Today’s guest post is from Nicole Warner (@MezzoNicole). Thanks, Nicole!
I secretly left my abusive ex-husband and fled a foreign country that had been my home for five years.
I knew I couldn’t stay and that was the only way I knew I had to leave. I was alone, penniless, terrified,
and getting a divorce at 29. I had hit rock bottom and it was only up from there…but not the way that I
thought was up. It was life’s way up.
#1: It’s up to you to take care of yourself. Tina Fey said it best in Bossypants: People will try to
fool you. My naiveté had increased during the brainwashing from my ex and I actually believed that
handsome colleague was genuinely interested in me. He wasn’t. I thought the lady who hired me was
going to follow through on her big plans. She didn’t. I began tuning into reality, which was what people
were doing, not what they were saying.
#2 Speak up! If you’re going to regret not saying something, you better well learn how to let it out of
your mouth. (I now have a bit of a reputation for speaking my mind. And that’s a good thing.)
#3: You must grieve. There was a lot to grieve, from my “marriage” to having given up my business in
Germany to every verbal and physical attack I’d ever been subjected to, and the financial abuse that
lead to me being penniless to having to flee a country I loved. I had to grieve the fact that I frequently
didn’t know how to help myself. I grieved the fact that I couldn’t find a job…in August of 2008. I even
grieved the fact that I had so much to grieve. It was not pleasant and it lasted a long time.
#4: When times get tough, you find out who your true friends are. And for this I am grateful.
#5: It gets better, but not how you think it will. I tried SO HARD to make my reality and my future what
I wanted it to be, ignoring what was right in front of me! Now I see things for what they really are,
accept things for what they are. I have less stress. I have more fun. I see what I can and cannot control.
My life has gotten so much better because I have learned to make choices based on where I am—to get
to where I want to go.
#6: You will feel everything much deeper if you’re learning from this process. Surviving domestic
violence, being divorced, and getting to know myself so well have led to a deep, emotional life that was
previously unknown to me. The smallest things create huge beauty, and the huge, scary things seem
less earth-shattering. I notice butterflies, the touch of a child’s hand on my leg, the small expressions on
people’s faces that tell you how they really feel. This is a deep, emotional life, and I wouldn’t miss this
for the world.
To read more about Nicole’s story and (singing!) career, please visit www.nicolewarner.com. If you would like to share your own divorced-before-30 story here, please check out the submissions page! If you haven’t already, please visit Divorced Before 30 on Facebook and click “like!”