My family has always joked that of the four girls in the family, the spotlight was always on Kerry, Kerry, Kerry. (Yes, she is the topless one in the picture) However, while researching dated photos for my next writing project, I ran into this photo taken by my father as he finished his degree at Purdue University. My sister, Kerry, had even tried to trump me by being born exactly one month before from my FIRST year oldest daughter birthday! Obviously, I hadn’t got the memo that my time in the spotlight was over!
As I struggled to get a story within the cover of Ameera Unveiled based on my own childhood angst without the instruction of formal dance training, I assumed I had always been shy and fearful. Officially be advised… the posing diva is Mu-ah.At what point did something– or someone — shut down the joy of this little girl feeling safe and hammy within her family unit? We’ve all experienced life lessons through birth order, cultural influences, educational experiences and genetics. As a fifty-something woman, I’ve been fascinated looking back at the tentacles of my personal history’s twists and turns. Highs and lows. Personal growth comes through drought and refreshment. Challenges of parenting and a career.
Just as the character in my book, Ameera Unveiled, had lost her innate dream that she would dance boldly and confidently from outside messages from adult judgments and lost opportunities, I was refreshed from a simple 1959 photo. I adore all my sisters but felt like this picture painted a thousand words that said: “Kat, even as the oldest daughter– you deserve the spotlight sometimes too!”