Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Where I come from

I think that going home for Christmas this year was more beneficial than I could have predicted. I haven't been to the house I grew up in for a year and a half. A lot has happened in my life since then. One relationship ended, and another began, that one potentially over too. I sometimes get so caught up in my current life that I forget to remember just how far I've come in the almost 12 years since I left home. I let people allow me to feel that my personal accomplishments aren't important. They are important, no matter how small in comparison they are important and big for me.

I grew up in a house where I shared a room my entire life. I grew up in a house that had one working bathroom as far back as I can remember. I grew up in a house with no shower. 5 of us, in one bathroom and no shower...talk about a lack of privacy. I'm very humble because I am truly blessed to be where I am today. I've lived in nice places and I'm probably a little spoiled because of it. But I've earned it. I've paid rent and contributed to every house I've ever lived in. I don't currently pay rent, but my contributions are plentiful. I've earned being spoiled. 

The last 12 years haven't been easy. I've struggled a lot. I've borrowed money, lots of it, but I'm making amends. I am currently working on paying back all the people, including the government, for all the money I've borrowed. And that makes me feel good. It's an accomplishment. Albeit small in comparison its a big step for me. I'm taking responsibility for the help I needed during the irresponsible stage in my life.

I'm glad I went home for Christmas. I'm glad I got to spend time with my siblings and my Dads family. I was reminded by my Dads family that we are a family of strong women. And while I've never been overly close to that family it was a worthy reminder. I sometimes question my place in life. I am in a relationship with someone who doesn't always understand my strength. But hearing my uncles, who married into the family, acknowledge the Grady women's strength made me feel good. I can be in a relationship where my strength is not liability its an asset. I come from a long line of strong women, my mom especially, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's a strength and an asset in a relationship and needs to be treated as such. 

I do wish my boyfriend had made the trip with me. I think there is a part of someone that you cannot truly understand until you know where they come from. I think there is a part of me that he will never understand until he makes a trip to the Midwest, sees Poplar Grove, stays at my Moms house, sleeps in the room I grew up in. The life I grew up in is not the life I have now, and no matter how much I explain...seeing is believing.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

You're Beautiful

"You're beautiful."  That's what everyone keeps telling me in an attempt to make me feel better.  "Don't worry, you're beautiful." As if that somehow makes me feel better.  As if my beauty is what is in question in my failing/failed (not sure if it's past or present at this point) relationship.

Beauty is a wonderful thing.  You can have inner beauty, you can have outer beauty.  But if that's all that matters in a relationship...you, my friend, are screwed.  My other favorite "cheer up" line is: "you can have any guy you want."  Which is pretty untrue at this point considering the one that I want, doesn't want me.  Well, to be fair to him, I'm not sure it's that he doesn't want me.  But he's not willing to risk it all to keep me.

Everyone always says "you can't change a man" and "guys don't change" and while on the surface that may be true.  A guy that is uninterested in girly movies is unlikely to ever one day secretly enjoy them.  A guy who is competitive at everything he does is unlikely to some day just not care.  But to me, it doesn't matter who you are, guy or girl.  Change is part of life.  You grow...you change.  You develop..you change.  You see the world and experience life...you change.  If we didn't change and grow as human beings we wouldn't make it in life.

You cannot force anyone to change, I am aware of that.  But by saying "guys don't change" we have built a society that allows guys to think that they don't have to change and grow.  They don't have to mature.  They think they will be catered to their entire lives and eventually find someone to fill in where their mother left off.

I read part of an article recently, yes just part...I got bored.  But it was talking about how we have raised females to be stronger in recent years, and in the process have left men in the dust, forgotten.  While I do understand what they were getting at.  I think that we've just allowed men to go on being lazy, and as women we got tired of waiting on them to grow up.  So we stepped up and started accomplishing things ourselves.  And as it turns out, we are pretty good at all the same things men are good at.  And instead of trying harder, men gave up.  I was raised to try harder, if I wanted better grades...I had to work for it.  If I wanted spending money...I had to earn it.  If I wanted anything, I had to earn it or work for it or both.

The way I was raised seems to contradict what I want out of life, but not the way I see it.  I was raised to stand on my own two feet, to be independent.  I wasn't always as strong as I am, but I've gotten knocked down a few times and I've always figured it out.  I strive to be independent and my own person.  But there is no denying that I want to be a wife and a mother.  I work, I pay my bills.  But at the end of every day if I can be home in time to make dinner for my boyfriend/husband/kids.  Then that's what I want.  I love to cook.  I love to prepare healthy meals for my loved ones.  I want to be able to be with my kids and watch them grow up.  Will I always want to earn my own money, absolutely.  But do I want to be a housewife who sits around wasting my husbands money because I have nothing better to do, absolutely not.  I'm not sure when the term "housewife" got so negative, but that's not the point of view I have on it.  I know plenty of women who stay at home with the kids and still find ways to financially contribute to their family.  And honestly, it's up to each couple to figure out what they're comfortable with.

But I see no reason why I can't "have my cake, and eat it too."  Why can't I be treated like an equal in a relationship and be able to cook, clean and stay home with the kids?  And why am I being punished for knowing what I want out of life.  I have wanted kids since I was 2 years old.  I've said that a million times, to a million different people.  And yet, wanting kids, and being honest about it is where I lose people.

I give my all in relationships.  I'm honest and trustworthy and I literally give everything I have to them.  And it never seems like enough.  I'm not sure what happens, but somewhere along the line my faith in the relationship seems to scare them away.  Like they can't live up to the expectations that we discussed.  Nate and I talked about marriage and kids from the very beginning.  I was upfront and honest like I always am.  And we talked to it.  Clearly it was too soon then, but we talked about it.  It was always in the plans.  And then a week ago he told me that he's not sure he's meant to have kids, and if he wants them it might be 5 years from now.  And I'm just suppose to wait?  Wait to see if he ever figures it out.  Wait until he's done being selfish.  I've given everything I have to him and our relationship...and now I have to wait to see if he will one day give me what I want out of life.  It's just seems so unfair right now.  I'm left to find a place to live, to pack up all my stuff from his house.  The house I made a home for us.  The one we've shared for 6+ months now because he can't be unselfish right now.  He can't give everything for me and our relationship.  But I'm beautiful...so I'll be ok.

I will be ok, but not because I'm beautiful.  I'll be ok because I'm strong, and determined.  And loved.  I have amazing friends and family who will be there for me.  And I will once again, pick myself up, start over, and move on.  Because it's what I do...