When in Doubt, Smile

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

This has been a very interesting journey for me. For starters, I never thought I would be divorced. Moreover, if it were to happen, I could never have guessed it would happen before my 30th birthday.

I was wrong!

Has it been easy? Not at all. Divorce is filled with many emotions and emotional valleys.

I used to think that divorce had a negative stigma in society. As my relationship neared the end, I feared what family, friends, and people in general, would think. Deep down, I want to be liked by others. After all, it is human nature.

First, I decided I would not care so much about what others thought, with the exception of truly important people in my life. Second, as I began talking about my divorce with others, I felt better. Lastly, divorce doesn’t have the negative stigma I feared. It’s like I’m normal, especially when about 50% of marriages end in divorce.

It was unfortunate that my marriage ended in divorce. I admit that. It is unfortunate that my relationship with my kids is different now. I will not allow it to be worse, it’s just different. But in the midst of this uncertainty, I had to make a choice. I could choose to be depressed, bitter, and vindictive or, I could choose to be happy. I chose to be happy.

As the months passed after my separation, I began to take a deep look at my life and figure out what all this meant. It turned out, I married the wrong person.

Looking back, she was not the right person for me. And now, I had an opportunity to go out and find a woman who is right for me. After all, I’m 29, I have a good career and two awesome kids. Why shouldn’t I go out and find someone who makes me happy? I don’t see any good reason not to.

I learned many lessons from this failed marriage. Actually, I don’t consider it a failure. We tried and gave it our best, but two people that are not aligned emotionally, financially, spiritually and relationally can’t endure the challenges of a long-term relationship. We are not bad people, we just entered into a relationship with the wrong person. Everything I learned will be brought with me to my next relationship. I am excited to see where things go from here.

It goes without saying that relationships require effort to make them last. Well, guess what? I am not in a relationship right now, so there is all this extra time and energy I did not have before. Why not do something great? As much fun as binge-watching Law and Order SVU is, I think I will focus my time on more productive things.

Having six pack abs would be pretty freakin’ sweet and it would be awesome to look like Dwayne Johnson. Getting another promotion at work would allow me to travel more and take my kids to see many cool places. Writing a book could be a lot of fun. After all, I have a ton of life experience in a short amount of time. I’m sure I could think of something to write about.

It may sound corny, but life is short. Nothing is promised, especially our time here on Earth. I choose to do something great. I want my kids to be proud of their dad. I want them to know I love them and that I did the best I could for them and myself. I don’t want them to see a fat, lazy guy who didn’t do anything with his life. I want my legacy to be more than that.

I choose to be happy.

I choose to help others where I can.

I choose to be a better father each day.

I choose to be a better son, brother, grandson, and friend.

I can choose to be whatever I want and I choose to be happy.

I just have to remember: When in doubt, smile.

This post is an excerpt from the final chapter of my first book, Divorced Before 30.