My post-divorce lessons learned, a decade later.

George Morris
4 min readJul 22, 2022

Nine years ago, during the collapse of my marriage and my business, I publically posted a passive frustration on Facebook.

“Did you ever want to burn it all down and start from scratch? All of it. To clean the slate and start with a new foundation to build on.”

Photo by Elias Maurer on Unsplash

I wasn’t clear at the time what prompted that desire to post. Looking back at it, that was how I asked for help. I felt trapped, caged by the world I created. Everything that went wrong felt like it pointed right back to me. At the time, I knew I shouldn’t carry the entire blame for my marriage and business faults, but I did.

Often in the evenings, when things were exceptionally rough, I would get out of bed around 1 am and walk the neighborhood to calm my anxious heart. My racing mind would not stop catastrophizing the days, weeks, and months ahead. The identity of who I was and how I defined myself was at risk. In my weakest moments, I briefly contemplated ending it all; I wrestled with taking my life. Yet that very thought gave me hope, yes, hope. The idea of ending my life excited me to the possibility of living a bigger life. I reasoned at the time that if my life didn’t matter, then why not take more significant risks? Why don’t I simply leap off the philosophical ledge and go head first into an entirely new life?

It was time to kill the Ego.

See, I created a life where I identified as a successful entrepreneur, active father of two very young children, and a community leader for TEDxBoulder and the Entrepreneurs Organization. Losing the marriage and the business would cut my knees from under what my Ego defined me as. My greatest fear at the time was that I’d never find that level of “success” again. That I’d never remarry. I’d never have the resources to give my kids the life I wanted to give them. Instead, I was afraid of the struggle ahead.

But wasn’t this what I asked for?

You’ve all heard the saying, “be careful what you ask for because you might just get it.” Those words were never more true for me.

The last decade of my life has been a walk through my personal struggles. And let’s be honest here, I’m a middle-class, middle-aged white dude, I’m very grateful of my place and resources. Yet I recall when Ash Beckham took the stage at TEDxBoulder, presenting her talk on “coming out of your closet.” She spoke about how there isn’t a “harder”; there is just “hard.” For each of us, “hard” is a relative term, and comparing who’s life is “harder” was a waste of time. That comforted me as I met the challenges of this new life I was in the process of creating.

I read that a new post-divorce “norm” would settle-in around three to five years after the divorce. At the time, I thought that was a crazy number. Given my clarity, I would do this in a year or two! That I was sure of. Funny.

As for business, I’d get something running in less a year. After all, my first business took six months to become profitable. Surely, after my years of experience and connections, this go-around would take far less time.

The Universe has a sense of humor.

It will humble you to your ways; this is the lesson I’ve learned.

Nearly a decade later, I’ve become what I most feared at the time of making the decision to divorce. Currently, I’m in the fourth business attempt in the last decade. Two long-term relationships have come and gone. My mind and body are a bit slower than they once were. Financially my situation isn’t much better than it was when I left my marriage. My “network” of business associates has fragmented into very loose connections. Those I thought were close friends have slowly trickled away, yet a few have stood with me through it all.

Yup, that isn’t the most uplifting read, but hang tight.

This evening I was walking the dogs, and it occurred to me that I never consciously decided to stop wiping the slate clean. This last decade was characterized by my reactions to protect it all from slipping away. Never did I fully surrender to losing the marriage and the business. My response to the divorce was to go into survival mode. To protect my losses by hustling. That’s reactionary, not the mindset of a builder.

The Universe has indeed wiped the slate for me. Today was the first realization that I don’t have a life anymore. I killed it long ago. It just took me this long to wake up to the fact that my new life is tomorrow. A chance to get honest about what I want in my future and to go fucking build it!

The life lessons keep on rolling in, don’t they?

--

--

George Morris

Lifelong entrepreneur and business coach, single father of two. Looking for ways society can level-up to meet the modern global challenges. https://gmorris.com