Posts Tagged ‘adulthood’

Sticks and stones may break my bones…

… but words will always hurt me.

Let me get to the crux of the matter.  There are days that I can barely lift my head because I feel like I am worthless in this world.  No amount of bags I make, things I create, kisses I give my child can change that. Often, I am crippled by the fear of newness and change, longing to remain behind the walls I have put -both literally and mentally- between myself and the world.

Some days I believe I am an amazing writer and that people like to read what I passionately and lovingly place on (digital) paper.
Some days I believe that I am talented with my artistic endeavors.
Some days I believe that I am beautiful with a nice outfit and a fixed up face.
Some days I believe that I am highly intelligent.

Then there are the “damn it all” days where a little voice tells me that nothing is true. “April, you’re past your “beautiful” years. You had them in college.  They are gone now.  There are much better writers than you. Writers that create stories that make you want to be their best friend in an instant. Writers that create beautiful tapestries with their words.  April, you are no longer in college.  There are much smarter people that you.  You are not intelligent.  If you were, you’d have a life. April, while you are creative, you create nothing new.  Face it, you are average. Forgettable. ”

I am not saying this because I want you to pity me.  I am saying it because these are the words that cause tears to fall from my eyes and roll down my cheeks.  These are the words that “win” in my mind. These are the words that cut me to my soul and render me speechless.

Tonight I spoke to my brother, asking him to help me lose weight by calling me every morning to motivate me to work out. He encouraged me to go back to school to take a class or two and work on my masters.

“You’re smart enough,” he said.  “I know that last church messed you up, but if you quit striving, you die.”

I told him that we needed to focus on Todd getting a degree, not me.

“But April, you and Todd are made for each other. Both of you draw people to you without trying. Look at these bags and things. You’re not even trying to create a business, and yet you are selling bags.”

I told him that what “I would love to do, more than anything is to write and blog and do creative stuff for the rest of my life.”

“Then do it,” he said.  “Who cares if you make another dollar off of it? You love it, right? So if it takes you sixty dollars to make and you sell it for sixty dollars, would you never make another one? If you love it, do it.  I’m just fortunate that I make money doing what I love, but I would do it even if I didn’t make money.  If I die without a dollar to my name, and not a dollar in debt, then I’ve lived a successful life. If you stop striving, you die. You can do more than you give yourself credit for.”

My brother, when did you become so much smarter than me?

Why do I allow the words of those who do not love me to affect me more than the words of those that do? Most of the most damaging words I cling to were spoken by people who do not think a single thought about me during their daily lives.  Quickly, I forget the professors, family, friends, ministers, etc who told me that they thought I held promise. Promise.

Promise.

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

The Motherhood Club

There is a club that I sometimes wish I never belonged to.

The Motherhood Club.

My reasons for this has nothing to do with my child.  I love my child more than life.  I have a problem with other club members, and this makes me incredibly sad.  Being a mother changes a person. I’m still who I was before I had my daughter, but my life has definitely been enlightened by her.  I have been blessed to know other wonderful mothers who will do anything for their kids and they make me want to be a better mom in a very good way.

Still, I am shocked by other moms. I was aware that there were women out in the world that were petty, mean, competitive, etc, but I guess I never really understood that there were so many. It seems like all I read and hear about are other moms criticizing and berating each other.  Why all the comparisons?  Why the passive-aggressive and aggressive competition?

I would never dare call another woman a bad mom to their face.  Well, unless they were doing their child legitimate harm.

Why are we being so mean to each other?  I mean, aren’t we all in the same boat?  We all love our children.  We all want the best for them.  We all believe they are little geniuses and that they are simply perfect. So why do we brag about them so blatantly in a way that alienates other women? Why do we look down upon other women whose kids aren’t having a good day?

I can hardly get on Babycenter (at least the community aspect) or read a lot of “mommy blogs” anymore because they make me feel inadequate if I linger too long. I start to worry about the fact that my kid isn’t talking or walking or the fact that I don’t play on the floor all day with her.  I feel guilty for breastfeeding – both because formula fed moms already assume that you feel superior to them (and I don’t) and because I feel pressure to not breastfeed.  I can’t be proud of it because of the war-like stance women take. I feel guilty because I let my kid explore on her own.  I feel guilty because I haven’t read to her Anna Karenina yet (lol, not really, but you get the idea).  I don’t drill words or the ABC’s to her every day.  I don’t take her for daily walks.  I don’t structure activities.  And on, and on, and on…

Why in the WORLD do we do this to each other as women?

Am I guilty of loving my child less because I have fed her a jar of baby food or because she has had juice already? Am I a jerk because I have made her baby food from scratch and therefore I am automatically a “superior” mother? (and on and on…)

The Motherhood Club.  Where women tear down others to make their own inadequacies diminish.

I don’t want to be a part of it.

I know that this is NOT all women.  I just wish that there weren’t so many women like this out there.  We should be allies, not enemies.

I’m tempted to keep this car in drive…

I’ve come to the conclusion that adulthood is a lonely process. At least, it can be. There’s the loneliness of being single, (although I would argue that you have more time with friends than if you were married), there’s the loneliness of being on your own, and the loneliness of working. As a child, there was always someone to go to if you were having a problem. There was the teacher, or your parents, or for me, my grandmother. I could spend hours crying my heart out, and there was someone to love me. When I got to college, it became a little lonelier. Sure, there are people in every room, and many were there to lend a sympathetic ear or a helping hand, but the intimate connection between the two was less concrete. With every year, the amount of people who are willing to genuinely care about you diminish.

I’m not claiming this is bad. I’m also not claiming that I’m so incredibly lonely myself. But, there are substantial moments of loneliness.

I have a friend who wishes she had a significant other. I understand the loneliness of that. Coming home to an apartment by yourself, cooking for one, and sleeping alone. I believe the worst part is having to bear the responsibility of being an adult all by yourself. Why? Because being an adult is a hard and lonely process. It seems like just yesterday you were relying on the love and support of others, and now you’re expected to change roles for the next generation. You want to scream, “Hey! Stop! I wasn’t quite finished yet!” I think I’ve held on a little longer than some others because I didn’t adequately receive that as a child. Due to my premature adulthood, I long for the support and love of others.

You think that being married will solve the loneliness of being single. Bad assumption to make. I believe that you become even lonelier. The people you used to be able to rely on… that responsibility has now been passed on to your spouse. You’re expected to share with your spouse, and no one else (besides God, you know what I mean). You dare not air out any dirty laundry. So, if you’re angry or hurt, you can’t talk about it. You can’t talk to your mother, because you don’t want your spouse to get a bad image, and you can’t talk to anyone else for fear of the same response. I realize it’s meant to be this way. This way, you get to work it out with your spouse. It is supposed to create a bond between the two of you.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t get lonely.

There are simply days when you have no one to talk to. Your spouse doesn’t understand, no matter how much you try. The matter is too personal to discuss with anyone else, and you hold it in. You get tired of looking foolish, trying to explain something that gets blown out of proportion. Marriage also brings to light all your failures. You realize how much you don’t do for the other. You realize that you aren’t perfect. There will be the days when you hear, “Why don’t you do this anymore?” or “What’s wrong with you?” People won’t tell you this. People who are married will simply say how wonderful marriage is, or how wonderful adulthood is.

What truly is adulthood? Adulthood is paying off student loans, and trying to get out of debt. It’s driving a crappy car and crying every month because you’re not sure if you’re going to make it financially. Adulthood is about getting it all together, and trying to stay afloat. It’s dealing with jerks along with the wonderful people. Adulthood is about finally having all the freedoms that you’ve always dreamed about, and not having the money to do anything. It’s about being lonely somedays, watching reruns on TV, and trying to get that new 10 pounds off your hips.

But it’s also about sleeping in some Saturdays, and playing with that new baby. It’s about inviting friends over and celebrating life. It’s about the good moments in marriage. It’s about the coffee being made for you when you wake up. It’s about the “ah ha” factor at work. There are good mixed in with the bad.  Life’s much messier than death.

Adulthood is infinitely more complicated than could be explained in words.  Even now, I don’t do it justice.