Life After?

On A Path

I started this blog with the intention of sharing fun things that I was learning and doing, along with a little insight into "Life after Divorce" and my subsequent Relocation to California.  I wanted to send a message of hope to women going through similar circumstances, maybe wondering what do do next after such a Major Life Event.  Because maybe they had friends who chose the "other half" of the relationship, as I did.  Maybe they had family members who were confused and hurt after someone they considered to be a member of their family was suddenly extracted from their lives.  Maybe they were feeling guilty that despite all of their best intentions, they just couldn't make it work.  Or maybe they were the half of the couple left standing there, wondering, "Wait, what just happened?"  I wanted to reassure fellow divorced gals that they'd get through it and be happy again.  Because I was living proof of Life After Divorce.  Right?

Then, a couple of months into blogging, I suddenly had a lot more to write about.  A lot more to learn.  A lot more to share.  Suddenly, I needed reassuring that it was all going to be okay, that I would get through it, and be happy again.  I wondered, "What does Life After Brain Cancer feel like?"  I had already survived the Big D and Leaving Friends and Family in search of A New Start in California, so I was sure there must be life on the other side of a silly old brain tumor!  Right?

The last couple of years have certainly presented a series of hurdles, from further divorce drama to crappy cancer to the latest blow: bankruptcy.  Jeez, what's next, Universe?  When could I get on with it, already?

But I was starting to notice a trend: Stuff just keeps happening!  One obstacle after another, then another?  Get to "the other side" of one hurdle and there's something else waiting?  Wait a minute - that can't be right!  Could it?

So it struck me that maybe I had it backwards:  You don't get through Stuff to get to Life, but Stuff is what makes Life.  Maybe instead of looking at it as a series of hurdles to overcome, why not think of it as all just ONE CRAZY EXPERIENCE.  Sort of a winding, connect-the-dots path, leading me from one (sometimes BIG) experience to the next; ultimitely writing the story of my life, creating the ever-evolving, new-and-improved, latest version of ME.  Right!

So I hate to break it to everybody, but Stuff is part of Life, and Life, well, it just continues.  As people have begun to ask me, "How's Life After Cancer?" and "How does it feel to be Cancer-Free?", I get a little weirded out.  I mean, the "After" implies something is Over.  Done.  The End.  But Cancer is a chapter of the story of my life and the story continues.  It's a part of who I am, a dot on my winding path,  and will never be something that never happened.

Life after Divorce?  Life after Cancer?  Life after Bankruptcy?  There is always life after anything and everything.  Because as it turns out, it's all LIFE, and it's up to us to choose how to LIVE it.  I choose to live in humility, health, and HAPPINESS.  With a side of rainbows and a chocolate-covered cherry on top!



Laurel's picture

This blew me away, YOU. I've been working on an essay about loose ends, when you suddenly and unexpectedly find yourself on a path leading to who knows where? The parallels between your post and my ramblings are uncanny, but you've written about "life after" in a way that is so positive and optimistic, I am struck by your ability to find the positive in the most unwelcome situations.

Thanks for putting things into perspective for me -- again.

Love you!



girlbert's picture

Dear, dear Laurel!  Thank you, as always for reading and commenting with something that makes me feel like I got my message across.  Took me a LONG time to put my ramblings together to get to what you read above!  Still have to hand it to you for working through similar "stuff" with a kiddo in tow.  You're doing a marvelous job, too, ugly Spiderman cake and all! Gigi is a superstar with a superhero mom!

Love you lots,



lisa, hey! this is just exactly what i'm sort of working on, going through, trying to come to terms with ... right now... certain days i feel like YES, that is what it's all about, and i've accepted it and even sometimes i LIKE it, this whole ball of craziness that is LIFE... when you and i were both going through our health struggles at the same time (and yes, i did the bankruptcy thing early on--march -06 was when the court officially decided it remains a part of my life...aaargghhh...sigh), and there was just so much unexpected CHANGE going on... i realized the same thing:  that if i don't come to terms with the fact that changing, being forced to grow and accept and make adjustments, often when i had no intention or desire to do so at that particular time in my life ...well, that IS life, and that is something that i saw i needed to get really good at, even to EMBRACE, if i was going to be happy, fulfilled, and have anything to offer others, loved ones, students, anyone i run into in life.  if that makes sense!  i'm still working on it, still sometimes stop and think, nooooo!  i don't want THIS particular change just now.  but i'm glad that i learned about this at my age, because i know people twice our age who have not had to come to terms until now with such things, and whoooo!  it's a hard pill to swallow then.  i'm hoping that being flexible and open to life due to hardships we've overcome just makes life that much more of an adventure.  


girlbert's picture


So great to hear from you - thanks for reading and commenting!

So interesting that our lives have so many parallels, isn't it?  I'm so grateful to have known you for so long and that our lives continue to intertwine - it's really neat to be able to connect and reflect with someone you've known for so long!  Mr. Toynton and Mrs. Nier have recently found me on Facebook and read my blog.  Hall School seems like a lifetime away, but also just yesterday, in a crazy way.  I still remember grade school with you.  I guess if we're still connecting, there's still something to learn from each other, and that's just the coolest thing, isn't it!

Hugs and love,


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