Being a published author sounds exciting and romantic--and it has its moments. But mostly it's dedication, commitment, a load of research and tons of hard work. Add to that a life well lived and all the spiritual elements of the Universe, and...well, let's see where it goes.
Monday, October 31, 2011
A New Life
So what’s this new life I’m talking about?I’m on the move again, and I’m heading to Houston, Texas!I spent 35 wonderful years in Anchorage, Alaska.I loved it.I was young, a newlywed, and life was new and exciting.The winters were cold and long, but the summers made up for it.It didn’t notice the effort, and nothing was a struggle back then.Well, except finances, I suppose; my husband and I were as broke as all young marrieds seem to be.
But life happened, and I found myself divorced at 49.My husband—ex-husband—had been coming and going in my life for nearly two years, unable to commit to returning to me or staying with my ex-friend he’d first run off with.Every time he left, I started back in the bottom of the pit of despond, tried to climb back out, and just about the time I was starting to find my footing, he’d come back.It happened five times before I said, “No more!”
By then, I had to get out of Alaska.Every time my ex took off, he did so without a word to anyone—including me, three of those times—and I was left not only to pick up the pieces of my life but to make explanations and excuses to friends.I was so broken, so overwhelmed, so...persecuted, I had to leave.I just didn’t have a purpose.
I spent some time in the Midwest with my elderly mom.I visited friends.And finally I landed in Houston, where my sister has lived with her family since the early 70s.I found I liked it, and I stayed.I got a job, bought a house, made friends, and slowly worked through many of my issues.After 2-1/2 years, though, I was homesick.Deeply, sincerely, I felt the need to return to Anchorage and see what, if anything, was left of my life there.
There were other reasons to return:most notably, a house that I still owned with my ex-husband.So I packed up my things, sold my house—in two weeks, no less!—and headed north.I was glad to get back; it felt like home.I reconnected with old friends, took care of the house, and even got a job.And I spent some good, quality time figuring out how I felt about my marriage, my life in Alaska—with and without the ex—and discovering the person I’d become after everything I’d gone through.They weren’t the kinds of things I could really talk about with people; they were things I felt, and I had to make sense of them, understand them to the depths of my soul,and come to terms with what that meant for me, as a person, and for my future.
After nearly 18 months, I’ve decided that, as much as I love Alaska, Anchorage is no longer home in the same way it once was.I don’t love the winter as I once did—especially the short daylight hours—and I’m tired of the isolation.The cost of living is high and, as a woman providing for myself, I have to think of myself and my future.I find that the person I became during that time in Houston is the new Wendy, and there’s no going back.
That came as something of a surprise to me.I certainly didn’t expect it when I returned to Alaska.On the other hand, I moved with an open mind, understanding instinctively that the only way to know what I want is to know what I don’t want.And there’s no way to know that without trying.
So I tried.Things didn’t quite work like I expected, but I have no regrets.What’s to regret?I gave it my best shot with an open mind and an open heart, and I moved one step closer to finding the place that’s right for me.What else could I want?
Not much, I find, so here I go again... I leave in a week, and I'll keep you posted.