Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Putting a price on me

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I just had my 31st birthday... or as I lovingly referred to it "the 10th anniversary of my 21st birthday." How did I get here? What does my age mean? What is expected of me now?

I don't think I have any "normal" perception of aging or achievement. Two key people in my life died when I was very young- and as I now realize, so were they young- 26 and 55.

In second grade, pretty much everyone is "old" or "big" - even the 3rd graders were kind of scary. I never really had an accurate portrayal of "normal" and so began to define it myself. First and foremost, based on my experience, was ALIVE. Yes how sad, but in fact I knew too much death and it seemed so prominent, but I looked at what other people were doing and where their moms and dads and grandparents were, and yes, alive seemed to be the common denominator. (note to 2nd grade self- do not do anything that might make you want to kill yourself or may cause death)

Next in succession were: educated and/ or employed, with transportation, and a HOME. Hmmm, everybody was doing it. Work towards those. As I did, I found I possessed "everything" everyone else that seemed normal did, but I was unhappy. I even had "faith" as we were practicing catholics. Why still so empty?

So as I carry on, working life as I have defined it, I come to realize that all of those things do not define ME. I am emotionally empty with no self esteem.

Well read any woman's magazine (I am a woman now right? at all of 21 with two kids, a divorce and a failing marriage, obese and struggling.... ) and it will tell you you need to cook, clean, have beautiful children, all while looking great and being a sex machine, oh and good credit and the latest greatest cars and media technology will help finish the package.

hmm I guess I have NOTHING to bring to the table and I am worthless according to "Woman's World" oh and "Oprah" too. Now what? Buy house, lose weight, lease current year car (MINI VAN WITH BUILT IN DVD HEADRESTS EVEN!), master blow jobs, buy designer baby clothes, cook great food, and pay all bills early. Oh and work full time and keep house immaculate. PERFECT! right? no... still didn't feel any better than before.

House forecloses, car gets repossessed, kids get thrift store clothes, husband dies, move back home, gain 150 more lbs. Well WTF? I am still me... and no more or no less happy or unhappy.

What changed? Everything, but nothing. My situation changed, my surroundings changed, but I was still me inside.

What happened that helped me find happiness? I learned to tell the truth, to expect the truth, and to accept nothing else. In every aspect of my life. I faced the truth about who I am, what I have, and don't. What matters to ME> Not YOU, not my neighbor, not the government, not the PTA, or GASP the covenant homeowners association. (eek am I as bad as the neighbor with the PURPLE house?!?!?!!?)

I have morals and standards that I have worked hard to define. I have been stripped of everything material, lost the right to take care of my kids for 6 loooong months, been homeless, carless, jobless and I found a way to work past it and make myself happy on the inside without drugs. What could be better?

I know that telling my husband the truth is more important than the brand name on my purse. When exactly EVER is the name on my purse important to me? Is it capable of it's job or is it a paid for expression of falseness? Who decides? The annoying lady at the mall with the name brand purse? Looking down her nose at my purse? Feeling superior because hers says "PRADA"? Well guess what? Mine still holds my keys, wallet, receipts, medicine, cell phone, makeup, has been thrown up on, had a sippy cup spilled in it, washed 5 times, and only cost me $10 at Ross and it still looks good! Functionality makes me happy. Not brand names.

Looking like something- means something to her. BEING something means something to me.


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6 comments:

  1. emotionally empty with no self esteem. wow, how can that be when i am so damn emotional!!
    i mean really we had couples therapy last night and the therapist said ' why do you think you are not worth taking care of?'
    it was like wait a minute we came here to talk about him!!
    humbling to say the least but maybe there is some truth to it. emotionally empty huh? well i know i am working on self esteem, because today i don't hate the reflection in the mirror. that is real growth for me.
    great post, great quote. very powerful.

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  2. What a beautiful way to honor yourself and the 10th anniversary of your 21st birthday.

    Your life is truly encouraging.

    I appreciate your journey into simplicity.

    Happy Birthday!!!!

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  3. How about a 10 year countdown to your 41st birthday.

    Happy Birthday.

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  4. Happy Birthday! You are young but oh so wise for such a tender age as 31 :)

    I love your attitude on life. I cant stand where I live - its ALL about the name brands, nice cars, etc. I am a misfit here and proud of it. I suppose I could move but I can't beat the price I am paying for rent right now ($0).

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  5. I love this post and the strength and conviction it portrays. I hope you have a happy birthday and many more truly HAPPY ones to come. BTW, I hate designer labels, labels period.

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  6. Well I agree with you. The beauty comes from inside and it is a state of being that does not depend on material things. Great Journey !

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