Kayaking at Hollyhock, Cortez Island
Kayaking at Hollyhock, Cortez Island

“How did you turn out to be so normal?” I laugh every time anyone asks me this. Friends and acquaintances always do when they learn of my Mormon upbringing.

My spontaneous answer is, “It wasn’t easy.“

I haven’t always felt normal, the way that I do today. When presented with a request for my cultural heritage on documents, my hand wavers between penning in Mormon, or, Italian and French with a little English thrown in. defines normal as conforming to the standard or common type. As a child, and as a young woman questioning Mormonism in a closed Mormon environment, I wasn’t normal.

My normal isn’t governed by religious rules. It’s about honoring the life I’ve moved on to and the people in it. I love being part of my children’s and my granddaughters lives. I love the outdoors, biking, flying into remote West Coast destinations in a sea plane, hanging off the bow of a boat sussing out rock hazards. . . the feel of the wind on my face when under sail . . . and the dip of my paddle when kayaking. My normal encompasses love and acceptance from children and friends, adventure, and the freedom to simply be.

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