In my earliest years, I wondered the local woods, looking for my tribe. I didn’t feel like I belonged ‘here’. As I aged, I acclimated myself to societal norms and family traditions but longed for a sense of a culture that was familiar to me. Everything about my life felt foreign. My mom was a certified Spanish teacher, so at a young age, I desired more than anything to speak and understand Spanish – I felt an urge to communicate with ‘my people.’It is a passion that has continued to dwell in my Heart since I can remember –I devoured everything Spanish, listened to Mexican pop music and couldn’t get enough of Isabel Allende’s magic realism.
By senior year in high school I had completed all available classes and get myself enrolled in college night courses at Eastern CT State University.I took “Spanish for Business and Medical Professionals” while slightly tipsy and sometimes tripping – but I never missed a class – I lapped it all up like a hungry kitten.Freshman year in college, my best grades were still in Spanish. While I thought I’d like to be an artist, I was encouraged to study something practical – artists are starving & don’t make any money – was the common advice I was given.After two quarters at UDub I quit, bought a VW bus and started driving east back to CT – skipped seeing the Dead in Chicago but broke down in OH. I was the epitome of a Hippie Chic except it turns out I really loved working and making my own money, so the beat went on.
I landed a job at a netting company where my dad was a sales rep. I start as a receptionist and enthusiastically join the working world. As it turns out, all my childhood role playing of “Office” has paid off & I’m in my glory! I love forms and typewriters and filing – I love systems and organizations. I completely adore office supplies. I am IN MY ELEMENT. I learn everything I can from my coworkers and master all administrative tasks. I’m still living at home with my parents, driving a vintage VW bus, toxic abusive relationship with high school boyfriend, but I don't realize how bad it is, I'm loving every minute of it. I’m earning vacation time, so I can go as a Spanish speaking chaperone on my mom’s school trip – life is good!. It’s my first trip to the Caribbean, first time in Puerto Rico.
Immediately I feel Peace. Everything about was completely different than my upbringing in rural CT & I loved it!! I loved the colors,the sounds, the smells, the sights. I was hooked, I wanted to come back as quickly as I could. As events would align, I could, because while we were there, I lost my job as a result of a decision that my father made to move on from his position there. It wasn't an enlightened work place, so for me, it was a blessing in disguise. In 1995 he started his own company, InCord and offered me a job, so it all worked out!
I get myself back into college full time. Spend a year back at ECSU and then decide I need to study abroad and get myself into Central CT State University because I like their program better. My end game was getting to spend a year in Spain, but first I had to endure a full year in New Britain, get accepted to the International Exchange program and then I could go. As luck would have it, I get assigned the best college roommate ever and our adventure's begin– she’s my MoonSpun Soul Sister & she’s heaven sent!
We met in September 1995 and by March 1996 we were visiting PR for the second time. We partied with strangers, sailed with pirates and floated endlessly in the waves, certain that we must have been mermaids together in a past life. We were spontaneous and free – we were Home. She felt it too,it wasn’t just me – we were in familiar waters.
I did make it to Spain where I discovered my singing voice and finally mastered speaking Spanish – thanks to a great local ‘tutor’. I graduated from CCSU and promptly moved to PR to sing with a blues band turned reggae band. It was there that I rediscovered my Art. At first I would hide it, but my best friend from grade school happened to find it hidden in a closet and convinced me to share it. I’m so glad she did. I’ve struggled with being seen over the years but that year in PR I sold everything I made, I sung on big stages and in packed bars – I was Living the Dream, but I was literally starving. As the victim of an abusive/alcoholic relationship, I was in daily despair. Ultimately my stay in PR ended with heartbreak,a fatherly bale out and I moved back home. The beat went on.
I’ve glossing over plenty of details, but you get it, right? Perhaps you recognize elements of your own story in mine? Those moments of profound disappointment and unexpected change. The peaks and valleys of setting goals, accomplishing missions and seeking new challenges. The consistent underlining currents of passion and places that keep calling to your Soul. Feeling in your Element and knowing with great certainty when you are just a fish out of water. Sensing when you are doing things out of obligation vs doing things because it makes your Heart sing! Nothing happens by coincidence. The creative path is nonlinear& our Spiritual Journey is not logical yet somehow looking back we can make sense of it all, connect all the dots, see the continuum - grasp the bigger picture. We are supposed to have fun, to learn and to grow - how that unfolds for us is our own personal destiny.
I’m grateful for all the windy, bumpy, scenic roads that lead me to exactly where I am today. I made so many ‘mistakes’ and I learned so many lessons & had SO MUCH FUN along the way. If what I have endured and learned,serves to help make it easier on one person, then it was worth it. If my struggles can become some inspiration, then none of it was in vain. I’d do it all over again just to get to where I am today & hope you would too. I am truly content with where I am,knowing I’m still a work in process, I always will be & that’s a beautiful, wonderful thing! It means I’m alive. Give Thanks! Life is GOOD – if you Let it Be!