I've been spending the last few days at the Hard Hotel Hotel in Punta Cana on a press trip for the blog. The last time I was here, I was here with my (then) husband for a friend's wedding...it was a lovely vacation, a beautiful wedding, and it was one of the very few times that my ex and I traveled together outside of our annual road trip to North Carolina, where he rode his motorcycle at Deal's Gap. It's always held a special place in my heart because we actually had fun on that trip - plus, I just love this resort. The beach is breathtaking, the resort itself is pretty swanky, and the staff are incredibly friendly.
There was a beautiful sunset one of the evenings we were here, and my ex husband took a series of photos of me that I still cherish to this day!
I've found that since my divorce, it's a bit of a struggle to go to the places we once traveled to together.
I am so fortunate to be here with such an amazing group of people - I expected to be lonely, to be a little sad; I anticipated being overwhelmed by a flood of memories of our time here together...I brought Kleenex because I assumed I'd cry a lot.
None of that happened.
What happened instead was I made new friends, I laughed my ass off, I took strolls through the lovely grounds and buried my toes in the sand on the beach, and last night, my new friend, Becca of PlanetBlond, helped me recreate a series of photos that my ex-husband took of me years ago.
But I'm a new Jennifer. Over the past year and a half, I've been asked the same question countless times by countless people: "Are you okay?" Sometimes I tell the truth and pour out my tales of woe and expose the shattered remnants of my soul. But mostly, I've lied and said, "I'm okay."
When the sun set last night and Becca and I were done with these photos, we were looking through them over dinner - I'd quickly uploaded them all to my iPhone so that I could post in real time.
I realized that I'm not lying anymore: I AM OKAY.
I'm not great, and sometimes I lose my shit and cry, I have kind of given up on dating for the time being, and there are still plenty of days when I plaster a fake smile on my face...but last night made me realize that this divorce has NOT ruined my life, it has NOT destroyed me.
I'm recovering. I'm healing.
They say that divorce is like a death, and that's been pretty accurate for me. Hands down, this has been the worst year of my life, and I've cried myself to sleep more times than I care to admit.
It's not an easy process, but I'm working through it, and I can see happiness on the horizon. I'm slowly but surely making my way towards it.