One of the hardest parts about being adopted is feeling lost. Abandoned. Alone. Rejected. It absolutely does not matter how much love a child receives after loosing a parent in any way, those feelings will persist the rest of that person’s life. It is a battle that is always silently… and in my case, not so silently, fought. It is an underlying tide that pulls, pushes, shapes and defines your very personhood through that tide’s force placed upon decisions, choices and options that fall into your path. One can even feel as though the way their path is taking is through no choice of their own. Instead that they are being pulled by the currents in different directions they don’t want to take. That feeling in itself creates an invisible friend whose name is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the known. Fear of abandonment happening all over again. Fear becomes the co-pilot of your ship. You get lost in yourself and your identity becomes vague and fleeting. Sometimes it feels as if it’s always in front of you just out of your reach. An island that’s always hovering on the horizon, but never reached.
That’s why I was so excited to discover last month that I am a Viking. Not just a little. But a lot. I took one of those DNA tests. Actually it’s my second one. This time I chose Ancestry.com (SHOUT OUT!) For being adopted, I’m lucky enough to have a good idea where my ancestor’s hail from. However, I have a biological relative (who was necessary in my being a person) who themselves was adopted because they were the product of a Catholic Priest and Nun (SCANDALOUS). Plus, I just think it’s super cool and fun to do. And it was.
For someone whose kin migrated to America the melting pot of mixin’ it up, my blood has remained 45% Viking. That’s a lot. And it. Makes. SO. Much. Sense. When I told my adoptive father this news, he threw his head back, chortled and said, “OH the things I wish I would have known!” It honestly may have helped put things into perspective if he had known that instead of a quiet, resilient, Dutch, child like his own, he was raising a hell fire and fiery red headed Viking whose goal was to conquer. I mean. It really does put my life into perspective. It also explains how my Mom’s tea pot got broken.
I know very little about the Viking/Norse/Scandinavian cultures, but I do know this. Women could be chiefs. They wore a lot of fur and leather. They did not wear helmets with horns. (I know. MAJOR disappointment when I learned this. I had plans to add one to my closet and wear it around. Because NO ONE is going to cut in front of a red headed woman wearing a Viking helmet in the grocery store check out line. BACK OFF Karen. I will slaughter your kin. Well… just run their toes over with my fully loaded cart. Same diff. If you are entitled enough to think you can cut in front of me at the grocery store check out line, then you are entitled enough to think running over toes is offensive even though you CLEARLY asked for it.) Vikings, also did like to conquer a little bit here and there. No. They did not really have dragons, but that would have been REALLY cool (again. I would have gotten one even though the dog might have been upset for a few days. She would have been fine. They would have imprinted on each other and become the best for friends. I would have created an Instagram account for them called Daisy and the Dragon and they would have been instafamous and I would have ended up on Ellen and gotten freebies from Shutterfly.)
Also, thanks to Marvel, their epic comic universe reboot in movie form which has FINALLY justified the geeks and nerds, and the 8th world wonder that is Chris Hemsworth, I do know that Thor was a Norse god and that Thor has a hammer.
HEY! I now have a tiny hammer. It’s true! My parents are purging their house of almost 30 years in preparation for downsizing. I’ve agreed to host a yard sale this summer because I live in town in a highly trafficked zone. So, every morning when my Dad picks up my kids for school, he also leaves their combined weight equivalent in junk. Brown paper bags filled with my parents lives for the last 50 years of marriage. Some things are crap and I immediately throw into a box destined for the land of second hand. (OO! I rhymed there!) Other things go into storage tubs for safe keeping until the big sale day.
Some things I have decided are staying with me. It’s how I am laying my claim to my parents crap that’s not in the will. I mention this ONLY to piss my little sister off who is also local and will be mad I’m slowly hoarding “The good stuff.” Like this ice container that is an owl.
Meet Hedwig. My ice owl. Expect to see more of him around.
And so. It is with great excitement that I find the first use for my tiny little hammer that I found in the bottom of a brown paper bag. I honestly have NO idea where my Mom found this and what she would have used it for. My Mom isn’t quirky like me and would have had a purpose for purchasing it. Tiny little hammer conundrum. *shrug* However! Her loss is my gain!
I am a red headed Norse who now has a hammer. I am Thor. Goddess of Thunder. And this is my Mjolnir. I am Viking. Here me roar. I am loud. I throw things. This is my journey. Across my own tides. Fighting currents that lie deep inside my own mind. I will wield my tiny hammer into my battle with mental illness. I will hold my rudder firm in the waves of depression that fight to sink my ship and laugh as they watch me drown. I will find my path and my people and together we will conquer the battlefield of our broken brains and minds.
I might also start wearing a lot of leather. But not fur. Because PETA.
*It should be noted that I used the Helena filter for this photo. High five to those that get the joke.