My intelligent, strong-willed, old-fashioned parents restricted my creativity. I wasn’t allowed to do anything extra-curricular. If it meant they had to go out of their way to take or leave me some place other than what the school bus provided, it was out of the question.
School was a priority in our household; straight A’s a must, so I was shocked to learn that any college money saved was intended for my older brother. There would be none for me. I got my parents to agree that if I could get financial aid, I could go to college. They were more than surprised when the offers started coming in during my second semester as a senior.
I was allowed to accept the one offer that kept me in town. At first, they were their usual negative selves, putting up barricades at every turn. They complained I was costing them money, and I was wasting my time and theirs. Secretarial school would be easier and faster than pursuing a four-year, teaching degree.
What changed their mind about me was that my older brother flunked out of his first year of college. He got drafted and went off to Viet Nam, while I was speeding through university, making good grades. They were suddenly proud of me. When family asked about my progress, my parents took full credit. I never contradicted them in public, but privately I reminded them that they blocked me at every turn.
Burned by that experience, I made my first husband promise he would never hold me down in my pursuits. He kept his word but his own endeavors took precedence over mine or of the needs of the three children we raised. I was done with barricades in my life. I was done with negativism. Life is too short to let others stand in the way of accomplishing one’s dreams.
The only angst that holds me back now is my aging body. The aches, the pains, the bad bladder. I am free to do whatever I please as long as I know where the nearest bathroom is located. As for Keanu Reeves, nothing negative there. I would love to meet him one day, but it better be soon. Shout out to Keanu. Hey, babe.