Friday, May 18, 2012

The Story of Me

There is the me I started out to be. That baby that was born in Piqua, Ohio, back in 1947. That was the beginning of me.  For the last three years, I have been writing about all of the things, the people, who have made me me. But I have not written about where that history has lead me.

I left the farm when I was eighteen only returning for a bit when my new husband and I moved to our little farm on Teagues South Road. From there we were transferred along with our division at NCR to Appleton, Wisconsin. My children were born there. It snowed a lot. It was cold. Mosquitoes carry away small children in the summer. Dogs refused to go out in the winter. We lived there seven years before trying to save our marriage when my husband was transferred to the beautiful Northwest. The move didn't save the marriage, but I was in love with my new home state of Oregon.

I married again. He was an older man, a theatre teacher teaching in our local high school. In many ways, he was more like a father and indeed my mentor. He encouraged me to write and produce plays. He encouraged me to teach private acting classes. He even encouraged me to act on stage and film. I owe him a great deal for allowing me for the first time in my life to find out what I was made of. He encouraged me not to take classes but to discover for myself what inner talent I possessed. He taught me to try instead of doubting myself. Our marriage didn't last. Parenting was not something we did well with generations separating us. But it was during this time that I found me.

I became a single woman trying to survive on her own. This new found me wasn't afraid to take on jobs she'd never done. I ended up in public relations and marketing. New creative ways to express myself and to find new parts of me again. But jobs such as this are the first to go when layoffs arise.

It has been a rough journey for the most part, but I did indeed discover myself. I produced social dramas that changed lives. I taught students who went on to use their talents, their self-confidence, in their careers. I raised two beautiful children mostly on my own. I learned to be a positive person instead of letting the negative control me. I found that I have a knack for teaching, for acting, for drawing, for using the lens of the camera. I discovered that I could try and fail and try again. I found that life defined is the search for self.

This is the person who left Neff Road. All of the roads seemed to lead away, but in the end, I have discovered that they all lead back that lane where me began. We are all on a journey to find ourselves. Some of us take the long way around.

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