The Path to 503

Once upon a time, not very long ago …

image by: unknown

I was living a very different life.
It was a small life.
A lonely life.
I was a bird in a cage.

A million different stories begin like this.
Possibly yours.
So many great adventures seem to begin in dark places.

Til’ Death Do Us:

image: Justin Perkins Art

In my case, I maneuvered myself out of a hard and hurtful childhood
by marrying the first boy I slept with.
He was nice. He seemed safe.
I thought that was the same thing as love.
It isn’t.
Not by a long shot.

We spent 18 years together
holding one another back under the guise of “caring for one another”.
But we were never more than a naive teen romance
that never had any real heart or “true love” connection.

There was no spark.
No passion.

Just two nice kids tied together by polite, comfortable conversation, a sense of obligation,
and a shared terrified aversion to living life to the fullest.
We spent a small lifetime never really going anywhere;
never really doing anything.
We just ‘worked on’ our relationship trying to force one another to be happy.

We never were.

Then … I had a baby.
Then … he had an affair.
Then … we promptly imploded.

Still too scared to live life on our own,
we stayed together for another 4+ years “for our daughter’s sake.”
During which time, I became a zombie.
Emotionally, I was the walking dead.

Up, moving about, but gone somehow.

Until the day I woke up, looked at my daughter and realized that she deserved better.
Followed a few months later by the day I woke up, looked myself in the mirror,
and realized that I deserved better.

It was the morning of our 18th anniversary.
And it hit me that I had spent my first 18 years of life waiting to leave a childhood that did not honor me.
Followed by another 18 years in a loveless marriage that did not honor me.

I wondered — “How old will I be 18 years from now?” –

And realized there was still plenty of time left to live an honest, love-filled life.

Going 503:

image source:

So, I asked for a divorce,
kicked the door to the birdcage open and flew out on my own.

It would take 18 tedious months to get the divorce finalized.
On the day I filed, I nervously waited my turn at the courthouse feeling determined yet incredibly small.
I was about to officially claim my freedom knowing I had never been out in the world on my own before.
My stomach was in gnarled knots.

A kind woman, who had been eyeing me from the clerk’s counter, summoned me over and said,
“Let’s get your paperwork in order.”
She shuffled and stamped my stack of papers and chit-chatted with me about why I was leaving.
She said, “Sounds like it’s the right time to go.”

I nodded, smiled meekly and confessed: “I am SO scared.”

She nodded and said: “This is a big step.
It’s actually heart-warming for me to see someone come in here showing actual human emotion about it.”

Then she circled the last three digits of the case code she had just entered on my paperwork and said,
“503! That’s all you have to remember. You’re all set.”

“503?” I replied. “What’s that?”

She winked at me and said: “It’s you’re new lucky number.”

From Here to Open Sky:

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And so now, I’m Me …
a strong, competent, capable, articulate adult woman professionally,
and yet an entirely inexperienced, untried, brand new in the world, vulnerable girl personally …
out here on my own,trying to make a bold go of it.

If I thought life was scary before, whew! I had no idea.

There is a universe of things that I don’t know how to do;
places I’ve never gone;
and things I’ve never tried.

I’m not gonna lie: the vastness of it can be paralyzing.
And yet: it’s a thousand small adventure stories just waiting to be told.
I can’t help but say, “Bring it on!”
I get to experience it all with the innocent excitement of a young girl
paired with the strength and wisdom of a mature woman.

I wouldn’t trade that unique life perspective for all the safety in the world!

And so I created this blog to document the journey.
To capture my new experiences as they unfold.
To share the wisdom I learn along the way.
And to document the process of transcending fear
in an effort to live life with a heart wide open, courage blazing.
Full out and full on!

Fear, you are about to become a thing of the past
I am moving gladly beyond!