Inspiration for tonight

“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.” 
― Maya Angelou

“Let’s tell the truth to people. When people ask, ‘How are you?’ have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avaoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don’t want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you.” 

 
“Had I known that the heart breaks slowly, dismantling itself into unrecognizable plots of misery… had I known yet I would have loved you, your brash and insolent beauty, your heavy comedic face and knowledge of sweet delights, but from a distance I would have left you whole and wholly for the delectation of those who wanted more and cared less.” 
― Maya AngelouAnd Still I Rise
 
“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.” 
― Maya AngelouWouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
 
“If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change you’re attitude to it.” 
― Maya Angelou

 

 

“Pretty women w…

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.”

Maya Angelou is my absolute inspiration. She was a single mother to her son at sixteen. She was in and out of abusive relationships, having struggles with her own family. She was able to stay in school, work to support her son and thrive. She is educated, determined and an absolute joy to so many people. I would love to some day meet her.

After reading her books, I feel as if I know her. She has such talent that she makes readers feel her emotions and hear her thoughts. Every chapter of “Letter to my daughter” touched my heart. I am so inspired by her strength, determination and advocacy for the rights of women. I feel like more young women need to know that they have options, even when all seems lost.

I think that many teen mothers drop out of school out of lack of a belief that they can succeed in their dreams. They decide it is better for their child if they abandon any previous dreams or desires to enter a certain job field or school. I decided a long time ago that I was not going to let any one stop be from reaching my goals. Some day I hope to be inspiration for young girls struggling with the limitations of society. I really hope that my daughter will understand and appreciate all of the sacrifices I made, but also see that I was able to create a life for us along with having my dreams accomplished. I did not have to lose everything in order to have her. Neither do the many teen mothers each year who decide to drop out of high school because of a lack of support from peers, family and education professionals.

 

The juggle act

  These past two weeks of kindergarten and college life have been crazy! Juggling work, school and being a parent is by no means an easy thing to do. It requires my full energy and attention to all my assignments, scheduling exams and doing homework for myself and with my daughter. We are both thoroughly exhausted.
  
  So far my daughter loves school. She gets up and ready with no fights and loves taking the bus to and from school. We have a good time doing homework. She loves her teacher and her class. All is right in the world for her. I, on the other hand, am tired and limp. My laptop is broken and in need of a funeral so I have been relying on other forms of technology. I am thankful for caffeine and for vitamins. Even with talking care of my apartment and meals, I feel like I balance life better than most students around me. I seem to manage my time and my plans accordingly. My only worries at the end of the week revolve around how many hours of sleep I will get.

    I am really in love with my courses this semester. I cram three classes in a row twice a week and four days of work for about six hour shifts. I also am taking my first night class, psychology of reproduction. I do not know how students function taking night classes and sleeping in late. I think being forced to take early classes has helped me enjoy my days a bit more. Having off from 4pm on gives me the time to get things done still before dinner and bedtime.

  I now count down the time until I can go to bed. As my peers all talk about their weekend plans of partying, getting wasted off pumpkin beers and going to the city– I daydream of getting into bed alone under my cozy comforter. Drinking hot cocoa and taking a hot shower sounds amazing to me. All I want to do on a Friday night is lay in bed with a good movie and my daughter. I’ll pass on the vomit, trains and overly expensive greasy foods.

  I won’t be getting to blog as much as I hoped this semester. My assignments are due so close together and I have a lot of readings. However I always look forward to fall semesters. January is great for relaxing and rejuvinating but summer is just too lon to go without essays and chapter books. Its just too long with no stimulation or challenges. Often in the summer breaks I will write on my own or read some books in my field of study to stay alert on current events and famous writers.

  I am submitting my first article for the school newspaper soon. Aside from my laptop being broken I was able to finish my report on a friends computer. I feel like I am finally getting the swing of things at my university. I know a lot of faculty and made friends with many students in my major. I do well in my courses and love all of my assignments. Finally I have decided to join something on campus and participate like I used to. Since my daughter was 8 months old, I went into community college and juggled everything alone. I was taking five or six classes at a time while involved as well in multiple school organizations. O established my own organization for parenting students and even wrote for the school newspaper in a parenting column. Everything was just perfect to me.
 
   Upon coming to a University, I felt like a goldfish in an ocean. I finally feel like I am comfortable with where I am at. I am so thankful I stayed in school and found a way to live on my own. I have autonomy. Strength. Determination to accomplish all of my goals. I feel like no one has control over me or say over what I do with my life. I have come such a long way that I don’t even know the girl I once was. I probably wouldn’t even recognize her anymore.

  Change is a good thing. To be able to handle change is a difficult task that requires an ability to constantly reinvent ones self. You are not who you once were. With every phase of life comes new knowledge and inspiration to evolve. What you do with those opportunities of change is up to you.

  I might be slow with my writing over the next few weeks but I want to talk about motherhood and feminism much deeper. Seeing other blogs in the last month has inspired me to reach out about topics that affect my every day life. I also love applying my major to my life and what lessons I teach myself through experiences.

  For now, I’ll be falling asleep as I do my homework. Good night to me. Thank god its almost Friday!

   

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First day back

  I wokeup after three and a half hours of sleep, to the sound of rain and my child asking for waffles. 7:00 am. My eye has yet to stop twitching. No morning rituals of picking out an outfit and doing my hair. Today was a jeans and hoodie day. Muggy and rainy, everyone seemed as tired and depressed as me to be back. Here it is. Fall semester.

   I was lucky enough to have my first day of classes be child-free after finding a babysitter. Today I got to pass as an almost regular college student. Of course I cannot help but mention my daughter all the time. Like all the time. She’s my social life. So my fun fact to share for first day of class icebreakers is that I am a mom. It would not be so interesting or eyebrow raising if I were an older aged and married woman. I kind of love the looks I get. The attention from uttering those words. “I have a five year old and we live on campus.” It makes me feel kind of awesome.

   I got to experience a few chuckles when a football player sitting next to me made a remark about our professor and how she doesn’t look like a mom. I played it up and asked him to elaborate. He said her body did not seem to look used or heavier. That she didn’t appear to look how “moms” look. I was totally amused by this. Especially being a women’s studies major, I like to poke and pry at my peers for their opinions on gender in body image and media because it is all around us yet blind to everyone’s consciousness. At last after hearing his funny but sincere comments, I revealed that I was a mom. In disbelief he laughed and said “nah, your playin!”. “Not playing” I said.

The professor came around to us for attendance and asked me how Bella was doing. The embarrassment on that football players face was priceless. I asked how her children were in return. He just burried his face into his arm.

  One of the greatest things about my major is that I get to express my own interests into my work. I always try to tie in teen pregnancy or motherhood as a project or essay in comparison to the course materials. That way I can save up my past projects and use them to support a final thesis. Although I am credit based a senior, i still have three to four semesters left at my university. I have to juggle school, work and my daughter into every semester. It is not easy. I have managed to get into a system, choosing only certain days for classes or work. Trying to race to multiple locations in one day on a crowded campus bus just does not work for me. I have been lucky to have supportive professors and gotten accommodations made for me in special circumstances. There have been occasions where I had to bring my daughter to class with me. Today was thankfully not one of them.

  Much debate has been thrown around on whether it is beneficial or harmful for a woman to have the option to go out in the work field or back to school while raising children. I have never let anyone discouragement or opinions hold me back. I have applied myself and made as much effort to be my age as possible. I do not think it has hindered my relationship with my daughter. Space can be good. Healthy. We also need separate time to stimulate our minds. To learn and grow in our own ways without interfering with each others ability to do so.

   My daughter has come to understand that we both have school. We both have responsibilities to uphold and things to accomplish. It also doesn’t have to all be dreary. We get to make separate friends and hobbies while apart. I like the ability I have to be on a college campus and gain some autonomy. Its nice to grab lunch with people my age and join extra curricular activities. I also get time to miss my daughter, making going home to her my favorite part of the day.

   I am excited to see what my semester unfolds. The courses I have registered for this semester all are for my women’s studies major. Each course has a different angle on women’s lives and history. I am taking one with my favorite professor from another semester, on reproductive psychology and health care. I am so excited to develop my interests deeper in motherhood and the childbirth experience from a young mothers perspective. A topic I have wanted to study but did not have the opportunity to yet. I also have the familiarity with campus and my major enough to feel at home finally. I now know the ropes of essay writing, handling midterms and getting to classrooms on time. I see many familiar faces and am comfortable with the faculty of my department. Familiarity is a great thing to have when attending a university. I have gained it through making mistakes, getting to know the ins and outs of the campus as well as reaching out to my professors when I have a problem. All in all, it feels good to be a senior.

  For now, I will not be printing, typing or reading. The only thing I want to do tonight is sleep.

  

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Two weeks left until kindergarten

   I could not come up with an appropriate title for how i feel. “Manic Monday” would be fitting but I am sure I will feel like this every day until she starts. Life is so hectic and the days are flying. Make it stop. Today was the first day of classes for everyone in my college. I have decided to cram all my classes into Tuesdays and Thursdays. That way I can work Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. My daughter will get out at 3:30 every day so I will have evenings free with her. Of course Sunday is church day and free time. Not much room for fun but I am keeping busy to avoid having meltdowns from the stress.

  Today is actually a rare day. A day in which I asked myself “how the hell do I do all of this?”. I am so tired. Its only Monday and I feel like I was hit by a bus. No. That’s not good enough. A garbage truck. With people laughing and pointing instead of asking if I am OK. All I can say is I am thankful for friends. And for having enough sense to take a mental break when I really need it.

   As a mother, I tend to push myself to the limits when trying to accomplish everything. I want to make everyone happy and finish every task. I am a perfectionist or OCD maybe. I could just push myself extra because I know I have no one else to accomplish things for my child. Or my own life. I am dating and happy but my dating life is separate from my obligations as a parent. I am not married nor am I with my child’s father. I am independent and take care of it all on my own. Sometimes I just do too much.

  Sometimes I do feel weird pushing a stroller around my college campus. I am young but I also look very young. There is no mistaking it. I feel extra embarrassed when I cannot maneuver a freakin stroller around the damn college bookstore. Other weird feelings include seeing packs of guys checking out girls and then seeing me. With that nauseated and “holy shit” expression. A few people will hold doors for me. Some look at me probably wondering why I am on campus with a small child.I am not the only mother on campus or in the world to attend college. I also find pride in being a college mama. But sometimes I do feel the sting when I am judged. It still hurts. I don’t get invited much to famous hangouts or events. I really don’t ever have a babysitter. So there’s no place i can go If my daughter can’t come. I get over it. I make it work. 

    Its just one of those days where I am so emotional that I want to burst into tears at any god given moment. My daughter has been cranky because of a virus she caught, most likely during her last week in preschool. It was something going around that made her breakout in a full rash and get flu like symptoms. Fun stuff. I have just tried to remind myself that patience and hugs are what she needs. Does anyone want to be screamed at when they already don’t feel good? Sometimes parents react fast without thinking of what situation the child is in. I do not want to be one of those. Of I have a bad day, it is not her fault. Punishing her for it will not make the day go smoother.

  What I did manage to do was recognize her feelings and reinforce nap time. As she naps, I have had time to wind down and process out what I need to do for her first day of kindergarten. We managed to get all her supplies labeled. I also found an adorable little dry erase board to write on for her. I decided to use one for her first day of school sign. We can reuse it for other firsts. I got a big pink scrapbook and scrap pages to fill in as she experiences things in kindergarten. It will be simpler to fill in as we go rather than attempt to make a book at the end of the year. Smart thinking.

  

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I am shocked at how much was needed for kindergarten. Three notebooks. Binders. Binders? A clipboard. The usual pencils, markers, crayons and colored pencils. She needed 10 glue sticks and 2 bottles of Elmer’s glue. Scissors as well as folders and a supply box. A set of paints and a smock. Poor kid. The bag is bigger than her. We managed to find sand which boxes with a princess and horse on each. Totally cute, easy to open and safe. Two for ten at hallmark. Random right?

   Its exactly 13 days until my heart drops. I just want everything to slow down. This semester is going to be one wild ride. My only hope is to survive it without losing hair. I’d like to avoid getting any grays at 22.

  My only agenda now is sleep. Tomorrow I start my fall semester as a senior.  I used to be such an eager freshman. The one who sat in the first row, middle seat. Everything laminated and printed out. Teachers knowing me by my summer emails. Readings printed and alphabetized.

My motto for senior year is “whatever…it’ll work its self out”.

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The dorm fairy

    Today something spectacular happened to brighten up my dreary week. I got a visit from the dorm fairy. It could be karma, stroke of good luck (which doesn’t happen often) or maybe praying actually does work fast. Whatever the case may be, I had a pleasant surprise. When I went to go pick up my fall semester textbooks at the bookstore, I also found out I had a lot of extra financial aid money which could now (its changed) be used for ANYTHING in the book store or campus mart.
   
  

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             Yay textbooks!!! Aka my life

  I browsed through the campus mart for odds and ends, only to find out that it now carried grocery items and toiletries. I was probably the only weirdo in the store with my pink jeep stroller, attempting to pile foods, tampons and as much office supplies as I could humanly juggle. You have no idea how hard it is to wheel a stroller through a college campus let alone a college bookstore, with isles not made for stroller tires. My daughter was annoyed and not feeling well, but she managed to perk up when I told her to pick something special out that we don’t normally buy. I figured, heck, since its all Paid for, let’s both pick a treat out. We obviously have two very different ideas of something special. She’s a funny girl.

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   Bella decided her heart was set on cocoa puffs. Something we NEVER ever buy. I got a key lanyard that’s zebra print with my school name on it. We both have such cool lives.
   
     After rading every isle, I clumsily dropped a billion objects while doing a balancing act on the stroller awning. Luckily a book store worker came to my rescue with a basket (duh). He watched as I picked out nearly half the snack isle (hey, free kindergarten snacks) and asked if I have a car or need help. He clearly has never seen any hulk moms, carrying twelve grocery bags up two flights of stairs to avoid a second trip!

   I was able to get over twenty items and spent around $100 and change. I still even have a balance left of aid to buy more in the future (holy crap). Though the store is so overpriced ($12.99 for my lanyard and $5.99 for her dumb cereal), I was able to get a very decent amount of home things and healthy snacks. The store even had milk and yogurt!!! Holy crap.

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  I scored four chobani, some pita chips and pop smart popcorn chips. I found chips that look like pita but are made from lentils (no idea that existed). We grabbed Welch’s fruit snacks, white cheddar cheese its, pretzels and veggie chips. Fruit cups, apple sauce and some yummy nut health bars. All in all, I am a lucky girl.

     I was able together one of my ideas from a previous post having to do with lunch and organization. I made a snack tub and rearranged our snack cupboard for her kindergarten snacks so it will be easily accessible to us both. The Tupperware I found was super cheap just has a snaplid which I put underneath for keeping. I chose the brand for a very comical reason. It had   my daughters name on it!!!!
    

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    This semester, Bella will have lots of healthy and delicious snacks to take to school. I hope I can keep making foods and snacks like the ones I have found and blogged about. I will have to have a cooking weekend to make some of the recipes I have.

   Whenever you are having a super crappy week and think it won’t get better, just pray to the dorm fairy. It worked for me! 🙂

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