I have always been a little different my entire life. Reserved, grounded, wise, intelligent, and overwhelmingly female. I had a favorite tree in my parents back yard, and under it I would sit and write in my notebooks, often for hours at a time. And on many occasions, I would sit under the tree whenever I needed a good cry.
And yet, life, as in time, is linear and perpetual, our decisions are based on taking chances. My family spent their lives telling me that I was perpetually making bad decisions and that I would amount to nothing, though one learns, even through bad decisions, and mastery is inevitable given enough life experience. My father and his side of the family could never accept the fact that I was genetically female, despite the numerous reports from the doctors involved in my care. The DNA testing that followed only made them even more enraged. While my mother and her side of the family was frustratingly apathetic, my father used violence as a means of ridding me of this female curse that was, as he put it, disposed upon him by his widow.
My father passed away when I was 38 years old; now I am 42 and I still don’t quite know what forgiveness is. His solution was to send me away to far-flung places under the guise of providing me the finest education. Four years at boarding school, followed by college in West Virginia.
My family maintained that I would never be successful in life, yet I clearly am. And what do I get for my hard work and dedication? Do I get revenge, vicariously through the knowledge that my resilience and acts of defiance, coupled with the weight of being so much more, was in fact, the key to my success?
January 3, 2022