For Writing 101, Day 10 (which was many days ago…), we were asked to update our readers in a post of a “virtual coffee date.” So here goes….
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the school year is getting off to a slow start. Every September, I marvel at how late the sun rises, and yet every September when I wake up at 5:30, it is dark. Just like last year. Getting up at 5:30 is not my favorite thing to do, and the weeks are already feeling long, while the weekend is a mere blink. This year, readjusting to the strict schedule has been taxing to my mind and body. Each day, it seems, I wake up with a new pain that I chalk up to aging for the time being. For now, I will leave those “aging” pieces where they lie.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you how much I love reading the essays of my college freshmen—the narrative essays on a place that shaped them. Through years of reading these essays, I have learned that students don’t choose to write about the elaborate vacations, and the events or places that represent the material parts of life. I have learned that an overwhelming number of students choose the places where they have been able to connect with their families, spend meaningful time together, and feel the love and support that surrounds them. These essays let me know that even though I am not able to take my children on long vacations far away—even though they haven’t had some of the amazing experiences that their peers have had—maybe, just maybe, what I am doing is not so bad.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you how often I hear the phrase “Welcome to my life,” and how very much I despise it. There are so many things people keep secret, not revealing their pain, their failures, and their worries. No one has a right to assume that their life is more difficult than that of another person. Their life is different. Period. Using this phrase only serves to diminish the road traveled by others.
If we were having coffee, I might tell you that I had a challenging summer. I took on a great deal of work—more than usual—because it was available, it was offered and the offer halfway felt like a promotion, and I need to support my family. The workload might not have been such a great idea. Other areas of my life suffered, and I felt as though I was unable to do anything well. I hate not doing things well.
If we were having coffee, I might tell you that I worry a lot about my children. I would tell you that I try my best to keep up with everything that needs to be done, but sometimes things slip. Letting things slip falls under the category of “not doing things well.” Did I mention I hate that? Being a single parent is the toughest thing I’ve ever done, and I need to learn to let go of some of the things that can slip and not be noticed.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am truly blessed to have three teenagers and a boyfriend who love me. I am sure that some days, they love me more than others, but they love me. And that’s what matters. Sometimes, when I am being honest with myself about my life, my past, and my future, I realize that I would not trade a thing. My road is difficult sometimes, but everyone’s is. Some days, I am stronger than I look, and those days are the ones that get me through.
Then again, if we were having coffee, I might have second thoughts about not trading any of it… I can think of one or two toxic people I would trade for something more positive….