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What Life After Divorce Looks Like: Lauren’s Update

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It's been a minute since we've had a little life update around here. Since we're coming up on the two year anniversary of me buying the site back from The Motley Fool in April, I felt it was the perfect time for an update. Email subscribers are in the loop (or, at least, maybe a little bit more in the loop than web-only readers), but I still haven't been as great about keeping in touch or sharing more about what my life after divorce looks like. Here's why.

As the kids say, life has been “life-ing”

Life came at me *hard* in 2023. I lost my job in February (which did a huge number on my mental health that I haven't really felt comfortable admitting until now – 14 months later). I was on a grueling and very unsuccessful job hunt for five months last year. I applied to hundreds of jobs and did countless interviews, none of which yielded the next right step. After years of having jobs and great money/benefits thrown at me whenever I decided to pop in or pop out of traditional full-time employment, this was very humbling. It also did a number on my mental health.

So, after months of no luck, I did get an opportunity to shadow an incredibly successful real estate agent here in Atlanta, and so I decided to do a career pivot in July into client-facing residential real estate.

Being in Real Estate in Atlanta in 2023/2024

I still can't decide if this current high interest rate environment with changing commission structures is the best time to get into real estate or the worst. Senior agents I've talked to have said it's the best because if I can make it work now, I'll definitely thrive when the market trends more positively. I've drawn on my background flipping houses for sure, but much of working on the client-facing side has been brand new to me.

I love it, but it literally took all of me at the time to make it work.

Other aspects of life were also on pause for a good bit

I put everything into learning all I could about real estate since last July. And since I wasn't making any consistent income, a lot of my life was on pause. Travel. Home projects. Making plans for the future. You get it. I was in survival mode, but also giving every shred ounce of energy I had to real estate because if I failed, I didn't want to wonder if things would have been different if I'd worked harder.

So it was parenting my kid, work, and my relationships with my family and friends. That was it.

But after eight months of planting seeds, I'm happy to report that my hard work has paid off. I've been having success with my buyer clients and closing deals, working off a great sales pipeline, and I'm excited for what comes next. (And if you are in the Atlanta area and need help buying/selling, obviously I'd love to work with you. Just reach out to me!)

What life after divorce looks like for me

There were a few “big highlights” since I've last updated you. Even though travel wasn't really on my radar, I did get to go to Egypt with some dear friends and cross a major bucket item off the list. I had my first professional brand shoot since 2019 (!!!) — one of the images is the featured photo for this post.

But really the highlights of the last year or so were small and wonderfully ordinary. Having a healthy kid and watching him grow and become funnier and more independent by the day.

Getting to a peaceful place of co-parenting where everything divorce related is way back in my rearview and I don't even think about it on a daily basis anymore (if you're a divorcee you know this is such a win!) Welcoming my brother's kid into the family (my first nephew!). Blending our families), and spending moments where I can with my epic circle of close friends.

More on life after divorce

On top of all of that I'm also co-parenting a four year old (and all the adorable difficulties that comes with) and my partner moved in. That's right — I've been in a loving, exceptionally healthy relationship for a little under two years now and he moved into our home in February. I'll admit it — I love the extra set of hands and the laughter he brings into the household, but I can't describe how much being with him has healed me. Divorce is such a transformative process (those who have been through it will know.) I did all of the hard work and emerged a new woman, but healing from past trauma has made me the happiest version of myself and I owe a lot of that to Matt.

It's hard when you're newly separated/divorced to see the light at the end of the tunnel. For me it took about a year and half from the day it was “over,” and now that I'm close to three years out from that day it feels like I'm back in a new normal and feeling really, really good. I had the big layoff in the middle of that, so I imagine it won't take that long for most people, but I will say that whatever comes after divorce is so, so worth the heartache and pain.

The big thing I've learned about money in the last few months

I started my first blog, L Bee and the Money Tree, twelve years ago this May. (To think about my blog as a little baby that's now about to enter seventh grade makes me giggle. I'm also a freaking dinosaur in internet time. Oh how it flies!) One of the main things I've written about in my time as a personal finance blogger is my big belief that money is a lifelong journey. (You can read more about my money beliefs here.)

Money is lifelong because

  1. you have to manage it your whole freaking life and,
  2. it changes. constantly.

I had a set of financial circumstances as a 20-something living in Atlanta and renting an apartment. And then I became a first time homeowner and then they changed. Then I got married, then I got divorced. Now I'm working with a more unpredictable income than I've ever experienced (yes, even more unpredictable than being a blogger and full-time business owner), and so now they're changing on me again.

Financial basics are the basics but your money situation is always changing, so you have to be fluid and adapt your money game. I'm in the middle of that adaptation now as I begin selling homes consistently and try to baseline my own income. I look forward to sharing more of that journey in the coming months as well.

I hope the last few seasons have treated you kindly. I'm going to *try* (bandwidth permitting) to do more of these updates, but in the interim, my email or contact form is always a great way to keep in touch.

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