My writing group is in the process of sponsoring a writing contest for area kids in grades 3-6. Coming up with a topic they could all relate to was challenging. They all have one thing in common, they are kids growing up in Cibola County, NM. Any writer at some point has been given the advice, write about what you know. Combining these two facts led me to come up with "Who I Am" as the topic for the contest. The group thought it was perfect.This week our writing group decided it was only fair that we use this topic as our current writing challenge. The following is my offering of Who I Am.
In the words of the Reba McIntyre song Survivor, "Who I am is who I want to be" and it took 74 years to get to that point. The first 70+ years were spent trying to be who everyone else thought I should be; enough already that isn't me.
As in the song, I am also a survivor, with my own unique experiences. I have survived three major surgeries, including one for cancer, marriage to two men with severe negative addictions, a forty year addiction of my own to nicotine, giving birth and raising three children and all the stress that these experiences created.
My current life began in Ketchikan, Alaska long before it was a state. It gradually moved along a path to Tacoma, Shelton, Olympia and Seattle, Washington, dipping south to Downey and Santa Ana, California before settling in Cibola County, New Mexico in 1976. These moves left me with no real place to call my hometown. My adopted hometown is Grants, NM.
Creative genes have been very strong in my family for several generations and include: horticulture, photography, sketching, general crafts, cooking, sewing, needle point, knitting, crochet and scrap booking. At different times I dabbled in most of them until I found my niche in creative writing. Where this particular talent came from I have no idea., perhaps recessed genes from a past life or relative. I only know it is my passion and it makes me very happy, especially when what I write inspires others.
When I think of how my love for the written word has developed my mind goes back to the journalism class I took in high school. Not being one the the "in" crowd I was never given an opportunity to write for the school paper. Instead I was put in charge of accounting where I learned how to properly write and sign a check. Thinking of my teacher, Mr. Hall, causes me to wonder; if he could see me now would he realize what he overlooked back then?
Being overlooked was pretty much the story of my life no matter how much I tried to please others. That scenario continued until the day I realized that if I wanted people to believe in me I had to first believe in myself. Life experiences, lessons offered by others and personal efforts to find the person inside have unveiled the real me I always wanted to be.