I have a little collection of drafts from over the year unpublished. Here are the ones that I will never finish or publish on their own. I decided I might as well just compile them into a random list here. They range from thoughts on friendship, gender, Father's day, growing up, and dating.
From February 10, 2014-Thoughts from when I thought I would be moving to Seattle. Now, several months later, it's kind of cool to see because I have made a decision to stay, as agonizing and terrible of a process as it was. It was right. And I think this blog entry and the scriptural texts fit right along with that. Either way, it does.
When I reflect back on my days, the greatest moments that are enriched with joy and laced with beauty, are the moments when I am with my friends and the small family I have. The source of the richness in my life has often come from them. From moments of laughter, expression, observation, or silence. From moments where we are just eating together, folding laundry together, walking outside in the sun together, living life in simple ways together. I enjoy being able to have my family and friends over for different occasions and feeding them. The times that I treasure the most are the times when we are all together in the mundane. I am keenly aware of this. I am keenly aware of my condition towards loving these simple, usual times when people who are either passer-buyers in life, or life-fixtures, come together.
With this in mind, as I look ahead a few months down the road toward the possibility of moving to a new state, not having these people, my people, present or anywhere near my living location, I feel a sense of wanting. Reminiscent of these people and these times whom I treasure and love, I am mindful of the many blessings of my life. At the top of the list, are the people who have colored my life in the many shades that they have. Also top of the list is God, in his great mercy and unconditional, unrelenting love. I can only hope that I am so lucky, so blessed, that God leads our family to wherever we may go and that he goes before us to our future, while mending the broken fibers of the past.
"He restores my soul; He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." -Psalm 23:3
"The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." -Deuteronomy 3:18 (NASB)
"You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head." -Psalm 139:5 (NLT)
Color isn't assigned to one's gender. We don't have preassigned likes, interests, and roles merely because of our gender. Being born a girl doesn't mean my role in life is to be a stay at home mother. Being born a boy doesn't mean you aren't sensitive. We ascribe these rules and roles and engage in societal norms based off of our gender identities. I have written before about how this is a little maddening to me here, when I accidentally ranted about this. Boy and His Baby. Language that supports these mindsets bothers me. It concerns me when I hear little girls tell me that they need to be prettier because they are girls. It's not language I would want to hear from my child. Where do they come up with these ideas?! Boy or girl, I hope to be mindful of what I teach my kids as much as possible. These messages of who a girl or boy should be based off of their gender is everywhere.
How about we say that a boy can feel. A girl can run. A boy can play dress up. A girl can grow up not thinking about weight. When my a friend worked at Old Navy, she would hear the mother's tell their ten year old girls comments like their shorts made their thighs look fat. Abhorrent.
My son is a rough and tumble wild little man. Anyone with eyeballs and ears can see that clearly. I love him for being who he is. When he rocks his pirate jewels and homemade bracelets, it is awesome. He also at one point adored his doll he picked out and named Earthica. He loved his purple butterfly ring he got from a friend at school and eagerly rocked it at school. When he is being a ninja, firefighter, or TMNJ knight, I love it. He wield's invisible swords with determination and a feigned mastery. His creative mind is wonderful and captivating. But I do not want to hear language from him on who he needs to be because he is a boy. It has to be because it is him. Should he respect other human beings and treat them with respect? Absolutely. Do I want him to value women and treat them with respect and not using demeaning language? I hope I teach him these things. He may not always be surrounded by these examples in his life, but at least where his mother comes in, I hope to impart some of these lessons to him.
Be strong, have emotion, cry, love, show compassion. And don't tell me that you can't because you are a man or that it has to look a certain way based off of gender.
Someone once told my son that he needs to open doors and take care of women because they are weak and not strong. My son must know how I feel about this, because he leaned over and whispered to me saying, "Mommy, you are strong." Thank you Caleb, thank you. Those behaviors are good to do, but not because of the idea that women are weak or that men must be chivalrous. They are good to do out of honor and respect for others. And I appreciate my son to this day, opening the door for his mama for that reason. I hope to God he never thinks of me as weak because I am a woman. While I can haul ass with my 41 pound child, I am still a weak bodied gal. But Lord knows, I am strong in lots of other areas that are significant.
Early Summer 2014? Not sure when.
After turning twenty six last year, I spent months not looking forward to the ominous age of twenty seven that was bound to come rolling along. I could not even say the impending age twenty-seven. The words just wouldn't come out of my mouth. They got stuck in there like tar. I shuddered at the thought of striking that next year older.
As I got closer to the d-day, aka my bday, I calmed down and handled it better. What was I so freaked out about? Well, for one, it just seemed so old to me. And I did not like the idea of climbing years, while not really progressing in life. Sure, I'm a mother. But that just makes the years fly by EVEN FASTER and the wrinkles between your eyes even deeper!!! No!
An interesting thing has begun to happen, post twenty seven age shift. I am here now, a few months into being alive for this long. And it's strangely very okay. Really okay, actually. It's been a strange year, but I think I have grown in some unexpected, good ways. I am not worried about this age anymore. I just recognize what needs to be done in our lives and the ways my perspectives on things have changed in the short amount of time I have been twenty seven since April. It's not because I have struck a year older that this happened, but with all that has taken place, I have just realized different things more, and it's a good thing.
June 19, 2014
This past Father's day was surprisingly difficult. I did not expect to feel how I did, sitting at church on that Father's Day Sunday. I found myself getting out of my seat and to walk briskly out of the room, pacing outside while hearing the words of the pastor resound from the outside lobby speakers.
I was emotional. It was weird. I was pacing around, seeking to understand why I was feeling what I felt. I realized, my turmoil on that day was because of all that I have been dealing with in regards to the father of my son.
On that Sunday, I felt this sadness because my son does not have the family I desire for him. He has family that loves him from near and afar, yes. But he does not have a family unit of a mom and dad who live together and raise their child as one. I made that choice. I made the choice to separate myself from that. I still stand by that choice and recognize that this choice leaves the door open for us possibly have a blended family in the future. Regardless of that, I was keenly aware of our loss as a family and how my choice in being separated has played into that. Do I regret it? No, what I chose was right and wise. But it is no less hard. One this day dedicated to dad's, for the first time, I felt this conflict within me because of everything I am having to deal with in regards to my son. It's not easy.
I never write about dating or men at all because I am extremely intentional in my choices. Plus, it's not something I am willing to share here at this point. I am particular in what I am looking for and am mindful at the place I am at in life. I am presently not looking for anything, but would be open to seeing the right kind of person if they were to drift my way. Part of the reason for this is clear, and it is that I am a mother. For me, there is no compartmentalizing this. I am a mother through and through. And this translates to every aspect of my life as far as what I do for work, what I do with my days, and especially who I date (which as of now, is no one). It is because I am a mother that I am even more intentional and careful with my choices. I don't understand these people who compartmentalize their parenting. But it happens far more than it should.