In The Artist's Way, author Julia Cameron makes a thought provoking statement: "I would disagree with those who say we cannot change the past. We can build on it, transform it, utilize it, learn from it, heal it." In other words, our lives are what make us who we are. The life I've had, has prepared me for the life I live now.
It's something to think about. Every experience, something that readies you for the future.
When you sit and ponder the interesting about you, it's cool to see how situations play out and what led to where, and how you got to this point from that place.
I think about how I never liked being different when I was growing up. I was too skinny, too out of step, too curly haired. I daydreamed of being named Francie and having straight hair I could put in side pigtails without looking like Mickey Mouse. But now, my heritage has become where I stake my identity. A good chunk of my writing is on culture and ethnicity. I am Colombian, like Gloria on Modern Family. Watching her is especially funny to me, because I get the inside jokes, and her character? Bonafide.
I grew up having to help in the kitchen because I'm an older sibling. Standing next to my grandmother, I would peer over the kitchen table and burst garlic bulbs with the flat end of a knife and my hand atop. I can say I am comfortable with my cooking skills. I can even say I'm a fantastic cook, and all that cooking from fifth grade up led to the ground work for when I would be a mother to children with food allergies. Cooking from scratch? I never broke a sweat about it.
In grade school, I was a misfit. Quiet, and always awaiting the next trip to the library. 3 a.m. meant nothing to me, and my nose would be in a book when my mother would see the light under my bedroom door and tell me I had only three hours left before I had to get up for school in the morning. My questions about science, the universe, the world, never stopped. I thought about the things I would read, my mind would think of the possibilities of how something came from nothing? Reading about Shakespeare left me determining my stance on whether he was an individual or was Shakespeare a collective work? Thoughts I'd keep to myself, but now, my children are my friends, and they tell me, "Mom, you are so smart. We used to think you were a scientist. You know something about everything."
And then there is the obvious of the physical. With the long face that I have, I have been mistaken for the world's greatest singer, Celine Dion herself, several times at the grocery store and by my Korean nail technician. Ergo, easily make a living as a Celine Dion impersonator if I had to. Handy fall back, since hard times come and go.
In college, I had a highly coveted job. I was a cocktail waitress in a private club. My roommate was friends with the woman in charge of hiring at our area landmark hotel. Because of this connection, I was hired for a job that never had a chance to be advertised. Spots were whispered about as soon as there was a hint of an opening. Lucky me, I spent my weekend nights dressed in heels, hair in a French twist, white tuxedo shirt with a black bow tie, all finished off with a black skirt. Big entertainment would come through this downtown hotel, and I worked at the private bar for these guests, the top floor. You needed a key to ride the elevator up that far. I have autographs from these days, from Boy George, Red Skelton, Helen Reddy, The Talking Heads, Michael Jordan, Phil Collins. I have no autograph of Adam Ant from he came through while on tour here. After he called me a smart ass for addressing him as "Mr. Ant" when I went to take his drink order, I decided not to ask him for one. But really, what would you have called him? (aside: he was alone, already had male pattern baldness, and paranoid if you ask me)
|Those curls aren't accidental, they're purposeful: they cover up the early temple balding|
As often times has happened in my life, what at first seems "bad" *quitting work* has worked out for "good" *staying home with Alec*. Having to adjust to one income, my husband and I put off our house buying plans and stayed in our flat another year. Two more children came, and I kept right on staying home to be with them, too. When Alec was three, he asked to learn how to read, so like that we began homeschooling. It was easy to do since I was already home. I get goose bumps, because I never saw homeschooling as something in my life. And those years of having all of my children around me on the sofa while we geeked out about Mount Vernon is going to be one of the favorite parts of my life.
It's all a beautiful, surprising twist and turn, one thing building on another. The people we've met along the way and the circumstances that arrive at our door. And it's led me to a lovely place.
Just like that winter morning four years ago, when I decided I wanted to try having one of those "blogs," which resulted in me meeting all of you. And a life that has been so much the richer, and more joyous, for it.
I appreciate you reading, and knowing you, so much.
photo credit: epiclectic via photopin cc
* * *