A wise friend explained to me that life is divided into three sections. Thirds.
The first third has to do with family. Living with… or separating from.
The second third is outside of the pure self. It is about relationship. You are a professional. A partner. A parent.
But the final third, for those who are brave enough, is truly your time. More selfish than the past. Time to explore the person you really are. Embark on what you have always wanted to become. Celebrate who you are. Continue, or finally find, your passion.
My friend explained that this is often difficult. That most people don’t look forward with new eyes. Instead, they find peace in re-living the second third. Looking back. Making it right. Buying a home on a golf course. Playing with grandchildren. Reconnecting with their spouse. Shoring up relationships that had been left untended.
Writing and performing in my own one-woman show this fall was my version of maximizing the true final third. Or at least the start of it. I was old. I was trying something brand new.
I took stories I had written and wove them into an hour long arc of my life. From age ten to present day. From the humiliation of an early Halloween costume to squeezing into Spanx. Lessons from my mother. Lessons from divorce.
It was hard. Talking about my life. Bare. Without boundaries. I always imagined I could do this sort of thing. But in my head. Not in practice.
This was like running a marathon without training. With no warm up.
Quite literally. It’s a very physical thing to run around a stage for an hour. Keeping your energy up. Like you could somersault at any moment. Exuding enough energy to move an audience to unbridled alertness. We don’t impart that kind of childlike energy to our daily lives. We shuffle through.
But there I was. Exploring a new chapter in my life. Unchartered waters. Eyes forward.
So…. is life the true warm up? Does living itself provide the honesty and clarity to find yourself in the final third? The energy to celebrate it instead of being afraid of it? The understanding that the gift you can give back is your own truth?
Maybe the living gets you most of the way there. But then the shiny, levitating energy of truly exploring life’s final act, closes the deal.
You have nothing to lose.
Tell your story.