A Real Person’s Story: Meet Darlene

Since I’ve spent a good portion of the last week healing my bruised body from my camping tumble, and I’m not feeling very imaginative, this week’s blog is a story told to me over coffee one morning only a few weeks ago.  It’s the kind of story that set’s my imagination afire.

In the early 1970’s, on the fourth of July, Darlene (of course, not her real name) met the man she would divorce 27 years later, again, on the fourth of July. The September after her divorce, she moved from her homeland on the east coast to Colorado after having visited once or twice on family vacations.

So, she ends a 27-year marriage and initiates huge cultural shifts and loss for herself in only 3 months time? Wow. Just wow. I guess it was time for a little dip in The Lake of Unknowing because life, and her responses, had just hurled her in a whole new direction. Wahooooo!

She settled in a ski area with Christmas card terrain, millionaire cost of living, and immediately elected to move all her earthly goods to her new environment. “Big mistake,” is all she has to say about that, but there was a deeper lesson.

“I had to learn about attachment,” she explains. A medical professional, “I was a snobby know-it-all who learned to live joyfully in 400 square feet. After living there for years, I was laid off and I realized I was complete with living in the mountains.” That’s when she moved to Fort Collins.

Now that she’s been here three years, Darlene is feeling a rumble to make a difference. She feels her time here has been a gift, to play, a settling in. This second round swimming in the Lake of Unknowing invites a lot of self-reflection. Even though she volunteers in important ways, she says, “I know it’s not the final destination.”

She’s feeling itchy. A door is opening, but where?  Sometimes the direction can be elusive. Her eyes are open, she’s scanning the landscape and she knows her worth. It’s time to Explore. She said the one thing guiding her now is, “Why not live where I find joy?”

Indeed. Why not?

I know she and I will be in each other’s company again, hopefully soon.  Please comment below to share your leap into a new life!

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