3 S.R. Johannes: Through the years...

Monday, September 08, 2008

Through the years...

The other day, I was talking to a friend and had a "moment" where I realized I now sounded like my parents (Uggg).

How did I get from talking about princesses, fairies, and dreams to discussing money, politics, ailments, and rising weight?

What happened? I now sound like my parents did when I would sneak out of my bedroom and listen at their bedroom door (usually talking about me).

I want to be light-hearted again. Is that possible? No worries, massive amounts of time, never busy?

Since I just turned (cough), I find myself remembering more of my past and traveling back to the stages of my former lives. A life before insurance issues and before large bills, but after diapers.

When I was a little girl, I thought:

  • people over 20 were old and people over 30 were ancient!
  • my house was huge, and my room was too small.
  • my parents knew everything
  • sharks lived in pools
  • my stuffed animals were real
  • animals could talk - at least to me - and that I actually understood them
  • my small town of Vero Beach was the only town in the world
  • my feet were too big for my size - PS they were!
  • wearing glasses was cool
  • names couldn't hurt me - but my brother throwing rocks at my face could and did
  • i could fly or even be invisible
  • strange things came out in the dark and hid under my bed
  • my brother was cool and fun
  • a small white mouse - named snowball - was my best friend
  • i could teach my cats to use the toilet - esp if i locked them in the bathroom
  • only moms cooked and cleaned
  • my parents were rich
  • broccoli was just a baby tree
  • i could pee standing up (not well I might add)
  • stupid was a "potty word"
When I became a kid (adolescence is the adult word), I decided...


  • my parents didn't know as much as they thought or pretended
  • my brother was not so cool (kind of annoying back then)
  • I had boobs and needed a real bra (even when I didn't)
  • I needed to show my own style
  • I could be in the Olympics
  • I didn't need veggies or fruit
  • there was not much difference between a zucchini and a cucumber
  • I could do anything boys could do
  • I liked boys better than girls (more fun and less catty).
  • I was a tomboy
  • I should get a dog (if it just wasn't for those stupid cats)
  • everything was stupid
  • glasses were cool - only to me
  • the brownies and girl scouts taught wilderness survival
  • i didn't care that my mom was a beauty queen (ok, first runner-up)
  • my grandparents would not live forever
  • cats run away
  • i was competitive
  • squeezing my feet into shoes (two sizes too small) did NOT make my feet look smaller. (They just hurt.)
  • I wanted to write poetry and created a book of poems
  • I could write because I won an state essay contest on Nutrition (mine was called One Smart Cookie.) Prize - 100$, meeting the mayor, picture in local paper, and see the vero beach dodgers :) score!
  • I had a crush on a guy in my HomeEc Class (Ace Atkins)
  • my mom's makeup would look good on me (the more the better)

When I became a teen, I realized...

  • the world was a big place, sometimes magical, sometimes frightening
  • A's were harder to get than I thought
  • I hated trig and anything to do with math or numbers
  • I wanted to play guitar
  • I wanted to be a cheerleader and did for 4 years (don't ask!)
  • I had a my first love (Craig Bolier :)
  • my naturally curly hair was in style (thx to Julia Roberts)
  • my hair was not big enough naturally so I had to perm it (again, don't ask)
  • I did not look good in florescent leggings (am I telling my age?)
  • getting my period was a pain (need I say more?)
  • I could sneak out of my second story window
  • girls could be mean
  • I could wear makeup
  • I was not an artist
  • I would never be homecoming queen
  • my parents were human too
  • I had to drive my parents van (and take my drivers test in it) that had a sign on it saying "USS JOhannes (embarrassing!)
  • if you were not cool, you could just pretend you were and people might not notice

Later, in college, I found out...

  • my crush from homeEc (Ace Atkins) liked me too. (and we dated for about 10 years)
  • poetry does not pay, but business does ( a fact I could have lived without)
  • college was expensive
  • I could make 10$ an hr serving food at Sam's wholesale club
  • if I ate jello and rice - I could lose weight
  • I could vote for president
  • joining a sorority was a way to find friends
  • UGA was more fun than expected
  • i could sing with a band and make money
  • i was lucky to be alive
  • how hard it was to do laundry and cook
  • I was afraid to die
  • people could surprise you (good and bad)

In the real world, I ...discovered

  • things don't always turn out the way you want or need them to
  • love could break your heart - in many ways
  • I needed to live in the moment
  • how to appreciate the small simple things
  • That I could love again and love better
  • that weddings did not have to be stressful
  • that working came easy - so I worked too hard
  • I could travel to Europe by myself
  • I could buy my first dog (Bud and he is still here with me)
  • life's not always fair
  • how much my parents loved me
  • how a child could change your life and stretch your heart (and your tummy :)
  • C-sections were tougher than people admitted

Now, I have transformed. I am

  • a good wife, great mother, and better friend
  • appreciative of my parents
  • independent
  • hopeful
  • world-traveler
  • a writer
  • yoga lover
  • environmentally conscious
  • in love with my hubby and kids
  • a survivor
  • a struggling writer

Today, after everything I have accomplished, I have now chosen to start over. Back to square one. Back to the basics. Back to the days of poetry and essays. Back to writing. Back to idealism.

Now, after everything I have been through - I sit and dream of being a published writer.

"Better late than never."

But do "late" birds ever get the worm?

Stay Tuned......

3 comments:

Katie said...

Shelli, I love reading your posts! They are always so hopeful and honest. You are definitely a talented writer. I am looking forward to catching up soon!

A. said...

I love how you think. I love the "back to idealism" idea. I only got serious about writing for children about 5 years ago. I could either kick myself for wasting all those years writing about insurance...or get down on my knees in gratitude for re-connecting with my childhood passion (which for me, is ancient history). I mostly choose to get on my knees.

Carrie Harris said...

I didn't look good in day-glo leggings either, but it never stopped me from wearing them.

I think I still have a pair. How sad is THAT?