Just Living Her Life


I always enjoy Ellen’s photos and one she sent not too long ago made think about my own life.

P1040505The subject line she put for this one is where my title came from for the post.

I seem to have been a loner most of my life, I didn’t feel I fit anywhere.  As an overweight child, I was teased and made fun of during my school and childhood years.  Not conducive to self-esteem and loving myself.  It often felt as if there was something missing me that the other kids had.  Never figured that out.  (No, this is not an oh-poor-me-osis post)  I had to have glasses when I was in the 3rd grade – no one else had them.  Now I see I could have perceived it as something special rather than a detriment.  It is only now in the 50’s and especially my 60’s that I am much more aware about such things.  A lot of changes in this decade of my life.

I had a few friends, but not really the “go over to each other’s houses” kind.  I saw them at school and on the bus ride home.  I remember either going to bus stop in the morning or coming home after school and there were always boys riding bikes.  I noticed they liked to ride straight toward me, I wanted to run but decided to just keep going.  Fortunately they never did hit me and I am pleased that I just kept going – maybe that was no fun for them.

I did a lot of things on my own, not usually by choice, but over the years I have learned to entertain myself.  Came in very handy when I traveled with Eddie on his business trips.  I loved reading, it is still  one of my greatest pleasures; I feel lost if I don’t have a book to read, I tend to have several books going – one in the car, one in the living room and one in the bedroom.  Sometimes I have a pile in each place.  I buy new ones but most of my car books I buy from the library – $0.50 for paperbacks and $1 for hard bounds.  It is always interesting to see what there is, sometimes a favorite author, or book, sometimes new authors or occasionally a book I was looking for quite a long time.

I liked writing but didn’t seem to create a character, mostly letters for quite a while.  I have written journals and for several years after we bought our first computer, I wrote a journal that soon had a list of people to send it.  I would write it on the computer, print it and then xerox it – that was how I learned how to work the computer.  Before that I was typing it on a typewriter.  First I borrowed Ellen’s (our upstairs neighbor) in New Jersey, then I think I bought one when we moved back to Los Angeles.  We didn’t buy the computer until we were in Atlanta.

I joined Newcomer’s clubs whenever we moved to a new place, that’s where I met most of my friends and had a social life.  When I started quilting in Atlanta, that was the one thing I could always take with me where ever I went and I would find friends.  What I mostly noticed was that my friends tended to be older women whose children were grown.  I didn’t have much in common with the younger married women because they either had kids, a job or both.  i had neither, but I had my own limitations with RA, but freedom they didn’t have because Eddie traveled.  They didn’t really understand it – their husbands had 9 to 5 jobs and always came home.

Not too long after I moved here, I had a session with an over lighting metaphysician and she told me I had chosen to do things the hard way and by myself in this lifetime.  I found that interesting and realized that most of my dealing with RA was by myself.  It wasn’t my choice but it seemed to work out that way.  I also realize a lot of that was childhood programming, “Don’t ask for help, don’t bother other people, don’t bother them”.  Now I realize I was operating that way all my life and never realized it.  I finally learned to ask for help and it has been such a blessing.  I have friends who are there for me and it doesn’t mean I am weak or telling the world my business when I ask for help.  I can’t do it all by myself, there are things I don’t have the knowledge to do and I need help.  In some ways, it is liberating.

I remember the trip to London on the QE2 and spending a few days in London with the group before they left for Ireland.  We were in someone’s room either before or after dinner and I was talking to one of the women.  She said something about “You are so  damn self-sufficient”.  How odd, since I was feeling outside the group.  A good friend once told me that I am more independent because Eddie traveled and I had to take care of things when he wasn’t around.  I never realized that before – too close to see it.

What my 60’s have brought is now knowing I don’t have to do what other people say, I don’t have to live up to their expectations and most important, my confidence and self-worth come from within rather than from validation and approval  from other people.  I am less concerned about what other people think or their opinions, but I am less judgmental and critical of them; definitely a work in progress.  I am better at seeing the positive in them and more loving towards them.  No one knows what life path they are on and what they are working through this lifetime.

I have always had to do something different, whether is has been a project, a dinner or whatever.  There are often times in the middle of it that I wonder “What was I thinking”. Or say “why didn’t I do that other idea?”.  But I kept on and it usually turned out quite well.  Maybe there is a list in there called “What I know for sure about myself”.  Oprah did that and it might be a smart idea for me to see myself in a different light.

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