Peggy Ford

I saw myself as an outsider at Scarsdale High School. Perhaps my primary way to rebel was to not do well in school. I went to a junior college which put me in a category of extreme underachieving. My rebelliousness continued until I was 38 years old. I found it was a lot of work to live and behave contrary to the norm/established ways. Nothing is set up for this type of lifestyle. My life is much easier, now that I have come into the fold. I retain my individuality through my art work. This, too, can be a difficult path the stumble around on and off.

Challenging the way things are, I acted impulsively and spontaneously. The latter brought creativity, the former was perhaps the route of some self destruction. When I brought the pony tailed, ear ringed, live-in boyfriend home for Thanksgiving, my parents chanted : "It's just a piece of paper" referring to our unmarried status. I remember calling my mother from the woods of Yosemite Valley to report my whereabouts and stayed there for 2 months.

Beginning in Boston at college and finishing that up in two years, I was "on my own" at the age of 20. I couldn't get enough of freedom. Essentially, I was homeless, but then, we called it traveling. The Bay Area to Boston was a popular migration I made. I'd end up at my folks retirement home in Southbury, Ct. to "regroup" I guess, for a week or so; then off to a new dream.

I married an Iranian revolutionary in San Francisco. He was probably the poorest Iranian I've ever met (a requirement?). Radical, creative and angry. We had two sons by the time I "split" and ran with my kids to my sister's here in Minneapolis to turn my life around. I returned to school for commercial art, being a single parent for 4 years. My ex-husband died of an overdose six years later. My struggles never seemed quiet so difficult as his. There was determination in his pursuit of drugs/unconsciousness and his anger at the world made it impossible for him to move forward.

I seek security, love and health, these days. And sometimes these are as elusive as freedom. I have found, as we all have read/heard, that the older I get the less I know. I was so passionate and sure about the way I thought things should be when I was young. My poor parents, wondering where I was, who I was with, would comfort themselves with "she is a child of the sixties." My hope is that my two sons, now into their teens, don't need to get quite so lost as I did to find themselves.

I am married to a wonderful man and we raise the boys together. My life is very good. I am happy. As my energy wans and a good mattress is very important to me, I feel content to know I did live out a lot of dreams.