Y’all, this might be my favorite Superhero post yet. I’ve thought about asking Michelle for awhile. See, she’s been a superhero for me since we were in high school (way too many years ago!). Why? Because my dad really liked her. If he thought anyone was a cool cat, that was all I needed to know. Why did he like her? She was the only one of my friends who talked to him vs. tried desperately not to have to make eye contact. Ah, the teenage years when you are intimidated by everyone, even dads with big noses and a curiosity about anything and everything…
So that started it, but Michelle has continued to wow me. Michelle is the only one is our little group that didn’t carry around pompoms, but the girl is the best cheerleader I know. No matter what you are doing, she is there to support you. I’m the mom without bandaids in my purse because of the Michelles of the world. Along with bandaids, Michelle also always seems to have a full first aid kit, a granola bar, and a mixed drink at the ready no matter where you are. Michelle and her husband, George are the types of people who don’t just have beer and burgers at a backyard get together. No, it’s a full bar, 14 side dishes, and a fun activity for the kids for them. Speaking of kids, Michelle is raising two of the most well-mannered little gentlemen I have ever met. Her oldest, Braylon, even got Eggroll to try carrots for the first time when he requested salad at a pizza party. What?!? Maybe he’s the hero.
Every single woman in my high school contingent is a superhero in her own right. They all have had their challenges and they all are shining stars for a great many reasons. Today I highlight Michelle because she would never accept the applause otherwise. (Now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t think any of them would.) Three cheers to you all, ladies!
Ironically, it’s not her profession that makes me think of Michelle as a superhero, though her job is exactly where she should be and can leave her lasting mark on the world. That said, please enjoy the interview below. I think everyone, even those that know Michelle the most intimately, will learn something. I know I sure did!
1. Why do you think I nominated you to be on my superhero list?
I have no idea…I’m just the crazy loud one at the party. I try to cut the tension in the room and make sure all are having a good time around me, no matter where I am, but superhero??
I have an intense job, I am a police/fire dispatcher. I have had to learn to be a social worker, counselor, parent, educator and common sense to a lot of people. I have given parents CPR instructions for their children. I have talked down suicidal people with a gun in their hand. I have talked to people that are so upset about a vehicle parked in a no parking zone they are wishing death upon the owner of the vehicle. I have talked to people upset about the spoiled sandwiches that a store keeps selling them. I have tried to convince someone not to shoot someone and they did anyways. I have to make sure all the officers and firefighters go home safely at the end of the shift. It is easy to take home the job and not let your kids walk more than 2 feet in front of you because in your mind everyone is crazy and has bad intentions. But you also get to see what other people are facing and makes you more grateful for your life. It is a balance and no two days are ever the same.
I also balance life at home. My husband works a lot in the summer so that is our rough season to keep the family ship afloat. I stay busy with my boys, 2 year old, Colson and 5 year old, Braylon. I work full time with a weird schedule, take care of 2 boys and try to take care of myself & husband. I really enjoy being around family and friends and laughing with them and making sure they are doing okay and they help me laugh through my day also. I try to help people every chance I can, I’m trying to learn the balance of saying “no” and taking care of myself too, but that’s not really in my nature. Haha!
2. Who do you want to be when you grow up? Are you this person yet?
I think I have accomplished a lot of what I have wanted. I have a Bachelors Degree in Sociology Criminal Justice. I worked my butt off for four years to obtain it, which taught me a lot of skills and tools I would need for real life. I got married to an awesome guy that was a best friend in college, George. We have 2 sons and I work in law enforcement. A lot of what I have always wanted is a reality and I don’t take any of it for granted. I’m so lucky to have kids, a great husband, and a job.
BUT I do have a secret goal that I would love to do someday. I want to be a stand-up comedian, even if it’s for one open mic night. It intimidates me and I’m not sure what to do to “Be Funny.” But I have been told so many times I missed my calling to be a comedian that I have to give it a try.
3. What is your favorite part of your life?
My kids & my husband are number one. Also, my family, friends & neighbors for sure. I also like the spontaneous aspect of my life. I like to find fun activities to break up everyday life. Find a new park, go swimming or to a festival, make a new art project, play outside… It’s the best.
4. What’s missing from your life?
A nanny, so I can take naps, and have a clean house. Ha ha! I choose to have fun more than clean. Someday pool noodle battles aren’t going to be cool to my boys anymore and then I can clean the house.
On a serious note, I am missing health. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and it makes everyday things tough. I try so hard to not let it rule my life. In a nutshell, it is a disease that starts to fuse the vertebrae in your spine. It is an autoimmune disease so my body is always attacking itself in different ways. Every single day is a struggle and there are things I can’t do that I should. I try very hard to not focus on it or talk about it. But it did break my heart when I was having a “good” day and I asked the boys if they wanted to go for a walk, and Braylon said “No, because if you walk now you won’t be able to walk me up to bed and rub my back later.” But I’m grateful for the things I am able to do and know there are people far worse than me so I keep on keeping on.
5. What is the biggest secret to your success?
I don’t know. Something in me makes me want to help people or do things for people they don’t expect. When I think of something cool to do for someone it makes me happy. I don’t really like the term “people pleaser” for myself because I’m not running around making sure everyone is happy but myself. (Well sometimes it happens, haha…) It puts more stress on me and my already busy life, but it is also a release to help others who need it. Or even if they don’t “need” it something to surprise them and brighten their day.
6. What was harder for you to accomplish than you expected?
BEING AN ADULT!! College was rough, I’m very proud of that accomplishment. Marriage is also a little harder than I expected. There is compromise, understanding and hard work to make a happy life. Being a parent is also a lot harder than I thought and working full-time weird shifts while being a parent is very tough.
7. What comes easiest to you? Does this help or hinder your awesomeness?
Jump up to help someone and I make sure I’ve got all the bases covered for people to have a good time. I just went on Braylon’s field trip and I tried to pack up 20 fruit snacks in case the kids needed a snack. When I found that we were out of them, I grabbed an assortment of stickers for the kids instead. I have a nurturing side and an understanding of complicated situations. And I don’t keep my mouth quiet when I feel something is wrong. That has definitely helped and hindered my awesomeness. Haha!
8. Have you had the same goal(s) your whole life or do they change?
They have changed but not by much. I have always wanted to be a police officer, wife, and mother. I learned with time I didn’t want to be a police officer and I’m happy being a dispatcher. So I would say I met my goals for the most part but I’m also not stopping here. I will continue to find ways to better myself and make sure I’m doing what I really was meant to do.
9. “Superheroes… They are just like us.” Tell me something you do just like everyone else.
Ride the emotions roller coaster of being a Mom. I have great days where the kids use their manners and listen in public. And I have days where they won’t listen to anything I say and act like jerks. Which equals to good days where I’m so grateful for my life and bad moments where I just cry and ask “what am I doing so wrong?”
10. Who are your superheroes?
I have so many superheroes. Family & friends close to me that have been through tough times, lost a child, lost a parent, struggled through horrible diseases and struggle to make ends meet to give their kids a good life. Their perseverance is remarkable. My family that sacrifices their lives to help me with my children. And the Police and Fire Personnel I work with every day.
Many thanks to Michelle for being July’s real life superhero. I will donate to the Hunger Task Force in her honor.
If you have someone who you think should be recognized, please let me know! I’d love to learn more about all the awesome people out there.