Yet another lovely prompt from Bonnie Neubauer’s Take Ten For Writers

Life transitions, transformations, transgressions, transmogrifications, transmutations, transparencies, transplantations and transpositions all make for excellent writing topics, with transitions being at the top of the heap Think of a transitional life experience you had that left you transformed. When writing about this experience, be very clear, through the use of anecdotes, about who you were before the transition as well as after so your reader can appreciate the transformation. Start with the word “until”.

Until I got married and moved away from home, I didn’t know how strong and independent I could be. As the oldest in my family, I was a typical introvert, happier with my nose in a book than I was socializing and dating. I preferred the solitude of books, music and writing to boys and the kids I knew at school. My sister, on the other hand, was a social butterfly and couldn’t wait to leave home and make her mark on the world

I was in no way prepared for the change that awaited me when I went to college and met my now-husband, Bill. He was a senior and moved to Memphis for work. Long story short – we had a successful four year long distance relationship and were married on June 19, 1999. When I moved to Memphis, I already knew most of Bill’s coworkers since he’d been the University of Memphis football videographer for four years; it was as if I had an instant family, and that eased my transition into independent adulthood, but I didn’t truly blossom in my independence until we moved to Massachusetts the next year. Bill had been growing increasingly frustrated with his job and wanted something where he could concentrate on football instead of having to work for the entire athletic department. Our journey took us from the deep south to New England, where neither of us knew anyone and I didn’t have a job lined up. We took the leap and 14 years later, I can say that moving to a place where I knew absolutely no one has made me who I am today.  I had to learn to think on my feet and take care of myself when my husband was busy at work, and over time, I realized I had a strength I never knew I had. If I wanted to go to an away game, I had to jump in the car and strike out to places I’d never been. I had to learn to manage my finances and if I wanted to make friends, I had to go out and find them by joining a handbell choir and vocal choir. If you had told me 15 years ago, I’d be living this life, I wouldn’t have believed you. I would have thought you were talking about my sister- after all, she was the bubbly extrovert who had dreams of striking out and creating a new life for herself.  I was the homebody who didn’t need much except books and a quiet evening with family to feel fulfilled. I never dreamed I would be this independent and strong. I never thought I’d be the one living 500 miles away from home. I didn’t think I could live this kind of life, but I’ve been proving myself wrong for over a decade. It hasn’t always been easy being away from family in times of hardship, but the fact that I’ve made it through the tough times on my own makes me feel proud of the couple that my husband and I are, and the strong, successful woman I’ve become.

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