Rather than tell you who I am, I thought I’d tell you about some of my experiences, so you know where I’m coming from.
1) I’m originally from California. I was born and raised there, but did my growing up in Salt Lake City, Utah, where I moved to when I was 19-years-old on a whim.
2) The sperm donor (my bio dad, I suppose) bailed on me, my younger and more tender-aged brother, and my beaten down mother when I was 14.
3) Some scary shit happened to me when I was 14.
4) I wore terry cloth clothing as a child because I grew up in the 70s and that’s just what we wore. Along with our red Nike’s.
5) I didn’t play a single sport until I got into high school. Then I played every sport I could: soccer, swimming, tennis, dance, volleyball.
6) For me, high school was exactly what it was supposed to be.
7) I’m the mother of a teenager. It’s okay to pray for me.
8) When I say (as I do in #1 above) that I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, I mean that. I’m still growing up. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new about how to live, treat other people, better myself, or endure. What do I want to be when I grow up? Wow. I hope that never happens.
9) I’ve had the same recurring dream since I was probably 8 or 9 years old. I know the first time I had it we were living in the two-story house with a swimming pool, because I know where my mom was sleeping in the house. I had gone to her in the middle of the night. I’m climbing a mountain with somebody. I can see that above and around the mountain, the light is purple in color and bright. We climb together, but I can tell from dream-to-dream that it’s never the same person because it feels different each time. Just when we get to the top, I wake up.
10) I had terrible financial tactics when I was younger. Meaning younger than today. I mean, they’ve gotten better, but still. I hate money. I hate keeping track of it and not having enough of it. If it were up to me, everyone would have their own financial planner and accountant to take care of money for them. It’s a really shitty responsibility.
11) I like to think of myself as an artist, but really I’m just not that good at art in general. I get lucky sometimes, but I think my dad summed it up best when he walked into our house and asked, “You didn’t pay money for those, did you?” Yeah. I painted those, so no, I guess I didn’t pay for them, so to speak.
12) I acted in high school. I was not necessarily good at it, but I stuck with it anyway. That meant that after the first year of basic drama, I was upgraded to advanced. In advanced drama, all the kids have to try out for the play AND the musical. That also meant singing, alone, in front of all the other kids who are trying out for the musical. Dance? I could dance okay. Sing? Whoa howdy. You do not want to hear me sing. I knew this, but I didn’t care at the time. Well, I thought I didn’t care at the time. I got up there and sang a tune for “How to succeed in business without really trying” and when I got back to my seat, the girl behind me said, “She sounded like a dying cat.” I got up, walked out of the large choir room, up the grassy lawn to the women’s restrooms I was accustomed to using, filed myself into one of the little stalls and cried. I didn’t sing anything – not even happy birthday – again until my daughter’s first birthday. Having a bunch of doctors reach around your crotch when you’re giving birth kind of seals the deal on embarrassment. After that, you could run naked down the middle of a football field right in the middle of the 4th quarter in a tied game and not be embarrassed, even if you showed up online the next day. Okay – sorry. I’ve gotten a bit off track.
13) I had cancer. Lung cancer. Stage IV lung cancer. I have lung cancer again. Lucky I guess.
14) I also had/have Cushing’s Syndrome. What’s that? An anomaly really. Just a fucking anomaly that gave me lung cancer – or maybe it was the other way around. Who knows? Doctors don’t. No doctor. Not one. Anywhere.
15) If you had lung cancer, you would have a 1 in 1/100ths of a percent of a chance of getting the kind of lung cancer I had/have. That, by the way, is pretty much a zilcho chance. (0.00001 IF you had lung cancer to begin with)
16) I dreamed of living in New York City as a little girl. As in, when I was a little girl, I dreamed of living in New York City. I think Mary Tyler Moore had something to do with that.
17) I’m American Indian, but I don’t look American Indian. My mother is more American Indian than me, and she REALLY doesn’t look American Indian. My grandmother, however, is just more than 3/4 American Indian, and she looks like she just popped right out of the teepee.
18) Speaking of the women in my family: a fact for you. My daughter is taller than me, I’m taller than my mother, and my mother is taller than her mother.
19) I moved away from home when I was 19 on a whim. I’d only been to Salt Lake City once before. I was at a dance and this guy I knew came in around 10 p.m. and asked if someone would be willing to drive with him to Salt Lake City. I’d never been before, but my adventurous side said YES! So, I went on a quick overnighter to Salt Lake City and two weeks later, I had moved there. I found a job and an apartment in a newspaper I’d picked up on that one nighter trip.
20) I sold perfume and cologne door-to-door and learned the phrase “whopper butt.” What is whopper butt? Well, apparently it’s what you get from eating too many Whoppers and then trying to go back to work after. You get whopper butt.
21) After not making any money selling perfume or cologne, I got a job at McDonald’s. I didn’t touch food, only money and Happy Meal boxes. I took the orders. I was “Window #1.”
22) I once lived off (tried to live off) of a box of Cornflakes and a large container of powdered Country Time Lemonade. Yes. I actually cooked Cornflakes in powdered Country Time Lemonade on the stove top. It was not good and I did not eat it. I called my parents and begged for $20, for which they told me they could not give me. Thank goodness.
23) I finally went on my first (and so far only) trip to New York City when I was 30 years old. I was so excited to go. I shed tears as we flew into JFK, looking out the window and seeing the Statue of Liberty. I loved what I saw there and all of the opportunity.
24) I was working at the local university when I went to New York City. When I came back, I noticed everyone around me was educated. Most people, anyway. I decided that I wanted to do that, too. Go to school. Again, I guess, since I did go to school after high school, but I played so much that it hardly counted.
25) It really didn’t count that much at all, because after two years at the junior college, only 14 credit hours actually counted. I guess all that swimming, volleyball, tennis, and soccer I put into college really doesn’t transfer to getting a degree in communications or political science.