Back in 2015, the sale of our marital townhouse was one of the last steps on the path to finally settling our divorce.
Regardless of the price my once-cherished home commanded, selling it was just one more painful loss in a long process of painful shedding – which is what a divorce comes down to.
You end up shedding your identity as a couple and as a spouse (a wife).
You leave behind all the cherished memories and possessions that hurt too much to think about, look at or keep.
And when it’s finally all over and done with, you find yourself stripped down to a strange half-version of yourself.
The original, single self you were all those years ago, before the marriage.
This heartbreaking experience has taught me more hard lessons, in addition to ones I learned from my parents.
I left a beautiful, three-bedroom townhouse with a 2-car garage and a small backyard. I ended up buying a 2-bed, 2-bath condo with a small patio.
I left behind a house full of furniture, appliances, artwork, home decor and books.
I left it there, got rid of it, donated it or sold it.
And now I am happier than I have been in years.
Nobody gets married thinking it will end (suddenly too).
I didn’t think it would happen to me, but it did.
We were married for 4 years. The actually divorce process, start to finish, took all of less than 5 months.
Practically in a blink of the eye.
And I had to deal with the emotional turmoil just as much as the practical stuff.
Moving on meant eventually buying my own place, and that was a major expense.
But I was able to do that because I had money in savings.
Ultimately, nobody is going to look after what is in your best interests like you do.
You are no. 1. Always protect yourself first.
No matter how happy and healthy you think your relationship is, you’ll never ever regret giving yourself the knowledge, resources and tools to be in control of your life, your money and your choices.
And no one really prepares you for such a fallout.
You are sometimes just one decision away from completely changing your life —- or in my case —- someone changing it for you.
This is both terrifying… and liberating.
Be ready to embrace the new opportunities and tackle the hurdles.
Put away and stockpile what money and resources you can.
That is what I ultimately learned once I picked up the pieces of my life and put it back together.
But always remember no matter what happens:
The when, why and how to max out all your retirement accounts. 401k or Roth…