Friday, July 10, 2009


It wasn't supposed to be like this. This is not how I planned for things to go. I didn't think that I would ever have to hire a lawyer to ensure the custody of my child. Even when I unexpectedly became pregnant, I didn't think that things would end up this way. I thought that I would finish college, eventually marry my child's father, and live happily ever after. This was not supposed to happen.

But, where is it written that a fairy-tale ending must be present for happiness to occur? Why is it that I have to have a knight in shining armor rescue me to be content? Someone tell me why women feel like they must have some sort of a man to be happy. I am going to be my own knight.

People keep saying, "You will find someone who makes you happy." What does that mean? Why do I have to find anyone? Why is there this constant search for happiness? I can make myself happy. I can take care of myself. There is not some enchanted being out there waiting to make me happy. If I am not content with myself, how will I ever be content with another? Why does society push this goal upon a woman?!

I spoke with my grandmother about ending my relationship with Nora's father. She felt like it was a good decision. She then told me a story about a girl who also ended a relationship in a similar way. She said, "Now her daughter is two, and she met this nice guy who is just crazy about both of them. They got married last year, and now she is pregnant. They were at church last week, and he was so sweet to her." Blah, blah, blah. It is like the only option for my life is to eventually find some man who will accept my child, so that I can then have more babies. This is clearly the only way to be happy; this is the only way to live out a full life: be married, have kids, go to church. You know the story. It is the original American dream

So many people are stuck in this situation. It is as though that life is the only option. It may be an option. And, if it happened to me, I might be extremely happy in that sort of situation, but why is it that people, women more especially, feel like it is the only option? Why can I not be happy as a single woman and mother? Where is this rule written!? And why, why is it that going to church is always magically involved? "They met at church," "I saw them at church."

Damn the Bible belt.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I have the sweetest child ever born. I know that many would argue this opinion, but it is true. I am biased, being her mother and all, but she is amazing.

When I lie on the floor with her while she plays she will periodically crawl over to me and lay her head down on my chest, forehead, leg, etc. I always pat her back, and then she will look up at me and grin. She also does this nearly every morning when she awakes, and she sometimes gives me a kiss in the morning as well. She often crawls on to my lap to have a little snuggle. She has the most delightful personality.

Nora will be 10 months old next week. She is standing alone. She pulls up and crawls, of course. She is waving now. She can give kisses. She is into everything. Nora forgets nothing. She is not one of those babies that you can hide something from. She remembers, and she looks for the object. She is stubborn, a quality that her father and I both share, one of the only qualities we share.

As I was thinking all of these things this morning, I heard my neighbor yelling at her daughter. She has a sweet little two year old girl. This child apparently did not want to go all the way down a flight of stairs to get into a car by herself. The entire idea seems dangerous and unnecessary to me, but I am not her mother. Then, her mother noticed that she had apparently put on shoes that didn't match her outfit. I've heard that this sort of this sometimes happens when two year old children are told to dress themselves, but what do I know about such things? So, this woman then yelled at her daughter, but she didn't just yell. There was hate in her voice as she screamed, "Goddamn it, Riley!"

I cried. I cried for that poor child and all of the things that she has gone through and will continue to go through.

My life is not in the state that I'd like it to be in right now. I am trying to do things to get myself out of the state that I am in, no pun intended (I do want to leave the state). My life is infinitely harder because I have a small child to take care of day in and day out. I do not resent her for this hardship. She did not ask to come into this world. She is a true joy. I do not understand, I cannot grasp no matter how hard I try, why parents take out that sort of anger on a child.

One thing that I have learned thus far is that life is full of choices. Choices are what make life bearable. Those choices have consequences. One has to make the best of those consequences. Sometimes we have to do things that we do not want to do. One choice that I will not make is the choice to resent my child. I will instead suck it up (to use an unfortunate cliche), and do everything in my power to make things better. Things will get better.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Today was not a good day. I woke up alone. I got ready. I went to DHS for an appointment. I picked up some lunch from my apartment. I went to work.

When I got to work, my boss asked me come into an empty office with her. I knew that it was not going to be a good talk. She told me that I had been laid off. This is never good news, but for me it was exceptionally bad. I have just moved out into a new apartment. Four days ago I signed the year lease. I am trying to get on HUD and foodstamps. I am a full-time student. I am a single mom. I cannot pay the bills at the moment. I am in the middle of trying to get custody of my child.

I went to the unemployment office after I had calmed down a bit. What I learned there is that I will be receiving more money on unemployment than I was making when I was working. That is a fucked up system. It is no wonder that people don't work, stay lazy, become obese, stay on foodstamps (SNAP) and welfare (TEA). The system makes it too easy. I am not the sort of person that takes advantage of the system, but I do understand why people do so.

They make it impossible to get ahead when you are trying to do so, but they make it extremely easy to be incompetent and idle.

The lady that I spoke with at the unemployment office told me that while I am on unemployment I need to make two job contacts a week. I asked her how to go about reporting these contacts. She said, we will ask you if you make the contacts, and you answer yes or no. That is astounding.

I am now hoping to find a job that will help mold my future. The job that I had did not have anything to do with the sort of job I would like to have in the future. I am hoping to make some good contacts, and move towards my career, whatever it may be.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Today it all began to cave in. I needed solitude, if only for a an hour. My mom took Nora to church with her, so I got a little bit of free time.

I drove without thinking; I didn't know where to go. I ended up at a cemetery. Maybe on a subconscious level I thought that these ancient souls and decaying bodies could solve my problems. Maybe the realization of death can somehow ease life's aches. For whatever reason, I ended up at Lunenburg.

The grass seemed exceptionally green, the trees abnormally large. As I walked from stone to stone, I did not feel alone. The number of lives that have been led, that are being led is staggering. I touched the moss covering the names of forgotten people. I wept for the young and old, resting and writhing under my feet. I delicately touched the broken tombstones. I let my touch linger on the name of a child. I fell upon my knees, weeping for those that I do not know.

When I arrived at the cemetery, I thought that I would somehow receive answers to unspoken questions, attain the solutions to my problems. I am still unsure about what I did obtain. I know that I will ponder the moments spent there for months to come. I know that their spirits touched me today, in an unexpected and discerning way.

It made me think of a poem by Emily Dickinson.

I died for beauty, but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.

He questioned softly why I failed?
"For beauty," I replied.
"And I for truth - the two are one;
We brethren are," he said.

And so, as kinsmen met a-night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.