On this last day of 2013, I've decided this is my last chance to get a few things off my chest. Stuff I've wanted to say for a very long time, and not such a long time. Stuff that I normally wouldn't say, because I always try and be so "politically correct" and non-combative. But, stuff I want to leave in 2013. Once it's said, it's said. Done. But, now is the time I move away from that "be nice" mentality and finally release some of the feelings I've been holding in for a while.
What I'm about to say expresses my general feelings, and some things I've wanted to say to some of the people in my life. It's not with the intent to cause any harm of bad feelings... but enough is enough. It's time to move on, leave the past in the past... but not before I've had my chance to let it all out.
If I'm going to start 2014 off the right way, then it needs to be with a fresh slate. Hopefully you've got a fresh cup of coffee in hand, cause this one is going to be a long one.
So here goes....
First, let's start with my sister shall we? The youngest one.
You, my dear, are heading down a very dark path. I've tried to be nice. I've tried to be supportive. But, enough is enough! Whatever has happened to you that has turned you in to the person you have become, I don't know. Maybe it's because you feel like you haven't gotten enough attention. Maybe it's because you have some serious issues that need to be addressed with professional help. Maybe it's because you're so dang spoiled you feel like the world owes you. Whatever it is, it's not my problem...and I will no longer make it my problem. It is VERY much your problem, and I wish you would consider finding someone to help you with it. Because apparently, your family isn't good enough or trained enough to help.
One thing I hope you realize is the damage you have done not only to yourself, but those that care for you. One being a very special 13 year old that would and has done everything in her power to try and be there for you. You have caused my child more pain and grief than any other person she has ever met. Ever. And for that, I can never forgive you. The sad part is, though, she would make me forgive you. She would ask that I let bygones be bygones if you ever come to your senses. Regardless of the pain you've put her through, she still has hope for you. She still wishes that you'll realize the choices you are making are bad, and turn your life around. I hope that for you too. But, I truly believe that until you've had a small taste of the pain and agony you've bestowed on others... you will not understand the bridges that you are burning along your path of destruction.
But, one thing I can thank you for is that you have filled my child with the passion to NEVER turn out like you. She has made it her early life mission to keep her head firmly secured on her shoulders, keep family first, and never allow herself to treat others the way you treat them. And for that, I really do thank you.
While talking about my daughter, I'd like to make a statement to anyone that has or is treating my daughter unfairly. And by that, I mean judging her, hurting her, or anything but giving her a chance to show you what a wonderful, smart, caring, loyal, and loving girl that she is.
Of course, I think she's perfect. She really is. She has a heart bigger than anyone I know. She carries around worries and stresses that no thirteen year old should carry around. She does so because she cares so much. While she has inherited her mother's sassy mouth, her actions are ALWAYS motivated by passion. Passion for her education. Passion for her relationships. Passion for what others think of her.
No matter how much I try and convince her that it doesn't matter what others think of her, I know that I fight a losing battle each time I utter those words. At the end of the day, what others think of her is a HUGE part of who she is. She tries everything in her power to get people to like her. She will bravely stand up for what she believes in. She will defend against bullies, she will honor and protect her friendships, and she will fight tooth and nail to earn respect.
My daughter doesn't have an ill bone in her body. And anyone that chooses to push her out of their life is making a huge mistake. She's not asking for anything but a chance. A chance to show you that she cares. A chance to show you that her heart is in the right place, and she has no intention of causing harm on anyone. And I gladly stand by her and support her.
The relationship I have with my teenage daughter is a rare one. She really does tell me EVERYTHING. I don't say that with naivety ...believing or hoping for it to be true. I can say with 100% certainty that my daughter comes to me and shares all aspects of her life with me. The good. The bad. The ugly. The scary. The silly. The awesome. ALL OF IT. I will never do anything to harm that relationship. I trust my daughter. I allow her to think for herself, make mistakes, and lead her in the right direction. Sometimes I have to stand by and watch results play out...that I might have already foreseen... but apart of learning in life is learning through mistakes. My daughter has made a few, but has learned from all.
She is an awesome kid, and anyone that doesn't want to have anything to do with her is really missing out.
I, like my daughter, happen to care a little too much about what others think of me. I try, sometimes too hard, to get others to like me. I try and play fair, speak the truth, and show respect where respect should be given.
But, sometimes, despite my efforts I know that there are people out there that will smile to my face but would gladly shove a dagger in my back the minute it's turned.
To those people, I just want to say... it's OK. I understand. You don't think there aren't people I want to do the exact same thing to? Maybe you are one of those people. I encounter lots of situations where I have to "play nice" because it's what expected of me. But, that doesn't mean I have to like everyone I encounter. What I'm trying to say is to those of you that can't stand my guts... I have no ill feelings towards you feeling that way. I am a tough nut to crack. I know that. I'm one of those people that you either love or hate. And I'm totally OK with that. And to those people I really don't care for, I will never disregard there being a chance that somehow my feelings could change. I believe in giving everyone their fair chance. I just wish others would do the same for me.
I've spent WAY too much of my life trying to please others just so they'll like me. Well, I have no intention of becoming a nasty, bitter woman anytime soon. I will continue to keep a smile on my face no matter who I am with... but the butt kissing to get others to like me? Yeah, that's going to stop. From now on you love me or leave me. Period.
I will gladly hand over any help I can offer. I will do whatever I can to mend and repair relationships, or keep relationships in tack. But, I will no longer be going to the ends of the earth to try and make people like me when I know I'm fighting a lost cause.
If you are only polite to me because you have to be, I know. If you are only friendly to me when others aren't around, I know. If you act like you can tolerate me one minute, but give me the cold shoulder the next... I know. I'm not stupid. I've just chosen to fight through those situations because somehow, someway, I think that I might finally win you over and make you understand that I'm actually a really nice, fun person to be around. But, not anymore. I mean, I'm still going to be a really nice, fun person to be around... but you'll just miss out on knowing that.
I think it's time to bring my bosses in to the mix.
Let's start with my assistant principal.
Before August, I didn't know you. I had met you when my daughter was in track, but that's it. I knew nothing about your managerial skills, your professionalism, or how you would treat someone you didn't know.
What I quickly found out is, you're pretty awesome.
I just want to take this opportunity to just say THANKS. For being there when I needed a situation taken care of. For giving me words of encouragement. For taking a second to discuss my kids (both biological and non-biological), and let me know that you have my back. It means a lot to me, and I haven't told you that. So, I figure I'll tell you now... even though I know you won't read this. HA!
And my principal.
I can honestly say that I have never, EVER had a more caring, passionate, tell-me-like-it-is and move on boss than you. I can always count on you to pick me up when I'm down, pull me down when I'm too far up, and JUST BE HONEST. You have no idea how refreshing it is to just have a little honesty... regardless of how brutal it may be.
I've counted my blessings a million times over since hearing you tell me that you wanted to hire me to be a teacher for you. But, I had no idea how many blessings I was really getting until I really got to know you better.
I'll admit, you intimidated the heck out of me my first year. I walked around on eggshells because I wanted nothing more than to please you. But this year, I can truly say that I think of you so much more than just a boss. You are a friend. A dear friend.
What you've done for me these past few months has gone WAY above any expectations I had. You've supported me, cared for me, looked out for me, and I don't know how I could ever repay you. More than that, you have done something to my children. Something amazingly good. They absolutely adore you. You are responsible for my youngest overcoming her fear of school. She can't wait to get to school everyday just to see you, and can't wait to see you the minute she gets back. You are responsible for keeping my son on the straight and narrow. Not only that, but you managed to do something I never thought would be possible: Make him LOVE school. You have instilled a level of passion in my oldest daughter to be an independent and strong young lady. I believe I had a fair share in instilling that in to her heart, but you have definitely instilled it in to her mind. She looks up to you with high regard, and knows that even as she moves on to high school next year, you'll be watching out for her.
For all of that, I truly thank you.
(And how many people thought I was going to commit career suicide? HAHAHAHA!!)
I forgot to mention that this post isn't going to be all bad, didn't I?
While I am on the good stuff, let's send a message out to the few people that have taken the chance to get to know me this year, and seem as though you do actually like me.
One person has always been nice to me, but up until a few months ago I would have just referred to us as friendly co-workers. But, I feel like that relationship has grown, and you are one of few people that has actually taken the time to get to know me a little better. It all started during a touchy situation that happened with Peanut. You spent the evening listening to my concerns, providing your own opinion on the situation, and helping me realize that sometimes stuff is blown way out of proportion. Since that day, we have enjoyed almost daily chats at the end of the day....and I really look forward to our time together once work is over. We have quite a bit in common, and I love the way you're always willing to provide your input to a situation..and are OK with me giving my input. I just want to say thanks for being one of the few that has actually opened up to me and let me in.
Another person is a mother to one of Peanut's friends. It's so nice to actually have friends that are parents of my kids' friends. We have a lot in common, and enjoy each other's company. She makes me laugh, and I know that she is and will continue to grow as a very good friend. Someone I spend time with, hang out with, do stuff together. She's always willing to help out anyway she can, and I appreciate everything she's done for me this year.
And I have several other people that I could single out right here that have made this year so much nicer for me.
Another mother of Peanut's friend, who I actually started a friendship with last year when her son was in my class. So nice, so caring, and even though I don't get to see her near as much as I did last school year, I very much enjoy her company. Team members who are ALWAYS there for me, not just for work related stuff, but stuff that happens outside of school. Checking on me, offering words of encouragement and support, sending a quick message just to say hi and that they miss us if we're apart. And so many others, during the tough time I was going through with my mom that offered words of support, care, and encouragement...and genuinely meant it.
Which brings me back around....To my parents. Both of them.
I love my parents, more than anything... but there's so much I want to say to them.
First, this year has been tough. Especially these past couple of months. But, before that I was having a really hard time with our relationship. I hate knowing that I pushed everything I was feeling aside because of a bad situation that happened. Yes, bad news tends to bring people together... but not necessarily for the right reasons. I am so thankful we were able to mend any broken pieces to our relationship, but it doesn't negate the fact that they were there.
Call me selfish, but I envisioned your home being a place where all of your kids would grow up and move out leaving you with time together. A place where your kids would visit, often, and grandkids would spend weekends with their grandparents. Where holidays are always spent together, either at your house or mine. Mom would finally get out and start participating in some activities she enjoys. Dad would spend his free time working on the odd jobs around the house and doing stuff that he enjoys doing. And then, time would be spent with both of you together doing stuff you enjoy, together. Traveling, maybe. Or getting out of the house together just to do something.
And I know that once you became the full-time parents of two of your grandchildren that my envisioned plan wouldn't happen. And maybe my plan would have no appeal whatsoever. But, I honestly didn't expect it to get to the extreme that it did. Sure, the foster kids you have right now are good kids. But when do you get your time?
Also, you have got to take the ownership of your house back. As hard as it is for me to admit, I can say that too many of the decisions in your house are not made by the people that SHOULD be making them. You guys. At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter what my brother or sister want...or me..or anyone else that feels the need to add their two cents... you are the adults. You are the ones in charge. So you might upset them/us... big whoop!
One thing I learned from my childhood is that I often thought you treated me unfairly, not letting me do everything I wanted to do. You know what I figured out, though? I was a kid. I needed direction. I needed rules. I needed boundaries. I couldn't always have what I wanted, and that was a good thing. It taught me responsibility, dependability, and that I have to fight and work hard for what I want.
And when you do have problems, they need to be worked out. Not buried over, pushed aside, or swept away. Those problems need to be worked out between you both. Not with me putting in my input, or your other kids sticking their noses in... but you both sitting down, hashing it out, and coming to a compromise. I know that you both have so many pent up feelings that you need to get out... but you don't. You just let them fester and grow. That's not healthy.
Mom, what happened to you this year was a severe blow. None of us could have ever expected it. But, you know what I got from it all? You were given a second chance. We were all given a second chance. You are still so young and have a long life ahead of you. Now is the time to start thinking about things you want to do with your life. When you were going through the upset and fear, did you ever stop and think about all the things you wanted to do with your life that you never had the chance to do? If you did, well then it's bloody well time you did them!!
You are going to get better. Get your strength back. And then, when you do, start doing whatever it is that you want to do. There's no time for feeling sorry for yourself, living with regrets, wishing how you'd done things differently. NOW is the time to get out there and do something for YOU. Take classes, join a club, be a part of a cause... I don't know. But, whatever it is... DO IT!!! I would actually love to be apart of it.. I'm always up for doing new stuff. And if you sit there reading this with a list of reasons why you can't...then start working on eliminating them.
Dad, what mom is going through effects you too. Nobody has actually stopped and asked you how you feel with all of this. And if they have, I doubt you were honest about how you actually feel. I know you were probably scared, maybe you still are. I know that you love Mom, and sometimes you have a hard time expressing your true feelings. That's often misconstrued in to thinking that you don't care, or you put up a front shielding everyone from knowing what's really going on inside.
I know that you would gladly lay your life on the line for Mom. You'd do it for any of us. And just know that your rugged strong exterior isn't fooling me. I know how you really feel. While you weren't diagnosed with the illness or had to go through a nasty surgery... you also have your own healing to do. You deserve some of the love and care that's being given to Mom during this time.
I wish you would both take a second to realize how much you love each other, and when push comes to shove... you couldn't live without each other.
Money isn't important. Who's doing what around the house isn't important. There are no sides to take. Neither one of you are more important than the other.
You are a team. A couple. Husband and wife. You are parents and grandparents. Stop worrying so much about what you can or can't do for the other, but work together. Stop letting the minor be major. Stop letting small disagreements become huge wars.
You love each other....and it's time that you started thinking about that and how to show it. It's OK to be young at heart, carefree, and careless sometimes. You don't have to be so darned serious all the time. ENJOY YOUR LIVES TOGETHER!!
I want 2014 to be one of the best years yet. Building stronger friendships, repairing and building stronger family ties, keeping in mind what is important but also embracing the not-so-important. I truly feel that my life has been so blessed because of my ability to find the good in the bad, facing challenges head on, and not letting anything or anyone stand in the way of enjoying my life.
And, now I feel like I can get 2014 started with a clear conscious, a clear mind. I've said what I've needed to say. I've let out what I've been feeling.
My intent with this post wasn't to hurt or upset. It was to free myself. If I want to spend 2014 caring less about what others are thinking about me, and focusing on bettering myself...then I had to let some of this go.
Writing really is therapeutic. I truly feel better.
That's exactly what I need for my fresh, New Year.