Saturday, February 8, 2014

Personal Narrative aka "ABOUT ME"

My first assignment for English Comp II was to write a personal narrative introducing "all about" me to the other students.  I think, for a college paper, it is pretty descriptive and I have decided to share it with you!

          My name is Colleen and my nickname is CAS.  I’ll answer to either of those or anything else as long as it is polite.  I consider myself a blessed woman.  I have a large and amazing family, I attend a great school and I work at both a full-time and part-time job.  I enjoy writing (poetry, commentaries, and short stories) as well as being an active member of my church.  I have friends, responsibilities, and expectations.  There is no easy (or short) way to tell you about me, and I am long-winded anyway, so sit back, relax and enjoy.    

I have an incredibly large family.  I am a wife; married seven and a half years to a wonderful man whom I call “Bear”.  I have three beautiful children from my first marriage; my 17 year old (my baby) is currently a junior in high school, my 19 year old daughter is a sophomore in college, and my eldest daughter is 24 years old, happily married and mother to my amazing little two-year-old granddaughter, lovingly referred to as “Monkee”.  My marriage also brought me three more great children: a 31 year old step-son, a 28-year old stepdaughter (who is married and mother to my equally adorable four-year-old granddaughter and two-year-old grandson) and a 16-year old stepdaughter who is a sophomore in high school.  In addition to my immediate family, my extended family includes four sisters, three brothers, two sets of parents (as my parents divorced and each remarried), siblings-in-law and almost 30 nieces and nephews.  This does not even go in to cousins, aunts and uncles. I have a lot of those as well.  I love my family and consider them an essential part of who I am.

I married my first husband in 1988, just before high school graduation.  Being that young, married, and my first child born a year and a half later, there was really only the opportunity for one of us to go to college.  I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom anyway, so I took a part-time job and encouraged my husband to go to college.  Ten years and three children later, my (then) husband decided he was not quite ready to be a husband and father (his words, not mine) so we divorced.  I started working full-time two days after he asked for the divorce and I have been working ever since.

As of today, I have been employed with my current employer (local city government) for almost 13 years.  Moving my way up through the company, working in different clerical/administrative positions for several different departments.  I began working as the Restitution Clerk in the Probation Office, a division of Municipal Court, in March 2001.  In April 2006 I applied for a promotion, interviewed and was hired as Secretary to the Supervisor of Park and Recreation, Park Maintenance and Forestry division.  I again applied for, interviewed and was promoted to Account Clerk III in Environmental Health in 2010.  The first two positions were located at City Hall but this third position was located off-site.  I liked the job but did not like the location, when the same position became available in another department back at City Hall, I applied for a transfer, interviewed and was granted the lateral move in April 2012.  I have been with the Fire Department ever since.  All of the jobs entailed the same basic clerical work I was familiar with, but each job also required more extensive and complex duties.  I love to learn, therefore this became the best part of the job for me.

In 2004 I met the wonderful man who taught me to love again.  We married in August 2006 with all our children and a lot of family present.  A few months after we married, I also became the part-time secretary for his company (which he co-owns).  I basically work only on Saturdays; processing the weekly deposit, pulling tickets, paying bills and issuing payroll.  I also do the filing, file taxes, and insure the accountants have all the necessary documents to maintain our financial records as well as take care of the more detailed taxes.  It is a small business and it has been a struggle to stay ‘afloat’ over the last several years, but we work hard and we are getting busier every day.

As I am sure you have already noted, I am a non-traditional student.  My husband is 15 years older than I am which obviously means he will be retiring quite some time before I do.  Because I did not go to college, I have basically “hit the ceiling” with my current employer.  I do not plan on retiring for at least 20 – 25 years, so my husband encouraged me to look into going to college.  I started taking classes during the summer of 2012 and have been taking a few classes each semester ever since.  By obtaining my degree I will be qualified to apply and interview for jobs that would be more in-line with my areas of interest.  The positions I am interested in (Administrative Aide, Administrative Assistant, etc) would also be considered promotions.  My ideal ‘dream’ job is as an executive secretary, best represented by Della Street, Perry Mason’s indispensable assistant.  I am only a sophomore so it will be quite some time before I have the degree, but I have a goal and I will achieve it in due time.

Until recently, I had not been able to determine what degree I wanted to pursue.  Recently, however, I looked at several factors to help me decide.  These include my ‘dream’ job (and the requirements for it), what I believe I am good at (scheduling, organizing, proofreading, editing, etc), and what I like to do (reading and writing) and I have decided I will be changing to a Speech major.  My two favorite passions (outside of my family) are reading and writing.  I don’t have a lot of time for either, but when I do, I choose mysteries for reading and for writing, whatever I am in the mood for.  I have been writing for as long as I can remember; poetry, commentaries, short stories, and even personal letters.  I have a blog where I post my writings and it is popular with my friends and family.  If that is as far as it goes, I am satisfied because I write for the pure pleasure of it.

Most of my writings somehow involve my faith.  I am an active member of my church.  Of all the things I am: wife, mother, Nana, sister, daughter, employee, student, friend, and writer, I am nothing without my faith.  Prior to getting married, before I applied for and/or accepted each job and before I started school - I sought direction through prayer.  My family prayed with me and for me, as did my friends and my fellow church members.  Anything I accomplish in life is not through my own efforts but through the overwhelming presence of Christ in me.  I decided a long time ago, that my attitude is my choice.  My circumstances are comprised of hills and valleys; my God is the same whether I am up or down.  My friends, family, co-workers and even strangers recognize me as the “fabulous lady”.  If you ask me how I am, I will always respond “fabulous!"  My faith, my family, my friends, my career, my education, and my attitude are all choices I have made and those things are all combined together to make up me, CAS.