I just wanted to take a moment to say how touched I am that so many of my friends took time out of their busy days to wish me a happy birthday!!! You love me, you really love me!!! 😉
I hit the big 48 today. I have really been looking back over my life the last month or so. I have done many things in my life. Some I am very proud of. Some that I wish I could have a do-over on. But that’s what life is about. It’s a learning process.
I was a nerd in high school. I was backwards as hell and painfully shy. I kept my nose in the books and graduated with honors. I went to Bowling Green State University, where I partied way too much and ended up dropping out. I thought my parents were going to kill me. In their eyes, I “fell in with a bad crowd”. But some of these people are still among my best friends today. We laugh over the stupid shit we did back in the day. Steve still swears I ran over a dog on Tabor Ridge Rd on a beer run. I still remember Tracey and Lisa running around my car like a couple of chickens with their heads cut off one night out at the Cliffs. I still laugh over this one.
I got a do-over and started school again at Kent State University. While I was taking classes at the local branch, I met my first husband. We ended up pregnant before we got married. I took a year off toward the end of the pregnancy to have my baby and to be home with her for almost a year before heading back. My mom and dad offered to watch her for me because in my mom’s words “You are going to need a degree because your marriage isn’t going to last”. Boy, was she right! So back to school I went. I got my Associate’s Degree in Arts and Science. I started taking classes at the main campus. (By the way, that marriage managed to limp through 9 years before I had had enough.)
During the Fall semester of my senior year, we lost my brother in a car accident. I regret that I never got to say goodbye. I regret not telling him how much he means to me. My world shattered when I got that phone call. I fell into a deep deep depression. There were times I thought about just driving under a truck and ending it. But I didn’t. Bob would have kicked my ass for giving up. So I continued school and that Spring, I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and graduated cum laude. I’d like to think my big brother was up in Heaven hooting and hollering “Way to go, Little Wilbert!” like he did when I graduated from high school. I didn’t attend graduation because I just couldn’t do it emotionally, not without him.
After college, I became a real estate agent. I tinkered with that for 2 years. I couldn’t handle how cutthroat it was. I became a switchboard operator for Smith Ambulance Communications and loved every minute of it. I left there to become a database researcher and manager for a non-profit group where we led the charge for campaign finance reform in the state of Ohio. We also released environmental studies showing who the largest polluters in Ohio are. You know, the guys who are releasing toxins and carcinogens into our environment. I loved this job. I was presenting facts to the press from all over Ohio at press conferences. The press was taking the “bad guys” to task. I was making a difference. After 7 years of the most interesting work I have done, I was let go when we lost our grant funding. In fact, I found out I was pregnant with my youngest on the same day I was terminated. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
I went back to real estate and became a property manager for a low-income housing development in a horrible part of Canton. Oh, the stories I could tell! Then I went on to manage 4 different properties in Canton and Massillon. After that job, I tinkered in insurance sales, selling life and health insurance, Medicare supplements and annuities. I wasn’t thrilled with the way the company I worked for handled their business.
Then, in August 2008, I got the call. I became a sales associate for Alltel, which later was purchased by Verizon. I absolutely LOVED my work family, because they WERE my family. I loved my customers! I was damn good with the technology and my customers loved me! Until my health decided to start taking a crap and affected my ability to do my job.
Fibromyalgia really screwed up my professional life. Since 2011, I have been unable to work a 9 to 5. I work here now. I have met some absolutely amazing people here who I would never have had the privilege to otherwise. Some have become my sisters, even though we have never met in real life. We have laughed together, cried together, ranted together….. LOL
I have never sang professionally. I have never visited Scotland, Ireland, Germany or New Zealand. I probably never will.
I have been through hell with my first two husbands. One was a cheater, the second was a beater. My second husband tried to kill me. But I’m here. I now have a GOOD man, who loves me more than I think I can even comprehend and I think he’s pretty darn special too. He’s my soulmate. He is good to me and my children.
I’m stronger now than I have ever been. I am not shy about voicing my opinion and calling a turd a turd. I don’t take crap from anyone anymore. But I give respect to those who earn it, try to always help those who need it and love with all my heart.
I may not have a lot to show for my life in material items. But I have EVERYTHING.This life has been one hell of a journey!
Thanks again, my friends!!!! Love you all!!! <3 <3 <3