I never really left home. Home pretty much left me. I didn’t really mind at the time. It seemed like a big adventure.
My mother meant no harm by leaving me to my own devices. By my senior year in high school I was the only child left at home. The last of twelve children in total. For the most part, she raised us all by herself with my father spending most of his days in a bottle.
By dating my soon-to-be fiance, it must have given my mom a sense of relief. I wonder if she thought I didn’t need her anymore.
It was as my graduation neared that my mother told me she was going to be moving south to live near my brothers. She never asked if I wanted to go with, and I doubt that I minded her not asking. I did feel some hurt at the thought of her leaving me; that I wasn’t important enough to stay around for. Those feelings were soon replaced by the feelings of love I had for my fiance. I was heading into a new life with a new family. I married when I was twenty, waltzing into motherhood at twenty-one.
Looking back I see how some doors were closed to me early in life. I did the best I could. Being engaged with plans to start a family gave me a purpose.
It was exciting getting an apartment. I’m not ashamed to admit that I felt somewhat relieved to get some distance between myself and the family life I had known up with.
My new home was above a bowling alley, and was comical at times. The crashing of bowling pins and hearing the roar when a bowler got a strike became commonplace. There was an occasional phone call from the manager telling me that water was leaking from the ceiling in the bar area whenever I showered. Some poor soul had soap bubbles land in his beer.
What I learned about myself is that taking on a project triggers a just do it attitude. This especially helped me later in my business by my not becoming overwhelmed by the size of a job.
Being alone was really good for me. It wasn’t until I lived by myself that I learned to think for myself. Working and visiting family and soon to be in-law family gave me a sense of accomplishment.
I have lived alone now for about twenty years. I enjoy the peaceful moments that solitude bring. As I recall those early years and the young woman that I once was, I embrace her. She is an important part of who I am today. I believe being left to my own devices at an early age taught me a lot about life that I otherwise would not have learned.
In a world where you can be anything, Be Kind.”
Don’t count the days.
Make the days count.
Until next time,
© Doris Clark, January 2022