It started at the age of 30. I secured my freedom on the road to becoming self-sufficient. The delicious thrill of being on my own, living, thinking and having time for me.
I was married at the age of 24. The first two years was stella. The last four years were like scenes from Dante’s Inferno. At the age of 30 with the help of my family and friends I escaped.
Twenty three years later, four degrees, one self-published novel, three successful seasons singing first Soprano with the New York City Downtown Chorus, and a supporting role in the Christian play “Oh Lord Why did I get Married?”
Hooray you say job well done.
So, why do I feel like a failure? Years of working three-part time jobs to pay for college and to keep a roof over my head. The end results I haven’t gotten that high paying dream career I worked so diligently to have.
I thought at this stage I would have a better partner to settle into a long-term loving relationship. Another pipe dream lost. The final blow I live in a state (New York City) where the landlord’s greed rules and even though everyone’s money is the color of green, if a person is white and can pay higher rent they are privileged to live in the best neighborhoods.
I am faced with making the choice of sharing an apartment after living in my own space for twenty-three years. I ask myself over and over, How can I co-habitate with a stranger? I am a clean freak, who likes a quite home, a peaceful home is important for me to keep my sanity.
OMG. The fear of seeing someone’s boyfriend coming out of the bathroom in his underwear. Someone eating my food or secretly going through my belongings. The real estate market is such that living on one’s own would require working a tremendous number of hours to cover the rent alone.
Today, I had an appointment at a roommate finders’ agency, the realtor asked me” what am I willing to give up to acquire a place where I can have all my belongings with me, and to make a fresh start.”
At this present moment, I don’t know how to answer that question.
What say you?
Today, I am grateful for my life. I’ve been observing the life style of some of my family and friends, and sometimes I secretly wished that I had what they have. But upon close investigation, I’ve come to understand that most of them that I’ve watched with the GREEN EYES of ENVY with all their material assets; house, cars, trips, expensive clothes, and other accessories, some of them lack peace and freedom. Let me explain, they seemed happy with all that they have gained, however, while a rare lunch date with my best friend, she confirmed my assumption, when she said, ” There are days that I wished that I could live like you.” I didn’t respond because I was thinking, she has a house, two cars, three beautiful children, and a husband who provides for her. She must be mad, I worked two jobs, ride public transportation ( took on the second job to save for a car), and I haven’t been in a relationship for six years.
Before I could question her, she continued. “I love my family, but I wished that I would have waited to live my life. You live free of the burdens of having to find a baby sitter for three kids in order to have date night, which is rare, or to go out with the few friends I have. Your house is always clean and quiet. In my house, I constantly hear voices, asking and demanding my time and attention. I’m totally depended on my husband financially and at time he is tight with money.Besides begin married for 15 years, having my children, I have nothing to show for what I have accomplished beyond my marriage. You travel, paid your way through college, published a book, your self-sufficient, and unlike the rest of the women in our circle you didn’t settle. When you marriage wasn’t working, you left and didn’t look back. Anyway, girl I’m venting, how is the new book coming?”
We continued to eat lunch and talked about my next book. We parted ways and when I arrived home, put the key in my door to be greeted by my dogs wagging tail of excitement, It was a that moment that I knew that I haven’t been grateful for my life. I have all that I need and my life is the exactly the way it should be.
What do you have to be grateful for?
Can I have a drum roll please…. The mother of the year award goes to…..
There is an ongoing debate about the qualities of a goof mother. Women in general have been tried judged and sentenced, by the majority who feel that a mother’s place is at home. With that being said, women who choose to become mothers; have had bricks thrown at them, and I say that in a literal sense. The populace defines a mother as one who bares the sole custodianship of caring for their offspring’s. Therefore, mothers who desire to function outside of their assigned gender role they must be able to withstand the storm of criticism by the unapproving masses. “Having It All, “meaning women who are balancing motherhood while perusing interest outside the home. The problems with “Having It All,” is the lack of support by a social order that dictates what women should be. By the way, women do not want to “Have it all, “They desire the opportunity and the freedom to express themselves outside the role of being a mother.
This is my story. what say You?
Dinner conversation with my mother went something like this:
Mother: “Why can’t today’s women be like the ladies of my time?”
Me: “Mom what are you taking about?”
Mother: “Look at how these so called modern girls dress, they don’t keep house well, can’t or won’t cook, and their behavior is out of control.”
Me: “Women of today are exploring what the world has to offer them.”
Mother: “Well, if you ask me, all of this freedom is causing problems in the home. The women who want to have a job over a husband and children is selfish.”
Me: “Most if not all the women from your generation (side bar my mother was born 1943) are living in denial, the world has changed and the nature of what women need and can do has evolved and so have their role in society.”
Mother: “That the problem women have forgotten their place. In my day women understood where we belonged, in the home, tending to our children, cooking and cleaning and making sure things in the home was right when our husbands came home.”
Me: “There are still women who desire to get married and have babies. However, there is nothing wrong with the few women who choose to either delay marriage and children or not to get married and have children. The major difference between your generation and mine is that we have choices, in your day you did not. I am sure that there were women of your time who did not want to get married as young as they did, but they had no choice or say in the matter.
Mother: That might be true but….
Me: No buts, mom, the women of your generation bash today’s women because they resent not having the freedom to explore life and make their own choices. I have heard many of your friend’s say, “if they could start life over, they would make better decisions.” What you see expressed by this generation is a reflection of what they view on reality shows; look around mother no one is teaching the young women of today good values. Look at the four daughters, you raised, you taught us proper valves like, self-respect, being self-sufficient and creative. You showed us how to think for ourselves, to dress and behave like women. Most important you gave and showed us that we are loved. Mom, most of the young women of today never experienced having a close bond with their mother or grandmother like me and my sisters did. The world has changed and it will continue to do so, instead of criticizing the modern women as you called them, show share with them what you have given me, cause at the end of the day, they want to be love, not looked down on.
What say you?