Mademoiselle Again

I’ve been struggling with how best to say this, something so quiet and private, a thing that hurts to even name.

There’s no easy way, so I’ll just dive in. Jerome and I separated. Tomorrow will be the first step towards making it final.

I’ll meet with a divorce lawyer (ay, that word, divorce, still cuts me like a dagger). Soon, both of us will go together. We’ll pick up a pen and sign papers and have a record of an official parting. It will be another stage of mourning; I’ve cycled through quite a few already to arrive at this point.

For those of you who are new here, this might be confusing. You might never have even seen posts where I talk about Jerome. For those who have been with me for awhile, you might have noticed that I mentioned rough times at first, but then, on the whole, observed silence on the matter.

It’s been a strange balance not talking about the personal upheaval here. I consider myself quite open; I invite you into my life. But at the same time, it’s not just about me. There’s another person involved – and the most important, intimate of relationships. For that reason, discretion seemed best. We rode our storm away from the screen.

Not only for his privacy and ours, but also – how do you even explain what you’re trying to understand yourself? Confusion, hurt, anger. Embarrassment even, shame. When you’re in the middle of it, sometimes you just have to go through what you’re going through.

If you wonder, is all that I’ve been writing on this blog just a veneer? How could I sound so positive when all of this has been happening?

My gratitude is real, too. It is the hot, burning truth. This I’ve learned this past year. I need to name my happiness, to remind myself at each turn that I am blessed by this life even when it challenges me to the core. I’ve experienced some of the hardest moments I’ve ever had – and I also feel like I’ve been granted miracles, too.

I feel like I’ve grown as a person, a writer. I grow, keep growing. I already considered myself an empathetic person, but that has only increased more as I travel the road of pain and recovery. How could feeling and understanding not deepen when I now know what it’s like to have my legs buckle from underneath me, the weight of sadness so heavy I could no longer stand?

How could I not be better when I am tested, made to make decisions, each moment asked to confront who I really am?

I know now (again) that perceived limits are only that – perceptions – and sometimes we have to face things we didn’t think we’d be capable of facing. We can. We do. I know what it is to howl, and then be able to laugh, too.

I’ve gotten better at recognizing the small, beautiful things in each day to keep me going. I don’t deny the difficulty, but I try actively to choose, to give more power to the beauty. This is why I mean it when I say I am grateful, too.

Because it has been a time of love, as well. (Any time can be a time of love. Yes, Live it, live it). Just think, I remind myself over and over: when a heart breaks, it breaks wide open. Space for even more love to enter.

And I have felt it. I’ve cried on people’s shoulders who I did not know cared about me so much until I needed them most. I have new friendships and old ones that are more profound. Unexpected saviors. New possibilities. People who have picked me up, told me what, really, I do know myself inside: I am strong. I am worthy. We are here on a journey.

I began dancing again after being away from it for several years to remember the intelligence in my body, to find a way to express myself when words failed me.

But words returned, too. I took up writing again in earnest. The act of creation while my marriage was dissolving. I don’t think I’d be so far along in my novel without these trials. My book has become my baby and it will have a birthday some day. How bittersweet that out of the destruction something new will be born.

I have been in Paris for awhile. But now I face things fresh. You will see me with new challenges. I am scared. Actually, yes. Quite scared and nervous for the future. I don’t know what will happen, just as we can never know. Where will I live? What will I do? I’ve never navigated this city before so on my own.

But I’m not alone. I have friends. I have dreams. I have family. I have you all, too. I cannot tell you how wonderful it’s been to have you come here and share in my day; at times it felt as if your comments saved me. You’ve been helping me all along, without even realizing.

And this, too, is a lesson. You never know how much your kindness may be helping someone. And you never know what battles people are fighting. This is why I have even more compassion. This is why I see light even in darkness. This is why I can smile, even when I cry. What a gift. To be able to feel this much. I am alive.

It’s not the classic love story. But sitting here, in Paris, which feels like home, yes, still, even as everything shifts, sunshine streams through the window. I accept the journey, however rocky. Because it’s authentic and real and true. I am still on the journey. Tomorrow is another day along the way. I still call this a love story. An imperfect ending, but new beginnings await.

38 Responses to “Mademoiselle Again”

  1. 1 joshua smith May 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    I’m sure nothing but good will come of your decision.


  2. 2 Lindsey May 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    “when a heart breaks, it breaks wide open. Space for even more love to enter” …. SO beautiful Sion. Really. One door closes, another opens. Your strength is admirable and this experience will undoutedly provide more inspiration than you know.

    Sending you hugs through this difficult time.


  3. 3 Milla May 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Oh this made me cry. You told me some of your story but your words here are so powerful. I cry for your pain and for your strength; believing in yourself and staying open-minded helps get through the toughest of times. New beginnings do indeed await you Sion, and I am sure that they will all you hope for.


  4. 4 Ann May 11, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    What a brave and beautiful post from a brave and beautiful woman, Sion. I’m so sorry you’ve been facing these rocky times. I’m sending you love and wishing you bon courage, though I can tell you’ve already got courage in spades. I always try to remind myself that life is scary, or it’s not worth living. xoxo


  5. 5 Joy Searles May 11, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Thank you for sharing your life with your readers. I went through a divorce in the ’80s and even though it was not how I planned my life, it made me a stronger woman and opened many new doors. It’s hard to see that when you are in the middle of it, but trust me, the good will become apparent one day. In the meantime, keep your friends and family close for those “down” times. Better days are ahead!


  6. 6 jennyphoria May 11, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    This is so beautifully, beautifully written.

    I love this, too: “Just think, I remind myself over and over: when a heart breaks, it breaks wide open. Space for even more love to enter.” Such important words and ones I really need to hear myself say more often.

    You are a beautiful, strong, compassionate person. It’s great that you have people in your life who remind you of this. I’m one of them, if you ever need me.


  7. 7 Sarah S. May 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Sion, thanks for sharing. So much love from the East Coast–looking forward to seeing you in June.


  8. 8 Sab May 11, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    This is a simple poem I wrote years back, and its words were never more apt than when Paris welcomed me back with open arms after my marriage in Greece dissolved… it’ll be ok.


    This is my Paris,
    My reality.

    No-one sees what I see ~
    It belongs to me.

    This is my sky,
    These are my clouds,
    My reality.

    I belong to no-one;
    Paris set me free.



  9. 9 Tanya May 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Ah, there it is. It’s not about what you’re leaving (or have left) behind. It’s about the promise of what’s to come. That’s what I love so much about life…and living.

    In the midst of our pain and our challenges we sometimes forget that we get to choose. But, when we remember! Oh, how glorious, how lovely, how amazing life is!

    Thank you for sharing with us. Your words, as always, are beautiful and honest.

    So yeah, go ahead and Live it!


  10. 10 Patrick Ross May 11, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Sion, I feel for you. I went through a divorce twelve years ago, and even though I knew it was for the best, it was still wrenching. I found myself feeling as if I was walking against a strong ocean current it was at times so paralyzing. But I emerged.

    I admire your bravery in writing this post. Social media was not ever-present in 1999, but it was a long time before I could share my news with others. When I finally did, I was grateful for the support I received, and you’re already receiving it with the thoughtful comments above.

    Hang in there.


  11. 11 andra paddio May 11, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Very honest and open.

    Step by step, this challenge will make you stronger and the adversity you are facing is a wonderful teacher.

    Look to the future, learn from the past and keep on sharing so others will learn to pick up the pieces and move on to reconstruct life, love and living in this crazy fast paced world of ours.

    Everyday is an adventure – carpe diem!

    I’m here if you need a boost,
    Andra (o:

    P.S. Been there, done that & came out more determined & wise. Absolutely no regrets.


  12. 12 Alison May 11, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Sion, I had no idea you were going through so much. I am so impressed by your strength, perspective, and ability to articulate such challenging times in such a beautiful way. If you ever need a weekend to escape, just drop me an email. There’s always a place for you in Brussels!


  13. 13 PGD May 11, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Is this thing on? Testing: one-two-three…


    Sion? Are you there?


    Not sure this is even on, but here goes…

    It’s time for the yawp.

    Paris will have heard worse than your yawp across the rooftops.

    Untamed, untranslatable.


  14. 14 Oneika May 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Your words are beautiful and so are you. I’m not so eloquent with words, struggle to weave them into sentences that possess depth and meaning, so I say simple that I am sorry for your loss and the rough times that you have had to face. I’m a fairly new reader, and of course we have never met, but I really like you, love your spirit, love how you see things, and love how you tell your stories. I can’t wait to meet you in the near future (if you’ll agree to meet me)! I’m so happy that you are finding comfort in your writing, in your friends and family, and in your pursuits like dance. May you learn and grow from this experience and share all that you’ve gleaned from it (even the ugly stuff) so that we can learn and grow along with you.


  15. 15 Miggs May 11, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I’ve got nothing but good vibes to send your way. Hang in there.


  16. 16 Val May 11, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    How brave and honest of you.

    Courage! You will feel your strength again, as go up and down the valleys and the peaks, before conquering new heights.

    Thank you for being this open with your followers.



  17. 17 SAS Fiction Girl May 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Reading back over your blog entries, thinking of you as a single (as in “unattached”) woman, I can see that you’ve carved out a life for yourself in Paris. I know that’s not the whole truth, because your marriage figured in prominently, although it wasn’t meant for us to see. But you are still you, with or without Jerome. You retain all the knowledge you’ve gained on how to navigate life in Paris. No one can take that from you. I think that will make all the difference in your life going forawrd – because you know who you are as an individual. I wish you all good things along your journey. -Jen


  18. 19 Paris Karin (an alien parisienne) May 11, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    ^^^^^ Looking at PGD’s comment up there — YES! The YAWP! The YAWP, baby! If you want anyone to co-shout with you, I’m in. 🙂

    My own automatic response to you about this post as I read it is a giant, loving, huge hug. I hope I can give you one in person soon.

    Thank you for sharing this with everyone, Sion. If anyone can be okay through something like this, it is you. Stay strong.

    Much love to you —


  19. 20 Susan May 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Such beautiful writing about such a personal and painful subject. My first marriage ended in divorce, so I can relate to everything you said. I hope I can provide some comfort to you by saying that it will get better, and the hurt and shame will fade away eventually. Good thoughts going your way.


  20. 21 Marge AAnderson May 11, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Beautifully said Sion! My heart aches for you, but you are a very strong young woman and you will slowly overcome this sad chapter in your life.
    Much love, Nana


  21. 22 e May 11, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Hello Sion,

    I am sorry to hear about this, but you seem to be coping well, and you are certainly correct about having virtual as well as real friends. Though this is sad, I hope it is also amicable.

    Best to you both.


  22. 23 Sweet Freak May 11, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Bravo on ‘coming out’, my love. You are a brave, beautiful, inspiring woman in so many ways. xo


  23. 24 Madame Marielle May 11, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    I had figured this was the case based on your posts Sion.

    I’m sorry that you have seen the end of your love story.

    And don’t worry, I believed every one of your words to be sincere in your recent posts 🙂


  24. 25 Elissa Shaw May 12, 2011 at 12:27 am

    You never know what life is going roll your way!
    I know you’re going to make the best of the situation because I can tell you’re that kind of girl, but look at it this way– Life just handed you a key; a key to a door that opens onto a path of infinite possibilities– all yours for the taking.

    Oh and “Mademoiselle” just sounds more romantic/sexy/playful/ than “Madame.” Has a certain je ne sais quoi.


  25. 26 The Lady D May 12, 2011 at 10:47 am

    “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built in shock-proof shit detector.”
    ~Ernest Hemmingway


  26. 27 Kristin Bair O'Keeffe May 12, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Oh, so beautifully written, Sion. Such a brave and honest post. I wish you peace and balance as you move forward in your journey.


  27. 28 Viajera May 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    I can totally relate.

    “You never know how much your kindness may be helping someone. And you never know what battles people are fighting.” This resonates with me and I’m glad that, though things are rough, you are finding comfort…and yourself.


  28. 29 Karen May 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks for you brave post. It’s hard to open yourself so publicly, but it such a great thing, such an amazing service, to show that you are surviving lets others know that we all survive through hard times. And how great that writing your novel has been a way to keep going! Hurrah for writing, hurrah for writers, hurrah for you!


  29. 30 Julianna Palazzolo May 12, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing your raw-ness. I could feel it as I read your words. Just remember, it is human to lose — it is human to win, too, but loss has its lessons to teach. The sorrow you feel now is in proportion to the happiness you felt when all was new. You have friends you have never seen but who have been touched by your words and want to reach out, even if through ether.


  30. 31 Carolyn Solares May 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Sion ~ Thank you for this brave and honest post. I too know the heartbreak of divorce. It’s such a public thing and so common, that often we forget about the deep, aching grief that accompanies this decision and life change. And you are definitely right: heartbreak and grief open us up in ways that nothing else can, making us more empathetic and understanding–and also strangely receptive to the sweetness of life.

    For what it’s worth, it took me several years following my own divorce to figure that out, to fully embrace living with an open heart. That you can be appreciative and grateful in the middle of this turmoil and pain is a blessing–and a testament to your commitment to live a joyful life. I don’t believe that your writing is at all a veneer, but rather a constant commitment and reminder to us all to appreciate every bit of what life has to offer, both heartache and joy.

    Wishing you laughter and peace ~ Carolyn


  31. 32 Cassady May 13, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Sion, thanks so much for sharing. Sending you tons of love and hugs. You are a real inspiration and a testament to living life authentically and to its fullest. My heart is with you – as many of the readers have said, I wish you balance and peace. You will rise stronger from this… and you’re already very strong! Can’t wait to see you in June. Love you lots.


  32. 33 Jolie May 13, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    It is truly like a death. You will mourn on and off for a good while. And like a death, you never exactly “get over” it, in that it stays with you. But your perspective on it changes over time to where it enriches the rest of your life with lots of insights and information, especially about yourself. There is a peace you can find alone that you can’t find with anyone else, so try to appreciate that while you have it. Because nothing is forever, which is horrible and fabulous at the same time.


  33. 34 Carole May 14, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    This comment applies to your Catharis Catalogue post as well, but as Jolie noted All Things Must Pass (which just so happens to be one of my favorite songs by George Harrison).

    Horrible and fabulous, indeed. Wishing you more of the fabulous!


  34. 35 Opal May 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    You are a breath of fresh air. I pray for your healing, I pray that you are comforted, I pray that from this trying time in you will spring new realities and hope.


  35. 36 Rose May 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    It takes courage to speak your truth. I admire you for knowing when and how to share something so deeply personal. Warm thoughts as you transition into this new place in your life.


  36. 37 Danielle May 17, 2011 at 8:00 am


    Like so many others who have posted, I speak from experience. I divorced my husband (British) and our divorce was finalized one year and three months ago.

    It’s going to hurt like hell. Mine was made even more painful I was abandoned with a child and just like that, adios, back to England (“my green card expires”). It is a very hurtful process but you will heal and you will love again.

    You will love again but in the meantime, give yourself the room, the space, the energy to do what ever it takes for you to heal. Life is messy but it is sometimes through some of the most painful moments in life we realize how fleeting it all is. Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. Make everyday count.


  1. 1 Catharsis Catalogue « paris (im)perfect Trackback on May 13, 2011 at 10:29 am

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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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