An Exit in Melancholy
“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another!”~~Gail Sheehy
I loved the novel by Gail Sheehy entitled Passages. It’s been years since I read it but even when I was younger, it had a huge impact on me. Life is filled with passages. The trick is to recognize when the time has arrived for us to enter a new one and to be willing to follow the paths of life in different directions. And so it was that I decided to stop blogging and explore other facets of life. This was not done without melancholy.
During my life passage of blogging I made many friends whom I cherish. I once read that we change a bit with every new person we meet. I believe that to be true, and especially so with fellow writers at Expats. There have been times when I have had fits of laughter while sitting at this computer chatting with Expats, both on this site and on Facebook. My husband would hear me and say, “Now what?” I would launch into, “It’s Jen again. She is wit and wisdom on steroids!” And with tears streaming down my face and still laughing, I would exclaim, “Garry Crystal is wickedly funny!” Many times I have sighed, “Ah, look at the new illustration by TJ. Isn’t she amazing?” Every writer and contributor here has had a positive impact on me. Perhaps that gave me the courage to leave. As much as it sounds like a dichotomy, this kind of fellowship gives one strength to move about the universe and explore.
Leaving was not without a certain melancholy. I wondered whether I would lose touch with people with whom I had shared so much. Yes, probably we would lose touch, yet the electric force of people I met along the blogging passage will stay with me, just as Julian Gallo’s book Naderia will remain in my bookcase as a reminder of what great writing can be.
My journey as a writer has been fun. Now I want to do other things and as the Autumn of my life experiences a Spring revival, I have begun painting. The self-portrait shown here is indicative of the angst I was feeling, but there is a part of me that still wants to be creative. For now painting seems to provide that new outlet. It does not matter whether I am good; it only matters that I savor the moments and enjoy the passage.
Aside from loving the sight of brushes and tubes of paints now scattered about in my office-turned-studio, I want to travel. In July we are attending what promises to be a lavish family wedding in Dallas. In the Fall my youngest son is getting married, and somewhere in between we are taking a trip to my beloved Cape May. Sprinkled into the mix are scheduled visits with relatives and friends from across the country. Perhaps most importantly are the extended visits with our children.
The first article I posted on Expats was a video of my granddaughter Emily singing “You Are My Sunshine” with my daughter. Cheesy, I know. But this was a song I had sung to my children and to know that they carried on this small tradition was heart-warming. It is one of those moments in my life passage. Emily is now hospitalized and had nodes removed from her larynx. They are running tests to determine whether…well, I cannot even type the word. We hope for the best; stand by one another as a family, and ask for your prayers. She is two years old.
Part of my heart remains with Expats and has love for each of you. As you reach milestones, I will cheer for you. As you change directions and enter new phases in your own life passages, I will mentally hold your hand. Always, always, there will be a tinge of melancholy, but what a great ride this has been!
Tags: autumn of my life, bookcase, contributor, courage, dean walker, dichotomy, facets, fellow writers, gail sheehy, garry crystal, illustration, journey, julian, julian gallo, Katy Kern, laughter, melancholy, novel, passages, paths of life, sense of humor, steroids, TJ Lubrano, wit and wisdom