“Mary, you are one of the most honest people I’ve ever met, and I admire that about you; but honest to a fault. Living in San Juan County, especially Monticello, that part of your personality will earn you hardships, many you do not deserve. However, I don’t want you to change, you are not the one that needs to change; the others need to change, start listening and doing.” This was said to me by a man who only lived in Monticello a short time, but was happy as a pig in a mud hole to move away to a more populated area of Utah.
With that I looked back at my life, not just in 2017, but in general and realized that I have changed many times, mainly to make others happy. From an early age, I relished the thought of visiting museums, discovering the scientific worlds of archaeology, anthropology and paleontology. In college, I took several of these courses and was at the New York Museum of Natural History (yes, the one from the Ben Stiller movies) so much, all the guards knew me by name. However, I ended up putting these loves on the shelf, listening to advisors that said there was no money in these careers, no real future for a woman. I dragged myself through jobs I hated, stayed in an abusive marriage as others kept telling me, “You’ll never do better.” I figured, if everyone I knew was telling me this, then it must be true, right?
It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I developed friendships with people who supported me mentally and emotionally. I divorced the s.o.b., met my current husband, Roy, and even he too kept telling me, “Be who and what you want to be; don’t do things to make me, or anyone else happy.” With our move to Utah, our adventuring around the 4 Corners region of the four states, I was able to enjoy those lost loves from my younger years. That crazy woman jumping up and down on slickrock, off State Highway 95, near White Canyon? Yeah, that was me as I just found dinosaur prints, put my foot next to one and imagined what creature, from millions of years ago, I was communing with.
In essence, what I am trying to communicate to everyone is, have hopes and dreams, hold onto them tightly, and get them done! Don’t listen to naysayers and simply do as they say, put them on the spot and ask them “Why? Why don’t you want me to pursue what will make me happy? Why does it have to be only your way when I know you’ve never tried to do it yourself?”
Need a little inspiration? Watch the original Muppet Movie (1979), about a little frog that had big dreams and pursued them no matter what. Listen to the words he sings in “Rainbow Connection” and realize,
“Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they're wrong wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.”
Oh, I know I usually have a recipe for you, but I remember when a rainbow went over a particular ridge. I want to climb that ridge and see “what’s on the other side?” However, if you really need a recipe, go into the San Juan Record archives and reread my article on “Frog Eye Salad”, sort of fits the theme, doesn’t it? Otherwise, you can find the link for the recipe right here on this food blog: http://www.comfortcookadventures.com/2016/02/dessert-salad-saga-part-two.html In 2018, find your rainbow connection and from the Cokenour family, Happy New Year!