not much when it comes to dating. But there are opportunities in every other area.
Now let's look at my life. Yes, student loans are getting on me for the first time ever and I realize why everyone cursed them. Yet, if everything goes as planned, I could be traveling to Italy next year. Then again, there's a part of me that feels like the money I spend may be better going towards paying my credit card debt down. But then again, I probably should do it while I'm younger because who knows what's ahead. But hell, I have the option and I can think about the option. Something that didn't appear to be available to my friends while they were married.