Issue #110: A Day in the Life of My Divorce
And your most-asked questions.
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🎥 Flora and Son, Apple TV+: In this sweet new movie, a single mom gifts her teenage son a guitar she’s fished out of the trash. As in many of John Carney’s movies (‘Begin Again’ starring Keira Knightley is an all-time favorite), the instrument inspires a surprise bout of creative expression and a romance when Flora drunkenly hires an online guitar teacher, and takes it up herself. (Side note: It took me the entire movie to realize the teacher is Joseph Gordan-Levitt.)
💿 Chappell Roan’s ‘The Rise and Fall of a Midwest Princess’: This new album is another welcome addition to my angsty teenage wannabe rotation. Roan’s poppier bops got stuck in my head from the first listen and her irreverent lyrics (“Well, back at my house/ I got a California king / Okay, maybe it's a twin bed /And some roommates (don't worry we're cool”) remind me of Olivia Rodrigo who shares the songwriter Dan Nigro. Worth a listen!
📚 Sofia Coppola Archive: 1999-2023: When Coppola’s film ‘Marie Antoinette’ came out, I was still in middle school, and could not believe my luck. I’d read the fictionalized, golden spine “diary” (remember these?) and was fascinated by the concept of being an archduchess, married at sixteen, meeting such a tragic, violent end. The movie (and soundtrack) were completely mesmerizing and immediately made me a fan of Coppola’s others films, including ‘Lost in Translation’ and ‘Virgin Suicides.’ This book includes a collection of her inspiration and on-set photos, in anticipation of the release of ‘Priscilla’ this fall. (There’s also a less expensive paperback version you can get your hands on here!)
P.S. You voted in this week’s Sunday Edition for our book club book is Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver! I’m about halfway through (thanks to a bout of insomnia), and was so captivated, I nearly missed class last night to keep going. Grab your copy and start reading. I’ll share more details soon, but plan to be halfway by mid-October if you’d like to join! x
The thing about getting divorced at thirty is that, if you’re lucky, you’ll have maybe one friend who did it before you. Others will whisper to you, “I got divorced too.” or “I’m thinking about it…”. As difficult as my experience has been, I’m grateful that I can be that person for others, which is a big reason I’ve written so openly about it here. That, and every story you’ve shared in response has helped me make sense of my own. On Sunday evening, I had a completely different issue written for today that included a general Q&A in response to the questions you’ve sent me over email and DMs. After moving my things out of my ex’s house on Saturday, I decided to share that story instead, since it encapsulates the peaks and valleys, as well as tenderness and pain, even an amicable separation or breakup can hold.
This week marked the final steps, at the end of a year-long separation, before my husband and I sign our divorce papersl; we also accepted an offer on the land we co-own (mentioned briefly here). It’s gutting to write about, and almost impossible to capture just how impactful this day was on me. I knew what I was getting into when I began the process of divorcing, but I really didn’t understand how it would feel—which I hope this post at least approximates. I hope you find it useful, whether fresh off of your own separation, considering a split, or simply curious.
“Build in self care.” It’s the same thing I tell friends and clients when they’re tasked with an especially difficult day. I knew going into Saturday that it would help to have something planned at the end of it. A year after separating, my ex (a term I hate for its sharpness, but use for its convenience) and I were finally making time to divide the furniture, kitchenware, and ten years’ worth of shared objects, books, and mementos.
In the week leading up to it, I debated how I would want to spend the evening after such a taxing day, before landing on Korean barbecue. The previous year has been full of firsts: First time living alone, traveling internationally on my own, online dating, seeing clients, attending a wedding without a date. I hoped that Korean barbecue—another first—would feel celebratory, fun, and, at the very least, distracting. I had no idea how spot-on I’d be.
An hour into dinner, a pool of grease drippings caught fire in the trap below our table. Our waitress deftly lifted the grate and returned with a cup full of water. Before we could protest, she splashed the water over the small fire, which immediately erupted into a roaring flame.
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