The first twenty years of my life, I spent waiting for my prince in shining armor to rescue me from the evil dragons of reality. The second twenty years I spent facing reality with two children in tow. I thought that I’d have a fresh start when my children reached majority, but I then felt the need to make right the things I had done wrong as their mother. The last twenty years, I spent making amends to all that I felt that I dragged through my hell with me. Now I don’t know who I am. It’s very difficult to reinvent oneself, especially if one is almost sixty years old.
Josie pointed out that she doesn’t understand my misgivings about being a farm wife, since I am so obviously proud of my food-fixing abilities. It’s so easy to continue to fall into who we used to be instead of who we want to become.
All my life, I’ve waited on other people, literally and figuratively; I turned it into a way to make money by becoming a caterer. With just a college preparatory high school education and no discernible job skills, it was either that or become a hooker, and I didn’t think that being a hooker was conducive to good parenting.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I have trouble sitting still if there’s anyone wanting to be waited on. I also have some doubts that anyone would give credence to what I have to say outside of my family and closest friends because of my lack of academic degrees, so I’ve limited my writing to cookbooks and publicity pieces. I have hidden behind other authors as a co-author, editor, and publisher. Before I go headlong back down the path to perdition with all this waiting and washing and cooking and cleaning, I’d better back up a bit.
In Coker Creek, I have the perfect opportunity to close myself off from the world and write to my heart’s content, but I’ve put myself out there as a cook, class clown, and caterer to the wants and whims of others. Now, that’s what people expect of me. This has to stop!
I want to travel the country like the other Jack Darnell and his wife Sherry do; the wide world will be my muse. This is not my house, even though it is the home of my home, which is my marriage to Richard. Wherever we are is home to me, and we can both take our work on the road. It’s Richard that wants a place to call home, so I will help him get settled into his routines, and then I will fly as high as my mind can take me.
I’ll always come back to my Richard; he’s the tail on my high-flying kite. But I was not meant to stay bound by the strictures of small-town life. I must seize this moment to become what I was meant to be.