Sometimes when people ask me where I came from, I quip, “Well, first, came the dinosaurs, and then a few years later, I was born.” It seems I have lived several lifetimes because of the significant variation of experience.
I was born and raised in a small FLDS Mormon community which largely minimized exposure to main-stream concepts, events, and people. My childhood years and the twenty years of marriage which followed can be summed up as valuable personal and family lessons of faith, hope, charity, and love, as well as trials along the way to deepen my understanding and enlarge my character. I don’t think my secluded life has hurt me one bit. I grew up free as a bird, unaware of the darkness in the world, which resulted in a high level of confidence in myself and the rest of the human race.
I had eight lovely children over fifteen years time. Over a span of twenty years, I donated my time as a language arts teacher in a private school and also managed a sewing manufacturing facility. In 2012, circumstances put me on my own in a strange new world where I had to adjust from seclusion to mainstream society. It was as though I had come from another planet for all the bewilderment I faced in navigating through typical American culture and learning to become self-sufficient. I call it “Interpreting Mainstream Mayhem”. Perhaps it’s a bit like learning French. A student may master speaking and understanding the language, but never completely master the accent. Confusion in learning to adapt without losing my identity does exist, but certainly the process includes new adventure, deeper understanding, as well as down right hilarity.
For me, life has been a fascinating journey traveling through a colorful kaleidoscope. Many varied experiences of living and working have taught me patience, to look for good in myself and others, to focus on cultivating a positive outlook, to identify and pursue worthy goals, and to never even think about giving up.