I think, to you, my life looks pretty ordinary. Maybe even a little charmed. And I’m ok with that.
But my life is like an onion…peel back the layers, baby. (And it might even make you cry a little. Bah dum ching for metaphors.)
My childhood? Blissful. My parents are still deliriously happily married for going on 31 years. I figure skated to my heart’s content, my dad coached my brother’s hockey teams. We went on vacations, we had a pool. My parents were tough on us in the greatest way possible…the kind that builds character and respectful adults. We lived in a small town, minutes from the rink & a stone’s throw from my high school. My mom knew by 9:15 if I was late for homeroom at 8:45. They expected a lot from us, but we delivered.
When I was barely 17, my parents let me cross an ocean and spend a year as an exchange student in Finland. When they came to visit me 9 short months later…I was a changed girl. I was an adult. I knew unequivocal things about myself. Things I’d never thought to consider before. Things they didn’t know I knew. And rather than push back against it, they adjusted around me. They are remarkable. I would not be exaggerating when I say my Mom & Dad are my parenting idols.
I got home, shit went bad. I rebelled (something I had truthfully never really done), my mind reeled and crashed and I went to a dark place. (…more on that later. Cause? Ouch.)
I paid for my Political Science degree by myself, met an amazing man, married him in the kind of wedding that makes people say “They just get each other” and lived happily ever after with three gorgeous daughters.
Yes, there’s more to that part of the story too.
My younger years were full of awesome sauce. Never a crisis to speak of, aside from the most obvious of teenage angst. I have had some minor setbacks in the dealing-with-this-shit-is-tough-work-on-my-brain kinda way. Got some help and moved around it. My adult years have been sweet and lovely and filled with the kind of stuff they base Hallmark cards on. But interspersed in there have been some life lessons you never hope to learn.
I’m trying to explore those parts now. I wanted them to go away before. I just couldn’t deal with them: didn’t have time, didn’t have brain space, didn’t have perspective. So, Self (yep, fully aware it’s just me I’m talkin to in here), buckle up. Grab some tissues and a cookie, cause we’re about to DO this shit! Write it the hell down…maybe then it will slink back into the corner where it belongs.