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Throughout life, we’re given many labels. I have had and currently have so many that I have lost count. I am known as many things to many people, such as….

I am Russell’s daughter, the daughter of an alcoholic and both town & family outcast. I am Danette’s daughter, the daughter of a mentally troubled woman, with a rough past. I am Mike, Matt, & Brenda’s sister and so much can be said about that. I am a Strahota and a Werth, though neither has even been my last name. I am Zach’s mother, the one both ridiculed and praised for my efforts. I am friend to many, foe to a few, and invisible to others. I am also known as Doug’s girlfriend, other half…the one who cooks, cleans, and tries to keep him organized. 😉 I have worn many hats, some not worn by choice and others I have gladly put upon my head. In the end though, it can be a little daunting. I don’t ever want to be so attached to any one person that I lose my identity. I don’t mind being many things to many people, but at the end of the day, I still want to be known as…me.

I am the girl that wears her heart on her sleeve, cries easily, loves to hug her family and friends, and will tell you without reservation how I feel. I am the one who is stubborn and set in her ways and yet tries to compromise whenever possible, partially because I hate to fight and like peace and also partially because I think it is good to meet in the middle, to both give and take. I am the who can usually be found carrying her camera, pen & paper, and thousands of thoughts in her purse. I am a writer, singer, lousy bowler on our team, dreamer, lover, and the one who will fight for what she believes in and stand up for those she loves. I am the the adviser, the cook, the neat freak, the bi-polar chick, the Harry Potter nut, the Hunger Games enthusiast, the Twilight nerd, the reader, the fast typist, the game teacher, the joker, the church goer and God believer, the cat lover, & the list keeps going.

I am part German, French, Irish, English, Native American, and Bohemian. I am mostly German and can’t drink beer, also I do not like brats or much else that is labeled as traditionally German cuisine. I cling to my Irish heritage, hey my favorite color is even green. 😉 The music is beautiful and how I dream of seeing the beauty of Ireland. I took french in school because I thought it sounded prettier and because of my heritage. I too would love to see France and partake in the food, see the tourist spots, and just gaze upon its ancient history. The English and Native American in me are two I have pride in and yet, they were at war with one another. I think good came from both, but wish they could have co-existed much better than they did. Bohemia no longer exists, but I was told that my grandfather’s family came from there many years ago and when they did, half of the brothers kept the C in Strachota and the others dropped it. Well, my grandfather was raised without the C in his, though I wonder how far back that all was…before he was born, but I am not sure how much before.

I am the curious one who wonders about just about everything. Why is the sky called the sky? Why is it called the color blue and why are colors called colors? What makes the clock tick? Let me take it apart to find out. What would life be like if we didn’t have to eat or sleep to survive? What would the world be like if no one ever sinned? What would it be like if we lived under water and instead couldn’t live on land? Why did my grandfather do the things he did? What was it like for my other grandfather when he was in the Navy? Why did my dad turn to alcohol? Will he ever tell me that he loves me? Why won’t my mom deal with the past? Why is her favorite color purple? Is she proud of me? Why does Doug love me so much? Why did Zach have to inherit my mental health issues? Why do people judge him so harshly? And what about me? Will my son turn out alright? What will become of me? What am I meant to do? Who am I really?

Some of those questions I will never be able to answer and some I know I will find out what I need and want to know. Some I think I can answer now, if I really chose to. The one I don’t really have to question is, who am I because there is no real way to answer that except to say simply this, I am me. There are many truths that can be stated, but none of them fully define me, they but give you pictures for you to view, to help you understand who I am. In the end, it’s just that I am me. I am difficult to handle, but really not so easy to understand, if you but have the patience to try. Do you have the patience and willingness to do so? And are you in turn willing to show me who you are, willing to let me into your gallery to see the many paintings, sculptures, and unfinished works that but only give me a glimpse into your identity? Might I hear your words, your songs, your thoughts, and your dreams? I will gladly share with you, no walls will I put up to hold you back, if you are but willing to let me in as well. I am me, do you want to know just who that is and let me ask, who are you?

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