My 4-Minute Life Story
I’m still participating in the NYT 30 Day Well Challenge, and while I haven’t done every single daily challenge, I am trying to complete as many of them as I can.
Today’s challenge is a bit different, for this challenge I am supposed to sit down with my partner and tell my life story in four minutes, and then have them share their story – also only in four minutes. For those of you wondering why on earth this would be part of a wellness challenge, the research involved in this task comes from a study about closeness. According to the NYT, the bottom line is that the series of questions allowed for self-disclosure between two people, which can lead to greater intimacy. Telling someone a brief life story is a form of self-disclosure and will help you feel closer to your partner. I am so very fortunate to have an incredible level of closeness and emotional intimacy with my husband, but I do know that not everyone has that. And let’s face it – every relationship could use more intimacy to stay healthy.
I also think that sharing your story with another person is a good opportunity for self-reflection. We all need to take a moment to understand and appreciate our own story and our own uniqueness.
I have chosen to share my story on my blog because not only will my hubby take the time to read it (even though he already knows my story) but he will ask me questions and be genuinely interested in what I had to share. And yes, I will ask him to share his story too – even though I feel like I know his story because relationships are always about supporting each other, listening to each other and really taking the time to understand each other.
So here goes…..
I grew up on Long Island, as the youngest of six children. We were the very definition of middle class. My father was a police officer and later my mother went back to school to become a nurse. We lived in a very typical 1960’s split-level home where I shared a bedroom with one of my sisters.
My family moved out to Arizona when I was nine years old, so I consider myself a semi-native. The remainder of my childhood was spent in Tucson. I spent lots of time out doors and I loved swimming in our family pool.
Having a large family meant there was always something going on at our house. Television wasn’t what it is today, and watch our favorite shows was often a family event, with the exception of my mother’s proclivity for daytime soap operas.
We spend several vacations on the beaches of San Diego and we managed to visit many of the special spots around Arizona, including of course the Grand Canyon – which my father described as a big hole.
Having a big family is both a blessing and a curse, and while I always knew I had five older siblings who would defend and protect me from all outside enemies, I was fair game for abuse and ridicule within our household. My brother liked to try out his new wrestling moves on me. My siblings still tease me about the time I walked up to Circle K for milk and returned home with bread.
Tucson was a good place to grow up; it was small and safe and had an easy lifestyle. After finishing high school I ventured up to Tempe to attend ASU where I met my husband. After graduation we moved up to Washington State so he could pursue work.
After six long wet years in the Pacific Northwest we returned to the sunny southwest and both got jobs in Phoenix as we adjusted to parenthood. A couple years later we had our second daughter and school, sports, girl scouts and the like consumed our lives. These were happy years, watching the girl grow into amazing young women.
This is where my story takes a sharp turn. My husband of 23 years was facing some inner demons and decided to take his own life. This was not something anyone saw coming. The next few years were a struggle to find my new path forward.
With the help of some incredible family and friends I did manage to move ahead, and I found a new life, including a new partner to share it with. We enjoy each and every day together.
My daughters are grown, I have a grandson who is the light of my life, and I have begun to achieve my lifelong dream of traveling. It was a long road getting here, but what an amazing journey it’s been.
That is probably more than 4 minutes, but it’s my story.