What do you remember about being an adolescent?
I loved to learn and to read but school was boring, restricted and felt like it wasn’t ‘real life’. I got fairly good grades, was conscientious and responsible, which adults liked, but I yearned for a time when I would be ‘taken seriously’. There was a culture of experimentation with drugs through my teens that did not interest me. The school carried out a fear campaign to keep us away from drugs and it only served to make the world feel unsafe.
Suburbia felt like cardboard to me and I preferred being around other cultures and languages.
I didn’t understand the US war in Vietnam or why people around the world wouldn’t treat one another in the way that they wished to be treated. My family came from both sides of WWII so I couldn’t see either side as ogres.
I was conscious of inequities of all kinds in the sixties and saw them play out in my family. Women were not treated equally and my mother wanted to make very sure that I had better opportunities than she had had. I was very fortunate to have a really strong relationship with my mother who listened to me, inspired me, challenged me, and encouraged my authenticity. I could talk to her about menstruation but it certainly was not treated as a rite of passage or anything to celebrate. Ironically, I have only come to that as I entered menopause.
We had enough family income to have a comfortable life where my physical needs were met. I was aware that I had opportunities that other kids did not have.
I have had books and creativity around me always.
What did you know to be true about yourself that is still true today?
I am a non-conformist and have never fit in with the group norm.
I was and am fascinated with metaphysics and the paranormal.
I loved to write and have always written as a means of knowing myself.
I loved conversation and listening to people’s stories – it’s endlessly fascinating.
I am a curious person who constantly thinks outside the box – especially about people.
I have a strong grasp of abstract concepts and how to make them understandable.
I’m an optimist and extremely sensitive – physically, emotionally, energetically.
I love to help people of all ages to grow and learn.
I preferred to spend time with people of varying ages, backgrounds, interests and cultures and not just kids the same age and background as me.
What were some challenges or special moments that you experienced?
How to make sense of being especially sensitive and psychic.
How to navigate my world without compromising my integrity, ethics and values.
How to deal with my inner critic, especially as I responded to and took on what I picked up in my environment that may or may not have even been mine.
Making sense of being betrayed by adults and their humanity.
I travelled at least once a year right up until was in my late twenties which meant I could explore other parts of the world and appreciate differences.
I’m a first generation Canadian so I grew up within other cultural norms and languages.
I have a younger brother who is and has always been really important to me and with whom I share a deep and abiding bond.
I have had deep friendships full of learning and laughter and delight.