For years, I’ve listened to stories about how women are too emotional or weak to be leaders or that they have PMS for 5 days a month and couldn’t possibly … Continue reading Men are not Equipped to Lead
At the risk of sounding like I’m making excuses, I decided to explain. Every 5 years or so, I try antidepressants again. I’m a “highly sensitive personality,” which I believe … Continue reading Medication Explanation
I lied once, in kindergarten. There was a boy sitting next to me telling me about how his dog had died. I felt so badly for him. I asked what kind of dog it was. He told me it was a German Shepherd. He was crying and I lied. I told him we also had a German Shepherd that had just had puppies and he could have one. His face lit up. “Really?”
“Yes. You can have a puppy.”
I gave him our phone number and felt good about making him happy. I didn’t worry about the lie. He felt better.
That night, his mom called my mom to ask about the puppies. Of course, my mom said we didn’t have any puppies.
My mom asked 5-year old me why I’d said we had puppies and I told her. She explained that I’d hurt that little boy by lying even more than losing his dog hurt him. I never lied again.
The next day, at school, he’d asked me why I lied, and I told him, “you were so sad.”
He cried again. I don’t lie anymore. But, I’ve come to understand that everyone else does. And, sometimes, I could prove they’re lying, but I want them to have that pivotal moment like I did.
Lying may make someone feel better, but it’s still a lie. Carrying on with the lie doesn’t make anything better.
But, most people don’t get that pivotal moment.
That’s why, people lie.
I had this amazing education. Education in life and then education at college—which I had to decide I really wanted. I quit college and took time off and waited tables and was treated like a piece of meat. It was ok for a while and honestly, I thought I couldn’t do any better.
I thought I was stupid—even though I’d done well in high school without cracking a book. I thought I was stupid for getting myself into bad situations I couldn’t find my way out of. Many (or most), were not my fault, but the fault of bad people. Yet, I always blamed myself. “Why are you so stupid, Julie? Why would you go there? Why would you wear that? Why would you drink that? Didn’t you know what would happen?”
Education comes in many forms.
I quit college, moved to Roseville, then to St. Paul. I waited tables. It was a series of random acts of kindness that put me back in college.
There was a $100 tip from someone I didn’t know, that I didn’t give the best service to, that didn’t want to screw me. He didn’t wait around to see my reaction. But, he came back later and I was scared. I wondered what he wanted in return. He said, “I just felt like you’d been having a hard time and I wanted to help you out.”
That was it.
He didn’t want to bed me. He didn’t want me for a threesome with he and his wife. He just wanted to help.
Two men that I waited on frequently—one a contractor and one a real estate agent, wanted to pay for my real estate license classes and fees and hire me to work for them. They thought I was great with people and would do a great job. They took me out and wined and dined me and told me how smart I was and didn’t lay a hand on me.
I started to think….”maybe I could do something else.”
Then, I came back to Fargo for a visit and was in West Acres shopping for Christmas and my freshman English teacher saw me and recognized me. It had been 5 years since I’d had her class.
She asked what I was doing now and I told her. Then, she told me she’d hoped I’d go back to school because that was where I belonged. She’d remembered my papers she’d usually give me “C’s” on, but still remembered them, and that I liked writing.
I went back to school the following year.
I decided to major in mass communications. I thought what the world was lacking in, was great communication. That professor was also head of the fairly new women’s studies department, so I minored in women’s studies.
At that time, possibly because hazel ran it, women’s studies meant multicultural studies, extra humanities and history studies, literature studies.
I had amazing classes in subjects like African history, the economics of poverty and discrimination, and the sociology of gender.
Most of my mass comm classes were easy and boring, but damn, my minor studies opened my eyes to so many things.
So, what have I done with this amazing education?
Mostly nothing but write.
And get a job.
And wish everyone had the same education.
And not wish everyone had the same education.
Have you ever been so close to another person, you could finish their sentences? You knew more about them than they knew about themselves? You could see their flaws and their good qualities and you loved them both? And then, that person that you’d told you loved as is, decided they must change? The changes weren’t for you, but they claimed your love helped them make those changes and then they grew away from you?
I’m happy for them, but, it seems to me, the love I had was not returned. It was used and twisted into what they needed it to be. How much easier would my life be if I could use other people’s’ love to make myself strong enough to leave everyone behind?
I’ve spent my entire life being “the strong one” for people that didn’t have a tenth of my strength, but I can’t be strong for myself.
I mean, I’m trying, but I also think I deserve someone to love me out of the darkness, but I will stay for them and love them back. I won’t use them and leave them behind. That’s a shitty person.
Yet, I understand that strength means doing those things I’ve done to help others, for myself. If only I could think as much of my power as they were able to see. I’m happy I helped you.
I think you should help me do what I did for you, for myself.
Where are you?
It’s terrifying. You know? To know that you hold all the cards that may wreck another family.
What’s scarier to me, though?
Is to live with the pain and the hurt of destroying someone else’s life. Maybe, there are good reasons. But, most likely, those reasons are selfish.
And, I know, I’ve spent so many years waiting for someone that lied to me. That’s ok.
But, don’t call it a “Fatal attraction.”
I’ve not gone to his home. I’ve not taken his son; I’ve not told his wife.
Love is a strange thing especially for those that don’t understand it. Love means wishing for the best for someone; stepping aside for them; wanting them to be happy.
But, I can’t deny being very tired of denying my own happiness to allow someone else’s.
Once again, despite the best of intentions, I did not get a Christmas letter out this year. Here it is: Dearest friends and family, Yet, another year has gone by, … Continue reading Merry Christmas