My mother—the unintentional interrupter. She cuts all of my jokes. If I am telling a story that she was in—in front of a group of people—she will endlessly interrupt me until I have to stop her with words that throw me back to my angsty teenager days “MOOOOOM STAAAAP!”
She always looks so butthurt when I do this, so I am working on just letting her ruin my stories and jokes and totally throwing me off of the stage.
My father is different: strict, quiet, and to the point. He is sensitive but doesn’t show you (or tries not to) I can feel it though. He is a matter-of-fact kind of person and that’s just the way he was raised and continues to be. He is outrageously supportive of who I am and this is what I love most about my father: the fact that he can be this pretty hard-core traditionalist but still support me and my art. He’s one of the only people that believes I can grow up to be an artist. He says I probably won’t make any money and I tell him that’s kind of alright with me because I’d rather suffocate in my words than die in a 9-5. He agrees. He is a forester. This is what he does: chops down trees. Some people think this is bad, but let me tell you: this is life. Dad’s motto: chop down 1…plant 100. He’s much more of an environmentalist than any of those college-yuppies. I’m so sick of them. Always talkin’ about wasting paper but not planting any new trees. My dad doesn’t care for the talkers: he’s a do-er.
Katie. She’s my older sister. She’s the total opposite of me. She’s one of those A-4 lifestylers who actually enjoys living the template lifestyle. I’ll never understand. But I am happy for her. At the ripe age of 20, Katie started dating her (now) navy husband. At age 21 she graduated college a year early. At 22 she got her master’s degree. That same year, she landed a real-time-big-kid job as a teacher. At 23 she got engaged. At 24 she got married. Now, at 25, my Navy wife sister and her Lieutenant husband created a baby and named their son Calvin. I asked her if they just named him Calvin so their dog, Hops, could pair up with him for baby’s first Halloween. They could be a spin off “Calvin and Hobbs” but be (of course) “Calvin and Hops.” She doesn’t like this joke. Actually, she doesn’t like a lot of my jokes. She’s an old soul. I think she must have lived about a thousand more past-lives than me.
Aside from our very different lifestyles, I really look up to Katie. I love how she’s always known what she’s wanted and quietly pursued it ambitiously.
Then there’s Erin (!?). She’s the youngest of the family and everytime I come home she has a different goal in mind. When I went to visit in March, she wanted to be a doctor. Now she wants to be a baker. She is this (!?) because she always going at whatever she’s currently into at full speed… but she’s always questioning it. When I went home for Thanksgiving, she must have baked nearly 10 batches of cookies. I’m not kidding. She will make you eat all the cookies too. It’s awful and yummy at the same time. It really confuses my mind. So since she likes to bake cookies so much, she now wants her own bakery. Erin’s antics are shaped from Katie and I. I swear, she is half of me and half of Katie. I think she likes the stability Katie shows her and I think she appreciates my “outside the box” lifestyle I lead. She is only fifteen and now I am careful of what I say in front of her because I have realized how much I influence her. No doubt she will find her passion in life, but until then, I hope she remains (!?) for a long time because it’s important that she questions herself and her place in society.
And then there’s me—Hannah. I’m a real dreamer. I know my ideas are really high up in the clouds, but I’d rather be an idealist until life decides to throw me those lemons. I am split between an exclamation point (!!) because of my enthusiasm for life, and le dash (—) because I am good at interrupting things that are working just fine in my life for new adventure. I really believe I’ve got the guts and willpower to make it as an artist. I know I can make it. And let me think that! Let me think that until life decides to teach me differently. Lately I’ve gotten a lot of criticism for voicing my plans to pursue art in the post collegiate world— I don’t want to publicly voice this—but people are nosy and they ask, so I tell. I get a lot of “good luck makin’ it!’s” and long conversations of the hard trials and tribulations of being an adult. I tell most of them to fuck off—and that’s mostly the words talking— but really fuck off! I think it’s really important to follow the passions in your life. When you have a passion that is so deeply rooted in you, you don’t just throw it away or hope you make it. You do everything in your power to make it a reality. I make sure my words are heard because that is the only thing my words ask of me. It’s a give and take relationship— like everything in life. Words are as much a part of me as they are separate from me. They are an entity in themselves. They speak to me and I write them and that’s just how the relationship works.