I’m 59 and never expected to be divorced and, having raised a big family in the city I grew up in, to be still living there now completely on my own. My parents are gone and my grown children have opted for smaller towns. My father passed away this past February and my children suggested I take off and make a world tour of all my friends overseas… …In piecing that together in my mind, I imagined taking a boat across, as I did the first time I went to Europe with my grandmother, as a teenager – and in that vision, I imagined taking those first five days and writing. Writing about where I’d been, writing about what I want, writing about the crossing over from my past to my future.
In reestablishing myself as a single woman, I’ve made new connections with some fabulous women and realized I’m not the only one going through this; there are other women out there who are also on a journey to becoming whole again. I hope my personal adventure will help us all find humor in the aging process –and confidence in following our hearts. The following is Shaz’s first LIVING UNSCRIPTED blog. We hope you’ll visit us each week to follow her story and
Four years ago, I left a 28-year prestigious career in high-end international securities printing (brought to me by the women’s movement and Equal Employment Opportunity in the late 1970s) which graciously enabled me to raise my four children in a life style to which they should only be so lucky to be able to duplicate for their kids. All those lovely years of designer wardrobe, unlimited expense accounts, first class travel… and an unfulfilled marriage –remain cataloged in photo albums & a memory rapidly fogging over from post-menopausal lack of estrogen.
I made a brilliant mid-life career change back to my roots and am now a Broadway producer (my dad was an actor; I was a theater major in college).
This brave new career choice dresses in jeans and t-shirts, eats in diners, barely covers a monthly subway pass… and deals with constant nagging from my ex about how he’s not going to be responsible for supporting me now just because I chose a non-paying career. Show business is a crazy business and we’re all crazy in it but you’ll never meet a more colorful bunch of crazies. I’m living my passion surrounded by folks living theirs and having survived 31 years of taking care of everyone else, I’m waking up these days under the same rising sun as three of New York’s finest gal pal producing partners (+ 1 best friend) in various stages of “single again,” two major “hits” coming to Broadway this fall, a bevy of beaus –and an empty nest to redecorate in shades of moi.
So “yes” I say, lifting that glass to me, settling in, steam rising — I’m soaking, luxuriating in the moment and replaying the tape in my head of my son Mike’s voice suggesting when my daddy went in to the hospital last Christmas eve: “take off, mom,” he said, “when Grandpa passes, pull out the old orange backpack and hit the road – we’ll visit you where ever you are – just go…”
I’m shaking my head with a smirk… can I really do that? …the phone rings and I’m back on planet earth, connecting to my best pal, Karen, calling from her apartment on the other side of town. Turns out, she’s in her bubble tubby, a glass of wine in her other hand, candles lit… music playing – and at the visual of two ole gals on a wet rainy night soaking up the suds and taking a moment for each other, we laugh, set down our phones on speaker and chit-the-chat.
“I get it, God. If you’re listening, my script is unwritten and I’m A-O-K with that.”