“Two Roads Diverged”

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I’ve always loved this quote and poem.  It always made me feel a little better about life.  That even when my path wasn’t the traditional one, it’s okay and I can make it.

Right now, it seems to be the song of my heart and life.  It’s not a bad thing; just different.  And oh so very hard.

I am beyond proud of myself.  I made it through the “wedding time”.  All my friends got married and I did not.  I prevailed.  I stood by happy and smiling for them, even though sometimes, my heart hurt.  But mostly, I was (and still am) incredibly happy that they found the loves of their lives.  It always made my heart swell, knowing that they were entering into this commitment before God, their family, and friends.

Not only did I make it through that whole time single, but I got to a place of contentment.  I maintained my friendships as best as you can when you are not part of a couple.  Our lives have become two very different roads, but the love and friendship we shared kept me close to them.

Now, we are in a whole new set of life changes.  You guessed it.  Babies.  Little cherubs from Heaven above.  In the past 72 hours, I have found out that three friends are pregnant, two of them are some of my closest friends.  I am so beyond thrilled for them.  I am going to spoil these babies beyond anything they can even imagine.  I picture the children as they grow up with their parents looks and personalities, and it brings tears to my eyes.  I am joyous for them.

However.

I am also in a state of longing.  Longing for the time when that is me.  When I’m the one announcing that I am marrying my prince charming, that I’m carrying a precious miracle from God.  When I’m not on the outside looking in, but inside too.  Sitting by the fireplace of life with my friends, enjoying all of our new families.

I know babies are a lot of work.  And you need to be as ready as you can be to have them.  I also know that when it is my time, it will come.

But I refuse to feel bad because I feel emotions that are sometimes too big for me to hold in.  I am happy for my friends and I will continue to love them and be happy for them.  But I can long for those things too.  I’ve always wanted them.  Now, it’s just in front of me, reminding me that I’m not there yet.  And it hurts.  And massively sucks.

I know that my friends will feel that joy with me when it’s time.  They will stand up with me when I say my vows and say, she’s been wanting this for so long.  They will cradle my own newborn and know how badly I’ve wished and prayed for that day.

My path is a different one than my friends.  I try to be patient.  I’m not so good at it all the time.  I dream often about those days.  I can picture it all in my head.  But until that day, they will just be dreams.  I will love on every baby I come into contact, knowing that is all I can do.  I can be the best darn aunt in the world, by golly.

Becoming a Grown Up…or Something Like It

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Remember all those times you wished to be a grown up?  And make grown up decisions?  And pay your own bills?

Gosh I was stupid…

Now I would give anything to go back.

I find myself acting like a grumpy old man (and yes, I am a woman).  Everything bothers me now.

Let’s just break down a normal day:

1. Waking up: I never liked waking up as a kid or teenager.  But eventually, I would drag myself out of bed and get dressed and put my makeup on and then ultimately, skip breakfast.  Now I realize as an adult, you can’t skip breakfast.  That is so bad for you and unhealthy.  If I ate breakfast as a teenager, I could totally force myself to chow down on some sugary cereal, but now?  I know I have to eat healthy.  This is not the stomach of a teenager.  I need real food like fruit and oats and yogurt.

2.  Driving to Work: Oh my.  I was so excited when I got my car in high school.  I loved picking my friends up and driving to school like we were the coolest thing since sliced bread.  Now I get in my car and realize once again, that my commute is one hour.  I put my sunglasses on (yes they’re cute, but in reality it’s so the sun doesn’t burn my eyes and blind me) because the doctor said that I have to take care of my eyes more.  Apparently, my eyesight is getting worse.  In my 20’s.  Anyone else concerned what it will be like in 50’s?  Then the people and traffic.  I’m getting annoyed by the people speeding in work zones and the ones who are speeding past me (I mean people, I’m going 80.  Why are you going faster than me?)

3.  Work: I love most of my coworkers; others, I tolerate and be nice because that’s what grown ups do.  I feel myself turning more into my mother every day.  I give the mom/teacher look that makes the students sit their butts right back down and not try me again.  I complain about the youth of today…like a grumpy old man.

4.  Getting Home: After the driving…again…I get home and cook myself dinner.  And you know you have to cook healthy…again.  Then I look at the clock at 6:30 and realize, it’s time to get into my pajamas, open a book, and read.  Or watch a movie.  By 8:00, my behind is ready for bed.  And if you wake me, I will probably answer and be all polite (because that’s what grown ups do), but I won’t remember what was said or who you even are.

Growing up ages you.  Only two years ago, I could pull all nighters, go to the club/bar late, and do all sorts of things.  But now, I look at that life and don’t think I could even remotely do any of that.  If I’m not tired from work, I’m tired from paying bills and worrying about money, and every other thing in the world.

I’m not a perfect grown up.  I’ve got a lot to learn.  I need to learn to balance work and a personal life.  I need to remember to smile and not be so grumpy or old.  But that’s being a grown up…or something like it.

Believing in Girls

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The month of March is not only Women’s History Month, but also a month dedicated to Believing in Girls.

Believing in girls is so much more than just saying you do.  It takes action and work to show that you do.

I have all female students and let me tell you, I hear a lot about what they’ve been told all their lives.  I see it in their eyes: the pain, the hurt, the doubt.

They don’t see it.

They don’t see who they really are and what they can become.  People have told them all their lives that they are worth nothing.  They are NOT enough and NEVER will be.

My heart utterly breaks for them.  Just torn to pieces thinking that these thoughts are what cloud their minds every. single. day.

Do I have negative thoughts about myself? Abso-freaking-lutely.

Do they bring me down sometimes? Yes.

Do they define me? NO

Teenage girls are at such a critical age.  Their bodies are changing, they are becoming the women they will be.  Society and their environment are telling them a million different things.

Society tells them:

Beauty is how guys see you,

Sex sells,

You need to be thinner but, make sure you have a nice butt and boobs,

Show everything.

What the crap is that junk?

My loves, my dears.  Just no.

Beauty is not just skin deep.  It is so much more than that.  Beauty is your soul, your mind, your heart.  Beauty is when you smile and it radiates.  Beauty is when you laugh because you think something is really funny.  Beauty is when you are yourself.  If being yourself is wearing sweatpants and a messy bun, then girl, rock that look.

Sex sells, unfortunately yes.  But it’s not going to fill the void that you want it to.  It’s not going to save you from your life.  All it’s going to do is distract you temporarily.  If you love the person, that is your choice.  But don’t choose sex because it makes him happy or it’s “what all my friends are doing”.

Your body is perfect how it is.  Repeat after me.  It is perfect.  Stop trying to lose weight to fit some societal standard of what is right or beautiful.  Some girls are lucky enough to not have to work very hard at their bodies, yes.  But working out should be for health, not for becoming somebody else’s body shape.

Just don’t show everything.  Keep it yours.  It’s not theirs.  It’s not those guys’ and their eyes or hands.  It’s YOURS.

Everyone, it’s time to believe in girls again.  Don’t fail them now.

A Letter to My Students

It’s been a while since I’ve posted because have you seen the testing for this year? Wow.

To my students,

You annoy me.  You drive me up a wall most days.  You talk too much.  You’re way too loud.  You really need to sit down.  You’re giving me a headache.  You really need to come in dress code.

You also are my reason for coming back day after day.  You inspire me.  You make me proud to be your teacher.  You are strong.  You are more than you think you are.

I know that some days, we have a love-hate relationship.  I know that sometimes, you want to skip my class (and frankly, some days I want you to).  I know you hate history and don’t want to learn about it.  I hear you.

But I also see you.  I see how you are trying to figure out who you are.  You are trying to figure out what being a girl means to you.  I see you struggling to overcome this idea that being smart is a bad thing.  I see you open your books and want to read, to learn, to soak up everything you can.  You can’t hide from me.  I see it.

I see how you try to be brave, put up a front, put on a show, because you’re too afraid of being “uncool” to your friends.  But my dear, I see you for who you are.  You are smart.  You are brave.  You are beautiful.  You are courageous.

I know that being a teenager is hard.  I can tell by the way you are drained from the weekend, trying to figure out how to sleep and have a social life at the same time.  I know when you wear those sunglasses in, it’s because you and your boyfriend were fighting and you’ve been crying.  I know when you’re angry, it’s not because of me, but because of something going on at home.

Being a teenager is horrible.  But you’ve got this.  

You are more than you think and you are incredible.  Thank you for teaching me every day.  And thank you, for giving me a reason to get up and go to work.

Love,

Your teacher