I’m a middle-aged woman with an old woman’s name. I’m white, straight and married with two incredible kids (and two dogs). I grew up in a conservative, evangelical Christian home in East Texas and attended a large conservative college.
I’ve called Austin, Texas home for over 20 years. Austin is a liberal, largely unchurched city in the American South. It’s a place that prides itself on being progressive in a state that is largely conservative. Our former Governor, Rick Perry, once called Austin “the blueberry in the tomato soup” pointing out that “it’s a little different than the rest of the state.”
Yet, while Austin loves to boast about our progressive ideals, our city has a racist history… but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll get to that story soon enough.
As a kid and young adult, I saw everything as black and white, but have learned from Richard Rohr’s book Falling Upward the value of youthful idealism. Age and maturity give us the ability to hold seemingly dueling ideas, an idea Rohr calls the “second half of life.” It’s an understanding that the world is infinitely more complicated than our young minds can fathom.
I’ve done a lot of deconstruction related to the faith and politics of my youth in the last 10 years. And have come to believe that growth and maturity mean being able to hold things loosely. Humility is being able to consider the fact that I might not know everything and graciousness means that I can show love and respect when I don’t agree with someone. I’m not the poster child for any of these traits, but they are the things I value and strive to live out in my daily life.
on the lighter side
Coffee keeps me going. I love opportunities to be creative and have a small, side-hustle jewelry business to stay sane. I value frugality and few things bring me joy like a good garage sale. I wish I could keep plants alive, but have learned to stick to cut flowers. As an extrovert, I frequently embarrass my family by striking up conversations with strangers (or as I prefer to call them, “friends I haven’t met yet.”)
My family will tell you that my favorite genre of music is “sad bastard music,” but I’d argue that music is soothing medicine to weary souls. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in my early twenties and ADD in my forties (adult ADD is exhausting, just ask my family and coworkers.) I think we’re all “broken” in different and unique ways, but that real power comes in being honest about these things.