The Life of Why

Things are pretty rough right now.  I think the word “discouraged” doesn’t sum up how I feel most of the time.  Sure, some of it is the Stella stuff that I talk about a lot, but there are other things going on as well – the kind of other things that you just don’t put in a blog for the whole world to see.  Wow.  It seems I do have some kind of censor after all.  I need a George Bailey/Clarence moment.

I think when it feels like the world is disintegrating it’s normal for self-reflection in that “How in the hell did I get here?  What happened to me?” kind of way.  On the surface I think my life was pretty normal and my choices were ok.  I didn’t have to fight my way out of the ghetto or overcome an eating disorder or meth addiction or anything like that.

Lack of fishing ability was my biggest problem at this particular moment of my life.

Lack of fishing ability was my biggest problem at this particular moment of my life.

I got through grades K-12 relatively unscathed.  I do remember being picked on during my junior high years.  I think my self-esteem was crap.  I think that’s pretty normal for an adolescent girl.  You never have the right clothes.  Your boobs aren’t big enough.  You aren’t thin enough. (Note to self: Begin to actively work on Stella’s self-image NOW so maybe she can escape some of this nonsense)  High school was great.  I have lots of good memories of high school.   I was one of the “alternateens.”  I dyed my hair black and wore combat boots.  But I felt good.  I had a few very close friends that I still miss to this day.  I haven’t seen any of them in over 20 years but if I hear old Violent Femmes, Fugazi, or Jane’s Addiction it’s like it was yesterday.

Biloxi circa 1992.  God I was young and carefree.  I had a penchant for polka-dot dresses.

Biloxi circa 1992. God I was young and carefree. I had a penchant for polka-dot dresses.


Same interval.  I think my biggest worry here was which CD I should buy next.

Same interval. I think my biggest worry here was which CD I should buy next.

I ended up taking a year off after high school as I was trying to figure out where to be.  I spent a couple of years in Biloxi, MS living with my mother.  From there I shifted to Mobile, AL where I got my undergrad degree (after changing majors at the 11th hour – I very nearly had a special ed degree but fell in love with geology while fulfilling my science requirement).  I made other good friends in college, particularly my major professor/mentor and a fellow geology major.  I also met my first husband there.  I dragged him to Louisiana when I moved for grad school.  He and I were together – including cohabitation – for 7 years to the day when we got married.  Our marriage lasted under a year before we legally separated.  I woke up one day and realized that I spent more time alone than with him.  I think he was ok with that.  I wasn’t.  That was pretty damn painful.

Me and Crispi after a spontaneous mother/daughter trip to San Antonio.  Yes, we were tacky, tacky people and actually went out in public like that.  I'm surprised we didn't get mugged.

Me and Crispi after a spontaneous mother/daughter trip to San Antonio. Yes, we were tacky, tacky people and actually went out in public like that. I’m surprised we didn’t get mugged.

In the meantime, I had dropped out of grad school.  I loved the coursework.  That part was easy.  I hated my thesis topic.  I couldn’t work on my microfossil of choice and was just generally disinterested in what I got stuck with.  I did get to do some neat lab work and was actually a part-time instructor for LSU by the end.  In my biggest class, I had 131 students.  That was cool. Quitting grad school wasn’t.  I hated being a quitter but hated being in grad school spinning my wheels more.

I pursued an alternative teaching certification which allowed me to teach 8th grade earth science to a “high risk” school.  I was excited about it.  I had dreams of turning around these kids’ lives.  Yeah.  That happened.  I didn’t last a semester.  I was more of a custodian and SWAT member than a science teacher.  These kids had major problems – problems I could not begin to relate to.  It was bigger than I was.  I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by staying.  Every day I would sneak out and meet one of the janitors – this sweet old black man whose name I can’t recall but wish like hell I could – and we would smoke in an abandoned bathroom.  And I would cry, not wanting to go back to class.  That was painful, realizing that I had failed so abysmally at something I had really wanted to be good at.

My still-then-husband had an “in” at Barnes and Noble, so I found myself with a new job quite suddenly.  It was a bit of extra income and was a place where I could lick my professional wounds and figure out where in the hell I wanted to go next. I still had ambition at that point and got promoted quickly.  I had made it to management in just over a year.  This is when I met Will.  He became an employee while he was still in school.  We joke about that now, that we were terribly scandalous.  I was technically still married when we hooked up and was his boss to boot.

I had one or two more stops on my professional tour before landing where I am today.  Ultimately I love my job.  I love the people I work with.  I just hate the pay.  It’s dismal.

Will and I had fun for about 4-5 years.  We camped a lot.  We bought kayaks.  One year we spontaneously took our tax return money and went to Boston.  4 years ago we bought our house, finally got married, and quickly got pregnant.  Since then, our lives have been dominated by home maintenance and kid stuff.  Honestly, there is not a lot of fun to be had.  It’s wearing on both of us.

Will and I in Boston.  I've always loved this picture we took of ourselves.

Will and I in Boston. I’ve always loved this picture we took of ourselves.

This blog has become long and winding.  I’m not sure what my point is or why I feel the need to revisit all this stuff.  Sometimes I wish I had made some different choices.  But when I catch myself thinking that, I realize that in typical Einstein/wormhole fashion, if I had done even one thing differently in the past my entire future would be different.  I would not have the 2 children that excite me, frustrate me, take my breath away.  Ultimately I guess any amount of pain and disappointment is a small price to pay for them.  It’s time to get back to reality, pull up my big girl panties and get to work.  No more sniveling from this girl today.




About larva225

Working mom. Is there any other kind? Geologist. Nerd.
This entry was posted in House and home, Parenting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Life of Why

  1. Peg says:

    A perfect time to do the life review/reflection (those birthdays will bite you on the ass on occasion). Wish I could summarize mine with your elegance and succinctness! Love the photos – and yes, can’t change a thing in the past or none of us would be where we are today. The first years with children are really hard – then it will get easier and golden…. THEN, hold on to your hat for teenage years. : / You’ll pop out on the other side one day. Enjoy the ride – it really is a roller coaster.
    Can’t wait to see these little guys in September!

  2. my27stars says:

    I feel similar to this when I see certain friends from high school or old coworkers of mine from before I got pregnant. What if I did this one small thing differently? What if I stayed in school? Would things be easier? Would circumstances be better? Then Doodle crawls into bed silently at 8:30 in the morning, kisses my chin, and snuggles into me in attempt to let me sleep in, and I realize that everything happens the way its supposed to, otherwise it wouldn’t happen. You can’t go back and change the past, not because of time travel restrictions, but because everything that happened before would just happen again because that’s the way it was supposed to happen. 🙂 You should be super happy, you have a beautiful family.

  3. Wow, that picture of you when you were teeny tiny looks just like Stella. She will no doubt grow up to look a lot like you as well. 🙂 When it comes to the past and different choices, I remember Lilah’s father and how I met him and what our relationship was like. Him and I were together for four years, and it became the most intense and frightening journey. I was scared to be with him, of what he might do on a day to day basis. Multiple people told me that, when they could finally get a hold of me, that I shouldn’t be with him anymore. I thought that maybe having a baby would make him stop being so mean to me. Fast forward to Lilah at five months old. I’ve had enough of the abuse, and I knew that it wasn’t right to let Lilah grow up in that environment. That’s when I finally left him, the ugliest and most cruel relationship of my life, that spawned the most beautiful and wonderful person that I wouldn’t trade for anything. In the end, the pain was worth it. It’s crazy how everything works out, isn’t it?

  4. Mary Grace says:

    This brought tears to my eyes mainly because I miss the time when I could see you everyday. Remember when stress was the Structure final, how to avoid Ashley, and surviving a van ride with a narcoleptic at the wheel. I always knew in college that you were going to be an awesome mother one day and I was absolutely right! 🙂

    • larva225 says:

      You’re so sweet! And your biggest hint about the whole mom thing should have been when you fell down your hill, thought you broke your ankle, called me screaming, and I came over not only with shells and cheese to cook but my own pots, knowing your sink would be full of dirty dishes. Miss you!!

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