I vowed long before the picture was taken that I would survive whatever life threw at me. I'd already survived a lot, but I had more to go.
I vowed I would always have what my mother called "walkin' money." She taught me at a very early age to have money in my handbag or pocket for a phone call or a taxi. Why? Because I might not always end up where I wanted to be. If I could make a couple of calls, I'd have a strong chance of surviving. (Note to the younger readers: This was before we all had cell phone, before 911. We had pay phone. Everywhere.)
My mother also meant having enough money to leave a bad situation permanently if need be. Years later, Oprah would call it her "bag lady" money. Enough to start over if necessary. (See the discussion on "bag lady money" in Mad Max Unintended Consequences. Thanks, Mom and Oprah.)
By the time my then-boyfriend took this picture, I had finished college, collected four degrees, and had a good job in industry. I also had a savings account for that all-important "walkin' money." Over the years, I lost two jobs, one through downsizing, one because I was the wrong person for it. Each time, I dedicated myself to two things: finding another job and writing books.
I had no idea at the time of the bikini pic that I'd one day become a writer, but maybe that's part of the looking into the future and being excited about what was to come. I started writing really bad
Anyway, between the bikini and now, I achieved a goal I hadn't foreseen. It was all a matter of numbers. One agent + one publisher = two books in a series in print. Giggle.
I didn't foreseen where I was going, but I'm glad I'm here.
Betsy Ashton is the author of Mad Max, Unintended Consequences, and Uncharted Territory, A Mad Max Mystery, which is now available in e-book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.