This morning, I glanced at the trending topics and read that Heidi Klum and Seal are divorcing. Curious, I scanned the article and read that it’s amicable...they’ve just grown apart. I sighed “who cares?” and kept it moving so that I could stay on my morning ritual pace. It’s not that I’m not sad about Heidi & Seal’s split, although I’m really not, it’s just that I’m not surprised, nor do I really care. They’re both rich and famous. He can sing, and she’s beautiful. What’s there to be sad about? The kids will be fine. The nannies raising them will probably remain in tact, so life as they know it really won’t be altered that much for the little ones. Besides, Heidi & Seal probably beat their Vegas odds by two or three years anyway.
Personally, I’ve had a couple of friends walk the divorce plank. Unlike my reaction to the Seal and Heidi split, I was saddened to hear the news of a friend’s divorce. No matter how you slice it, a friend’s divorce is usually sad. For one friend, I rode her bump in the road with her for a long time and was saddened when it was finally over. Years later, the split is still less than amicable. On the other hand, I have another friend who managed to remain good friend’s with her ex-husband after the divorce.
Celebrities break-up all the time: Jennifer and Brad, Vanessa Williams and Rick Fox, Demi and Bruce and now Demi and Ashton, Kobe Bryant and his Vanessa, (not to be confused with Miss America Vanessa) and of course Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries whom I’m convinced really spelled his name with a C but changed it to a K once he started kanoodling with the Kardashian klan. The fact that there’s a show entitled “Basketball Wives” and most of the chicks on the show are divorced or estranged from the ballers is very telling. The list of celebrity break-ups is exhausting. I have a real friend (not to be confused with a facebook friend) who loves watching E! News and following celebrity stories. It’s her thing. She’s highly educated, but she gets her fix watching celebrity shows. This same friend is also currently battling breast cancer.
Understandably, she has requested privacy on her journey and does not want her experience shared or mentioned on the social networking sites, so I will not disclose the nature of our acquaintance. She and I share several real (not facebook) friends in common. One of our mutual friends is actually more like a big sister to her, and the two of them have been blogging about the cancer journey together. Blog entries are written through the eyes of a cancer fighter and a cancer supporter. Both are very dear to me, and each time I read an entry, I am deeply moved as a writer, and as their friend. I’m moved by how honest and raw the blog entries are because both are sharing information that is very personal and revealing, including photos. Sometimes, the big sister’s blog includes a comment that is “lovingly critical or slightly disapproving” of the level of detail shared by the little sister, but the little sister does not censor her blogs. Both have shared that writing the blog has been amazing therapy as they support each other through this journey. A bump in a friend’s journey always impacts her inner circle.
Life is bumpy. When faced with a life altering bump, most people will curse the bump, cry about the bump, and question God about the bump. Life’s bumps are like search spotlights that magnify one’s true character. I’ve watched a few friends hit various bumps on their journey: health issues, job loss, marital woes and issues with children, etc. Most deal with the bump and continue on their journey, often made stronger and wiser by the bump’s impact, but sometimes people “change” when they hit a bump. I would argue that the bump doesn’t change a person, it merely magnifies or reveals their true character. My friend with the newly bald head is handling her “bump” with the same sense of courage, style, wit, charm and grace that has always defined who she is as a woman. Right after starting chemotherapy, she shaved her head and decided that wearing a scarf made her look sickly while rocking the bald head with big earrings made her look chic. She was right. It wasn’t her hair that made her pretty; she’s just as pretty sans the tresses.
The girls in the Black Diamond Series experience various life altering bumps on their journey, and because I wanted the characters to have texture and depth, some of the bumps are more like potholes. A few of my literary circle critics (entrusted with reading draft versions of my third book) thought that one of the themes that I chose to explore might prove a tad too sad for my young adult fiction genre. I considered modifying this particular plot twist, but like my friend who is blogging about her cancer experience, in the end, I chose not to censor the story line. Instead, I added more drama to an already dramatic chapter and explained that I wanted to provide a fictionalized roadmap should someone find herself walking this path. A few weeks ago, I learned from a friend that her daughter recently experienced the exact theme that I depicted in my novel. My friend shared that when her daughter read that particular chapter, she couldn’t believe that I had captured how she was feeling. It validated my decision to stand firm and leave that theme unaltered in my story. Wanna know what the bump was? Buy and read Chemistry & Chaos!
Obviously, a book cannot provide the perfect script on how best to handle your life’s bumps, but sharing your life with good friends will certainly give you the energy and confidence you need to manage the bumps in your road. In addition to her blogger buddy, my friend has a slew (which is more than a gander less than a google) of amazing friends praying for her and riding the cancer wave with her in various ways.
We all receive different bumps in life, and we handle those different bumps differently. Bumps are always relative, and we don’t get to choose our bumps, but we certainly get to choose our friends. Choose your friends wisely because only a tried and true friend can tell you when you need to suck it up and deal with “it,” whether your “it” is enduring another round of painful chemotherapy or facing the fact that the man whose name you tattooed on your arm is no longer your husband.
Heidi Klum will probably have the Seal tattoo surgically removed or transformed into something silly like “Sealed with a Kiss.” Tattoos of a love interest’s name usually prove to be a bad idea. Too bad Heidi didn’t have a friend with her to talk her out of that tattoo parlor. I’m sure my E! news loving-cancer fighting-friend is probably grateful for the brief distraction that Heidi and Seal’s saga is providing from the pain in her body, so for that I say thank you Heidi and Seal! Give to breast cancer research.