Looking back, I think I can safely say through all my hardships, challenges, and trials, or those things I may have viewed as such, I have learned something beneficial. I know that some of those experiences proffer more than one lesson, not necessarily being taught in hindsight even at the same time. As a child, there are things that seem hugely insurmountable at times, and of course often a few years seem very minor considering what one has come to know later.
Until I was in my teens, I knew I lived on a farm and had daily farm chores to do and didn't get to go play at the homes of friends or to invite others to our home. There were always chores to be done and with my parents' working away from home and their rotating work schedules, it wasn't possible to be driven to go to other homes to play or to invite friends to our home, except on rare occasions. That was life.
When I went from a two-room school to a large junior high in the city, I quickly became aware of cliques that probably had already begun within the walls of the larger elementary schools and carried over into junior high. I was very shy and I didn't know where I fit in. Students that were in my very small class in sixth grade elementary class seemed to be in entirely different classes than I was in junior high. Because of the dynamics of my family and maybe thinking that there wouldn't have been anything they could do to help me, I didn't speak about my feelings with my parents. It wasn't until a number of years later that I learned that probably the majority of kids felt insecure during their junior high years for various reasons. It was only much later that I learned how helpful it is to be able to give voice to one's feelings.
I remember wishing I could live in town, somehow thinking that would make my life so much easier and I would somehow have the opportunities that some of the other kids did. Of course I didn't realize that those opportunities didn't come without a price. In reality, there were many school buses which drove into the countrysides outside the city limits to pickup and deliver students from and to their homes. Some students lived on farms and some didn't. Most students probably had at least some chores to do. There were probably some kids who wished that they could live on a farm, thinking that it would be wonderful to ride horses all day, or having some other entirely unrealistic view of farm life.
Reviewing that period of my life, with all the experiences, I can now be grateful for the many sacrifices my parents made that gave me opportunities to learn some important lessons. These lessons continue to come, although the format changes from time to time, depending on what I need to learn at that given period of time. Such was and is my life, and I'm grateful for it.