As someone who lives with someone suffering from anxiety and depression, I don't hear a lot on how hard it is for someone living with someone who suffers from it. All I hear is how hard it is for persons suffering from the anxiety itself. I'm going to tell you how it is for me living and having a child with someone suffering from anxiety and depression from my point of view. The fragility doesn't stop with those suffering from the disease...it shatters everyone in its wake as well.Read More
“Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.” Oscar Wilde
This quote has very often intrigued my sense of human nature. We all make mistakes, right? And with making those mistakes, we judge our very character from the extremity in which we feel the magnitude of the burden can amount to on our subconscious. If the mistake was small, and easily justifiable, you can forget and move on. If the mistake was gigantic, and completely unjustifiable, your mind presses against the burden of regret, error, and poor judgment. From this, you cannot easily move on. Therefore, to justify the entire spectrum of mistake-making, is it human nature's way of coping with the pain and regret of mistake, despite the magnitude, to refer to a mistake as merely an "experience."
As in my previous blog, Worrimania: A true Disease, I have expressed my tendency to worry and overthink/overanalyze most aspects of my life, from the most minimal to the most colossal. It has, more times than I would like to admit, make me physically sick and set upon my shoulders a burden that proves detrimental to my everyday routine and interactions. I have a tendency to become depressed and fretful about future events, knowing all along I cannot change things. My personality is far from laid back. It has consumed my mind at times that are precious and should be memorable, making it hard not to run away; far, far away, from those I may burden from my cognitive tribulations.
Throughout my life, this had led to my inability to forgive and/or forget easily. And this often leads to a feeling of shame or embarrassment, two actions that have gloated deep in my mind, taunting me to become reclusive with my feelings and ideas. I am afraid to express my frustrations and concerns in the fear that others may shun me and become angry at my endeavors to retaliate my feelings in a positive, productive manner. However, when left to fester, a wall of resentment builds higher and higher until the actions ball into a state of a mental breakdown. At this point, no one should ever experience the inability to control their emotions.
What has potentially created these states of anguish deep within my soul? Worrying.
However, in this instance, it is the aggression of my past transgressions.
I'm far from perfect. I have always known this to be true. But I have also always known that I am different. Do not misunderstand me, I had a wonderful childhood. I was encouraged to be creative and use my imagination, to play outside, and express my feelings through a positive means. However, at a very early age, I also became too private, too nervous, too prideful. I coped with my nervousness by pulling out my hair (an addiction I have never truly been able to express the horrors of to anyone). I became ashamed to express my feelings outwardly, my anguishes and my fears stored quickly and quietly in my mind. In order to cope with all these dastardly emotions, I became prideful, afraid that if I allowed myself to become vulnerable in expressing my fears, feelings, and ideas, that I would be reprimanded and punished for thinking differently.
Again, you must understand that this was not a product of my parents or family life. I have amazingly wonderful parents and family. They were supportive in my endeavors throughout school and college. Love was never an issue. All of my mental tribulations (the worrying, the overanalyzing, the embarrassment, the nervousness, and the private-ness) began to pile higher once I became aware of death.
You may be thinking, "Ummm??" *blank stare* ...but bare with me.
Every one handles death differently. As a child, you never really understand the concept. By the grace of God, thankfully I have never had to deal with the death of an immediate family, but I have had to deal with two extended family deaths, and they were hard enough. However, as a child, I remember very well, in third grade, we experienced the death of a classmate. You may be thinking, "That happens, more often than not because of a tragic accident or health anomalies." This was not the case in my experience. Somewhere, deep in my mind, this haunts me, because I remember how I felt that particular day when Shay had not been to school for days. She had been murdered. Her body was found stuffed in a sewage pipe. Our teacher had us write a journal entry about how we felt about what had happened to Shay. I opened up my Lisa Frank journal and wrote, "Shay was my friend." It was this particular experience that broke my mind down, made me hide away feelings that would haunt me still 21 years later. The cruelty, the horrific experience that an 8-year old child went through replayed in my mind. I began to wonder her emotions on what was happening, or if she even knew the extent of her murder. I became anxious, nervous, and coped by pulling out my hair. This was a feeling of control, which eventually controlled me.
It was through this inability to express my feelings that I became selfish and self-conscious; my self esteem plummeted and reached out in the most harmful ways. If it hadn't been for my family's resilience in coaxing me back from despair, I would not be here today.
Therefore, I must elaborate on my identity through my mistakes. As my teenage years trickled into my college years, my mistakes became much more garish. Most of them being in the form of boyfriends, relationships built on nothing but control and dominance over each person's emotional capacity. Whether it incorporated a dalliance with drugs or hedonistic foul play involving alcohol, the beast of fear and failure fornicated lustfully with any sense of morality. I hid under the copious amounts of devils within my mind, unable to pull myself away from the self-loathing and hypocrisy toward anyone who truly cared whether I live or died. You may be thinking, "You make yourself sound like you were incapable of succeeding, and yet you obtained your BFA and MAT."
Well, my friend, it wasn't that I showed signs of utter distress outwardly. Nay, these festering minions of self-corruption were only visible to me, for they made their dwelling deep within my mind; latching on fiercely any sign of fear, failure, resentment, nervousness, and distress. The only manifestations outside of my head was my excessive binges and unhealthy relationships. I lived under the radar of my family, protecting what little string that still held me in their graces. I was foolish, but I have always been smart enough to retain satisfactory to exceptional grades in school.
I never coped well with my mistakes. Buried deep within the confines of my mind to this day, are spiders that haunt me, webs of tangled self loathing for the past, memories of uncontrollable impulses and behaviors. I speak of the darkness of the mind because you never know who around you is struggling with transgressions they would not dare speak to anyone, even the most trusted confidant. This is not the darkness that haunts in the form of mental disruption with the capability to physically hurt anyone else. However, they are the disturbances that linger in times of despair and depression, possessing the possibility to harm themselves.
In took me until I was 25 years old and pregnant with my child, to realize that what I was doing - holding in my fears and failures, my beliefs and ideas, my resentments and distress - was unhealthy, that I had the option to begin healing. I wholeheartedly believe that the universe, the dexterous work of an unassailable God for whom I had turned away from despite my hauntingly pinnacle fear of death, intervened with my destructible mind. I do not believe I was "destined" to be a single mom, but I believe God had the discernment to give me the gift of life to mend a dying soul. Was it a mistake to continue sleeping with my ex secretly, allowing him to continue his upperhand on my emotional fragility? Yes, because is was a lack of judgment, an error and carelessness in my state of mind. However, the consequence of my mistake turned around my life. My son is my saving grace.
Unfortunately, that does not mean that I began a harmonious walk of religious guidance and obtained an aptitude for exhaustive holiness. I did, however, begin knitting the delicate strands of my own spiritual connectedness with my unassailable God. I continued to question and seek answers to the garrison of ideas that fortified themselves at the forefront of my mind. And my God-given intervention did not come without hardship and complications. I still continue to make significantly garish mistakes that hinder my emotional and spiritual rehabilitation; but they never involve my son, and are few and far between. To aide my healing, I have incorporated hobbies and passions that I could have never accomplished in my mental state from the age of 8-25. However, I do combine small parts those hidden spider webs in my creations, placing a web into each drop and word I utilize, because it will always be a part of me that I despise, and in turn, inspire me to reach beyond my past transgressions.
Appalled and disgusted by my honesty? Or inspired and understanding of its evolution into a peaceful acceptance of my mistakes?
Don't get me wrong. I am still continuously bludgeoned by my past, critical of my worthiness in the eyes of God, and lingering upon the edge of receding into the despair of shame and regret once more. And for those who are not spiritual nor religious, it is because of my overwhelmingly persistent conscious, to accomplish what is good in the eyes of human kind, not to encourage its already defiling nature. However, I continue to talk about my feelings and beliefs to those who will listen; blog about them upon their arrival in my mind; become entranced in my hobbies for a healthier, cleaner, more chemical-free lifestyle; paint and write with a desire beyond control; and watch my son grow bigger and stronger, each day bringing forth new discoveries and adventures. Those, to me, are experience. The growth upon which your soul feeds, grasping upon the covert strands of hope in each grueling, life-changing task, no matter how mundane or irrelevant it may appear. I am merely not making excuses for the repetitive lack of judgment and conscious choices executed on the grounds of being caged by my own subconscious. Honestly, they were not "experiences" that made me stronger and the person I am today. They were mistakes, unnecessary hindrances made by a frightened, tortured mind. If anything, these choices, these mistakes, linger like apparitions.
"...by the pricking of my thumb, something wicked this way comes." And in those moments, I must be alone to dissuade their arrival.
Through all of this, I hope you begin to analyze your feelings and emotions on a larger spiritual level. To not only realize that the someone's mind is a dark and dangerous realm of infinite possibility, but that it can fester within anyone, not just the underprivileged and mentally unstable. I am learning to cope with my mistakes through different methods of expression and communication, concepts that have been entirely void through most of life. I pride myself on my growth and expanding curiosity. I will never be able to rid my cognitive space of the spider webs completely, but I can utilize them to abstain from future detrimental choices.
Therefore, is it utterly wrong for humans to refer to their mistakes as mere experience. No. However, the tendency to sweep our transgressions under the carpet will collect like dust bunnies. Once they build an entire army of dust bunnies, the mistakes, the detrimental choices, will poison your mind, attacking silently until it drives you mad. I do not count my mistakes within my experiences because I do not feel that thorns do not compliment the beauty of a rose.
Though the thorns may cut deep within your flesh and commence a trickle of pain, humbly exult the exuding wounds and never allow the circumstance of your blossom to wane.
Welcome to MY wonderful world of having a three-year old.
As many of you know, if you've read anything in my other blogs, I am a single parent with a rambunctious, head strong, overly impossible, loud, flamBOYantly precocious, blue-eyed son. *sigh with wide-eyed happiness* He is the love of my life, and also the reason I pull out my hair. Most of the time, our personalities will compliment each other in a wild, wacky, over-the-top silly manner. However, sometimes, I want to go in a corner and hide until I feel less inclined to show the fire in my eyes when he throws himself dramatically on the floor, complaining that everything is not going his way.
I know. Most are snickering, nodding your head in agreement that, sometimes, you just can't handle the precocious personality of a head strong three-year old. Hold down the fort! They're on full charge, a whole cavalry built into one little body, but with enough power and adrenaline to knock you clean across the room. Hulk ain't got nothin' on my feisty three-year old. He's a whirlwind and a half, and definitely comparable to a mini tornado when he's awake.
Trust me, I understand that it's a tale for the ages, a story repeatedly passed down from one mother (or father) to the next. Therefore, I'm going to do the best I can to make mine a wee bit different.
My son, while insanely intelligent, uses his gift against mom-kind in the usual, "I'm going to push the limits like a 15-year old boss." (Remember, he's three). Mommy: "It's time to get up for school." Son: *rolls over in crib away from the light* Mommy: "Come on honey, it's time to get ready for school." Son: "No." Mommy: *disgruntled* "Pardon? I'm being patient. Come on Grayson." Son: "No. I don't want to go to school!" *lifts his body up and flings it dramatically onto the crib*
Ergh. I am NOT a morning person. If I'm getting up at the crack of dawn, you better believe it's for a necessary reason! And guess what? You're suffering with me! Fortunately, I'm still able to pick him up...for now.
I know what you're thinking. What is the big deal? Well, let me explain. It's the little comments, the little stares, the little manipulative grins that make you step back and go, "Umm, wait. When did you become so much less innocent?" Granted, I'm not saying that my son is intentionally manipulating in a malicious way, but it flabbergast me that he can go from Piaget's Sensorimotor Stage to the Concrete Operational Stage, all the while, waving a hand good-bye to the Preoperational Stage. Next, he's going to say in his best three-year old Spock voice, "It's only logical."
In reality, I guess he could really be straddling the stages at times. Several months ago, I had a showdown with a cockroach in my house. I, of course, was the victorious one while all the remains of the cockroach whirled around in the toilet, but Grayson had thought the entire ordeal was HILARIOUS. Finally, we hurried out into the rain to get in the car, late as usual for dinner at my parent's house. After buckling him into his carseat, I run around the front of my car and pulled open the door, only to be greeted by another cockroach falling from the door of my car. I scream, bang, and eventually rid the cockroach of his nasty, useless existence, and hop into the car. Grayson asks, "Mommy, why another cockroach?" In which I respond, "Cockroaches like the dampness." His little face scrunches up in a cute, little thinking endeavor, and then says, "Oh. Well, cockroaches need umbrellas." All my energy releases in a fit of laughter and I say, "Umbrellas?" And he responds, "Yes, and arms like me, to hold the umbrellas."
My mind is racing with all sorts of flustered emotions. That was hilarious! How did he think of such a thing? All the while, I could care less that I just killed two cockroaches in a row.
It's logical. As an adult, I would have never thought in such a logically, innocent, creative deduction. To me, that's an excellent example of how the completely impossible could be concluded logically through reasoning. Cockroaches like the damp, so they need umbrellas. However, they would need arms to hold the umbrellas. It's cute, it's creepy, it's all around creative! The mind is a beautifully complex palace!
Anyway, I'm not saying that my son is an unusual genius, but characteristically, he's observant, intelligent, analytical, and still loves to cuddle with his Mommy. This is where I believe the dust bunnies are certainly plotting my demise.
As a technically "under-employed" individual with a three-year old, I am blessed to spend a fantastic amount of time with my son. We play, we eat, we sleep, we play, we eat, we sleep; it's a never-ending cycle of precious time that I will never get back. I try constantly to keep a balanced lifestyle. I enjoy the time I have with my child when I don't work, and I also try to play grown-up with the duties of the house, or around other adults. I'm not one to spend copious amounts of time glued to my phone/social networks unless I'm uploading pictures of Grayson, and I'm not one to sit him in front of the television because I need to "be alone". No. He's like a mommy magnet, just enough boy to mess up everything he walks passed with one swooping motion of his arm, but consciously aware of how it makes me feel after he knows I want him picking up his effects after he plays/tears/pops/kicks/throws/or colors.
I'm by no means the "cleanest" person of the world. Dishes in the sink? Ah, I'll get to them eventually. Laundry needs folding? Ah, I'll just restart the dryer when I feel like folding. Random cars in my walk way? Ah, I'll kick them to the side and try to remember to tell Grayson to pick them up later. Bed not made up? Psh. I'll be climbing back into in less than 15 hours!
And, by no means am I the "dirtiest" person of the world. However, despite my lack of OCD (but my overwhelming ability to organize) has made me build up waves of moments in which I feel that my habits tend to be because I get lazy, instead of excuses to spend time with my child. Let me explain. Recently, I have read, and heard, a lot of people write, or say, something along the lines of, "You're laundry can wait to be folded, but the time you have with you child is precious. Take advantage of it." In which I nod and agree (because, all in all, I do), but secretly know that the reason MY laundry isn't getting folded is because I am procrastinating, I am lazy, and I am tired. Admittedly, I am not hiding behind an "excuse" to why my house is a wreck, but telling you the truth to why my house can be a monstrous pile of sharp toys, dishes in the sink, and junk piled to the ceilings on my chairs, tables, and cabinets.
I'm being lazy.
Fortunately, however, I will have snaps of realization every 2-3 weeks on how cluttered my house will be, and feel the overwhelming need to clean it thoroughly. When this happens, I take a wipe, bleach, Lysol, vacuum, Febreeze, and Swiffer to every nook and cranny of my small living space. All the while, my three-year old is zooming cars across the kitchen floor. I demolish every scrap of dirt and dust pile, but I swear it continues to get worse every time I clean! It's like an army of junk and dirt multiplies each time I attempt to perfect my house.
I think it may reflect the need to organize and perfect my own life and hobbies, while trying to juggle the irreplaceable time I feel is slipping away from me with each enduring centimeter my son grows! It's never enough for me. I'm greedy, I'm envious, and I'm just plain selfish! My constantly cluttered house is a symbol for my notoriously cluttered mind. I feel like I am always dodging, making excuses, and procrastinating the things that, in reality, will help my life run smoother, yet, I'm too lazy to organize before the dust bunnies build an army large enough to conquer!
I guess, with all other words aside, I am logical in justifying my lack of cleanliness through my apathy of judgment. Unfortunately, this is also where I add more stress onto my life than should be there. Admitting that I am a lazy housekeeper places strain on my emotions when I step or kick the nearest toy car by accident. Additionally, my painting hobby takes up loads of space in my tiny living room when there is a corner full of toys and two large plywood boards strewn in front of our television or couch. I create stress because of my lack of space. Likewise, my mind is full of random nonsense that floats around daily taunting me with minuet details that holds no relevancy in my current state of affairs. This, in turn, causes the precious time I have with my son, while he is still younger and more innocent, to pass even more rapidly than if I were to focus readily at our activities on hand! Ergh! It's all so frustrating. And it is entirely because I am lazily letting the dust bunnies gather from the corners, and I wait until I am on the brink of a nervous clutter breakdown to focus.
Nevertheless, by the end of the day, stepping on the toy cars and silently shouting the most abrasive curse word, is minute compared to the sleepy head that whispers, "No, Mommy, I want you to sleep with me", as you attempt to slip away to paint your next masterpiece...or sit on the couch drinking a glass of wine until you flatten your ass the lazy way. Bring it on dust bunnies! I have a three-year old who will stuff you into a toy car and fling you around so hard, you'll bust into a million pieces.
All is fair in love and war. ...until you are blown away and can breathe no more.
Everyone asks, "Do you believe in soul mates?"
My answer is, "No."
Why, you might ask?
Well, that just means, out of EVERYONE in this world...there is only ONE person out there for you. I can feel the evil eyes piercing my soul right now. Ok, please do not shoot me down with ridicule. I am entitled to my own opinion, right?
After almost 29 years of experience (with life...that is), I have been through a number of different relationships. They have been up, down, sideways, backward, forward, underground, hell, and so on. That may be cause for my inclinations, but I have my reasons.
Soul mates. By definition, this term is associated with "wholeness", "one-ness", absolute unity. However, I do not believe that another person simply "makes you whole".
First of all, soul mates create a spiritual affinity in which there is a pre-destination to the "hook-up". In my personal standards, destiny does not give one FREE WILL. Destiny is a predetermined path that a soul takes in order to fill a higher degree of "blueprints" - if you will. No. I apologize with any offense taken, but the two do not coincide as an option for "free will". I believe in fate. Fate, to me, is the "other route". Meaning, fate is the illegitimate brother of destiny, which allows us to choose our own path, make our own decisions, and decide our own undoing. We all are part of an occult group of people who decide what is best for our lives, our families, our minds, our beliefs, and so on.
Secondly, soul mates, under the laws of "destiny", mean that we are only meant to be at a certain place, at a certain time, and that all the stars fall in a certain alignment at the meeting of souls. No. Because I believe that souls are recycled throughout time, I believe that creating a "one person for one person" deal creates a constriction on how everyone lives. People are convinced that their day to day activities will lead to meeting that one special person in their life that will take them amongst the stars. However, most of the time, that person ends up being a wolf in sheep's clothing. No matter where your soul is reborn, or if it is in general, there are certain people who are going to impact you without question. My belief, under the laws of fate, is that wherever your soul may be at the moment in time it is most susceptible to the option of companionship, is when you give yourself up to the idea of "love".
Now, i do believe in love, don't get me wrong. I see it every time I look into my beautiful son's eyes. However, blood does tread thicker than water. I believe that welcoming someone else in to your daily routine takes a lot of thought and hard work. Recently, I have come across a man who is terribly wonderful with my son. What are his intentions? Who knows. I haven't been on a "date". But what do you do with a person who looks at your children with the utmost respect and courtesy?
My soul does not scream for companionship. My soul does not scream for another parent for my child. Honestly, my soul screams for physical contact; non-blood related, deep conversations about life and all its mystery.
Ultimately, I want partnership. I want someone who will fill the emotional needs of my wonderful son; and fill the physical, emotional, and mental needs of me. Is that too much to ask? Probably. With the way technology works, there is no real establishment between the "real" and the "imaginary". I'm not saying I haven't looked at my share of restricted media, but I'm looking for someone who can actually establish between the body of an 18-year old porn star, and the body of a 28-year old, C-section, mother of one, who does not get the chance to work out because she is too busy trying to provide for her only child. Not me pictured above.
I'm not perfect. I have my faults. My independence has expanded into feminism, and my outlook on life as become a fantasy of a possible Audrey Hepburn movie ending. Have I really been able to establish a reality for myself? Possibly...no. But I have a killer movie ending and a number of side shows to go along with it.
Therefore, soul mates. Are they real? I don't believe it. I believe in a soul companion. What the heart wants, the heart may get...but don't always count on it. We are a people who thirst on the macabre, who want the worst out of life, including the world around us. What is more romantic than a failing marriage with an amazing affair? Well, okay, the idea of tight ass men (or women) running around in practically nothing, slaying the nearest flesh they can find, is slightly pushing the envelope. Gross you may say? Humanity says otherwise.
Throughout history, even amongst to current history, evidence suggests that it is human nature there be war, killing, and adultery. I'm not trying to dampen the evening, merely stating a fact. Even at the execution of Jesus, the Romans felt the need to rid the world of anything considered "good" and "holy" at the misleading idea of humanity's sake, at the progression of human nature, or at the expansion of "free will". Who wants a Saviour who bounds the human chain of wretches, and not the elite, to the possible idea of good and righteousness? Unfortunately, again, tis human nature. "HANG HIM!" most probably screamed. For many, it was a feast for the senses. Although, under the control of God, Jesus may very well have had a destiny or sorts.
One of my very favorite examples is Spartacus. While not entirely historically accurate, many realize the brutality of human nature through a cinematic performance. Overly dramatic? Maybe. But when it boils down to severed heads, gallons of spilled blood, and the roar of the crowd, you can't help but realize the brutality of human nature.
Therefore, you may ask: What the bloodiness does this have to do with soul mates?
Along with God-given free will, our chances of meeting the man/woman of our dreams is slim to none. Perfection does not exist. And while marriage to the man/woman of our dreams is not guaranteed perfection, it still maintains highly elusive precedence over marrying for the sake of companionship and fulfillment. The proven sense of "entitlement" overcomes the idea of honesty, loyalty, and trustworthiness. Instead, human nature overthrows the concept of monogamy, into the lost perception of: it's all about me. And that does not bode well in a relationship. We are a corrupt creation. Our fallibleness makes us vulnerable to heartaches and heartbreaks.
And then we try to move on...
Our souls contain darknesses that may never come into the light of day. However, to dissect our limitations, our mental capabilities, our breaking points; can help piece together a compatible human being to another unforeseen passerby that may be seeking the same dissection into their psyche as you. Then, your ability to grow together, as two separate human beings, can allow for a genuine love and respect for one another.
Again, that is not to say that in other given circumstances, there is not someone else who would be just as suitable, but I do believe that it is limited to a few possibilities for true, unadulterated love. Take my parents for example...over 30 years of love and respect for one another. I am positive their spiritual intensity for one another has not only included an attachment through eternity, but a completely sealable love for one another that will surpass the stars and moon. Lovely isn't it?
However, not everyone is as fortunate. My belief may lead to the bellowing laughter of God seated upon his throne, looking down upon me because of all my past transgressions for sardonic pleasures of viewing my physical hindrances. Aye, I agree that I can push my views too far; far beyond the "common" religious viewing pleasure. However, I do not think that God can be placed in an "almighty" seat unless he contains all that is. I am positive he has a cynically sarcastic side in which he utilizes the viewing of the most humanly embarrassing; all the while, maintaining the purest of compassion. Although, in my truest of heart, I cannot believe God allows suffrage to maintain its degrading status through society without a somewhat hands off method.
Therefore, soulmates? No. One cannot truly rely on the suffrage of being anything less of a "whole" if one is created in the image of God. We are a race of judgment and greed, but we are a race that yearns for acceptance and love, whether or not it comes from a significant other, or it comes from an individual that allows one to become enlightened in their own personal beliefs. Soulmates become a negatively drone point to those who wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait...and, shall I continue?
What do I say?
Stop waiting. Live your life as though you and everything you hold dear will be sucked into an abysmal black hole within seconds. Material items can only be brought as far as death, not beyond. However, the love and respect your soul has gained throughout this merciless life, will completely reform your being throughout the endless journey of eternal enlightenment. Fret no more about finding "the one", and focus more on finding "the one who allows you to extend and exceed your spiritual capabilities".
Allow the sun set on your desire for what could be, and to reveal what is, deep within your soul, deep within your mind, and deep within your anomaly to live as a whole human being for whatever time you may be allotted before departing for the enlightening, unforeseen beyond. That does not mean sleep with every being at your disposal, but to be aware of the souls around you and their capabilities to positively impact your soul. I do not yearn to be a hearsay, but to be a mainstay of my fate, of my ability to join forces with our harrowing souls, educated to be a beacon of light through life's darkest of storms.
And that, may friends, is why I do not believe in soulmates. You are an individual with the power to change the world. Why not do it as a whole being, and not just partially fulfilled until the "perfect" human being walks up to your front door?
God may laugh heartily now.
The soul my be enlightened, and the darkness may fret at your door; but through it all you're blessed with an anchorage of light sealed to your core.
I recently read a quote that stated, "Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness." And unfortunately, this has certainly hit the nail on the head...and definitely hitting my thumb along the way.
Don't tell me not to worry, it's physically impossible. It's just a plain fact: some people worry more than others. But for me, it gets to the point it affects my overall health. Stress is a true downer, and it eats you up internally, and externally. I'm pretty sure mine looks like this:
Yup! That's right all you 80's babies, this is the Purple People Eater. Don't be fooled by the colorful, doe-eyed look going on there! It's a mean, lean, eatin' machine! That is, when it is classified as my "stress". I'm pretty sure I turn purple from worrying too much.
Anyway, it is a true disease for me. I suffer from it every single day. And you may say, "Well, every one does." But I will let you in on the sad truth, it's the worrying that stresses me out the most.
Recently, I had a situation. I was caught off guard and did not know what to make of the situation. Questions arose in my mind: What did I do? What did I say? What should I say? Should I say anything at all? And these feelings would not go away, they haunted me like a ghost. I am NOT talking the friendly-Casper kind either! No, this was complete worry-steria. Unfortunately, I also knew that I should not worry. I mean really, I know I'm awesome (hehe) and that I have a bubbly personality, it's their loss, right? Well, things did not go my way. I eventually buckled under my despair of worrying, that I sent a nice message, pretty much apologizing, and for what? No, idea. I'm literally pulling my hair out because of an unimportant situation. ...Then, I began worrying about the response...CAN I EVER CATCH A BREAK?!?!?
Moving right along. That has been my whole life. Certainly circumstance does not help the situation. Being unemployed and a single mom can place a small strain on one's already defective stress-a-tron. However, I can't really complain of my life in general. I love my life. I have a beautiful son, an amazing family, a roof over my head, food to eat, and clothes on my back. I think I recently read that I am doing better than at least 90% of the world population.
So why stress? Because I believe it is a genetic predisposition.
My grandfather is a Type-A personality. Now, while I don't believe I'm a Type-A, and I know my dad certainly is not, little parts have been passed along the way. And this has led to the increase in heart disease in my family. Stress and heart disease are a bad combination. Thank you to the American Institute of Stress for stating the obvious to me, "The relationship between stress, heart disease, and sudden death has been recognized since antiquity." - See more at: http://www.stress.org/stress-and-heart-disease/#sthash.AhKuWif3.dpuf
Let's not jump the gun though. I am not hyperventilating over MOST situations. Recently, I had a police man pull me over because I "ran a red light". If you knew how high my blood pressure gets when I get pulled over, you would think I were crazy. Unfortunately, at this particular time, my child also needed to go potty, and a car pulled in front of my right before the "yellow light" so I had no chance of beating the system. At this particular moment though, the man decides to tell me "it's just a traffic citation" and I flipped, went completely dramatic with my emotions. The waterworks flowed, the accusation flew out, and I informed him of his completely apathetic attitude toward a practically unemployed single mother. Yeah, it probably wasn't the most appropriate incident. I was totally in ruin. I stressed about the ticket for at least 2 days after, and I am still regretting having to call and pay the stupid thing. I just wanted to yell out, "Why don't you actually go bother with something that matters?!" But I didn't. I am actually proud that I held my tongue and did not use any inappropriate language, not that it's my normal disposition, but I was utterly distraught.
Pathetic as it may seem, it's a truly disturbing feeling to be worried and stressed out. Luckily, I have, over the passed several months, been trying to accept and be thankful for the things that are going "right" in my life, the things I do have, and wanting less while "being more". It is an appropriate step, especially considering the upcoming season. And while there are those that are not of the same religious/spiritual path as myself, I have come to pray about my thankfulness, focusing on the more precious aspects of my fortune: my son, my family, my friends, clothing, food, shelter, talents, skills. I don't focus on the fact that I don't work everyday, but I get the opportunity to spend this precious time with my ever-growing and ever-changing 2 year old.
Recently, we placed our Christmas decorations throughout the house. Now, before you go all bat-crap crazy...I am one of those people who adore the chance to see the beautiful lights and decorations of Christmas at least a month (if not a month and a half) before Christmas day rolls around. I'm sure I would be the exact same way if I were celebrating any other major holiday in any other religious/spiritual preference. Christmas is just a BIG DEAL to me!
I digress though.
My stress-level has been lowered since accepting the things I can't change, and really striving the make the most of the things I can. And I can honestly say, even the use of Christmas decorating with my son during "my days off", have really allowed me to be a more positive, less worrisome individual. However tough it may be on certain days, I have learned to step away to meditate the moment I feel I am having another attack.
These attacks are not pleasant by any means. My head always feels like it is going to explode. My mind is racing faster than the speed of light. And my heart skips beats that I know is not normal. I can not sleep and end up having stomach issues. It physically tears me down. Internally, who knows what damage it has already caused me?
Have I come to a ultimate resolution? No.
Why do I write about such a topic? Because I want to let others know that they are not alone.
It worries me to worry. It stresses me out to stress. It's a vicious cycle, a double-edged sword, and a catch-22. However, throughout my life, I have always looked for external outlets for answers. It's never been resolved. The disease literally eats away at me, and I have truly pulled my hair out because of this mania. Comes to find out, it's an internal resolve. Not a quick one. For most of the time, you have to rid yourself of the sleeping dragon, coaxing it away from its most valuable treasure: your mind. Maybe even become like Bilbo - yes, the Hobbit. Nerd alert!
I have also escaped through my creative outlets. Continuing to write/edit my book and artistically present my characters as life-size oil paintings has excited and awaken my very soul, comforting me in the process, and allowing me to find a truly healthy outlet for my mind. The focus becomes on the product, much more than it does the tiresome snore of the dragon.
While my methods are not full proof, and are certainly not to be taken as a "works for you, works for me" kind of method. I want readers to know that there is hope amongst the desolation of stress and worry. It doesn't have to be a growing abyss of meaningless words and feelings, all compiled deeply within your conscious, and festering like termites beneath the surface. Release the bats of the darkest of caves! Unless it looks as cute as the one above. This disease can be extinguished, or at least maintained from their external triggers, at a healthy level of proper internal exercising. Constant thankfulness for the things you do have/possess, is a positive beginning. Commence to allow your mind to think of nothing while you doze in and out of sleep. Strive for distraction with external activities: playing outside with your children or pets, cleaning/working around the house, creative tasks and hobbies that allow your mind to wonder into the realm of imagination and differentiation. These are all beautifully intricate tasks that force you to think outside of the worries and stresses of every day affairs. Ultimately though, you need time alone. You need time to process your worries and stresses, file them away, and never look them in the cumbersome eye again. Otherwise, you find yourself refiling them into places of your life that need to most attention, without distraction and excruciating folly. Feed your mind distraction, for it will grow upon the weaknesses, consuming them with generous and quintessential nutrients.
I like coffee. Coffee is a great distraction for me. MMMM...Peppermint Mocha.
Stress is heavy upon the mind, for it is the elephant of its kind. But to hinder its growth, you will find, the sensual tension of the bind unwind.
Independence is defined as: Freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.
As political as that word may seem, my reason for bringing up the overly loose term i to talk about my position in the world today as a woman, and most importantly, a single parent.
Albert Einstein once said, “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
Marcel Pagnol also said, “The
reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the
past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future
less resolved than it will be.” (he was a French novelist, filmmaker, and playwright)
But Brittany, they are talking about happiness! DUH.
Well, I say to you, to be independent, IS to be happy. Happiness - not only with your position, your attitude, your outlook, your job, your family, your friends, your goals...BUT yes, yourself and life.
However, if you are going to START reading, I suggest you read all the way through, I tend to give multiple examples before I get to my main topics. They are relevant, and do give background to my endless thought processes.
During my younger years, I needed the attention from the opposite sex. I needed to feel like I was worth something to someone else other than my family, no matter how much they loved me. I had traumatic Junior High years (6-8). Not only did I develop earlier than most of my peers, the "friends" I thought I had growing up, turned their backs on me, I apparently wasn't "cool" enough in 6th grade. I was an awkward, curly haired, socially hesitant 12-year old. That really kicked my self-esteem into the lowest gear. Because, not only was I attempting to fit in by creating my own styles, I was being laughed at in the process! I remember one instance where I thought it would be neat to wear my hair half up on both sides of my head...well, when I went to school, everyone laughed and said I was trying to copy Britney Spears. You remember the infamous: Hit Me Baby One More Time, video. *eye roll* Not only did this chick have my name, but she botched the spelling horrendously. Don't laugh. It WAS the 90's. And what's even worse, I didn't even listen to Britney Spears, so how could I have imitated her? BAH HUMBUG...somebody probably should have hit her when she asked to knock some sense into her.
I was a terribly dependent teenager, and it carried over into college. For those of you who have experienced the pain of low self-esteem, it's brutal, is it not? I don't think I went more than a month without having a boyfriend. The pleasure I got from having a boyfriend was worth more than the impact it was having on my health, emotionally and mentally, not to mention physically. I partied hard and I broke a lot of hearts...including my own on several occasions.
It wasn't until up to my last "real relationship" that I realized I was on the track to ultimate destruction. It was becoming overly additive and abusive. I was drinking heavily and our fights were on borderline psychotic. The person I was involved with was manipulative and deceptive, controlling and victimizing. Everything that happened to him "wasn't his fault"...it was everyone else around him. But then my life changed.
On June 7, 2010 I found out I was pregnant. Wow. Big eye opener. Unfortunately, it wasn't the "happy occasion" I had always dreamed, being married to a loving spouse, and being cheerful that we had created a new bundle of joy. Nope. I was devastated. I didn't want to be attached to the other, and I certainly knew that I was in no position to take care of a baby. My struggles through this trying time were very real, but that is for another blog.
Flash forward 9 months later. I have a beautiful baby boy, weighing in at 7'3, just perfect. I had agreed with the "other" that he could be a part of my child's life, but that I was not going to marry him. Shocked, he persisted.
NO, NO, NO!!!! I WILL NOT MARRY YOU!! Personally, I wanted nothing to do with him, and I made my feelings very clear. My son had become my priority, and I did not feel that this "other" would be a healthy role model. Therefore, I distanced myself from the "other", and made sure that all my efforts were on creating a healthy and positive environment for my son. The "other" could only speak directly through my parents, especially when visiting. This may seem harsh to many of you reading. However, it really wasn't. For you see, if I let down my guard, the "other" would find a way to manipulate and deceive me into thinking I was nothing without him, that I needed him, and that I could not live without him in my life. As a new mommy, continuing low self-esteem, worry, and stress is not something that helps your child feel safe and happy.
So, my ultimate trek to building an independent life outside of relationships commenced. On Father's Day, 2011, is when the "other" left for good, walked right out my parent's front door and we never heard nor saw him ever again. I don't get support, and that is something I would not change for the most money in the world.
Now, back to topic. Independence. The movie scene about Independence from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, about Rudolph and Hermey the Elf need to be IN-DE-PEN-DENT echo in the back of my head every time I think of the word. Good memories...
Anyway, I have worked and strove to obtain my independence for the past three years. While I am not completely there in all aspects, I am there in the most important. I provide and take of my son through all of the ups and downs that life has thrown strong-handedly at me since I found out I was pregnant with him. Finishing off my Masters degree was a large obstacle as a single-parent with a newborn. I have clothed, fed, and provided shelter for my child despite the lack of monetary gain through countless working hours as a substitute teacher, a paraprofessional, and unemployed. Granted, I do have an amazing family that keeps rooting for my success, my son has been solely my responsibility, along with my bills, and my endeavors to find a job.
I also do not feel the need to be in a relationship, but more so, would welcome the opportunity under the right circumstances. I tried dating. I tried the websites who attempted to guarantee finding your "soulmate". I say...BLUH! It's probably sickening to think about the money I spent on those websites, most of the time only to be placed in a state of desperate need for someone to become compatible with. Another topic for another day, "soulmates": Is life really that cruel to pre-destin only ONE person for each of us?
However, I am so set in my ways with the comfortably, self-sufficient lifestyle I have attained, that I am not sure anyone would fit into my routine. I have picked up painting and writing solely at night, that I don't think about the possibility of someone crowding my already tiny living room space, and taking over my remote. I have always had the notion that I would get along with a male clone of myself, but then I realize I would drive myself crazy.
This is a HUGE step in my life. I went from being the "pre-adolescent, Britney Spears supposed wannabe, self-critical" sop to an independent, single mom, with dreams and aspirations that are feasibly obtainable through a given amount of time and dedication.
Yes, I am still single. I do get a bit jealous of friends who supposedly "have it all" with their marriages and children, popping them out one by one, but the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Who knows who is wishing they were in my position? The woman with the perfect child, who is strong-willed, independent, enjoys painting and writing, and did not settle for the ass who impregnated me. *BIG SMILE* Don't get me wrong, if I found a suitable mate, I would take advantage of a healthy relationship, while still displaying my need for the independence I victoriously grasped after so many wasteful years of broken hearts, addiction, and abuse.
So I take the well-spoken words of Albert Einstein to heart and say, "Yes, I have tied my happy to a goal, while being happy with the beautiful son I have been given." Despite the fact that he thinks he need multitudes of attention, I am still able to paint, write, and apply to a PhD Art History program at a notable school.
I also take to heart the words of Pagnol, in which I respond with, "Yes, I did see my past better than it was, the present situation of unemployment worse than I should, and my future plans less resolved than I actually have in mind." For I KNOW my past relationships and dependency was terrible; I KNOW that my current situation will pass and someone will see my potential to work hard, and eventually hire me; and I KNOW I will continue to work toward my goal at obtaining my PhD, even if I don't get accepted the first time (even though I pray every day that I DO get accepted the first time around!).
However, the biggest reminder of my blessings in my son. I know I need to be capable mentally and emotionally to provide him with the best childhood he can have. Whether that will always be by myself as the sole parent, or I do meet someone while he is young. It does not burden me either way. I have continuously tried to not let stress, worry, or depression fester and cloud my judgment of how much I love my life.
So am I ultimately independent? I am with my life and myself. Everything else will someday mimic in success.
Use a spectrum of colors in your life. Painting each aspect with the loveliest of colors. For it is only when you behold the visually splendorous depiction of your hard work, can you see no more room for worry and strife.
"Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the Gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn
And I dream of what I need
I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero
'Til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight!..."
Ah, Bonnie Tyler's, I Need a Hero. Great song. Who doesn't want a Hercules? Or a White Knight? Or...what for it...a god? I know I do! I've always been a dreamer. Since i was little, I have always wanted a man to sweep me off my feet, but of course, not just ANY man, someone tall, dark, and handsome. I want to get weak at the knees and fall flat on my face, only to be picked up and put on a pedestal.
Yeah, that ain't happening. Not only am I too independent now, but no man could compare to the 'gods' I have conjured. Don't judge. A strong, young woman can fantasize. I paint my men. Luckily, they just happen to be characters from my book, so I don't appear terribly strange.
However, that is not why I am here tonight. What is it about heroes that makes us melt?
Is it their brawn? Yup. Is it their size? Yup. Is it their superb physical appearance? Yup. Is it their amazingly sexual appeal? Yup. I could go on and on...but that gets rather droll.
Instead, I say, "Brilliant! We've hit a topic worthy of discussion."
In a perfect world, their would be the ideal man for the ideal woman. We wouldn't see ourselves "settling" for anything less than perfect. However, it isn't a perfect world. Unfortunately, we have to "dream up" or view our ideal hero in a book, or a movie. *sigh* Oh visualization, how I do loveth thee. Movies are an excellent source of visualizing the perfect hero. They are shaped perfectly, they kiss perfectly, they smile perfectly, they fight perfectly, and they say all the right things...most of the time.
Then, we have to clap ourselves out of the hypnotic state of lust and realize that our droll has begun to puddle around everyone's feet. Shame, and we were just getting to the best part! But what about the persons playing those "heroes"? The countless hours of weightlifting and cardio, coupled with a few amazing camera angles...WOOT! We have a sexy beast of a man!
Can you imagine it? Well, you may not admit it, but I will.
Superman. Enough said.
Ha! No, really, can you imagine a more perfectly cut man? Henry Cavill as Superman is enough to make any woman, well, let's just say "drool". But what makes him such a desirable figure? He's SUPERMAN! Can we make it anymore clearer? Not only is he tall, dark, and handsome; but he's amazingly cut, blue-eyed...and let's face it...he can FLY. Can you get a more perfect analogy to "sweeping me off my feet?" Ummm...no. He is the ideal hero, and let's face it, he is pretty much a god-like figure compared to us, humans.
Speaking of gods, though. Don't you imagine Thor would be a great ornament to carry around? Or even Loki? You may be thinking...really Brittany? ...Loki? Oh! come on! It's not like the god is without his charismatic pull of lust-worthiness. Let's examine:
Ok, well, we could do without the freaky, horned helmet; but you should google "Thor and Loki", apparently the crowd is going wild on the idea of homosexual gods. Anyway, who can resist the stare of the lovelies - Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston? You can't. There may be a preference, especially when you see Hemsworth without his shirt, but how can you not swoon over the 6'4, Australian hunk? They are portrayed as highly "sexualized" gods (that's my word and I'm sticking to it)! Adopted brothers in legend, Thor with his mighty hammer and Loki with his fire and magic, both assume the role of "hero" at some point in their twisted mythology. I'm sure the Norse women really received great pleasure when fantasizing about their lusciously infallible gods.
And who can resist the ever-asinine antics of Iron Man? The "normal human" turned robotic wonder...well, part of the time. Put aside the fact he is a Billionaire...OH WAIT! That's right...let's view Batman, too. Both are very rich individuals with enough money to build technological wonders capable of making them our hedonistic heroes! We still love them, right? And, of course, we make them out to be these physically attractive men, because, let's face it, who's going to watch the unattractive men waltz across the movie screen? Observe.
Hello! Robert Downey, Jr.! And good evening Christian Bale! My, how incredibly heroic both of you look in your stealthy armour. While there is nothing supposedly "super-human" about these two characters, they defy the odds by defeating "baddies" and saving the day! Not without their share of scratches though. However, somehow, they manage to recover fairly quickly for another episode of ass-kicking. Even their gadgets never seem to go out of style, the older they get, the more useful they become. ...Kind of like James Bond. *sigh*
I see a trend. All these characters so far, are comic book figures as well. Our image of the "hero" is based tightly on the idea of super-human qualities and hot bodies! I could go into a whole list of heroes: Captain America? Spiderman? Wolverine? and so on.
Again, what is the point Brittany? Well, we live in a world where crime is committed every day. Whether it be worlds away, or in your hometown. And we escape into the unrealistic world of heroes that help keep our minds occupied on issues other then the ones going on around us. I am guilty of that mindset...I think the only ones that aren't are the men and women who play them on the tube! And women, we're guilty of putting our expectations of the male species on the same level as the heroes we see portrayed in books, tv shows, and movies.
However, then I realize, when I hold my son in my arms and tell him that mommy will never let anything hurt him, I see myself as his hero in his eyes. He clutches on tightly, trusting that my arms will not give way to pain or punishment. There are those people out there that do not have that comfort. There are children out there that live in pain and suffering, only to die in it's wake.
Who needs to be the quintessential hero? Not Superman, not Thor, not Batman, not Ironman; but you do. I'm certainly not saying there is anything wrong with fantasizing every now and then about being swept off your feet by a god or a super-human. I think it's a nice escape every now and then. But we live in a world that is obsessed with fame and fortune. We don't care about anyone else but ourselves, and what we want out of this life. However, if we really look closely, there just might be a realization that, while your living in an egocentric paradise, others are reaching out to comfort those who are dying from disease, hunger, war, famine, hate, and personal distress. There is an obsession to be noticed by those celebrities and entertainers who don't give two cents who you are, and suck your independence and lives dry of any meaning or worth. Unfortunately, throwing away the potential to make a difference in one's life, when a life may be taken away and not lived because we turn our faces away from problems that are not our own.
One of my favorite musical lyrics in by the Dave Matthews Band, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."
Is it not true? The more we persecute someone for doing us wrong, when there has been no effort on your part to make it right, the lower we descend into our own pride and grief.
Are heroes perfect? No. Not even the ideal ones. Even the Avengers are all killed off at one point by Thanos. That's right, I do pay attention. And guess what? Batman grows old.
Not everyone has the financial means to make a difference or be a hero to someone. However, that doesn't mean that leading by example, giving your time, or helping a friend in need is not classifying you as a hero. As a parent, you may be quintessential hero to your son or daughter, even behind Superman, Batman, or Captain America.
But here's a big piece of advice. Don't expect gratitude in return for your heroic deeds. The most gratifying feeling is knowing that you made a difference, feeling it in your gut, whether or not someone acknowledges it, or not. Trust me, it will make a positive difference in your attitude about your own life and the way you see yourself living. I don't judge your religion, spirituality, or absence of, I think that living purposefully creates a world of caring, heroic people. Those presenting peace and love as their ally, and opposing selfishness, greed, and hatred. Unfortunately, religion and spirituality has been one of the leading causes of hatred, and that is not what it's ultimate purpose was meant for in the evolution of the human race. But that is a topic for another day.
All is well tonight. Go to bed knowing that you can be more of a hero than Superman could ever strive.
Void your mind of hatred and indifference, and let the vastness of an ever-changing universe enlighten your mind to empathy and peace. Thus creating a world of heroes capable of moving the treacherous mountains of misfortune, and the tumultuous seas of hopelessness.
"Mommy! Watch this!" I love those words. "Mommy! I show you!" I love those too. All of them melt my heart at least 1,000,000,000,000 a day (I'm not being facetious) . Ever since my son had his adenoids and tubes taken out, his vocabulary and hearing have become universally better! He uses sentences that contain 5-10 words. Now, they may not all be in the correct order, but you know he is trying.
Let's get to the topic of the day: When you 2-year old boy likes pink.
You may be thinking, "My little boy is NOT going to be liking the color pink in ANY way." But there will be some of you out there that say, "What's the big deal?"
My response: "It isn't." *sigh*
He is the epitome of little boy. It is all about CARS, TRUCKS, TRAINS, BASEBALLS, SOCCER BALLS, BASKETBALLS, CLUBS, BATS, BLOCKS, BARNYARD, AND...YEP, EVEN MUDDDDDDDDD!!!
However, as a single mom, my little boy also knows how to be sensitive, he also knows how to powder his face with cinnamon and wear high heels. You see, there are no men's clothing or shoes around our humble little abode. Really, I haven't had a man come to my house since my brother and dad stepped in last week to view my latest paintings. I haven't dated, so there isn't someone I wouldn't let into my sacred living area for my son to try on the male garb, and strut his stuff around the rooms.
Most mornings, he goes straight for his rain boots. It doesn't matter if it is raining or sunny, he loves his boots! When his uncle recently picked up a pair of big brown boots, my son was ecstatic! He paraded around with his boots while my brother wore his new boots. However, there are some mornings where I will hear the "clunk! clunk!" sound of my shoes walking down the hallway. Normally, he has the 3 sizes too big flip flops, but occasionally, I look back to see the "glowing face of pride" smile as he wobbles around in my high heels.
It's very humorous actually. He may or may not make it all the way down the hall before he trips, falls, or gives up. You can bet though, he will try again on a whim the next day! Does he think they are his shoes? No, he always shouts, "Mommy! Look! I wear your shoes!" The twinkle in his eye tells me that the innocence hasn't budged a bit. I smile and laugh, and then go about the day.
It's not just the shoes that other moms may balk at, but the response when you ask him his favorite color. "Pink!" He will respond proudly.
He hasn't grown up around many pink toys, mainly it is just the Play-Dos and the finger paints that incorporate the pinks. However, if you think about the color pink, it is an enticing color. It's bright, strong, and 'mommy wears it almost all the time!'
Historically, even starting a century ago, pink was the chosen color for boys. If you read in the Smithsonian magazine article: When did girls start wearing pink? , you will read that pre-WWI, "The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the
girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color,
is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and
dainty, is prettier for the girl.” As I said, it's a strong color, and pops more to the eye. Gender-specific colors didn't become an issue until the 1940s.
This just keeps growing doesn't it? Well, besides the pink, my son will also have fun with mommy in the morning by brushing my make-up on. Of course I don't let him have a brush-full, but it doesn't bother me because I don't have store-bought make-up. I make my own. My foundation is a combination of cornstarch and cinnamon. Because of my acne-prone skin, I decided to place natural products on my face. As a facewash, I use raw honey, as a spot treatment, I use mixed oils. But, we can get into that on another day.
Now, during these times, I will remind my son that only girls wear make-up, but it doesn't bother me that he finds it fascinating. I like to see it as a gender-learning experience, and that he will make some woman very happy one day!
I did not write this toward any issue. This was not to discuss homosexuality or gender equality. It was an innocent blurb about why having a little boy who likes pink is ok, or that being a single mom with a little boy who wobbles around in her high heels is ok, or why he is curious between the difference between mommy and himself. He is at a curious stage, and it is wonderful! He is so excited very single day, and he will express is above and beyond.
Oh, my son also has great rhythm. He will hear a tune and start tapping his foot, or bobbing his head. I have considered dance...and why not? There are a number of men out there that contribute the ability to dance to their growing skills in athletics and academics. Livestrong,com has a simple, yet good article: The Benefits of Dance for Kids.
As a female, I always thought I had limits because I was a female. However, raising a boy, I see that more social limits are placed on boys. Boys are needing to seem "manly" and "strong", if they aren't they are wimps, nonathletic, pansy, and so on. I am an artist. I feel that empowering your sons to pursue their creative and imaginative sides does not encourage them to be nonathletic or nerdy, it simply gives them skills that many overlook and don't acquire because of social constraints. I have no doubt that my abilities in the arts and his endless exposure to the world of art history will inspire him to explore that world, but I also know that he will want to play sports and get dirty, rough, and tough.
Allow your children to explore the world without limiting or constraining based on your biased and tainted opinion of society and it's norms. Their innocence will not hinder their growth, but let it soar to new heights and possibilities. It will open doors that they otherwise may be too afraid to open. Don't let your first impulse be to balk at their decisions. Stop, take a look at how they are trying to explain it to you, or how they may see it through their eyes, and you will understand that the world does not control the growing mind. Knowledge is an experience and a gift, not all thirst for that. It is ok to let your children explore beyond their own understanding (in a safe environment, of course) because that is how they will ultimately form their own opinions and ideas. If too much stress and constraint is placed on them before they are allowed the discover, they are hindered in their growth and potential for greatness in all areas of life, not just the socially correct ones.
Much to our chagrin, our children are not "us". (No matter how many times we hear, "He's just like you when you were that age." or "He is like a little you!") They are their own person, their own individual, their own hinderers or encouragers. They can be taught to see the world the way you do, but they need to know that it is ok to become their own person also, as long as it encourages the positive growth of their place in humanity, finding themselves as individuals and a part of the ever-changing universe.
Like stars, we have potential to shine through the darkness, reaching to depths unknown, and carrying on our legacy for eons to come.
Ha. Got your attention, did I not? Yeah, topic of the night...the female body. So, gentlemen, pull a seat up, you my want a front row for this one. As an artist and aspiring art historian, I have had the privilege to gaze upon the evolution of the artistically rendered female body. In what regards? Oh, many of mediums - painting, drawing, video, sculpture, only to name a few. Note: this is solely on the image of the female body, nothing to do with style or periods. Generalization...
The female body is a work of art. You may say that it is a perfectly shaped utopian paradise. Oh wait. Not all women are shaped like a Victoria Secret model. However, Western civilization has built an image that cannot be matched under normal circumstances. I'm talking about the female body is the natural terminology. Whether you are pear-shaped, twig shaped, or just shaped...your body is your body, no matter what. Let's take a look at one of the oldest artistic renderings of the female body...there she is! The Venus of Willendorf. What a zesty figure she has. Culturally speaking, she is an item of beauty, an image of fertility and womanhood. I can hear the lyrics of Madagascar's Moto Moto echoing through the background, "I like 'em big, I like 'em chunky, and they like me, they think I'm funky." Men, how can you not have the hots for her? Oh, wait, that's right, Western civilization.
Artists have their preferences when it comes to women. Welcome Aphrodite! Goddess of love and beauty! Botticelli's rendering of the female form is fascinatingly weighty. In layman's terms, she may be a bit more beefy. Her waist is surprisingly not the size of her head, and her thighs are not the size of carrots. This beautiful rendering during the Renaissance, showed the female figure more realistic to the female physique than our Western culture tends to show. Aphrodite is by no means "fat", she shows us a more human side. Isn't is beautiful? Modesty was not shunned upon amidst clams and floating admirers. How delightful to be a goddess. *sigh*
Any one up for a Reuben? Ah, just joshing, I'm speaking of the one and only Peter Paul Rubens. The man of the hour who liked his women with a bit more skin and some cellulite. Three women with large hips to hold on to, and enough legs to go around! (No pun intended) Praise the men who see the "flaws" beautiful. These artists, although somewhat intrigued by the men physique as well, painted what they saw, the real human flesh of women who aren't bone thin or perfectly proportioned. Many men would shake their heads in dismissal of the accusations, but you and I, know very well the unfortunate circumstance that creates the gawking stares and salivating tongue dripping from manipulation when men pass a Victoria Secret ad, or watch a tampered sex scene.
Holy crap! Is that an apple under her arm? Oh wait, no, it's a boob. That's right, the Odalisque. The beautifully elongated body of a female. I laugh, because if she were to stand up, she would look like Olive Oyl from Popeye. And, obviously, Ingres really wanted to paint the breast. If mine were as perky, I'm sure I would appreciate some exposure...just not under my armpit. Unfortunately, this rendering doesn't necessarily prove a point as it does amuse me. Her somewhat seductive stare, the elongation of the spine, the large space of the ass, and the awkward positioning of the legs. By the way, the left is on top of the right. She is telling my gentlemen audience that she is flexible...(I'm alluding to the modern day photoshoped model). *eye roll*
You may be thinking...ok, yes, let's get to your point. Well, here it is, HOLY CRAP! Where did her leg go? It's NOT there. As a designer myself, this is a terrible job. Everything else may be airbrushed, squeezed, and removed in all the other right places, but that leg, shows are growing need to "fix" people! That's right, the terribly sad conclusion I make about our society is this: you have to be skinny, flawless, and with shadows and highlights always reflecting the best areas of your body as you walk around, in order to be "seen". Hey! Not ALL of us are able to work out, tan, or afford plastic surgery. Society tells us that, no matter what you look like, your are NEVER good enough. This is why they Photoshop. Even the most "perfect" individuals need help. It's the lighting, it's the make-up artists, it's the work-out coaches, the the constant strain to make your body the opposite of the Venus of Willendorf, because that's what our society deems men (or women) want. And this is by NO means a hit on everyone, not every one has those beliefs.
Say what you will, there are multiples who believe this is what EVERYONE wants. Well, I demand a redesign! I demand a fair shot if I have to be a citizen of this county. I'm petite. And the only thing I was blessed with is a larger than normal pair of...well, you get the picture. Or not. Because I'm not posting a picture of that. And I won't even start on the difference in hairstyles and make-up! That is for another day. Curly rules! *cough*
Even discreetly, people know if you are self-conscious. The more you try to talk about your looks, your "perfections", and your "assets" , the more people will catch on to your need for attention, and lack of self-esteem. You know that Barbie couldn't even hold her proportions against the natural female body? She got a makeover, and she's not complaining.
Anyway, I just wanted to share a topic completely in left field. I'm in the midst of applying for my Art History PhD and was thinking about the nude form in comparison to the modern "ideal" of the female body. There are so many more factors that can go into this argument, I just chose to express a couple vaguely.
Dream of happiness, dream of rain, but never again dream of pain.
This is for the single parent. I am not saying my situation is any different from those who are single parents, we all have something to inform any who will listen. As you may know, (and if you don't yet, you might someday) parenting is hard. Fortunately, I was blessed with one little trooper! From the day he was born, he has been a great eater, sleeper, and pooper. He has a pleasant disposition, and always wakes up with a smile on his face!
I have one, and he is my world. Until recently, I was able to work as a paraprofessional or substitute. I normally have a job, but up until two weeks ago, I decided that the near panic attacks I was having, were caused by the stress of going back to a job that could not pay my bills. Daycare alone was taking over 3/4ths of my paycheck, and I would bring home pennies.
Mind you, my situation was by choice. I chose not to marry my ex, and with it, I do not receive child support. Most of you may be thinking, "Are you out of your mind?!" No. I'm not, because I would never trade my situation for what "could have been." I love being the single parent to my sweet baby boy. Yes, at times it gets lonely, but I have settled too much in my lifetime to have anything less than "perfection." That definition, of course, not being the exact dictionary definition.
It irks me, though, that I have a BFA and a MAT, and I still can not get a viable job. Being the sole provider, and the only parent my son has, I have always needed to have a job which allows me to bring home enough to feed my child, pay my bills, and then spend at least 4 hours with him before he goes to bed. I want to help shape and mold his growth. I finished my Masters while pregnant and HAVING my baby...yeah, I know how to multitask.
It's unfortunate though, because no one wants to hire anyone without experience. However, how am I supposed to get the experience without being able to work?! I have been out of undergraduate for 5 years. 5 years! And I can not give you a set amount of experience in my Graphic Design area. I even began tacking on certifications in the hopes that someone would see how versatile I am. No one wants to hear of your troubles, though. Unfortunately, I can't help expressing them when someone inquires what I have been doing for the past 5 years.
Many of my friends have recently decided to be "stay-at-home" moms. How lovely. It's a privilege when you are in the position to stay home with your children while your spouse works. After being raised by an amazing mom who has stayed at home with all 5 kids, I know the hardships, struggles, and negatives that can come with being a "stay-at-home" mom. And as a mom, I know perfectly well what comes along with having a child hanging on your leg (pretty much) 24/7. It bothers me when I hear many moms say, "I don't know how you do it." (referring to working while having kids)...and my answer is usually to yell back in my head, "Not every one has the choice!" It's not in a spiteful, or rude manner, but to those of us who want the privilege, it just sounds like they are rubbing it in.
Unfortunately, though, in all of this venting, it hasn't changed the fact that I have a dwindling bank account and a shortage of wipeys. Call me a scrooge, but the next time you want to tell me, "it's not so great all the time being a stay-at-home mom," put yourself in the shoes of single parents you know that are unemployed, void child support (whether by choice or not), and working to make ends meet and BARELY seeing their children before bed time.
Maybe my life is like an arrow right now, you have to be pulled back, in order to be released to soar great distances. I continue to do what I love most, playing with my child, painting, writing, and working toward my PhD. I have hopes and dreams, a lot that may seem unattainable, but not lost. If given the choice, I would choose to stay-at-home with my sweet baby boy until he begins to grow out of his "I don't need mommy so much stages." It makes me tear up thinking about how fast time flies. I work on being the best mommy I can, without giving him the inclination of the adult hardships I live with every single day. To him, life is like discovering a new color every day and finding out you can paint the world any way you want.
There is always going to be someone worse off than yourself, but that it no reason for you to be overlooked. Whether it's emotionally, mentally, or physically, every thing you can do to help someone know they have a friend, is a wonderful feeling. A recent change I made in my routine is to speak aloud that things I am thankful for, instead of saying the things I "need". Whether you pray or not, the world responds to positive feedback, and it is to everyone's advantage to talk about the things they are thankful for. It was a revelation that had been spoken to me many times before, but I never truly appreciated it's integrity until I began to do it myself. It makes you think about the most precious parts of your life that you want to hold onto most.
I know this was a personal blog tonight. My mind has been tampered by the notions of unemployment and spending time with my child. Thank you for reading down this far. I am sure there are multiple opinions running through your head. Every one is entitled to their own opinion, at least I feel better about mine tonight.
I am thankful for my sweet baby boy, my amazing family, shelter over my head, clothes on my back, the food I have, and the talents and skills I possess. I can feel the stars commencing their alignment...
Now into the depths of an eventful slumber.
After a long endeavor to create my website, it is finally up and running! Awesome, right? I like to think so.
Therefore, let's talk about my first order of business: Teacherspayteachers.com, which I would very much appreciate your interest in (that is, if you are a teacher, friend of a teacher, friend of a friend of a teacher, or someone who appreciates fun lesson plans). My most recent trek in the design/lesson plan world is MINIScience. I am taking all of the CCGPS in Science (some day in all of the grades) and meshing them into a small, introductory packet of worksheets, activities, and Art/Science Connections. I currently have two up and running: Living and Non-Living, and Plants. Feel free to browse and try out!
You may be asking: Why must she BLOG about her lesson plans? My response is: Everyone's doing it.
Yes. That's right. I'm following the pack of hungry, wild wolves. As a single mother, I am desperately trying to hone in on my skills and education in order to favor my chances of working from home. And why not? I'm a designer...I'm a teacher...I thoroughly enjoy creating fun new activities for children to do within their classrooms.
In the meantime, while waiting on the late-night/early-morning phone calls, I enjoy painting my characters from the first novel I am writing. I will enthusiastically shout out to The Writer blog, so that you may browse the updates on my latest painting and tireless efforts to edit my lengthy manuscript.
While I am on the tangent from my lesson plans, I am going to enjoy being a woman on here every now and then and inform, whomever is interested, about my recent discovery of purely natural face washing and make-up. As an oily/pore person, I searched incessantly for a cure to my curse. Natural oils have become my new best friends and acne/large pores/scars have become a "thing of the past". Yippie!
Okay, back to my design skills. As I have stated before, I am looking for more freelance opportunities. It's shameful to waste 5 1/2 years of education because I have not made an attempt to promote myself. And I know that not every one is going to appreciate my work *sigh*. Fortunately, I am not here to please every one. However, I do enjoy conversing and immersing myself in the beautiful philosophical gesture of exchanging ideas.
If you are not already following me on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, those are also wonderful visually stimulating outlets of my outreach to expand my social circles beyond my small town...BWHAHAHA! Trust me, I am not The Brain (for those of you who may remember the cartoon - Pinky and The Brain). I could go either way - feel old or feel young.
Now, I will need to go about the menial tasks of this quiet night (well, that is AFTER the Tornado Warning that put a theoretical thorn in my side). After sitting down to a nice take-out Mexican meal and turning on the choice movie of the night, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, the sirens go off. Nothing like trying to plan a relaxing evening around a ominous storm system. BAH-HUMBUG. Oh well, c'est la vie!
Well, it's my first time with an official "blog". Is it exciting? Maybe. Who knows. Hopefully other's will see my hard work and sweat going into this endeavor.
Let me introduce myself, my name is Brittany. I'm a single mom to a beautiful baby boy - well, actually toddler - but he's still a baby to me! I am a certified art teacher, who, still after two years of getting my MAT, can't find someone to give up their art teacher position. However, it is not my ultimate goal. I hope to one day get my PhD in Art History.
I will cut to the chase - it's late, and I am dragging. I'm an artist, I'm a designer, I'm a teacher, and I'm a mom. In my "spare time", I enjoy painting and designing lesson plans. Unfortunately, my career has been very slow since graduating from college the first time around - 5 years ago. What can I say? I'm a late-bloomer. Forward on, I'm building a website full of my projects and activities from college and beyond, hoping that something may appeal to someone.
This blog is solely a personal blog. It will hopefully entertain, inform, and teach. I highly encourage the onlookers of this blog to also view, "The Writer" blog, as it will discuss my recent completion of a novel I wrote and the progression of the paintings I am pursuing of my characters. With that blog, I hope to market my book and intrigue those to want to read it more.
Please contact me with questions, for I am searching to connect with others with both similar and different interests. I have a Facebook page for my business: diligenceNdesign, I have a Twitter account for both my business and book, and I have Pinterest, because I enjoy fun ideas.
In the chance you do take an interest in my talents, I would certainly enjoy knowing. I am searching for more freelance and commission opportunities. My ultimate goal is to be able to spend as much time with my son while he is not in school.