Once upon a time, I was a little girl living in Hyde Park (Chicago’s) with my mom, dad and live-in housekeeper. When I was about 4, because my mom was a doctor and was going to be working full time, my parents imported a nanny for me. This one, however, spoke only Spanish. Of course, I quite quickly learned to speak Spanish so we could converse.
And from then on, my life was not like everyone else’s. My Spanish was fluent and I also learned to speak French at home. My parents had lived in Paris and my dad thought it was important. That made French classes at school sort of a no-brainer, right? My growing up was quite different from everyone else’s and, as a kid, I was so very self-conscious of it.
Many other things in my world were thus unlike the background my friends had. But that changed at some non-specific time in high school. That’s when I started to recognize that having a working mom and being an only child with no TV till I was 11 years old might, actually, be something good.
I guess there really were girls who went to college when I did who were “going to get an Mrs.” (get it)? But it never occurred to me to go to college for a degree that wouldn’t lead to a likely career. And… I didn’t know right away what the career would be until I realized how rewarding color, creativity–and design would be.
Making my own way is how I’ve gotten to where I am now. There is absolutely no question that my path has been a bit more winding. I have stopped to check out obstacles and I have wandered away from everyone else either on purpose or because of unavoidable distractions. But it has been enriching, gratifying and educational no matter how complicated it felt at the time. It’s good! Namaste.
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