Inspired by Green Pepper Press, Simple Blog Writer, and Beyond the Map, I thought I’d give this idea a try even though it makes me feel a little too self-obsessed. But what writer isn’t? Anyway, you should give this exercise a try, too (and let me know if you do).
Where do I come from?
I come from humidity, cattails, and orange groves. I come from the state of serial killers and con artists and refugees. I come from cow pastures and tourist traps and strip malls and motels selling discounted tickets. I come from sunshine and thunder storms and hurricanes and sink holes and muck fires. I come from alligators, snakes, frogs coming out of the bathtub drain and spiders keeping me out of my room.
I come from a father who taught himself to read and write, who laughs no matter how angry anyone else ever gets, and who tells bad jokes. I come from a father who never explained anything but who read bedtime stories even as it pained him to read. I come from a cook and a carpenter and a fisherman. I come from a man who can kill a rat with his bow and arrow. I come from a man who never lacked for a date or for a wife but never both at the same time. I come from a father who never frightened me but who didn’t protect me either.
I come from a mother who died. I come from a mother who was abused and unhappy. I coem from a mother who kept her promises and never condescended. I come from a mother who told the truth, who made art, who took photographs, who wrote, and who loved dragons and wolves. I come from a mother who fought back and who always asked, why do you think that? I come from a woman who changed, who overcame, who graduated with honors. I come from a woman who finally had a chance to climb out of years of poverty. I come from a mother who terrified me but who protected me and fought for me.
I come from a terrible marriage, a divorce, a custody battle, an angry step-mother. I come from being too tall and too skinny for boys to pay attention to. I come from whole weekends left alone in an empty house with a field, an orange grove, and a lake for company. I come from books and art and a desire to escape. I come from knowing my life is my own but can change at any moment. I come from a place I would never change but would never go back to.
It almost sounds romantic put like this, but it seemed so normal at the time.