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My Life Is My Own

maybe for the first time ever

By Traci E. Published about a year ago 4 min read
My Life Is My Own
Photo by Svyatoslav Romanov on Unsplash

I find myself in my mid-fifties wondering how to do some basic things and what I should really do with my life. I know it sounds absurd but I have come to realize that there has not been a time that I got to truly lead my life and be who I really am. And therein lies the beauty and the storm of my current existence.

I was born the youngest of three girls to loving and devoted parents that had the means to provide us with a very nice life. I had my own room, a weekly allowance and freedom to enjoy life. Growing up I joined clubs and groups. I went to college and then had a career and marriage. It all seems very lovely and perfect and in many ways it was.

But now my parents have passed and my marriage has ended and I find that for the first time ever, I get to decide my own fate and am fully responsible for myself and to some degree it scares the hell out of me.

Yes, I am a smart well-rounded individual. But in the self-reflection that comes with age, I see the times that my life was not my own and decisions were made for me. From taking gymnastics instead of ballet because my parents decided my sisters didn’t really like ballet so I wouldn’t either. I loved to dance, I thought I could have been a ballerina. I didn’t get to take a ballet class until college when I made out my class schedule. Unfortunately, by that time, it was too late and I was too old to dance professionally.

I didn’t skip a grade or participate in the gifted program at my school because my parents wanted me to stay with kids my own age and develop good social skills. I did get to take advanced courses.

I went to college and got a degree because I was told that’s what I should do. My dreams were to attend an arts school. I followed what my parents wanted my entire life. I was a good girl and always did as I was told. It kept me out of trouble and on good terms with them, school and the law but I wonder what I might have missed. I even went home at 11pm on Prom night because of my curfew. My date and friends stayed out much later.

My parents chose my apartment that I lived in after college. But I was living in a different state and only had to check in once a week with a phone call on Sunday. This was freedom and excitement. I dated boys they wouldn’t’ have approved of and stayed out well past midnight on several occasions. But career and finances what they were, I ended up moving back home for a while.

I got a job through the help of my dad and really enjoyed it for a time. But that position turned sour and I left but that was okay because by this time I was engaged to marry a man that my parents approved of. So, onto my next phase of my life.

Now I was the happy homemaker. My husband went off to work each morning and came back each evening. I kept the house and felt like a grown up. It was very much like the 1950s as he made most of the decisions and I allowed it. I even got myself a little part-time job I could do from home during the day. But like many marriages, things changed and it ended. And by this time both my parents had passed.

Which brings us to today of me living the single adult life where I am free to decide my fate. Most people reach this point decades earlier than this. Now each day when I decide to do something I silently ask myself why. Am I doing what my parents would expect of me? Is it what they would have told me to do? Is this a decision based on my ex-husband’s personality or my own? Am I still bothered by what society thinks and what they deem acceptable? And who exactly are “they” and why does their opinion matter?

I know in my heart I am not alone in this situation. I am sure others have found themselves at this same crossroads. As I ponder which path to take and which road to carry my life forward, my heart whispers and my soul listens. It is in that moment that I take off my sensible shoes, leave the path and journey out into the unknown with joy and excitement because that decision is all my own.


About the Creator

Traci E.

Writing can be therapy, insanity or both. Here is my mind, my dreams, my fears, my thoughts, my life laid bare to share with you. Enjoy the journey into what is at once my blog, diary and world, and don't forget to tip your guide.

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