She's so stubborn, willful, bossy and filled with confidence in her point of view. It makes my blood boil sometimes with rage and fury and the need to prove her wrong, prove a point, or even just in opposing her prove my strength too. She is a worthy adversary, because she is often right.
I get small satisfaction as a young girl, when she has chided me for talking with food in my mouth, as I catch her doing the same. When you are so filled with righteousness, it is important not to be caught violating those same principles. Her knowledge of language and words is so vast, it is truly a challenge to find fault or correct, and when I begin to score she half-admiringly says my new nick name will be William Sapphire, which of course is a reference that is new to me and she once again has the upper hand.
Much of our time together was peaceful, don't get me wrong. But she stirred in me a beast that breathes the same fire she does, with iron will and stubborn grit, and a streak of independence a mile long. She was judgmental at times, and also sometimes a little unkind. I found my voice in fighting back sometimes. She tested and quizzed and helped me define my stance.
I was staying at her place once and trying to decide what to have for lunch, and there was jelly or tuna, and I decided to combine them in one sandwich. I insisted I would eat it and she told me it would be disgusting and I shouldn't waste food. I ate every bit of that really gross sandwich, and it took me almost ten years to admit to her how gross it had been...when I did she giggled and said she knew.
We were thick as thieves, and shared secrets sometimes. She was a great ally in life, talking sense about saving for the future, and without her help I'm not sure I could have gone to the college of my choosing. She supported me and cheered my successes, she was there for me in times of stress. The first phone call I ever got from my father happened in her kitchen, and she was there to offer her support.
I know she was proud of me. I hope she saw a little something of herself in me. We had a special bond, for sure. Our complex and layered relationship meant so much to me.
I love you, Grandma...
Thank you for visiting!
The Double Meaning behind the blog title 'Dream Follower:'
First, for 14 years I was a ballroom & social dance instructor, and have studied both leading and following. I feel that learning to follow is full of nuance and is often misunderstood. I made it one of my personal goals to become a really excellent follow on the dance floor, and will probably talk a lot about the art of following - both in and out of the context of dance.
Second, I am a huge fan of author Michael Ende, probably best known for The Neverending Story. The book is incredible, and the first film captured some of the essence. (Please don't watch the other two films...I urge you to read the book though!) Anyway, at least twice in my life I have been caught in a storm of my own indecision, and my inner Moon Princess yelled to my inner Bastian...'Why don't you do what you dream?' I tear up even now as I write this little blurb. The tension between being practical, keeping my feet on the ground and my head out of the clouds (at the risk of compromising my inner vibrancy, true self, and who knows what else)...and reaching for my true dreams (at the risk of losing everything) is still a very real struggle. In fact, one of those struggles lead to my 14 years of teaching dance, so we can see which voice won the battle that fateful day when I was staring at the want-ad...
And so I strive to be two kinds of Dream Followers in my life. One has to do with connecting with others, and the other has to do with connecting with my inner Moon Princess and the world of possibility that opens when I do...