It Was Always My Mom

I’d always been a die-hard daddy’s girl growing up. My dad and I were so much alike that our bond came naturally and with an ease that few daughters are lucky to understand. He was so cool. While my mom worked on the weekends, he’d take us to hole-in-the-wall diners with questionable sanitary conditions. Sometimes he’d take us to the flea market, give us five bucks, and let us loose. Most times we’d drive through downtown and settle at one of the parks for the day, or the giant water fountain if it was hot enough. Everything felt like an adventure when it was just us and our dad. He was the king of cheap thrills and he was always laid back.  Things were different with my mom around. As a kid, I remember her presence was more tense. She wasn’t going to bust balls to make it to my soccer game. She was always the anxious parent at the pool who’d conditioned herself to keep two eyes on six kids, or the frantic woman at the park who couldn’t relax; my little sister has a severe allergy to bees and my mom would be damned if the EpiPen wasn’t an arms length away. For many years, it was my dad I’d call to chat with, my dad I’d go out to dinner with, my dad I’d travel with. It was always my dad.

But I’ll never forget the day my relationship changed between my mom and I forever. I was 20 years old when I came home from work in a frenzy, tears flowing, my world shaking with fear and uncertainty. It was one of the worst days of my life. I ran straight up to my sister’s room and confided in her what I should have told my mom first. My mom had been on my tail as soon as I’d walked in the house, and I still remember her standing in the door way to my sister’s room watching me cry. Her eyes were big with worry, “what is it, Rachel? What’s wrong?” I told her, “I’m… pregnant!” followed by another round of convulsive crying. Her face relaxed slightly and she looked unconcerned. “That’s it? I thought someone died” she said.

Continue reading It Was Always My Mom

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I Can’t Keep Quiet Anymore

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” – Pres. Theodore Roosevelt

My ill-informed political and social opinions have developed drastically over the last ten years. Not into the right ones, depending who’s reading this, but they’ve developed nonetheless. I remember beginning my life as a working class American; a spunky young girl who cashed her paycheck, filled her gas tank, and then wondered where to get her next dime bag of weed. Laughably, that girl thought homosexuality was a choice that people made and the government was just out to get her by sticking their grimy paws all over her hard-earned cash, to distribute it among lazy son’s of a gun who didn’t want to work as hard as she did.

I look at me now, a white-collar wife with children, who gets shamelessly excited about an evening alone and a decent health insurance policy. I make a lot more money these days, and so it goes, I pay much higher taxes (without as much as a dirty look thrown Uncle Sam’s way). I support the LGBTQ community and their rights, immigration, men’s feelings, and most controversially, eating carbs after 7.

2016 is the first election I’ve voted in, and I’m not even going to pretend like I have an exceptional political track record. Nevertheless, my views and opinions are wholly mine, having developed gradually and based largely on first-hand experiences as well as sourced articles and readings in general. Whatever the case, my lack of interest in politics up to current events doesn’t cheapen my opposition to the unreasonableness that our President has displayed since his inauguration, because know this: I’ve earned my voice. We all have. We, the working people. The you’s and me’s of society. The ones that turn the wheels for he who enjoys the ride.

Like so many others, I’m stirring with confusion and upset for the American people who have been directly, and indirectly, affected by our new administration’s chauvinistic and offensive orders or intentions. For a nation that boasts freedom and bravery, I see a leader who is lacking the willingness to embrace either of America’s most important values.

I simply can’t keep quiet anymore. I’ve found my voice, and I refuse not to use it. I urge you to figure out what is happening; who this man is, in a position of such authority, even if just perceived. This man is your global spokesperson. What does the world hear?

I do not stand with the Trump Administration.

I Choose Me: An Excerpt

The new year isn’t my blank slate, and Monday doesn’t define my new week; my soul is refreshed every day that ends with “y.” New beginnings aren’t assumed by a new name, a new baby, or a new relationship. My name joins me. My child joins me. My relationship joins me.

I choose where to begin, and I choose when to end. I decide who, what, where, why, how. I don’t live by your rules, his rules, or her rules. I don’t have limitations except those I set for myself, and I decide how to overcome, and then I become limitless. This is my journey, my class, my lecture, my space, my mind, my world.

I don’t follow the gilded path; I erect my own trail, and follow it until I discover soil with the tilth suitable for sowing my ambitions. I grow my own, because yours aren’t good enough for me. Grow your own, because mine aren’t good enough for you.

You might question me. Why do I climb the mountain when I could walk around it? You might be searching for the meadow behind, and I’m searching for the peak above. Why do I wash my hair in the rain when I could take a shower? You may crave the steady flow, but I covet the fickle drops. But I ask, why do you question me at all?

I choose to be a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter. I choose to label myself, and I choose to define them in my own way. Above all else, I choose me. Every day, I pick me. I challenge myself to become better for me, and this makes me better for them. Don’t ask me who they are.

It’s never too soon to be who you are.

It’s never too late to be who you are.