Serendipity or Zemblanity?

March 16, 2011

in Life Lessons



1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

2. good fortune; luck

In the summer of 2008 I woke up to a day filled with preparing for a triathlon. I was so happy that morning. Then, as life can change in an instant, there was a revelation. I knew the discovery was going to quickly lead to the end of my marriage. It was a heartbreaking, vomit-inducing experience. It would take me 6 months of Lexapro, 10 months of therapy, and 12 months of crying to really feel whole again.

This description of the life-altering discovery that led to my divorce, at first glance, does not appear to be a serendipitous event. A happy surprise, good fortune, or a lucky circumstance is what comes to mind when using the adjective serendipitous. In that moment it was not serendipity, but rather zemblanity.

But to me, living a happy life means embracing and finding purpose from some of the greatest life challenges. From these difficulties have come many wonderful experiences. All of my experiences–good and bad–affected the person I am today.

The challenges of separation have actually been blessings. I love how I have been shaped by the experience. I have met inspirational people who are a few steps ahead of me on this journey; people I would have never met otherwise. And there have been wonderful opportunities that only came about because I started a blog. A blog that only exists because of the journey I began with the end of my marriage.

Regardless of how the defining moment in my marriage is described, only one thing is important: 27 months later I am happy.

It was a serendipitous event.

Note: This piece was inspired by a writing prompt at Studio30 Plus this week, which was  SERENDIPITY.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen March 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Good movie too!


Random Girl March 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I love your take on this prompt. So honest and hopeful, almost a sense of gratitude for what could have really defeated you. Excellent post, as always!
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Thank you! These writing prompts are wonderful writing exercises. I like where they lead me.

And yes, I am grateful for that day and that it brought about such a big change in my life and in me.


Eric March 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I have been a recent reader of your blog and I find it very inspriational as I am going thru my divorce..and I had a similar moment Oct 2010 as well..wanting to be happy. its been over 3 mos..moved out and living separate lives..I am working on being a better dad than I ever was when in the house..and your last entire paragraph rings true. I have met some amazing people, formed friendships that I will have for life and will continue to move forward in my journey. Happy.. Thank you …Eric


Naked Girl in a Dress March 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm


So many wonderful surprises can come from the difficult challenges in life. I am so happy you are able to focus on being happier in your life and are able to embrace the changes that are a result of your separation.

I wish you much luck in your journey too.

Thanks for visiting.


Maasiyat March 16, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Great take on the prompt and a great way to look at life. I can so totally relate. I have also gone through a divorce caused by a vomit inducing event so I know it’s not easy to see the rainbow behind the clouds.

Visiting from Studio 30
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 17, 2011 at 9:26 am


I love your analogy of seeing a rainbow behind the clouds! Last year I could barely see that rainbow, but I was starting to see it. Much more has been revealed this year. The clouds are starting to dissipate for me.

Thanks for visiting!


Lance March 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm

You’re where I was 4 or 5 years ago right after my divorce. You’re in that self discovery period where every day is an adventure. I love reading yours posts because it reminds me of that time. I hope I;m reading you years from now when you find that person or thing that makes your life even more amazing the way my wife and girls have made mine.

good post
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 17, 2011 at 9:28 am


I admire you as a writer so your positive feedback means a lot to me. Thank you.

It feels like I am a kid again; I am giddy with excitement to see what is around the next bend in the road as I make my way on this journey.


lorraine March 17, 2011 at 4:41 am

I KNOW I am going to be a fan of this blog. Similar life circumstances, 18 months out – obstacles have become opportunities.
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 17, 2011 at 9:29 am

I am so excited you are reading Lorraine! Thanks for visiting and I am happy to hear you are seeing the changes in your life as opportunities. It sounds like you have moved into a good place in the process. Good for you!


"Susan Says..." March 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Ahhhh….so you’ve been on a trip.

It’s how you handle the unexpected that makes it the hidden blessing….and it appears you know what you’re doing.

I’m not all that adept….but there’s hope for everyone.


Naked Girl in a Dress March 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm


“It’s how you handle the unexpected that makes it the hidden blessing.”

I love that and you are correct with that statement. I imagine you are more adept than you are giving yourself credit for.


Joelyn Morgan March 19, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I look forward to reading all one hundred of your posts – I just came across your blog today via the Red Dress Blog Hop.

Thank you!
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 20, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Thank you so much Joelyn. I would be honored if you came back to read more.


Simon Wallett March 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Quite simply..

..Good For You!
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Naked Girl in a Dress March 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Thank you Simon!


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