March 7, 2013
I’ve had many epiphanies in my lifetime – not because I’ve experienced a revelation that has caused my soul to be forever changed, but more like ah-ha moments that have come about because I’m mostly a naive dork.
Take for example when I was in sixth grade. My end of class duty for the day was to wipe off the chalkboards. I was having a difficult time erasing the chalk marks using the spongy little black board eraser. I told my teacher I couldn’t get all the marks off, so she told me to use a little elbow grease. I didn’t know what that was, so I asked her where I could find some. She told me to go look in the supply closet. Dutifully, I trudged into the closet to find a jar of elbow grease. My ah-ha moment came years later when I finally discovered what elbow grease meant. Then I realized what a jerk my teacher was for humiliating me.
As with most middle-school children, I loved to listen to music. I had my little blue turntable and played the same Neil Sedaka 45’s over and over again. I also had my favorite radio station that I listened to. Back in those days there were maybe 4 stations – pop, country western, elevator music, and gospel. My epiphany for these years was when I realized the singers and bands were not performing live down at the radio station for broadcast through our radios.
Then came the teenage years. I wised up a bit, but not much. I thought everyone was as naïve as I was – especially my mother. I don’t know how she knew what was going on in my life – but she did. Like the time she asked if I had had a little too much to drink the night before. Maybe it was because she heard my boyfriend carry my passed-out body down the hallway and dump me on the bed at 1:00 in the morning. Or maybe it was because I was throwing up the rest of the day, locked in the bathroom.
The last epiphany was more recent. I was out with a friend and she was telling me about the trip to Ireland she and her husband had taken several years ago. Jealousy swelled up in my gut, and I felt the whiny I-wish-I-could-go-to-Ireland-too blues. The ah-ha hit me like a truck. Why couldn’t I go to Ireland? Even though my husband won’t fly, and his idea of traveling is getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible, there is no reason why I can’t go to Ireland without him – so I did. And now I am on a quest to find traveling companions so I can cross off states and countries from my bucket list.
Have my epiphanies changed my soul? Possibly. Since I became a teacher, I am very cognizant of what I say to my students so they won’t be humiliated by any attempt at self-satisfying humor. I’ve saved some of my 45’s so I can sell them on EBay for big bucks. When I became a mother, I wasn’t naïve about my teenagers’ desires to drink. Like when my son came home at noon one day, chugged a whole quart of orange juice, and locked himself in the bathroom. Wait…I think I just had an epiphany…my son and I are more alike than I thought. And as an adult, I know I can “feel free to move around the country” as I please when I “wanna get away.”