Category Archives: Learning Life Lessons
I’m a little grumpy today, even though it’s raining. Here’s a lovely shot of a rainy day on the road to my neighborhood.
I KNOW my family is going to hate this post, but I have to say that I am OVER living in Oklahoma. OVER IT.
(It’s possible that we will be here forever, but probably not. Moving here under the circumstances we did put a dark cloud over everything here anyway. And it was always meant to be temporary. YOU KNEW THAT.)
Here is a short list of things that bug me about living in Oklahoma:
1. The weather. It was so humid today that my car windows fogged up when I opened the garage. And now I’m hunkered in my house refreshing the weather pages of two
networks because we are expecting tornadoes and other ridiculous severe weather. I adore the rain, but HATE thunder (it terrifies me), and even though I grew up here and have never prepared for severe weather before, having a child has made me hyper-alert. I actually bought water, snacks, and flashlights today. And the sudden hail a few weeks ago put dimples in one of our cars, because of COURSE the first major hail storm we’ve seen would happen within the first week that we couldn’t put both cars in the garage for the first time in the three years we’ve lived here.
2. The drivers. Oh, Oklahoma drivers. You suck. I have a whole draft post about drivers, but let me break it down for you: tailgating, road rage, driving in blind spots, STOPPING TO GET ON THE HIGHWAY, not using blinkers (including GIANT semis driving through narrow-laned construction zones), not using cruise control EVER and then flipping off other drivers (me) when I don’t go the speed they want me to when they’re speeding up and slowing down. I could go on and on. It’s ridiculous.
3. The false niceness. I get really frustrated by this. I could go into specifics, but it would be a longer post than you could ever want to read. Suffice it to say that if you disagree with people here you often are ostracized from a group.
4. My family. No, not you. Not you either. Look, I LOVE my family. I do. I love them. But after living the first almost 10 years of my adult life away from them, it was difficult to come back here and live in the same town. I moved back here a completely different person than I was the last time I lived here. I changed, as people are apt to do from ages 18-27. And Jim and I spent the first almost seven years of our marriage without family nearby. We ARE each other’s family. And we like it that way. Which might
be selfish, but it’s our marriage. And it’s a good one. We worked through major issues, and our world fell apart, and we still made it. And even though we like my extended family, it’s weird to be here. It’s weird to live where I grew up, to see family often, or at least for every holiday, to get together for birthdays and everything. We’re just kind of over all of the togetherness. Again, maybe selfish. But it is what it is. Jim and I are not really super social people. We’d rather spend birthdays at home. We’d rather spend holidays at home. We want to be able to choose who we see for those things, not be expected to do things and wind up spending time with some people we like and some we don’t.
5. Religion in everything. I am a Christian. I have been since I was seven years old. I love my church, and I am involved in it. But I’m not a religious person. I’m just not. There’s no religion in my politics. I don’t think religion belongs in education. I just get so frustrated.
Whatever. Like I said, I know a lot of my family members aren’t going to like this post. But here it is. I’m over it. It may be forever, but there’s a good chance it won’t be. And where from here remains to be seen.
(To balance my above list, and in the interest of full disclosure, here are some things I like about living here: my family (shut up; I’m a study in contrasts); the university (being on campus is like a whole new world to me, and I love being able to go there anytime I want); cheap housing (seriously if you live on a coast or in a big city don’t ask me about the cost of living here); my church (it’s awesome); my friends (I have some really good friends).)
Truth be told I’ll go or stay anywhere as long as I have these two.
Thoughts. I have many. There’s a lot going on in my head. But I haven’t really had the energy to put it into a post. My last post was a CHEESY one. But I meant every word. (Unless there were grammatical or spelling errors. Then you’ll have to cut me some slack and figure out what I meant.)
-School started and I’m excited about this semester. I am nervous, as both classes (Cataloging & Classification, and Information Literacy & Instruction) are sort of new territory for me.
-Food Lush is ending and I’m so sad. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of that blog and I understand why Jennie has to let it go, but I’m sad I can’t do something to help. I guess I’ll make a food page on this blog and share recipes, dishes, and restaurants worth noting.
-I’ve been researching daycare programs and day schools and preschools for Eriana for this time next year, assuming I get into the PhD program I want.
-I’ve been weeding through forms and web sites regarding doctoral programs and am NERVOUS about even meeting with an advisor. I know that I can do it, but I am terrified that I’ll fail.
-Jim and I did some talking about babies, and are confident that we’re done with conceiving biological children. I know we’ve been down this road before, but committing to being done at the age of 27 with a single tragedy behind us, and being done at the age of 30 with two tragedies behind us and a healthy child in our arms is different. We are open to adopting, and I have started researching domestic adoption. I am meeting with a friend next week to discuss her family’s domestic adoption and to have some questions answered, and though domestic matters are truly foreign to me (ha, see what I did there?), I am confident that we will figure out what we need to do for our family. (As an aside: I have been researching international adoption for YEARS, and have several friends and acquaintances who have gone down that road. Researching domestic opens a whole new set of fears and questions. We shall see.)
-I want to start planning our trip to Seattle for this summer, but I’m having a lot of difficulty with starting that endeavor. But, PNW Friends, we’re still planning on July.
-I wish someone would just hand me, like, $100K. Wouldn’t that be great? I could pay off all of our debts but the house, and have money leftover for adoption costs and to top off our emergency fund.
Sorry I’m so scattered, Friends. Thanks for bearing with me!
There’s just no way I can properly express how much I love this kid and her (lack of) style.
I often wonder what traits Eriana will get from Jim and me. Not just physically, though I wonder about that, too. I think about what Jim and I got from our parents and think about who I am because of who they are, the whole nature versus nurture thing. There are definitely some things I see in myself that are because I’ve driven myself to be that way, but I also see a lot of my parents in me, and wonder about Eriana’s future in those terms.
Speaking of physical traits, though: here’s Jim at 3, Eriana at almost 2, and me at 2.
From my mom I got:
-my friendliness: I may be somewhat shy and socially awkward, but I think I’m fairly friendly, and my mom is the friendliest person in the world
-my imagination: I’m a dreamer, I love to read and watch tv, and I often get lost in my imagination, and so does she
-my cleanliness and my messiness: you know that episode of Friends where Chandler finds Monica’s messy closet? My mom and I are both like that, although I try REALLY hard to not keep a bunch of stuff and she is a bit of a packrat. We both give the illusion of cleanliness while we also have stuff packed away in closets, under furniture, in cabinets and drawers, etc.
-my indignation: this sounds weird, probably, unless you know my mom and/or me; I don’t like for anyone to break the rules or mess with me or my family and close friends, and I often get indignant about things that are none of my business
-my nosiness: Oh, man. My mom and I are both nosy, talkative, gossipy, and over-curious. We are good at keeping secrets, consequently.
From my dad I got:
-my temper: my dad has been known to have a sharp tongue at times, and I got that too, but without the filter he has that makes him diplomatic and often leaves me sounding tactless
-my sense of humor: I’m really funny, y’all, and so is my dad. Case in point: the other day he called me from his car and on his route he passed Stoops’s new mansion (a landmark in my town now), and said, “Apparently Stoops is having a big party at his house.” Then at the same time we both said, “Well, I wasn’t invited.” Ha! It was awesome. Promise. (Whatever. You probably just rolled your eyes like my husband did. WE’RE FUNNY!)
-my drive: there are very few things my dad has set out to so and not accomplished, and I rarely give up either
-love language of giving: my dad is the kind of guy that will randomly pick up a giant bag of your favorite coffee or a huge container of your favorite detergent at Sam’s, just because. He doesn’t care if you have the means to give on holidays, but he always gives generously, even if you ask him not to. He will send a cleaning person to my grandma’s house, and give a low-level employee or family member furniture he’s not using instead of selling it. A few weeks after Eriana was born he came down (about a 30-min drive) after a 10-hour day at work and paid for Jim and I to go out to dinner so we could get out for the first time without her. I don’t want to toot my own horn by any means, but I love love love to give gifts to people, small or large, especially when it’s unexpected.
I’m sure there are more characteristics, but these are the ones that stand out to me.
I wonder what Eriana will get? My drive, Jim’s curiosity, my imagination, Jim’s intelligence and mind for STEM, my love of reading, my cleanliness, Jim’s propensity to purge stuff, Jim’s musical talent, my sense of humor (kidding; Jim’s sense of humor), my love of giving, Jim’s ability to do so much in a single day that there’s disbelief in how he found the hours, Jim’s argumentativeness, Jim’s ability to say no when people ask too much, Jim’s brevity, my long-windedness (in bits), my ability to read people, Jim’s ability to trust. Who will she be? What will she love? How will she behave in social situations? What will her world be like? Oh, I can’t wait to find out.
The last (only?) picture I have with both of my parents, on my wedding day 9.5 years ago. They’ve been divorced since I was three years old but have had an amicable relationship for most of my life. (Also, I don’t know why my eyes look weird in that picture. I promise I don’t have weird eyes.) (Oh, and my dad shaved off his mustache when he turned 50, so if any single ladies are looking for a mid-50s, conservative, healthy, successful man I can send you some info and an updated photo.)
Do you wonder what traits your children will get from you and your partner? What traits did you get from your parents?
Every time I belittle myself or question my appearance I think about Eriana, and how I want so much for her to be an independent, strong, self-aware but strong and self-confident person. I think about this post that Noemi wrote about her daughter and making sure she knows how beautiful she is no matter what. And then I think about Elizabeth’s post about being aware to not disparage her own body since the day her daughter was born. I am so bad about this. I so want Eriana to be confident with her body and her face and herself in general.
She is INCREDIBLE and beautiful and amazing and wonderful and smart and, oh, you guys, I’m in awe of her every single day.
But then she watches me putting on makeup and pretends to put on eyeliner (with her finger – it’s really cute), and I say something like “Oh, you don’t need makeup. You’re beautiful!” Or she sees me undressing before I shower and points to my baby house (the apron of fat leftover after two c-sections that I fear will never go away) and I say something to the effect of “You don’t have a big belly like Mama.”
Why do I say things like that? I don’t want her to hear me say “fat.” I don’t want people to tell her she’s skinny. I don’t want either one of those words in her ears because both of them have negative connotations! She doesn’t need to think thin is in and have issues with her sweet chubby cheeks or hammy thighs. And if she doesn’t get my body type and is thin, I don’t want her to struggle with the idea of too thin (see Jess’s post here).
I might struggle with my body, but I’m healthy, and constantly striving to be healthier by working out and eating right. I am setting a good example in that respect, but a bad example in so many others. Why do I do that? Why do I make those comments about my face or my stomach? Jim has called me “Beautiful” since we were dating. That’s his pet name for me. Eriana hears only how much he loves me and how wonderful he thinks I am. Instead of using the word “brat” we call each other marvelous. Instead of getting frustrated at little annoyances we tell Eriana how much we love the other. She hears nothing bad about me except from me.
Do you deal with self-confidence concerning your children? How do you curb your self-doubt so your kid(s) do(es)n’t pick up on it?
In just a few weeks we are boarding a plane and traveling to visit Jim’s lovely grandmother outside of Chicago. With Eriana. Who has never been on a plane.
Sidebar: We “won” a plane ride from a silent auction at our church that we are hoping to fill in the weeks before our trip, but our friends’ plane on which the ride will take place is a little plane, not a big one, so while the plane ride with our friend will get E in the air for the first time, it probably won’t be indicative of how she’ll behave on flights to Denver and then Chicago (and then back). End sidebar.
So we did NOT buy Eriana her own seat, and we plan to bring lots of stuff to hold her attention (plus some goody bags to give to the flight attendants and surrounding passengers). But WHAT do we bring to hold a 21-month old’s attention for several hours on a plane?
-Kindle with shows downloaded (probably will invest in more Amazon videos than we already have) and a coloring app
-DVD player and DVDs (what kind of headphones for a toddler!?)
-Magnet or felt board?
-Legos for building?
-Color wonder pack with markers and coloring book?
-Baby doll with clothes to take off and put on (why is this fun, Eriana?)
Also, unrelated to entertaining a toddler on a plane: We will have a stroller and carseat to gate check, and plan to put Eriana in disposables for the week we’re gone (and buy a pack when we get to IL, only taking enough for a few days initially). And! We plan to carry-on her monkey harness/leash to let her expend energy in Denver during our layover. Any other tips?
You guys. Help me, please!?
Unrelated to all of the above, just because I am trying to bribe you into helping me, here’s a cute picture of my kid. Okay, thanks!
Eriana loves this shirt I made. Neon rainbow hearts for all!
Y’all. I didn’t want to have to choose. I really didn’t. But Jim and I talked about it, and I’ve decided that I won’t be patronizing any of the delicious-smelling stores of Chick-fil-A (CFA) any longer (Jim won’t either, but he doesn’t love it like I do).
For a long time I thought CFA was giving to groups like Focus on the Family for their religious value, and, as a vocally religious-based organization, I likened it to an individual giving to a church: most congregates of a church do not believe in every portion of their church’s or church association’s doctrine, but giving a tithe or additional money to your church is giving to what you do support, and most of the time if you’re a giving church member you agree with more than that with which you disagree. But that’s not what CFA is doing. CFA is giving to groups that ACTIVELY work against the homosexual community, not just groups that may not agree with homosexuality but focus on other things. It’s this, you guys: I don’t mind that Mr. Cathy doesn’t like gay people. He has the right to believe what he wants and hold that opinion. I disagree with him, but he is perfectly within his rights to donate his personal funds to whatever causes he chooses, even if those are anti-gay causes. What I won’t do, however, is give OUR money, even $7 at a time for a delicious deluxe spicy chicken sandwich with no pickles and pepper jack cheese and waffle fries, to groups like The Family Foundation (which “believes in marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman, an institution of God and a foundation for civil society”), Exodus International (whose mission is “to minister… to a world impacted by homosexuality”), or FRC Action (which supports a “preference in public policies for heterosexual marriage and the traditional family”).
I believe fully and completely in the separation of church and state. And I also have studied enough of America’s history to know that the “God” who is referred to in the documents of our founding fathers was the god worshiped by each father and citizen, not necessarily the Christian God I worship. (Contrary to what many Christian churches will teach you, this country was NOT built on Christian values, it was built on FREEDOM, and one freedom specified and desired was religion.) In believing and understanding these things, I cannot understand the alienation of a whole nation of people within our larger nation of Americans. Did/do Christians enjoy persecution? No. They fought and continue to fight against it. So why in the WORLD would so many Christians condemn and persecute a whole group of people? Whether you believe homosexuality is something you choose or something with which you are born is beside the point (in case you’re wondering I believe it’s a trait with which people are born). Whether you believe marriage is a biblical rite and should only be allowed between a man and a woman because that’s what the BIBLE says is beside the point. Because the Bible is beside the point! It’s as un-American to discriminate against homosexuals as it was to discriminate against Native Americans, Jews, Irish, Italians, African-Americans, women, Muslims, and all of the other groups that have been discriminated against in the last 200 or so years since our country was born. And because of separation of church and state there is no reason that the Bible should come in to play, or Bible verses be quoted by politicians.
I hate that I can’t eat at CFA any more. I will miss those waffle fries so much. But it isn’t because I’m a liberal, or because Mr. Cathy spoke about his personal beliefs, and it has nothing to do with President Obama. (For the record, I’m a moderate, I fully support free speech – I am a blogger, after all, and I didn’t vote for, but respect and support President Obama). I am refusing to eat anymore delicious chicken and waffle fries because of the money the CFA corporation is donating to groups that are actively trying to stifle the rights of a whole group of people.
Any comments that I deem disrespectful or that attempt to engage an argument or debate will be deleted because this is my blog and I moderate the comments section. If you would like to open a dialogue with me on this topic (while fully understanding you will not get me to change my political or religious beliefs or my thoughts on the subject), please feel free to email me: tara AT ourlittlegeekling dot com.
Y’all. Jim and I have been married for NINE years. NINE!
Yes, we were YOUNG. Jim was 19 here, I was 21.
So in the spirit of sharing, here are nine things (rated PG) that I didn’t know before I knew Jim:
1. How to cook. I’m fairly certain Jim taught me how so he wouldn’t have to, but it has served me well and it’s something I love to do now.
2. Much about science. Jim is such a geek. I love it. And I’ve learned so much from him.
3. Much at all about computers and/or the Internet. I’ve always been able to hold my own, but now I sort of get things I never thought I would. Married to a geek=geek by proxy?
4. That 70s and 80s music is awesome. I may have been a child in the 80s, but I was subjected to a lot more ACDC, Def Leppard, and Jimmy Buffet than anything else. Jim is a wealth of knowledge concerning music from this era, and since him I’ve come to love Elton John, Queen, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd (although I had a soft spot for them before Jim and they aren’t his favorite), and many others.
5. That sci-fi is cool. I’m still not on board with all sci-fi (I couldn’t get into “Battlestar Gallactica”, as much as I wanted to have that in common with Dwight Schrute), but I’m all over “Doctor Who” and “Torchwood” and “Eureka” and “Star Trek.”
Okay, here’s where I get sappy…
6. My own strength. Marriage is hard, y’all. Life is hard. But Jim has held me up and together through a lot, and helped me to be stronger.
7. My own potential. When I met Jim I was working and going to school part time. He helped me realize that I could do whatever I wanted. Here I am now on my second graduate degree and finally, FINALLY, at the age of 30 I know what I want to do with my life.
8. That love can be unconditional. Jim loves me, wholly and truly. I don’t know why, and I don’t know if I’ll ever understand it, but it’s there, and it’s unconditional. Even when I’m super unlovable he loves me. Plus, we have made these three amazing babies that I love unconditionally. Jim helped me create them and I love them because they’re ours, even the two that didn’t live long enough for us to raise them.
9. That I’m worth something. I don’t really want to rehash it all because my blog is in no way private from friends, family members, and those who have chosen to judge me for all of my sins and beliefs, and there are some things I just can’t talk about, but suffice it to say that I haven’t always had the best self-esteem, and there have been times where I truly felt worthless and like I couldn’t contribute anything to the world. But Jim has shown me what I’m worth, and that I can do so much and give so much. I’m less cynical, less pessimistic, less bitchy, and less… well, less who I have always been before. He saw something in me, and he helped me to see it, too.
This was in Mexico in April. I think it’s the most recent shot of us. Close, anyway. We take many, MANY more pictures of Eriana than of ourselves.
To my amazing husband, my love, my everything: I love you more than life, and I always will. Thank you for 10 years together, nine years of marriage, the good times and the bad, and for promising me the rest of our life together. You’re so wonderful!
Because I want to be just like Jen, I am going to share a few gems from my favorites list on Twitter. Y’all. My friends are funny.
(This is just in the last month or so. I have more I’d like to share in the future.)
@booksnchickens, May 1, 2012: I think the Internet is making me weirder. I didn’t need help with that, guys.
@alldressedup, May 4, 2012: G caught the puppy about to chew on my shoe and said in a disgusted voice, “Potter, don’t be a cliche.”
@alldressedup, May 5, 2012: Good morning, twitter. I hope your day is as non-shitty as possible. You deserve it.
@booksnchickens, May 5, 2012: You will be completely shocked by this revelation, but it turns out MY kids and not anyone else’s, are the most beautiful ones on earth.
@letmepeeinpeace, May 5, 2012: In honor of Cinco de Mayo this year, I will serve all food to my family on very hot plates.
@blogger_Becky, May 8, 2012: Don’t you hate when someone on Facebook posts, “How cute is my kid??” Because I’m usually like, “Eh. Not very.”
@MeganBoley, May 10, 2012: Cannot form sentences properly word order.
@EricaHuff, May 10, 2012: Earnestly pointing out that my kid is cute isn’t really my thing, but every time Anna takes off her shoes she says “Oh! My feet are back!”
@Life in a Tiny Town, May 10, 2012: My daughters are misusing the word literally. I’ve heard children break your hearts, but damn! I’m failing as a mother, OBVS.
@jonniker, May 12, 2012: My kid is in the cutest pair of Gymboree capris, and if she goes missing, it’s because I spread her on toast and ate her for lunch.
@punkrockpigtail, May 13, 2012: My husband made me breakfast and is cleaning the kitchen, the oven even! Maybe we should have Mother’s Day like once a month?
@TwoAdults, May 19, 2012: I’m so hungry right now that I’d probably eat a Snausage.
@NASeason, May 24, 2012: Crazy old lady chattering “cute cute cute hey hey hey” and patting my baby got a literal hand slap. NO NUT JOBS TOUCHING MY BABY.
@PolkaDotsPearls, 30 May, 2012: Eating potato chips in the bathtub. My inner goddess is ashamed of me and I don’t care.
@booksnchickens, May 31, 2012: I’ve come up with a new emotion: regrieveness, when you are both relieved and in grief that the queso is all finished.
@keli_h, June 1, 2012: Ken changed a light bulb today. Yes, honey … you practically wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning novel.
@smrtmouse, June 1, 2012: Someone, help. The volume dial on my three year old is broken. It is stuck on max.
@NASeason, June 1, 2012: Just read a tweet referencing Leon Panetta as “pancetta” so I guess I’m hungry.
@booksandchickens, June 2, 2012: Fun fact: I was a resident advisor in a college dorm for two years. I know everything there is to know about alcohol poisoning.
@TemerityJane, June 2, 2012: Sometimes I just want to Phoebe-run down the street.
@TemerityJane, June 2, 2012: Can I take a second to thank all my e-pals for having ACTUAL cute infants so I don’t have to do the awkward “Oh isn’t she SOMETHING!” thing?
To which @jonniker replied: @TemerityJane I might be getting ready to birth a real hideous one. You don’t know.
@jayesel, June 3, 2012: Quesadillas are awesome, but let’s be honest: they’re really just edible utensils used to shovel the sour cream & salsa into my mouth.
@andsosheblogs, June 3, 2012: It turns out Elton John is not singing “the cat nap’s stealing your bedtime” in Yellow Brick Road. #themoreyouknow
@TemerityJane, June 3, 2012: I held out my hand and said, “High five!” Phil thrust his crotch and me and said, “High three!” Ladies and gentlemen, my husband.
I don’t use proper grammar all of the time. My vocabulary often stumps me. I end sentences with prepositions, I split infinitives, I use far too many contractions and way too many commas. I forget when to use a semi-colon and when a comma will do. But I know how to use an apostrophe and when to hyphenate something, I know how to use you’re, your, there, their, they’re, except, and accept. (I do have trouble with effect and affect, but that’s a hard one.) I know $10 words but prefer to use 5-cent words instead, most of the time (not in papers for school, of course). And, like everyone, I have grammar pet peeves.
Let me share a few with you:
-Idea versus ideal: An idea is a conceived thought or opinion. An ideal is a perfectly conceived idea or the conforming to a specifically conceived standard.
-Regardless versus irregardless: Please think about it. You probably mean regardless. Because irregardless means without without regard, or regarding. Double negatives cancel out one another.
-Hangar versus hanger: One is where you park a plane (hangar); one is where you hang your coat (hanger).
-Hung versus hanged: You hung your coat on a hanger; he was hanged for his crimes against humanity.
-Sneaked versus snuck: Snuck is not a word, so this one is easy enough to remember.
-Ellipsis: an ellipsis (dot, dot, dot) implies an omission of something, or that the thought will continue. It does NOT mean the end of a thought or sentence. And if you end EVERY sentence with an ellipsis, all it is is annoying. Because it’s almost as if you’re asking the person with whom you’re corresponding (via text, email, Facebook, etc.) to complete your thought, which is not realistic.
-Attempting to make something plural with an “apostrophe s”: No. Just no. Using “apostrophe s” makes a word possessive. So if you write “bananas are on sale for $.44/bunch”, then the bananas are only $.44/bunch. But if you write “banana’s are on sale for $.44/bunch”, then evidently there is something belonging to the banana that is on offer, but we don’t know what it is!
-First annual… whatever: First annual means the second year. Inaugural is the first year, not the first annual. The second year should be first annual, the third year second annual, etc. Something isn’t annual unless it’s been done every year for awhile (at least two years).
-Less versus fewer: LESS is used for things that cannot be counted (Less waste; more recycling!); FEWER is used for things that CAN be counted (More paperless billing; fewer trees being cut down!)
-So-and-so and I (namely in photo captions): No. No, no, no, no, no. Take away the other person and you would write “ME at Tokyo Tower”, not “I at Tokyo Tower.” So why write “So-and-so and I at Tokyo Tower”? ME! Channel Miss Piggy and remember “Me me me me me me me me me!”
I’m glad Jim uses proper grammar. He sure corrects me a lot. True love, y’all.
Yesterday I tweeted something to the effect of: “I know it makes me a jerk, but when I see people who were mean to me in high school and they are working at a menial job and have no wedding ring, I kind of feel vindicated.” And then I deleted the tweet because it DOES make me a jerk to think things like that, and I didn’t want anyone to read that and think I was talking about THEM, also. Because I wasn’t. I know (from experience!) that people take whatever jobs they can get, no matter their experience or education. I know that not being married is not a sign of some sort of flaw or indicative of their character or their lives. And I am, typically, not judgy. But I am also not perfect, and sometimes I am harder on people who had a negative impact on me earlier in life.
Anywho, some background that doesn’t justify my thoughts, but explains to whom and to what they refer. I was nerdy in my younger years. Super nerdy. But I didn’t realize that was okay then. I’m super nerdy now, and I am happy with who I am. But in middle and high school, there were the “cool” people, many of whom were not nice. And as many times as my parents told me that being “cool” in middle and high school wouldn’t sustain these people throughout their lives, I clung to the things those people thought about me and tried to change myself. (Disclaimer: not all of the “cool” people were mean to me, but a great number of them were.)
I was told I was stupid, that because my family didn’t have a lot of money I would never make anything of myself. I was told that since I grew up on the wrong side of town (which, HAHAHAHAHA, 95% of Norman is the SAME) I would fail in life.
I was told I was fat and ugly and that I would never find someone to love me.
And it took me a long time to become comfortable with who I am and embrace my life and myself. But being back in my hometown, I sometimes run into the people who said these things to me, or said similar things that I allowed to hurt me. And when I see them and they aren’t any further along in their lives than I am, or they look unhappy, or they aren’t married, it gives me some sort of jerky vindication.
Yesterday afternoon I saw one of these people – a girl who was awful to me in high school. Who said those sorts of things and tried to break my spirit, sometimes succeeding. And she was working at a job that needed no specialized training, no education or certification, and she looked really unhappy to be doing it. She didn’t have a wedding ring on her hand, she had a bad dye job and a chipped manicure, and just looked run down. And I wasn’t gleeful at her life, but I was observant of it. She had told me I was worthless. But she isn’t any further along in life than me. She isn’t doing something to change the world. And that, my friends, THAT is what gives me jerky vindication. Seeing that she thought I would fail at life, but she isn’t succeeding anymore than me. (Of course, she may be independently weathly and working at a low-level job for the fun of it. She may have a 10-carat diamond wedding ring that she can’t wear at work. She may have given millions of dollars to the university or to some non-profit organization. She may be working there to put herself through medical school. I don’t know.)
I have a good and continuing education. I have a husband who loves me and is my best friend. I have an amazing daughter and I have been to hell and back and survived. I am a contributing member of society and I feel like I have a lot to offer the world, my world at least. She was wrong about me.
Yes, I can be jerky, but my jerkiness is very specific. It’s not toward you. I think you’re great! You are kind to me, you are supportive of me. I will support you to the end of the world and back because you would do the same for me. You are my friend. I hate the hardships and sadness in your life, and I love the positives and the elation in your life. But I apologize for my negativity, and I apologize if it caused you to change the way you feel about me. Please give me another chance.
So, I’m not perfect and I have these terrible thoughts sometimes toward people that were awful to me and affected my adolescence and my ability to think positively about myself. And you’re probably not perfect either (WAIT. ARE YOU? PLEASE TELL ME HOW I CAN IMPROVE!), but you might not think jerky things in the same way I do. And I admire you for that ability.