These Are Things I Wish I Could Have Said while Alive
But I Didn’t. Well, Except Sometimes.
I died. We all do. But I lived—well and richly—even if I was out of money most of the time. I’ve had an incredibly interesting life.
I don’t know how many times we moved before I finally graduated from high school.
I hated the trailer in Post Falls, Idaho. I dreamed my parents were aliens and resorted to writing as much in a secret diary in a secret language. I suspect all kids have similar imaginings at some point.
The neighbor kids and I collected pop bottles along dusty roads. When we returned those pop bottles, we got money. I could be wrong, but I think we gathered enough money to go to the state fair in Spokane, Washington. However, I suspect mom and dad supplemented my earnings. Did I even go to the fair? How did they put up with me??
I hated all of those moves. When mom and dad said we were moving from Cassville to Neosho and that I would be changing schools again, I wanted to run away. I did understand, however, that if I ran away, I would be moving anyway. Common sense—and no finances—held sway. Nevertheless, all of those moves prepared me for the incredible life ahead of me. I married a baseball player and moved all over the U.S. and even lived in Venezuela. I recall the time we had to return the U-Haul we had rented because we didn’t have enough money to get home. I’m sure it bothered me at the time, but as I write this, I get the sense that it didn’t and that I romanticized the past. We just did what we needed to do.
Marriage didn’t really suit me. There would be fewer divorces if folks would accept that marriage isn’t always the answer and that not everyone should be married. I don’t regret marrying. Not one whit. But the life I occupied since my divorce and leaving that company where Ken Brown, who mentally and spiritually humiliated and hurt me, took me places I never anticipated. Thus, I can’t fault Ken too much. He set me on my path. Once I tired of Ken’s abuse and lack of sufficient gratitude for taking him to get his electric shock therapy and taking him home afterward (clearly, I still harbor anger even if he did help set me on my path), I returned to college to earn my B.A.,M.A., and finally, my PhD. That’s what suited me. I’m proud of those degrees. They represent an enormous accomplishment. Fuck (sorry mom and dad J) the stigma attached to being vain. I spent 10 years and $80,000 getting those degrees. I worked and paid for the right to be vain.
While I was anxious about 50% of the time once I landed my very good job—because that’s how I am–was, I was anxiety-free for an equal amount of time. Sometimes I was really smart; sometimes I wasn’t. Sometimes I was a really good teacher, sometimes wasn’t. I like knowing that I know so much. Most of the time, I was a good person who probably took things too seriously and too hard. Lucy Pickering accused me of having an over-developed sense of justice. I think that’s a pretty good flaw. Ask Lindsey at the barn about the positives and negatives of that.