One day, in the spring of 2006, I decided to sell a few personal items on eBay that I felt no longer served me, the me that I had become after moving to New York State in 2004. It was a bold move, I knew one person and quite honestly didn’t really know them that well, but my life in Ohio didn’t feel the same after divorcing my husband of 17 years and if I was going to reinvent myself I might as well go all in: new town, new people, new everything. For so long I identified myself as someone’s wife, one half of a unity, and I devoted so much of myself to helping him make his dreams come true that I lost touch with what my own dreams actually were, if I even ever truly knew. We were childhood sweethearts and we married young, I was 18 and he was 21. We got married on the exact same day that I graduated from high school and the next day I moved with him to Ohio where he had been living and working for the past two years, coming back home to West Virginia to visit me pretty much every weekend until we married. He was a high school dropout but a hard worker and absolutely brilliant at architecture and construction, it was his gift and he could probably frame a house blindfolded. After a few years, with my encouragement and support, he started his own business; he did all of the labor and I did the bookkeeping and payroll. I worked a handful of part time jobs just to get out of the house and make friends. Our life seemed normal and felt fine and right on track. Many would say that we were living the American dream; a brand new house, brand new cars, a big diamond ring, extra time and funds to travel...and lots of traveling we did.
June 7, 1986