I have a six year old. I’ve raised her thus far to think little girls are not grown women. As she gets older she will earn the right to do more things like paint her nails, go out etc. At 6, she’s not ready to hit the club like it’s her birthday as best sung by good ol 50 cent. One day though she will be, but hopefully by that time I have prepared her as well as I can for life.
Shopping for girls these days is hard. The fashions are outrageous. I once saw a tube top that doubled as a mini skirt. I mean am I dressing a future baby prostitute or a child? It’s sick. I dress my daughter as age appropriate as I can, as fashion forward as I can without trying to turn her into a self obsessed monster. So imagine the difficulty in finding age appropriate shows.
She’s 6 but bores of cartoons. She’s an uber smart (to smart for her own good) kid. So although the screen shows tv shows with a G rating which are hypothetically for the general audience, I’ve found one massive reoccurring theme. Boy crazy girls that are just obsessed with boys. Okay, obviously kids grow up and start to eventually notice the opposite sex. But why are shows aimed at the general consensus of just showing boy thirsty girls? I take issues with that. Is that all we can teach girls? Granted, teaching starts at home but you can’t deny the outside influences are like subliminal Devils. Where else are girls younger and younger developing body image issues from? Instagram? Where everyone takes photos like their waiting to film their next debut with Brad Pitt. Social media. Magazines. Tv shows. This all plays a part.
People like to argue that it’s a parents fault or problem to screen and monitor their children. I agree but to a degree. I can’t raise my daughter in a bubble. There has to be some sort of accountability about what we show kids, what we put forth. How about a show about a girl who’s an A student who invents the cure for some formerly incurable disease or a show about the first girl ground breaking scientist who’s also a teenager like Dougie Howser who was a doctor at like 13? We need more shows about women and girls shattering those glass ceilings than incorporating all the dumb shit that at the end matters so minutely.
If I had to write some wisdom to my younger self, I would remind myself to try to enjoy the journey. In a generation where information is at your disposal and beauty or its faux standard in your face, sometimes I feel sorry for the children of today. When I was 12 I was 12. I didn’t know entirely about sex, I wasn’t obsessed with my appearance. In fact, I played with dolls, watched 90210 without fully understanding the implications of the show. I was in essence a kid. I rollerbladed, rode my bike without worrying that a strand of hair would be out of place. I was a kid.
When I hit high school, I was aware of my own beauty both internally and externally but once again it didn’t affect the things I did. Social media is a monster. Even back then and I’ll explain why. I enjoyed what I could of my years given my circumstances. My physical appearance wasn’t a hindrance in any way growing up because I didn’t care what people thought. In all honesty I never had body image issues. I never suffered self doubt or confidence. In fact, it was the opposite.
When I grew up in my 20’s Myspace was the internet crack. When I started posting photos that’s when I became somewhat aware. People would leave comments about my luscious lips. To me before my MySpace page my lips were just lips. They would comment on my toned legs how amazing they were. To me, I had toned legs because I had no car and had to walk everywhere. The point is that social media began to make me notice things about myself that I hadn’t realized or taken notice to. In my mind, I was just beautiful because.
I talk to my daughter all the time. I explain to her that as she grows up, I will let her do more things. Everything at its age. The most important thing I tell her is to enjoy her journey. She will only live it once. Don’t try to grow up too fast because before you know it you’re an adult with your own responsibilities and you can’t go back. Enjoy being care free and a child. The last most important thing I teach my daughter is yes she is beautiful. But don’t put your focus on vanity. An empty mind and an empty heart render you empty. You can be as pretty as you want but be grow up to be a woman of substance for beauty fades.
The reason I brought this up is that my daughters half sister has been dying to turn 13. She lives a much faster life than I did. But her rush to grow up makes me sad. I told her as much the other day. I told her to enjoy her youth while she can. That I couldn’t understand her rush to grow up. When I was 16, 18 was my goal so I could go out. After 18, I hit 20 and then they flew away and I stare at my 30’s. I enjoyed my years despite my adversity. But I wish I had spent more time enjoying my youth. Because there is no fountain of youth… once you go forward you can’t go back.
I couldn’t sleep. I woke up at 1:00 am and my mind was racing. I’m not sure what to call him. I suppose after 7 years together there should be a more defined role or title except I don’t feel it. It would be a bold faced lie to say it’s my significant other. I have an engagement ring that lines my jewelery box. I’ve always been a free spirit. The ability to walk away from relationships and bad situations. Except for this nightmare.
In my 20’s I thought it was crazy for women to stay in bad situations. Especially when they had children. Then I had my daughter. Something become clear. The fact that my poor decision would now affect her entire life and I had to live with that. The weight of that was like atlas carrying the world on his shoulder. So I stayed. Knowing one day I’d take my passport and my shit let my daughter know I’m out. Catch me in Europe. I’d served my time. The irony between my plan and my own mothers disappearance does not elude me.
Last night I couldn’t sleep. My “partner” told me my dad fell out of the car when he was getting out for dialysis. He couldn’t get up. My stomach dropped. The stress has magnified. The pressure intensified. That coupled with a lunatic that you have to walk on egg shells with are the recipe for a stroke or a heart attack. I’ve never met a person I couldn’t speak with. I deal with difficult high strung professionals and even then, nasty or not I can communicate. I can peg them. I can asses who I’m dealing with and how to deal with them.
I’ve never been in a situation where I couldn’t express myself. Where it’s like North Korea. You can’t express anything outside of the designated permitted forms of expression. Trust me, I am expressive. The moral is that the anx I felt came from knowing my dad fell and he didn’t want me to know. My limited ability to be everywhere, and the argument that ensued with this so called partner. The partner proceeded to spout how this was his fucking apartment and he didn’t want a nurse here until it’s spic and span. The problem is he has shit all over the place. But in his eyes this is not a problem. When you deal with someone who’s issues are everyone else’s except his own, where everything is someone’s fault but their own, there is no winning.
I take great issue with people who have a need to try to exert their power. In my eyes, they’re weak. If you need to hold power over someone who can’t or just because, know that you are weak. A strong and powerful person doesn’t need to exert power over anyone. People will do your will because they respect you and you command so. Not out of force like a dictatorship where it’s done out of fear. Fear is the seed of resentment, after resentment anger grows. There’s a phrase I say all the time that I stand by. “Those who need to control are they themselves out of control.” That’s what I’m dealing with. A cyclone of a personality and my life.
I’m not complaining by any means. I’m simply acknowledging what I know and that’s the similarity between myself and my mothers decision to one day pack her shit and leave. Except one massive difference. My father was not a bad person in his entirety. He made poor decisions but I chalk that up to a lack of education. But he took care of us, made sure we lacked nothing. As strong as his personality was, I know he loved me. That his intent was never to hurt me. That’s the defining difference. The difference is that I’m genuine. This partner is selfish. He does everything for the added bonus. Oh here let me help you with this, so later I can hold it over your head. Sure if you need my help now you can’t say anything to me. Here’s a 100 bucks but when I need you there’s no out. And that to me is disgusting…
I’m not going to lie. I’ve texted my friends this morning letting them know I look like I escaped Bellevue. You know, the insane asylum. My hairs knotted and crazy and I’m still in pajamas. Should I care? Possibly. Do I care. No. Although at this moment, I won’t walk outside for fear of being chased with a straight jacket. I can see it now: the paddy wagon people chasing after me with a straight jacket screaming “There she is.” There’s no use trying to explain I’m not an insane escapee. Who’d believe me right? Especially when I look insane.
You have no idea how many times a week I have to resist the urge to show up to work in sweats. I haven’t done it yet, but one of these days I seriously just might. No effort. No fucks given. That actually reminds me of my partying days…
I worked at this one firm where almost always I’d party in Miami drive an hour home possibly change go straight to work. Often times for a while there I looked like I was stripping all night. I did hide my clubbing outfits by throwing on cardigans and coats. It was Florida though. So what was I doing in 80 degree weather with a baby blue furry coat that made me look like fucking Cookie Monster at 8 am? Yeah that resulted in a talk to. A sit down to discuss my recent appearance. That convo also discussed my “cleavage” issues. Listen I’m sorry not sorry. I have big boobs. If I don’t wear a v neck not a plunging neck line to my ankles just a v neck I think it’s worse. Then I look like I have a big ass football on steroids on my chest. Not happening. Lo siento. Apparently from the second floor the attorneys could see my boobage. Listen NASA could see my boobs. I mean their there. I can’t just swap them out like a handbag.
The moral of today’s story is that I look unapologetically insane. And that’s okay. My eyebrows look like Frieda. My sweats look like I’m homeless and my hair looks like I hit a 240 volt socket. It’s quite alright…
I don’t think I’ve ever in my life had anxiety. After working in New York for about the past 8 years or so I can say I have anxiety. This morning is no exception. My heart is racing as I type, I keep willing for a reason not to come in or show up. Oh, my paper essay died I need a moment of silence. Oh, my shoe is wet I have to go back home before I melt. Anything.
Law firms in New York are nothing to what Florida firms are. Floridas atmosphere is laid back and calm. Here, it’s chaotic and vicious. It’s interesting that it’s not the internal factor that’s an issue necessarily. I think I just need a break. A break without the feeling of overwhelming anxiety that when I return I’m fucked. That when I return I’ll be drowning in more work than before I left.
My anxiety is so intense I’ve put off my last semester(s) of school. Just so I don’t have to decide on law school or grad school. Avoidance. That’s the term. I am avoiding making a decision. In essence I’m sitting here like a sitting duck wanting a decision to be made for me, because sometimes it’s easier that way.
When I was laid off because of the economy in Florida relieved. I didn’t have to make a decision to leave the place I had for months been staring out the glass doors to walk out of. In a matter of months the decision was made and sigh of relief. I’m free.
I’ve had moments of insanity. I call it insanity because for me personally children are cute but even better when they go home to someone else. I have occasionally thought about giving my daughter a sibling. For health for life a sidekick to share life with. I love my kid. She’s smart, hilarious, ambitious and the list can go on. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t have days this week I wanted to get my passport and sail off into the sunset without her. Does it make me a bad mom? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s normal to think that and feel that way. I think women tear each other up over feeling like this but I think more moms think this than they let on.
I am an only child. Because of this everything falls on me. I’m not complaining but what I am saying is it’s hard. It’s hard to juggle your life and become your parents caretaker. No one tells you these things. You go to college think about a career but who prepares you for your parents ailing health. Was it a given? Did I skip that lecture? If I had a sibling maybe I wouldn’t be playing circus like I am right now.
This is what makes me feel like I should’ve given my daughter a sibling. So that the day I am gone she is not alone. So that the day I am not well she has someone to help support her through it.
Because life is hard. There are no easy choices, and even harder challenges await and as the adage goes: “life waits for no man.”
Being a caretaker for a loved one is challenging. It far exceeds or at least matches caring for a child. Except it’s an adult. My father died litterally and came back. The miracle in that isn’t lost on me. What I am however is overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed with my work responsibilities, my motherly responsibilities and my responsibilities as a daughter. Normally my weekends are lax. But since my fathers critical condition I’ve been running ragged. To the point I opted to not see him for a few days so I could sort of rest. This weekend I tore my house upside down to try to make more room for my dad and make it more comfortable than it was. He has now reached end stage kidney failure and has stage 4 heart failure with high blood pressure and pulmonary hypertension.
He started the road to dialysis. It’s a long road and a hard one. One he adamantly did not want. For now, he’s complying and taking his meds and I’m happy. But as I think of the daunting work week and treatment week I know we’ve still only just begun. Although I’m at home today, I can’t help but wonder how he will manage tomorrow.