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Arden Raine is an ex-theatrical making sense of life through many lenses.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ruminations on Leaving the Fourth

Today is the last day of my fourth decade. Tomorrow I embrace a new set of ten. But before the clock turns and the ball drops here on the eve of my 40th anniversary of birth I want to take stock.

I'd ask your forgiveness for such a self centered rumination but this is my blog. And after all you my dear friends come here to glimpse pieces of me through the lenses I manufacture. So onward I must go!

My life seems to decade centric. My first mental breakdown was age ten. It was not unlike a midlife crisis. A time fraught with "is this all life can be?" If that seems silly and indulgent in a child allow me to assure you it was not the fancy of an overly sensitive.

My life has been classified by decade thusly:

1st decade: focus on survival
2nd decade: focuses on denial and disguise
3rd decade: focuses of illusions of normality and coping
4th decade: reclamation

My early years were about daily survival in duly an emotional land mine and in a real world of poverty and abuse where neither condition ever was allowed to show.

My second decade was another war zone. One where familial ties frayed and though the battle for freedom was won and living conditions were 100% improved the lies got bigger and the secrets were kept AT ALL COSTS. I learned to blend and shift and be whomever was required of me.

My third decade was at first about maintain and creating illusions. But the double toll of holding up my mirror while being trained to be an actor, a professional masque, broke my looking glass and I tumbled down a rabbit hole miles and miles deep.

My fourth decade brought completeness to my soul by breaking the boxes all my childhood traumas were locked in. That happened not as a gentle pass wall of knowledge but as a torrent that carried me into madness and horror to the event horizon of death itself. My mind and body were scoured clean to the bones and only after all the marrow was licked clean was I dumped into the cauldron and reformed.

But this new creature I became took a few years to gather her legs under herself.
I finally entered full adulthood. For the previous two decades though body and mind aged and ripened my emotions stayed frozen as those of a frightened and abused child. All interactions, friendships, partnerships, actions during those years were powered by the love and fears of a very, very small child.

But in this last ten I have gained all that was missing. I am wholly myself. Driven not by kid fears or childhood daydream any longer I have bloomed into full adulthood; swelled into motherhood and found my self through small acts of creation.

No longer trapped girl-child in grown body, but fully rounded in late adulthood plus motherhood I step into a near future of bodily croning.

Three of my closest kin all died in their early forties. Cancer took all three. And though it's a thought to ponder it doesn't loom or cause me fear.

My fifth decade which begins in the early morrow hours as I shuffle of 39 and dress in 40 I am choosing to be about balance and joy.

The balance of past lessons informing but not dictating the present. The living of the present being more important than the possible worries in the future. Balancing of motherhood, wifedom, daughterhood, friendship, piety and service are my goals.

That equilibrium makes room for emotions here to now I have stiffled for fear of exposure to harm: joy, expressive love, happiness, inquisitiveness, giddiness, passion, gratitude.

So Bon Anniversary to me! And raise a glass to another year of creation and change and love and service to man and Kindreds.

I shall raise a cup to all of you tomorrow so that you too shall share in this wonderful bounty.


  1. I wish you so much balance and joy. You are amazing, and have truly reached a place of integration and growth. I am in awe of you. Happy 40th, love.

  2. Thank you. And thank you for all you've been and done that gave me a light to follow. Xoxo