I have a short attention span. I get bored easily and often struggle to finish what I start. I have no interest in the ordinary, the cautious, the trite, or the latest craze. I like making up my own mind, not having decisions made for me – so blindly following a proclaimed leader, an illogical edict, or a predestined course won’t happen without a fight, or at least without a lot of questions.
As a young child in the late 1960s, I was labeled “precocious” and often grounded by my parents. In school, I worked hard, got good grades, and tried my best to distinguish myself from the crowd. And though I was recognized by being placed in “gifted” programs, I was paradoxically drawn to the rebels, the stoners – at heart, I found them to be kindred souls in search of enlightenment, but sadly, usually devoid of academic aspiration.
Mostly, I found social labels – and boundaries and rules – to be limiting and therefore useless to me. This personality feature (or bug?) is a double-edged sword. It has landed me in some pretty gnarly situations over the years, but it’s also the root of my insatiable craving for learning, my reason for taking a creative approach to nearly everything I do, and the joy I get from making meaningful connections with other human beings.
Though my school years, then in early adulthood, I was smart enough or pretty enough or manipulative enough to maneuver myself through the unorthodox life path I had stumbled upon. I was adept at talking my way out of trouble and getting what I wanted, but lacked the maturity to “be careful what you wish for.” I realized too late that I wasn’t where I needed to be, but came to understand that everything we do in life has consequences and lessons to be learned, if you are paying attention and humble enough to make amends or correct course.
Today, I am in a good place. It hasn’t always been an easy road, but it sure has been an interesting journey. I am so lucky to have crossed paths with my soulmate, who was crazy enough to fall in love with and marry an older chick with two young kids, even though he never wanted kids of his own. He jumped right into parenting, though – the good, the bad and the ugly – and became a terrific, selfless dad. As their mom, it was an amazing thing to behold – he wasn’t obligated to do any of it…but he did it all with grace and style.
The kids are now grown and gone from the nest, but Rob continues to be the reason my heart beats in the happiest of rhythms every single day.