“I would like to say my story was one without any peaks and valleys, but the truth is, like most of us humans, we are not in control of what curve balls will be thrown at us in our lifetimes. My story starts like many others, standing in divorce court realizing in horror how not only is life not fair, but the family law court system is not in any way equipped to deal with wayward exes or those who choose to be uncooperative in a divorce proceeding.
Fast forward to 2012, when I found myself a divorced single parent with 3 young children, and a decade long gap in my resume from the corporate world. Besides being uncertain of what the future would bring, or how I would ever support my children and myself, I was emotionally and physically exhausted from the stressful years long divorce process. I remember vividly waking up each morning and being like, ‘What catastrophes will occur today?’ Many days they appeared in the form of a rejection letter, or broken appliance I had no way of financially replacing.
The other part of the divorce story people fail to tell you, is not only are you unemployable in the eyes of corporations, but you are also being a full-time-mom to multiple children, which leaves you very little time to focus on job searching, training or employment. As hard as I tried to find a job, (100 or more jobs applied for) there were also the odd jobs I realized I also couldn’t possibly do, as the child care costs would be much more than any wages earned.
My stress level was extreme to say the least, my weight dropped, my anxiety increased, and life was a blur of putting out daily fires and trying to fake normality to my family, friends, and children. The truth was, I was hanging on by a thread, losing hope I could ever find a job or things would ever get better.
As luck or serendipity would have it, my extreme anxiety led to multiple stress dreams, and in March of 2013, I woke up after one such dream. I had dreamt I could not sell my engagement ring and needed the money to buy my children food. In the dream, I was going from jewelry store to jewelry store, trying desperately to sell my ring. At each location, the jeweler was saying they would give me a dollar or 2 dollars for it. Towards the end of the dream I was so frustrated, I just said to myself , ‘Screw that, I will sell my ring and rings of others online at a website called DreamsRecycled.’ It was such a strange and specific dream that after I took my children to school that morning, I began researching divorce platforms and positive divorce resources, and shockingly found none! Positive divorce seems like such an oxymoron, but like all things in life, the only control we have is how we react and deal with such things.
I started to think about this as a business concept, having no idea if it would work, and also knowing I had pretty much zero skills in tech or the online world. I searched on Godaddy for the domain ‘dreamsrecycled.com,’ and as if it was sign, it was both available and only $9.99, so I purchased immediately!
I can’t exactly explain what propelled me to do what I did next, but let’s just say it was a mixture of desperation and divine intervention. I took about $3000, which was all I had, and hired a web designer to create Dreamsrecycled.com, the first and only online platform selling items from divorce while spreading hope and positivity surrounding life after divorce.
Within 13 days, I went from unemployable broke single mom of 3, to the CEO and tech founder of Dreamsrecycled. I spent 16 hours a day working, researching and learning everything I could about websites, marketing, branding and the online world. I had uncertainty if this would work, but I had purpose. I remember thinking, ‘With purpose, anyone can move mountains,’ and that’s how my goal began. If I could just help one person a day to start, then 3 people a day, and so on, and that thought and belief was what carried me through to the launch of my company and website. I was little prepared for what would come next.
My website launched on 7/7/2013, and within days we miraculously had traffic! My friends and family helped spread the word and people generally seemed very receptive of this new concept. A few months later, I was interviewed for local Fox News 35. What I didn’t realize was these local channel stories had the potential to be picked up nationally. My story aired one evening, and by the next day, my story had been picked up by Fox news nationally, and it had gone viral! It spread through The Huffington Post opening story globally, to CBS news, New York Times and dozens more. I had no idea what this meant, except the traffic to the website was through the roof and I was receiving thousands of emails a day mostly from lovely divorcees who wanted to share their story with me or asking for help.
I was blessed, shocked, and quite frankly overwhelmed by the attention and outpouring of support from so many all over the world. I buckled down and spent the next 5 years expanding and revising my platform and letting our users lead the way to the platform it is now, with articles, community, resources and a free marketplace to sell your divorce items. During this time, my business and my children came first. I knew I was not ready or capable of having a real relationship with anyone. This didn’t stop me going on far too many dates in the hope of figuring out who I was and what I wanted in life.
Like many people after a long term marriage, I had lost sight of who I was and was damaged by the long term divorce and fall out from it. This caused me by my own admission to continue to be attracted to the wrong, yet familiar, type of men. In 2015 I decided to stop dating altogether and just really use all my time and energy to helping others and raising my beautiful, now medium sized children.
I really learned to enjoy being single to embrace how I was not half of anything, but a whole, and would stop looking for others to complete me. This entire concept is, in my opinion, the key to being and attracting much healthier relationships into your life.
As Dreamsrecycled grew, so did my following on social media, LinkedIn was a huge part of our story, building brand awareness and helping so many professionally through our platform. On one not very different day than any others, I received a polite, respectful message on LinkedIn, thanking me for the work I was doing to help other divorcees. I of course replied, and didn’t think much of it, especially as the polite man lived all the way on the other side of the country. A couple messages back and forth led to an invite to hear his story on a phone call.
One call, yet two entire lives changed. The adage ‘when you know you know’ rang loud and clear for us both. Being the skeptic, I didn’t believe a long distance relationship would last, but this man was different. He was stable, consistent and always went above and beyond to make sure I knew I was priority in his life. We had 3 years doing long distance dating because he too had 3 children, so he waited until they were out of school to leave. One engagement and five years later, we are still living our blended family dream. Even though our wedding has been cancelled due to Covid 3 times in 2020, we don’t feel that marriage is the be all and end all. We feel relationships make it or fail not because of a piece of paper, but because of trust, support, actions and effort.
There are a million divorce stories and I of all people remember how dismal it can feel while in the midst of it. But all divorcees have the ability to recycle their lives, create a new life, new career and most importantly make much better relationship choices which can lead to new life time partnerships. The concept of ‘we all only get one bite of the apple at love or happiness’ is so far from reality. In fact, 87% of all divorcees eventually remarry and most others do find new loves. You are never too old to find a new, healthier, and more fulfilling love and professional life.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Tiffany Ann Beverlin. Follow her on Instagram and her website. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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