That's right – DIVORCE party. A party to celebrate the completion of a divorce. Sound strange? That's what I used to think…until I became a party planner and saw the positive side of this fast-growing trend.
Divorce parties have become a booming addition to the event planning industry in recent years. Of course, some tend to skew to the negative (think – cakes with knives, ex-husband photo dart boards, ex-wife piñatas…). But let me be perfectly clear about the philosophy I share with my clients when planning their divorce party: It's not about fanning the flames of hate. It's not about making a mockery of what was once a central part of your life, or about trashing the ex. Yes, getting divorced is very painful even in the best of circumstances, but it's much more productive to resist those negative impulses and focus instead on the positive aspects of your new life status.
It's important to remember, this whole thing started with love and marriage. I encourage my clients to choose the high road, to celebrate new beginnings with friends, family and fun. Women (or men) who are strong enough to get themselves out of a bad situation, for the sake of themselves and/or for their children, deserve to move on in an affirmative, liberating way. It's okay – even healthy – to feel relief and to look forward to moving on to the next chapter of your life. You just have to give yourself permission!
Says divorce attorney Helen M. Dukhan, co-founder and partner of HD Family Law Group, “My motto is: 'Nothing says a good day like a divorce'...not because I'm being funny, not because the process isn't difficult, long and sometimes super expensive, but because of how my clients feel when it's finalized and they are FREE! They are empowered. That is why I love my job, because I help my clients prepare for the divorce, guide them through it, and then I celebrate with them once it is over and done with."
So…are you ready to open your mind to the idea of a divorce party? Here are 10 great reasons to feel good about your – or your friend's – choice to have one:
Show the world you're fine, you're strong, and you're moving forward.
Embrace new beginnings
This is the first day of the rest of your life. A party is a great way to kick off your new independence and leave the past behind.
Ease a difficult time
After going through a rough time, you deserve to surround yourself with supportive and encouraging people, and let them shower you with love. What could be better than having all your BFFs and loved ones together in the same place – celebrating YOU?
Take a risk
It might feel uncomfortable or unusual at first, but opening yourself up to a new experience will make you feel empowered.
Do something fun
Consider picking a fun theme and bringing it to life with special décor, a fancy cake, and even your own signature cocktail. Whatever works for you. Use your imagination!
Take some amazing photos
According to professional photographer, Celestina Ando, “photos are a great way to feel empowered." You'll have a whole new collection of great pics to look at and remind yourself how much you are loved. (Not to mention sharing them on social media – with you looking fabulous and having the time of your life!)
Open yourself up to meeting new people
Ask your guests to each bring a friend you can meet and expand your horizons. If you're ready, announce to your family and friends that you're open to dating again. You'd be surprised how quickly your network can grow.
Okay, this sounds shallow, but hey, now that your belongings have been split up, you may need stuff.
Express your gratitude
For everyone who has been there for you through thick and thin – lending an ear, offering advice, providing support, being a friend – throw a party to thank them for standing by your side. Everybody wins!
Give yourself a little TLC
Book a pre-party spa or beauty appointment, get glammed up, and wear your favorite outfit or splurge on a new one. Show off the new you, single and ready to take on the world!
Parties are meant to acknowledge life events – whatever we deem those to be. Divorce parties are becoming more and more mainstreamed as a way to acknowledge that phase of life and move on to the next one. Instead of staying lost in the sorrow or bitterness of the past, choose optimism and positivity for the future. Live it up!
Sometimes the person you have to stand up to is you! There I was, rewatching the Miss Universe 2019 competition. Which I do for inspiration from time to time. (No, seriously!) There is something about seeing women on stage, in full-on glam mode, and speaking with confident assuredness that really lights my fire!
I have seen this Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa win this crown so many times before, but something about this particular viewing, her delivery or her words, touched something inside me a little differently. At that moment, I truly believed, with complete conviction, that she lives what she speaks.
The announcement was made, the audience cheered, and the crown was awarded. The light was dazzling,, she looked stunning, almost blessed. The judges made the right call with 2019's queen.
Reflecting On Myself
Suddenly, the YouTube video ended. And I was left looking at a black screen. In the darkness of that screen, I saw my reflection and I began assessing what I saw, asking myself, "What have I been doing with my life?" It may seem like an overly dramatic question, but at that moment, I had to ask myself seriously… What have you done? The fact that I couldn't come up with a solid, confident answer gave my inner-cynic license to quickly spiral into self-criticism.
This went on for quite some time, until I got up. I stood up and walked to my mirror to have some serious one-on-one "Queen Talk." I needed to get out of that self-critical mindset, and I know that physical movement is something that help disrupt a way of thinking. I needed to remind myself of who I really was. The negative feelings I was experiencing at that moment were not reality.
Here are a few reminders for whenever you need some Queen Talk!
1.) Comparison is truly the thief of joy.
This saying feels like a cliché. That is, until it's applicable to you. At that moment, this "cliché, becomes self-evident. Comparing myself to someone on a stage with years of experience in an area I know nothing about is not only unfair but straight-up mean. A part of my comparison comes from me wondering, "Would I have the ability, if put in that position, to perform at such a level?" The answer is totally and without question, yes. I excel in the field I work in now, and I know that if I put that same energy towards something else, with practice, I could do just as well. No joy can come from comparing yourself to someone in a completely different field!
2.) Never forget the blessings that have been bestowed upon you.
Every single day, I am blessed to have the opportunity to wake up with all ten fingers and toes and choose to create the kind of life I want to live. There is so much power in that alone, but sometimes it's easy to take it for granted. Let us not forget those who are unable to make that same decision every day of their lives.
3.) Appreciate how far you have come!
I've been very intentional for some time to be kinder and gentler to myself. I need to realize that I am human. Being human means that I will not know everything, and I will continue to make mistakes.But I must let go of the need to always be right. I feel empowered when I can see the growth that I've made, regardless of the mistakes that may come in the future. I don't react to every little thing that bothers me, because I have learned boundaries when it comes to dealing with others and myself. I truly value my time and my energy, and, for that, I am proud.
4.) You Can Be Who You Want To Be
If you can see it in your mind, you can achieve it in reality. I saw myself when I looked at the women on stage, when she smiled, the way she talked, her elegant walk. For a moment, in my self-criticism spiral, I forgot that we are all connected. Debasish Mridha has said "I may not know you, but I don't see any difference between you and me. I see myself in you; we are one." I will not sit in the mentality of lack, there is more than enough opportunity and good fortune to go around for everyone. Her win was not a loss for me, but it can be a nudge from the universe for me to go ahead and dream big!
This Queen Talk was not easy. There may have been some tissues and tears involved but giving myself an honest yet compassionate talk is sometimes what I need to bring myself out of some bad head space. In these moments of doubt, you truly need to be your own best friend.When times get rough, criticism won't always come from outside sources. How you speak about yourself internally is crucial to how you see and feel about yourself. As Beyoncé once sang, "I've got Me, Myself, and I." We must put forth every effort to be there for ourselves. I look forward to more Queen Talks when some negative emotions arise. I am grateful for the person I am today, but I am excited to see the women I become.