Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wait... You expected this to be chronological?

As I sit here, trying to figure out what to type, story after story seems to swirl in my head attempting desperately to call enough attention to it's self that I will disregard all the rest and tell that specific story. Right. Now. Immediately at this very specific moment.  They so badly want to jump from my mind, to my thoughts, to the screen in front of me.  No longer held back by all that is politically correct, social acceptable and by the identity of the person who experienced them.  They want to run wild and free in the anonymity that is the internet.  To show the world what we all know, that when you lift up the curtain no family, no life, no any thing or anyone is prefect,  they are all shades of something else.  Experiences. 

The problem with this swirling mass of stories, beyond the amount of trouble the could get me in if certain people were to ever realize they were about them, is that they come in no specific order.  There are memories from childhood blended into an experience from 2 weeks ago, a month ago, last year.  They shift and move easily wrapping around one another  and bunching into a knot behind my eyes till they are all I can see.  The idea of untangling them and seeing each of them for what they are haunting my OCD mind.  But, what is the worse part of untangling a knot?  Trying to find one good end, one good place to start to let the rest of the pieces begin to fall away on their own. 

Let's see... I want to share a happy story first.  Something to make you and me smile.

I think I was 9 maybe 10.  On base in the Philippines.  We lived in the senior officers area of the base having moved there half way through our tour with my father's promotion to Lt. Commander.  But it was so much more fun then where we had come from.  Sure our old house had a could of stalks of sugar cane growing in the back yard but here.  Here was something totally different.. It was hillier and greener with more space between the houses.  There were more hills to roll down, and rocks to climb up.  My best friend lived up the hill.  And when I say hill I don't mean one of the nice gentle rolling bumps you see in prairie lands... I mean we lived on the side of a mountain.  And it was a heck of a mountain, at least to my 9 year old eyes. 

What I remember best about this specific day wasn't just getting together with my best friends to play in the little bit of jungle that sat on this side of the base fence,  it was the warmth of the sun on my skin.  It was hot.  Somewhere between 90 and 100 degrees out.  The sun seemed to shine brighter then I had ever seen it.  And I was happy.  It was summer, no gymnastic lessons, no school, no bullies no brothers.  Just me and my best friends.   And the side of the mountain.

To make it easier to get from my street to the streets above on foot, base personnel had taken one of the slopes and set in stairs.  Around the stairs; rocks which they had covered in tar.... or asphalt... something black and sort of sticky when it was just hot enough.  My friends and I never took the 60 stairs to get to the top of the slope.... Nope.  We always had to race up those silly rocks.  And I always lost that race. Every stinking time my two best friends would hit the top of the slope before me and start calling down for me to hurry up.   On that sunny day, they sill beat me up the rocks.  But for once I was close enough behind that they never got a chance to call down for me to hurry up.  I was right on their heels and up and running before they had time to turn around.  And they were chasing after me in to the cool shadows of our little jungle.

A mundane memory I admit.  But a good one.  And isn't that what a happy life is made up of?  Little mundane memories that make us smile, happy memories to make us grin, and glorious memories to make us laugh?  All of which get us through all of the worse moments of our life?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Let Me Introduce My Self....


I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself.   This may take a while so please stay with me.

I have never had an easy life.  A good life yes.  But never an easy life.  I've never lived in one place for more then 3 years.  Yep in 33 years, I've lived in 28 places.  Most of them I can't remember.   I've lived in 2 countries outside of the US.  One a third world country, the other not.  In one I experienced coup attempts, racism, violence and the eruption of a volcano.  The other college, drinking, roots I didn't know I had to a place I had never been before and a sense of loss at leaving I didn't know I could feel.  Even within in a single state I can't seem to stay in the same county for more then a year or two... now it just feels ingrained... It's been 3 years, 2 years.. a year.. time to move!

I started life with 2 older brothers and as I move closer to my 34th birthday I am finding that I have an older brother who is getting married and has an amazing little boy.  And that I now have an older sister who was unexpected and while at first caused strife and fear, during his change to her has opened up a whole new world for my family in a way that I never thought possible.   I have a father that believes gender is no excuse for anything and that there is nothing my older siblings could do that I as a female couldn't do.  In fact nothing I couldn't do better if I didn't put my mind to it.  He truly believes in the power of the mind and it's ability to over come all obstacles.  I have a mother who was furious at my father for giving me a barbie when I was 8 because she didn't want my self esteemed to be altered because there wasn't a chance this side of anything that I was ever going to look like a barbie, blond hair and blue eyes aside.  I topped off at 5 ft 1, and began developing before I was 11, so she wasn't wrong. 

While my father reminded me that there wasn't anything I couldn't do and told me blond jokes to deal with all of the jerks in middle school, my brother whispered in my ear how worthless I was.  How someone as fat and ugly as me would never be loved.  While my mother reminded me that I was a renaissance woman and encouraged me to volunteer and work with kids my other brother watched as the kid next door raped me.  While I won awards for writing for the school newspaper, organizing a school wide recycling program and lead after school clubs, my older siblings were doing all sorts of illegal drugs, getting restraining orders from the school and arrested for growing in their closests. While I attempted to put a smile on my face I hid not only the fear but the bruises.  While I tried to understand the world around me I got between my brother and my mother as he gave her a black eye and attempted to throw her down a set of steps.  While Dad was at work it was me who was at home calling the cops to come pick my brother up after he left a butcher knife in my door because he couldn't get in.

I say all of this not for sympathy or pity but to explain.  My world is tinted by my experiences both good and bad.  By the people I have met and the worlds I have lived in.  My life is made up entirely of those experiences and they are the prescription I see the world through.  I was raised to be a strong independent women who would never let a man control or abuse her.  But at the same time was often ignored or completely forgotten while my siblings created chaos.  I grew up with two parents so in love with one another they some times forgot about the rest of the world.  Which is beautiful and a hell of a thing to live up to for anyone.

What does all of this mean you ask?  Well that's the thing.  I'm not entirely sure.  I'm often told I should write a book about my life and my experiences.  The crazy stories from all of the places I've lived and the lessons I've learned from the experiences I've had.   The beautiful and the ugly all rolled up into one. So this is my attempt.  Told in bits and pieces over time as they become relevant to my current life.   And maybe one day they'll take the shape of a book. The complete story of a life.  Who knows?