My parents met and were married in a cult (you can read all about it in my aunt’s book). I was born in a community house in Montreal (Canada). We moved out west and my dad left before I was 2. Growing up was just me and my mom although we always lived close to her parents and I cherished the special relationship I had with my Grannie. I had the honour to be at the side of both my mom’s parents when they passed away.
One of the benefits of dividing your time between various family members growing up is you get to travel a lot (back when unaccompanied minors got to visit the cockpits), have several birthdays and Christmases, and learn how to make your home where ever you are. This has been a good upbringing for me to have as my husband and I have not only traveled a lot in our 6 years together, but also made 2 international moves.
I grew up in a Christian home and went to an ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) school growing up. I know a lot of people will malign this education, and I will admit it can be misused, but then the same can be said about any given public system. For me, it allowed me the freedom to complete my education in under 11 years without skipping any grades and it gave me a very firm biblical foundation. On it’s own, I don’t think a biblical foundation is enough, I had my own personal experience of God that went beyond school, church, and even my upbringing.
I went to University, but spent my two years with three different majors. The most fulfilling time was spent in the drama club (of which I was a founding member and one of it’s first directors). That should have told me something right there. I had no direction (apparently I told my mom I wish I had a ‘worthier’ talent when she complemented me after one of our shows) and an abusive boyfriend and was floundering. I thought I would make a total break with everything and went to live with my Dad and started a Film Production two year course in Calgary. This was way more up my alley, but I was still a bit of a wreck personally. I had gotten engaged during the summer to a guy four years younger than me after two months of dating. He was a really nice guy but I was in no shape to get married, I called it off the day after I sent out the invitations. Those are not fun phone calls to make. I finished my Film course and worked pretty solid for the next year. I really miss being on set. There’s often times when I would love to get back into that life, but I enjoy spending time with my family and being there for my kids.
Then came Africa. I heard about a girl’s school that had just started up in the little country of Malawi and a month later I was there. I taught several classes and acted as House Mum for 23 girls for the better part of a year. I loved it there. I have never been homesick for anywhere but Malawi. I can’t wait to take my own children back there someday and would love nothing more than to be able to adopt from there. We’ll just have to see what God has in store.
The year after I returned from Malawi was the hardest of my life. I was so incredibly homesick and the job I had fallen into was unbelievably heartbreaking. I began seeing a psychiatrist and spent the next four years going through psychoanalysis. This is, by the way, the best thing ever. I firmly believe everyone should go through psychoanalysis. I talk about it much better here.
During this time I discovered the Goth scene, met my very own Rocket Scientist, and went to work for my mom teaching Script Writing and Video Production and eventually Grade One in the very Christian School I had graduated from. Exciting times. I also got my first tattoo! At 27 I decided that I was going to try to stop being who everyone else needed me to be and see if I could figure out exactly who I was. I got a tattoo (and am now completely addicted, thank you very much), got my first undercut (although it had to be completely hideable for my job), and discovered the wonders of Sisters of Mercy and BlutEngel and And One (to name but a very few).
All of this ‘finding myself’ included a renewal in my relationship with God and a desire to become more involved in the church. I hadn’t been in quite a while as I’d found it at once overly emotional and frustratingly plastic. But life was becoming less ‘what can I get out of it’ and more ‘how can I contribute’. Which seems to be a bit of a paradox as I type this because I had stopped shaping myself around other’s expectations and begun looking at who I really was and what I enjoyed. Perhaps what that did was open me up to ways I could share me and what I loved and let that impact people instead of giving them what I thought they wanted. Isn’t that what God wants from us? To share the uniqueness that He created us to be. Huh. Gotta love it when you get an epiphany while you write.
This, though, is why we love it when people ask us how we met. Because we’re often in church when we’re asked. The Rocket Scientist and I met at a Goth club. I had asked around to some of my friends when I met him, wanting to make sure I wasn’t falling for becoming more and more interested in a jackass lady’s man. I was warned off. Told I didn’t want to bother with him. On the grounds that he ‘wouldn’t put out’, was one of those ‘religious types’. I have to say, I got a bit weak in the knees. The next Saturday night I let it ‘casually’ slip that I had to head out early as I had an early morning in church the next day and the rest…well, the rest deserves it’s own post. Someday.
We started dating on Canada Day, got engaged a year later (thanks to some blatant subtle manipulation encouragement on my part), and were married November 6th. The following August we moved to Chicago. We got an apartment right downtown and fell in love with the city and the people. By this time, I had another tattoo, a couple facial piercings, a blue mohawk. You can understand why mom was surprised to hear that the church we found asked me to lead a devotional at a get together. We had definitely found a home. People who saw us for who we were and weren’t put off by our unconventional style.
As you can see, our style has mellowed a bit. Not because our tastes have changed, but because we just don’t have the money to keep it up. Tattoos, hair, clothes, it all adds up. So do baby accessories. Doodle arrived while we were in Chicago after about a year and a half of struggling through fertility issues. We quickly became ‘crunchy’ parents, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, cloth-diapering, breastfeeding, Dr. Sears-reading parents. But all that is for the blogs.
If you’re still here to check them out, that is…