So, as coworkers and I are packaging pasta today at a volunteer event, one of my coworkers is asking people “what’s your story?” We meet a guy who grew up in Minnesota, went to college in Minnesota, met a girl in college, married her and now they’re raising two sons out in the suburbs. He’s got a nice office job, his wife’s a teacher, there is talk of parents and in-laws who are still married, teaching kids to ride bikes, date nights.
And then…the question eventually turns to me. Jennifer…What’s your story? And I cringe. Continue reading My Story
I have technically been single since October 2, 2010. I say technically, because it took us awhile to act broken up – bout February/March 2011 we finally stopped acting like a couple. Several people have blamed my being stuck in singlehood since then on my being “too picky.” The first time I heard this, I was shocked. Now that I have heard it several times, I feel the need to explore this theory and why I disagree with it. Straight away I just want to say that I believe a certain level of “pickiness” or standards is appropriate, that one should know what they want, what they like, what they don’t like, what they will not tolerate and should value themselves enough that they don’t just settle for the first person to give them a little attention!
So, lets look at the gents I summarily dismissed, shall we? Continue reading Me? Picky?!?!
This past week I have been thinking about family even more than usual and what it really means. For those of you that don’t know me, you could say I come from a rather dysfunctional family, and that’s putting it lightly. My mom and I have had a rollercoaster of a relationship, I have thought at times that I would never speak to her ever again and would be ok with that, but then we always patch things up – because she’s my mom. My dad would have turned 68 on Thursday, August 15, but he did not as he died June 22 of this year. I only really built a relationship with him in my late teens, and it had never been one that flowed super easily, but I did love him and do miss him. My kids haven’t seen their dad since January 13th and haven’t seen their grandparents or any of their other family on their dad’s side since Christmas of last year. Nobody has made any attempt at seeing them or talking to them, the only effort has come from them, two little girls wanting what every child wants.
I wanted so desperately to give my children a “better” family than the one I grew up in. I wanted them to grow up having cousins who they had an unbreakable bond with, I wanted them to have a dad who they would grow up calling dad and whom they knew they could always depend on. I envisioned large family gatherings, reunions, their having a dad who would proudly be at every milestone in their lives; every time they spoke, sang, or played an instrument on stage, every time they scored in a game or advanced in their chosen passion, every time they graduated, when they first moved away, when they got married and had babies of their own. I hoped for them that they would never know the pain of feeling neglected or abandoned, that I could keep them from being hurt by people they cared about at least until they were old enough to go through their first inevitable break-up. Continue reading The One Thing I Can’t Give Them
I am a complex creation full of contradictions
can’t place me in a box for your own easy categorization.
I am weak and strong,
insecure and confident,
lonely yet never alone.
I am a mother who loves deeply,
yet a daughter who still wishes she’d known a mother’s love.
I love deeply and passionately
am hurt easily, yet forgive just as easily.
I am giving and compassionate
but will not be used or taken advantage of.
I do not like solitude; I am comforted by noise,
I like to stay busy but sometimes am overwhelmed by all life’s to-do’s.
I am a hopeless romantic who has been heartbroken,
yet mended the tattered pieces,
so that I can be whole when I find my life partner.
I’m on the verge of being an atheist
yet still find comfort in the beauty and ritual of my old church,
am spontaneous and adventurous and despise the word structure,
yet have learned to live a life that is very scheduled most days
with work and school and children and obligations.
I love learning and reading and writing,
poetry probably saved my adolescent self from self-destructing.
I am a bleeding-heart liberal
who pro-created with an ultraconservative country boy,
and am now raising two amazing daughters who want to save the world.
I spend most of my money on experiences, not things,
love to travel, fall in love with a place but never go back, as I want to see the whole world first!