In which a college guy dates a teenage girl

Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com

I’ve decided that for a while I’m going to write about things in my past. For example, when I was 17, I got involved with a 21-year-old college male. We never had a physical sexual relationship but now being a 38-year-old woman realize how odd and strange it was. From a teenager girl’s point of view, it was a dream—to be dating a college guy! Looking back as an adult, I realize how stupid I was. But teenagers don’t realize this. They just want to be grown up and they think the way of growing up is to get involved with an older guy. Especially college guys because college guys are cool.

I didn’t really have any trauma from it. He was a nice, sweet kind man and respected my boundaries. We did do some intimate stuff, probably stuff I shouldn’t have done as a new Christian, but it was exciting to do something different I’d never done before.

I remember his name. His full name. He has a unique Ukranian or Polish name so I’m sure any search results for him would pop up instantly. But I purposely haven’t looked him up. Would he remember the teenager from the 90s? And why of all things should I try to contact a man who thought it would be a good idea to date a teenage girl? I’ll always wonder what happened to him but I choose not to find out.

Decade of Blogging

June 29, 2019 marked 10 years of having This Journey Is My Own. I still haven’t bought the domain name. I probably should but I’m rather lazy and I don’t have that much readership.

Over a decade, I’ve blogged about God, Christianity, faith, employment (in general), career, infertility, parenting (after infertility), family, goals, books, Haiti, politics, LGBTQ+ issues, my identity, music, current events, race, and other thoughts. Everything is always random. Nothing makes sense. There is no structure to anything. My views are ever-evolving.

How far back can I go to blogging? Well, I have a LiveJournal that dates back to September 2, 2001 but that’s private and I haven’t touched it since 2012. Public blogging? Depression Introspection was begun on July 21, 2006. Technically, I have almost 20 years of blogging under my belt.

So where do I go from here? What topic is left to explore or re-explore? What pisses me off so much that I want to rant about it again? Nothing right now. I’m not passionate about much right now. I just want to survive. That’s all I’m trying to do these days. Is survive. Between work and my personal life (parenting, new house, commute), I’m just trying to survive. Self-care has gone to the wayside. Survival is my new hobby.

Painting Pictures of Egypt

I don’t want to leave here
I don’t want to stay
It feels like pinching to me either way
The places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling after me like a long lost friend

—Sara Groves, “Painting Pictures of Egypt

I recently moved to a new home. A house. My husband and I are first-time homeowners. I have 2 kids now. A lot has changed. I was in our apartment since I first moved to Pennsylvania in 2006. We moved to our new home in December 2019. 13 years there. 13 whole years. That’s over a decade and time to plant yourself somewhere. Especially for renting.

Now I’m in my new home—house—I miss my apartment. I miss the memories. I miss the familiarity. I miss the convenience. I lived right across the street from the train station, was near a nice library, and around the block from good friends. Everything was in walking distance with access to various restaurants. It was a walkable town. It felt more like the suburbs of Long Island in which I grew up.

Continue reading “Painting Pictures of Egypt”

2020 Goals

dreamstime_2020

I haven’t had goals for 2019 mainly because I just have kind of given up on having goals. I’m not sure why. I guess I don’t care about giving my life much direction anymore? Has my ambition gone to the wayside?

In a feeble attempt to revive my blog (at least twice a year) and give myself goals to pursue, I’m coming up with a few goals for 2020. (Time to ring in a new decade!)

  1. Read 6 full books for the year.
  2. Exercise 1x per week for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Meditate 3 days per week.
  4. Eat 1500 calories or fewer 2x per week.
  5. Blog or journal 3 days per week.
  6. Morning devotions (Bible reading & prayer) 1x per week.
  7. Duolingo: 4x per week for at least 15 minutes.
  8. Go to church 4 times this year.
  9. Visit New York 4 times this year.
  10. Self-care once per month.

Still need to flesh this all out a bit more but my goal was to publish this on the first so here I am.

Blog Reboot?

Thinking of doing a reboot of my blog. So much has changed in my mind and in my heart. My perception on evangelicalism, Planned Parenthood, and change.

In 2019, I’ve had a baby. I’ve moved as an adult from an apartment into my first house. I watched a coworker get let go.

And then there’s 2010-2019. An entire decade. (And really, which is the true decade? 2010-2019 or 2011-2020? Maybe 2010-2020?) In the past 10 years, I have:

  • Had 2 children
  • Had 3 pregnancies
  • Moved to a new home
  • Had several different jobs (2 part-time, 1 self-employed, 2 full time)
  • Underwent fertility treatment three times
  • Been in intensive outpatient twice

I’ve become more stable. My bipolar disorder is under control. My meds work. I have a fantastic therapist. I enjoy my job for the most part.

So for 2020, where do I go? What do I do? What new goals do I set? What is my goal in life? What’s my goal for 2020? What’s my goal for anything at any time?

I’m almost 40. I’ve evolved. I’ve gone from spending most of my life wishing I were someone else to finally appreciating and being thankful for who I am. I like me. I like my life. I like my kids (my son drives me nuts, tho). I like my husband and wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. I like my friends. I like my income. I like my home. I like my job. I like my close family. I feel very fortunate and blessed to have the things I have and enjoy the things I enjoy. This phone. This app. Direct deposit. Steady income. Private health insurance. I could go on.

But I thank God every day for everything He’s given me. I cannot complain. I do, but I shouldn’t. I am blessed financially, socially, emotionally, mentally, professionally, spiritually, and intellectually beyond all measure.

The Evolution of My Christian Beliefs

It’s not hard to put into words what I’m thinking and feeling—verbally. Writing it down is another story.

A lot of what I believed previously has changed and evolved. I no longer buy into the fundamentalist teachings of yore. I also don’t buy much evangelical teaching either. Apparently, there’s a group of #exvangelicals on Twitter. These are former evangelicals who no longer associate themselves with fundamental Christianity. Maybe some of them are still Christians, of which I am one. But others have become atheists, agnostics, or have decided to pursue a different religion altogether (eg, Buddhism). A friend who has become an agnostic exvangelical sent me a helpful link that defines who falls into exvangelicalism.

I’m a weird mix of Calvinism and progressive Christian beliefs. How do you merge Calvinism with progressive Christian beliefs? I actually don’t know. But I do it.

Continue reading “The Evolution of My Christian Beliefs”

2018 Goals

I haven’t written in a long time and I don’t have much to say. So…goals.

  1. Use frozen embryo in February.
  2. Attend ACES conference in April.
  3. Exercise 4 days a week. (I’ve been doing this since October so I hope it’ll continue.)

Honestly, I don’t know what to do with my life anymore. I just want to get by.

Bye bye, 2017

Revised goals from earlier this year:

  • Keep a full-time job for all of 2017. Accomplished.
  • Keep my working hours limited to 40–45 hours a week (with rare exceptions). Accomplished.
  • Visit my cousin in Florida. Accomplished.
  • Follow my Practical Self-Care Plans for 2017. Not quite.

What’s the female version of an Uncle Tom?

img_1542This is it. I am turning the corner and shedding my attempts at being welcomed and accepted by the black community. This journey is my own. I will go my own way.

35 years and I am finally here. I will still have my moments of regression but I have since learned that several members of the black community have turned their backs on me after learning that I am pro-life and do not support Planned Parenthood. If this is what isolates me from the black community, so be it. I will fight for the right for developing cells/human beings/fetuses/babies to live.

It doesn’t matter that we probably agree on everything else. No war. No death penalty. No injustice. Social justice for racial minorities. Undocumented immigrants. LGBTQIA+ community. Trump is a lunatic.

I’m tired of hearing tirades against white people. I’m so over it. Stop ranting against white people, band together, and DO something other than protest.

I’m tired of blaming whitey for everything. Did whitey do their fair share of oppressing black people back in the day? Yes. But it’s  significantly better for black people to advance in 2017 than in 1967. The white people who oppressed black people aren’t the ones in power anymore. A new generation arose that rebelled against the segregation of their parents. Did anyone give any thought to those white people who thought segregation was wrong and unjust? (Just like the white people who thought slavery was wrong and unjust during the Civil War era?)

And then there’s the issue of reparations for black people. No, thank you. White people can keep their money and their land. See how well reparations worked out for Native Americans? Government-protected reservations with high crime rate, high gambling problems, high suicide rate, high drug use, and high alcohol use. Nope. No support for reparations from this here colored girl.

I’m a black American princess. I went to a Catholic school K-12. Started at NYU with $18K in grants and scholarships and graduated from Hofstra on LI with departmental honors. I interned for a high-profile NY senator for a semester. I was a successful, established sole proprietor for several years after a full-time stint as an entry-level editorial assistant didn’t work out.

All along the way, the people who reached out to me and helped me along to get me to the next level were…guess who?

White people.

In grade school, other black students made fun of me and cut me down as I tried to assert myself as a young, smart girl.

In middle school, the black kids (and “wiggas”) would shut me out of their core group while white people interested in their education would interact with me and eventually become lifelong friends.

In high school, perhaps the roughest period of my schooling, I attempted desperately to fit in with my black peers only to get made fun of or used for my intelligence for the next quiz or test. The only students who were willing to offer friendship without strings attached were white people.

Even the one black boyfriend I dated (in an effort to gain credibility with the black community) dumped me after he made an attempt to have sex with me and I kept to my vow of purity.

So the long and short of it is, black people and I just don’t get along. It’s taken me 35 years to realize this but better now than later. I will never have a black BFF. And I need to be OK with that. Because I have so many wonderful friends—of all other races, though mostly white—who I can rely on.

This is an issue that’s on my mind so I’ll probably be blogging about it for a bit. But I needed to get it out that white people are not my enemy. They literally are my friends.

Revised 2017 Goals

2017

Revising my annual goals list. A lot has happened in a few short months.

  1. Keep a full-time job for all of 2017.
  2. Keep my working hours limited to 40–45 hours a week (with rare exceptions).
  3. Visit my cousin in Florida.
  4. Follow my Practical Self-Care Plans for 2017.
  5. Use my frozen embryo later this year. (postponed to 2018)
  6. Attend the Warrior Mom Conference again if it’s affordable and doable (not happening ever again) 😦

I guess I’m down to 4 goals for the year. Not terrible. But definitely less ambitious than years past.

 

Seek justice and correct oppression

I have a lot of anger and frustration right now. My country, its citizens, people I work with…injustice all around. 

I’m not sure where to begin. I don’t process any of these thoughts and feelings on Facebook as I don’t feel that is the appropriate venue for them. 

I am not your typical black, female, liberal Democrat. I didn’t like President Obama and Michelle Obama wasn’t the greatest First Lady to have ever existed in my lifetime. (Hillary Clinton still takes the cake, in my opinion.) 

I am not pro-choice/pro-abortion. “Family planning” is a misleading term as abortion or “the woman’s right to choose” usually involves the LACK of having a family. “Reproductive rights” is a misnomer. More like rights to NOT reproduce. Everything about being “pro-choice” is “anti-reproduction.” 

The women’s march pissed me off considering that the official organizers had to put out a statement uninviting a pro-life organization and taking an official Pro-choice stance. This march no longer represented me or my voice. They claimed to but they did not. I had no say against Donald Trump and his administration and it was clear that because I believed in the sanctity of life on this ONE ISSUE, I would be shunned from this community of women. 

And I don’t care to be part of this kind of political fellowship. If they don’t care to look past my political differences and embrace me, then fine, I’ll continue to move forward and work without them by my side. 

Let’s keep lowering the abortion rate. With or without having Roe v. Wade overturned. Let’s make sure that we make sure women know about ALL available options to prevent pregnancies: birth control AND self-control. If pregnant, expecting moms should know that infertile couples are willing to sponsor women who want to give their babies up for adoption. Abortion doesn’t have to be the last resort or ONLY option for many women. In a majority of cases, we CAN choose life. Let’s continue to make life a first option and do all we can to ENCOURAGE it and not discourage it. 

I can’t express my opinion about this administration because I’m not supposed to like it, right? And on the whole, so far, it isn’t great. But an executive order has been reinstated that ceases to give NGOs that perform abortions federal funding. And I’m happy about that. +1, President Trump. #conservativeliberal

I could list all the stuff Obama did that I’m unhappy about, especially as a lame duck (*cough*Palestinian money*Israel betrayal*drones*ending Cuban wet-foot/dry-foot policy*cough*). Lord knows there’s plenty of fodder for me to complain about Obama’s actions as president. I won’t even begin to question his motives. 

I don’t expect Trump to be a good president. In fact, I’m afraid he will suck majorly. Even worse, I’m afraid he’ll do well enough for Middle America to win another 4 years but that the popular vote will not outweigh his electoral vote…again.

Trump’s opponents annoy me more than Trump himself. They were my biggest fear when I thought of the potential of a Hillary loss (which seemed so unlikely) and now it’s a nightmare realized. 

Someone get me out of here. 

I wish everyone got what they rightly deserved, especially when they worked hard for it. I hate to see people promised something and then get delayed, brushed aside, jerked around, and then left in the dust wondering what they did wrong and what they could’ve done better. Why do we play favorites? Why do we treat some people better than others? We know who works hard and who doesn’t. Why do the lazy get rewarded and the hardest toilers get stranded in the dust?

Being blackballed is a thing, it seems. And it makes me sad. I hope that redemption is still possible. One day…?

I know I’m speaking in vague generalities but I suppose I have to right now so specifics aren’t brought out. Also, I’m sort of “typing aloud,” letting my thoughts flow freely onto digital paper, so to speak. 

Just really tired of injustice and oppression everywhere I turn. Sure, it’s not affecting ME personally but it’s affecting others I love and care about. This bothers me. And if I don’t stand up and say something for them, who will? Aren’t I in a position where I can do good for others and help those who need it? 

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” —Isaiah 1:17 (ESV)

2017 Goals

2017-image

Happy New Year, everyone!

Time for my annual goals list. I don’t have many this year so let’s see if I can hit my targets.

  1. Keep a full-time job for all of 2017.
  2. Keep my working hours limited to 40–45 hours a week (with rare exceptions).
  3. Visit my cousin in Florida.
  4. Follow my Practical Self-Care Plans for 2017.
  5. Use my frozen embryo later this year.
  6. Attend the Warrior Mom Conference again if it’s affordable and doable

A lot of these goals involve being kinder to myself. My husband and I have discussed that I expect myself to be able to accomplish things at the same rate as when I was a freelancer, which apparently is NOT going to happen. I can’t handle all the administrative tasks like I used to. I can’t organize my home like I used to. I don’t feel as productive as I used to.

So I’m getting rid of all of that in 2017. 2017 is all about ME. (Very strange to do that.) 1 & 2 is about how I enjoy working. 3 is about visiting my family who I rarely get to see. 4 is about making myself a priority. 5 is about pursuing a goal to (Lord willing) complete my family, and 6 is about making more connections with a supportive community of women.

It’s going to be a year full of learning curves (ugh, I’m going into management—we’ll see how that works out), but hopefully this is also a year of finally trusting the Lord to guide me step by step.