I am from imagination, from daydreaming. From being lost in a good book. From pretending characters
are real. From thinking in the terminology from a wide range of fantasy novels that when said
aloud would cause everyone to give me a funny look and ask what on earth I was talking about.
From ignoring the lines and boundaries. From escaping into a world of my own devising.

I am from creation. From composition, from choreography. From taking a seed of inspiration
through the stages of growth. From putting words on paper that have never been combined in
the way that I just combined them. From arranging notes on a staff in the way that I want.
From looking at something as a blank canvas. From seeing potential in something so bare.

I am from curiosity, from inquisition. From asking questions deep and simple. From asking
if God and Mother Nature are married and what your favorite book is. From wondering what makes
something happen, from wondering why something tastes the way it does. From wondering how anyone
can like whiskey. From asking a question and hoping there are multiple answers. From wondering
who the man is behind the curtain. From never being satisfied with the answer “Because
I said so”. From understanding that I will never know everything and being happy about
it. From wondering what the story behind something is.

I am from music. From finding the message of a melody. From letting music wash over me. From
letting it transport me into a world of unearthly beauty. From being transported through time.
From admiring something that cannot be seen, cannot be touched. From something so personal
yet something far beyond the self. From sharing emotions that cannot be voiced. From giving
to others something that cannot be contained. From being absorbed. From always having a song
stuck in my head. From something so deep within me that it is a part of me. From hearing music
in the wind.

I am from love. From family both blood and surrogate. From friends near and far. From old
and young, from known and unknown. From recent companions and long lost connections. From energetic
reunions and quiet togetherness. From rocky beginnings and absolute stability. From unquestioned
loyalty and support. From loving and being loved in return. From accepting good with bad. From
sharing secrets and dreams. From loving so deeply it hurts.

I am from faith. I am from confidence that death is not the last step, from accepting that
there is something greater. From not needing an explanation on who and where God is. From not
wanting an explanation. From believing that the Almighty has an idea for me but lets me choose
the way that I want to get there. From finding comfort in the fact that I am never completely
alone. From prayer.

I am from pain. From tripping and skinning my knee on the playground, ripping my tights. From
klutziness and walking into walls. From slipping on ice. From realizing that I’d rather be
in pain physically than emotionally. From lost friendships to painful encounters. From death
and from sorrow. From shame and guilt. From loneliness and doubt and being misunderstood. From
being cut short, being stopped too soon. From asking why me for the umpteenth time. From being
forgotten, from being ignored. From a once unrequited love. From unresolved conflict, from
disappointment. From being uncomfortable in my own skin. From not being sure when I stopped
loving myself for who I am.

I am from joy. From laughing so hard that my stomach hurts and being unable to breath. From
a smile so wide that it’s too big for my face. From being easily amused. From jokes. From smelling
the roses and the lilacs. From smiling at the little sun that is a daffodil. From touching
something soft. From sharing others excitement. From play. From enjoying food and sleep and
wine. From family vacations to the same spot every year. From realizing that I love my hometown
after all. From planning a wedding. From window shopping. From a sea breeze and sea shells.
From the realization that I played in the snow on an active volcano then went to the beach
and swam in the Mediterranean the very next day. From a love of Italy.

I am from being proud of my roots. From being proud of the fact that I can actually call myself
Irish all year round and not just on St. Patrick’s Day. From claiming to be Native American
even though there is really only a fraction of a percent of that in me. From staring at my
grandfather’s genealogy charts. From claiming that not all Germans are bad. From wanting to
join the Daughters of the American Revolution like my aunt Kathy. From being a mutt. From trying
the German language because I’m part German (even though it didn’t work).

I am from lovable strangeness. From counting in my own strange way that confuses my mother.
From painting my bedroom walls turquoise and lime green and not listening when someone questions
my color choice. From inside jokes with my sister that no one can even begin to understand,
even after they are explained. From having my own system of logic. From enjoying discordant
notes when everyone else prefers consonance. From dipping potato chips and grilled cheese sandwiches
in mustard. From a strange sense of humor that I inherited from my father. From my own personal
commentary when watching movies. From accepting that I am unique and loving being me.