I could read before I went to school.
At five, I left my 'boyfriend', James, behind during the first half year at school - I had waited for him to start because he was five days younger but I was very small so my mother made me wait for him (the nuns wouldn't take new entrants then so we went to the local state school, Ngaio, at the end of our street). That was July. In November he had his tonsils out. By the following February, we were a year apart in class and it stayed that way for the rest of our school careers. When we were 12, he stopped speaking to me - the boys were calling him Jenny!
I went to a great primary school, St Benedicts, a foul intermediate, Sacred Heart, and a fairly normal secondary school, St Mary's.
I joined Red Cross then and became a member of the Disaster Relief Team. I could feed you in a disaster, do advanced first aid, build a temporary oven and toilet, tell you how to clean your water... earthquake, flood, storm, fire, you name it, I was ready for it!
I loved Victoria University, I studied Anthropology, Education, Music of all kinds - Western and non-Western, English Language (my major) and Literature and Maori Language. I loved the freedom of university life, I loved the timetable, the casual clothes (after thirteen years in uniform!), the anonymity of the lectures, all of it. I graduated with a BA.
I loved Teachers' College too, although not as much, and I didn't like living in Auckland much. The Red Cross team up there was okay though. I enjoyed my teaching sections, especially the eye-opener that was the Bay of Islands and Kawakawa and Bay of Islands College. And we had a great flat down at the seedy end of Parnell!
Back in Wellington, I loved flatting in Hataitai and then Roseneath, teaching for the next eight years in four colleges, meeting Steve, getting married, then later having a big dog and then three children. It's been a blast.
When Steve almost severed all his fingers one time after a wee accident, I thought, standing in the middle of the ER between the curtained cubicles, 'I married him for better or worse and this is the worse' but it all worked out fine.
A lot of people I know have died over the years, including my father and father-in-law, several of my close friends' parents, a couple of their babies, all sorts of people I worked with, taught, tutored and befriended along the way. I treat death with a fairly cavalier attitude just now, I just hope I don't die for a long while yet. I believe in God, I don't think death is the end of the road.
I started reading my father's books when I was about ten. By the time I was thirteen I had read all the Simon Templar 'The Saint' books, all the Agatha Christies, all the Earl Stanley Gardners 'Perry Mason', all the Ian Flemings 'James Bond' and books like the Godfather and Papillon, a not very literary collection for snob value, for sure, but I don't give a fig about that, and an interesting collection, I guess, for a young Catholic girl. Those characters were my heroes though, for sure. I still look for heroes in novels but now I create some of my own as well. That is immensely satisfying and thoroughly enjoyable.
While I might not be as swashbuckling and attractive as The Saint, or cruel and commanding as James Bond, or as perceptive as Hercule Poirot (and yeah, my heroes are all male, I think), I think after all this time on earth, I've come to accept myself as a pretty interesting individual. I know I'm smart. I'm not a brain surgeon kind of smart, but I'm immensely capable and creative, and that's fine with me!
I love to help people, and after twenty-five years in the Red Cross, I've turned my attention to the people in my parish, and that's been reasonably interesting too *g*
Being friendly with people has its ups and downs, people are odd creatures and are very hard to understand sometimes. They're worth the effort though. Mostly. No, probably all of them.
I did a post-grad diploma at Massey University, and that made me an ESOL teacher too, and that's been a huge and fascinating chunk of my recent years. Walk by Faith was another interesting diploma that has led me to meet all kinds of people and help them along their faith journeys.
I think I get a huge amount out of life. I'm not climbing tall mountains or fording great rivers, I'm not a world leader or a peace keeper. But my life is still demanding, challenging and full of variety. I am constantly being re-edited, as Phil Gulley would say, and that's great, really.
I am grateful for so many things, it'd take another three posts. So I'll just say I am grateful. You people out there reading this know how you have contributed to my gratefulness *g* so pat yourselves on the back.
Me, I'm going to do a little writing before I go to bed. My new hero, Nick, needs some action ;-)
And it's just about half past eleven. Finally after five interruptions I have finished this post in time for celebrating those forty-five years OMG! So... mature! But doing okay!