Permission to Make a Mess

This posting is inspired from a 10-minute-challenge from  Weekly Writing Challenge,  I must say, it was a fun activity.  

Permission to Make a Mess

I remember back  in the early 1960’s and my family was packed into our beat up blue station wagon, probably a Chevrolet.  I remember the window that cranked up and down when it was not stuck.  My sister and I would sit in the back and watch the yellow line of the pavement and the green Spanish moss laces trees pass by.  I was about thee so she must have been five years old.  We were on our way to Savannah, Georgia.  We lived in North East Georgia but my dad, a pharmacist, had bought a drug store in the coastal city and we trekked back and forth every weekend to work in the store.  We were a struggling African American family crammed in a beat up jalopy.  Certainly, a red flag for the police officers who constantly stopped us to find out where we were headed.  Sometimes, they accused my mother of speeding.  Shoot, that car was not even capable of speeding!

One particular Saturday, a foul odor entered the car.  I will never forget.  This earliest memory still follows me.  I remember my older brothers and sisters getting mad that we would have to stop, prolonging the 4-hour drive!  They screamed that I, me, the three-year-old, SHOULD have learn to go to the potty.  They claimed that I had messed my diaper.  I knew I had not.  For sure, the checked my diaper and I was good to go.  As we drove closer to Savannah, the smell became more pronounced.  As they entered the city, they realized that the smell was the paper mill causes foul odors in the city. That day was extra hot and extra disgusting.

While that day has long passed, I will always remember the FEELING.  They say that our earlier memory tells a lot about who we are today.  For a long time, I had intense fears of “making a mess.”  The day of the “messy’ ride to Savannah followed me like a bad odor (pun intended) for many year.  It followed me until I decided to forgive myself and to give myself permission to make a mess.  I gave myself permission to grow on my own terms.  They say that growth is messy.  Well, it has been but it has certainly been worth it.  I believe that we are who and what we rehearse being day in and day out.  To grow, we have to break the patterns of what we have learned.  We must CHOOSE to rehearse something different.