Who am I?Lately I’ve had to write a couple of biographies for different events for my writers group. In a hundred words or less tell us who you are? Who am I? Wow, if that’s not a loaded question I don’t know what is. Who am I as a writer? Hell, I’m not even sure I know who I am as a person.
I’m a fifty plus woman; that’s my age though some days it feels like my size. I’m a large mouth, big-shouldered broad. I’m loud, a little wild and a whole lot of crazy. I’m the gal who gets cut off at the bar while drinking only bottled water.
I love to laugh but I often cry. Somedays I do both at the same time leaping from one emotion to another like a tree frog tickling my fancy as I bounce through the damp grass bumping my ass over the rocky roads of my crazy life. There are times when I bury deep inside myself, lost in my own thoughts, trapped by fears I’m too afraid to voice, or failures that shame me into silence even in my own memories. Drowning in my inadequacies, I smile through the clouds of tears and try to keep the darkness at bay with a joke and laugh.
I raised six boys, three of whom I gave birth to and three who came to me as precious gifts when I married their father. Okay, precious gifts is not what I call any of them at the top of my lungs when they’re leaping from the roof of the house to the magnolia tree. It’s not what I call them when they decide to having batting practice under the carport while the car is parked underneath it. But we managed to become a family even if we weren’t the Brady Bunch. No, we weren’t perfect. I wasn’t perfect and I’m still not though each day I try to be better. It wasn’t just add water and stir, or even just add love and shake. Perhaps add vodka, shaken not stirred? There were days when I wondered why I didn’t drink, just a little cocktail wouldn’t hurt, would it?
I had so much to learn about being parent, step-parent, hell, I had a lot to learn about being a person. I wasn’t used to having an opinion much less making decisions, standing up against bullies, hurt and angry children, dealing with doctors, teachers, lawyers and social workers. My children taught me as much as I ever taught them. They are the heroes and sometimes the antagonists of my stories.
The words honor, security, faith, and hope took on new meanings. The boys gave me strength and courage, things I didn’t always possess. They forced me to stand up when I’d rather cower in a corner. They helped me find my voice. Sometimes it was screeching at the top of my lungs, “Get off the roof!” If I wasn’t the mother of six boys, I wouldn’t be the me I am today.
Our life hasn’t been easy and I have many regrets. There are things I wish I’d done different. Times I should have stood strong but instead I let fear overwhelm me, intimidate me. I know that I am stronger today because I have stood in the darkness. I am not braver but I refuse to back down. Dying once is not nearly as bad as reliving the shame of cowardice. It is often that regret that I put into my characters.
I learned: other people’s opinions should not be more important than those I love and care about; appearances can be deceiving, a guy with tattoos and grease under his fingernails might be the kindest person you’ll ever meet, and you should never judge another person by someone else’s opinion.
I think the scariest thing in the world is standing up for what you believe especially when it’s not popular. It is difficult to go against the tide and remain true to yourself when everyone around you is screaming for the opposite choice.
My husband and my sons taught me I’m as good as anyone else, that I can do whatever I put my mind to. They are proof that dreams can come true, they have given me the faith to believe in myself and that if I put in the sweat-equity I can make my dreams come true.
Who am I? I am flawed, I am fascinating and I have words I want to say…I am a writer.