Monday, August 14, 2006
Looking way back
I had been prepared to blog on another subject entirely, something more in line with the subject of this blog — publishing, illustrating, writing. But when I came home from work, my mom, who is visiting for the next two weeks, gives me a packet with some of my old stuff from back home in Des Moines, which included this photo. I'm so blown away, I haven't seen this photo in ages.
I must have been about 18 years old, maybe 19. My life was so very different back then, it's almost like looking at a ghost. Sorry to walk you down my personal memory lane, but here are some of my thoughts looking at this photo:
-- I was much too young to have a child. Much too young to raise a child. I didn't know that back then.
-- I had just been accepted into a commercial art program at a community college. Those days when my 20-year-old Nova actually started up and ran, I bundled my daughter up in a blanket, laid her on my lap, or on the seat next to me (boy have laws changed), and drove her to day care — which ever one I could afford to pay that month — then drove myself to school in Ankeny, Iowa, about 40 miles north of Des Moines. On days that my car didn't run, a friend's father, a man who liked and believed I had a bright future, drove me to school.
-- Ronald Reagan cut my grant for books and art supplies at the campus book store, when I went onto welfare for the two years I was in college. I remember thinking, "I can't eat books or T-squares."
-- I was in the midst of a custody battle with lawyers and judges and custody investigators. I won. My daughter's mother was still in high school.
-- I was so deeply in love with that baby girl, and the smell of spit up mixed with baby powder, but I absolutely hated walking through the mall pushing a stroller (it messed with my cool).
-- I missed "scooping the loop" on Friday nights with Ronnie, Michael and Kevin. I miss them to this day.
-- So many insecurities, fears, demons. Looking at this picture, I can see them clearly in my eyes. At the same time, I possessed confidence in my abilities, and I was optimistic about my future.
--What happened to my hairline? Sometime over the past 20 years, someone pulled my hairline two inches farther up from my eyebrows and pumped fat into my face.
--I can't believe the little girl in this picture is all grown up now, and will be returning home tomorrow with her own child.
Wow, how time flies.