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  • So, I decided this would be the year I would tell my own story. Not in the sense of writing an autobiography, but in the sense of claiming my "version" of this life and of course, getting to write the chapters that haven't happened yet. It's sort of what I do for a living -- encouraging individuals and communities to write a new story, a new identity that gives voice to the stories that haven't been heard before. So, I thought to myself, why haven't I done this for me?

    As I look through pictures for inspiration, I realize my greatest challenge is not being able to put myself in the center. I tend to see my story as I relate to others: mother, daughter, wife, sister. I could write a pretty incredible story about my mother, father, sibling, friend. Perhaps it's being the youngest of 5 children (and the youngest of 33 grandchildren). I always felt "part of" and a spectator to the beautiful chaos. I was thrilled when I was old enough to be included, but never really wanted to be the leader, or even the playwright.

    This picture shows my "bookends" -- Mom and daughter. I know I fit somewhere in between and that both these beautiful, vibrant, loving souls are in some measure me. So, that's as good a place as any to start, I guess. I know I'm nurturing and fun-loving like Veronica, and sassy and sensitive like Lilly. But their stories belong to them.

    Mine begins somewhere in the woods -- of that I'm pretty sure. Up a tree, over a creek, mapping my alternate universe by the shapes of trees, fallen and standing. The place where dreams scary and surreal and exciting were set. The place I still go to find solace, escape, oxygen, childhood. Perhaps this is a story in chapters and the chapters are locales. The beach, the mountains, the desert, the city,etc. I like that framework. It honors an important part of my story - the traveler. I always wondered if some of my Magyar or Irish ancestors might have been travelers or gypsies -- if my often itchy feet came from ancient nomadic forebears. And it begs the question for the later chapters -- where will these itchy feet take me next?
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