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Alice Brooks

Alice Brooks turned 33 in November and wonders when she'll feel like a grown up.

When Alice was little, her athletic and college-basketball-playing father sent her to sports camp every summer, which she hated. Instead of participating, she spent her time with the littlest campers — helping the counselors and telling stories. In elementary school, Alice didn't have many friends, so she spent her time with the littlest kids — helping the teachers and telling stories. Whether Alice became a teacher because she was meant to or whether she just got in the habit because she was unpopular and un-athletic isn't known. After graduating from college, Alice moved to San Francisco with Jake, the boyfriend she'd had since her sophomore year of high school. Over the next several years, they opened a joint bank account, got married, and moved to a fancy apartment. Alice taught a variety of grade levels, got a masters degree, and wondered why she wasn't happier. After ignoring the inevitable for several years, Alice and Jake finally admitted the demise of their 10 year marriage in the summer of 2006. Jake moved out that November.

A year and several months later, we find Alice here: wondering why the divorce process is so long and tedious; living with two cats she loves in a distressing, cat-lady way; teaching high school drama to hostile, inner-city teenagers; writing picture books that are rejected with lovely personal notes from publishing houses; contemplating a PhD; piling rolls of film into the freezer while swearing she'll get into the darkroom next week; and wondering why she can't keep a plant alive.

In addition, Alice is currently, unexpectedly, in a relationship — a real one, with feelings and everything. This means that she has endless fodder for worry and overanalysis: regular dating/relationship fodder + "I haven't really dated since I was 15 and I have no idea what I'm doing" fodder + all the scars and neuroses left from ending a 10 year marriage. The practical upshot of which is that she's filled two journals in the last two months and spends a silly amount of time in her colleague/close friend's classroom hyperventilating.

Click the following to read Alice Brook's blog.

Alice Brooks

Most Recent Articles

I feel as though I should have been saving up something deeply profound to say here — something that will mark this, something that one might print out and post on one's bathroom mirror. Something deep. Something meaningful. Something…

Saying Goodbye to Family Traditions

Wednesday, 03 September 2008 12:24
Yesterday was the first day of school. It is my thirteenth, as a teacher. One would think first day would have become commonplace by now, but it still makes me fluttery and nervous and excited. It's still, after all this time, The First Day.It's…

Does Divorce Make Me a Failure?

Saturday, 06 September 2008 06:06
When what I believe to be the final divorce papers arrived for my signature this summer, I didn't feel exaltation.I thought, when this happened, that it would be an occasion of skipping-and-hopping-delight — something like what it was like…

The Ex and the Internet: He Keeps Popping Up!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008 13:48
Jake popped up on Facebook today. It startled me. A lot.The Internet is not a place I expect to find Jake. He's not social in general, and doesn't do much with on the Web besides email. He's the last person I'd think would be a part of any kind of&
As you may recall, this summer marked a relationship milestone: Going On Vacation Together. I had planned to use this post, and perhaps the next two or three, to recap the trip and examine and&

Alice's Adventures in Cohabitation

Wednesday, 17 September 2008 15:55
This past summer will henceforth be known as "Cohabitation Experiment Summer." Yes. Just a few short months ago, Mike and I tried living together — in strictly controlled, scientific circumstances, of course.The Initial Plan: I am used to…

Moving In Together Was a Complete Failure

Sunday, 21 September 2008 00:01
This summer, Mike and I tried a Cohabitation Experiment: sharing an apartment for the month and a half I was in New York.Said experiment was an epic failure.Why was it a failure? Well, really, we just weren't ready for it.&

The Pros and Cons of Living Together

Wednesday, 24 September 2008 16:00
Jake spent so much time out of the country, and for such long stretches of time, that my world, when married, was split in half: my life when he was home, and my life when he wasn't.It was one of the things I least liked about our relationship. I…

My Post-Divorce, One Year Anniversary: I Made It!

Saturday, 27 September 2008 16:04
Monday, September 29th was a big day. It marked one year since Mike and I started dating.So you'll have to forgive me if this week is a little Mike-heavy — but this one-year point is somewhat startling, and really, really marvelous.&

Secret Fear: Was the Divorce My Fault?

Wednesday, 01 October 2008 13:47
"I chose to be a workaholic to support my family. Then she chose not to be my family because I was a workaholic." This was one of the postcards on PostSecret&
This guy, Mike — you probably haven't met him. But you've heard of him; I've been going on about him for a while now. I'm sorry that there aren't more of him, that there aren't dozens and dozens, so I could dole him out everywhere he might…
What's hardest about being the one who was left: There's a lot of fear left over. Fear of risk. Fear of hurt. Fear of being left again.Over everything, coloring everything, is that fear of ending up back in that place — the place that comes&
Jake had a thing about giving me jewelry. In his head, this is What Husbands Did. If one had a Wife, one got her Nice Things.No matter that the wife in questions said, "I don't really like jewelry." No matter that she said, "I don't like&

Post-Divorce Drifting

Wednesday, 15 October 2008 16:00
I'm afraid of drifting.There's this meditation exercise where you picture yourself holding a balloon and floating up with it — out of your chair, your living room, your apartment — then gently floating along over your city. You picture&

Post-Divorce Drifting: The Metaphor Examined

Saturday, 18 October 2008 14:05
When Jake and I first split up, my strongest feeling was of floating. I felt disconnected, set adrift. There was no pinball groove in which to fall back. There was nothing to tie me. Suddenly, the world was this huge, huge place, and I was just this …

Dreaming Up the Relationship Answers I Need

Wednesday, 22 October 2008 17:04
I have a love/hate relationship with my dreams.I have a lot of nightmares. Usually the garden-variety, wake-up-roll-over-move-on kind. Sometimes, though, they're the wake-up-gaspy-and-terrified kind. Sometimes they're the horrible…
So, this moving thing. It's causing me no end of worry. The logistics of it, how torn I am, how scared I am of starting over somewhere else, of this relationship ending when faced with the reality of proximity. I've been hoping for one of my A-Ha…

When Love Isn't Enough

Wednesday, 29 October 2008 15:18
"Can it be love, when the person doesn't understand you and isn't interested in noticing what you care about?"This was a comment on my Post-Divorce&

Learning to Let Go, Even If the Love Remains

Saturday, 01 November 2008 10:04
I'm still pondering the "Is Love Enough?" question of my last post.Specifically: that belief that there is love there, even if the relationship failed. Even if the other stuff&

Post-Divorce Jewelry: A Follow-Up

Wednesday, 05 November 2008 02:20
There's nothing like posting your procrastination on a blog to give you that needed nudge. Today, I sold what I referred to recenly as my post-divorce jewelry — the&
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