Advanced Adulting with Bradley Richardson



T.H.: Hey everybody, it’s T.H. and Jessica here, and our guest today is Bradley Richardson. All about Advanced Adulting, he’s going to get into it with you. He is like one of our signature exEXPERTS men.

Jessica: One of our most faves.

T.H.: Really, we are big fans of his and love the idea of Advanced Adulting. Welcome to our show today.

Bradley: Thank you. Thank you.

Jessica: Thanks for being here, Bradley.

Bradley: I love you ladies, and it’s always fun to do stuff with you. Now we get to do the full podcast. This is great.

Jessica: That’s right.

T.H.: Absolutely. So tell us—

Jessica: For people who don’t know.

T.H.: —where did Advanced Adulting come from, and why didn’t I think of that?

Bradley: God, Advanced Adulting, and it’s so funny, I mean, we’re all of somewhat similar age here. The adulting thing, young people, or kids my kids’ age, they’re like, “Oh, man, that adulting phrase is so old now.” Yeah, but we’re old, so it’s okay. But the adulting thing, there was a book about it that came out several years ago. It was just the basics of what we teach our kids when they go off to college, like “Okay, here’s how you manage your bank account. Here’s how you do laundry,” and all just the basic stuff. That’s fine. That’s just 101. But no one tells you how to prepare for being middle aged. No one tells you how to prepare for being divorced, except y’all now. But no one prepares you for really the relationship part of it, the health part of it, the “what do I want to be when I grow up?” for the second or third time.

Jessica: Exactly.

Bradley: What happens when I’m 45 years old and my kids are grown, and you look across—they’re off at college—and you’re sitting there staring at somebody who you used to love, or you don’t know anymore, or just figuring out, “Who the hell am I?” and “What do I want to do with the rest of the time I have?” Because I’ve done what I should do or what was expected or what wasn’t authentic. That’s advanced adulting, you know?

Jessica: We need the 101 course.

Bradley: Yeah, but it was funny, so last week, I was dealing with some stuff personally, too. We’ll talk about how I got there and all. I mean, I don’t claim to be the know-all guru on things. Because that’s important, all of us are living this. I don’t care what you’ve done, who you are, how much money you have, where in the world you live, we all go through a lot of these same things to various degrees. Last week, I was doing—I’ve been estranged my father for a number of years. I’m thinking about trying not a reconciliation, but okay, you’re about to pass away, what about just doing something? I mean, thousands of people just went nuts on this, on my commentary on it. That’s because it’s such a personal thing. We all deal with aging parents. We deal with, how do we handle those relationships that may have been fractured? It’s those things that are advanced adulting. It’s not what you and I talk about in some of the programs we’ve done about dating and divorce and getting out there, and it’s very relevant, but there’s a lot of these other things about being kind of matriculating midlife or—

Jessica: That’s intermediate adulting.

Bradley: Exactly. 

T.H.: But it ultimately requires you to take a step back, stop pointing fingers at other people and other things, and look at yourself. It’s a really brave thing to do. I feel generally speaking, at least I hear more about women doing that and doing the work, which is the work. I think you’re really setting a great example for everybody, including men. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, or how you identify, or any of that when it comes to understanding why you behave certain ways, why you allow certain relationships to ensue and why not. So that’s my big fan favorite feature for Bradley is that he’s resonating with people and saying it’s okay to do the work. There’s nothing wrong with it, and there’s nothing wrong with you. So I really like that message.

Jessica: On top of that, part of the messaging that I love too though, is also, it’s okay to do it and not do it right, and figure out that you didn’t do it right, and learning from your mistakes. I feel a big part of what you’re communicating out there is learning from mistakes, and that is an example that we need set out there.

Bradley: Well, what’s funny is, I think, and thank you for saying that, I don’t take that part for granted. But I don’t think about it as often. But that is such a huge part, especially with social media. Okay, social media, you see all these people and everybody’s the damn perfectionist, expert, “I’ve got this,” and it goes back to all the other things we were talking about. Someone may have the perfect Instagram looking kids and family, yet their husband’s sleeping with the admin, or they’re having a breakdown. These are the dirty bits that nobody talks about, but we all go through in some form or fashion to different degrees. I think that just is. This idea of perfection, we’re trying to get better. You’re never going to hit perfection. Some of the things I’ve seen recently, you look at celebrities, okay, which I just abhor that whole celebrity culture thing. But you look at somebody like when you have people who are going through a divorce, going through a hard time, it doesn’t matter. You’re still human, and you’re still going through this, and it still hurts. It’s not only about the hurt and pain. I think that was another thing too, that I’ve not discovered, but just it really was a realization that there are so many hurt people out there. Whether you’ve been hurt in a relationship, and a relationship could be a divorce, a long term dating partnership, a relationship with your kids, just that—and I was coaching somebody this week, and they just said, “You know, my life’s pretty good, except I just feel lost. I just kind of wake up and I don’t know exactly who I am.”

Jessica: We all have those days.

Bradley: Yeah. I’m not saying it’s okay, but it’s okay, you know?

T.H.: Well, it’s okay because the minute you recognize that is your first new day.

Bradley: Absolutely.

T.H.: The minute you see something in yourself or something new that’s been happening that you you’ve blocked out, or you’ve ignored, or whatever you’ve done, the minute that you see it, pat yourself on the back.

Bradley: Well, the other really important thing, and some of the things that we’ve done in the past, you’ve heard me talk about I use this phrase, but it’s this idea of two steps forward and one step back. You’re never going to have hockey stick growth. It’s like, “Hey, you know what? I decided to change my life. I’m going to have a better relationship. I’m going to do this.” Awesome, guess what? It’s not like this. It’s this, this, this, this, this. As long as you’re moving forward, it’s the two steps forward, and then you’re going to screw it up. You’re going to go out, and you’re going to get divorced, you’re going to try and date again, and one’s going to be a person—are you ever going to get hurt again? Yeah, you probably are. That doesn’t mean that it’s all over, and men suck and women suck, and it’s horrible. It’s a matter of, “Hey, I’m moving forward. But this time, rather than waiting two months, two years, 20 years, I caught it early. I caught it early and I recognized it, and I’m improving.” And that’s important.

Jessica: With all of that, because I think that T.H. and I would 100% agree about the whole back and forth: two steps forward, one step back, but from your perspective, from a guy’s perspective, and from someone who is open to doing the work, and looking at yourself and figuring out the mistakes that you’ve made that you can use to your advantage moving forward, what would you say were some of the biggest eye-opening things that you learned during your divorce, whether it was about how you communicate and how you could communicate better, whether it was about how you parent and how you can parent better, or maybe certain aspects of divorce that were surprising to you that you thought might be easier, or parts that you thought were easier than they should have been?

Bradley: You know everyone’s divorce is different. I think that’s very—

Jessica: Sure. This is just for you.

Bradley: Oh, yeah, well, I had a horrible acrimonious divorce. I mean, I was a textbook on how not to do it in a lot of ways. Where were y’all then? But I think part of it was I didn’t learn the lessons until probably seven to 10 years after the fact. I think that’s really important. I think there are a lot of people who you still hang—and that’s why you’re not supposed to really go jump into a relationship right out of the gate, because you’re still jacked up and you don’t know what’s going on. You haven’t figured it out. You haven’t figured out what got you there in the first place. So for me, it was about—and I dated a boatload. I mean, I was that guy. I was like, “All right, well, we’re getting out of this loveless marriage. We’re going to go try everything on for size.” Which was okay, but it was masking so much. It wasn’t until probably about seven—I’ve been divorced 12 years now, almost got married twice. Thank God, I matrix dodged the bullet on those. And that was because I hadn’t really done the work on it. But to your point, for me, it was taking the ego out of it, taking the ego so much out of it. It’s not about winning, especially if you have kids. If you don’t have kids, it’s a totally different animal. I can’t speak to that. But if you have kids, it’s a matter of, what are you doing dicking around with this nitpicky stuff, okay? You’re playing the long game here. That’s it. Really, if you were in a toxic situation and you’re still hanging on to that, you’re punishing yourself and letting that person punish you way after the fact. When really it should just be, “You know what? Go with God. Godspeed to you. I hope you find yours. You’re not mine.” I wish that I would have done that. I got caught up in, I think one of the things we’ve done in the past, we talked about narcissistic untangling, and that’s what I was in. But I think it’s the other piece to this, there’s so much, the other piece is finding out really who I was and what I wanted out of a relationship, what I brought to a relationship. That was it. I think a lot of people, men and women, especially men, if you’re going to go the “I’m going to go on my ho-phase and do this,” you try and fill a hole that nothing else can fill. No one can fill. No woman, no relationship, nothing else can fill that. You have to fill that and be the best man you can. Part of it, and I think this for men and women, is really taking that look in the mirror and going, “Okay.” No one asks to be mistreated, discarded, abused, any of that, cheated on, no one. But it is our fault. We are culpable to a degree for allowing it to continue.

T.H.: Absolutely.

Jessica: Right.

Bradley: That’s the part we just kind of go, “Okay, she was a bitch, but how did I show up in this?”

T.H.: And how did you allow someone to treat you that way? That’s definitely my role in my marriage. I allowed that behavior. I allowed disrespect. I allowed myself to be in a robotic relationship and not want more for myself and settle. We’ve done podcasts before, and one of them is, what I can control in my divorce? It’s 100% on you. You control what you can control. So stop trying to change people, “fix” people. There’s no such thing. None of those things are possible. But you can find your best self. Date yourself. Learn about yourself. I was always a fun, reliable, great friend, right? Then I married this guy, and I was still a reliable, great friend. Then I kind of disappeared. Towards the end of my marriage, I was just a functioning mother. That’s really what I was reduced to. The minute I was released from that marriage, I was so much better than I’d ever been before even, because I know so much more now. And so, God, there really aren’t many things that I would change. I think the only thing I would change is that I wouldn’t have waited as long. But that’s how my body functioned. For whatever reason—

Jessica: We face it when we face it.

T.H.: —I needed the universe to plant a stake in my foot to wake me up, and that’s what worked. But you become your best self as you start living your life according to what’s best for you.

Bradley: There are two things to this. I want to go back to one thing, the other big mistake, or that thing that I would do differently would be I would not involve my kids at all in the new relationship, at all. I mean, I would slow play the hell out of that. Anybody that pushes you forward, you know, “Oh, well, you know, we had such a hard broken family. Let’s get everybody together and make the Brady Bunch.” That horseshit doesn’t work, okay? I mean, until it is “Hey, this is a real deal. This is for the long haul. This person is staying in our lives.” Otherwise, it’s a revolving door, and my opinion is it’s a bad deal. But to your point T.H., I think we all get a do over. We all get a do over. And it’s okay. I think that we discard that about ourselves sometimes. I see that with so many of the—and I wind up working probably with more women than men. But I see people hanging on to that, “Well, this is who I am. This is what happened. This was what I was dealt.” But you’re going to hang on to that 5, 10, 15 years down the road of that same stuff. And you don’t. You do; you get the option now of shaking the Etch A Sketch, renewing yourself, and reinventing yourself. That means the type of relationship you want, but also the type of friends that you have. I mean, we talk about divorce and partnerships, but friendships are a huge deal. I mean, you two are an anomaly. I mean, you know that.

Jessica: We’re lucky.

Bradley: Right, you are rare in that you’ve been true legit connected friends since college. There are people who I know and have friends since college, but a hard lesson for a lot of people in Advanced Adulting is history doesn’t mean a connection. Just because you have history with somebody doesn’t—

Jessica: No, and we talk about that also, though, a lot of times in terms of how friendships change. Because you’re right, you can have friends and acquaintances. People fall away once you’ve been divorced. And you realize I think part of the reason why we’re an anomaly and that we’re so lucky in what we have is actually because we also went through our divorces together at the exact same time. So we have this special level that most people don’t have. It was an unfortunate time, but we were able to share it together. That definitely connected us even deeper than then could have been. But I think that it definitely changes. You realize the people that you—you grow. You grow, you learn, you do the work, especially after divorce. Sometimes you’re like, “You know what? I don’t like my friends.”

Bradley: The friendship thing is an interesting one. It really is, because I deal a lot with that too. Because what people want, they think, “Well, I want a person.” Do you? Do you really want a person? Do you really? Because that’s the default. That’s the easy one of thinking, “Oh, I’m coming out of a marriage or a relationship. I want another person.” Okay, well, there’s a romantic partnership. There’s a companion. But then there’s just connection. Connection is bigger, broader, and can be with anything, that really, outside of all the sex and all that stuff, there’s “I want a connection. I want someone to see me, hear me, appreciate me, and acknowledge me.” That can be friends. That can be same sex girlfriends, boyfriend, whatever. But I think that’s the thing. Because I think when I talk with so many people who are in this aspect of midlife and as we change, because there are, there are these changing chapters, whether you’re an empty nester, whether after divorce, anything, you find yourself having to reinvent. You find yourself a new chapter. Sometimes they either don’t know where to go. But more often than not, it boils down to loneliness and connection. I think that, more so than saying, “I’ve got to go get on—what can I do on this app, swipe right, swipe left,” important, but not as important as becoming comfortable enough with yourself to have a connection and be someone that other people want to be connected to. That’s paramount, I think.

T.H.: Yeah, and I think that as part of discovering yourself, it’s not even—and sometimes people say reinventing yourself, but I don’t feel like I’m reinventing. I’m just growing in a better way. A lot of people that we speak to are looking for community, looking for like minded people. So we say, “Okay, so what do you like to do? If you had a day free, what would you like to do?” “Well, I like to sew.” “Okay, join a sewing club.” “I like to ski.” “Great. Go join a ski club.” Because then you’re with people who share a core interest and something that brings you joy. That’s how you build connection. If something grows out of it romantically, great. If it doesn’t, who cares, you have people you can sew with and ski with. Also, as Jessica and I have really evolved into ourselves all of these years, I kind of feel like some people’s voices became toxic. I was like, “Jesus, I cannot do this.” I did feel badly because they were stuck. But it couldn’t be on me that they were stuck, and they weren’t letting me help them move forward, and so I had to let them go. That was for me. Because then it comes back to what you’re saying, you have to do for yourself. It was not healthy for me. But then you have other friends who are like happy go lucky, “Let’s go out every night.” Those are the people I’m calling if I want to go to New York City and be like, “Hey, let’s just shoot the shit and whatever.” So just remember, your friends might play different roles in your lives, and they can still be your friends on terms that work for you, not for them. It has to be a give and take. It can’t be like your marriage, and it can’t be like your bad relationship with a friend that you ended in a different form. We talk about that also, like, “Here’s this shiny new object that’s great, awesome, and looks beautiful.” You know what? It’s lipstick on a pig, sorry. 

Bradley: Well, it’s funny, there are two things. I wanted to come back to what you said about discovering versus finding. But the first thing is we go so much from a “we” to a “me”. That’s the hardest part. “Well, we like to do this. This is what we do. This is where we go.” Well, you don’t have a “we” anymore. You don’t. It’s gone.

Jessica: And so do you still like it?

Bradley: Yeah, exactly. I mean, and to your point T.H., I remember one of the first dates I went out on. I got set up. I mean, I was coming out of this thing of where I thought I was going to live under a bridge and be a troll and no one would ever look at me again. So they set me up with this just stunning woman. I’m almost intimidated because I was just coming out of this whole traumatic divorce and relationship. She goes, “Oh, so what do you like to do?” and I froze. I froze.

Jessica: “I don’t know what I like to do.”

Bradley: I looked at her and go, “I got to tell you, I have no idea. I really don’t,” because I didn’t, because I hadn’t explored those things. And so many of us do that, men and women are playing small, that we forget, and now suddenly, it’s we’re no longer a “we”. We’re a “me”. Well, you know what? I like certain types of music, and I like to do this, and I like doing all these things that she didn’t. So you go, “Oh, well, that’s okay.” That’s bullshit. You get to redo this, to your point about discovery. I mean, for those of you that are new to me, I’m fifth generation Texan. I’ve lived in New York City for a number of years, but I’m in Dallas. I’m fifth gen Texan and from West Texas, and it’s a totally different world. We were talking about this earlier beforehand. So for me, part of my doing the work was, we use that phrase of finding yourself, and I went through a really dark period where I thought, first of all, I do need to go find myself? It was some people who were very, very close to me, my kids too who called me out, my grown kids who called me straight out. It was like, “Dad, you’re a shell right now. You’re a complete shell of who you used to be. You need to figure this shit out.” That was mind blowing. I had some close friends say that too. I was at the time, I thought, well, I’m going to go off to Costa Rica. I’d rent a house in Costa Rica for a month, and I was going to go hang out with the spider monkeys and do all that find myself bullshit. When my kids called me out, I thought, “No, you don’t need to go find yourself. You need to remember who the hell you are.” For me, and I say the Texan thing, because for me, it was this idea, and I use the phrase a lot, “boots, roots, and big rocks,” and so I took several months off and came back to Texas. I went to the people and places that made me. And it was knocking the dust off the boots. So when you said you were discovering yourself, I use that analogy of boots, as I forgot what color they were. I had so much crap on them before, I had no idea what the real color was. And so I needed to knock the dust off and shine them up and look at that patina of what it was, and remember what that was that got me there, the roots. I’m going to guess for a lot of people, who were you before you got into this relationship? Who were you before? What did you like to do? Do you still do it? Who do you want to be? What are you faithful to in yourself? And so it’s not the finding. For some people, it is. But a lot of it’s kind of like, “Oh!” Because I had become such a chameleon, I had forgotten what color I was, because I was morphing into this marriage, or morphing into this person over here and their life, instead of figuring my own. It was like, “You know what? I kind of like a little bit of—I can be a redneck and I can go to an art gallery. I like them both. It’s okay.”

T.H.: You were making everybody else happy except yourself.

Bradley: Mm, totally.

Jessica: Which is what so many people do. You find yourself, even if you’re doing it willingly, and it’s like, you grow with whoever your partner is. But Bradley, because you obviously work with a lot of people post divorce, and it is a lot about getting to a place where you can be happy on your own, all the experts and therapists and everyone will say if you want to find another partner, it’s someone who’s just going to add to the happiness. But if you don’t feel comfortable with where you are, then no one else is going to be able to do that for you. What’s some of the advice that you give your clients post-divorce in terms of not even just dating, and not necessarily rediscovering themselves, but how do you help people move on? Because I think everyone has the same struggles. You were like, “Who am I? Who am I without this person? Where did I go?”

Bradley: Yeah, here’s the thing, what I say first is going to sound very surface level, and I’m sure someone will roll their eyes and go, “Oh, that’s great. That sounds easy,” but go get involved in something. Go get involved in something.

Jessica: What about people who are literally like, “I don’t know what to do.”

Bradley: Hold on. No, I know, but that’s the thing, try everything on. I mean, look, I’m a Type-A alpha extrovert, okay? That’s okay. But I don’t like huge crowds. I am great 10 people or under. I am amazing. But you get me in with a hundred people or two hundred, and I blend in. I don’t like that shit. But what I did is I made a list. I did. I remember I’m at Dream Cafe in Dallas one more one afternoon. I’m just like, “Okay, what do you want to do? Just crazy bullshit idea time. I don’t care how it sounds. I don’t care how it sounds. You know what? I’d like to learn how to cook.” So I took cooking classes by myself. You know what? I don’t care what it was. It wasn’t like, “Well, I want to meet people,” or “What if someone says this is weird”? Okay, cool, I’m done. And I did everything. I’ll tell you the why in a minute, because this is important, because I don’t want people to think, “Oh, well, I’m just going to get into an activity,” because the why is important, like art. Growing up, again, West Texas redneck, but I also played tennis all over the world, and I was an artist as a kid. So I was going to be an art major, but my dad was like, “Oh, hell no, it’s not happening.” So I gave it up. The wife didn’t like it. I gave it up. First thing I did, I said, “Hmm, okay,” I found very popular artists here in Dallas, very successful artists, and said “teach me”. So I went to her studio once a week, like my Zen, and I threw on crazy trance music and shit. She would sit there and smoke weed in the back and teach me shit. I loved it. I ended up becoming very immersed in that. I loved it, not just doing it, but I became immersed into that Dallas art scene and knowing people and selling my stuff. It’s that type of thing. Some of it I tried and I’m like, “Eh, it’s okay, I don’t like it,” and that’s all right. But here’s the part of I say why saying that is easy, “Oh, go find an activity.” But here’s the hard part. This is the secret sauce, the un-fun part, you’re going to get off your ass and do it. What I mean by that is, this is not why, this the hardest part of the people I coach, “Well, there aren’t any people out there. I don’t know who to do it with.” You end up doing it with the same incestuous circle that got you there. You’re changing. They’re either going to be pissed off that you’re changing and look at you like you’re a freak and go, “Weirdo, why are you wanting to do that? We don’t do this.” You go and you deal with the same people. You’re going to have to actually get the guts, balls, or ovaries to do something on your own. The point is this is not like we were children. This is what I tell my people I work with. This is not like when we were eight years old and go, “Hey, can Jessica come over and play?” No one’s going to come knock on your door. They’re not. And so as uncomfortable as it is, I’m not saying turn yourself in someone you’re not, but you are going to have to make the first move. You are going to have to go somewhere. You are going to have to sit in this discomfort for a while, while you’re doing these things, and you’re going to have to stay, and you’re going to have to fight through it. You’re going to find yourself to be very powerful in doing that. That’s a huge thing. The other thing would be something that’s seemingly simple but difficult, of actually asking people to do something. It’s the grownup equivalent of knocking on the door and go, “Can T.H. come out and play?” I’ve said this before, one of the most powerful things that ever happened to me, and I’ve done it, I experienced someone saying to me, and it was man, a friend of mine who we were acquaintances, but he was going through a divorce, and I really didn’t know him that well, but he goes, “You know what I need right now? I need a friend right now. I really need a friend right now. I need someone to do something with, to talk to, whatever.” We’re very reluctant as adults, because we look at someone, especially where y’all live, or other places—

Jessica: Right.

Bradley: —oh, my God, you’re a freak. You’re a weirdo.

T.H.: You’re needy. You’re a leech. You’re going to bring me down.

Jessica: I have so much respect for him though.

Bradley: Absolutely. Yeah, it’s like, “You’re not a weirdo. What do you need? Where did you get that?” No, that’s powerful stuff right there.

Jessica: Yeah.

T.H.: It really is, being able to listen and have someone feel that they’re being heard, and giving that gift to somebody.

Jessica: But to hear that message, for someone to come to you and say, “Here’s what I need right now,” it kind of makes you feel why don’t I ever do that when I’m in that position?

Bradley: Well, and it’s funny, here’s something that’s very important too and an offshoot of that, some of you will know that my best friend’s a woman. My best friend is Dr. Karin Luise in Atlanta. It’s funny because people think men and women can’t be friends. Well, yeah, look, earlier, after post divorce, I screwed that up hard. It was like half my women friends, I probably ended up with. Big mistake, don’t do that. But when we became friends, it was important to me, and I just said, “Look, I understand you probably have a lot of men who are friends, but they’re slow playing shit.” It’s the, oh, you’re late one night when you’re drunk or whatever. It’s just no. I said, “I would rather have you as a friend. I need that right now. I need a powerful, smart, attractive female in my life who I am not with.” And I said, “That’s it.” And I said, “My promise to you is that will never, ever occur.” Again, like my sister. I’m closer to her than my sister. I hope my sister’s not watching. But no, my point is it doesn’t matter if it’s just a same gender relationship or friendship or whatever, but that vulnerability of going, “Hey, this is who I am and what I need right now.” The other piece to this, the follow up piece is it doesn’t have to mean lifelong buddies, you know? It doesn’t have to mean that’s it. It’s an ebb and a flow, and some stay and some don’t. But having that backbone to take the chance, and like I said earlier, two steps forward one step back, because you’re going to meet somebody, and they’re going to be shitty. You go, “Hmm, okay.” Well, not everybody is.

Jessica: That sense of community.

T.H.: Right. I think that back to what you said before, you’re accountable to yourself. So if you’re going to make a commitment to something that’s of interest to you, whether it’s cooking or just going for a walk every day, making a commitment to yourself is really brave. You only have yourself to blame for going or not going. Honestly, sometimes, like I put it on my dog. So if you have a pet, that’s easy. She’s going to start barking if she has to eat. Anyway, I feel guilty about not walking them. I’m accountable for going for a walk everyday. I get up and out of my house every day. Otherwise, I’d sit at my desk all day. So I put it on the dog that like, “Well, I got to do it for Daisy, and I got to walk the dog.” So that’s an easy way for me to be accountable, because then she’s going to look at me like, “Uh, lady, you didn’t walk me today.” Even if it’s something that seems little, to get up and go for a walk every day, if that’s what’s going to clear your head and get you up and out or whatever, take the dog or take your kid. Be like, “Oh, let’s go to the park today.” Then you have to get up and go. Then you have to get up and go.

Jessica: I just like the idea of the message really being, you have to be an active participant in your own life and take the reigns for whatever you want the results to be, because for all of us who’ve gone through divorce, we all know how dark, how scary, how overwhelming it can be. We all know how isolating it can be. Yes, T.H. and I had each other, but we still had all of the feelings that everybody has. So for everybody out there also listening, we literally have lived it, so we get it. We’ve been there before. But if you have an idea in your head of what you know or think that your life can be, only you are going to be able to be the one to make that happen. That’s Bradley’s whole message. If you don’t know what you like, try a lot of different things. Go take the cooking class, or the flower arranging class, or whatever it is

Bradley: It’s something, because the other piece to that is, it’s multifaceted. So everybody’s different. Some people, we think of like a bucket list, for example. I’m not saying that “Oh, create a bucket list of like, I’m going to go to Kilimanjaro,” but it’s like, okay, think of at least these silos though. So for some people, it may be travel. For some people, it may be an activity. For some, it may be a connection – I just want to be around people and volunteering and in service. Awesome. It may be education. It may be I’m just learning. You know what? I’m a geek that way. I’m like, “Okay, I’m like master of arcane, weird knowledge, and I can MacGyver my way out of a lot of shit,” so that type of thing. But it’s different for everybody, and that’s okay. There’s no “I need to go get involved in this group.” No, you don’t. If this is your—so that’s okay, figure out where that—

Jessica: You just have to do something. That I feel like it’s that messaging of—I’m not a person who’s going to go and travel alone. I’m just not. I’m just not. That would not be enjoyable for me. I understand the importance of getting out of your comfort zone. I happen to not cook, so a cooking class wouldn’t necessarily be my jam.

T.H.: What would be your jam, Jessica?

Jessica: I would like to take a flower arranging class. I feel like seeing the results would make me happy in the end. I wouldn’t mind learning how to cook, but not what people think of for cooking classes.

T.H.: Like air fryer, toaster cooking.

Jessica: Exactly.

T.H.: That’s my kind of cooking too.

Jessica: But I do feel the whole concept of Advanced Adulting and the correlation of that, for someone who’s been through divorce, it’s like you said in the beginning, Bradley, now is your chance for a second chance. It doesn’t have to look like what it’s looked like before. You don’t have to be stuck in that way. Even small things, for women, like your sense of style, the way that you do your hair, your makeup, the things that you wear, you have so much opportunity now to be the person that you wanted to be, with no judgment.


Bradley: I love that, and I don’t think about that that often about the style thing, but—

Jessica: Big.

Bradley: For men and women. I’ll tell you what, so some of the pictures that—my girlfriend Shannon’s seen some of the pictures from when I was married, and she was like, “Jesus Christ, she dressed you, didn’t she?” I mean, and I do, it was funny. So after I got divorced, it was like, “Okay—

Jessica: What do I like?

Bradley: Yeah, “Okay, what do I like?” I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman, it’s like, okay, for me, it was just like “Who do I think is badass? Who do I think is just a badass?” I don’t care if it was a celebrity, a dude I know, whatever, but how they carry themselves, how they dress, how they act, whatever. Some of it doesn’t fit me, my personality, and my like, whatever. Others, it does. It’s just kind of what—

Jessica: You’ll never know till you try though. I think that’s the bigger message with everything, like you’ll never know till you try. But you have to try.

Bradley: Mm-hmm.

T.H.: You have nothing to lose. You literally have nothing to lose, and you have everything to gain because you learned a lesson. I don’t like this. I don’t like that kind of person. I don’t like this type of situation of being with a hundred people instead of 10. Learn. Put yourself out there to learn. That’s the only way you’re going to grow is if you try and you’re a little vulnerable, because that’s where the growth really starts to take off. So thank you so much, Bradley, for being with us today and sharing.

Jessica: Thank you Bradley.

T.H.: You guys can find out all about Bradley on our website. Plus, he’s going to be around a lot, because like I said—

Jessica: But I will say one of the great things that really attracted us to Bradley, and that you’ll love if you look into more of his Advanced Adulting or following him all over social media, is the message is very direct. There’s no bullshitting.

T.H.: Right.

Jessica: No, but that’s I think really important. Even if there are times where you’re delivering a message that might be hard to hear, we like the fact that it’s direct. It’s saying it like it is. We think that that’s hugely important for this stage, this divorce and post-divorce stage. And so I really appreciate that about you. I think that everybody listening, go check him out, all of his other stuff. Obviously, you can find his information on our website at, his profile page. But when you do the deeper dive, you’ll see that what he’s putting out there and what you can get from him is really going to be able to help you move forward.

Bradley: Thank you.

Jessica: So thank you for all of that.

Bradley: I appreciate that and love the work you do. Thank you for including me and sharing me with the people.

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