This post: Especially the last line!
There is a humbling that comes with age. When you are young, you are on top of the world. YOU feel like you know so much, and others are not seeing clearly. My, how terribly mislead we were. A doing of our own nonetheless. You know the most humbling part? When we think people are not keen on patterns of behavior and they had to just watch us fail. When we think our plan is so fresh and new and effective, but it really is repetition considering the trajectory of lives before us. How blind were we that we couldn’t see and reason that those older than us know more? That maybe, we should listen. Have you ever thought to yourself, why didn’t I listen? We will say we have no regrets in life, but in reality we reflect on the what-ifs. I keep trying to pinpoint, what it was that made us think the way we did and ignore walking, living, breathing, real life examples of history. What was it that made us not heed to the wisdom of our elders.
Why was it that we hated those that were loving us?
I can say, it’s because it is what I wanted. Is this enough? What a sad and piss-poor reason. What did it cost us? It’s mind blowing to wrap my mind around our youth, but exhilarating at the same time. Exhilarating considering that if you used that strong-minded, push to do what you should, then greatness can be the only result.
19yr old…wild and obnoxious…I had a conversation the other day with a 19yr old and a 35yr old about patterns of behavior. I mention their ages because I wanted to show the gap in age. 16 years between them and their thoughts were concrete with their life experiences. Displaying patterns of behavior gets you certain places. Prison, a good job, an affluent life, a strong family, setbacks in life. It all connects with the choices you make and continue to make in life. I hate the ‘ it just happens’ or ‘things just got away from me’ type of excuses. The ‘before we knew it’ type of excuses. I have a genuine fear of hitting 40 with nothing to show for it. I also know in my youth I displayed patterns of behavior that accounts for why I don’t have what I should now. I try to hold myself accountable for all my actions. I see and is an example of making serious poor life choices. I also see and is an example of someone trying to turn things around. I just find it interesting how we don’t see ourselves following patterns of behavior and not act on a change. I understand becoming a product of your environment. I still wonder why this happens without resistance. I also know doing the right thing is hard. I also know you will get assistance when you decide to play fair in life. I just find it odd, how, we can’t see the end of a certain story; the same story repeated many times. How much we think our end will be different. It’s scary to think, ‘man, if I had just listened. Why did I think I knew it all’.
It’s scarier to watch someone not listen….cycling.
I had a hard flashback moment today. It was to the pain I felt during childbirth. I was brought back to the operating table and was feeling it when they made the incision in my lower abdomen. I could feel the pain again but pulled myself out of the thought. I remember screaming ‘Tam, they’re trying to kill me’ and saying ‘OW, it hurts!’. After that I was ‘out’. I would have liked it someone was telling me what they were doing as they went on, but it was a very painful, confusing time. I was ‘put under’ after all my yelling but I don’t remember much else. As I thought about this all today, I thought wow, this is how women die. In my most vulnerable moment, I couldn’t speak to say if anything was happening to me, such as shortness of breath or heart palpitations. I just know it is an experience I never want again. Though bittersweet, as I do want another child. I’m just hoping it can be a VBAC. I tell myself all the time that I’m going to be so much better in my next pregnancy. I’m going to eat well, drink more water, manage my iron and haemoglobin issues better. I’m going to be more prepared. More vocal, more involved in my delivery. I’m going to speak up more. I tell myself all these things but know once reality hits, ‘get the baby out safely’ will be my only focus. No one else will matter. That’s how it was with my son. No form of dilation was happening, and the only peace came with feeling my water break. I think that will be the difference in my next birth. An environment with warm water. A dredge for my tingling veins and disturbed body. It is the least I can do for pushing my body to do what it needs to before it’s ready. Birth is a very natural process, a severely underrated sentiment. The effects on the body is extremely life altering and has continues for years. Yet, that is hardly discussed! There is so much care needed for the mother but no one ever remembers this. My first birth felt somewhat like a plunge. Somewhat procedural, done on rotations or rounds. I don’t want that again. If I do have to be induced, I want to labor in the comfort of my safe, peaceful home. If my health allows, this would make me extremely happier and calmer for delivery. In reality, a hospital birth saved my life, but we weren’t prepared for the process at all. Looking back, we were too ‘limp’. No matter how many birth stories, YouTube videos and TLC’s ‘A Baby story” I watched, it was extremely too new and unlike anything we’ve ever been through. I want to be prepared to deal with it all, especially the doctors and nurse.
I’ve realized too, the older I get, that people are weird. You really must advocate for yourself and your body. There really are people so self-absorbed and miserable in the health field that do no deserve to be there. They give sub-par treatment despite it being YOUR worst moments. I want to be somewhat prepared for it all!
I wish more people would decline to give parenting advice. The stigma around the very presence of children is so telling! We see the annoyed looks on your faces and that twisted smile. There is nothing wrong with saying, ‘I can’t say because I’m not sure myself’. Saying, ‘my situation is a bit different’ is acceptable too. It’s perfectly fine to just keep quiet as well. It just gnaws at me when people who do not celebrate their children tell others not to have any. It physically pains me when people say ‘they ruin your life’. No, you ruined your own life with your choices and is now inflicting this irresponsibility on an innocent being. Do not tell people to not have kids because you don’t want any. Don’t speak against children knowing you want them but just haven’t found the right ‘situation’. I completely understand times where children are born into situations that end up changing. As a product of a single parent home, I know it’s extremely hard. Hats off to all of you! I’m referring to those who were told their partner doesn’t want children, lays bare to procreate then find themselves in a ‘rut’. I’m speaking to those who birthed a child out of a convenient relationship and is miserable with being grounded. Do not fix your mouth to tell people children are a nightmare, when you couldn’t control yourself long enough to use protection. I’m also referring to those who have multiple children, inflict all sorts of abuse on them and have the nerve to say they ‘messed up’.When I was pregnant and about to go off on mat leave, I had lunch with my manager and he blatantly told me he has no advice for me. I made a face naturally and he laughed and said seriously, ‘I’ have no advice for ‘YOU’. Of course, I called out his unfairness because he had recently become a father and could have imparted so much knowledge on me knowing what ‘this thing’ is going to be like. He was quite bemused with my pressing, as his statement was simple. Simple, but weighted. The only other thing he said was that I should do what’s best for my child and don’t listen to anyone. I shot him another side eye as his mother was a prominent figure in his child’s life. I let him have that one, as much as I wanted to know more.
When we had our son and came to grips with PARENTING a child, not babysitting or tolerating one, I got it. When I went back to work, we had lunch again. He was smiling from ear to ear and so was I this time. We talked about the antiquated ways of child-rearing and all that I had escaped by doing things our way. I trusted him and would have listened to his advice; this stranger to MY child. We learned about our child and we cared for and led him with our choices. Everyone was happy. When I told my cousin I hadn’t read any books she was in a rage and sent me title after title of all the popular stuff; we politely declined. Months later when I attempted to find a solution with a popular site I felt like the one thing I was looking for wasn’t there. The one word to connect my issues to a solution wasn’t there. Why? Nothing in parenting is cookie cut; it’s ever-changing. Every time I had posted my issues on mommy boards on Facebook, I was rewarded with comments filled with nuggets of gold. All ending with ‘THAT’S what worked for US’, MAYBE it will for you. A small side-eye there as I thought if it worked it worked, what’s the deal? The more we dealt with and overcame, the more I got it. How can someone else tell you what will work for you or your child when they have never met the child? When they are born, you the parent don’t know their ways and cannot bend them to follow someone else’s routine. In a room with 10 people, 10 of them will be different; kids are exactly the same. Here’s another thought, in a room with 10 people, 10 of them will be from a different situation. Same. There are no super parents and it is perfectly ok to hate being a parent. Be honest about your experience though. Decline to offer advice when you know your ‘situation’ comes with circumstances! Don’t tell people to not have kids when you have 4 with 4 partners and consider time with any of your children as babysitting. Do not have children with someone who does not want any and blame them for a failed relationship. For the love of God kids will not save your relationship, but pit you against each other and teach your children horrible relationships are acceptable. Finally, a single parent experience may seem to be 10 times worse than a 2 parent household, but unless both parents are involved, its one and the same!
Stress inducing efforts
But I stick to the plan
Forgiving hip rolls welcomes you
What you fear is not an easy do
The thing about life, is what makes life, life
No matter how much you wish and want; strife
I believe who wants, does not always get
The reasons surrounding why we cannot makes bets
Time is of the essence in body, not wherewithal
You constantly question, whether this may just be your fault
Patience is wearing thin
Misery starts to set in
Time and time again though
There is no giving up, no giving in
I couldn’t sleep all night because I was looking forward to this day. For weeks, I have been dreading the ‘big turn’. I was constantly telling friends for weeks about my plan for the day. I googled articles that list what changes when you ‘turn’. I googled quotes about the dread of a life it becomes. All I wanted to do was lay in bed and drink and cry and draw on rose blunts until I somehow manifested into all I believe I should have at this age. 3-0. I have been sulking for weeks about what the age meant for my body and stereotypes. I shot down every plan to celebrate because all I really wanted to do was hide and stay under the covers until those posts wishing me well were at the bottom of everyone’s feed!
Alas, the day is here and I’m drawing blanks. There is no sadness at all. I blame Oprah. That Golden Globes speech recharged me. Conversations about it with a dear friend made me full. My life looks nothing like the history of my people and I should be grateful. I am healthy and able to use all motor skills without even thinking or assistance. I have a beautiful son who asked me to smile this morning. A darling husband that is just the most patient man in life. I am not hurt and no one in my family is ailing. Most importantly. I have life. The day is here and all I feel is joy. And lightness. I want to see everyone I love and have them shower me with admiration and praises. I want to be feasting on select cuts and crisp wine as I laugh heartily as people reminisce about stories about my crazy life. Or the past crazy year. I have so much to be grateful for. There is so much life within me, I haven’t been able to stop smiling.
The sad part is we’re going through an extremely rough patch right now. At the top of the year, we find ourselves really making some hard choices just to stay afloat. I am unemployed again, as my seasonal job is over. I do not have the qualifications I planned for. I don’t look like I want to and frankly don’t have to mental capacity to change that right now. We’re basically blowing through our savings with no contingency plan. My boots are literally taking in water (lol). My school fee is past due. My partners strength is unraveling a little bit more each day. I should be miserable and cursing the universe. I can’t even celebrate with a fancy dinner and fancy foil balloons; but I’m cheery. In the highest of spirits I have been in the past 3 months. I can’t be unhappy. I cannot wallow in darkness and close myself off from the world. I don’t want to be a depiction of Scrooge today. I cannot be consumed with race issues today, politics or the like. It isn’t fair to be sad. I must be and revel in aging gracefully and celebrate every part of the day; even my very ambitious BM. I am over the moon and on a high; partly sponsored by coffee. Today, my depression will not beat me to a pulp. I’ve been smiling constantly despite the abrasive weather. Every sweet message and well wish is like a falling Tetris block and I just might burst! I feel so loved and free. I cannot help, but, squeal! I’m not sure who does this, but I had planned to be a damsel of doom today; but I rebel!
I will treat myself to a modest lunch and cuddle with up with my joy today. After all, I turned 30!