"How about you? How does place figure in your writing? Do you feel comfortable in the place you live, or do you feel at odds with your atmosphere? Do you convey that in your writing? What stories does your location have to tell?
Write On This:
“The loss of a place isn’t really so different from the loss of a person. Both disappear without permission, leaving the self diminished, in need of testimony and evidence.” Bridge of Sighs, Richard Russo
Write about a place you’ve lost…."
The place I miss the most is the place I was during my 20s. I was married for the first time when I was 17 years old - not because I HAD to, but because I WANTED to. How stupid is that? All my childhood, I couldn't wait to be married and have children of my own - after all, my mom was married at 16 and I was born when she was 17. My mom was my hero!
Unfortunately, my high school sweetheart turned out to be the cheating hound of our small town. So, after 4 years of dating and 6 years of marriage, he decided he'd had enough and walked out on us. To say I was devastated is an understatement!
Although I graduated number 4 at the top of my high school class (176 students!), I had NO work experience and I had given up dreams of college so I could get married. My ex left me with NO car, NO money, and after 4 months, NO place to live. His family made me and the kids move out of our house because my in-laws wanted to move in! I couldn't believe it.
So, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and found a job at the local Pizza Hut. My girls had never been in daycare because I had been a stay-at-home mommy. Now I was working 5pm until 1am and I had to pick my girls up in the middle of the night and take them home. I was miserable and so were they.
After a year of fighting my ex and his family, and working minimum wage at Pizza Hut, I realized I couldn't raise the girls the way I wanted if things didn't change. By this time, I was dating my current hubby, but I had no intentions of remarrying any time soon. With his encouragement, I enrolled in nursing school and began a 3 year adventure of changing my life.
My girls and I started school the same fall - me in college, the oldest in kindergarten and the baby in head start. With the help of my soon-to-be hubby I struggled to keep my grades up and hold down a full time job and care for my children; my ex and his family didn't even help with child care!
In May 1990, my life changed again - for the better. The 2nd weekend in May, I graduated with my nursing degree, the 3rd weekend I was married and by the 4th week, I was working full-time as a labor and delivery nurse. In less than 10 years, I transformed from a shy, inexperienced, stay-at-home mom to a confident, experienced, working mom.
In the 18 years since that time, my life has gone through may ups and downs, but I've always had my hubby and family to rely on. My hubby has been my rock of support and I am forever grateful. However, with the death of my baby sister 3 years ago, my life seems to be in a downward spiral.
I retired from nursing 10 months after my sister died. She was enrolled in nursing school and was going to come work with me at the local hospital (I was supervisor of our extended care facility). After her death, I lost my desire to help others. Over these long hard years, I've struggled with self-worth, self-loathing and self-hatred, but I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!
My only regret is that I no longer have the energy or drive I had when I was going to college. I miss the spontaneity my hubby and I used to share. If I could go back to any place, it would be that time of struggle, love and freedom. But because that is impossible, I must settle for improving the place I live in now, lifting myself out of depression and making my family proud of me once more.