Wistful Recollections and Candid Confessions

As a child I wished that the people around me understood me.
As a teenager I wished that I understood myself.
As a young adult I wished that I understood the world.
As a middle aged woman I finally understood that it was all up to me.
All of it.
I had help along the way, of course…
A priest who, while I was having a very public personal crisis, fell asleep on the couch after drinking too much whiskey with my father, and who, through his ineptitude, affirmed for me that I was, like it or not, on my own.
A high school art teacher who despised me and my work, and another high school art teacher who liked my work. (My thanks to both of you.)
A total stranger who soothed me while I wept uncontrollably on a curb on Sea Cliff Avenue, and kept repeating to me that it was okay. I finally believed her enough to get up and walk away.
A sister in law who had the guts to say to me, “When are you going to stop blaming your parents for everything?”
A friend who said to me, “You have a chip on your shoulder the size of Gibraltar; when the fuck are you going to lighten up?”
Numerous people who told me, “You wanna play, you gotta pay.”
An ex lover who told me to get into therapy because she couldn’t possibly be the source of my happiness in life.
Trungpa Rinpoche who came up with the concept of “idiot compassion” and laid out the dangers of being an enabler and of being enabled in a fresh way.
Todd Rundgren who kept me believing that there really is a Love of the Common Man, and Jackson Browne who convinced me that it was important to sit “thinking about Everyman”.
Joni Mitchell who taught me that a woman could be clever and brave and outspoken and intelligent and articulate (and also play a mean Jazz guitar).
A few former employers who assured me that I really should work for myself because I definitely don’t like being told what to do.
My father who taught me to have principles and be steadfast in upholding them.
My mother who showed me that gentleness is strength.
And somewhere, deep inside me, I helped myself along the way. I found the woman of my dreams and the good sense to not sabotage that relationship.
And finally, my numerous furry friends over the years have shown me what unconditional love really looks like- so, in a sense they trained me.


About theminstrelscitadel

In search of courageous souls who aren't afraid to dig a little deeper and have a conversation about all manner of things. Rant, rave, debate, discuss... let's do it!
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