Changing Expectations

expectationIt has been a long while since I have posted on my blog, 8 months to be precise. When I chose to take a hiatus from writing, I had a few good reasons. Ok, I had a few horrible excuses.

One of those horrible excuses being… I was distraught. I was disappointed by all the work I had put in to my writing and not scoring a job. What did I expect? A job…with money coming in…paid bills…recognition. It is what every writer expects.

As the months went by and my life took every single U-turn, side road, and dark dirty alley that it could find. I found out several things about myself and other people. I never imagined that I had high expectations. Hell, compared to most people I’ve ever known in my life; my expectations were damn near invisible. But, there they were, in their obnoxiously repugnant glory.

I expected friends to be friends. Friends like I am with people. It never occurred to me that some people have a different view and belief about the meaning of friendship. Facebook taught me that many people don’t even consider strangers to be their friends. That was an alien concept to me. Because a friend can be anyone, and some of the bestest friends you may ever have will turn out to be that unlikely one. The person that you didn’t even think you needed, the shy one in the corner with an occasional glimmer of fun times and tomfoolery. The one who picks you up so you both can stalk their ex in low-cut tops at a bar while he is on a date with some insignificant hussie… YES>>>that one!People

Friends are friends are friends. Until they aren’t…and trust me, lately, I’ve found that many that I thought were…weren’t! The reasons given for breaking a long-standing friendship were asinine, to say the least. Well they were to me anyway. Because, as I said, friends are friends are friends. They are similar to a marriage, without all the fighting. Nothing can get between two friends…or so I believed. But, as with many things in my life…I got educated quickly and painfully on the subject of true friendship.

It seems to me, that when I was a lowly nobody…let me clarify that. When I believed that I was a lowly nobody, I had friends that stuck beside me no matter what. However, when I started believing that I was somebody and even worse, when I began telling them that they are somebody and could do better…well, that was the end of that friendship. This happened repeatedly. Something was clearly wrong here.

The thing about changing, growing, and becoming a better human being, is that it is a lonely road… it is a path that one can only travel alone. You cannot take anyone with you, even though you desperately want to. People cannot be forced into changing. No matter how much you shove your opinion down their throat…I am guilty of that. No matter how many inspirational/motivational photos you share on Facebook…I have done that. No matter how much you try to make them see that the only people who can make them happy are themselves. No matter the extent in which you try to convince them that they are hurting themselves and everyone around them as well. No…you cannot force anyone into changing!

But…I could change me, and I did. I changed how I viewed friends and how to distinguish between real and fake friends. I changed how I allowed others in my life…positive in, negative out. However, the most important change was about expectations. I didn’t lower them and I surely didn’t raise them. I got rid of them entirely. Expecting others to be someone they weren’t or in most cases, couldn’t be was what I had bitched about them doing to me. They were expecting me to shut the hell up and I was expecting them to speak up. They were expecting me to stay the same and I was expecting them to grow up. It was becoming a vicious cycle of why can’t you be more like me and less like you. What the hell? Who had I let myself become?!

I was always angry, sad, depressed, and worried because of the expectations that I had of other people. All of which had nothing to do with me really and everything to do with them. I wanted them to change and become people of their word. They weren’t that. They couldn’t be that. It was an alien concept to them. If only I had let them be who they are.

But, in that lies the problem. Not everyone is supposed to stay in your life. It is just not possible to keep people in your life who no longer mesh with you. I am not saying they ALL have to mesh, that would be boring and nobody could grow that way. However, some people are just too low on the rung of the ladder of life to notice anymore. Not that I am calling them lowly nobodies…because I’m not. I am just saying as you make your climb up the ladder you do not keep looking down and expect to keep going up. You would fall off the ladder and then where would you be? At the bottom, on your back, looking at where you use to be and having to work even harder to get a portion of the way back up there. Nobody wants to fall off the ladder of life…NOBODY!

So release your expectations of other people. Let them be who they are and you be who you are… And if it’s bad for your well-being, then stop looking down the ladder and let them “fall” out of view. You will be happier and they will be happier, the universe will once again be in balance.Happiness

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Becoming Free Thinkers In A Society Of Sheeple

 

Zazzle bumper sticker

In a society of Sheeple, we spend more than 90% of our lives doing what we are told. We follow because we are taught to follow, not to lead. No matter what we decide to do with our lives, we will always have someone who is telling us what to do, when to do it, why we need to do it, how to do it, and where we should be doing it.

We are taught from the moment we can talk until we start Kindergarten, that asking questions is the best way to learn about something that we do not know. At some point while we are in school, that awareness changes from it’s ok to ask into shut up, sit down, do as I tell you, and stop asking questions. It becomes the life-long version of; “Because I say so, that’s why.”

 
Every parent dreams of having a unique child, right up until that precise moment when the teacher sits you down and explains that your child just won’t behave like the other children. You are told that your child will never be able to function in a healthy society when they are adults because they cannot seem to follow along like the other children do. You are then advised to get your child checked out by a medical professional to be medicated for the mental defect your child has that keeps them from doing as everyone else does. With or without a medical diagnosis or pharmaceutical medication; your child is now officially labeled as “different”, “unable to follow simple directions”, a “trouble-maker”, “difficult”, “learning impaired”, and “unteachable.”

I know this scenario very well from my own childhood. I could never really follow along with what everyone else was doing. The teachers always said that I had potential but, that I was basically a dreamer. They insisted that I will never accomplish anything worthwhile, because I just couldn’t do what I was told to do. My father’s word for that was, “stupid”. He didn’t realize, much like the teachers who were trying to teach me, that I wasn’t a follower. I couldn’t learn like the others because some of what they were teaching me I knew was bullshit. Some of what was being taught wasn’t advanced enough and I got bored easily because of it. And some of what was going on had to do with the terrorism I was experiencing at home on a daily basis. In other words, for me to be able to succeed in learning I needed to be taught the things I didn’t know by someone who was willing to learn what they didn’t know from me.

 

When I had my own children I did what every other parent does, enrolled them in a public school. My daughter started in Kindergarten and my son started in Pre-school. I was the epitome of school-mom. I drove them to school and picked them up every day, from the exact moment my daughter got bullied on the bus by a much bigger and older girl who wouldn’t be reprimanded by the school or bus driver because well… there was no way the driver could possibly watch the road and see the bullying that was going on, so it never happened. I went up to the school every day at lunch to eat with my children and their friends. I participated in all field trips and events pertaining to the education of my children. I sent snacks for their classes, hand-made snacks… that was allowed in that school, not like in so many others these days. I helped my children with homework every single night before bed. I worked just as hard if not harder in school as my own children did.

It didn’t take long to find out that my daughter had a reading problem because she had a seeing problem. From birth she had an eye that is blind. (Now they know it to be astigmatism, lazy, a congenital cataract, smaller jagged pupil along with the blindness.) Everything she “sees” from that eye is too blurry to really make anything out. So after eye exams, she got glasses. The glasses did nothing to help her reading problem though, so she was enrolled in a special class to help her with reading. Yet, Kindergarten through 2nd grade she struggled to read. Come to find out, right before we moved out of that school district, that her reading teacher was a nasty ogre of a woman who enjoyed bullying children by yelling at them for not being able to read. When I brought this to the attention of the principal and the teacher herself, they decided to go down the road that I was a bad parent because my daughter had missed several days of school that year. Why did she miss several days? Because she had recurrent bouts of tonsillitis which eventually led to the doctor removing her tonsils. Every single absence my children had were excused, since I had the medical documents to prove it. But, when it came down to the wrong doing, the school preferred to blame someone else instead of addressing the real issue, a teacher who doesn’t belong teaching.

This did not deter me though, because I still had faith in the school system. After all, I went to school and I graduated from school. It is what everyone does, right? It wasn’t until we moved to another state and both of my children were diagnosed with disabilities did another issue come up. We were new to the area and new to these illnesses my kids were diagnosed with (just finding out my daughter had Hashimoto’s and my son was moderately/severely deaf) and therefore we needed to have them seen by specialists. Well, needless to say to any parent who has dealt with a disabled child, seeing specialists in a Children’s Hospital is a very time-consuming event. And since these hospital’s see an entire city’s worth if not state’s worth of children, the appointments are limited and you go when they tell you or you don’t get seen period.

Once again I found myself being harassed and blamed by a school official for my children’s absences. Although there I stood with doctor documentation in my hands, I was still threatened and bullied by someone who I am supposed to trust to teach my children. I had had quite enough of that after only 2 months of them being in school, and considered homeschooling. While in the local library researching the state laws on homeschooling, I ran into a woman who homeschools and wrote a book. It was a sign! After speaking with her, my mind was made up and my children were pulled out of public school the following Monday by certified letter.

It took less than a year for me to find out that my children and I were not the “schooling” kind. And the longer I chose to teach my children in my home, the more my family, who was not living anywhere nearby to us nor knew anything about what we were doing or going through, worried. Why? Not so much because I wasn’t a licensed teacher, although that did come up occasionally, but because it was not the way that the world expects you to do things. I was stepping far outside of the norm and that scared the Hell out of them. However, the more I researched, read, and practiced this “unusual” way of learning; the more I found out that we were not a homeschooling family but actually what is known as an unschooling family. My beliefs about how a person learns, fell into the unschooling category perfectly, unlike the more religious reasons most homeschoolers have. So instead of forcing my children to learn subjects by grade level or solely what I believed in, we starting turning everything in our daily lives into a learning experience.

The more I unschooled my children and myself, the more we thrived in learning and as a family. In aiming to teach my children, I have been taught. We learn everything that we’ve always wanted to learn and we do it together, each one of us interchanging between student and teacher. We don’t believe that you can only learn certain things at a certain age. If we want to know about something, we learn about it. There are no whines, complaints, or not doing of the work because it isn’t work and it isn’t school… it is life, our life, and not one second of it is wasted. Every single moment of every single day spent learning freely without restrictions and timetables. Learning all that the world and life has to offer us by becoming free thinkers in a society of Sheeple.

After The Storm Passes

Google Image. Vinyl designs by CJ

My last post really had several people concerned. I appreciate the comments and the messages and those of you who basically got a slap in the face wake-up call with that post.

I assure you all though that I am fine, the kids are fine, and my dogs and husband are all fine. No pun intended. Seriously, unlike my last post states we really are fine.

 

This isn’t the first time that some of you have seen me fly off the handle like I did yesterday. In fact, many of you who have known me for some time now, know all too well how hot-tempered I can be. And although I was angry when I wrote the post I assure you, I have had time to calm down and work through those overwhelming feelings and emotions.

 

I also want to say that, unfortunately anger is an emotion that must be expressed on occasion or it will do more damage later on to others and ones own self. It is a very explosive and extremely volatile emotion and as you all know, it had built up like a pressure cooker inside of me. If I hadn’t closed the lid so tightly and let some of the steam escape occasionally, I may have been able to stay calmer and have kept a cooler more level head instead of blowing up like an atom bomb.

 

The post I wrote, wasn’t meant to upset those who really do care and check in on me frequently. It wasn’t aimed at any one person specifically. In a nutshell, it was directed at society as a whole. It was a “Wake the fuck up people you aren’t the only ones struggling!” type of message. Which I admit, I most certainly could have portrayed my feelings in a less demanding and ignorant manner.

 

We have become a society of immensely selfish people. We allow our lives to be entirely consumed with so much trivial bullshit that we cannot possibly think of anyone else and how their lives may be turning out for them. We quickly jump from one thing to the next without stopping and realizing that even though we have moved on from the sadness and empathy we had once felt for a friend, that maybe they were still not over the thing that they had went through. (Example: my sister’s death and my family’s health and financial situation.) We are so quick to forget about our grieving friends feelings and if they don’t constantly remind us about their situation, it slips to the back of our minds. The more time that passes the more we believe they are no longer hurting and it not only shocks us but often time annoys us that they haven’t “moved on” yet. But, that is not how some of us see it and those of us who are on the receiving end often times get angry because our friends have left us stuck in time when they swore they’d always be there. We feel abandoned and neglected. As time continues to pass, we often feel alone because the world just kept on spinning while we stood there dizzy in need of assistance. We don’t want to ask for help because we don’t want to be a bother to anyone and we get angry because no one ever needed to ask us for help we just did it. It becomes a vicious cycle that many don’t break until after they have lost many people from their lives. And even then it may still  continue.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as guilty as everyone else. As I was writing my last post I knew exactly what it was I was saying, feeling, and projecting. I also know it came off very childish in a whole temper-tantrum sort of way. I was screaming for attention and oh boy did I get it.

 

But not only in the ways you might imagine. Letting all of that anger and emotion out really helped me to see things in a different light. I realized after writing it that I am not the same person I was before as I thought I was in my post. I’m really not that depressed, weak-minded, angry person anymore. I know you are shaking your head at me, like wtf is she talking about…the post was full of depression, anger and weakness.

 

Yes, it surely was. I thought it was all that built up stuff coming out and once I could calm down enough to reflect I realized how much of the past 7 months were actually anything but anger, depression and weakness on my part. Regardless if I was truly feeling and dealing with the emotions or just flitting back and forth between them, I did have many more happy and content days than I did depressed and angry days.

 

I have gone through a lot in the last year and a half and my writing reflects that. I know I don’t need to tell any of you who have been by my side throughout it all. What I learned in this experience was that I can no longer hold things in and just wait hoping they go away. I also learned that I have a good handful of online people, be it family or friends, who support me more than I was aware of or wanted to admit. Also, that I am a writer and as such I have to write. It doesn’t matter if I am a paid writer or if I am nothing more than a blogger with a never realized dream… I HAVE TO WRITE! So, the best thing for me to do is give you all smaller doses of my mind more frequently, instead of bombarding the world with larger doses all at once like I did yesterday. Not only is it better for all of you it is better for me too.

 

So thank you all for bearing with me through my ups and downs. Thank you for reaching out to me and letting me know you care. And above all, thank you for always allowing me to be who I am, even when I am not on my bestest behavior.  Nothing in this world feels better than the love I have felt in the last couple of days from those of you who prefer me just the way I am. I can now move on with my head held higher just knowing that I do indeed have  several shoulders to lean on if I just reach out for them.

 

Oh and before I end this, I’d like to give a special shoutout to my new readers and followers. Thank you for joining me on what was a very difficult day in my life. I hope you stick around and continue to ride with me on this crazy ride that is my life.