I am at the coffee shop this morning. I am really supposed to be walking with my friends “Candy” and “Cookie” only we decide it’s a bit too cold to be healthy this morning. We are more 40 degree kinda gals. Somehow it’s far easier to show up early for coffee and omelettes than walk more than three miles in the freezing cold.

“Candy” and “Cookie” are really the walking veterans. My current lifestyle has turned me into more of the sidekick they tutor in walking.

Still, we discuss health as good walking partners should. I tell them about a great new store that has opened in town which sells cold pressed juices and organic, vegetarian fare. I am working with this store on their marketing and rave about their products as a must try.

“Cookie” starts to joke something along the lines of, “I’ll give it a Colleen.”

I gasp. Hey, wait a minute don’t turn me into a noun! Is that what my present situation has become? You know the pre-divorce Colleen and the nearly post-divorce Colleen. I’ve gone through such a metamorphosis that I now have a divorce identity.

“No,” says ‘Cookie’ as “Candy’ and I erupt with laughter. “I’ll give it an ole college try.”

Now we are all laughing.

“Oh, thank goodness,” I say.

I am afraid of labels. This is what divorce has done to me. I am the divorce leper. Anyone who has been through divorce knows of what I speak. You are now the different one and it is not comfortable.

I never needed to be like other people. I never felt like I needed to fit in even when I was a teenager. I always say that I enjoy being liked, but I don’t need to be liked. What do I mean? I think we all want to be liked on some level only I will turn that on its heels if a situation demands that I step forward and deal with something unpleasant.

Only when I was very little do I remember wishing that I was like someone else, or wanted their pony or their toy. Only then do I remember that feeling of wanting to fit in.

Divorce is uncomfortable. You no longer fit in. No matter how many pounds I shed walking (minus the omelettes) will I achieve comfort.

My clothes may fit again, but not the world I spent years building. It shrunk. There will never be room for me to fit into that life again.

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