Breastpumps and Backpacks

So, here I am. I am in my last semester of school…and it only took me 13 years to finish. In my defense, I didn’t attend college continuously from age 18. On the contrary, I took many years off. I went to work, got married, had one child, went back to school, got pregnant again, and now I am finishing up with two kids in tow. I am 31 and in totally different place than most of my peers. And guess what…that’s ok. You see, I saw(via Facebook) my high school friends graduate, go to grad school, and start great careers. Me? I got out of dodge and moved to new a state. I held down several unfulfilling jobs while attending even less fulfilling city college classes. My husband, an advocate for education, pressed me to finish up and get a degree. So, I pressed on.

Last semester, I survived a semester of morning sickness, a growing belly(I went from 4 months pregnant to 8 months), and gawkers(is that girl really pregnant?). While I may look like a “traditional student” age-wise, I am in fact 31 years old. This amazed the young twenty-somethings at school almost as much as knowing that: 1. No, I am not scared. This is my second go-round. 2. Yes, you do poop when pushing the baby out. 3. Yes, your vagina does back to its regular size…almost. and 4. No, the baby does not get poked in the head if you have sex while pregnant. This is a topic for another post, but I think we could really prevent unwanted to pregnancies if we tell girls what really happens during pregnancy and birth.

Anyway, I pressed on, changed my major a few times and found something that I like and do pretty well.

I love to write. But not just any old writing. But opinion writing with a dash of comedy. Like most Americans, I think my opinion is much more important than other people’s opinions. And as a liberal, I know this to be the case. So, I have decided that I have to find a way to make a living at giving my opinion every opportunity I get. I am open to ideas…and job offers!

So its back to school with my backpack and my breastpump. I am ready to prove that a girl really can have it all. A career she loves as much as her family and the ability to juggle it all.


The Paradoxical Vagina

As a woman, I know that I am a complex creature.  I know that lots of women face the perils of being a mother and a wife, while also having a career and a social life.  I know that other women have goals and dreams that have given way to casseroles and diapers.  I do not contest that women all over the world have been side swiped by life and have internal bruises that they carry.  I know that I am no different.  But allow me to kvetch anyway.

I am dangling in a limbotic state that I didn’t  foresee a few years ago.  Had someone asked me three years ago where I saw myself in 2011, I would have said that I would be a stay at home mother of one child and pregnant with another.  I imagined lots of baking and crafting in my future, as well as shopping at farmer’s markets for organic foods.  Somehow I thought that I would transform from who I was(a 9 hour sleeping, video game playing, vodka drinking, lover of reality television) to a hipster Earth Mother.  You  know, those cool moms who feed their children organically and gluten-free, always have something educational and interactive to do with their children, and almost always look amazing doing it.  Well, that ain’t me.   After having my son in 2009, I realized, I don’t really like to cook and organic food is expensive.  I’d like to learn to sew, but this week’s episode of “The Millionaire Matchmaker” looks so good.

Something else happened after I had my son…I decided to go back to school.  First I thought I wanted to be a pharmacist.  So I signed up for organic chemistry and calculus and was on my merry way.  Except, no one who is taking organic chemistry and calculus is merry.  I was miserable.  My head was in a perpetual state of pain and at my age no memorization technique was going to help me with sine, cosine, tangent.   I dropped those classes and decided that journalism was a better fit.  I mean, I like to write, I love to ask questions, and best of all, no math.  So there I was, a 30-year-old woman taking Journalism 101 with teens and 20-somethings.  Although I had a better vocabulary and better knowledge of current events than those youngsters (thank you NPR), I definitely felt out-of-place.   But, it wasn’t the fact that I was older that made me feel this way.  It was the fact that I seemed to be out-of-place wherever I was. 

My single friends were living it up: drinking, sleeping around, not worrying about discretionary spending.  My married friends were supermoms: cleaning, cooking, sewing, and maintaining gardens of obscure foods like pluots and daikon.  I wanted to do all of these things, but didn’t have the drive to do any of it.  Why?

I blame my vagina. It seems to be a paradoxical vagina.  It is equal parts Earth Mother and Sybarite. It is a feminist and a southern belle all rolled into a dainty package.  It wants to grow a 1960’s style afro, knowing good-and-well that it is not possible in today’s hairless America. It wants to teach its spawn that we must save the Earth and that money is not happiness but it would be nice if it could save the Earth in a Tesla Model S (no carbon emissions people).  My vagina hates the idea of high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar but sometimes Chef Boyardee and a cookie is much less of a headache than cooking an actual meal.

This is my dilemma.  I am a woman of many hopes, desires, and expectations.  Last week, I told my husband that I wanted to hold off on having another baby and move closer to LA proper so that we may be inspired to finish our script.  Today, I told him that I wanted to conceive tonight and move to Oregon to shop at the co-op supermarkets. 

I am stuck somewhere between Patty Duke and Patti Stanger.

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