I spent a lot of my life wondering who I was. As a child, being a military brat, I moved around a lot. The upside is that I got to know a lot about diversity and culture. I know that in Mississippi, it is a sody-water or a CoCola, even if it is a 7-up. A milkshake in Massachusetts is flavored milk and if you want the kind with ice cream, it is a frappe. They also call a drinking fountain a bubbler, which I just love. In Germany, our Easter chocolates were filled with cognac. Anyway, I was exposed to wonderful things and awful things and throughout it all, I had only one dream. I wanted to marry a farmer boy, have 12 kids and live and die on the farm. I wanted to sew all our own clothes and grow all our own food and once a month go to a community social. I wanted to dance barefoot in a calico dress to Neil Young's Harvest Moon under the starlit sky. This was my fantasy. To put down roots. To have a forever love. To be a mom.
God had other plans for me. I had things to learn and I could only learn them through certain trials. He loves me that much! My life has followed this pattern pretty consistently: struggle, endure, come on top of the world, get comfortable, have the rug pulled out from under me, struggle, endure, and so on. It's good that I understand and recognize the pattern because I can kind of gauge what's coming next. It's bad because I'm exhausted from the constant hills and valleys that exist so far away from the farming plains I had planned.
From my bio, you can see an overview of my life, which includes enough thrill rides to open my own carnival. Through it all, I dreamed about what my talents might be. What my future held for me. In the back of my mind, I still hoped for the farmboy. He never came, but a whole menagerie of miscreants did and they drug me down to a Jerry Springer sort of existence for as long as I let them. Then I discovered my voice. My words. I took all the nasty little bits of my life and added a little color and behold! Writing happened.
So in the aftermath, the clouds have cleared, the sun shines through and here is where I am now.
I write articles and make enough each month to cover my internet, my cell phone (you gotta check this new company out. I love them!), and my small electric bill. The few dollars I have left pay for cat food and litter. I live in the hood (a cute 480 square foot apartment) and receive food stamps. This is because physically, I cannot work outside of what I do. I have advanced degenerative disc disease, which severely limits my walking, standing, or sitting for very long. I have been turned down twice for disability because I don't play the old "rack up a lot of medical bills" game. I don't have medical and refuse to do that.
Some people don't understand and others feel I should be depressed from my ridiculous circumstances. They ask how I live? Don't I miss the things I'm used to? After all, I once lived in a 6 bedroom, 3 bath house on 57 acres of prime Maryland real estate. No. I don't miss it. Because it came at a great price which I am no longer willing to pay. While I suffer the humiliation of my circumstance, there is hope in sight. All it took was finding my path. The one that God wanted me on. Now I'm there, and every morning when I wake up, I know I am doing what He wants me to do. I feel His love, encouragement, support. My paths are made clear and I am rapidly, so much more than I ever thought I could, out of my situation. One of my greatest wishes is to be as self-sufficient as I possibly can be. I am like the lilies of the field, being cared for. My path is no longer rocky. I bed is soft and each day the sun shines through my windows and promises a life so sweet and can't wait to take on the day. You see, He reaches our reaching. I am reaching out of government assistance and He is grabbing my hand and leading the way.
But it is not only Him I have to thank, but the thousands of readers who find comfort in my words. You see, that is a responsibility that comes with the gift. To share, pass it along, send it forward and help everyone I can feel my joy.
I am happier than I have ever been in my life. I have the most delicious hope for the future. But until it comes, my burdens are made light by His unconditional love.
I sincerely hope this disclosure doesn't alienate you from me. We are all bearing our own crosses and I know that some of you are in the trenches with me, while others are lending us a hand, and still others waiting for us to hold out ours. It's a beautiful system.