A few days ago, I was in the middle of a post full of complaints about how my break is over- I’m working full time until the semester starts again. I wanted to whine about my lack of break, about all the things I wanted to do and can’t due to time restraints. As in my Blog Post About Tumblr Posts, a series of events led me to reconsider my whining.
1. Momster called! I don’t talk to my mom very often. The two hour time difference isn’t much, but is enough to leave us always just missing each other. It’s impossible to complain about my life when I think about my mom.
My mom was the stay-at-home variety in my youth. My father’s military career made this more than possible. But he never wanted kids… well, not me. He didn’t want me. That’s a throw-away fact he liked to repeat loudly and frequently. It’s all good because I didn’t exactly ask for him either. I just don’t want you to think I’m hung up on it. I actually have an overdeveloped sense of self-confidence…I mean, who wouldn’t want me?! I’m charming and delightful. Anyway, at some point he decided he didn’t have to pay for anything. My parents were married until I was sixteen, but starting around my seventh year, every expense related to child-rearing (clothes, braces, medicine, school, gifts…everything) and household operating (groceries, cars, the actual house, etc) was left to my mom. My father is the classiest of idiots…as if that needed explaining.
Anyway, when he decided he had no interest in contributing to our family, financially or otherwise, my mom became the ultimate single mother…even though it was technically a two-parent home. She worked three jobs (one full time, two part time) drove me to ballet every day, attended all my plays and parent-teacher conferences, was readily available for any/all emotional/otherwise support and had dinner ready every night all while going to college herself. She’s kind of an impossible woman.
When I think about everything she’s done in her life, everything she’s sacrificed and balanced and juggled, it’s difficult to feel bad for myself. So, working full time over break isn’t as awesome as the fabulous vacations my friends are having. But it’s the right thing to do, and it’s not going to kill me…but my mother might if she caught me boo-hooing about (the tragedy of!) having a job.
2. My dear friend Chelsea (looking mighty fine in the gift I gave her here!) sent me a wonderful Christmas package. Chelsea wrote a series of short stories and bundled them up for the holiday reading pleasure of her friends. It was another great reminder of how much I love being friends with Chelsea.
The first story is a flash portrait of an ordinary woman: “Candace was not a pretty girl. She was not a talented girl. No one ever put pretenses otherwise…No one ever said she wasn’t good enough. No one ever said she wasn’t pretty enough. But it was implied.” Those are pretty heavy circumstances to overcome…but I think we’ve all kind of felt that way at one point or another. All of us nerdy-socially awkward-disinterested in fashion folks have felt like the crowd was rooting against us, if they were even noticing us.
This isn’t a literary analysis or even the praise Chelsea’s stories deserve, but at its basest level, this story inspired me to not settle. (This is the sound of settling!) Lots of factors and assumptions result in implicated underdogs. But it’s also a choice, and sometimes that choice is as simple (and complex) as Red or Purple. Life is hard and stressful and unfair, but a lot of that is a choice, too.
Otter is a new-to-me rescue puppy. I’m completely in love with him. His favorite game is snuggling- it’s taken about three hours to write this post because he keeps hopping in my lap to nap, or trying to type himself. He’s naughty and adorable and makes my heart melt. With my roommate gone for the holidays, I was planning to feel pretty lonely. But Otter is so happy to see me when I come home that I haven’t felt alone at all. I love this little guy.
With so many amazing people and puppies in my life, I don’t truly have anything to complain about.