This journey, called ‘My Life,’ has unfolded in very unexpected ways; across the plains of Kansas and Texas; through the Valleys of Mexico and Colorado; surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, the Andes, or Mexican volcanoes; living on the Pacific Ocean (Kailua), Atlantic Ocean (RI), the Potomac River or now by the Roaring Fork; oddly I have always felt in each place that this is where I belong. (http://www.salamana.com/coming-of-age-through-passports )
Maybe it is because I grew up in a family of wanderers who had recurring urges to ‘Get Out of Dodge’ and were inspired and excited by the idea of adventure and change. I carry the DNA of German/English immigrants, a great grandfather who led an oxen train on foot from St Louis to Salt Lake City, a grandfather who struggled to get off the farm and into the city, a father who was a traveling salesman and a mother from Atchison, KS who felt she belonged in Paris. Predictably, I am surrounded by a creative, independent family, mostly self-employed and spread far and wide…doing our own thing in our own way.
In those formative years in Kansas, I grew up in a home full of music, fun and artistic endeavors. We were expected to learn how to hang pictures properly, pick out complimentary paint colors, create an aesthetically pleasing home, arrange food on the plate colorfully and attractively, make our own clothes, play musical instruments, dance and sing, paint our own pictures, build our own dollhouses, dress in creative costumes and have fun doing it! Maybe I never really felt I could measure up to my mother’s artistic abilities in watercolor, but I was as innovative and entrepreneurial as I felt I could be during those traditional years and I developed quite a love for breaking rules.
Currently, my fascinations are new and innovative ideas, leadership across different cultures, business coaching and development work in Spanish, dancing and singing, spending a day with my grandchildren doing art projects, exploring the neuroscience of Buddhism and spirituality, shopping the consignment stores with my sister, and annual gatherings with old friends in the fall.
I find myself as an adult shapeshifting as ‘part butterfly, part cloud, and part bulldozer’ (That Nick Hahn) with nicknames like: Atila the Hunney, Sparkle Plenty, Speedydd, Rose with Thorns, Bubbles to Bitch, and Rosebud. I’m not sure those characteristics age well but I am better able to own them all at this point in my life. “Do I contradict myself? Well, I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes.” (Walt Whitman)
Today, God speaks to me through beauty and nature, color soothes my soul, music lifts me up, and creating makes me feel alive. And still, after all of these years, I’m not done with my changes. However, this evolution now seems to require more creative imagination, humor, and grit than I’ve ever needed before! So how can I ‘Get Out of Dodge’ without getting out of my chair?