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You can take the girl out of The Bronx, but...

Well, you know the rest. I have to confess for a long time I really tried to get rid of The Bronx. For a long time after that I thought I had. And for a long time I felt good about it. I'd escaped. No one could tell by my speech, my look, my style, etc. I used to love to hear, "You're from The Bronx? I'd never have guessed."

And it's more than that. It's escaping a past that didn't fit in with my fantasy of who I wanted to become, who I wanted to be. It was an escape from a certain social class, an escape from parents whose customs, manners, interests felt alien to me - or maybe the truth was I wanted them to feel alien to me. I wanted to be my own creation! 

But deep down I knew the truth. I knew it and it bothered me. I felt like there was really no escape. Not from The Bronx. Not from the lower income class that shaped me. Not from a mother who loved a bargain more than almost anything. And it bothered me.

But lately something has changed. It's been sneaking up on me. And for the first time it doesn't bother me. Is it an age thing? Do you have to reach a certain time in your life where you can appreciate where you've come from? Where you've been?

I have come a long way - in some ways - and I feel good about it. But I also feel good, finally, that in many ways I haven't mentally left my past behind me.

When I first started getting involved with auction hunting and selling my finds I just saw it as a new and exciting path. I love the thrill of having the top bid and feeling that I got a great deal. I love the thrill of selling that treasure and getting even more than I anticipated...

Oh God, it suddenly hit me! I'd become my mother!! Instinctively, I cringed. I had worked so hard not to be her. When all I did was write and publish books I thought I had "broken free." Except a peek beneath the surface and I see my mom reading many of the genres I wrote. I see my father spending all his spare time writing and trying to get something, anything published.

But my treasure hunting really brought it home with a jolt. My mother would have loved doing this. I am my mother!

And then it hit me. It was okay. I could be like her in this way. Probably in a lot of ways, but I won't get into that.

What's important to me here is a kind of acceptance of who I truly am.

I'm a girl from The Bronx. I can't get it out of me.
And I finally don't want to!

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