Di­vorce is not a fail­ure

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I got mar­ried in March 2013. It was a very in­ti­mate wed­ding at a ho­tel in Cape Town. Steven and I al­ways went there at the time of our an­niver­sary.

We had re­cently di­vorced and, when I was in Cape Town record­ing vo­cals for my al­bum around the time of our an­niver­sary, I called the ho­tel up, say­ing I would like to have lunch there. I took my best friend and a pho­tog­ra­pher pal.

The ho­tel staff pre­sumed my friend was my hus­band and brought out cup­cakes with Steven’s and my names on them, an os­ten­ta­tious dry-ice thing, free cham­pagne and a re­ally gushy card say­ing things like “we hope your mar­riage grows stronger with each pass­ing year”.

It was so funny. We went into hys­ter­ics. But not out of mean­ness — be­cause to this day Steven and I are very good friends. Our mar­riage didn’t work but that doesn’t mean it isn’t some­thing to be cel­e­brated.

There is all this heav­i­ness about di­vorce. I don’t want to feel haunted by the per­ceived “fail­ure” of di­vorce. I want to ac­cept it by liv­ing it, not hid­ing it.

This be­lief that women di­vor­cées are em­bit­tered — there’s a very overt streak of pa­tri­archy in that. When things end for women, there’s this thing of:“He is go­ing to move on very quickly but what about you?”

Dur­ing my cel­e­bra­tion that day, I wanted to get rid of that. And, re­ally, it felt joy­ous. Not some­thing wrapped in the typ­i­cal per­cep­tion of “you’ve wasted the best years of your life”. What I did that day re­ally led to some­thing quite lovely and hope­ful for the fu­ture — my fu­ture. —

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