This blog is dedicated to Joy Kennedy Perry, my mom. If she were still alive these are the details of my life that I would want to share with her. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Summer of Reckoning

There are many lives of mine that I won't live - and I hate that.  Mainly because they are all inside of me wanting to be let loose.  These "lives-that-won't-see-the-light-of-day" and I had it out this summer - toe to toe.  I call it my Summer of Reckoning.  We have always gotten along well, these lives and I, because I have kept promising them through the years that their time will come - I have plenty of time to make it all happen.  And then, in my 40th summer, I had to say goodbye to some really amazing versions of myself.  I liked them all and didn't want them to go.  I promised I would write while knowing in my heart the relationship was over.  They knew it, too, which was why there was lots of gnashing.

Here, for your viewing (possibly laughing) pleasure, are the versions of me that could have been.

I Reckon I won't experience being:

  1. Archeologist, digging for Celtic ruins in the UK.  This life appeared when I was 12.  I was in my first beauty pageant and needed to state on stage what I wanted to be. I thought this sounded fantastic and dreamed myself in this life for many years.
  2. Graphologist, at  a Ren Faire booth providing handwriting analysis.  This life also included a day job  using this skill but it was always really about getting access to Ren Faires.  Mainly because it combines my love of handwriting (and what it reveals about that person) and fascinating people watching.
  3. Large animal Veterinarian, preferably working alongside James Herriot (yes, he has passed but when this life was in full force he was still with us.)
  4. Rare Book Librarian at the Bodleian Library at Oxford.
  5. Book Conservator with a studio in my back yard where I fixed broken, hurt, old books - preferrably with an antique French book press.
  6. Professional Genealogist specializing in Gaelic Records.
  7. Genetic Counselor
  8. My own enchanted shop filled to the brim with papers, pens and books - and fairy lights.  They seem to go together in my head.
  9. 6th Grade Teacher:  but this was when I was in 6th grade and I only wanted to become this to torture some irritating boys.  What I didn't know then is that boys can be no other way at that age.  THANKFULLY I have not been set loose in the school system.
  10. I am only going to briefly mention wanting to be a backup singer with Paul McCartney, Irish Dancer with Michael Flately and research assistant for Diana Gabaldon.  I think those require talent!
My chickens who also nest - usually in my bushes!
The life I do have was/is also one of my dreams because I love to nest.  And I have always wanted to provide a nest for my family to flourish in.  That family would live on a little farm (which turned out to be a house in a neighborhood but I am good at pretending) with animals (trying to figure out if a miniature horse would work in my yard along with my chickens and dog) and an amazing community to help me raise them (the kids, not the animals). 
I am pretty lucky because I have lived these "livesthatwillneverseethelightofday" in little ways through the years.  I have volunteered at the San Diego Archives where I helped restore books and helped out a large animal vet.  I have taken Gaelic language classes, Genealogy classes, graphology classes, book-making classes.  I am the historian of my town.  I majored in Genetics.  I occassionally people watch at Ren Faires (how can I resist?)  And if I ever need to visit one of these lives they are only a bookshelf away.

My girls have decided they are done listening and are heading home - to nest!

"There are times when Life surprises one, and anything may happen, even what one had hoped for."  Ellen Glasgow
Thanks for reading!


  1. Our "other" lives don't die, they evolve and grow with us and our circumstances. Goodness knows you're practicing your graphology whenever you've received one of my hand-written notes ;0)

  2. Shannon, you certainly are all the lives you say! Never retire... I am still working on jazz drummer, kayak guide, and comedian.

  3. That's great, Ryan, you certainly are all the lives at once as well. You should also put down Historic Ashevile Tour Guide as one of your lives! You're not allowed to retire, either

    Kou, I guess I needed to recognize moderation - I'm not so good at that. I really wanted to live all of these without compromise and I realize I won't be able to-just a little sampling, I guess, will have to do! I still don't like it, though.

  4. Moonbaby: Upon your many dreams and accomplishments, you forgot to mention your overwhelming political victory in the highly contested "water commissioner" race!...and that's only the beginning!.....Love.Poppy

  5. That's so true, Daddy! How could I have possibly left out my budding political career So many career goals ahead of me!