Someone recently told me that my blog makes them think about the source of happiness. I think that is an accurate depiction of what I am trying to do with my writing. It is a discovery of my own self. The age old query stated so succintly by the Talking Heads, "How did I get here?"
Life can be surreal sometimes. Looking at my life, I am amazed that I made it here. When I was in my late teens and twenties, I was trying to survive. Rent and transportation were my two biggest concerns, and going to dance clubs. I was not an adult in the true sense of the word. I never looked into the future and planned. Getting by was enough and I was more of a child pretending to be an adult.
Thinking back to my twenties, I remember one time, my mom and dad came to visit me in my apartment in Upland where I lived with my younger sister Annie. I was around twenty one and Adrian and I had been dating for months. When my parents arrived, Adrian and I were in the shower and Annie told me through the bathroom door. I came out in a towel and yelled at them for coming over. They left in a huff and afterward I saw that they had left a couple of bags of groceries on the kitchen table.
I know I hurt their feelings, but I never saw my parents back then. All of my chaotic and crazy childhood had come home to roost and I was angry and pissed off. I blamed my parents for everything I thought had gone wrong in my life: my decision to drop out and get my GED, my decision to move out into an apartment and my constant struggles financially.
The reality was much more complicated. Yes, it's true that my mom and dad raised me in a crazy house. But, my mom taught me to read when I was three and always stressed education. Yes, my dad was an alcoholic, but he also was a hard working and loving father who taught me a love of movies and Gin Rummy. Yes, when I told my parents I wanted to go to Claremont McKenna and they told me they could not afford it, I went from straight A student to dropping out within the year. I think back and realize I could have researched financial aid and my dropping out had more to do with a bout of depression then my parent's inability to comprehend federal student loan programs.
Now I know that I was a self destructive brat. When I dropped out at seventeen and took my GED just ten credits short of a high school diploma, my mom said I could continue to live with my parents if I went to school. She desperately wanted me to go to college. I wanted to waitress and party. And I did just that for many years.
So, how did I get here? Luck? Maybe. Determination? Sure.
Through the grace of God?