Pretty much everything in life is comprised of and from the choices that we make. What are you going to eat, what are you going to where, what are the kids going to do, how are you going to live and who you want to live it with are just a few of the choices that make-up a typical day in the life of me. But our entire lives are the way that we are because of a series of choices that we’ve made or not made at one point or another. And I think I’m finally getting to the point in my life when I’m realizing that sometimes the choices that I NEED to make are the ones that I flee from. This is nowhere near a new revelation but it’s one of those things that is finally coming to the surface. It’s easiest for me to sort of just put those choices on the back burner for later and instead help other people make the choices that are going to help them most while putting what I need most on hold.
So what do you do? You prioritize right? You decide on a day-to-day basis what you can and cannot or don’t want to deal with anymore. All the easy stuff until you are forced into a corner where you need to work on the hard stuff. Well I’ve sort of just gotten to the point where most of the easy stuff is gone and even a few of the hard things have made their way off the list too. So now I’m down to the really hard stuff, where you start to evaluate whom you want in your life and why. The people that bring substance to your life; smiles, laughter, knowledge, a different perspective, and love. But I don’t even know where to begin with that because I have a way of finding something in a lot of people that I some how feel is a necessity to me. They’re fun or they can be a really great listener on occasion when I need them to be. But the list of some is so much shorter than others that it’s hard to justify to myself why I deem them a “necessity”.
I was part of a conversation recently where we were talking about how we like to help people and how it’s hard to not always jump into helping a friend in need all of the time. But also how unhealthy for us that it is. Not to mention exhausting. This is one of those things that is beginning to boil over. How do you say no when your friend is asking for help? I’m not good at that. I may put space when I ABSOLUTELY need it but do my best to manage all of these different scenarios with different people and somehow keep finding even more scenarios and people to add to it. It’s a vicious circle of adding people when I’m on top and them drowning when I find myself on the bottom, then helping someone accomplish something and I’m back on top baby!
I’m just starting to find that this is not necessarily what I want and these choices that I have made up until now have put me here. I like to help people in any way that I can and I don’t want to lose that about myself because it is a solid part of my character. And where some would say that it’s not my job or responsibility I would disagree. I believe in it and have witnessed it my whole life. Sometimes you get burned and it’s not appreciated as it should be or even at all. But something about it always makes me want to do it again anyway. This new choice is one where I want to learn to put myself somewhere near the top because the first 5-10 spots are full of kids, family and friends. My health is important, my sanity is important but my character is important because it’s who I am. And in 2013 I want to make sure that I find a way to mesh all of these things in a cohesive way.
Choices. Thanks for starting off on a rough spot 2013 now let’s try to get all this crap in order.
Hey so… remember that one time I said I was going to try my hardest to post at least once every couple of weeks and then I didn’t and then I felt lame? Yea that’s how I feel right now; it’s a subtle combination of failure and (said in my best bitchy tone) ” Really? You think I have time to entertain you people when I don’t even have time to brush my hair good?!” Either way I feel like I failed and I apologize for the lack of interesting topics and random banter that I try to bring to the table. On that note I would like to bring up that I have learned by not writing in a while that it is a labor of love, at least for me. I, as previously mentioned, am a perfectionist and very judgmental of my own writing. If I don’t feel like the topic is very “interesting”, hilarious, or think you may be seeing it on television shortly I don’t write it. Essentially, if it doesn’t light a fire under my ass I’m not going to bore you. Which brings me to my next topic (the one that lights the fire –>) Teen Pregnancy.
This obviously isn’t a new topic but it’s just one that has been weighing heavily on my mind lately and I thought it was time to share it. Now I’m sure at this point pretty much everyone has come across a clip on TV or a tabloid staring you in the face in line at the grocery store about MTV’s TEEN MOM and TEEN MOM 2. In all honesty these shows happen to be one of my guilty pleasure shows for a while now so they actually feel like old friends that I’m checking in on. That may sound ridiculous but I am a young mom myself and I like to see how different people handle things like this. I know it’s not a game so don’t think for half a second I relate to them in that way, but I can sympathize with the fact that being a parent at any age is tough. Now the real reason this whole thing has really being burning me up is because not too terribly long ago I had some time to catch up with a favorite High School teacher of mine and he told me something that literally made my heart stop. The conversation was typical with him telling me funny stuff the kids do and still do as well as the stuff that still makes him want to pull his hair literally out of the follicles, then he dropped the bomb..KABOOM!!! (like shit falling off the shelves kaboom!) He had 5 students, 3 of them freshmen, come up to him in the first semester of last year telling him they were pregnant and keeping the baby. What in the living hell?? All I could think was “Welp there goes their education, their dreams, their proms, the whole shabang.” I know that sounds pessimistic but it is. They genuinely have NO IDEA what they are in for. This is not the same as babysitting or caring for a younger sibling, this is forever. And the whole thing is on you and If you don’t set yourself up with realities about what this means you are going to fail. I had my daughter very young (just brushed 18), but I graduated High School first and to be honest I was scared out of my mind that I didn’t get my college degree first because I knew that this was the end of what I wanted and the beginning of what does this child need from me and how am I going to make that happen? I’m sure a lot of them are not thinking that way, could damn near guarantee it. Lucky for me I was also married to someone who could financially care for us and I had great parents. But a lot of teen mom’s don’s get that luxury, especially someone who is only 14 or 15 years old.
So here’s what gets to me about this whole thing. As much as TV has been trying to bring the reality of this whole thing to light in a way that’s both educational as well as relatable it has also Glamorize the Hell out of it. What they don’t show is the things that can really affect you daily. Not just the isolation from friends or events but also the blatant disgust from people you don’t even know. You aren’t always going to get the “Oh my goodness what an adorable baby!” from little old women in the stores or at the park. I personally have gotten more looks of distaste that seeing a young mother in a store with her child brings nowadays. And I’m sure a lot of you are thinking “Well eff them!” and “who are they to judge?” But when you are the one they are judging and you know it, it’s a little disheartening. Whether or not you are busting your ass to be the best mom you can ( and I’m proud to say I do) It always makes you feel a little bad. But what can we do right?
Well I think that for starters abstinence needs to stop being the front-runner for Sex Ed. It may have worked 50 years ago but honey, times have changed and so should we. We have hundreds of different contraceptives out there as well as the personal knowledge that unfortunately your kids have raging hormones just like you use to. Lets talk stats for a quick second. Every year somewhere around 820,000 teen’s get pregnant, which is roughly about 35%, so for all intents and purposes 1 in 3. It’s also 1 in 3 that end up actually graduating High School. As a parent that scares the hell out of me. And to add injury to insult the average age of a young adult, or child for that matter, that has their first sexual experience is 13. At 13 I was still not liking the thought of boys even try to kiss me! LET ALONE anything else. And I don’t know about you guys but I do remember maybe the one or two people in your class in Middle School that were supposedly having sex or “doing stuff”, but it was definitely not 1 in 3. To scare the hell out of people even more, any of you, myself included, who have a child that is in elementary school now means that this topic is just knocking at your door.
It get’s under my skin like nothing else listening to these kids talk about how fun it will be to have a little baby to dress up and take for walks and “Oh I hope they get your eyes and my nose”. What they should be thinking about is the feeding every 2 hours, diapers, child care, and how this is going to not only affect their lives but this innocent baby’s as well. Having talked to my teacher made me want to just go down to the nearest high school and start presenting myself from class to class. Who I am, How old I am and just wanting to figure out the best way to slap these kids with reality. I just want to go in there and shake them and say “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?? THIS IS NOT A GAME OR A TV SHOW AND YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO THINK THAT YOU ARE IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM READY TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANOTHER PERSONS LIFE!!”I already know the responses and the scowl’s as well as the “who are you to talk? You were a teen mom yourself”, that I would undoubtedly get. I agree with TV in the way that they are making this topic something that is very real and very much an issue, but I don’t really agree on the presentation. I don’t know how I would do it myself honestly, but I would think it would be smarter to start on a smaller scale, say their very own class rooms.
What thinking about this topic as much as living it has taught me though is that I always want to have an open line of communication with my kids. I want them to succeed and I want them to know that should anything like this ever happen I will be the last one to tear them down or point the finger. Now you are also not going to catch me being the “cool” mom who lets kids drink at their house because “they’re going to do it anyway” or letting them have all this sex in a house that I keep fully stocked with condoms because ” they are going to do it anyway”, pshh yea right! But I do want to find a happy balance where they can tell me they are if they are and be able to come to me for help being safe. I’m dreading that day as much as anyone, maybe even more, but if and when that day comes, when they are thinking about having sex, I hope they trust me enough to come to me first.
Every once in a while we get a chance to do something that we wouldn’t ever dream we would be able to do. Wish maybe, but never be able to figure out a way to make it happen. If you are a Woman you will be able to fully appreciate the feeling of “Winning” by the end of this. I have realized that men either don’t fully understand the victory in the story or just think I am a royal bitch. Truth be told I think I have “bitchy” aspects but overall am a pretty nice person..so lets just get into it.
Over the past few months I’ve started to think about going back to school. But being that I am a mother to two crazy, young children (5 years old and 15 months…yea) I don’t really think that I have the time to commit to school. Really it comes down to me not wanting to give up time… you know school parades, first time scaling the cabinets in the kitchen..things like that. But I decided to just check out a few schools anyway, why not right? So the first school I checked into was a local school that I knew essentially would allow me to take the majority of my classes online which is kind of perfect for me. Within five minutes of me finishing the information form I get a call. Yep it’s a school representative that wants to tell me a little about the school. Now just so we are clear I don’t generally pick up the phone for numbers I don’t recognize but for some reason that day I did. So back to this guy, he pretty much just wanted to know how I heard of them and what made me want to choose them. Then he said he was going to transfer me to a Student Advisor in my area who could help me decide if this was the school for me. As he is transferring my call he says the SA’s name and I immediately recognize the name. It’s a name I haven’t heard in a while and I have about 10 seconds to decide how I’m going to handle this situation. I decide I’m going to do this, and this is a little of how this conversation went:
SA: “Hi my name is ___, I am your student advisor and I can’t wait to get started with you.”
Me: (slight pause) Hi.. Yea thanks..umm so what can I expect from this school?”
Some kind of boring banter passes about the way the school works and the options I have . Then we get into the conversation I have been waiting for, she finally asks me why I want to do this program and what are my motivations.
Me: ” Well first off I have two really great kids that are still pretty young..”
SA: “Oh Wow! How old are they?”
Me: ” They are 5 and 15 months.”
SA: ” Wow so you really have your hands full then! That’s awesome though I’m 25 and not married and don’t have kids and don’t know that I could handle trying to do school on top of all of that!”
Me: ” Yea well it takes a lot but I am really lucky, I have a wonderful husband who is so supportive of whatever I want to do and I know would be right there if I needed him so I could go back and get my degree.”
SA: ” That’ really awesome it’s so important to have that. Have you taken any time to think about how you were going to pay for school?”
Me: ” Well I kind of figured I would figure that out after I chose a school.. My husband has a really great job.. Hence me being a stay-at-home mom at 24.”
SA: ” That’s so awesome that you guys can do that! But it’s probably going to make it really hard to get any financial help.”
Me: “It’s fine we will figure it out, my husband will do whatever we have to if this is what I want to do.”
SA: ” That’s so great, it’s really rare to find that now.”
Me: ” I know.”
So you can kind of see where this conversation was going. In all honesty if I didn’t know who she was and wasn’t intentionally trying to give her all the shiny highlights of my life (not that I have to, my husband is amazing and really would do anything for me) I would feel like we were really doing the female bonding thing. So this went on for a bit more then we got to the end of our conversation, about life and all, and this was my time to drop my A-bomb and just hit her with something that would slap the slutty gloss off of her face.
SA: ” So I’m going to give you all of my information and send you all the information you need in an email. I’m going to put my email address and number too so don’t hesitate to call it’s always nice to have the phone ring and it be someone who wants to talk to you! And If you decide to go here I can totally show you around campus.”
Me: ” Great thanks! So kind of off subject but umm.. In the beginning when I first caught your name it sounded really familiar.. Where did you grow up?” ( As if I didn’t already know..)
SA: ” Oh umm Sunnyvale… well technically Sunnyvale..”
Me: ” Oh where’d you go to school?”
SA: ” Ummm Santa Clara…”
Can you feel it building? (giddy grin)
Me: ” Yea I’m pretty sure I’m the grade under you..” (keep in mind she has all of my information right in front of her)
SA: ” Really? I feel like an a-hole..wait I can’t say that I’m being recorded lol.. How come I can’t remember you?”
And here’s the kicker ladies and gentlemen..
Me: ” I’m pretty sure you dated my husband in high school..”
That’s right, I spent 35 minutes on the phone talking to my wonderful husbands high school sweetheart. When the first rep transferred me over he said her name to introduce us. This is why I said I only had 10 seconds to make my decision. How many times in your life can you think of a more perfect way to rub the pure Excellence of the success of your marriage to your husbands ex-girlfriend while she willingly and even excitedly listening?? Exactly. Now some of you may be thinking that that’s really immature or just plain mean, but this girl completely broke my husbands heart, used and abused him and then continued to “drunk dial” him even into our relationship.. well until I just took the phone one night and told her that she needed to stop “accidently” dialing him, then it stopped. But to me this girl 100% deserved this and honestly I am going to look back on this moment for a while with pure victory in my mind. Needless to say she was really uncomfortable as soon as she realized who I was. She even offered to get me a new student advisor so I wouldn’t be uncomfortable, to which I promptly responded:
” No I’m completely fine! I just thought it was kind of funny that we already know each other, really its No big deal!”
Her response was ” Wow small town..way to make it uncomfortable Santa clara!” (followed by an uncomfortable, fake laugh)
The last thing I said to her was “Any way I’ll be keeping in touch so when I decide to go back to get my degree You can help me thanks!”
Then I got off the phone and never felt so good. So there isn’t really a moral to this story, but I felt that by sharing it I could share a moment of victory. For all of my friends and all the women out there who just want that moment that they can tell or show that bitch, husbands ex, mean girl from high school… I win. And just rub it all over their over inflated, make-up smothered ego’s.
So this is something that has been in the works for at least the last few weeks. No matter how much time I try to “make” it never seems to want to work out the way that I want it to. For those of you who know me you know that this entire process has probably induced some kind of anxiety or OCD freak out that included, but wasn’t limited to, deciding that the hall closet needed to be cleaned out, my kids room looked like a hungry bear went in and tore through the place looking for something other than tiny socks and plastic donuts, and even vacuuming under my mattress. Truth be told I was just freaking out a bit that my commonly private rants and thoughts were now going public. And the thought of people I don’t know being able to check it out and judge accordingly just makes me want to help them into the dryer for a quick tumble dry on their faces. I’m not trying to be rude or prejudge but hey, does anyone really like “constructive” criticism? Maybe you do and maybe you don’t but either way deciding to do something like this is very much out of my character.
Things to be looking forward to as a reader/ viewer… I do talk about my husband, kids and friends a lot, I love them and they give me some of the best material. There will also be small talk about those crazy people that I run into occasionally that tend to drive me insane, you know the ones that still have their 8 year old in a stroller or the ones that are so caught up in their shopping that the local Kohl’s has become a part time daycare. I will also have days where I just talk about food or drinks that I have perfected (alcoholic and non). And I may even throw in an adventure or two every once in a while. But this is all a rough estimation of the stuff I would like to talk about. I’m trying something new by not making a schedule for myself or making up deadlines in my head that do not need to exist amongst the other clutter. Every post will be a surprise for you and me, well except for this one and the next one 🙂