As I continue on this journey with you I have decided that we need a break from relationship crap. It’s not all bad and hurtful but I feel like I should tell you who I am. How can you connect to an author if you don’t have the foundation of the person? I love to read and personally, I like those details. Thank you for being here and taking the time to read what I post. If only one person reads it and gleams something from it, that’s great! I am not an expert at anything but my life. I do not impart wisdom on anyone unless solicited, nor do I expect anyone to respond to life like I have. We all walk our own different and unique path. That is the beautiful thing about life. If every situation were the same for all of us this world would be boring. We all have a story to tell and I will listen to yours if you want to share. That is tough for many people. I have found that writing is cathartic for me. I used to keep journals. I still have them. Reading those words becomes extremely powerful and often times takes me back to dark places. I hate that but I have grown from it. So let me tell you about Emily.
I was raised in a Greek household with first generation born American parents. They were both Greek. Our family comes from an island called Ikaria. For those of you that enjoy Greek mythology, most of the Greek islands are named after mythological people. Does that make them a myth or were they real? Ah…it makes the mind wander and imagine. Some of the greatest philosophers were of Greek decent. Many of us are high thinkers. Personally, my mind races constantly. I am always thinking. Playing out scenarios, solving problems and just philosophizing about life. I have been to Greece several times and one of my fondest memories is of my Uncle John. On this particular trip, I traveled with my mom. When we landed in Athens we decided to spend a few days there exploring. That obviously means we were headed to the Parthenon. Have you been there? It’s magical. It’s also fun walking up the mountain past the ruin of giant stones that used to be interlocked to form amazing structures that have been destroyed by war or the British that stole from us. We want our statues back! Anyhow, the day we went, Uncle John was our tour guide of all things Athens related. When we arrived at the bottom of the mountain he said he would wait for us right there. Off we went! To the top! There is something amazing about history when you can see and touch it. After hours at the top we headed back down the mountain. Where is Uncle John?? Mom looks at me and says “I have no clue what his home address is? Do you?” Nope. “Mom, sit right here and do NOT move. I’m going to find him.” I sprinted back up to the top. No Uncle John. I came back down to check in with her. She hasn’t seen him. I sprint back up to the top. (that’s 3 times now). Nothing! Where is he? We can’t get home without him. I know he would not leave us. Alright then. I am going back down the mountain slowly this time because 1. I’m out of steam. 2. Maybe I overlooked. him. Success!!! Well of course…like a billy goat he had climbed over all the protective fencing of the ruins on the mountainside and clearly didn’t care that the signs said “DO NOT ENTER” and he went and perched himself on a large, boulder like stone to sit and smoke his pipe. …and philosophize! We made eye contact and I yelled at him in Greek “I have been looking for you! You aren’t allowed over there!” He just laughed “I have been watching you run up and down the mountain.” That was it. That’s all he said. A source of amusement for him that day. That’s how this family rolls. Humor and being a bit chill. Maybe sometimes too much. I had to share that. That story still makes me laugh.
Growing up in our house was exciting! Two older brothers who taught me everything about sports because that’s just how things were going to be. I was immersed in sports day and night and it still is the center of our discussions whenever I do see them. I was not allowed to play sports because according to my parents, girls didn’t do that. Yet, I was the swing person of their 1 person teams when we horsed around at home. Lots of destruction and competitiveness. I wasn’t allowed to do a lot of things because even though they were first generation born, the rules for women were still like that of the turn of the century. That was something I was about to change when I turned 15. Haha. Look out world. Emily has different plans.
One thing is certain. I was raised by parents who loved each other more than life itself. In fact, we took second place to their love affair. It’s not that they did not love us, but they loved each other more. That’s a fair statement. It was the best example of love though, so for that, I am grateful. Daddy taught me how you should be treated. And mom taught him how to be sure to get it right. She was a pistol and he was absolutely hysterically funny. Don’t piss him off though. I mean it. I almost saw him kill a man with his bare hands in our restaurant one night. I thought my mom was going to have a heart attack. He was bad ass when necessary but mostly a pussycat. He was a Navy boy. Do not push. I have his ridiculous sense of humor. As do my brothers and all 3 of my children. By the way, do any of you have a banana phone I can borrow??
I can summarize my childhood in one sentence. Watch the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” That is the outline of my childhood.
I hit my stride in high school. That was a great experience for me. I started learning about who I really wanted to be and I got involved in everything. I started to play the violin in 5th grade and played until high school. I put it down in 9th grade and filled my world for the next 4 years with dancing, ski club, symphonic choir, boosters, cheerleading and rangerettes. Outside of school I was also a Rainbow girl (an order of the Masons), I did everything. The most important thing I learned in those 4 years was all about volunteering and giving back. I became involved with Toys 4 Tots in school at the guidance of Mr. DiBiasio. He taught me how important it is to give back. I am forever memorialized in our year book the first year I participated as the girl “with the big antlers.” He is the one teacher at Lakewood High School that impacted my life the greatest. He passed away many years ago, but he is the reason I am who I am today.
I am a mom first and foremost. I am grateful. I am kind. I believe in helping others. I believe in the good. I believe in love.
Have a beautiful day! Thank you for being here.