Posted in Thoughts and the Past

Being Willing to Die for Someone- why I believe that is a healthy sign of maturity [with audio]

Reading of the Post

Most People Would Not Take a Bullet for Someone Else….Most.

I believe every person cares about themselves above anyone else. …up until a certain point. We, as humans are social creatures, of course. So, I do believe that in some cases people do care more about others than themselves, like in the case of mothers and their children. I am not a mother and as a non child having person, I remember telling my best friend in sixth grade that I’d do almost anything for her. I meant anything except die for her. I take motherhood very seriously and have many, likely unpopular, opinions on that role, but for now I’ll say this: I believe one of the primordial requirements to become a mother is to be willing to die for one’s children.

I don’t even mean this as in choosing to die for a child like pushing them out of the way of an oncoming vehicle when crossing the street only to be struck by it yourself. I mean, in ways that are (amazingly) not given much thought or consideration. I should say, in ways that aren’t dwelled on. The best example being, by giving birth. That can be extremely dangerous and sometimes fatal, but people do it everyday. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for that.

Would I Die to Save Someone Else?

I never thought I’d meet anyone I’d be willing to give my life for. Thankfully, I haven’t been through many near fatal situations first hand. In fact, the one I am about to describe is the least dangerous of my top three, but it is the most recent. I was swimming in the pool with a friend of mine and her two daughters. While she was taking care of her infant, I was watching over her five year old daughter who was afraid of drowning. After a few hours she would “dive” from a small platform as long as I promised to catch her before her head went below water.

This was encouraging progress. I am consumed by fear myself, so if there is one fear I can help my honorary niece conquer, I will. She continues making progress throughout our time in the pool and after a couple of hours she decides to jump from the pool’s edge which is even higher than the platform from the previous dives. I held out my hands knowing this was a positive step for her. Even though I was wary about the height she was jumping from (we were in the deep end), I wanted to encourage her newfound bravery and knew that whatever happened, she would not drown. I would not allow that to happen.

I didn’t. She jumped, but the added height took me by surprise. I sank in the water as I furiously kicked only thinking about her. My only thought being to not let her face go under water as it would freak her out. She was wearing floaties, so she would likely be fine even if I had let go, but I did not want to traumatize her. So I held her up and kicked underwater as much as I could before taking in a small breath of water myself.

Was it stupid? Maybe. Unnecessary? Probably. But in that moment, I wasn’t thinking. To tell you the truth, I actually forgot she was wearing floaties. Or maybe I thought that if she went underwater and panicked it wouldn’t matter if she was wearing floaties or not, she might start inhaling water out of pure panic. Point is, in that moment, to me, she had to stay above water or else she’d drown. Simple as that.

So I did not let go. It was only a moment, but I do remember running out of breath and wondering if I would drown. To assure her before this, I had told her that I would drown myself before I ever allowed her to drown. I meant it, but didn’t dwell on it. I said it so nonchalantly, but without planning on it, was proving the statement true not long after I’d said it. Thankfully, I was able to gasp in air soon after that small trickle of water and I had enough sense to play it cool and give her a smile while congratulating her for her bravery for deciding to jump.

If I did it right, she won’t even remember that moment. She’ll just remember that she can trust me to keep her safe even when she’s scared.

Why was I Willing to Drown?

As for me, I remember that moment as the first moment I ever risked my life for someone. Again, I know it was a stupid thing to do and really not nearly as dangerous as it could have been, but for me it was the only time I could ever say something was happening to me that could threaten my life and I chose to continue on in that state for the sake of someone else. It’s confusing.

Maybe it just proves I do have that expected motherly nature that encourages people (regardless of gender) to protect the younger population. Maybe it’s personal and means I love my honorary niece in a way I’ve never loved another human being. Maybe it just means I’m stupid. I don’t know.

Ultimately, regardless of what it means, I now know that I do have at least one person whose life I would save before my own. It’s a scary, yet encouraging thought….however, there are many other barriers to motherhood for me so no news on that front.

What my Limited Knowledge of Psychology has to say about this

I’m not sure how to end this post. I don’t want to recommend seeking out a dangerous situation to risk your life saving someone else, unless you have a dream of being a firefighter or something of the sort. I will say though, I remember studying about developmental stages in psychology class and learning that as people age into adulthood they often benefit from interacting and giving back to those younger than them, especially children.

I also remember learning that in old age people are either satisfied and accepting of death or regretful and fighting against end of life.

Not to be morbid, but I do feel like being willing to sacrifice one’s life for a someone else, especially a child, is a natural and healthy part of life. I see it as accepting the fact that I am older now and I, even unconsciously, agree that one day I will die, so if it’s between my death and the death of someone younger than me, I am not the priority. In a strange way, that is comforting to me. Maybe because I did not think it possible.

My Personal Ties to Self Preservation

I have feared death for many years. Like I said, my life revolves around my fears. Some are of seemingly insignificant things like social anxieties and personal insecurities, but most revolve around an overactive sense of self preservation. I have attempted to avoid bodily harm since before I was afraid of death.

I was taught how to get off a bed before I was even able to climb onto one. (My older brother rolled off of a bed and hurt himself as a toddler, so we both learned how to get off a bed the very next day. Can’t imagine I was older than a year or so at the time.) I’m the younger sibling by one year and it’s true (at least in my family) that the first child is how the parents learn to, well, parent by trial and error. My brother was both a clumsy and a sickly child, so self preservation was a huge lesson my parents’ prioritized teaching us.

Knowing how ingrained that sense of looking out for my own life and safety was, it’s no wonder I didn’t think it possible to care for others as much as myself in terms of physical well being. (Emotionally is a different story since I will very readily give up my own comfort or really, anything I can to make people feel better even if said thing makes me feel worse.)

Moral of the Story and my Insane Writing Process

So, to recap: I am still afraid of dozens of things and have no desire to partake in potentially dangerous activities, however I believe I am maturing in a healthy way since I did experience a moment of undeniable motherly/adult instinct to protect a child for the first time in my life.

Therefore, life is beautiful. Take care of your loved ones. And look forward to another insane rambling of mine…..at some random point in the future. ….or the next time I watch an emotional movie and am bombarded by so much past trauma that I suppress my urge to avoid thinking about anything by distracting myself with T.V., food, social media, etc. and I decide to face some of it head on and eventually find some viable post in the word vomit and fall asleep exhausted but glad to have put some of my many tortuous thoughts into words and somehow find the strength to come back to said messy post the following day or week or month to edit it and make it as readable as posible before posting it for the world to fall witness to my inner demons.

Yep. I’ve been finding it hard to write these past few months. Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope someone got something out of that. And, if you would like to watch a movie that will twist your heart to pieces if you can relate to it in any way, I highly recommend Five Feet Apart.

Note: Picture from Pexel’s Free Photo Library
Posted in Texas- Living with Parents, Thoughts and the Past

Feeling like a Failure, but it’s all Relative- Embracing being the Rebel in my Family

Personal reading for all you audiophiles and busy people alike 🙂

I’ve fallen out of love with writing. Before, it was my comfort. I used it to get my thoughts and stress out. …Then things happened I couldn’t bear to write about. Things I no longer wanted to explore or understand. I just wanted them to be forgotten. I still do.

Avoiding the Past

Many, I have forgotten. Thank heavens. But, the catalyst lingers. And I can not help but attempt to avoid writing in fear of preserving new horrors. I want to be open and honest in my writing, but there are some doors I no longer allow myself to open anymore. While there are others- revolving doors- that seem to have no lock and key. No matter how hard I push or pull, they will not shut.

I feel weak. I feel…ashamed. I am a failure and I am afraid to not be one. So I hide. Behind television series and video games. I used to hide behind documentaries and books as well…but it seems that too has changed. I am obsessed with change. I think because I’ve never liked myself. I grew up with the usual ideals- knowledge, kindness, appearances.

I succeeded at them out of doors and within myself (I believed). How do I know what I believed? I was not a person before. I won’t repeat the details. Just know I was raised as a people pleaser. I didn’t know what it meant to like something before I attended university. I know that won’t make sense to many people. How does a person not have opinions, likes, or dislikes. In my mind, I was not allowed to- so I didn’t.

Finding my Voice Despite Outside Influences

When I began university, I was so strict with myself. I had so many rules and guidelines. I could not distinguish my thoughts from what I had been taught growing up. My inner voice was not my own. It was a combination of my parents and wise teachers and life lessons learned from television.

Eventually, I let go. I learned to trust myself and hear myself. Listen to what I wanted. Just the other day I realized something huge. I grew up feeling like the big sister of the family- like a forced mother of sorts. I still do. However, the thought occurred to me that I am also the rebel in the family- a black sheep of sorts- at least in the eyes of my immediate family. I felt so happy in that moment.

I know we do not get to choose whether we are born nor in what order, but I always felt cheated in a way. Remember, I learned the ways of life from television? I was sold so much crap about the youngest siblings’ position in life and in the family. I was told they are the spoiled one with no responsibilities and all the praise. I only have one sibling; still, things were not so.

Familial Expectations

In many ways, more was expected of me- as a female, as an able-bodied person, as a younger person, as an English speaker, as someone with education, and as a daughter.

  • “You should be in the kitchen with your mother.”
  • Coddling my older brother “because of his situation.” (He has chronic illnesses; I am healthy.)
  • Do this, do that “because you’re the youngest therefore have the most energy”.
  • “Translate this, call this number, set this appointment”.
  • “You are lucky to have an education…so, why a 98? Why not a 100?”
  • “It is the youngest daughter’s responsibility to take care of her parents in their old age.”
  • “It is expected you as a daughter in general not leave the house unless you are married to a man.”
  • “If you go anywhere except work or school, you must state where you are going, with whom, and be back before it is dark.”

But, I stubbornly sat with my dad that day and watched the soccer game with him instead of going to help my mother in the kitchen. (I don’t even like soccer.) I call my parents out for hindering my brother’s independence by helping him too much and thus impeding him from learning to have confidence and the ability to do things on his own. And in general, I am just a horrendous daughter in my immediate family’s eyes.

Respectful or Rebellious?

Some time ago, I wrote a piece about my mother and how she finds me to be disrespectful. Soon after, one of my cousins checked up on me and expressed her shock at the situation. For years until that point, whenever my family would visit their family for holidays I remained stuck like glue to my mother’s side and said maybe two words the entire evening. I didn’t have a personality, like I had mentioned. My job was to not upset my parents. They had enough to worry about with my sickly brother.

I shouldn’t have been as shocked that my cousin thought I was a better daughter than I am, but I am a terrible daughter. I don’t help with chores, I do speak up if I see something I disagree with, and I, frankly, don’t care about what my parents consider a good daughter to be. When it occurred to me that I am the rebel in my family…I felt liberated as if the puzzle pieces finally fell into place.

I may not be a rebel in the traditional sense- no underage drugs or drinking or wild parties or sex- but I will never live up to my parents’ standards. Before, I tried. I was quiet and accommodating. I was the first to admit I was wrong and apologize. What I wouldn’t have done to get a crumb of approval from my mother.

Being Realistic

But now I realize—-no. I accept, that I will never have that. And, honestly, I don’t need it. Of course, I still would love to be accepted by my own mother, but I know that is an impossibility. Enough with holding out hope. This isn’t a fictional novel. There is no magic moment. There is no perfect family. There are better families and there are worse families. No amount of wondering and waiting will change who we are.

I’ve known for years that there is no point trying to change other people, but I always felt I didn’t have to. I watched too much T.V. read too many idealist books. I believed my mother had to love me simply because I was her daughter. I was wrong. And I know I was wrong plain as day, because when I expressed a similar feeling to her (the fact that she had to take care of me because I was her daughter), my mother replied, “no, I could have thrown you away.” She proceeded to tell preadolescent me about mothers who literally throw their children in the garbage or otherwise abandon them.

Not the Last Time I Heard those Words…

And I am reminded of a similar statement my first therapist told me once. She said, “I don’t have to like you- that’s not part of my job- but I do.” Which was terrifying (due to the similar structure and meaning of the message), but ultimately heartwarming because of the final statement. My mother did not end her sordid tales with a positive statement.

I suppose that is why I have the urge to end my depressing posts here on a positive note….and why I have an intense fear of abandonment, and why, in the past, I tried so hard to get people to either like me or simply be invisible. By high school, it was easier to be invisible.

These are only a few of the thoughts that circle around in my head making it difficult to sleep at night until I pass out from exhaustion or until it is light out and several months of avoiding writing have passed, as well as the memories that haunt me. So, I type up my usual word vomit about my mommy issues that may be relatable to some, but is ultimately pointless and pathetic for myself.

I am a Failure by my Family’s Eyes….but I don’t have to be in one in mine

To end this on a positive note, I am comforted in accepting my new place in my family as the rebel. I know that my parents no longer expect me to be the perfect daughter they hoped I would be, because I am so far away from that ideal. It is sad to shatter my parents’ hopes and expectations of me, but I don’t believe in those expectations. I do not believe my place is in the kitchen, or that I must live at home until I find a husband, or that anything less than perfection is unsatisfactory.

Maybe I’m letting my parents down, but I am building myself up. Their time is up. They had their shot at molding me into the person they hoped I would be. The rest is up to me.

Yet, I feel like a failure almost everyday. A failure in what, though? I don’t know what I want for my life! So, how have I failed in a sport I’ve yet to pick, let alone participate in? I’ve been judging myself for my ability to climb trees when I am a fish. I don’t know what exactly to work towards and, in the process, feel like a failure for, but there is a whole ocean for me to figure that out. I just know my parents are good people who raised me to the best of their ability, but I am also a good person getting by as best I can.

It’s okay that our good is not the same. I just have to stop comparing the two and trust in myself for myself. Years ago, I learned I can not please everyone and that not everyone in this world will like me. Just today I learned that as heartbreaking as it can feel, this includes my parents. They may be ashamed and embarrassed by some of my life choices, but I was not born to please them (despite some of their ideals that argue this point).

What I Must Do Now

I may live in their house, but more than that, I live in my mind, my body. Therefore, I get to decide what I do. It’s high time I made myself a priority. Last time I said this, I meant it. And I followed through, however I was focused on the wrong part. I was focused on running away- escaping my feelings (and my mother) by distracting myself in movie theaters and moving out. I was wrong. The answer is not going out, but going in- into my mind.

I need to come face to face with myself and my fears in order to work through what it is that I really want out of this life I did not choose. It is scary, but if I don’t, I fear I will be stuck in limbo until an event so powerful rocks me from my stagnant place- be it wonderful or tragic.

I don’t want to begin this frightening journey, but I must- if only to get out of the habit of falling asleep for the night at 9am the next day because my life feels so lonely and empty.

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P.S.

I know I am not alone. Thank you for reading, sincerely. It will be a long process and I don’t know how quickly or linear that process will be. However, I hope for myself and also for this blog, that I do seek and sustain improvements in my life. I want to document this. I want to remember where I was and how far I’ve gone in the future. So, I will be starting a YouTube channel.

I know…I’m not the most consistent person, so it’s a bit crazy to start such a big project…but whether the channel lasts or even becomes well watched, it’s part of my journey and you are welcome to join it. I’ll have more details soon. Thanks again, friends.

Posted in My Life Now, Texas- Living with Parents

Weeks of January 20th and 27th 2020- Work Woes, Weight Woes, and Workout Woes… Then a Reawakening.

Yeah, it happened again. I was really sad. I skipped a week and almost another of blogging. Yep. It’s going to keep happening. But I’ve decided to do a joint recap instead of try to piece together whatever that mess was. Here’s the important bits:

 

Week of January 20th 2020

 

  • I found out I’d lost a pound of weight since the week prior.
    • I hadn’t really done anything to make that happen except being more conscious of my snacking and not being excessive with that.

 

  • I applied for a job at a hospital.
    • I’ve been really mentally blocked for a long time and just can’t bring myself to move forward in my life. Now I finally have my dietetic license and can apply for jobs in my career, but my heart hasn’t been in it. I’m so tired of being rejected. (Not from jobs per se, but in general. Especially since my internship, but also in recent personal matters.) Axyl gave me the real-talk chat I needed and I mustered up the energy to apply for one job. Still waiting on word from that hospital.

 

  • I replied to a health food company. 
    • This company seemed interesting and though they reached out to me to work for them as a cashier (well below my abilities now that I am licensed) I genuinely wanted to learn more about the company and network. I decided to meet with the CEO/ founder later in the week.

 

  • I met a guitarist in my piano class. 
    • He didn’t have his book, so I offered to share mine with him. We got to talking and it seems he’s also from a different discipline like me. Because of his experience with guitar and my experience with singing, we both know the very basics of music like notes and rhythm and such, so the class went pretty slow and we spent a lot of it chit chatting.

 

  • I didn’t go to the gym most of or the whole week.
    • I can’t really tell from my bullet points from last week. I think I didn’t go a single day…

 

  • I met with the founder of the health food company. 
    • He was not like I expected. Very stereotypical. I won’t even go into detail. Let’s just say, I’m glad I’m not working for him.

 

  • I got really sad because of that meeting. Vented to a friend. Had a fallout with said friend.
    • Tears in my cereal the next day. I’m not even joking about that. : ( Axyl gave me a pep talk and I felt better. I decided to let that relationship go. At least the way I was going about it. Why put in effort to be told to back off?

 

 

Week of January 27th 2020

 

  • Found out I’d gained 5 pounds in the last week.
    • Officially obese category II (BMI 35). New highest weight I’ve ever been.
    • That’s what being very sad and giving in to emotional eating will do to ya.

 

  • Opening up more in sign language class. 
    • It’s easier now that there’s only like 10 students instead of 30 last semester. I think I surprised my professor since he and the rest the class are used to seeing me as the quiet, smart kid. That’s the way I usually present myself in most places. A lot of people don’t get to see my dark, funny side. Ha, this class won’t know what’s coming!

 

  • Getting bored in piano class. 
    • It’s very much a beginning piano class and apart from some much needed practice sight reading. It seems I know the basics. Didn’t even feel like chatting with the guitarist.

 

  • Decided to start eating healthier one step at a time instead of trying to do everything “perfectly”
    • I know how complicated nutrition can be, but I also know how simple it can be too. I decided it doesn’t matter what I think about myself or how scared I am to be skinnier. This has gotten out of hand and I can’t keep putting it off and gaining 5 more pounds every time I get knocked down by life. There’s not next week, or starting Monday, or maybe if I feel like it. It’s now. It’s starting simple and building on it. It’s slow, but steady. It’s Wednesday. I started eating healthier on a Wednesday. I decided to start with the most basic thing. I know there are more than two dozen essential vitamins and minerals, but take it one thing at a time. For it to be a lifestyle and not a diet it has to be maintainable. Start with what you know you can do and that you can do consistently. So I did.
      • Maybe I’ll write a more detailed post just about this later. Or maybe not. I’m not trying to influence anyone into following what I’m doing for a healthier lifestyle. That’s different for everyone. Maybe it will help some, maybe it will hinder others. I’ll think about it.

 

  • First aerial silks class
    • We are in pairs for the class. My partner seems very nice and super extroverted. She made the class so much fun, even though I only successfully was able to do one of about 5 moves we were taught and it was basically hanging upside down. 🙈 I wasn’t able to climb the silk or do a pull through. (My arms are dying. >.< I need to build some upper body strength!)

 

  • Went to the gym for the first time in about 2 weeks.
    • I took my brother with me before sign language class and he also did a bit of exercise. That was cool! I used the stationary bikes. Why this gym positioned the spin bikes right in the middle of all of the weight machines (read: with my butt directly in front of a couple of guys), I have no idea. It was awkward, but I still got a short bike session in before class.

 

  • Went swimming for the first time in about 3 weeks. 😬
    • I almost didn’t go because my mom and brother didn’t want to swim. (They said it was too cold and they would rather do some other form of cardio.) But, I did my swim session without them and it felt refreshingly nice to just concentrate on myself. (Usually, I keep an eye on my mom and brother because they aren’t the strongest swimmers.)

 

  • Cousin’s birthday party!
    • Cousins invited me to join them for some bowling. 🙂 It was so much fun! I hadn’t seen all of them in a very long time, but they were very welcoming. I’m so glad I was able to go. (Even though I suck at bowling, haha!)

 

Next Week:

  • Last poem about someone I’m over. Just want to post it because it was something that hurt me deeply and I felt strongly about and now I don’t. I’m all about transformation and letting go of that is definitely a positive change in my life.
  • We’ll see how maintainable this healthier lifestyle really is. It’s been 4 days and it feels great. Hopefully I can say that after a full week. Otherwise, I’ll have to tweak it and make it more manageable.
  • Will I muster up the courage to apply for more jobs? I hope so…

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Note:

Picture is of my crappy little mountain bike that I’ve outfitted for future triathlons and indoor training. It’s not much, but it’s all I need. Such is life. I make do.