Like many people on social media, I was immediately worried when I saw the missing person poster of Nayla Kidd, a student in New York who had gone missing. It was almost as if she had disappeared into thin air. As is my practice whenever I see a missing person poster, I prayed for her safe return. She was enrolled in a rigorous program of study at a pretty prestigious university. I followed the case fairly closely and was relieved then the news broke that she had been found safe and sound. You can read more about her story in her own words here. As I read her words I realized that her reasons for wanting to get away were very similar with that of many others. Life tends to happen so fast after high school. You get into college, you start working a job and you are immediately thrust into a path that sometimes already seems pre-destined. You’re expected to make adult decisions that can have a permanent impact on your career and life. I could identify with Nayla’s sentiments of feeling overwhelmed and upset with the current direction of her life. In her situation, she made a very deliberate choice to take a break from it all for a while. She needed time and space to consider her options and make decisions that were more in alignment with what she wanted out of life instead of forging forward through labs and classes that she didn’t enjoy. I don’t fault her for this at all. However, I also can’t imagine what it was like for her friends and family who were probably worried sick about her safety and well-being. Last summer a former college classmate of mine went missing for a long period of time. It wasn’t a case that got a lot of media attention but it had a horrific ending when her body was found in a lake. She was a beautiful soul who left behind 3 kids and the entire situation was just so numbingly sad. I say all this to say that a lot of anxious, tears and worries could have been avoided if Nayla had felt she could communicate her displeasure in her current situation and let someone know that she was fine but needed some time away. However, those type of declarations aren’t always supported or respected and this was probably one of the reasons why she didn’t feel comfortable sharing her plans with anyone. I’m so glad her story had a better ending than my college classmate and I hope she finds what she’s looking for.
Like many single people, I often get the chance to hear the reason why I’m single from many nice and well-meaning people. Personally, I find the unsolicited advice annoying but that’s a different topic. The reasons always vary and tend to involve some advice on self improvement. All well and good. This week I heard a new reason that seemed more ironic than the other ones I’ve heard up to this point. I was told that I’m single because I appear to be too independent and “put together” that it appears that I don’t need anyone. I will say that there’s a certain type of confidence that comes along with the continued ability to manage your bills and life without the input or assistance of a significant other. You make the hard decisions and life with the consequences alone. It may not always be ideal but you make it. But let’s be honest, people like being needed. There’s a certain security that comes along with knowing that you’re needed. You see couples who have broken up with both partner feeling utterly lost because they were so codependent on each other that they lost themselves in a relationship that ended. I think that there’s a balance or a sweet spot to be found concerning being “too” needy or “too” independent. Personally, it makes more sense to me to be too independent instead of too needy because it almost seems like the “lesser” evil. You have people with bucket lists of places that they want to visit and the only thing holding them back is finding someone to take along. Regardless of everything responsibilities have to be addressed and bills need to be paid. I think that’s just basic adulting stuff. It’s not an indication of being too independent to have a companion. But that’s just my opinion. So am I going to try to appear more needy for the sole purpose of landing a significant other? Nah.
When I moved into my new apartment I did something that I had always wanted to do—got cable television. Now granted I don’t have enough channels to even remotely keep up with things in the television world, but it’s been a decent deal. Of course my cable use has been supplemented with my TV antenna, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Videos so I really don’t miss a lot. I rarely watch things in real time but I’ve come to love the DVR. It’s so amazingly convenient to watch things when you want to. I’ve found a new favorite show to DVR–Modern Family. About 120 episodes worth if we’re being specific. It’s an awesome show about the daily life experiences and challenges of families. It’s not really a comedy but there’s this dry ironic underlying humor vibe that I like. Needless to say, watching an episode or so after a long day at work has been great for decompressing after a long frustrating day at work. It’s comfortable and doesn’t require a lot of thought…Self care right?
May has always been an interesting month for me. I’ve graduated in this month, made some major decisions, and it’s also my half birthday –although I’ve never celebrated. May tends to be full of so many things to do with so little time. I’ve taken trips, made huge decisions and done some fun stuff in between. Last year in May I finally came to the final realization that I needed to leave my current geographical location and do something different. While the timing of when I actually moved was a different thing, the decision was made in May. I realized that it was time to cut a few of my losses and push forward despite a pretty uncomfortable disappointment. I’ve taken a trip that I hoped would produce a better outcome than it did. I’ve been very deliberate about my career and getting experience in a variety of different areas but May has traditionally been the time when I decide that some sort of change is necessary and I start making some decisions in order to facilitate that change. We’ll see what changes this month brings.
It’s once again Monday morning and I have to admit I wish it were Friday. I have a friend social media who calls Monday the root of all evil and I have to agree at times. It’s an abrupt ending to rest and relaxation and the beginning of another five days of stress. While I’ve had this schedule for the past few months it hasn’t gotten easier. However my tolerance has increased so I’m able to get more done when I get home instead of passing out on my couch. There’s an increased sense of dread when Sunday evening comes around because I know that Monday looming on the horizon. This morning I didn’t want to get up but I pushed through and got my 5am workout in. I’ve never been much of a morning person and while I’m forced to be at this point, it’s still not my thing. The Monday feeling is an indication that I need to reevaluate my life and keep my options open. Of course I’m more than ready to retire at this point but that’s not necessarily the most realistic idea. It would be different if the days I worked were equal to the days I got off. Maybe I’m in a “grass is greener” cycle because that was my last job. However the caveat was that it also included 12 hour shifts and a rotating schedule. But at least the countdown to the weekend begins again today.
Warm Thoughts When I think about my mom, how love and devotion she has displayed to me, how many times she’s been to hell and back for me, her patience with me, and her understanding, I get a warm sensation in my soul that soothes and pushes me forward. Though my mom was a single mother she […]
I came across this today and wanted to share as there are a few minutes left in the day that we dedicate to mothers. I’m definitely thankful for mine.
Recently there was a video making its rounds on social media that showed a father and son. The father starts off very calm explaining that his son had been acting up in school and that he felt some punishment was necessary while also teaching his son to defend himself. Then the video starts and I have to admit that I fast forwarded to the end as soon as I saw how bloody it was because (at times) I’m a sensitive soul and I always hate seeing people get hurt. The video showed the father boxing with his son. I use “boxing” loosely because it looked like someone of superior height, weight, and experience beating up on someone. The father didn’t hold back and landed multiple punches to his son’s face. The end of the video showed the father questioning the son while the son was obviously still bleeding pretty badly asking him if he would act up again in school. I ran across a follow up article on the video today and you can read it here . Basically, the father was arrested and the son was removed from the home as a result of the video. Let me say first and foremost that what the father did is pretty much the definition of physical abuse if you want to get technical. When a child discloses something like that to me I’m mandated to report it because of my profession and license–whether I agree with it or not. I’ve reported child abuse on multiple occasions as it’s been a regular part of the jobs that I’ve had. In no way am I endorsing the father’s method of parenting but I have also witnessed the opposite where parents stay up all night in shifts because they are terrified that their child will kill them in the middle of the night. I can assure you that being scared of your child and what they are capable of is terrifying. Neither option is ideal by any means. However, in addition to beating up his son who was clearly unable to defend himself, the father took it a step further and posted it on social media so the whole world could see (literally). He mentioned the son’s classmates and teachers as well in the video. That’s pretty humiliating and public shaming as a form of discipline is a horrible decision. But we also have to be honest. A startling number of kids these days do not have any respect for authority figures of any sort. There are too many horrible situations where there has been a conflict that involved an authority figure (law enforcement officer) that turned deadly for no reason at all. Also, by the same token there are also situations where someone was compliant and still ended up “mysteriously” dead. I guess my point is that you can’t really win these days. I think that the father had good intentions. He was trying to teach his (almost) adult son about making better choices and respecting authority and he ended up in jail himself with his child being removed from his care. I don’t have a solution to the problem but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve posting a video of a child being hit in the head until he’s bleeding profusely. There has to be another way.
These past few weeks have been unusually stressful for me. I feel like everyone has a certain level of stress that they manage and cope with on a daily basis. It’s like a “regular load” of sorts. And then there are the things that can’t really be helped. It’s like Murphy’s Law gone haywire. The past two weeks have been exactly like that. From my job doubling my caseload, to car troubles, to making a decision to separate myself from someone who didn’t have my best interest in mind–it’s been exhausting. I was talking to someone the other day and I said that I felt like building a fort in my house out of blankets and chairs, crawling in and never coming out. Very unreasonable I know. The theme of my life sometimes seems to be this song “You Can’t Win.” But one thing that I’ve learned is the importance of being flexible and resourceful when necessary. I have to admit that times like this make me miss the presence of a significant other in my life. I’m not complaining but it would be nice to have someone as an actual support who had a vested interest in my life and was there because they wanted to be. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and would do anything for them but it would so clutch to not go to bed alone every night. I’ve never been one to flaunt my single status or to complain about it but there’s something to be said about the power of “we” versus “me.” Normally I would take this time to launch into some Pollyanna-like declaration that everything will be fine. Someone will come into my life who genuinely want to be in it and I’ll experience some degree of happiness in the future. But I’m just not feeling it right now. Yes, I’ll be fine. I’ve been living this way up to this point and a change isn’t anywhere on the horizon. I’ll continue to adapt and make adjustments as necessary but it honestly does just plain suck at times. But that’s my life. At least for now.