1. My father thought I was bright and imaginative.
2. My mother thought I was merely some reflection of herself.
3. In my early education I learned that teachers only saw what they wanted to see, and most made assumptions about me instead of asking questions.
4. In my early jobs, I was considered something “lesser” despite better than adequate job performance.
5. In my later education I discovered that I could shine as an academic, and that people in higher education appreciate my perspective.
6. Three of my creative monsters were:
a. my Kindgergarten teacher, who opposed both my daydreaming and girls playing with wheeled toys.
b. my first grade teacher, who went out of her way to make it clear I was NOT to be heard. She continued to have this attitude even when she crossed my path later in life.
c. the queen bee, Maureen, who felt the need to undermine or downplay every performance, accomplishment or achievement I made – and who also tried to get me to submit to the nickname “Beating Post” and tried to make me out to be a poor sport when I refused. (She probably defends and justifies her behavior to this day. She might even flat out lie about how she treated me.)
7. Three of my creative champions were:
a. Mrs. Underwood, a gifted/talented teacher. Which is ironic, since her daughter was one of my biggest underminers and was just kind of horrible in general.
b. Mrs. Cross, to an extent. She broke out of some pattern thinking but subscribed to some, too, which resulted in a mixed bag for me. I’m glad she was in my life when she was.
c. Mrs. Geimer – she was often aggravated at the way my parents kept pushing me into music when it obviously didn’t make me happy and I demonstrably had other talents that could have used development.
8. The lives I yearned for most as a youngster were those of a freelance journalist, the life of a character actress (never saw myself as a lead) and the life of someone who went dancing a lot.
9. The lives I gave up by the age of 21 were that of the actress (too fat) and the idea of being a librarian (not enough ways to get the education where I could afford it.)
10. If I’d had a “perfect” childhood, I’d have grown up WITH a background of art and writing classes (and been allowed to set aside the music), been transferred to a different school in that county since the school system did NOT support me at all, and probably gone straight into news/journalism work after college. Also, I would have had a car before I graduated so I could actually have a job, and I would have parents who would have recognized that there was no way around me working my way through school. I might have still had money stress, but I wouldn’t have had to fight the insistence that I have or was having my parents’ college experience.