Take time to explore your interests:
It was only after my marriage ended that I began to develop an interest in designing and building giant puzzle structures to prevent somebody from leaving a house or apartment building. Divorce has few upsides, but being open to new experiences and having the time to explore them is one of them.
Recognize that it’s OK to have different feelings:
Divorce affects everybody in different ways. Whereas my ex-wife asked for space and ample time to heal, I quickly got to work in my living room building a scale model replica of her house to draft maze designs with pinpoint accuracy. My roommates kept asking me to “please stop using the bathroom for hours at a time to make buckets of paper mache” and “stop crying so loud”, but I recognized they could have different feelings from me as well.
Give yourself a break:
To adhere to my maze drafting schedule, I began to limit sleep to two hours a night through sheer motivation and a wheeled IV filled with 5-Hour Energy. This began to affect my post office work performance, as the IV stand would fall every time I used my mail truck’s brakes. After several bags of mail were soiled with energy drink leakage, I realized I needed to cut myself some slack. I quit my position and started dedicating myself full-time to my passion project.
Don’t go through this alone:
Having a support system is everything, and I was able to confide in the constantly rotating work crews I hired to assemble separate pieces of my master creation. I concealed what they were building by carefully scheduling them to work on different sections at opposite times, which allowed me to vent in a way that prevented them from becoming overwhelmed. Balance has to exist on both sides.
Take care of yourself emotionally and physically:
Physically, the process of transporting thousands of pounds of brick and mortar materials helped me get in the best shape of my life. Emotionally, I feel pretty healthy and I don’t think I need much work there.
Avoid power struggles and arguments with your spouse or former spouse:
I knew that continuing to argue with my former lover would achieve nothing. That’s why I was thankful that all of my arguing could be directed towards the many police officers she called to arrest me when I was spotted trying to roll an 800-pound section of my newborn labyrinthine spawn across her backyard using a rented industrial power loader.
Reassure and listen:
Representing myself in a court of law did wonders for both my listening and reassuring skills. I practiced reassuring the jury that my puzzle babies were works of modern art and had nothing to do with imprisoning my ex-wife. I then listened as lawyers openly refuted all of my claims with hard, undeniable evidence.
Life will return to normal:
I’m realizing my time in prison is just another step on my journey back to normalcy. It has allowed me to continue to expand my hobbies even further, delving into horticulture and tunneling through concrete with stolen paperclips. I now know that the divorce was just step one: it’s how you adjust to what comes after that counts. Living, learning, finding a quieter model of industrial power loader. That’s all I can ask for.
Adam Narimatsu is a writer, musician, and mid-19th century frontiersman from Annapolis, MD. Follow them on Twitter @AdamNarimatsu.