Monday, October 26, 2009

Who I am/Who I was

Saturday night, I attended a good ole fashioned country cook out with Gentleman Jack and his boys. The cook out was hosted by a few of GJ's hunting buddies at a home out in the middle of nowhere.

We ate all sorts of things you can't find just anywhere: frog legs, fried catfish, doves, boudin, ribs... I ate so much food that I couldn't see straight. Then we stood around a big bonfire or went inside to watch our fave Louisiana college football team on TV. (Geaux Tigers!)

Right before we left, I was summoned out on to the car port where several couples were sipping Patron and dancing to Johnny Cash on the radio.

It was awesome.

I don't know if it was slow dancing in the moonlight with my man or staring at the kajillion stars I could see on the drive back to town but I was inspired. I felt like the world was perfection in those moments.

---

Gentleman Jack and I snuggled up with some relationship pillow talk on Friday night. He pointed out to me that he was happy to see me happy.

"And what I really love about you," he continued, "is that you're accepting so many things that have always been a part of you. I think you rebelled against them for most of your adult life."

He was right.

I grew up in that town where he lives. All seven of my mom's brothers hunted and I fished with my paternal grandfather every weekend in the summers. I always enjoyed a good fish fry, camping out by a lake or river, making s'mores in the light of a campfire, and in general, simply being outside.

I guess Jack assumed I was a big city girl since I moved to Big D. I clean up nice. I like "artsy fartsy" stuff like big band concerts in the garden, strolling in a museum or spending hours in a bookstore. I enjoy a good martini and a gourmet meal. I love a Broadway show or opera. I usually have my head in a book rather than in the TV.

I am also learning to accept that I am all those things PLUS all the stuff I grew up with.

I grew up watching football but rebelled against it and TV because my ex-husband spent HOURS watching it. Now, I savor those moments snuggled up in GJ's arms watching football on TV.

I rebelled against the killing of animals as a teenager and young adult. All of my uncles picked on me with their hunting stories only to watch me squirm. Now, I've found a whole new appreciation for the good ole boys and their crazy hunting stories. I now see the balance provided by those that hunt to eat.

I rebelled against the classic cars that my father obsessed over - repairing, fixing up, polishing, showing off. Now, I've found that I practically drool when I see one driving down the road. My friend J has one that I love to ride in - it smells just like my daddy.

I rebelled against small town life where I was raised and got out of there as quickly as I could. But walking down the dirt trail back to GJ's truck that night, I looked up in the dark through the tall trees and saw millions of stars. I saw more stars than I'll ever see in Big D because there was no artificial light source stealing their brightness.

I breathed in fresh air and felt... at home.*

---

Perhaps the loss of my father two years ago has made me sentimental about how I was raised. There are moments when Gentleman Jack is talking to me that I'd swear he was channeling my father.

Not channeling my father like my ex-husband. My ex-husband was a good model of all the "issues" I had with my father. It was because of my ex that I was able to learn to love and forgive my dad. Now, I have a new respect for who my dad was that I didn't have back then. No, he channels all that I loved about my dad.

So, I guess "who I am" is always changing. I'm also learning that "who I was" has never left me. I can rock a good pair of jeans and boots AND I can work a sexy dress with stilettos. I tell my Gentleman, "You can take the girl out of Louisiana but you can't take the Louisiana out of the girl."

Heh.

Apparently, I'm a lil bit country AND a lil bit rock and roll.


* And no, I am not planning on moving back to Louisiana.

10 comments:

  1. Not gonna lie...about half way through this entry, I was thinking, "She's a little bit country...He's a little bit rock and roll..." But switched, of course. Turns out you're both a bit of each other.

    -R.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Totally get this! I grew up part time (with my dad) on a farm in the middle of no where. The school my step-sister went to had less than 100 students, and it was K-12. I mostly identify as a city girl... but damn if a country road and a swimmin' hole don't feel like home!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think it's easy to flat out reject certain parts of ourselves on our quest to figure out who we really are. It's good that you're able to go back and have a realistic look, and figure out who T is and isn't. And you're right -- we're all always changing and evolving. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is good that you are able to reflect on who you are, what about yourself you have kept squelched and how you are now exploring the facets of your self.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a wonderful post. And not only are you insightful - he is. About you. That's pretty rare, in my experience.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That my dear is called well rounded and growing up! Your a good woman!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I get this big time!
    I left home when I was 18 and lived abroad and on the east coast.
    I've dated men from around the world -- and married a guy from Europe when I was 22.
    Now, I'm with a man who grew up just miles from me. I often wonder if this helps us "get" each other. As you put it so well!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well I had an original thought all worked out ... then I read BigLittleWolf's and decided she said it WAY better than I was trying to. :)

    You've got yourself a good thing going on T. I'm happy for you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds like a great time! Sort of made me think of the Eudora Welty short story, "No Place for You, My Love". Read it.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving me some comment love!