What Comes After THE END?

The End

Several years back I said I do under the sweltering skies of an Indian summer.  It was almost perfect except for the moment it came time to utter those life-altering words. An imaginary fur ball appeared in the back of my throat followed by a coughing fit. The organist made the lone journey across the altar carrying a Dixie cup filled with ice-cold water. I felt dozens of eyes burning a hole through the lace of my once in a lifetime dress as I gulped down the water.  At the reception, we all clinked glasses and had a good laugh but I always wondered if it wasn’t sign of things to come…

Three months later, after gaining clearance from the British Consulate, I flew from sunny southern California—where it never rains or gets below 50 degrees to London where the sun is a distant legend and worshipped by underground cults—to join my British husband.  It was a typical January afternoon, 25 degrees, gray and dull, when the wheels of the plane touched ground.   The 747 skidded to a halt inches before breaking through the glass windows of Terminal 2 at Heathrow.  The excitement I had carried all way from LA in the pit of my then flat and toned stomach turned acidic and morphed into gaseous bubbles that percolated furiously.

Touchdown at Heathrow Airport

The reality and the dream collided as the pilot welcomed us to London.    I didn’t want to be married, why had I said yes and donned that gown?  I feigned sleep thinking the airline attendants would leave me on the plane and take me back to where we came.

“Miss, wakey-wakey.”  Followed by a gentle tap.

“Wakey-wakey.” A hearty squeeze to my left arm.

“Get up now, Miss.” A full body push nearly knocked me over.

I had no choice but to wake and apologize for sleeping through the disembarking of the plane.  I tried hiding in the bathroom but the Virgin Airline Staff had me removed and chucked me off the plane.  As I was going through immigration, I offered the guard a hundred bucks, even my body, if he would refuse me entry into the country on the grounds I was an unsavory character.  He laughed thinking I was kidding.

“Luv, you’ll be fine.  I’m sure you’ll adjust.”  He had read the paperwork granting me legal entry into the UK. “Tell your lad to take you out for a nice cup of tea.” I’m sure I groaned. “Go on now, he’s waiting.  Go make some babies, you’ll be fine.”  I stood there with my lower lip trembling.  His comment stood me still. It wasn’t the crassness of it.  Rather the notion of having babies hadn’t entered my mind along with the other changes I was embarking on.  I hadn’t considered the ramifications of uttering the words I do.

It’s said the three most stressful situations in a person’s life are:

  • Getting married
  • Moving house ( I moved across the pond)
  • Changing jobs (in my case, it was a career)

It was hell the first year. I can’t sugar coat it.  In the groom’s defense, it wasn’t all bad. There were trips to Madrid, Paris, Scotland, and Malaga. All those places I had read about in books by Beatrix Potter, Trollope, Dickens, and Bronte, even my favorite place to get lost in, Charing Cross Road, soothed my irregular heartbeat. Marriage was the easiest of the three, moving to a new country and changing jobs, is another post or three.

I’ve retrospect I’ve concluded I was either in-love or suffering from a brain aneurysm because nothing else explains why I unwittingly tackled the three most stressful experiences at once.  There was no reason for me to move to the UK, the groom might have easily moved into my loft in LA, but I never asked or thought about it.  I said yes and packed my bags.  It wasn’t until the wheels bounced along the runway did it dawn on me what I had done. I hadn’t a clue what was awaiting me on the other side of immigration. It was a pivotal turning point for me. I was heavyhearted. I had nowhere to go but forward.

That first year is not lost on me. I carry it with always and turn to it when I am starting down a new path.  It was defining and the year I found me and all that super-womanly-shero power I had always dreamed of having.  What I didn’t confess in my last post on the never-ending cycle of life is that I never hesitate when I am rushing towards something. I jump in feet first even if my rational voice is screaming in Dolby stereo inside of my head.


As I sit on the fence about to jump feet first into my newest beginning, I remember the walk through immigration. Of course, I am terrified. I’ve no idea what lies ahead of me but with the strength of the past behind me, I’ll not hesitate a minute more. I am finalizing the WIP, now a manuscript, which includes words on every page, chapters, and the words: THE END. I don’t have a clue, what, or how, but I know I’ll come through the other side.

What was your defining moment (discovery of shero powers)?


I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

25 thoughts on “What Comes After THE END?

    • Claudine, so glad to have connected with you. Your support is appreciated. You’re moment is likely getting through the year with the book, publishing, etc., it just hasn’t hit you yet.

  1. Brenda, I know you will come through. :) I have faith in you and your manuscript. It’s an amazing story that speaks to woman everywhere. I can’t wait to see this book in print. Your hard work paid off. Take some time to be proud of that.

    • Kelly – I am quite tickled, but a tad nervous too. It should be fun, this next part. And thank you kindly for you words and all your thoughtful editing. I am big fan.

  2. OoOoh, Brenda…you have learned sooo much and are sooo much wiser than all those years ago. This is a whole new level and its ALLL going to be beautiful! I can feel it! You will see, angel, you will see. SoOOo happy for you!!! I will be sending you love and a deep, quiet confidence in yourSelf that will never leave you again. Merry Christmas, beautiful Brenda.

    • Brynne – I can’t tell you how much your words have meant to me this last year. You’re a gem that continues to brighten my heart. Sometimes you appear at the perfect moment and say just the right thing, HUGS for always saying such beautiful things.

  3. k~

    I truly love your writing style. It doesn’t matter where the topical journey takes me, I find the visit a pleasure. The apprehension was captured wonderfully in this story. Great writing!

    I will be taking with me the prompting challenge “What was your defining moment (discovery of shero powers)?” you asked of us… but first I must mull it over.


  4. I am learning about you but still don’t know much about your book. I am SO excited for you that your dream is coming true. I have no doubt about your success. You are not only a gifted writer, but you as you said, you tackle things head on. You can do this too.

    I felt touched by your story hear. Made me feel not so alone in my impulsive decisions. I didn’t think they were impulsive at the time, but now I realize I was pretty much living unconsciously my whole young adulthood.

    I would say so far my defining moment, or moments, was going through 4 miscarriages. Dealing with those losses, later I realized how much strength that took. Then having my first baby… well, we mothers all know that Mother Bear feeling that starts and never ends.

    • Michael Ann- you have a story in your defining moments. And yes, anyone who is a mom knows a hell of lot about strength. I appreciate you words and support more than you can know. I am a bit reckless with myself, and it isn’t until I am in the middle of something do I stop and reflect on what I am doing. So here I am thinking about it and the wind left my lungs. I’m sure it’s not the last time I’ll panic but since i have gone this far….

  5. Well if this and previous posts are an indication, you will persevere and suceed for sure, you already have a wonderful following.

    I have had similar defining moments and funnily enough, know well the feeling of it all being an adventure until the moment one must get off the plane – reality has a habit of striking hard at that moment. The first one for me was choosing a university in another city and miles away from home where I didn’t know anyone, so keen was I to escape where I had been, I hadn’t thought about the work required to start over. Then changing countries, first to the UK like you and then to France, where I had to learn a foreign language and rethink how I was going to work and survive, nothing like a challenge!

    All the best with your book, go for it!

    • Claire-From your lips to the wish granter’s lips. I am excited, scared, nervous, clueless, terrified, delighted, and a fearless, at the same time. I was struggling with the definition until reading your comment, pre-adventure jitters. You had the language challenge on top of everything else. I only had to cope with the deltas between American and English-English. I can’t imagine but at the same time I would love to read about that time. It’s only recently that i’ve thought about using my person research in a story. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and thanks for visiting.

  6. Mamawolfe

    Loved your post. I have done so many impulsive acts over the years. For a long time I suffered from guilt and regret, but finally I learned to look for the lesson instead. When I first discovered me Shero powers when I gave birth. I never realized how strong I was before then.

    • MW-I would have thought have shero powers came at birth as well, but I had already survived the big three. Motherhood in general is a worthy mention. Everyday it takes more that super powers to get through all their changes. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had but it’s the only one I have loved always. I stopped feeling guilty at 15 when I’d ‘borrow’ my dad’s car while he was sleeping. Glad you enjoyed. I was in a UK frame of mind and started down one path and ended up here.

  7. Congrats on completing your novel. It will be great to see your name in lights, reaping the rewards of your hard labor, as the process of writing has some similarities to being pregnant; many checks and re-checks. The next one should be a little easier.

    • Thanks a bunch. This is actually the second plus time I have finished it. I decided to change the tense… and it was the first so it took me a heck of a lot longer than it probably should have, but it was like going to writing school. I’ve learned much in the process about being a writer, nothing I knew at the start. Of course, fame and fortune is up there with having a glass of wine with Antonio Banderas, but today I am going to a little bit excited about the next phase.

  8. My defining moment was the unraveling of my marriage. I too gave up a lot and moved to the other side of the country (not the world) when I married. I also converted to his religion. It wasn’t until the divorce, though, that I finally came into my own. Turns out, all the misery I went through was worth it.

    • That is a heck of a moment, Monica. I’ve found the most difficult moments to be the most defining, as you did. It just doesn’t feel that way in the middle of it. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Cheryl

    Brenda, your words resonate with me. I used to jump into things and ignore my instincts. Sometimes I still do. I love your writing. Looking forward to reading more.

  10. What a great post! And what an experience – one that will no doubt help sustain you as you jump feet first into this next new beginning. I have reaped from your wisdom and am looking forward to witnessing your success!
    As for my shero power, and defining moment? Not sure if I’ve been there yet. My sister-in-law recently told me I was a great planner, organizer and visionary. Perhaps not shero power, but affirmation I needed for 2012.
    Happy new year to you and the very best in all your endeavours for 2012 :)

    • Astra.. I want to thank you for sticking around while I defined my blogging/online voice. Yours has been a true voice I have come to enjoy seeing. As I have noted before, from your lips to the publishing wizards… Next is all that other stuff… formatting, final edits, etc., and then, too much to think about this morning. I think those qualities you sister-in-law commented on are few and far between in a person. It’s funny how we doubt ourselves until we hear it from someone else (not inside our own head). Wishing you the same in the new year.

  11. Seems like the defining moment would have been the untimely death of my husband but this year has topped that in ways that would be hard for others to understand. It has been a year of losing relationships with my mother (Alzheimers) with my sister and with one of my daughters. In each case, I have been amazed by the outcome and reminded of my lack of control over anyone but myself. A wonderfully written, thought provoking post.

    • Lynne, I am without words. I suspect you write for answers and find healing in those pages. Thank you kindly for sharing some of your story here, I am please to meet you and look forward to reading your words.

  12. This is so beautifully written. I jump into things, leap, catulpult without looking. Even if my insides are screaming to turn me back. It has taken a long time to even listen to my inner self. When I was 23 I decided to get marred because I thought it would be fun. I wanted a wedding. And all I needed was love, right? But I knew I wasn’t ready. But every leap is part of the journey. And if I hadn’t followed through, I may not be as deeply grateful as I am today for the husband I now have, for the fruitful life I live.
    Thank you for sharing your vulnerable and adventurous spirit;).

    • Wild Mama- It’s always a journey. Nothing is ever what it seems at the start and rarely do we end up where we think we are supposed to be but that doesn’t stop us from constantly reinventing or taking different paths. Funny how life does that to a person. Thus, the never-ending story …yes? I suppose being a writer means all I see and live through are fodder for ideas and post. Adventurous, yes (if I don’t think about it), vulnerable, damn, too often. :-)

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