Thursday, October 11, 2012

Writing Challenge BLG10.11.2012


A Risk I Took to Save Myself

Write about a time when you embarked upon something new and challenging, frightening, or even dangerous—as a way to find an answer, to rediscover something essential about yourself. Tell us about what you did—the adventure, the journey, the risks you took—what drove you there, and who you were when you emerged afterwards.

  1. Nancy Qualls-Collins
    Grade school through my junior year of high school was spent riding bikes and horses in the desert and mountains of west Texas and New Mexico. And of all my classmates and friends diving and having swimming races at Crystal Pool, the cool clear round pool that was large enough for a couple hundred bathers. That summer before my senior year my father’s job, as a retail window display designer, was transferred to Arizona. It was hot, dirty and most unfriendly. The high school kids were distant and the majority of them on drugs.

    That August we attended a family wedding in Indiana. My blonde, bubbly cousin, Connie (who is my age), set me up on a double blind date with my first love. My parents allowed me to remain in Indiana with my Aunt, Uncle, five cousins and fields of pigs and dairy cows. My parents and younger sister returned to the desert with plans to move up at the end of the school year.
    I had a new family, new school, new friends and a lot of animals.

    Some of the natives were not so friendly. A prospective girlfriend for my new boyfriend, and her friends, were not so welcoming and it took me time to determine who was friend or foe. I was made fun of for my Texas drawl and people stared at me. It was a small town and everyone knew I had arrived. If it were not for all my cousins, and having a well respected boyfriend, I fear I would have melted in the ice and snow. I learned about dealing with jealousy and benevolence to others feelings. My aunts and grandmother talked to me a lot and made it easy to reveal that which confused and frustrated me. It was impossible not to be happy around Connie.

    It was an adjustment to have so many ‘siblings’ with one bathroom and one car. There were cheer leading, choir and band practice, football and basketball games and family dinners interspersed with house and farm chores and dates. I shared a bed with Connie. My aunt and uncle were slightly more strict than my parents and required me get a Saturday part time job to help pay for my ancillary expenses. I never was forced to accept responsibility before. And Connie would do the grocery shopping while I worked developing films and sucking spittle in a dentists office.

    The whole experience was a true adventure, especially for one so young. I am thankful for learning responsibility for family, the animals and my life, and for communicating with my family both near and far. Most of all the massive, unconditional love and friendship of all my relatives after living in the desert with only my immediate family.

    • Ilana
      Nancy- What a beautiful story. I love how you showed us the range of relationships and emotions; the distance of the other students, the unfriendliness of those who laughed at your drawl and finally the support you got from you family and boyfriend. A sweet story and well written. IM
      Laura Davis
      Nancy, it sounds like a wonderful, growing time in your life despite the challenges. Thanks for sharing this moving story with us.

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