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Alice Skadsberg Blog: How we become who we are today

Recently, someone asked me about a place I had lived as a kid. We got to talking and she had grown up in one neighborhood and continued to live close by to this day.

On my way home I got to thinking about my own childhood and even amazed myself. I counted up the places I lived and I had lived in 13 homes throughout my life. The longest has been in my current abode and that has been for 36 years altogether. S, I had moved 12 times in 36 years and no, my dad was not in the military.

My life journey began and is now in Duluth. I only lived out of state once and that was in the state of Washington. The most difficult for me was moving three times while in high school. I finally graduated from the old Central High school in Duluth. My topic for today is about how I survived and how it created who I am today. Here goes:

I am not going to go into the details of all the experiences I had with all those moves (maybe another time). I want to share with you how I got through it all.

My mom and dad believed that family stuck together no matter what. My mom did not work outside the home until I was a senior in high school. So no matter where we went home life was stable — sometimes very interesting and quirky — but always stable. I always knew I was loved and could count on family support under any circumstances.

All the moves had to do with my dad. You know — school, jobs, promotions, etc. I never knew how my mom felt about it all. She was almost always upbeat and flexible, even when her own mom moved in with us.

Five of the moves were of my choosing — school, apartments, marriage, even a divorce. You getting the picture here. As a career, I became a psychiatric nurse, then a nurse practitioner. In my retirement, I volunteer in a variety of ways and even wrote a book. Much of my spare time is in gardening and reading copious amounts of books.

From my perspective, this is who I became and why:

. I can talk to anyone.

. I do not feel anyone is better or less than me.

. I have learned empathy because I required it growing up in new and diverse neighborhoods. Even an Italian lady who taught my Mom the best spaghetti sauce recipe.

. I have always been able to feel safe and secure in most areas of my world — as I had always had that in my family, no matter where we lived. Did I always like the moves? Heck no! Did I learn to go with the flow and adjust? Yes, most of the time. Did the life I was raised in influence my choice of careers? For sure. Was I angry at times about the many moves as a kid? At first, quite often, but I learned to adjust and make the most of each move. In the words of my oldest daughter, “It is what it is.”

In conclusion, I believe we as humans can adjust to almost any thing thrown our way — as long as we have consistent love and support somewhere in our lives. We all become a compilation of all that we experience in our journey.

What we choose to do in this world has a lot to do with our childhood. I now understand why I can be comfortable for days, by myself, reading a good book because of the lessons I learned from all the moves. It makes sense to me now, as I look back. I can see how I came to be who I am today.

‘Till next time, there is nothing more rewarding than understanding who you are and how you came to be that person — with no judgement.

Good luck to you all on your journey.

Alice Skadsberg, of Duluth, is regular contributor to the