Photo Credit: Mike Potthast
Potthast Studios, Winter Haven, Fla
In January of 2008, I bought my first Harley-Davidson. I was fifty-two years old. My oldest daughter would graduate from high school the following year, and my youngest daughter had left our family unit. I faced an empty nest, an empty occupation, an empty bank account, a quantifiably empty love life, and a bankrupt ideology of what comprised my purpose in life.
Assuming the accuracy of Maslow's theory, his triangular reference of life stages, I remained a long way from the pinnacle of self-actualization or achieving one's full potential. I was soul sick and left wondering, Is this all there is?
At a time when many women my age purchased those ridiculous red hats and accessorized their bright crimson apparel with purple boas, I bought a Harley-Davidson and proceeded to accessorize my life with leather and chrome. The motorcycle became a metaphor for life, a vehicle for moving forward out of adversity to find balance, for discovering that which fed my soul, and for giving my life a direction and a purpose with passion.
Debi Tolbert Duggar
Debi Tolbert Duggar lives and works in Central Florida. When she is not writing or astride her beloved Bessie, she teaches 6th Grade Language Arts at an IB Academy. Debi has a Master's Degree in Education Leadership from Stetson University, a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida and earned her National Board Certification for Exceptional Needs Children with Mild to Moderate Disabilities. She lives with her 'Wingman,' Paul and their two fur babies Blondie and Gemma. So far, her proudest accomplishment is being 'Mimi' to her first grandchild - Beckham Michael!