I used to think that
You could just tell a child ‘no’
And they would listen…
I used to think that
You could just tell a child ‘no’
And they would listen…
Lots of people ask me for advice. Well, okay, I’ll admit…they don’t ASK all the time. They just sit there, frowning, talking about all the things that are happening in their lives. All the things that are making them sad. All the things they wish they could change.
I admit, I’ve lost a few friends over this. I’m sorry, but if you have all these problems, and I’m a good enough friend to give you insight into what the problem is and how to fix it–and you agree– and you do nothing about it…I can’t associate with you. I can’t associate with weak people. I can look at them from a distance, but I can’t get too close. Weakness is like a disease…it spreads quickly like a wildfire and without bias.
MOMENTS of weakness are a different story. Everyone has them. Everyone can relate to making a decision that goes against everything you believe in just because it feels right at the time. Everyone’s done it. If you haven’t, I suggest you do it at least once to get an insight into what it feels like to let everything go, and just do what you feel…
Tangent aside, I like to give advice. I can’t stop myself. Ever. It gets me into trouble sometimes. but I don’t care. Don’t come to a bereavement counselling student and discuss your problems and NOT expect advice.
I have these two friends…they are a couple. We’ll call them Sam and Sally. Sam and Sally are “repeat offenders”, as I call them–people who have broken up and gotten back together before. They recently broke up again. Sally is a good friend of mine. She was in my wedding. She came over and was very upset. They had broken up a few days before, and I’d seen her right after it happened, two days later, and then finally, the night before they got back together.
She was a mess. Let’s say the breakup was a mutual thing. Sam acted like an asshole, Sally called him on it, he apologized, but the level of asshole-ness was too extreme at the time, so she had a hard time forgiving him right away. She dwelled on it, which lead to him dwelling on things, which lead to a mutual ‘dwelling’ phase. Until she realized she missed him. A lot.
She was over here, at ‘The Clinic’ as I call it (my couch), and I could tell someone had to do something. So I interfered.
I threw myself right into the middle of their problem. I got myself involved because I saw a need for something to happen.
You know that moment when you see something happening, and you feel like you could help? Like if you were to see a lost little boy wandering around in the city…or an old woman hobbling across a busy street?
Is that wrong? Even though I helped the situation and they got back together with better ideals, and a more concrete idea of what they BOTH want out of their relationship, and a deeper understanding of each other, should I have gotten involved? I think the answer is yes.
Well, the answer is Inertia.
Inertia is is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion. And object at rest stays at rest, until an external force acts upon it, giving it motion. And then once in motion, will not stop until another external force comes along and…well, you know the rest.
I am the external force.
I think everyone needs an external force at one time or another in their lives. You need someone, an unbiased outsider, to give you the low-down, down-low on your situation. Someone that can see both sides, and see where the problem is, and give it just a little push in the right direction.
In Sam and Sally’s case, they are just a young couple with nothing holding them together. No kids, they don’t share an apartment, they have nothing keeping them together besides their genuine desire to be together. True beauty. in it’s simplest form.
Sam and Sally needed some inertia.
Sometimes, all someone needs is a little push in the right direction. Some people don’t like to be the external force, but I don’t mind. There’s something gratifying about noticing that someone needs help, and them offering them your assistance.
Whatever the case may be.
Sam and Sally aside, there have been many times in my life that I, myself , have been given an external force. And I appreciate it. Whether good or bad, external forces bring you to new understandings, and new perspectives on life.
Giving birth to a child without any pain medications was a huge ‘external force’ for myself. It really gives you a new perspective of what pain really is, what strength really is, and what really matters in life. I guarantee if you speak to a first-time mom who had an epidural, versus a first-time mom who went all-natural, you’d have a Venn diagram with almost NOTHING in the middle. Besides the baby.
Death would have to be the ultimate external force.
The unexpected death of a loved one has been one of the biggest changing factors in my life, to date. Although the death was extremely painful to watch and deal with at the time, it has brought be to higher levels of appreciation and understanding for the life I have been given. It gave me purpose and direction, and a desire to excel. It gave me a better perspective on what to appreciate and what to hold dear to my heart.
We all need these external forces, regardless of how they come into our lives. Whether it’s a friend helping your situation (that’s what friends are for, right?), a huge life event, or the death of a loved one, we need all of these things to happen sometimes.
We all need something that rattles us to the core, something that wakes us up like a smelling salt. Something that reminds us that we are alive, and ever changing. Something that reminds us that while, yes, there are other people in the world, it is US, personally that need to take a stand in our own worlds, and make something happen for ourselves.
We all need something to live for, and sometimes we forget what those things are, until we receive our external forces.
This past weekend was great. Fabulous weather, fabulous family, fabulous life. So why the hell have I been crying all weekend, I ask myself. I never cry. EVER. I’m not a crier…never have been. So why the eff have I been a sobbing mess these last couple days? My period came and went with the same waves of angst, rage, and bitterness that always concludes with an uncomfortable day of whining…and that was it. Nope, that’s not the reason for the tears. Saturday-cry. Sunday-cry…WTF?
As I tried to figure out why I was such a hot mess this weekend, several reasons pop into my head.
We’re poor. I mean, really poor this month. As my husband and I assessed our bi-weekly finances, we realized we had about $4.54 left until Friday. Our car is almost paid off. As we’re nearing the end of our 75-year contract on our Cobalt, we have incurred late charges over the years. Now, since we’re at the end of the loan, we’ll have to pay extra this month and next, so that it is paid off on time. What’s an extra 50 bucks, you ask? Well…that 50 bucks means a lot. And I’m pretty sure that 50 bucks is why I’ve been a teary-eyed, red-faced, emotional wreck this past weekend.
My husband called his parents, who gave him gas money for the week. At least he’d be able to make it to work. I saw the 50 bucks on my kitchen table, and felt good. Then I opened the fridge and realized we didn’t have enough food for the week. I looked at our diaper supply which was dwindling down to about 4 diapers. DEF not gonna work. We talked about it, and I told him that I’d have to use that money on the table for food and diapers…we’d have to figure the whole ‘getting to work’ situation out…after our kid had the things he needs.
I decided I’d call my mother, and explain the situation to her. Maybe she could help.
Alas, she did not. Could not. Whatever you wanna call it.
As I hung up the phone, I began sobbing. HARD. The feeling of being 26 with a child and a family and not being able to get him the things he needs…well, it’s awful. I’m almost crying again as I write this all down.
This is the first time in quite a long time that we haven’t had money. We’ve successfully depleted our savings, and with another few months before I get my student loan disbursement, pretty sure there won’t be any ‘savings’ for a while.
My husband saw me there, crying. He decided to call his parents back and see if they could help us out. They said they would pick us up some groceries, and I felt a little better…a little.
Nolan went down for his nap, and then I heard a knock on the door. It was them. The ‘outlaws’, we like to call them. We opened the door to see them standing there, soaked from head to toe, holding several bags of groceries. These people went out and bought us food in the middle of a hail storm. Thunder, lightning, and pouring rain and hail. And then they delivered it to our door.
As they came in, I started unloading the food with shame. I felt awful. God damn it. Now I’m crying AGAIN. Aaaaanyway….
I mean, it’s awesome knowing that there are people that care about us, that will help us as much as they possibly can, but it is still so awful to know that if they hadn’t been there to help us this week, we would be selling our things at a pawn shop, or going to a food bank for food. Knowing that if I had gone to school a few years sooner, or NOT gotten laid off two years ago, that things would most likely be different. Looking at those groceries made me so thankful and so sad at the same time. I now understand the shame and sadness that TRULY poor people must feel every day.
As I unloaded the items, I couldn’t stop it. It was coming, and I knew it. I popped like a balloon filled with tears, and I exploded all over them. I don’t think they really understood why, but they’ll read this, and then they’ll get it.
So, as it would seem, the next month will be a difficult one. Spent pinching pennies, clipping coupons, and finding deals. After that, the car should be paid off, so that’s a good chunk of money we’ll be able to save, and with school starting back up soon, I’ll get my loan disbursements, and we should be back to normal.
On my drive home from work yesterday, I cried again. Same reasons. I realized that poor moms probably cry a lot. I also realize that there are people that have it much worse than us. There are people with no homes, living in shelters, and stealing food just to live. Then I remembered that, when I was a kid, my Dad used to do those things to support us. He used to go out in the middle of the night to find metal and cans and junk to scrap so he could put food on the table for us. He also did many more unsavory, undesirable, sometimes criminal things just to support his family.
I got home from work and saw my little boy, in our nice little apartment, watching a nice, big TV with his Daddy and that Anne Murray song started playing in my head…”even though we ain’t got money, I’m so in love with ya, honey.”
I know it could be much worse. And the amazing American Beauty quote comes to mind:
I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me… but it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will someday.
As I watch two kids,
I begin to realize things.
My one is enough.