Memories, and My (Online) Self

I have two #Reverb13 prompts to respond to today because once again yesterday I chose fun over blogging. Which is a good thing 🙂


Which memories from this year do you wish to keep with you always?

I have to say, the first six months of 2013 were probably the longest and hardest months of my life. I had just lost my job at the end of December and spent the first half of the year on unemployment, which, as some of you may be unfortunate enough to know, makes one feel pretty hopeless.

But spring rolled around, and new friends moved into my life and my heart. They filled me up with things that I had been missing for years when it comes to friendships, and for that I am eternally grateful – that they pulled me up out of myself.

There were a few weeks in the summer when I was house sitting for a friend who was away, and during that time I used her nice, big house as a personal refuge and playground – it was wonderful to spend some time out of the trailer park and in a real house with a real yard that my daughter could play with. But, even more there were days and nights where all my friends and I did was sit around in folding chairs in the driveway, watching the traffic and people go by, shooting the shit, smoking cigarettes and weed (yes, I do those things) and we got to know each other better, to the point where I could say “best friend.”

Those days in the summer I’ll hold on to forever, but there was another moment too –

My daughter has special needs, and every year we have to have meetings with her school support staff – the PT and OT specialists, the special education teachers, the reading specialist, the classroom teacher, the principal…. The Planning and Placement Team meeting that happens at the beginning of every school year is the most stressful thing I do all year (usually) and for the first time this year, all of the news was golden, all of the progress is on the up and up – my daughter is doing great in school this year. I’ll never forget walking out of my first PPT meeting with tears of joy barely falling from my eyes, rather than tears of woe that we have to go through all this for her. I am so, so proud of my baby girl, and I hold on to that pride and that memory of the perfect PPT meeting for at least as long as she’s in school.

And the second #reverb13 prompt for the day is: Show us your selfie.

Um, no. This is an anonymous blog, so here I am:

cropped-janiedoh200.jpg

Just a girl writing her way through life, day after day, with a pen in her hand and a keyboard under her fingertips. And for now, that is all you need to see of me.

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Why I Sort of Hate Thanksgiving

I’m going to be honest, I don’t really like Thanksgiving. I read so many sappy posts yesterday about people being thankful for this that and the other thing, and yes, we all know you are thankful for your children and families and friends first – they always come first – but my God, I feel like with the advent of social media, Thanksgiving has become another day for people to brag about what they have and it rubs in the faces of people like me, who don’t have.

I have a very small family. VERY SMALL. It’s my daughter, my parents, my sister, and me. I have grandparents who live in Florida that we see once a year, but that’s it. No aunts & uncles, no cousins, nada. There’s a long story behind that – that my parents essentially estranged us from the rest of the family because of petty fights.

I remember Thanksgivings of my childhood when my grandparents and my mother’s sister came with her family, I remember Christmases of piling into the car after breakfast and driving down to my other grandma’s house before she died and spending the day with TONS of family members, because my dad’s side of the family is huge. But, for certain reasons that’s over now.

Now, Thanksgiving dinner feels like any other meal, except with turkey. It’s just my parents, my sister, and me – my daughter spends every Thanksgiving with her dad’s family because I get her on Christmas.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, my friends are sitting down to feasts in filled houses with filled up hearts.

Of course I’m thankful for my family and friends.

But somehow the day just  makes me feel all the little holes in my heart just a little bit more than other days, and that kind of sucks.