As I stand upon the precipice of this new phase in my life, I have been full of strange thoughts. I'm dividing up the past into increments.
It occurred to me that come September, I will have known my husband for thirty years. We started working together and then began dating. We were both twenty-four.
It was a time when I left one lifestyle to begin another. It was a time when I consciously abandoned an oppressive religious belief system. I had to forcibly remove my self from a repressive lifestyle to do this.
It took months of planning and soul searching and reading and praying. I knew I wanted this but after years of indoctrination I was finally able to break away.
It was probably the single most important decision in my life.
It just happened that I was being wooed by my husband to be at the same time. It was not considered acceptable for me to "date" someone outside of this particular church.
I consciously defied them. I was empowered with a belief in my self that was beyond anything I could have imagined. I found the power to become independent, go to college and become a partner in this relationship. We moved to a different town , got married and got to know each other for seven years before having children.
Now my youngest child will be moving away to attend college. The last 21 years have been a blur of band concerts, science fairs, parent/teacher conferences, school board meetings, road trips and you name its. I've tried to maintain my artistic life despite everything.
I can't divide my life into halves, but thirds are seeming to make sense. My first 23 years were turbulent and troubled.
I think I actually began my adult life at 24.
I will be 54 in September. I have no idea how much longer I will be around but I am anticipating this new phase, whether it's a third, or a quarter, or an eighth. Life doesn't occur in smooth even increments. I just know I'm looking forward to this adventure.