Halloween

Yesterday was Halloween.  I was in my office at work and I thought about all of the Halloween’s past.  I know, I know, cliché-esque I know.  Christmas past, Halloween past.  Whatever, go with me.

My mom was a single mother, a very young single mother.  Not like a lot of the single mom’s you see nowadays.  I think it is rare to see a single mother, living on her own, working, support her children, without any help from government assistance, parents, and or living with someone.  I do know a few, I do, and I really admire these women.  I am not knocking the women who have help, believe me, my mom had a ton of help, my grandparents were a driving force during my childhood; and, my grandmother still is to this day.  I just look around me now and I see so many women with children with men revolving in and out of their lives, and I do mean revolving. Like doors.  Sure, everyone needs companionship, but do you need it at the sake of your child?  They do watch you and they do learn from you, remember that.  Seriously.  Remember. That.
Anyway, I digress.
Halloween.
I was thinking back to my many costumes:  the black cat, the bunny, the princess, the punk rocker, the ghost, the vampire, the goddess, the Victorian princess, an angel, etc.  All of these costumes were made by my mother.  They were not bought at a store, they were handmade and put together by my mommy.
The cat:  a tail sew and stuffed with cotton, it even had a curve to it.  The ears were black with pink satin-y stuff on a headband.
The princess:  a dress I fell in love with at a dress store that we got and the crown was her’s from her Prom Queen days.  I thought I was beautiful.
Punk rocker:  a metallic purple wig that was purchased, a shirt that she had that had rhinestones for days and a pleather, yes pleather skirt.  I also had pink fishnet stockings.
The vampire:   a couple of bed sheets, purple and black to be exact, made into a dress and cape.  I also had a hood of some kind with some makeup to make me look even more pale than normal.
The bunny( back to my younger years): a white turtle neck, white tights, a cottontail, that she had made, she had painted my makeup, and also made me some ears, I’m sure they were fashioned in some way as the cat ears, except for white and bigger.
All of these costumes were made and created by my mother.  She helped me become some form of whatever I wanted to be that year.  She worked a full-time job, but never missed a Halloween.  We always trick-or-treated.  She would drive me around for hours while I went to doors trick-or-treating, gathering my candy.  She would check my candy as well, even though we knew every house we went to.
She did all of this, and to this day, at age 33 I still remember every Halloween and all of those trips.  I remember the times I was too scared to go to the door by myself and she would go with me. She held my hand and even knocked on the door when I was too shy or scared.
My mom did so much for me, and I know she will do a lot more for me through the years, but Halloween was definitely one of my favorite holidays.  It still is.  Even though I don’t dress up anymore, I hand out the candy to those little kids who come up and say trick-or-treat, thank you, and run away to their moms waiting on the sidewalk.  They always leave me smiling and remembering my mom and the fun and memories we share.

Who Knew?!

I have been feeling pretty low about my career situation lately.  I went to school for this amazing degree, that I love everything about it.  I love literature, I love criticism, I love discussion, and I love analyzing.  I LOVE MY DEGREE!  I worked so hard for it, and I feel like it just sits on the shelf gathering dust, as the diploma that came with it. I have been asking myself, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” a lot lately. The answer is still a teacher, a helper, and a motivator.  Not a coordinator.

For once in my life, I can say I am happy with everything else.  I am happy with my relationship.  I am happy with my friends. I am happy with my hobbies, let me rephrase, I have found hobbies, and I am in love with them.  I am completely head over heels for Maci, the new fur baby in my life.  As well as her daddy, which is a good thing, considering we are coming up on two years.  He definitely has my heart like no other ever has.

I feel like I am getting my creative juices flowing again, writing, painting, creating, and getting the energy out.  Also, I started focusing on my health.  My workout regimen is on point, and I miss it if I miss a morning, and feel weird until I do it.  I have learned to listen to my body, rest when I need it, and push it a little farther each day.  I have registered for a 5K on April 4, and I am stoked!  I have never been excited about doing anything healthy.  It is a new lifestyle and I love this life.

Tonight, I was invited in on an opportunity which I think is amazing, and feel so blessed to have been asked to be a part of.  I have worked hard at finding out who I am over the past few years.  You tend to lose yourself, or really not know who you are until after college.  You are so caught up in working and going to school, and doing what everyone else wants you to do, that you forget to find out what you want to do, or like to do.

After school, I could not even tell people what my hobbies were.  I had not had enough free time to even know what I enjoyed anymore.  I loved to read before, but not the sight of a book made me cringe.  It took me almost two years to pick up a book and read it for fun.  I had read so much throughout my undergrad and my graduate studies that I just wanted to go blank and stare at a TV for hours.  Now, I am finding me, and have spent a good while convincing myself it is okay to put me first for once.

I have been posting a lot of “self-discovery” blogs lately, but I just want people to know that it is okay to put yourself first.   Women tend to put others first, always and forget that they have to take care of themselves as well.  In my plus-sized support group, most of the women are in their 40s and 50s, stating they have forgotten to care for themselves through marriages, children, jobs and so forth.  They are just now realizing how unhealthy they are.  Health is not the only thing that can go to the wayside, happiness, life, and just enjoying the small things tend to be forgotten, and then before you know it, POOF, you realize you lost yourself somewhere along the way.

I am 31, almost 32, single and childless.  I am very thankful for this time in my life.  It is allowing me to focus on me, whereas a few years ago, I was upset and felt like a failure because I ended the relationship I thought was going to be the forever happily ever after.  I fell into a deep depression, I rarely left the house, I slept all of the time, and I was miserable.  Slowly, I came out of my fog, and started venturing out on my own, and realized there is still a life to live.  Even though I hate my job, at the moment, I am blessed to have it.  However, I am so glad I started my journey to fit, because without it, I would not be where I am today.  I have a great group of ladies that I get to communicate, encourage, and see their struggles daily.

Today, I am a happier, healthier me.  I am blessed, and this group, and lifestyle change has opened so many doors for me.  I honestly can say that I have never been happier with myself or with my progress.  I just hope I can motivate, help, and hold hands with other women like myself, that need a little pick me up, or soundboard at some point in their lives.  Women should encourage other women, not put them down.  We are all struggling with our demons, why not help someone through theirs, instead of a *tsk tsk*and a head shake in disappointment or sorrow for them.  Offer a hand to lift them up.  Do not look down on someone unless you are lifting them up.

Growing Pains

I have a friend, my very first best friend, as it were, that sent me the happiest of news last night, “Paul and I are having a baby in May 2015!!!” I was elated for them. They have been married almost two years, dated for 5 years before that, we all knew it was just a matter of time for these two, but the news came and we all were happy and responding with well wishes, congratulations, and the jokes that come with “doing it” from your old high school crowd.

About an hour later, as the texts were dying off, and our jokes were coming to an end, she sent a message that felt like someone had punched me in the gut, “The second generation is getting big!” Meaning our “crew” from school were all having babies of their own. This didn’t hit me like a rock because she said it, or because I am not happy for my friends, but because I am not part of this group.

Before long, out nights out for dinner and game night will be changed to play dates and birthday parties, and where will I be? I will be the one everyone smiles at and hugs, saying hi and secretly wondering when I will join the reign of “mom.” Will I ever join this so close-knit group? I have no idea.
Last night I had the first ticks of my biological clock. It ticked loud, and hard, and long. I sat in silence starting at my wall thinking, “What if I never have children?” “What if I never get married?” I know I am told, “Oh! You still have plenty of time!” But do I? I had surgery last week for endometriosis. This means my uterus doesn’t function properly, and a lot of women deal with this and go on to have tons of babies. Then there are the other women, who fight this issue their entire lives, and life of their fertility, only to take numerous drugs and shots, and still be disappointed. This is where people tell me, “Well, that isn’t you!” and “God has a plan.”

Yes, God does have a plan, and what if God’s plan does not include a family for me? I am a control freak. I have problems handing anything over to anyone. This follows me into my faith, as well. I have to catch myself several times a day, week, and month trying to make something happen, to control an uncontrollable situation. I take a step back, think on it, and eventually say a prayer saying I am sorry for fighting His plan, and trying to take control myself. I ask for help in handing the issue over, and pray for strength that I will eventually find it easier to let God take control.

One day, I may have a child or children, and if I do, I will consider myself blessed. One day, I may wake up and find my options exhausted, as well as myself, and decide it just isn’t going to happen for me. As for now, I am still extremely happy for my loved ones who are starting families, and growing them. I will still love on the little babies, and smell their clean hair, and rock them until I can’t feel my arms anymore. Then there will be moments, or days where these growing pains actually hurt. Deep down, painfully hurt, and that is okay too.