By: Rebecca Perlman Coniglio, LCSW
Author of Lily's Little Life Lessons, www.amazon.com
Hello again to all the teens out there. I have a new thought on divorce, ready here it is.it is everywhere. Deep, I know but I am not sure if it is because of this blog or society right now, but everywhere I turn I see something or hear something about divorce.
This week I was reading my beloved People Magazine and get this, I was actually holding it in my hand like in the olden days, when I came across an article about Jennie Garth. Just for background, I grew up watching her as Kelly on the original Beverly Hills, 90210. Many of you probably watch the new 90210, but I still watch reruns of the old show, and I enjoy every second of it! For any Dancing with the Stars fans, Jennie Garth was on the show a few seasons ago. To all the Twilight enthusiasts, you may know her husband, Peter Facinelli, or should I say soon to be ex-husband. Together they have three girls age 14, 9, and 5.
I had heard about their separation, but when I started to read the article so many thoughts popped into my head. The first thought was, wow I read a lot of magazines. Seriously, I felt sad for this person who seemed to have it all. I also thought about her girls and what they must be experiencing having this happen to their famous parents in such a public way. Jennie Garth seemed, from the article at least, that she was clearly in the beginning phase of the divorce process. She came across almost stunned or taken back by how this had happened to her marriage, her family, her life. The article was real and it was honest. She talked about fighting for her marriage, wanting to stay in bed but staying strong for her children, she admitted to having fears about the future, and she shared about how their careers had affected their marriage. I think it was brave of her to tell her story, and I think we can all learn from it.
What can teens take away from this? I believe the lessons are as follows:
1. Movie stars and actors are real people with real lives, families, and feelings. Life doesn't always end up perfect like in a one hour TV show.
2. Even people who appear to "have it all" struggle. You can not judge others based on what you think their lives are like. That is why you should be careful of comparing yourself to anyone else. Be glad for what you have and try not to be jealous of other people.
3. Divorce does not discriminate; it can touch all people in all types of families. If you have been touched by divorce, you are not alone and you do not need to feel ashamed.
4. If life takes you down a road that you were not expecting, it can be scary, but stay the course and you can get back on track.
5. Remember, if your family is not exactly the way you thought or hoped it would be, it can still be good and sometimes even better.
How did I get all of this from People Magazine? I guess you never know where inspiration will strike. That is what makes life fun and exciting. Lessons are everywhere just waiting to be learned. I learned that curling up in bed at night with a magazine still fills me with the same joy it did when I was your age. I also learned that even though I do not know Jennie Garth, I feel for her and I believe in her. People, famous or not, who are faced with a challenge, can overcome it with strength, love, support, and a sense of humor never hurts either. So tell me what you think. Who inspires you?