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October 21, 2019:Post

I turned 49 today.

I was feeling blue for a lot of the day and couldn’t figure out why. The sadness just hung on my, like cement shoes.

I did everything I was supposed to. Then finally I went to pick my husband up from work.

I don’t know a lot about marriage, but when he got in the car, I blurted, “I miss Wendie.” My cousin died of heart attack December 2017.

Having my husband there gives me a sense of calm that opens me up to be able to realize why I am hurting.

I love my cousin, but I did find relief in realizing that grief was that “just out of reach” thing that was causing the aching, dull pulse of sadness that I was experiencing.

Because I thought there was maybe something wrong with me. Grief is powerful.

I’m pretty intuitive and empathetic to others feelings, something I fine-tuned as a young woman because:

1. I didn’t have to think about anything I was experiencing – it buried my stuff to focus on others; and,

2. I hated anyone asking me about myself, how I felt, etc. I learned young that people found comfort talking about their own stuff and that was fine with me.

That’s not neither good or bad, it simply is or was.

But folks, being married to someone who knows you – like the essence of you – has brought a lot of rebellion out of me, which also he already knows.

So it’s exasperating.

That level of acceptance from another human is what gets wrongly described as a soul mate, love at first sight, a knight in shining armor, or whatever.

The social pressure to get married – like an achievement instead of a destination – it’s not right and it’s incorrect.

Exasperating each other with acceptance is pretty damn powerful.

Not to mention, my hubby is cute as the day is long on the Midnight Sun.

That isn’t where I was going with this post at the beginning: also known as the beauty of writing.

Folks, I have a grandbaby!

Alice was born on New Year’s Eve. I haven’t had the opportunity to go back up to Alaska to meet her.

My daughter, Rachel, got me a ticket to Anchorage today so I can spend time with her and my grandbaby!!

I am not accustomed to unexpected gestures that are so touching.

Not to inadvertently say anything negative for anyone to read into; I may or may not have been a control feak, which didn’t leave a lot if room for unexpected gestures.

I am over the moon!!!

Birthdays are full of anticipation and unknown or unfilled expectations sometimes.

But the best part is how your family knows you inexplicably – even as much as you exasperate them (lol) and they; you – that acceptance, love, and choosing each other time and again to experience the best parts of our lives is not a fairytale, it’s tangible, realistic, and that’s family.

Here’s to turning 49 and sharing this year with our Great State.

The 49th State – Alaska.

By Trudy Sobocienski

My blog, "Beyond Leadership" is a creative place to share my personal feelings and thoughts while working in leadership roles for a variety of Alaska Native organizations, both for and not-for profit entities.

An incredible leader and mentor of mine once asked while we were in Washington, DC, "What happened to you between the ages of 7-10 that motivated you to serve in a native leadership capacity". I was struck by that poignant thought and as such, include actual entries from my mother and my diaries beginning in the early 1970's.

I enjoy sharing these excerpts because it captures the parallels she and I were experiencing throughout life, from two separate worldviews. Hers as a young mother of four and mine as her eldest child.
I have never came across a book on leadership that lays bare a leaders personal feelings, thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams they were experiencing.

So for me, my goal is two-fold:

1. Share the incredible life my parents created for my siblings and I growing up in remote Alaska; and,

2) Sharing my humanity, through my personal diaries and journals, while serving as the youngest-ever President/CEO for the Alaska Native Health Board.

There are passages that will include significant policy issues I was working on throughout my career and travels. There are many more passages that do not.

I cannot speak for my mom's passages, because I am reading them as I share them here, with you; with her permission of course.

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