I must admit it's a bit fuzzy, my story. Hazy. Shrouded in mystery, like a fog.
But I do know it was on a train from Paris to Russia in the mid-60s that my parents met.
He... handsome twenty-something golden skinned Moroccan, charming big smile, gentle brown eyes, oozing suave in long coats, dress pants, shirts, ties and braces, with a pipe clenched between crooked teeth.
She... refined twenty-five year old angelic English beauty, soft luminous skin with twinkling hazel eyes, hair elegantly swooped up into a beehive, her slender frame donned in long paisley print dresses, chiffon shawls and silver jewelry.
Two students from opposite ends of the Earth, conversing in French, on a trip of a lifetime. The beginnings of an adventure... one that would end in an unexpected twist.
My mother has never much talked about that time in her life. My father now a faint blip in her history.
Thus, my fuzzy story.
During my first one-and-a-half years of life my mother worked as a nanny in England. Surviving. No longer a student. Until one day she packed up our lives, boarded the Oriana and we traveled the Atlantic Oceans back to her home country, Australia.
At three-years old my mother married my step-father. At six-years old my siblings began to arrive. Three in a row.
Pop, pop, pop.
White as can be. Blond haired, blue-eyed wonders.
And so began my days as the black sheep. A sharp memory or two still wedged in deep....
Hello darling, are you visiting the Family? -- asks the lady with a very polite smile.
Taken aback I retort, "NO, I live here!" Bewildered that my parents had not mentioned me to this visitor.
So, where's your "real" dad? -- my friend asks with genuine curiosity.
Sitting side by side in the backseat, I open my mouth to reply... cut off abruptly by her mother who snaps angrily over her shoulder, "That's a very rude question, Julianne!!" Stunned I shut my mouth. Silenced and confused.
You know that you're ugly, right? -- states my white freckled friend with earnest.
Agreeing without hesitation I scrunch my face and nod, "Yeah of course I do." Fully aware of my place.
Feeling like the black sheep became a way of life. It just was. And over time hatred for my life, myself, and for the way I looked, grew and grew.
To escape, I would lose myself in stories and fantasies and loved books that described magical distant worlds. My favorites being 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' and 'The Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton. And when very young, while my mother still read to me, I loved listening to stories from 'The Lord of the Rings'.
As a teenager I escaped into my day-dreams, barely listened in school, wrote madly in my journals, and lugged a treasured typewriter with me on family vacations dreaming one day of becoming a writer.
I wish I knew what became of that typewriter.
Half a century later (now in my 50s) after years of dreaming and escaping, leaping from coasts to new continents in hopes of dispelling the black sheep within, I find myself returning more and more to my early years, my fuzzy story, with curiosity. With a desire to embrace myself, free myself, and share. Share my stories, fuzzy ones and all.
Here on Journey Dots I share my human journey. My struggles, insights and revelations. My personal stories. And ultimately, my journey to a writer's life. (no more dreaming!)
Time to ride this one out....