Smoldering ashes

I’ve come to accept that nothing is permanent. Thankfully, I’m an “embrace the change” kind of girl. The flux in my life has reached a new level that I, of course, am not at liberty to discuss. I know, I hate vague blogging, too. This is just one of those moments when people tend to look back and say “I had no idea!” Well, when the time comes for this to see the light of day, you can come back to this post. This is when the shift happened. Everything from this point on is different.

I’ve found that the old adage, “You only live once” only applies to really boring people. Either that or I’m a phoenix, because I’m on my fourth or fifth life. I have comfort in knowing that my best friend and partner for life will be beside me the whole way, but not in the same capacity he has been for the last 21 years. We’re both embarking on the biggest adventures of our lives, but our paths are going two different directions. It’ll be a test to see how far we can reach.

Last December, I changed my name as I turned 38. I remarked then how much the experience felt like a rebirth of sorts. That, for the first time in my life, I was actually Nicole, and 38 was strangely 18, that my adult life was only just beginning. This is a continuation of that. For the first time in my life, I finally feel like I’m a real person. A solid, independent, tangible person. I’m on the cusp of no longer being defined by my titles, of being autonomous, self-made. Self-governing. Self.

My self.

How strange a journey it has been to make it nearly 40 years without knowing myself. What a blessing, though, to be surrounded by people who love me, who understand that I need to discover what I have to contribute to the world outside of supporting and encouraging my family to do something great for themselves.

It’s my turn. And it’s Kyle’s turn. We did exactly what we set out to do. We raised a family together. We traveled the country together. We went from being children to being, well, slightly older children together. And through all of the hard times, we both proudly came out of it all holding hands, covered in dust and ashes. We have spent 21 years doing exactly what everyone swore couldn’t be done.

And here we are, testing our limits to once again do the impossible. This will be the biggest risk we’ve ever taken together, and the hardest part will be, unsurprisingly, not being together. But that’s the idea, right? We know the mountains we can move together. Now we need to see what we can do on our own. I need to know what I’m capable of, and there’s only one way to find out. We have to go into the wilderness alone.

I’m scared. Kyle is scared. Our daughters are scared. But we all know this is the right step for us, and the universe has decreed it’s the right time. Fear has always been my compass, as there’s no growth in the familiar. We’re all watching the flames burn and waiting to see what’s reborn from the ashes.

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