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Business News/ Opinion / Blogs/  DANCING DIVORCEE: Am I pretty?
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DANCING DIVORCEE: Am I pretty?

The divorce was a rejection of who I am and I had to find a way to convince myself that I was / am attractive

Confidence is my new ‘pretty’. Photo: ThinkStock (ThinkStock)Premium
Confidence is my new ‘pretty’. Photo: ThinkStock
(ThinkStock)

I got my divorce in my mid-thirties. It was a bizarre time. I was old enough to have one, two or three children (I didn’t) and then slowly, gradually let myself into the promised midlife crisis. Instead, I was looking at the mirror and replaying the angst of a college student, “Am I pretty? Am I pretty enough?".

The divorce was a rejection of who I am and I had to find a way to convince myself that I was / am attractive. Somehow, for me, when I was with the Ex, whether I was attractive and interesting wasn’t really the uppermost concern in my mind. I think that’s what a person’s love or a relationship does. It make you feel so secure about yourself that you stop wondering about your outer beauty and focus on more important things like buying a holiday home or tomorrow morning’s breakfast bread.

That love was gone and I didn’t care about holiday homes or breakfast. I was just trying to keep my new home above water (This is a metaphor, I’m not talking about the Bombay rains). And in that new home was this mirror which was insistent on showing me, my ten years older self, a few kgs heavier with all those skin problems that anti-ageing creams claim that I have (How did they know?).

It’s not like I could ask my best friend with two kids and a maid on leave, “Do you think this outfit suits me?". She would burst out laughing and tell me to get a life. She doesn’t realise that’s what I was doing.

I wrote a list of all the things I didn’t like about me (Physically) and fixed the ones I could. I managed not to resort to cosmetic surgery because I am petrified of those people in white coats. I was also a bit worried, I wouldn’t recognise myself in the mirror if I got a face change. With all the changes going on in my life, I couldn’t risk that one too.

During these trying times, a new wardrobe made its presence felt. Now, I had to decide on the new attitude. Did I want to be the ‘sparkly-eager-bright-eyed’ interested in everything, especially YOU kind-of person or did I want to be that philosophical, slightly cynical, been-there, seen-that, infinite bowl of compassion and wry wit?

It was almost masochistic to think of a behavioural brooch to go with my wardrobe. What happened in actuality was that my attitude would change according to my mood and the party. After a long time, a really long time of being experimental personalities, I threw all the rule books out of the window. For the day had come - that day when I settled down into me (Whatever that was). When I looked into the mirror I didn’t worry about “Am I pretty?" Instead, I combed my hair and felt good about what I saw. It was a woman who was neat, clean, wore purple pants and was, yes, confident.

Finally, I had the confidence to live the life I thought I was worthy of and the courage to go after it. Confidence is my new ‘pretty’ ... I think.

Dancing Divorcee is a weekly happy, sad, funny, obnoxious blog on the misadventure called divorce. It will appear every Thursday. Arathi Menon is a dancing divorcee who also blogs, writes, tweets and repairs brands.

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Published: 08 Aug 2013, 01:15 PM IST
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