Putting the Happily Ever After in Teenage Pregnancy

This post was originally published June 8, 2013, one week after my oldest daughter graduated from high school. I’m republishing this post as a way for old and new readers to get to know me as I figure out this whole blogging thing again. Not sure what I mean about again? Feel free to check out my post about cartwheels here.


I don’t know what was going through her head when she stood there in her cap and gown with her baby on her hip.

It’s sad because I really want to remember.

I know she was overwhelmed and confused and not understanding why so many people kept telling her how proud they were of all she had done. And I know how much she hated all of that attention.

I wish that she didn’t get so anxious over things that she couldn’t control.

I wish that she didn’t let her mind linger in the dark places telling her awful things.

I’m so thankful she never followed through on any of those horrible things she was thinking.

I wish she understood more when people told her what a great mother she was.

I wish she knew the enormity of the words, “I could never do what you are doing, I don’t have it in me.” when they were spoken to her.

I remember the anger that she felt when someone would talk down about teenage mothers. The letters she wrote to different talk shows hosts explaining that there are decent teenage mothers in the world; ones that don’t disrespect their parents, ones that take care of their babies, ones that the world wouldn’t call whores.

It was with much sadness that she realized that the world doesn’t want to hear those stories. What is there to sensationalize?

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I look back at my life and I know that my daughter made me into the person that I am today.  She molded me and made me want to be the best person I could be.

She has been one of my biggest cheerleaders, always encouraging me to go after my dreams.

She has made me change the way that I look at myself, because I never want her to have the same fleeting thoughts go through her head that plagued me for years.

There was a time that I felt guilty for deciding to keep my daughter.  In those early years I would sometime wonder if her life would have been better had I decided to give her up for adoption? Life isn’t like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book and I can’t go to page 73 and see that she would have been happier.  I have to know that I decided to do what was best for myself and my daughter.  I raised a responsible adult who has made the world a better place with her being in it.

Teenage parenting is always a tricky topic; when I talk about the pros I don’t want someone to think I am encouraging it. Each situation is different and you have to chose what is right for you and your family. I chose to parent. I talk about it here in my space because it is part of my story.

Teenage pregnancy isn’t a death sentence.

Let’s just let that sink in a bit; Teenage pregnancy isn’t a death sentence.

I know that I didn’t understand the enormity of the choice that I was making when everyone around me had their opinion on what my choice should be.

I knew that I would never be able to give my baby up and that I would do whatever I could to ensure that she had a better life than I had; between divorced parents, poverty and childhood molestation the bar wasn’t set very high.

My then boyfriend decided to join the Navy and asked for my hand in marriage.  My parents did all that they could to help me finish school.  Teachers,student celebrates graduation with mother under arbor mentors, and friends reached out when I didn’t expect them to.  They encouraged and supported me and saw that spark of potential in me that I didn’t even knew I had.

 I wish I could go back in time and tell her to keep her chin up because in just 18 very short years you will be standing here on this same track watching that baby you have on your hip walk through those same arches. You can do hard things, you were made for this and I love you.

Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.” – Marcus Aurelius

Conquering the Cartwheels in Life

fear meme

My first cartwheel in I don’t even know.

Is there something that you used to love to do? That one thing you used to do it all the time and now you can’t remember the last time you did it. I am sure that you stopped doing it organically and then one day you realized that you can’t remember the last time you attempted to even do it.

One of the houses we had growing up had a large lawn that I adventured all over with my brother. If I wasn’t riding my bright pink banana seated Schwinn around I was cartwheeling across the enormous yard; at times making myself dizzy with the amount of them I did in a row. And then one day I stopped. I don’t remember why I stopped, but I do know what kept me from turning another cartwheel in my adult life.

Hello fear and doubt, there you are, telling me all of the reasons why I shouldn’t or even couldn’t turn a cartwheel at the age of 41.

  • I’m too old
  • I would need to use my rescue inhaler
  • I would fall over
  • I would twist my wrist
  • I would wrench my back
  • I would break my collar bone
  • people will see me try and possibly fail
  • people will laugh at me
  • people will talk about me

Typically if this was a task that I would seriously consider doing I would soon abandon the idea at bullet point three or four. But for whatever reason I became obsessed with trying to do a cartwheel just to prove to myself that I could in fact still do one. Everywhere I went I surveyed the area to see if I could maybe sneak a cartwheel in without injuring myself.

Yes, I even thought of doing them at the gas station, but decided against that because A, cameras and B,all of the breakable things, including myself.

Then on a sunny afternoon on the last day of September I found myself on the lawn of the Perry’s International Peace Monument with it’s level ground and lush green grass and I decided to talk myself into seeing if I could still do a cartwheel. To keep myself accountable and to remind myself I at least tried I decided to record my attempt on my phone in the broad daylight in the middle of the afternoon.

And as an OG blogging peep if I attempted to do a cartwheel and I didn’t share it on social media did it even happen at all?

When is the last time you attempted to do something that your mind or others have convinced you that you can’t do.

“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” -Dale Carnegie

Fear and doubt have stopped me from writing here and really anywhere. I used to do it all of the time and then for no reason, fear and anxiety I just stopped. I have cheered on my friends who I have met through this space. I traveled around the country loving on, mourning with and celebrating with people I would have never crossed paths with if it wasn’t for my place here that got me started.

And just like that first cartwheel I did, these first posts aren’t going to be pretty. The flow will get better and I promise that I will learn how to stick the landing. Please be patient with me as I am learning where I need to go with my new old space.

If you need cheering on with something leave it in the comments and I will be happy to help push that fear and doubt away.

 

Feel free to share the image just give credit to @hdurdil

 

 

 

 

 

Choosing to be thankful in the struggles

The year 2017 will forever be a year that I remember for a myriad of less than desirable reasons. Here’s where I confess that even with my positive attitude when you’re in the midst of the muck you can’t always see beyond the struggle you are currently engaged in.

I shared a lot of my daily life on Instagram so I could feel connected to the outside world. My feed was filled with face masks, inhalers, and doctor’s appointments. I shared my good days and I shared my bad. I wanted to help give a face to invisible illnesses. I wanted you to know that you are not alone.

I know I won’t forget the struggles of this past year and in a way I am thankful for them.

What do you mean you are thankful for your struggles?

The struggles in life help us to grow. They show us who and what are important. They help us to figure out our focus.

Between the struggles there was so much good. There was fun with family and friends. There were new adventures with and without the face mask. And of course there was lots of Vivien.

I look at my 2017 best nine and I remember the celebration of these moments in my life.

Nine moments that share the beauty of 2017.

 

The first time I was out without a face mask, even if it was for a few moments.

An all day outing with my granddaughter at the mall that left me exhausted but filled with happiness.

The start of my life with my husband.

My girls at my happy place.

Small trips and victories in my life that I just can’t put into words.

This past summer I read Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl and this quote resonated with me.

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”

 

There will be misery and sadness, you will struggle. But in all of it look back and see the beauty that remains.