When I moved to California from Illinois I noticed that I did not fit in with my peers. I didn't speak the vernacular and I was too uptight. I vowed to work on that and to become more "California." Well, ten years later, I have come to the conclusion that my language skills are deteriorating. My writing is sub-par. I need work. I have forgotten how to use big words. The very fact that in my mind they are "fancy" words highlights my problem.
If I wasn't a mother (God forbid) I would enroll myself in a PhD program - either for literature or writing. I am fully aware that I can not balance school and motherhood at this current moment. Nor am I interested in having Sadie watched by other people so I can attend school. My solution is I will be creating my own academic challenges. Currently I am reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. My ability to understand language dissimilar from 2011 vernacular is so dismal that I need to read each sentence quietly out loud to even know what I am reading. Years of reading literature for fun has taught me how to speed-read without retaining much of the information offered on the page.
I am fascinated with how difficult it is to focus in this day and age. When I was growing up AIM was a distraction but I didn't have a smart phone and an ipad singing to me every time someone comments on my Facebook page or I receive an email. The distraction is insane. I can barely focus. Between Sadie and the electronics I cannot stay on task. This is also eye opening in terms of my children and the type of boundaries they will have regarding their electronics. I am thinking the cell phone, laptop, ipad, mp3 player and computer will all be on lockdown during homework hours...
As for myself, ideally I would like to have set times I check my email/Facebook and the rest of the time I can focus on my goals and task list. It's amazing how many distractions we have in this culture that deter us from attaining success. Free time that used to be a time for creativity and reflection is now sucked up by mindless entertainment found online.
I am loving Walden. The language is complex and time consuming and the concepts are philosophical and timeless. I would like to introduce a quote from the book and discuss it in detail.
"Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate."
That quote speaks to me directly. Growing up I looked to my parents to tell me who I was going to be as an adult. As a young adult I looked to teachers, friends, and enemies to forecast my future. I searched for clues in astrological sites. I wrote letters to the Rebbe for clues. I soul searched with everyone I knew begging for pointers regarding my life. I worried about what my enemies thought. I spent so much time searching for the answer I didn't do anything. My early 20's came and went without any great triumphs. I tried to get into law school because my parents said I would make an excellent lawyer. Two LSATs later, with two unsatisfying scores, and three years of tying to get into law school, my parents were the only people who believed I would make a good lawyer. I'm 27 now and I stay at home with my child. For the first time in my life I am keeping my weight down without throwing up, starving myself or hating myself. On days that I indulge I don't take myself down.
Motherhood, interestingly enough, brought about a sense of satisfaction. Sadie, my daughter, adores me. She does not judge me for having a bad gpa in college or not getting into law school or having no career. She loves me because I am good to her. I know I am a good mother. I know I am pretty. I know that eating too much one day or even one week will not destroy my good health and slimmer physique. My fate is finally starting to come together as I release my grip on it. Once I have stopped trying to make my future happen, my future is unfolding. My writing career is taking off as I have found my voice again and will begin submitting pieces in hope of starting a career as a writer. I am a good wife and a great mother. I am a good friend. I am becoming closer to God without even realizing that was important to me. I am satisfied with myself and I am finally happy. Moreover, by finding satisfaction with myself I am inadvertently destroying the power my enemies had over me. By being positive and kind to myself I am creating the fate I wanted and didn't know how to get. No, I will never be the next Julius Caesar, but a girl can dream.
Meet the Blogger!
I'm a mom. A writer. A lover of good fantasy. A proponent of nursing when possible. A birth advocate. I am absolutely horrible at keeping my house clean or the dishes washed or the laundry done. I strongly believe in women having a positive birth. When we start to respect women's rights to birth the way they want, we can start to treat women as equal people in this world.
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