The countdown continues. In two days, I’ll board an airplane to Texas once more. Unlike the previous 16 trips I’ve taken in the past 14 months, this ticket is not a roundtrip flight.

Why would I return to Colorado if everything I want and need in Texas. Except for a few members of our family, there hasn’t been anything essential holding me to Denver since around 2008. That, of course, is when my wife and kids moved to Texas. Well, ex-wife then and becoming wife once more now. We’ve been separated from each other for about 20 years.

Since our divorce, I’ve wandered in the darkness, searching for the one thing that could set me free from my prison. No, not sobriety or even discovering God. I’ve known since birth that God is undeniably true, and I didn’t choose to remain sober until three years ago. The problem was within my mind. I was not comfortable in my skin. Why? I didn’t know my own identity. The solution did not come from medication or therapy. The answer is complicated. I’ve written a 400-page novel to explain the process. If I can finish my editing, I may eventually share it with the world. Publishing my book after moving to Texas is one of my highest priorities. I cannot imagine such a world—a world where I haven’t finished a project so dear to my heart.

I’ve been writing and posting here for two and a half years. I understand why writing is sometimes referred to as [self-expressive therapy]. I question where I’d be without my love of WRITING. And, I must not overlook my love of READING. I’ve discovered so many bright and talented authors on WordPress. Don’t tell my wife, but I’d like to give WordPress a big kiss. Well, as long as she’s a woman. Hmmmmmm . . . well . . . either way, I’d still be in trouble.

For everyone, I’ve connected to in the past two and a half years, thank you so much for reading and writing. Even though it’s not even close to being over, I’m preparing to begin a new chapter in my life. Unlike the past 20 years, this time, I will not be alone in the darkness.

P.S. The Chapstick is . . . well . . . an entirely different story for another day.

Joseph Shanklin

December 19, 2021


16 thoughts on “Preparing To Turn The Page

  1. Reblogged this on Zero Lift-Off and commented:
    Quite a journey brother Joe! Sounds like it was a hard fought one but necessary overall and a God Send for you! I think you discovered more about your own identity than you could have otherwise and so a blessing in disguise; especially if you look at it that way and want it to be! My dad said many times “when taking on life’s challenge it’s all in the approach,” and that goes with any difficulties we have to face! I know from my own experience some of us are better off facing those challenges alone in order to build character and really find ourselves in order to become the best person we can be.

    Congratulations on all the effort you have made and are making to go the right way and fulfill the purpose that God created you for! Stay strong and use all the wisdom you’ve earned to do all the good you are capable of!

    God bless you and yours.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Texas!

    Brother in Christ,
    Lawrence

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey Joe! All the best man! I can relate and it really is a very powerful and important story that you lived as I see it.

        As I read your blog essay I was stirred and flooded with thoughts and emotions. Many from the past in my own situation and travels when I spent a lot of time alone, working to be an artist to also find my true identity, but, moreover what my purpose for being here really was!

        I guess what I epitomized in my own mind as being the real life of an artist; who is an individual and unique, a kind of pioneer facing the world alone! Not Any kind of Road Warrior type at all, but a very sensitive and caring human being that just doesn’t find he can fit so well with convention or the usually humdrum nature of a business as usual like or mechanized societal life!

        Maybe I had the fool notion that I could have been better off being an original settler of America, but chances are I probably wouldn’t have lasted long with my sensitive traits; that was a hard life! I got the impression that you had a powerful journey to complete and you have; so the future is yours as I see it, to make the best of it, and appreciate every bit of it with all your loved ones! And when having quiet moments alone to truly be able to reflect on the power of this life lived well, how you evolved and grew to be the man you are now; and honestly as I say showing character and integrity!

        Just keep moving forward as you are Sir, and you have so much to offer!
        Thank you for the well wishes!
        Peace! 😇❤️🙏

        Lawrence

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Good luck on your journey Joseph. I hope you find and accomplish what it is to finally get you out of your darkness. Hopefully you continue to post here because I do enjoy your writings, but if not then let me know when your book is published, I look forward to reading it.

    Liked by 2 people

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