I have always reiterated in my blog posts how I have discovered that this post-divorce phase of my life is going to be about recentering my ambitions and goals. I am no more living on the periphery of someone else’s life, no matter who they are, not least a narcissist.
If I could offer any advice to any divorced woman, Muslim or not, I’d say do not waste any time in claiming your newly found independence. Of course, there are emotions to work through – there always will be. But time is ticking and life is a gift. Nobody is going to hand opportunities to you on a plate. Ultimately, you will need to search them out for yourself. Those opportunities could be to do with work, hobbies, health and so much more.
I have been on a path of self-discovery these past few years and have learnt things about myself that I didn’t even know were there. Like the determination to put my physical health as a priority. I have finally found the impetus to take care of myself and it hasn’t been because of a health scare or a phone call from the doctor. It has been the simple realisation that there is a direct correlation between my physical well-being and my mental well-being. If there’s anything I can testify to having experienced lately, it is that. Since I regained full independence in my life, so I have harnessed that reality and made it work for me. I no longer see exercise as a chore. Rather, I understand it is the prerequisite to feeling great in my headspace, Alhamdulillah. The formula is foolproof.
I thank my own sons for being the ones to nudge me in that direction. Being young people, they are more conscious about healthy living even if they haven’t been able to implement it themselves fully because of other constraints like time and studies. But it seems things have come full circle and now I am the one who keeps them updated on my own progress! They probably are sick of hearing me celebrate every little milestone that I reach… I say that and yet I know they celebrate my success along with me, Alhamdulillah.
So, do I regret not making some decisions earlier in life? Yes, of course. But I also know that the ground was not fertile back then. Even though I had the ambitions, any attempts to make headway in them were often thwarted by circumstances at the time. Nobody is to blame for that. It’s just life. However, now that I have been given this golden opportunity to take the reins on my own life, I really have no excuse.
I see how a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. That’s a given. What’s more, I’ve found that this extends to other areas of my life. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to give something back to the world, especially to those less fortunate than me. One of the intentions I made in writing this blog was to inspire other divorced women – especially Muslim women – that they should not surrender their lives to the past and be stuck there. For every woman who has been dismissed as insignificant, worthless and a burden, I want her to know that she should never again measure herself against someone else’s value systems. There is still so much lying ahead of her if only she were to know.
Everyone else can go jump!
I also feel the time is finally ripe to fulfil another long ambition I have always had – to go out in the world and do something which will bring about a tangible difference to someone else’s life, beyond my own immediate circle of family and friends. Alhamdulillah, I have made a start. I hope to return here with an update in the near future, inshaAllah.
So, even though my worth was not appreciated by the person who should have known it well, I am not hanging around waiting for approval from him or anyone else. Divorce has made me emboldened and produced a wonderful defiance which I hope to use to ‘speak’ on behalf of all womankind.
I hope many more sisters, divorced or not, will find inspiration to stand under the banner of ‘Strong Sisters’ with me.