Rediscovering Yourself After Divorce



Jessica: Suddenly single, you may have found herself in that position just as we did 15 plus years ago. We’ll be the first to admit it was freeing, and jarring, and exciting, and scary, and all the things. But we love nothing more than finding like minded women who aren’t held back by this huge shift in their lives, and instead, use it to propel themselves forward with humor and by feeling fabulous. Today’s Divorce etc… podcast guest is doing exactly that. As she says, she’s helping us all love ourselves again, which is something we all need. We’re the exEXPERTS, Jessica and T.H. We focus on helping you navigate your divorce and successfully move on with your life. Please follow us on all social media at exEXPERTS, and check out for tons of free divorce related resources. Let’s bring in today’s guest.


T.H.: I mean I’m always excited when we have a guest on, but Jen has been exciting me for months.


Jessica: For months.


T.H.: I did reach out to her on Instagram the first time, and she said she didn’t see it. Then I sent her a video, and then she’s like, ‘Oh, my god!’ And it’s been a love fest ever since.


Jessica: Well, at least on one side a love fest. T.H. has been obsessing and girl-crushing over you for months.


T.H.: Honestly, I’m like, look at her. We’re going to get into all of it. Her name is Jennifer Polt. She is an image and confidence coach. She is the founder of Glossed World. Her Instagram is @makingupforglossedtime. I mean, how good is that? Let’s go, and welcome to Divorce etc…


Jen: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here. Yes, it has been a love fest. I think it’s the Jersey thing.


T.H.: Yeah, and we didn’t even know it till the very end of our conversation. We put it together. Now it’s for real. It’s for life.


Jessica: So Jen, I mean, where did this spunk come from to start out with? I mean, your personality, honestly, jumps off the screen. It’s so infectious. I know you’ve heard this from a million people. I’m definitely not the first person to be saying this to you, but honestly, because I feel people struggle to have that quality. Just being around you, it’s like you’re shining the light.


Jen: Oh, you’re sweet. I think it’s a lot of radical shamelessness, probably developed over 52 years as an only child, and my mother and father thinking that I’m the most hilarious person on the planet and making me do things over and over again. I think I got that coming up. Then I think over time, as I’ve gotten older, especially I think in my 40s and 50s, there was just that feeling of “Ah, fuck it. I’m just going to be myself. This is who I am. If you’re on the train, great. And if you’re not, let me just pull up to the station and drop your ass off.”


T.H.: But that journey of getting there to figure yourself out—I was just on the phone with like an image coach person, and he very clearly reminded me that we are programmed until such age that we won’t get in trouble for saying no, right?


Jen: Yeah.


T.H.: You’re a kid, you can’t say no to your parents. You’re in school, you can’t say no to your teacher. You get in trouble if you say no to a friend; you’ll be a bad friend. Then in college is when you’re like, “You know what? No. Is that okay if I say no?’ Then you whisper it, and then it gets stronger and stronger and stronger. Was there something in your life—I know we talked about when COVID hit was the first aha moment, tapping into strength and energy that you didn’t even know you had. But you literally curated it, tell us about that.


Jen: Oh, I mean, I think, yeah, COVID was a game changer for me, just in the simple fact that I’m in a sales and education background. That’s been my history and my career. At the time, I was working in the beauty industry. I was an account executive for a beauty brand. I’m used to being around people. I’m coaching teams, I’m working with clients, I’m interacting with different teams of the retailers, etc. I’m wired for connection. To not be connected to people during COVID was hard. And so it really started with some Facebook groups and some connecting that way. Then I was having fun do little tutorials and things. It was a nice get away from everything that was going on in the news and in the world. And so I started to create a couple of little videos. People started to ask if I had an Instagram. Like, hell, maybe I should start an Instagram. I thought you know what? This is probably smart for me to do because I’m going to need to bring these skills back to the stores when we open back up again. Because no one’s going to let us touch them for god knows how long, so let’s figure out Instagram. Yeah, what started as an education thing turned into unexpected influencer.


T.H.: Yeah, and a new career.


Jessica: That’s exactly what I was going to say.


Jen: Yeah. Yeah, so that built over the last three years. Then in March, I decided to leave corporate and start my own gig and to try to take all of this community that I had built on Instagram. There were a lot of questions around, “Hey, do you do coaching? Do you offer consultations?” I was doing so much of this online anyway, I thought, well, why couldn’t I take some of these things virtually? My role in my corporate life had become very technical and operational, and I’m wired for people and creativity. And so it just wasn’t a match anymore. Like any relationship, you just got to go, “Ah, this ain’t for me.” And so yeah, I decided to give this a go and take a chance, and at 52, rolled the dice and started my own gig. Here we are. 


Jessica: We’re definitely going to get into the whole relationship aspect. But one thing that I’m hoping that you can speak to is, we talk a lot, and there are a lot of people out there that talk a lot about living intentionally, visualizing where you’re going to be, and understanding what your goals are and what you’re working towards. In a way, this was unintentional for you, the direction that you took. And so I’m hoping you can give a little bit of insight to people of be brave and follow what’s laid out in front of you. It doesn’t always have to be so planned.


Jen: Yeah, agreed. I mean, I think sometimes you just have to go through the doors that are opened for you. I would love to sit here and tell you that I had some master plan. I didn’t. I mean, the only thing I was really intentional about was that I wanted to create for women in my age bracket. Because I felt women 40s, 50s, and above, the people I saw creating for this demographic were really focused on how to look younger and thinner, and not how to be comfortable and positive and confident in the vessel that you’re in right now. Hey, listen, if you want to get Botox, get Botox. You want to get filler? I’m not going to hate you. You want to get a boob lift? Go for it. But I wanted to have a conversation around aging that felt like if your best friend was an influencer, and not this kind of QVC, “And here’s how to take 10 lb off with clothes, and how I looked younger.” I thought so much of that messaging was not productive for us. And so I wanted it to feel different. But yeah, I think it’s about walking through those doors. As things started to open up and opportunities started to happen, and I started to make connections, and certain videos went viral, I thought, if not now, when? If I don’t do it, if I don’t strike, it felt like a tipping point was happening. I felt like if I don’t take this chance, I’m always going to wonder what if? I thought “Oh, it’d be great if I could get like 10,000 followers maybe by the time I’m 60, 65, and I can retire, have little side money on my retirement.” I never expected that it could be a career. But I think it’s opened up my eyes to the potential of what social media can be. It’s a lot more than just people hawking lipsticks and trying to get people to do different things. I think there’s a lot of opportunity for people to take your talent and to bring it to a broader audience and create a life by design. That was really what I was hoping to do.


T.H.: I think that, I know for me, when I was watching, I was like I just really want to be her friend. Maybe she’ll dress me. I’m not sure I’m going to buy the lipstick. I’m not cutting my hair that short. But I just want to be around her. The excitement and the joy and the confidence that you just put out into the world, give me a little of that.


Jessica: It’s the energy. It’s literally the energy. Everyone talks about the energy you put out.


T.H.: Yeah. Yeah. You put up a post not that long ago saying, “I’ve got my own back. I’m in my own corner. I’m my own hype girl. I know what I’m capable of. I know that I can keep going because people have tried to stop me before. I know that I can be healed because I’ve been broken before.”


Jen: Yeah.


T.H.: I want you guys to really to hear that. She tapped into her inner confidence in her gut and took a chance. The truth is you had nothing to lose, right?


Jen: No. Yeah, I didn’t think I did.


T.H.: And everything to gain. No, but look, it was COVID and the situation, and you could have sat around waiting for the doors to open, collecting stimulus checks and who the hell knows what. But you’re like, “Hmm, I’m curious. So I’m going to explore it.” And it’s in sync with things that interest me. It’s not like you’re going to go and be a virtual assistant now for an accounting firm. You picked your lane, and then you let it blossom. This is kind of a lesson and a tip for all of you: figure out what makes you happy, what you love to do, and then make that a career and your aura about you. You’ll thrive.


Jen: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I work with other creators now too and just helping them with their personal branding and how to create an online presence. I think that’s the thing. I think when people think about going on social media and creating something, they often compare themselves to others. I just gave a talk just a few days ago about how you are the niche. Sure, there are other people over 50 like me creating beauty style, lifestyle content, but no one’s doing it the way I’m doing it. And so it’s knowing that you bring a certain—your journey to get to this place, your history, your experiences, your lessons learned, the way you present, the way you speak, your knowledge, all of those things, come into this little package. The package is what the niche is. It’s how you are presenting it. I wanted it to be like your Jersey girl best friend is an influencer, and she’s going to be like, “Yo, you and I both know that you’re not going to do 10 steps in your beauty routine. You can barely get your makeup off your face at night. Let’s be honest with ourselves.” Because I also thought too, if I show up as anyone that’s less than or more than myself, different than myself, I’m going to get burnt out. So if I show up as 100% me, the people who follow me are going to be on that train and will allow for me to be flawed and throw an F bomb every once in a while and do my thing.


Jessica: Again, people watching you and feeling the energy and are so drawn to you. But look, everybody has a story. Can you briefly walk us through the marriage, the relationship? How long was that? What made you guys decide to get divorced? How long ago was that? Because there are people who are listening like, “That’s where I want to be. How am I going to get there?”


Jen: Yeah. We were together for 13 years; we were married for nine. Three weeks after I turned in my resignation for my nice cushy salary, pension, 401(k) job to take a chance on myself, after a year of discussing this as a thing I would like to do, my husband came home and said he didn’t want to be married anymore. I can’t say that I didn’t sense that he might not be around for the long haul with me, especially as this grew and I started to see the potential of where it could go. I had even said it out loud to a friend like, “I don’t think that he’s going to be in the front row cheering me on if this goes where I want it to go.” And so it wasn’t necessarily that I was surprised that it was ending. I think I was just surprised at the abrupt nature in which the news was delivered, that we had had zero conversations about it, or therapy sessions. There was there wasn’t a lot of buildup. I’ve been through breakups before. I’ve been through another divorce. You kind of can see. We’re miserable. We’re yelling at each other. We hate each other’s guts. We’re not this. We’re not sleeping together. We’re this money, problems, family, and whatever. But it wasn’t any of those things really playing into it.


T.H.: It didn’t look like that.


Jen: Yeah, it didn’t look like that. And so I knew what breakups looked like, and that’s not what it looked like. It was a blindside three weeks after all this had happened, when I was really trying to get my feet under me. It was derailing, needless to say. Yeah.


T.H.: Jen and I had spoken a little bit about this, and I don’t want to dwell too much on it, but you took a minute.


Jen: Yeah.


T.H.: You didn’t just have a knee jerk reaction to it. You took a minute, educated yourself, so things proceed in a way that you’re comfortable with, and you can control your side of the situation. That’s also a really important thing here. When Jessica and I got the news about our husbands’ long term affairs with their girlfriends, traveling and being engaged and all that good stuff, I mean, you had to take a minute. It was kind of a lot to swallow. A lot.


Jen: Yeah. Yeah, it was a lot. I would never tell people, “Oh, I just kept it moving,” because I didn’t.


T.H.: No.


Jen: I kept it really still—


T.H.: Yeah, because you’re human.


Jen: —for a while. Yeah.


T.H.: So that’s note to self for all of you. We’re going to pause for a quick moment here. Because we know it’s hard to get honest and reliable information about your divorce and how to move on from it, so we’ve done the work for you. As the exEXPERTS, we get questions every day from people looking for a single trustworthy resource to support them through this difficult time and educate them on the legal, the money, the kids, self care, and all of the other stuff. We cover it all at and here on our Divorce etc… podcast. Be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to hear directly from us as we educate you on how to navigate your way through, get what you need, and have what you want. Visit We’ve lived it, so we get it.


Jessica: So Jen, you already have this big personality, this level of energy and confidence. You find out that your husband all of a sudden—not all of a sudden, but kind of all of a sudden doesn’t want to be in the marriage anymore. It’s great that you take a minute. But for people listening, how were you able to move forward? How did you not get stuck in the muck?


Jen: Yeah, someone asked me that the other day, and my knee jerk answer was “I started moving.” I know that sounds like a really trite answer. But I think in the moment, we were still living together at the time, and it would be months of living together before we finally worked out separation papers and all of those things. The biggest thing for me was just this: I just felt trapped in a house with someone that I just wasn’t getting answers from, that I didn’t feel like I was going to get answers from. I saw something recently that said sometimes the closure is the fact that there will not be closure. There’s not going to be that big conversation. You’re not going to get all your questions answered. It’s not going to be clear to you. It’s going to not make sense. And it didn’t make sense. I started walking. I got out the door—


Jessica: Like Forrest Gump.


Jen: Totally, totally. I mean, and I’ve been doing it ever since. Five months later, six months later, it’s like three to five miles a day, at least five days a week. And I was podcasting and listening to self-help things and people’s stories. I would imagine similar to what your listeners do, come on to your podcast, your people’s stories, and connect some things. But I also think I was so angry that he did it right after I quit my job. But I do believe it was a blessing in disguise because I had the time to just be with my feelings about all of it. The one thing that I don’t think I’ve ever done is really just bottle everything up and just not deal with it. Because I know from experience, it’s just going to come around and bite you in the ass. And so it’s like, listen, I’m just going to cry my eyes out. I probably scream cried for the first two to three weeks. Then slowly over time, it was just a processing of it, feeling the thing, seeing him, feeling all the emotions, letting them out, just trying to really move through those feelings. I think as I moved through the feelings, I really started to see how much of myself I had given up in the process. Recently, I equated it to that idea—I said, “I feel like I’m just untying knots that I’ve been tying in my spirit that I didn’t even realize I was tying, because I had done it little by little over time.”


T.H.: Yeah.


Jen: And so I’m slowly unraveling all of these parts of me and rediscovering the me, the pieces of me that I was giving up in the relationship, the parts of myself that I actually really love, that I didn’t feel really comfortable being around him because he just wasn’t wired the same way I was. It’s that feeling of just you forget how much you love that that girl. And so I’m going back to get her.


T.H.: Yeah, and you cannot compromise anymore.


Jen: No.


T.H.: You can’t.


Jen: No.


T.H.: You have to do 100% for you. Then if someone compliments it, great. And if they don’t, I don’t need you.


Jen: That’s it. Yeah.


T.H.: You don’t need to be with somebody like that.


Jessica: But Jen, tell people how long has it been since this transition for you.


Jen: It’s been almost six months since the news hit, six months since I left corporate, and almost six months since the separation, since the big announcement!


T.H.: No, so, six months for the first day the rest of your life.


Jessica: But also, for people listening, everyone moves at a different pace. Everyone’s process follows a similar path, but not necessarily a similar timeline. However, this can be possible. It doesn’t have to take 10 years to be able to get over things and move on. You have the choice to make as to how you’re going to handle it. We are so impressed and love the way that you’re handling it. Because we can’t say it enough, you draw people in, and it gives, I think, people hope, which is what we always want to do. We’re totally on the other side, but everyone else can be there too. You’re a shining example of that.


Jen: Well, thanks. Yeah, I mean, I’m dating, and I have friends who are like, “Wow, you’re back on the saddle.”


Jessica: Yeah, so how long before you felt comfortable going back out and starting to date again?


Jen: I started dating probably about a month and a half ago. Probably about four months after all of this stuff. I mean, once he moved out—


Jessica: Yeah, you weren’t still living together?


Jen: No—


T.H.: So have you been learning a lot? Have you been learning a lot on your dates?


Jen: I have. I’m doing the apps and all of that stuff, that whole journey. I’ve actually had a really good experience. I did this years ago when I was single the last time 13 years ago, when there were no apps. There was no swipe right, swipe left, and I had a good time then too. I mean, it wasn’t a lot of cat-fishing or weirdos. But I do think, to your point, T.H., there was that feeling of I’m not compromising this time around. I think in the past, I recognized that I fell in love with potential and not with the actual person right where they were at.


Jessica: Interesting.


Jen: I think that was the hardest thing. I think when I was going through the process of grieving the whole relationship, I recognized that I was grieving the potential of what I thought we could have been, and not what we actually were.


Jessica: So how do you avoid doing that again?


Jen: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s being very honest. I had a conversation with my mom, and she really opened up my eyes. I’m like, “Well, this is what I want in the next person. I want this, and I want that, and I want someone who’s emotionally available, who’s gone to therapy. I want this.” She’s like, “I think you need to change the word want to need.” I thought it was such a powerful thing to say, because as women, we’re often told, “Don’t be needy. I don’t need that. I don’t need no man. I can do this by myself.” And yes, I feel all of those things. I’m fully aware that I can have a beautiful life if I never wind up in another relationship. I’ve got great family, great support, and all the things. But in having that conversation with her, I think it did illuminate some of the things that were really like heart needs. These are the things that I actually need. I don’t need him to be a supermodel. I need him to be emotionally available and supportive and a cheerleader, all of those emotional things that we sometimes talk ourselves out of needing, or we seek them out in our friendships. I think that’s how I stayed in it as long as I did. I had this huge support system of friends, and I could turn to them for that stuff, when I wasn’t getting it from him. But now I’m like, “No, I want my person to be those things.” It’s being keenly aware of what they are.


T.H.: I think also, you’re 100% on target. I know that for us, for the relationships that we had, and the last one that I was just in, I always knew what I didn’t want. I didn’t really know what I wanted. If you looked at my dating app, the man I’m with now—who is my forever—he didn’t fill anything on my filters on my dating app, except he was divorced with kids. That literally was it because it’s so superficial. You try to dig deeper, but in the dating apps, you can’t. Then you got to get off. You find someone nice, get off and start talking to them. Don’t get caught up in a bunch of bullshit. I also heard someone tell me today, you’re never really finished creating the authentic you. And I love that.


Jessica: You’re always a process, a working progress.


T.H.: Right. But even now, I can say I’ve arrived. I’m here. I am 100% where I need to be. But I’m going to keep learning, and I’m going to keep challenging myself, and I’m going to keep meeting great people like you. But for my inner self, it takes time. I just love that you’re fully taking accountability and being fully honest and transparent with yourself, because that’s what gets so many people stuck. He did this, and she did that, and blaming everybody else. I mean, we all played a part in our marriages not working. We didn’t have to be the “bad” guy, and I air quoted that. But we all played a part. I enabled bad behavior. I allowed disrespect. I allowed things. If I hadn’t allowed it, maybe things would have ended sooner. It wouldn’t have helped my marriage, but really finding your voice. So all of these things, everybody listen, check her out on Instagram everyday. She’s like your daily dose of happiness in the morning. Then go and check us out.


Jessica: Right. You can’t not smile when you’re watching—


T.H.: You can’t not. I mean the confidence. But then I feel like when you come out of a marriage, or when I came out of my marriage, I didn’t even know what I liked. I didn’t know what I liked to wear. I kind of get orange might be my favorite color, but I didn’t really know. Now I’ve come into my own, and I feel pretty good rocking my shoes that I rock and my American badass hat. I’m owning it.


Jen: Yeah.


T.H.: That is a journey. Jen, when you see, she just always looks fabulous. I’m like, “God, can I really—” Oh, sure, if I can do that. But she can, so maybe I can. Please check her out. She is amazing. That’s what I have to say.


Jessica: It is very inspiring, because I think for all of us, and for everybody listening, l like I said earlier, there’s a journey that has a path that we all take, but it’s seeing people who have successfully made it through. I think if you are divorced, or if you’re getting divorced, we all lost a piece of ourselves in the marriage that we left. I too have been married and divorced twice, and totally different circumstances. But in my second marriage, towards the end, I literally felt like I was dying inside. By the way, he’s a great guy, and we still totally get along. We talk often and frequently. We have a really nice relationship. But I couldn’t be married to him anymore. I think everyone can relate to what you’re talking about, the untying of the knots, and really freeing yourself and figuring out where you are and where you want to be. I think it’s particularly interesting because I know that finances and the financial stuff is one of the biggest fears, particularly for women getting divorced. Here you were in this situation, where you just said that you’d given up your paycheck three weeks earlier. That’s fucking scary.


Jen: Terrifying. Yeah, it was a lot of things, like where am I going to live? I don’t have a pay stub to go rent a place. It was just all of those things. That first weekend, I felt like an emotional Roomba, like I was just walking into walls, just turn it around and walking into another one. It was a lot.


Jessica: Yeah, it is a lot. And so that is why I love that people can hear this, like wherever you are, you can get through it.


Jen: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. I don’t want to give anyone the illusion that it’s always been easy or that, “Oh, like, and I just made…” I always try to be very honest with people and I don’t want it to come off like it’s unicorns and rainbows. But at the same time, I think there’s a thing of, and T.H., when you said when you came out of your divorce, you didn’t know what you liked. I talk to women a lot in my coaching business, and we have conversations around that. They’re like, “I don’t even know what my passions are.” Oftentimes, I say to them, “Well, what were you passionate about before you got married? What were you passionate about when you were a kid? When you were in college? What were the things that you really loved?” Some will say dance, and some will say writing, or whatever it is. Because most of those things that you loved when you were younger are inherently part of what you love and what your passions are. You may have forgotten about them along the way, or set them aside as you raised a family and got married and did all of those things. But I think there is this reckoning that happens, and I see it often in the 50s, where women look around and their roles are shifting. Their role as mom is different now. Their role as wife is different now. Maybe they’re getting divorced, and they kind of look around and go, “Well, shit, what’s in it for me now?” There’s that reckoning that happens, that pivot, that midlife pivot of, “Hey, I need to start thinking about what I want and being more selfish in my endeavors, because I don’t have to just be someone’s wife and someone’s mother.” It’s a good place to get to.


Jessica: For people who hadn’t been working for a while, because we’ve done episodes on getting back into the workforce for women who really need to do that, it’s so fulfilling to rediscover your passions and the things that you love to do. T.H. talks a lot about if you want to go back to work or if you want to switch careers, focus on that. What are the things that you love? T.H. was saying that she knows of a woman who loves to travel, and so she’s a flight attendant now.


T.H.: A travel agent. Oh, right, a flight attendant. A flight attendant.

Jessica: Okay, that’s what I thought. But either way, both would be applicable. It is so fulfilling, and we’re loving watching your journey through Instagram. Listen, you guys, for everybody out there, you have to check Jen’s stuff out. If you’ve enjoyed this episode of the Divorce etc… podcast with the exEXPERTS today, then can you help a few girls out? Please take a moment to subscribe, rate, and review our Divorce etc… podcast because that actually helps to bump it up on the list of podcast platforms so more people can find us, and we can help support them as they’re going through divorce and beyond. Like we’ve said, check the show notes for more info on Jen. You have to check out her website Glossed World, where you can also check out her confidence and image coaching. Go follow her on Instagram. It’s @makingupforglossedtime. Of course, share this episode with anyone you know who could benefit from listening, which is probably everyone in your life. Have a great day.

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