…it’s about finding my bearings.
Simply defined, ABOUT means “almost or nearly” or “very close to doing something”.
I am a story finder. Until now, the telling of it has been anecdotal…. and sometimes, accidental. The words or pictures unfold in a manner that simply serve its telling — with beauty, or humor, or tears or tap dancing, if I’m lucky.
I found story in everything. Everyone. Everywhere. I couldn’t not look for it. Wrapping words around a picture or capturing what there were no words to describe has been a gift — as a bartender to pay for college, as a young marketing representative for IBM, as an entrepreneurial interior designer, photographer, author and advocate. Story was a tool in my tool box that I used to explain, entertain or educate my children (and whoever else would listen) about the world around us.
But, more fully defined, ABOUT means “on all sides” or “around”.
And then the story found me. Right where I was. Without realizing it, the stories I told wrapped around me and, pieced together, they created a picture I could not ignore. Of a mother who could not go one more day as a wife. Of a mother whose choices for herself played out through her children in unfathomable ways. Of a mother who could no longer stomach looking a certain way or looking the other way. Of a mother whose curses became curiosity, which then became courage. Of a mother who could, then, not let one more child be abused, within a home, a school or a community. Of a mother who followed an internal compass to navigate and nurture through the gauntlet of the “normal” athletics, activities and angst of adolescence-into-adulthood but also through bullying, learning disabilities, depression, ADHD, suicide, infidelity, divorce and abuse.
Because ABOUT is also directional… as in, to “turn about” or “about face”.
Mothering is my story and it was no longer about the face I presented to the world. I am 54. A singular mother to Katie (age 26), Courtney (age 24), Joe (age 20) and Addie (age 9 — yes, 9) and these stories are about me learning from them, because of them, for them. I had to face some difficult truths — but first I had to find them.