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I have been exploring the idea of Death in my writing. Death as a transformative power, a transition and how after death we must re-create ourselves. When I moved to West Virginia 25 years ago I experienced the death of a relationship and had to recreate myself. I changed a great deal from the person I was before I moved. Now I am changing myself again, transitioning into midlife. Life without young children. I am struggling to redefine myself. I am not longer the “Mom”. Being a Mom is no longer my primary identity. I am now going through a transformation into becoming me as a woman who is no longer the mom. I am having to figure out exactly what it is I want to do with my life. I was Mom for more of my life then I was not, so I am not sure exactly what I am supposed to do now. I am trying to remember who I was before kids and it’s difficult. I know I always wanted to be a writer. I also wanted to be a ballerina, an opera singer, and an artist. Never when I was young did I say I want to be a social worker or a community organizer. Even though I was definitely the little organizer and a natural leader in any group I was part of. Part of my breakdown this year was that I was so burnt out on my work and did not know how to do something else. I was afraid of taking that leap of faith that would result in me no longer running my nonprofit and focusing on defining myself as a writer. It didn’t help that it was all precipitated by the deaths of several important people in my life and the end of a 5-year relationship. So now I am writing and exploring the idea of death as transformation. The transformative power of death and being faced with your own mortality and how this precipitates a midlife crisis. Is it really a crisis or just a period of change? It’s a letting go and a learning to accept the inevitable and defining yourself in a way that you want to be defined as a person not as a parent or a worker but as a person. What are the dreams that were left behind during the time of mothering during that time of sustaining others and sacrificing one’s self? Now is a time to reexamine those dreams and see if they are worth pursuing. What will we leave on the roadside and what will we take on this journey to the end of our lives? What is important, what do we actually want to invest our time into for the next twenty years or more. What is the second half of our life going to be about?

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