Divorced at 50: how I turned betrayal into joy

Life often throws us unexpected challenges, testing our resilience and pushing us to grow in ways we never imagined. And for Kay, a single 50-year-old mother of one, navigating the aftermath of betrayal led her on a journey of self-discovery that made her realise that when it comes to living life post-divorce, the sky is literally the limit! 

“To help myself recover from betrayal and an unexpected divorce, I set out to turn my life into something more positive,” Kay, who is the Communications Manager at OGX Beauty, explains to HELLO! “It’s been a rollercoaster – with literal and emotional extreme highs and lows and so I spent time working out my values – truth, honesty and loyalty – and identifying what brings me joy, like being with and organising things for my friends and son, dancing, music and travel.”

And so in the midst of her heartbreak and upheaval, Kay made a conscious decision to turn her life around and focus on building a positive future for herself. Through this process, which Kay affectionately refers to as her “Kaynaissance,”, Kay was determined to uncover the essence of who she is as an individual – not just a mum and wife – and this meant stepping out of her comfort zone and embracing new experiences. 

Kay and her son Ronnie
Kay and her son Ronnie

“Doing lots of new things has been very rewarding. A part of it was signing up for things that would normally scare me – like the wing walk I did dressed as Wonder Woman to raise money for the Sebastians Action Trust charity, and I followed this up with a firewalk last year – dressed in highly flammable disco attire.”  

Kay dressed up in a glamorous 70s outfit during her firewalk
Kay dressed up in a glamorous 70s outfit during her firewalk

By setting these challenges for herself, Kay realised that she was opening her life up to a world of new possibilities. “When you set a challenge for yourself, it makes you say yes to things you might normally say no to,” Kay explains. “ I’m lucky that I have a job I love looking after the PR & Communications for OGX Haircare, but before my Kaynaissance I would never have imagined that I would have played a part in making their first ever TV ad.” 

“I also had an incredible trip to Singapore and Cambodia with one of my oldest friends Emma Croall, during which we had an unexpected Buddhist water blessing. And then I even took part in an empowering nude photoshoot I organised for a musical friend’s birthday gift – Calendar Girls Style which used instruments to cover our bits, instead of cakes. This was a real lesson in body confidence & embracing the way I look in my fifties –  I am proud to be Ms May!” 

Kay and her friend Emma being blessed by a monk in Cambodia
Kay and her friend Emma being blessed by a monk in Cambodia

Kay recognises that a pivotal aspect of her journey has been a willingness to confront her fears head-on, continuously pushing herself beyond her limits. “In hindsight, I think it is to prove to myself that I can be brave and get through whatever life throws at me next.  I really wouldn’t call myself a brave person at all and this stuff scared the hell out of me – I thought I was going to have a heart attack when we took off on the wing walk!  But it was so rewarding for me personally and I raised £4,000 for the charity.”

Kay's wing walk inspired her to do more things out of her comfort zone
Kay’s wing walk inspired her to do more things out of her comfort zone

The whole experience taught Kay some invaluable lessons about resilience and the importance of living life to the fullest, and she also realised that it’s the small things, like spending time with family friends, are the things that truly make her happy.  “Everything from going to Abba Voyage with my bestie from school Michelle, to dancing and celebrating with my son and all my favourite people at my 70’s themed 50th birthday party – there were so many ‘pinch me moments’ & wonderful memories that I will treasure.”  

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