An Unmarried Woman’s Journey of Exploration, Rediscovery & Reinventing

1.9.2010

This is a story about coming of age at 51. The heroine in this madcap adventure is me.  Someone, by recent disappointments, made smarter, wiser and better able to appreciate what comes my way than I was at say 21. The setting: my two cities, Portland, Oregon and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The story is of surviving and hopefully flourishing by embracing not just another man, but LIFE.  Think of what that means. Auntie Mame described life as a banquet. I don’t intend to be one of those fools who starve when so much is within reach. I am hungry.

As I see it, this is the time to live loudly in order to find my true center. By loudly I mean boldly, uninhibited by who might be watching or judging even when faltering frequently is a certainty, as in ending a 25-year marriage to one’s first boyfriend.  Don’t we usually applaud and cheer on the brave soul who willingly risks making mistakes, dusts herself off and jumps back in the game?  I do!  Gotta love someone with spunk and passion, even if guided by a compass absent a true north. What better, more endearing role model is there?

This blog will be a dialogue (between you and me) about artful, thoughtful exploration and living. I will share the good and the bad of all manner of discoveries (food, shops, activities, books, art…) and reflect periodically on the nuances of changing status from “married” to “unmarried,” including what I recall of the events leading up to this outcome.

Stats reveal in 2005 “unmarried head of household” became the USA majority. Hoping my writing might strike a chord with an occasional visitor is the powerful motivation fueling this endeavor.  Scribbling in a journal might be ideal therapy during a parting of ways, but as it is for many women, doing something solely for myself frequently kills its chances from the start.  I am a giver, a person defined by her relationships. I make a home, feathering my nest, intending it to be a place for others to visit often.

January is an ideal time to slip between the covers with a good book.  Shall we start with a few suggestions for winter reading or ask the question, “Why not stay married to your best friend when the spark is gone?”

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” Alan Cohen

As always, Trix


9 Responses to “An Unmarried Woman’s Journey of Exploration, Rediscovery & Reinventing”

  • Margaret Sewell Says:

    Tracey,

    How wonderful! This is going to be lovely and full of wisdom and insight I’m sure. I will become a loyal follower, I’m certain.

    All the best in your journey!

    As ever,
    Margaret

  • YaYa Says:

    I applaud your strength and wish you well. keep it goin! Love your independence and courage…..life is good!

  • Angela Says:

    With your bold and uninhibited gift of words, your eye for beauty in everyday life, (capturing unbelieveable images with a dang iphone, mind you)and access to interesting worlds, you are able to touch, inspire, with class, so bless you, in your generosity of sharing’s and pairings. No, doubt, this will be life changing, at least for me. I’ve already watched the unmarried woman, found Leonard Cohen, taken used bags to the store, celebrated hugging, goaling for caveche.Your links are super informing, and best of all, I have shared these experiences with my friends.
    The question you pose about security and fearless embracing of the unknown:Our lover /partner is in a powerful position, the power to lift us up, or bring us down, and if he does neither, a maid, a friend, a fish, may suffice. My lover? He can be many things, preferably progressive, but NEVER EVER Stupid or inhibiting, unless I am unknowingly breaking the law. Unless a food, pet, home, etc.,in some way, trips my trigger, I don’t have a whole lot of time, however I have yet to find a definition or depth to my pleasures and have found even the negative to be useful, possibly I am way too tolerant.
    I so admire, even ache to allow myself the tremendous deep personal freedom you exude! Our self imposed codes of conduct, our tightly cloaked fears and need for social validation keep us tightlipped, keep us from painting, dancing to the beat of our own drum, Well,suppose someone would like to taste with their eyes, read with their ears, tell the truth to the congregation, kiss a total stranger just because they unknowingly reached beyond your unattended boundries? Nope, you aint gonna see me giving in to any of that!! I have my stupid pride to consider. And it’s a small world, the critic scare the hell out of me. You are fearless. This blog is proof already how wide open and embracing you are!
    After ending my 19yr union, I became a real person, and responsible to my own fruition! Failure was the unanimous forcast. As fate would have it, my cup runneth over, my joy is so outragiously vast, I haven’t even had a chance to get to all of it yet!! Yes, I have made some mistakes, I don’t know if I agree with the axiom of,”being able to laugh at your self”, or “don’t take yourself too seriously”..It was not funny, and when I am not trying to be funny or a smart ass, for the most part I am a very serious person. I had the decency to be truely embarrassed or ashamed. I taught my children not to give a BUTT apology, sometime we are just wrong. for the first time in my life I am learning what I am doing right, what my strenghths are, and I am healing, looking for a better way, always, therefore I am so, hanging on your every word Missy. I love your style, your savvy, you have penache, I just know you will give us a delicious enlivening view, or bring back memories for others, and you will tell it like it is. Don’t hold back. Strike a pose..Exposure 101010..Here she comes..Buckle up, it’s the law!! By god, let’s have some fun!! But if you need a shoulder to cry on, find one, shower it, lean into it, massage it, might want to lick it, and be damn thankful for it!! THE END. Holy crap, who’s blog is this anyways??

  • yaykim Says:

    Fantastic beginning! Especially the upcoming subject matter on “2 dogs” … Hmmmmm, sounds interesting.

    I promise at some point I will tell my story about my divorce from a 25 year marriage, not pretty and still ongoing after 3 years. Well, maybe I won’t , I don’t like to dwell on the negative ;D

  • Linda V. Says:

    Girl…you’ve got enough spunk and passion to share with at least a dozen others! Love the Cohen quote. You are definitely embracing your power! I love the blog and will eagerly anticipate each entry!

  • Trix Says:

    You inspire me to find things to share. xo

  • Wally Says:

    This is going to be so much fun! You have to promise to keep at this until you can’t stop because so many people expect to hear what you have to say regularly. As the saying goes in a little cult I belong to, “How long do I have to keep coming here?” “Only until you want to.”

    An unmarried woman. What an amazing creature. Someone who has fallen into the well of love with complete abandon, experienced the joys, excitement, monotony, dread, disappointment, satisfaction, exhalation and ultimately remorse as it becomes clear that this particular well no longer has the volume of water necessary to survive, to breath, to live life in the way she has grown to recognize as essential to a life well lived. You cannot be an unmarried woman without surviving this journey. No amount of books read, movies watched, lost live-ins or coffee house discussions will give her the benefits of being an unmarried woman for first, the marriage must be lived. Only once the experience is part of one’s self can the benefits of the experience be used as a loose guide for living the life that may have been meant for her all along.

    There are many of us, both women and men who find themselves on this new journey. There is no guarantee that we will find what we seek. What we seek may not be what we need or ultimately want. It may be that if we knew the journey’s path and destination we might never manage the courage to begin. I wish all who are on this journey, the love of self and perseverance to keep looking around the corners, to look behind us and to close our eyes and see what our imaginations hold, as we make choices that will define the new life we have been given.

    I look forward to the experiences and insights of “An Unmarried Woman”. I hope I won’t be the only man to contemplate what is revealed and comment when appropriate.

    Good Luck and Bon Voyage Trix

  • Russell Says:

    The phrase that comes to mind is: “The life which is not examined is not worth living.” Had to Google it for attribution — from the mind and wisdom of Plato. Your journey, mine and hopefully that of most of us, will benefit greatly from a zen approach of seeing ourselves anew, unencumbered by past allegiances, valued as they were and perhaps remain. None of us needs to walk away from our past — many good memories, lessons and milestones to either be treasured or if not treasured then respected — if not respected then at a minimum noted and understood.

    Looking fearlessly forward there is excitement, perhaps yes with some trepidation – being able to recapture the joy of living in the moment, being accountable to your inner authenticity — rather than a prescribed role (one that you may have chosen but now need to leave behind). It’s not a free ride, but it can be fresh ride — even familiar experiences can be lived and felt anew. And it need not be a solitary voyage — we are social creatures, we find meaning, understanding, purpose and happiness in our relationships with each other and the larger community. Happy sailing!

  • Rose City Reader Says:

    Tracey — glad I found your blog! You are a delight!

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