Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fairytale Love

When I was growing up my mom had a bookshelf full of Danielle Steele & Harlequin romance novels. Around the age of 15-16 I started reading them.

I read about star crossed love, all consuming passion, feeling like someone was the center of your universe.. I read about fighting and making up, I read about overcoming insurmountable obstacles for love. I read about hot sex.... - well they were romance novels.

But the thing that stuck with me most in all of the books was the idea of what 'true love' was. What it felt like, what it looked like, how it made someone treat you and how it make you treat the person you loved in return.

I read that true love was all encompassing, breath taking, joyful and heart breaking... I read that true love always won... that true love conquered all.. and since that's pretty much what I'd been taught in church and reading the Bible it didn't seem all that unreal or unreasonable to me - in spite of never really having experienced that kind of love first hand or having seen it between my parents or family members.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant (5) or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; (6) it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. (7) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I believe to this day, with all my heart that I truly loved the person I was in a relationship before my husband. He ended up being abusive and it took me 3 years to finally walk away. I know you're thinking.. she probably said she stayed because she loveeeeed him and that is what most women in those types of situations do say. Well I did love him but I stayed because I was scared, and young and naive and didn't know any better. When I finally left it wasn't because I realized that I didn't love him.. I did.. it was because I realized that I loved myself more. Sometimes love means walking away - especially if it's one sided.

That relationship put a big dent in my view of love. I could say there were many other factors in there as well - my birth father was never a part of my life (abandonment issues).. I never felt like I belonged or fit in with my own family (never good enough).. or really that I was even liked, much less loved by most of them (unlovable)... I have always been different from everyone else I've ever known... I didn't have a relationship with my mother... the list goes on and on and while some, hell probably most of those things probably had and to some extent still have some effect on the way I love and allow myself to be loved they never broke the dream of what I, in the deepest part of my heart, believed love was supposed to be.

All the hurts and let downs I've had in my life never crushed me to the point where I gave up on or stopped believing in love.

After leaving my ex it took 5 years of being single before I even dared the idea of putting myself 'out there' again and even attempt dating much less opening myself up to loving someone or being loved in return, but I finally did and I met my husband.. whom I love dearly.. and who loves me dearly in return.

But even with that love being returned things aren't the way I dreamed they would be.

Lately I've been feeling lost in life...my joy seems to have gone missing and I'm having a hard time finding it. This funk, for lack of a better word, I've found myself in has resulted in me becoming much more 'needy' of my husband than I usually am and it's also made me much more aware and affected by things he does that I normally would be able to brush off. When I ask for your attention I want it NOW, not when you finish the level you're playing on your game, or when you finish reading a couple of e-mails or whatever it is that you're doing that doens't involve your very real human live wife! It's also brought me back to what my idea of love is...

My husband says that the kind of love I talk about only exists in movies or romance novels. He says that the husband I want him to be isn't reasonable, realistic or even possible. I say he's wrong.

This leaves me in a scary place... I believe with all of my heart and soul that the kind of love I believe in is real... and I believe that my husband and I are 100% capable of experiencing it and showing it to one another, but I wonder can two people who've never been shown or experienced that kind of true love find their way to it.

My husband's parents divorced when he was young - his mom and dad fought a lot and from what I understand didn't have the best relationship. His mom remarried as did his dad and while both are still married to their respective spouses neither of them have a kind of relationship I'd call normal or healthy. His mom & step-dad are pretty apathetic about life in general. I've never seen them be affectionate to one another or heard them tell each other I love you. His dad and step-mom are an uber Christian version of a Stepford house. His dad is the 'man' of the house and his step-mom does his every bidding and agrees with everything he says. Neither of those reflect the kind of marriage I want.

So neither of us grew up with great examples of healthy happy love... and where I'm apparently a romantic at heart, he's a very fact based, scientific reasoning driven realist. Which lately leaves us both in a not so happy place.

I believe that next to God your spouse comes first. I believe that a human living wife should take precedent over ANY electronic devise - well unless it's a defibrillator and someone is in cardiac arrest - and that it takes spending time together, communicating and cherishing each other to have a happy marriage.

I believe....I believe that I've come to a point where I'm stumbling over words and have no idea where I want or need to go with this anymore....

I guess that's the thing about using writing as a cathartic means... you just write until you get out what you need to get out and eventually - finished thought or not - you run out of steam.

Ladies and gents I seem to have reached that point... I'm spent. My heart is breaking, my soul is weary and I'm deep down to the bone tired.

I spent a lot of time crying today and calling out to God for some kind of peace... some kind of help to regain the joy I used to have in life, to regain the connection I used to feel with Him and a way to fill the emptiness that is currently devouring my soul... and while I didn't get an audible response I do think He answered.

We have rows and rows of books in our apartment and searching for something - anything - I came across "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. I'm a big believer that God puts things in front of you when you need them most so I'm believing out of all the spiritual and religious books we have that this one stood out most for a reason.

"The Purpose Driven Life"  is 40-day spiritual journey that will transform your answer to life's most important question: "What on earth am I here for?"

And I think that's just what I need.

God is truly amazing in ways I can't even begin to put into words... as I'm typing this, crying, feeling lost I had a thought come through my mind... a quiet thought that.. in trying to be the best wife I can I've forgotten how to be the best ME I can.... In getting caught up in the role of spouse, I've lost who I am in the role of ME. In trying to once again take care of someone else in my life, I've stopped taking care of ME.

I expect I'll write a lot in the next 40 days... and Praise God I also expect I'll find my way back to who I really am in Him.. and I'll find my way to being the wife my husband needs and finding the man I need in my husband. Because in Him I KNOW the kind of love I dream about is real.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Responsible Parenting... or 'To be or not to be.. preggo'

Fist let me say that I absolutely despise the word 'preggo'. I think it's tasteless and low class, but for this post I think it fits.

When I was a kid I never wanted to be a doctor, or a astronaut or a famous actor or singer. I wanted to be a wife and a mom.

Ok there was that year I wanted to be a fighter pilot (thank you Tom Cruise) but that only lasted until I realized that A) women weren't allowed to fly (back then anyway) and B) I was horribly afraid of heights.. and flying meant high HIGH heights!

Considering the family dynamic I grew up in I find it a little odd that being a wife and mom was my deepest desire - my parents fought horribly on a fairly regular basis and my mother's 'mothering' was more in line with Mommy Dearest than Leave it to Beaver, but for as long as I can remember all I wanted to be when I grew up was a wife and a mom. I imagined by the time I was 25 I would be married with at least one child. I wanted the whole tire swing in the front yard & white picket fence dream. As you may have guessed that didn't happen.

When I was in my late twenties I found out I had a defunct uterus. I ovulate - sometimes - but I don't shed the lining (Aunt Rose rarely visits me) like I'm supposed to which makes my uterus an angry confused place - not conducive for baby making. I've been told with 'assistance' I can possibly become pregnant, but the who's and what's of that are complicated and to be honest a little scary, not to mention incredibly expensive.

My husband and I are 100% for adoption if that becomes the only option but we're also 100% in agreement that until we are in a relatively comfortable place financially it would be horribly irresponsible  and incredibly selfish to even consider having or bringing a child into our family. - Which brings me to the topic of this post.....

I've made the comment before to friends and family that my husband and I don't want to have children until we can afford them, and I've been told that "you'll never be able to afford children". Now you're either shaking your head in agreement with that statement or you're raising your eyebrow like I did.

What does it mean to be able to afford children? Does it mean you have one year's worth of back-up emergency money in the bank? Does it mean you're debt free and the expense of a new baby would barely dent your finances? Does it mean you're husband makes enough money that you can easily afford to have a baby & be a stay at home mom? I don't think it has to mean anything as dramatic as that but I DO think that if you're currently only able to put a few dollars in savings (and I do mean a few!) after paying your bills then you 100% most definitely can NOT afford a kid.

If you or your spouse haven't been able to keep a stable job for more than 6 months in the past 5 years, then you most definitely can NOT afford a child.

If you're borrowing money from your parents/grandparents/friends etc to make ends meet then you most definitely can NOT afford a child.

And if you've only been with your baby daddy a few months, are jobless, live with your momma, or his momma you sure as HELL can NOT afford to have a child.

There are a dozen other situations I could describe but I think you get the point of what I'm saying.

Yet these are the people who are dropping babies like it's the most responsible thing in the world to do and I just don't get it.

While my family, growing up, wasn't what you would call poor, we definitely didn't have any major cash reserve in the bank. I remember as a kid hearing my parents stress about money and fight because one wanted to do something & the other said we couldn't afford it.

I remember not going to homecoming, or prom, or getting a letter jacket (yes I could have lettered!), or a class ring, or any number of things that make a high school experience memorable because I was told we just didn't have the money. At 36yrs old I clearly remember the stress and tension money issues caused in our house and I would NEVER willingly put another child through that.

I've been married for just over a year,  and my husband and I both have good stable jobs; and I still to this day want more than anything in the world to be a mother and my baby clock is not far from its last tick, but we would not even THINK about trying to have or adopt a baby right now because it would just be too much of a strain on our finances.

There are more people in my family who have kids that can't afford them than I can shake a stick at. Hell there are more people in this country - psh the world that have kids they can't afford that I can't even imagine or possibly conceive the level of selfishness and irresponsibility it would take for me to bring a child into a financially strapped family situation no matter how much love my husband and I have to give.

Children going hungry, growing up in orphanages, growing up feeling unloved, neglected, a burden to their families, becoming introverted and sad from not knowing how to deal with or understand the stress you sense between your mom or dad... whether 'parents' realize it or not these are all possible outcomes of having a child when you truly can not afford it.

It's not like I'm talking about kids getting knocked up because they were stupid. I'm not even talking about ladies in their 20's or 30's who get caught in an 'accident' after a night on the town and too many drinks - although those women should be smacked in the head too - I'm talking about grown women who know good and damn well they have no business getting pregnant not being responsible enough to prevent it.

I'm going to piss some people off in my family with this post but they piss me off being so selfish and irresponsible so we'll be even.

Anyway - the more I write about this the more indignant I get so I'm going to turn it over to you.

What's your opinion on becoming parents? Is it 'OK' if a woman forgets to take her pill and gets knocked up? Is it responsible to actively try to get pregnant when you can't even pay your house note?

Or are you like me and my husband and think being a parent is the most amazing rewarding precious gift in the world and the act of becoming one should be treated with responsibility, selflessness and respect?

Does having ovaries and a womb give us the right to bring a child into this world whether we can afford it or not, or just because we 'want' to be a parent or because we were careless about getting busy?

***Disclosure - I do want to say that I am in no way, shape or form a supporter of abortion or ending an unplanned pregnancy. I am one bajillion percent pro-life.

That being said we live in a day and age with resources enough that there really is no excuse to not be actively preventing pregnancy if we know it's not in the best interest of anyone involved to get knocked up!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hello Blog... it's Me Again

Tap, tap, tap... is this thing on? Is anyone out there?

I've gone and done it again... taken an unintentional haitus from blogging.

I've not quite figured out yet why I do that.. skip writing for long periods of time. It's not like I don't have computer access, or lack of things to write about. I think that maybe, even though I write to help me get through life when things start to seem 'too much', that occassionaly they get too 'too much' to even process in thought much less type.

I do notice though that I don't feel as centered or settled when I don't write so I'm making a promise to myself (and those of you who read me!) that I'll do my absolute best to stay more active in the blogosphere from now on.

My last entry was Dec 2011 so I'll do a quick recap of all that has gone on since then for this post then get back to my normal type entries from here on.

My job with the BP oil spill relief as a contractor for the USFWS ended Dec 23rd and I spent the next 4 months being unemployed and freaked out by the underwhelming job opportunities in Gulf Shores, AL. I've never in my life had trouble finding work, but when you live in a tourist city and the primary work force consists of retail, hotel or fast food options for a highly skilled Admin are few and far in between.

Praise be to sweet baby Jesus I finally found a job! On April 30, 2012 I started working as the Executive Admin for a Media Consultant. It's an entirely new field for me and in less than a month I've already learned a boat load of very interesting new stuff! If you're as well versed in this field as I am you may be asking - 'what exactly does a media consultant do?'. In this case we do radio. Well, other forms of media too but primarily radio.

My boss is somewhat of a big deal in the radio world and I'm finding it very cool and rewarding to work for someone who's experience and work is so well known and respected. I've worked for CEO's & company presidents before but other than within their own company they were relatively unknown. That cannot be said about my boss...when it comes to radio his name is very familiar & I'm finding that quite neat.

As for what a media consultant in radio does - the long and short of it is they consult radio stations. That includes anything from suggesting what kind of music to play, to creating the format and developing on-air talent for a morning show. We do studies and reports and panels to find out what people are listening to music-wise and what they want to hear conversation-wise on the radio. Suffice to say there's a LOT more to radio than what most people & I thought!

Other than the search for work life has been pretty normal.

Matthew is steadily working his way up in his job & is waiting approval for his 3rd raise & 2nd promotion in the last year and I am so incredibly proud of him.

My health has been... eh. Still having issues with the intestines and for the last almost 3 months I've been dealing with one infection or virus after another. If it's not sinus, it's stomach, or upper respiratory. So far 2012 has not been a fantastic year for good health for me. I'm fairly sure I've coughed up part of one of my lungs today, but without insurance going to the doctor just isn't in the cards. As long as I can breath & walk I'll work & when it gets to the point where I can't do one of those we'll figure out how to scrape pennies together & schedule an appointment. And since we'll be spending the next few months catching up our finances from me being on unemployment for 4 months I'm thinking it will be some time before we have spare pennies. So if you'd send healing prayers, thoughts, vibes or whatever it is you believe in my way I'd be incredibly appreciative!

I don't want this catch up post to end up being overly long so I'm going to wrap now, but I WILL be back soon to update and share with you all what exciting things have been and are going on in my life!

Thanks for reading & I hope you stick around :)