Life After Divorce: “I Felt Like I Was Coming Out of This Cocoon”

Meet member Meighan Merono.

Welcome to our Member Profiles series. We’re highlighting women who come to The Assembly to collaborate, sweat, and engage. 

Destiny brought Meighan Merono to The Assembly — or at least a cold did. “I was in the doctor’s office for a sinus infection, and my daughter picked up a magazine,” she told me as we sipped green tea in the clubhouse recently. “It fell open to an article about The Assembly.”

Following a tough year that included a divorce, Meighan had been looking for a community space for women in the city. But she couldn’t find one that felt welcoming to her. “A lot of of the clubs seemed more society. Or, your mother or grandmother had to be a member. I was looking for a place to meet other people and connect. I wanted a place to go. A safe space.” Inspired by the article, she came to have a look at The Assembly and thought: this is perfect.

I got divorced at the end of 2017. For 2018, I thought: OK, what does this next phase of my life look like?

Before Meighan joined The Assembly in March 2018, she was working two days a week from her kitchen table. Today, the clubhouse gets her out of her place on work from home days. But it’s also much more than a beautiful workspace. It represents a fresh start. “This year has been transformative because I got divorced at the end of 2017,” she told me. “For 2018, I thought: OK, what does this next phase of my life look like?” To help answer that big question, she asked herself a series of smaller ones, like: How do I take care of myself. How do I reconnect? “I felt like I was coming out of this cocoon,” she explained.

Today Meighan, a working mother of a fourth grader and kindergartener, puts all the pieces together at The Assembly. “I’m at the point now that whenever I come here I see a familiar face,” she told me, adding: “I’ll strike up a conversation with someone. I get that real social connection with people.”

Women hear a lot about self care these days, but it can be hard to define. Is it something easy like getting a medi-pedi, or more serious, like ending a bad relationship? Thanks to The Assembly, Meighan has a framework to define what self care means for her. To turn it into something tangible. “The Assembly forced me to make time for myself,” she told me. “Today, I’m working, for example, but I wanted to take a workout class. So I had my calls scheduled around that time. It helps me build in time for myself.”

Building New Relationships

This year, Meighan is also building a new support network. For example, she has connected with other mothers during the monthly mothers breakfast. “I love it because women aren’t just talking about their kids. They’re talking about themselves and their experiences,” she said. When parenting does come up, Meighan appreciates the fresh perspective: “It’s so cool for me to meet women who really expect their husband to do half the work,” she said. “I came up with the idea of the superwoman. I can do it all. I can wake up in the middle of the night, then go to work. It was the approach en vogue when I came to motherhood,” she recounted. “I’m really encouraged to see women today taking a different approach.”

I came up with the idea of the superwoman. I can do it all. It was the approach en vogue when I came to motherhood.

Meighan is seeing the positive change she was hoping for. “In my experience, when you’re in a bad marriage it’s an isolating experience. You have the shame of it. You don’t want anyone to know about it. You think you’re the only person that’s going through this,” she explained. Thanks to the women she’s met at the Assembly, she doesn’t feel alone. “One member even connected me to a group of divorced women supporting each other,” she said.

Whether it’s a workshop or the mothers breakfast, Meighan uses this space for personal and professional growth. “Whatever I can absorb out of this space will help me in the next iteration of my career if I decide to go in a different direction,” she explained. Overall, she’s expanding her sense of community. “I’ve met some great women who aren’t moms. I just went out to dinner with someone last week,” Meighan said. “We met at one of the member events they have the first week of the month.”

When I asked Meighan to sum up what she loves about being a member, she said: “I always have a place to go.”

If you’d like to connect with Meighan, say hi at the next mothers breakfast or when you see her around in the in the Clubhouse!

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