I can point to specific things that have changed me for either the better or worse. If you asked my family and friends, they would probably say that I don't like change, and I get fussy about new things. Fine. I can take that. But they are all crazy haters. And, I only like change that is for a good reason. I don't like change just to be changing.
Besides discovering the Croc and learning that you can "oven fry" chicken ... there are other moments below that created this ME. Not in order by date or importance.
- The day my dad moved out of our home when I was about four years old. By the way, I'm not crying about it; it was for the best for him and my mother.
- When I got my college degree. The first in my family. I really do feel like my education, my sacrifice, my working years have paved the way for future generations of strong women. My great-grandmother, who lived in a time when women just didn't have many choices, longed for something different. She was just so uneducated, poor and removed ... she knew she wanted a different life but she had no way or means to get it. So, she did what she was supposed to do and got married. Granted, she was 21 and a spinster by any standard in those days, but she still finally married. She had loved school so much that she went through the 8th grade four times. She desperately wanted something that was just out of her grasp. She lived before women's lib, before a sexual revolution; she was one of those women who laid the groundwork for the rest of us. She just didn't know it. More on her later.
- When this same great-grandmother, whom I connected with and adored, died. Now, that was sad.
- When my dad remarried, and then a few years later, my mom.
- When my mom and stepfather moved me and my brothers to Arkansas.
- When my children were born. But that's too easy. So ... when I brought my son home from the hospital and he was crying in the middle of the night, and I kept sleepily thinking, "Someone should pick up that baby" and then set straight up, jarred by the realization that that someone was me. When my daughter watched me drive away from the daycare when she was 2 years old, hugging herself and blowing in the air. "Blowing my mommy hugs" she would tell the caregivers. There are lots of moments of realization and clarity where my children are concerned.
- When I found my real, true love. I know that sounds trite and, almost, self-serving, but I can't find the word. Or words. He really is that to me, although if he heard me say that, he would probably just sigh and whisper something under his breath about "annoying." He always, always makes me laugh.
- And when I went through the difficult process of a divorce but regained what was lost to me during my marriage - my self respect, myself and access to the green, overstuffed recliner.