I woke up with anticipation of what the day held, it was a Friday, I was fifteen and rebelling against the Amish religion. Music was forbidding but I had my secret stash of tapes and a Walkman tucked into a hole in my mattress. Rolling over I grabbed my Walkman off the night stand. I had time to listen to a few songs, as the rock music beat into my eardrums, I found my happy place. I knew with my bedroom door securely locked there was little chance of getting caught. I lay sprawled on the bed through a few songs lost in the music.
I heard my mom yell up the stairs to come help with chores, grabbing my Walkman I stuffed it hurriedly into my mattress. Rolling out of bed I got dressed, pricking myself a few times with the straight pins I had to use to fasten my dress. Frowning in the mirror, I took the clips out of my thick black curly hair letting them fall past my shoulders, I combed them into there usual bun clipping them back into place. I decided not to wear my covering and headed downstairs to start the morning chores.
I helped my mom with a variety of chores, from hanging out laundry to washing windows, my mind preoccupied with the weekend ahead when I could sneak off with some friends to party it up with them. I had gotten quite good at sneaking off and not get caught. I had many close calls and I did get caught a few times resulting in being grounded for a few weeks. Snapping back to attention I finished my chores at hand.
As I reflect on those long-ago bygone days, I see my journey and how it has shaped every aspect of my life. I see a young Amish girl who had so much to learn, what life really was like. The harsh realities I had no idea existed. The music I held so dear wasn’t evil, it was just something the Amish culture viewed as such. I also realize how sheltered I was. I grew up a dreamer, I often wonder what it would have been like growing up without this culture choking my dreams. The sneaking around and partying was an outlet for the frustration I felt. Being a dreamer got me into a lot of hot water with my parents, they didn’t understand me. There were days I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t like my siblings, who were practical and didn’t struggle with staying focused. It didn’t matter what chores I was assigned, I could do the task yet be lost inside my mind creating wild exciting stories. Now I know this was my gift. A writer, a painter of words.