10 January 2013
Before turning sixteen, I was permitted only to work on a local cattle ranch within a slightly risky and illegal drive through a back road shortcut. My twin sister and I would wake at three in the dawn to push heifers and their darlings into the mountains. Then, before it became too hot we would withdraw to the corrals and make ourselves useful cleaning tack, irrigating, and such. Haying season would come, and we were so weary and itchy from loading square bales, it was all we could do to hang on to the moving trailer. By the time I was old enough to fill out W4s, I was no stranger to hard work. Mother quoted the Good Book many a night, reminding us about 2 Thessalonians 3 (KJV). “…if any would not work, neither should he eat.”
Regardless of money earned, money spent was a different matter; only recently have I fervently respected the value of a dollar. I have spent an ample amount of time frustrating myself with the absence of college funds that were long ago spent on the frivolities of high school extravagances. And for what? Things like clothes.
My freshman year of school, I was devoted to ensuring acceptance. That summer, I spent an entire grand on fashions! Both quantity and quality were necessary for ultimate approval. Woe to the girls competing for hierarchy in high school! It is a long hill climbed. The shallow world we live in does not always play fair; preying upon those influenced by the mainstream.
At seventeen I stood at the top of a stage, crown adorning my long curls, and a Prom Queen ribbon across my chest. A salty epiphany came to me in that moment. I hadn’t won because I was genuinely nice or hard working. In truth, victory came because I had sold my soul compliantly to others’ approval; ironically to be rewarded. The sash might as well have read, Ophelia.
It is such a case in this wanderer’s world that many would choose the easier route. For this reason, most situations are filtered into...
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