Tina Gasperson

I was born a creative person: a bit eccentric, always hoping to fit in, searching for unconditional love. I had my first child when I was 19 and my last when I was 38. When I was 52 I finally realized that I had accomplished that “big thing” I’d always dreamed of doing. I realized that raising kids who know they are loved just as they are was the most monumental, important task I could ever undertake. I’m not claiming perfection in that role, but dogged persistence and humility in the face of failure can make up for a lot of mistakes.

One of the supreme ironies of life is that by the time you figure out how to be a good parent, you are just about done with parenting. I hope that my five kids will listen to me as I share the imperfect wisdom I’ve gained. There’s no parenting manual. That first baby doesn’t come with one and even if she did, you’d have to throw it out soon because it wouldn’t apply to subsequent spawn.

Candid from my youth

Candid from my youth

When I was 16 my father left us for another woman and my mother dropped me off on the corner and told me never to come back home. For decades after that I struggled with finding my worth. I made a lot of compromises, and I swung back and forth between delusions of grandeur and white-hot self-loathing. When I hit 40, I thought I’d recovered from my difficult past—until a relatively benign event knocked me flat and sent me into a black hole of anger and withdrawal. It was a crisis that pushed me to confront my demons and slay them one by one. I had a choice: I could either do the painful work of personal growth, or I could retreat into my dark cave of depression for the last time. I chose light and life and all the pain that goes with it, and I continue to make that choice just about every day.

I became a technology journalist in 1997, swinging between fulltime freelancing and telecommuting staff reporter, until 2008, when I quit all my writing contracts, taught myself metalsmithing, and began selling rustic, handmade gold and silver wedding rings online. It is still my dream to someday write exclusively about subjects that enliven me, energize me, and give hope to others. That is one of the reasons I am writing a memoir.