I have struggled with what to post for SPT. I fought with paint shop trying to create a photo collage of pieces of myself that would depict who I am and a story of my history. I need to start today and maybe I'll get that one posted next Tuesday. For today here I am. Not really a self portrait. I am cutting fabric. Working on purses. See the line of bags in progress behind me. Over my other shoulder is my sewing machine and above it are two pictures my mother took. At this point in my personal history this is me. Sewing. If you had asked me 20 years ago who I was it would have been a very different story. I was still in high school and just about to start dating my husband. I was a student, a sister and a daughter. My mother was still living and I had no idea where life would take me. Then in two years I was a young mother, a wife and an orphan. It is hard to be a young mother without a mother to turn to for advice or to share in the joys and fears of mothering. The next stage of my life I became a mother of two. A girl and a boy. I decided shortly after my son was born that I needed to go back to school to prove to myself that I could. I went to nursing school and did so much better in college than I did in high school. I became a nurse in 1994 and was scared to death but I loved my job. I went to work in the NICU where both my babies had to be cared for after they were born. As much as I loved being a nurse it is so hard to work such long hours and have small children at home. After working in the NICU for 3 years I took a nursing job that allowed me to work during the day and be home nights and weekends with the children. I feel like I lost a lot of time with them that I will never get back. About five years ago I was evaluated for a double lung transplant. It was decided about that time that working as a pediatric nurse was not good for my health and I had to leave my job. At first it was nice to be home with the children and have time to do things I hadn't had time to do around the house. After a while I began to loose my identity again. I used to be a nurse. I was still a mother and a wife but I needed something to be mine. I started to sew. I had never sewn before and though all the women in my family have been accomplished seamstresses I never had an interest. Why??? Why didn't I let my Granny teach me all the things she knew. I would love to have the chance to go back and sit at her knee at the sewing machine. I got out the little sewing machine my aunt gave me and gave it a try. I made some pillows for my porch. Then I made some curtains for my kitchen. I guess it is just in my blood. I feel like I have found myself when I can create something that I am proud of. So that is how my personal history has led me to the place I am today. I am a wife, mother, sister, niece, friend and I am faking it as a seamstress!