Saturday, November 28, 2015

My Planned Parenthood Story.

April 2005, a late evening, in a large, scantily furnished living room, a 24 year old young woman shook with fear and began to cry. She had just taken her first ever pregnancy test and was in literal shock that her life story now included pregnancy. Certainly not how she had scripted it.
Flash forward 10 years and here that young woman sits, aged and no longer jaded by that portion of the life story. In fact, about as far from jaded as I could get. And while I remain attached to the notion that a young soul awaits me in the next world, I was clear that shock like that meant I was in no way ready to be a mother. There were economic factors, emotional factors and all other manner of life factors that added up to - Fear. Fear is not a place to start a life story from, and this young soul, well, he wasn't going to start here.
I called a local Planned Parenthood location, made an appointment and went for information. Another day laced with fear, I had my first ever vaginal ultrasound. I literally did not even know it was a thing prior to that day. The doctor showed me on the screen what looked like a sprouting seed inside a fuzzy circle. She said it confirmed I was indeed pregnant and was about five weeks along. She said they only offer one method of aborting the pregnancy prior to 7 weeks of gestation and that is a medical termination. No surgery. 1 pill, one suppository, and your body does the rest on its own - again, something I had no idea was even a thing.
Overall, my sex education was limited, my reproductive education was limited as well. I didn't have the benefit of a body book to explain things in plain detail and I had no long conversations with my mother about what she went through and what it all really is like. And you know what, I'm certainly not alone with that level of education on the human condition - but that's why an organization like Planned Parenthood is important. So. Important.  Someone has to be there to educate, to assist, and to give care to young women who don't have the circumstances to make healthy choices - whether it is to make yourself ready to be a parent, or to take healthy steps to continue your life without the path of parenthood. It's important work. And it cannot be underestimated.
Today's world is polarized, and the topics which put icy water between the polar caps are all human needs related. Humans have a need to be treated with compassion. Humans have a need to receive educated, professional services for any human condition that besets them -whether they are with disease or with child. The fact that I was able to walk in to this office, not question if my insurance was an issue, not question if I was in the wrong place or doing the wrong thing, and be given all of the facts and information I needed to adequately take care of my body and what was going on with it at the time - is no mere gift - it's a right that should be afforded to all. I believe that YOU, and you alone, decide what is right for YOU - but without the ability to walk into that office, I would not have had the information to make a healthy decision. Ultimately no government, no parent, no church, no organization can decide for YOU what is right. But we cannot as a society stand to attack a place like Planned Parenthood that helps facilitate health and planning.
I have a Planned Parenthood Story. I #standwithPP for the needs they fulfill for young girls and women every day. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Not Dead Yet

 Tonight around 6:45 pm as I got into the car after carefully purchasing only $15 in groceries at the supermarket, I was plagued with the long day barrage - 'man I cannot wait to get home and take these sneakers off - my feet are so tired!', 'man I have so much left to do when I get home tonight', 'holy $#!%, how am I gonna make it through the next two weeks when my pay check today doesn't cover the expenses I actually have to meet til my next pay day'// Pretty much the internal song of my people  - the working class single parent. Anyhow - as I put the key into the ignition I looked up and saw what can literally be taken as a moment in time where the Good Lord said 'hey look here and take it in'. A few yards away, a young man, with a 80's ish coif of blonde hair with green dye growing it's way out toward the tips, tight ripped jeans, combat boots - clearly worn in, and a dirt and presumable sweat stained t-shirt with the words "NOT DEAD YET" written in black sharpie across it.
My immediate thought was: True Story Man.
Secondary thought: I love this human and hope it's a true story of how he has survived to this point and is happy to be alive.
Tertiary Reality: Who knows really, maybe he's just a kid who has no idea what his shirt says, let alone if it has meaning to anything. But he's still doing something right because hey... NOT DEAD YET.
In moments of, nope.. wait .. Waves of hopelessness ebbed on by the fact that your feet are so tired and hot after working another 9 hour day and no one is there to make you dinner when your day is done, let alone clean up after the cat that accidentally got stuck in your bedroom for the last 12 hours..(or the kid who just puked all over you...)  because whoops, that's life sometimes - it's huge to remember you are NOT DEAD YET. You don't need the fight song of a million likes on the internet for the mom of the year post - you just need that nudge from above to say hey fool, pick up your head - YOU AINT DEAD.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Know your Limits - a tale of two hikes

Parenting Philosophy - use your kid as an excuse to do things. Outdoorsy things. Oooh, Hiking. I like to Hike. I like exploring the great big world out there!
So taking full advantage of a beautiful forecast of cooler weather - I consulted the local hikes guide. Oh hey! A hike in my county, with ponds, waterfalls and some challenge for a level - Yesssss, done, let's do this! 
And so me and my agreeable pawn of an 8 year old kid (on the internet we mostly call her ART, fyi) found ourselves downloading a pdf map from the DEC website and heading into the woods. The trail was fairly visible, though ART had her doubts about its validity. About 10 yards into this journey ART logged our first strike - the dreaded bug in the eye... Let me rephrase that - the DREADED BUG SQUISHED INTO THE INSIDE OF HER EYELID ATTEMPTING TO MAKE A HOME THERE. A dozen stabs of my fingernails to ARTs eyeball and some freaking out later....we decide to continue down the trail. While the trail became more beat down and rocky ART found herself a good ten steps ahead of me and I found myself spaced out wondering how long til we come across a "pond" or "waterfall" - when suddenly I hear a booming echoing yell of pain. Aka - I logged our second strike. And there was blood, and ART was wiping dirt off my arms for me so I could clean my bloodied leg.
(So much scraping.... Jeeeez). No problem, no problem - I have alcohol pads and band aids - I am mother in this play after all. So we hike on. Closer to each other, silently noting this had not been going so well. And then strikes three, four, five and so on start ringing through the air. My fear was fighting hard to take over the wheel shouting DO YOU NOT HEAR THE BULLETS BEING SHOT THAT YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THEY ARE?? So I calmly said to ART, hey... Do you want to turn around? Maybe we should turn around. In the probable reality of those fine people who probably have property backing the state land - they were legally taking target practice or something totally safe. In my 30 something, single parent, doesn't know shit about where I really am reality --- I'm OUT, time to GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WOODS. 
Insta- moral of that tale -- Know thy limits. You are not a country girl. 
Far be it from me to be defeated however - we stopped at a nice wildlife educational center on our way home and "hiked" their trails - where we saw lovely little sights like this mini water fall ...aaaah nature.. 

New Grown Up Blog

 "Grown Up" is just another label. It's a category in life. You know what else I've been told?  "Age" is just a number.
Well I'm here to tell you these sentences are true. For me, anyway - You might hold tight to some nuances related to either being a "grown up" or whatever your "age" is.
I've always been a fan of irony in life - and this blog will no doubt show that on full broad spectrum display. As such, it seems pertinent to point out that a driving force behind blogging being back in style in my life - is "age". I've been doing much thinking about where I am, what I've accomplished, or rather, not yet accomplished; who I know myself to be, who the world might know me to be; what has worked, what hasn't and what I want to believe works in life. Da Hell that got to do with a silly ol blog? Well - Here's another few things I know - Writing is important. Really Important. Reading is important. Really Important. Engaging is important. Really Important. Not just for me, for everyone. I don't care who you are or what your nuances are. Authenticity is important. Really Important. Period.
And now to turn those things back on me, myself and I (yes all of us) - I feel a constant hankering for this platform. It's always been there. Oooh kay only as far back as the internet allowed for it (ahem, livejournal anyone?), and it's taken different forms (oh hey look more of my history on the internet - I had a  wordpress blog - it was super this is what I did with my life today blogging)... but it's always been there and here it shall be. Join me, if you wish, I promise I will have some laughs and some lessons we can share in.