This month is about stories. It's about what you tell and, even more, what you feel. Society's standards and social media's glossy views, all so often, leave us dulled out. Cropped out of the whole, we sidle up to just a piece. And go kaplooey only to unravel for absolutely no reason at all. The cyber life has no heartbeat. And it never will. Here in this space, we aim to celebrate that this month. So raise a glass & clink to real. To the happy and to the hurts. To the little that makes our BIG. And to the pulsing found their in our chests. Yesterday I shared my story. And today I am honored as my staff begins to read their storybooks a little more to you. In our best light. With their best breaths. We read. I hope you will too. Please make welcome, Mrs. Christy Munsey.
It All Starts
The Mr. had been out of town for work. The Mrs. had been home with two daughters, ages eight and eleven. Mr. comes back home and well, the Mrs. had been “missing him” (her words). He suggests they consider if the reunion “is safe” (his words) and she rebounds sure “it is safe.” Nine months later, I’m born, the third, and “guess it was probably not that safe daughter” (my words).
Luckily my family warmly received my surprise appearance to the world and made me feel loved and welcomed. Our neighbors even set off fireworks the night I was born. It actually didn’t hit me until I was about 13 years old in a Richmond Virginia Wal Mart (of all places) that I may not have been planned. I asked my mom that very minute and she confirmed but assured me if was a good thing not bad.
The years I spent growing up as a bonus baby were both blessed and stressed. From an early age a combination of my own nature/temperament, life circumstances and family dynamics made me a mini adult. There’s both good and bad to that.
I could “feel” in my gut the burdens of others early early in life. I didn’t feel entirely safe or secure as a child if I’m being totally honest. I somehow learned to shove my needs to the side as a really young girl. I can remember experiencing anxiety a lot as a child.
Don’t let me paint a total picture of poor pitiful girl with this childhood chapter. As a little lady I had a lot of time to play, create and use my imagination. I was blessed from the beginning with friendship and older mentors in my family and community. This, I believe, to be the foundation of my creative spirit and inner wisdom
Middle and High school continued to be blessed by friendship, opportunity, experiences, a growing sense of community and mentors. My ability to be a leader started ramping up during these years.
On the flip side of the coin, the stress factor got worse instead of better. By the time I graduated from high school I was one burdened, stressed, lost little gal. I was really guarded and very self sufficient. I learned the art of controlling and perfectionism to keep things from hurting me. My anxiety struggles were still happening. Looking back I feel a bit sad for that 18 year old.
Much of this made me make a snap decision on colleges. While I got a great education, I didn’t pick the best college for me. It was super conservative and located in a small town in a state I’d never lived in. It was there I learned I had a free spirit and wasn’t as straight and narrow as I thought. This was also the first time in my life I was really bored and restless. Turns out boredom and restless makes my spirit take a leap.
Oh and each step of the way from 6th grade on, there was always a boy. I picked some good ones and some bad ones. Lots of lessons learned in the relationship department.
After college graduation with a teaching degree and license I decided to plow on through to graduate school to earn a Master’s in School Counseling. I stuck around the area to be close to you guessed it…... a boy. I picked the biggest, city located, multiple opportunity, University I could find in the area. Let’s say I straight made up for lost times while earning my Master’s. I learned the art of throwing caution to the wind and seizing the day. It was probably the first time I wasn’t Miss Responsible and Super Serious britches. Furthermore, I was not invested in taking care of everyone else, I was single and free. I’m not going to lie, at 22 or so years old that all felt pretty dang good. I call these the modern woman years.
Big Girl Days
During my internship as a School Counselor I wrote in a final paper “While I am happy to be trained as a counselor, I am certain I will teach elementary school first and most certainly the last job I’ll seek is a Middle School counselor. “
A few months later I was hired as a middle School Counselor. Life is funny like that, isn’t it?
I was given the best job at the best school. I’ve worked there for 14 years. That school has loved me and grown me each step of the way since I was a wee babe at 24 years old. I am so much who I am as an adult because of the experiences I have been given. I’d jump in front of a train for the people I work with and I know they would do the same with me. Working at my school has taught me how to trust, accept failure and lean on others in a way I never have.
During the first year I was a counselor I declared “I’m going to settle down and attempt to meet a boy. A different kind of boy in a different kind of way.” About two weeks later, God planted my future husband smack dab in the middle of a bar! We had a whirlwind romance and married 13 months later. My husband has taught me the art of balance, loyalty and trust. He’s brought to my life the exact kind of love I’ve needed to sustain me until the day I die. We just celebrated 12 years of marriage. We have a sweet little two year old boy. He’s a miracle. Born to us through In Vitro, after years of infertility and loss.
My story now? I’m totally in love with this season of my life. A lot of routine and rhythm, but also many new adventures on the horizon! I’ve done a truck load of healing from the past, made great strides with my anxiety disorder and learned to let God be the boss of me.
Thanks for reading!