I’m often criticized for being too opinionated. In my estimation, after 40+ years of life experience and lessons learned through trial and error, i believe I have earned the right to express my opinion.
I was raised in a large, blended, Mormon family and we led a relatively sheltered life. Although not as extreme as the Mormon communities established in the southeastern United States, there were great expectations on the girls and being the oldest, that meant me. While my brothers were expected to participate in learning the art of running the family machine shop or encouraged to engage in male-oriented school activities and clubs, I had very few friends (only two to be precise) and was rarely allowed to engage in sleepovers or pajama parties. The outside world was strictly prohibited from entering the walls of my world, and I strongly rebelled against the structure through a series of run-away attempts by the time I was 13. Eventually, I went to live with my Aunt Mary where I matured extremely fast given my new found freedom. From that point in my life onward, I repeatedly found myself in situations rarely experienced by a teenager, much less an adult.
I was a teenage pregnancy statistic at 15; quit school and moved to “Sin City” (Las Vegas, Nevada) at 17; lived a real life “seedy underworld” existence for nearly a year; limped my way back home at 18; and gradually began to put the pieces of myself back together beginning with the completion of my GED in 1980. Along the path to success, I have at one point or another been abandoned, betrayed, beaten and abused, used and then cast aside as garbage, and eventually valued and loved.
There are many emotional scars that were gained through the sacrifice of my childhood and at the expense of my innocence, and yet I have four beautiful children, my oldest daughter and I having been reunited through an online database for birth parents seeking their adopted children. I successfully completed my education while working full-time and raising a family; I established my own business and became a respected source of information offering valuable services; I have a beautiful, modest home; and I am happily married.
I have survived life, earned my Badge of Courage and Medal of Honor, and established my right to express my opinion. I have LIVED the topics on which I offer advice and speak from firsthand experience. And like the Little Engine that Could, “I can’t” are not words that exist in my vocabulary. I perform repairs on vehicles, change tires, frame walls, hang drywall, paint, and undertake ANY other project for which I have a need to know. I am a mother, an intelligent business woman, a professional, and yet on many occasions you will find me crocheting an afghan, drawing a picture, photographing nature, or watching a move with my family while surrounded by the pets I love dearly
I am opinionated. And what’s wrong with that? To be anything other than who I am, the individual into which life has molded me, would be dishonest and deceitful to those who know me and an absolute betrayal to the woman I am.