family history, Musings

What Makes a Mother?

When I began my ancestral journey, many years ago, it was because I wanted to better understand myself. How did I come to be, here, in this time and place? Who came before me, these people who lived and loved down and down throughout time that brought me into existence? Although I’ve always held a deep love for history, by the time the questions started percolating in my mind about my own personal history, I had lost many of my natural resources. So I began my journey alone, turning to my parents and to the matriarchs of my families for guidance.

While it takes two, I’ve been drawn most to the women who reside among the branches of my family tree. Perhaps it’s an intrinsic link that binds my spirit to theirs as their blood continues to flow through me. Perhaps it’s because without them, I would cease to exist. Or, perhaps it’s because the histories of these women have been systematically dismantled and forgotten due to the times they lived, the circumstances surrounding their choices, and the society which required them to forgo an identity and accept that of their husbands.

Yet, recently upon my journey of self discovery, I realized that my desire to know and understand the feminine part part of my tree went much, much deeper than my own roots. My desire sprang from something deep and internal, some hidden part of myself that had been locked away, existing for time immemorial, but ready to be freed.

Continue reading “What Makes a Mother?”

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Musings

Discovering My Strengths

I’m a sucker for any kind of personality test. Doesn’t matter how silly it sounds, I’ll take it. I’ve even taken this ridiculous “what animal are you” quiz (I’m an otter). I’ve taken Myers-Briggs (INFJ and proud of it!), the chronotype quiz (#wolflife) and of course all those really scientific ones that pop up on Buzzfeed or Pinterest that tell you what kind of person you are based on how you like to eat your spaghetti or which Disney princess you are. I love learning any possible thing I can about myself. Especially what Disney princess I am. (SPOILER ALERT! it’s Cinderella.)  And you’re about to learn why, exactly that is! Continue reading “Discovering My Strengths”

Musings

A New Life ~ A New Leaf ~ A New Blog

CHANGE.

It’s never an easy process, is it? We’re such creatures of habit as we go about our daily routines that the simplest derailment of our day can send us over the edge. The fear of the unknown often becomes boundaries and walls that we use to barricade ourselves in our comfortable nests. And yet, change is entirely necessary for us to evolve. There’s a beautiful quote to echo that sentiment:

“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”

Sometimes we simply have to take that leap of faith and trust that everything will be okay. Because almost always, change is for the better. While it might not always seem like it at first, in my experience, even bad changes have brought about incredible results. And it’s amazing how one change influences another. Continue reading “A New Life ~ A New Leaf ~ A New Blog”

family history, Musings

The Family Tree

A thought occurred to me as I was researching my family tree. It’s easy to think that family research is simply researching pedigree. That is, the tracing of direct lineage. You < Parents < Grandparents < Great-Grandparents < Great-Great-Grandparents and so one, going up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up until you’ve reached the very tippy-toppy part of your family tree, balancing precariously upon the stump and you can go no more.

But a tree doesn’t grow that way in real life does it?

Continue reading “The Family Tree”

family history, Musings

Research, Brick Walls and Answers from Unexpected Places

Because most of my writing stems from stories or historical times that I’ve discovered  while researching my family tree, I will occasionally come upon a brick wall that seems insurmountable.  No matter how many avenues I exhaust in attempts to find the missing link/s, my ancestor always seems to be hiding just behind a locked door taunting me.

This week, one of my brick walls was torn down with a wrecking ball by a surprising email I received from a distant relative whom I had tried contacting, probably close to three months ago. Continue reading “Research, Brick Walls and Answers from Unexpected Places”