About Life After Normal

The Short Version: I am Washington, D.C.-based, divorced, vegan, a flying trapeze artist, a flying trapeze instructor, a yogi, a yoga instructor, a self-employed entrepreneur / communications executive, the mom to three fur babies (two cats and a dog) who drinks entirely too much wine.

The Long Version: As I entered my 30s, I definitely knew that life wasn’t what I had expected it to be when I was younger. I mean that in the positive and negative sense – I married a (seemingly) wonderful man, had a great career, but was beginning to wonder at what cost I achieved the professional success. Was all the stress, anxiety, ridiculously long hours and loss of any semblance of a work-life balance worth it? With working so hard and making “good” money, why were we still living paycheck to paycheck? And why was our “strong” marriage so exhausting?

Those concerns sound trivial after my younger, 32-year-old brother killed himself in 2009. From that moment on I had life before his death, and life after his death. It not only put a lot of things into perspective but also shook me at the core of my being.  I didn’t know which way was up (and still struggle with that today). In the blink of an eye, I unexpectedly became an only child, forced to deal with family issues that I was completely unprepared to manage; I had to serve as an information and support system to his friends when I desperately needed a shoulder of my own; but most importantly I had (have?) no idea how to take care of myself or deal with the stress, anxiety and mind-numbing sadness and grief that accompanies something such as a suicide. All of this compiled has taken (and is taking) its toll on my physical, mental and emotional health. For better or worse, I am a different person on a different journey today than I was before that moment when I learned what had happened.

Within two years following his death, I quit my job and started my own business, became a yoga instructor, became a flying trapeze artist and instructor (yes, really), and I left and ultimately divorced my husband. Life after normal is definitely not happily ever after. But it’s moving forward, one foot in front of the other.

I started writing Life After Normal more or less for therapy – I needed an outlet after my brother’s death and knowing my marriage was coming to an end, and found it easier to just write write write than talk talk talk. But as the years have passed, the emotions are certainly less raw – but navigating through this complicated life remains, well, complicated. So I continue to chronicle my journey through major life changes, both planned and circumstance, and also, hopefully, to offer some levity – good food, fun photos, random observations probably made after a few glasses of wine. I hope that by sharing what I’m going through you will recognize that you’re not alone, and even find some humor in the ridiculous curveballs life continually throws us.