Friday, December 30, 2011

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I have embarked on yet another course in life. I have left a marriage and I have started a new life with my children. It is hard. It is sad. I believe in what I’ve done and felt like I had to do.

With that being said, this new direction I’m headed in is uncharted territory for me. I am realizing in these turbulent days that the women I’ve admired and that have spoken to my soul my entire life – Katherine Hepburn, most notably – speak to me because in many ways they are like me. I identify with them. I read their stories and they speak to me. I find myself saying “I would have done that” or “That sounds like me”. These are women I would be proud to ever be identified with. They are also women who embody class, feminism, independence, and the inability to lay down and let life hand them scraps when they know they deserve filet mignon. I haven’t embodied any of those things…..but they’re in me.

My high school math teacher at Biggersville High School, Scott Parvin, introduced me to the real Katherine Hepburn. I was admitted to the hospital because of a severe asthma attack (Surely smoking wouldn’t hurt me! I had tried it a few days before being admitted even though I knew I had the lungs of a waif – “want another?,” the doctor asked while I was there). I had quite a crush on Mr. P and being that I have always been a bold adventurer everyone knew it, including him. But he suffered my girlish ways and loved me like a mentor loves their student. “Read this while you’re here,” he said. “She reminds me of you.” I read “ME – Stories of My Life” in a day. He was right – her story reminded me of my own spirit.

Mr. P will probably never realize how I’ve come to understand him as a father figure in my life. I don’t know my father, not even sure yet who he is, and Mr. P stood in and continues to stand in for at least a small part of that vacancy. Truly, he is the only man that has ever looked me in the eyes and said “What in the hell are you doing? You are so much smarter than this!” He saw potential far beyond my “stupid girl” actions, loud mouth, and tough exterior. He believed in me and I believed because he did.

I have spent 35 years on a “stupid girl” course. That’s not really who I am and it’s exciting that I’m learning this right now….while I still have time to DO something about it. I am alone….and I am utterly content. It’s exciting that I am becoming the person that I knew was in here all along. I was just too afraid of rejection. Too afraid it was true what everyone else told me I was or wasn’t. I didn’t realize how much I was swallowing words meant to hurt me and “keep me in line”. The truth is, I’m none of those things I swallowed into my gut. They couldn’t know who I am, because frankly I have never known myself. I’ve done really stupid, idiotic things all the while hearing a voice in my head saying “What the hell are you doing? You’re smarter than this” – but I did them anyway. Truthfully, I don’t know myself now. I know that something about this time is completely different than any other time before. I also know that whatever Mr. P saw in me, I want to find it.

I know that no one deserves to be put down, trampled on, or abused. I know that every person deserves respect and their own place in humanity. I don't care if you make license plates or run Fortune 500 ARE valuable in the sight of God who created you and knew every mistake you would ever make. If you allow someone to take that away from you, you have ended your life adventure. The sad thing is, I've never met anyone who would treat another person as less than God intended, who was WORTH giving up your own adventure for! If they can't have their adventure along side you having your's, let em' go - POST HASTE.
Here’s to any and every girl that has picked herself up by the bootstraps and decided to step out of the “stupid girl” mold that we allowed ourselves to be in. Here’s to every girl that has laid down her very soul to become a doormat for someone who never loved her the way a man loves a woman in the first place -- AND THEN FOUND THE IMMENSE COURAGE IT TAKES TO STAND BACK UP. Here’s to every teacher that ever went beyond the call of duty and reached out to a student. Mr. P may never realize that HE is the voice inside my head anytime I have ever felt beaten or scarred beyond healing. You’re right Mr. P….I am so much smarter than this. Let’s find out just how far I can go….and when I get there…..if you are still around….I will send you a note from the top of whatever mountain upon which I’ve staked my claim…..

Anyone is invited to change that thing in your life right now that you know isn't good for you and even detrimental to you. It won't be easy but it will be so worth it. Let's be Hepburns in this Hilton world of Snooky(s) and Lohans. Class and self respect, never EVER go out of style.....