July 12, 2004:Diary Entry

What a rocky and interesting adventure life can become if you notice the messages. Although we all have blind spots and biases on what we notice.

My 14 year-old daughter ran off joyriding in my car and ran it off the road. It may be totaled.

I am in Washington DC right now opening our first ever Alaska Native Health Board Legislative Office on Capitol Hill – in the same building as Charlie Palmer’s Restaurant. My daughter was supposed to be staying at her friends house while I am out of town. Obviously, they both stayed at my house instead.

This is how I found out something was wrong. I got a text message along the lines of: ‘Mom, I have something to tell you. But no, I’m not pregnant, this is WAYYYY worse!’

Whaaatttt the ##*@)@)(!(!@? Worse than pregnant?

There are moments of absolute helplessness. Being a single mother, on travel status for work, clear across the country from Anchorage, Alaska and receiving this texts tops that list right now.

After hours of begging, threatening, negotiating, everything I could muster to convince her to tell me, she did. She wrecked my car. After she stole it. After she and her girlfriend lied that they would be with her girlfriend’s family. Still, knowing they were not injured and did not injure anyone else, was a huge sense of relief.

I called her dad, even though he hasn’t had a relationship with her ever before.

I called him today and said, “Do you know what your daughter did???” He responded, “14 years later, and this is the phone call you make?” He was laughing, as was I actually.

I told him I needed his help to get the car towed, etc. I let him know she was over at her friend’s house and safe.

Now, when I get back home in a few days, she is going to stay with him and her younger two sisters that he is now raising on his own.

Published 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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