Reading: You’re Never Too Old To Start Over

Breaking The Rules

You’re Never Too Old To Start Over

She thought she had it all figured out by her second marriage. But life had other plans

By Nina Lorez Collins

Picture of Nina Lorez Collins
Nina Lorez Collins

This evening, over glasses of red wine, my girlfriend and I marveled: who would have thought, a year ago, that we’d be where we are today? She, after a brutal divorce that took years to finalize, and too many bad boyfriends to count is now 51 and madly in love, happy and calm, with a man who finally treasures her for her ballsy self. She ran the marathon last fall, has traveled to three continents in as many years and has a thriving PR business.

Like Karen, I too divorced the father of my children, but back in my late 30s. Then I remarried at 45 and thought for sure that I had “figured out” the second half of my life. I envisioned years of doing the things we loved to do together, and grandchildren, and retirement, all mapped out in logical order. I even imagined caring for him in illness and death, because I’m a little perverse in that way. Then, when that marriage came crashing down last fall, I found myself alone in my apartment, just me and my old dog, kids grown and gone, not remotely sure what was next, and incredibly sad.

A few months later, feeling an intuitive need for escape and, honestly, anything to distract me from my pain, I got talked into a cross-country trip across America. The LA adventure had long been a fantasy, so I thought “what the hell?” and decided to spend three months in Venice. It’s not as though anyone was at home to miss me.

I rented a house, met a new interesting man, and was sort of shocked to realize that I’m in no way too old to make a whole new slew of fabulous girlfriends, to discover new beloved bookstores and restaurants and hikes, to learn the streets of a new place. It may sound naive, but I really did think that that was not possible. Going somewhere new awakened a whole sense of possibility and curiosity that I haven’t felt in years.

The permutations of where our lives can still take us are genuinely staggering; all we have to do is say yes, be open, believe in ourselves, and forge ahead. This doesn’t mean it’s not horribly hard and sad sometimes. My recent split still has me on my knees at times. But being this age means we’re better at putting on our big girls pants and dealing with what’s in front of us, knowing that we can, and will, handle whatever comes our way.

 

Nina Lorez Collins is the founder of the Facebook group for women 40+, What Would Virginia Woolf Do? and author of a new book of the same namePicture of Nina Lorez Collin's book What Would Virgina Woolf Do?

 

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  1. MARY ROSS

    Missing a part of yourself is a BIG MISS, so getting your BIG GIRL pants on is part of the LOVE-SELF reality we all must face. My dear mother at age 70 was missing that self. She called it her “New Identity” and she got it! – Mary Ross, author of 160 books and GospelGrabBag.com. Can’t wait to read this book – Just bought it!

  2. Lucy Brummett

    Good for you for starting over. We all go through rocky moments that will test us. I can relate to how I’d be too if my husband got sick. When we feel so strongly about those that we love it’s hard to imagine anything else because we think it’ll always be that way. As for falling on your knees that’s okay too. You’re human, you have a heart and you’ll always feel that love. Keep doing you and enjoy life;)

  3. Karen Amster-young

    Loved your article and so well-written such an important message that I needed to be reminded of despite my writing/work in this area at times!

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