When I started this blog almost five years ago, I chose the
moniker Bossy Betty, not because my name is Betty (it isn’t) and not because I
am Bossy (well, not all the time anyway).
I chose it because my intention was to write in the
voice and tone of someone else.I
wanted a persona who had a bit of an edge, a snappy gal who proudly wore a
defensive cape of sarcasm. Above all, I wanted the protective shell playing a
character can provide.
It was with surprise then, that I discovered the
more blog posts I wrote and the more involved I got with my readers, the less able
I was to keep up the mask.
I think that is the nature of writing, or at least, the nature of writing for
I look back at those early blog posts and I find I am a bit
envious of the richness of my life at the time. Or perhaps it is the innocence and
obliviousness of these posts that I long for.
(Irony Alert!My very first blog post was titled “Why I Got (And Stay) Married.)
I loved writing about my life as a wife and a mother.I knew readers would connect with the
themes and details of those posts.
Now, a year after my children have left home and a year after a messy,
tough year of divorce proceedings, I find I am at a loss as to what to write
It seems, dear readers, that I am having a bit of an
The past few months have been ones of introspection.I look back on my life and I see
that I have never really, truly forged a path for myself. From a young age, I
let others define me. As I got older, I eagerly and without questioning, took
the paint-by-numbers path of life.Education, career, marriage and mothering--I followed the patterns set
down by my family and by society and was grateful for them.It was a safe route and I had good
examples to follow.
However, the artistry of my life was not exactly original
and certainly not extremely vivid nor varied.I was not at all bold with my choices.At times I painted within those lines
against the advice of my inner voice.My own desires were suppressed, diminished, and at times, drowned.Still, it was the life I
chose.My boundaries and
limitations were set.I knew what
to do and there was a comfort, albeit a dangerous comfort, in those routines.
I am divorced.(Still hard for me to say.)
I am single.(Still hard
for me to believe.)
patterns are gone.
When you are on the receiving end of the divorce petition,
you have no choice but to make major changes just to survive and you have to
make them fast.
Once the dust
settles, you look up, exhausted, breathless.All around you, there is a sense of expectancy. What
now?What next?The word “opportunity” springs from the
lips of friends and seems to be written in bold letters in every recovery
Opportunity, eh?OK.Yeah.OK.I’ll get there, but that’s one big,
honking goose of a word and right now it’s annoying the hell out of me.
I do know I must fight against my own propensity to reach
for the paint-by-numbers set again. I stand in front of the blank canvas of the future and note the dizzying array of colors that this new life
It’s going to take courage to listen to
myself,trust the voice within,
and not limit myself.
I am going to make some big mistakes.
Aware When I opened the door I found the vine leaves speaking among themselves in abundant whispers. My presence made them hush their green breath, embarrassed, the way humans stand up, buttoning their jackets, acting as if they were leaving anyway, as if the conversation had ended just before you arrived. I liked the glimpse I had, though, of their obscure gestures. I liked the sound of such private voices. Next time I'll move like cautious sunlight, open the door by fractions, eavesdrop peacefully.