Transitions

I moved to my dream city and finally got a full-time entry level position that will actually lead to career advancement! I’m so excited that I’m speechless. I’m grateful and humbled considering what I have been through and what I have put my mother through to get to this point. My mother’s response to the news was go course, congratulations, but then she said I should start putting together a budget, which I have done before, but it tends to always get dismantled… A friend of mine who lives in the area was super excited for me, but then took it to a completely different level by talking about shopping. To her credit, she did talk about moving up the corporate level, but it seemed to all go back to dollar signs. At some point she even called me an inspiration.

I’m just really agitated, and unfortunately, I have been here before. There was an older woman back in my hometown who thought of herself as a second mother figure in my life although I never did. She was trying to help me through my depression, but for most of the time I had to take what she said with a grain of salt and just nod and say “ok.” She would offer advice that did not coincide with my beliefs, which had already allowed me to achieve more than I could have imagined and more than she could have ever imagined or experienced, and it would not sit well with me, just like the interactions with this friend are not sitting well with me now. Deep down inside, the women meant well, but she was speaking from her own experiences and fears without acknowledging that and then believing it to be a universally shared experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for being building off of commonalities, but a housewife who has never managed her own finances, does not have a college education, has not lived on her own, and who believes a woman’s place is in the home, has very little ability to relate to my experiences.

So then there’s my friend calling me her inspiration as I’m trying to figure out why we were friends to begin with and why we are still friends. At this point I feel that because of my experiences I am being called to be her friend and help her see what she cannot see or is unwilling to admit, but I really believe that she cannot handle the truth. We don’t have a shared struggle. She’s been through a lot in her development years, and in comparison I have lived a life of privilege. She grew up in a single parent home, has a stressful relationship with her mother, left college to pursue her dream, left her dream to pursue college and marriage, was finishing college when I was finishing graduate school (although I would’ve been done if I hadn’t taken a gap year), got married right after finishing school, and tried some new age birth control and then got pregnant two years too early and she’s still not clear on what she wants out of life. She then makes comments about how she can’t wait until I have a child and I start hyperventilating and call my mother to have her remind me that I do not need to feel/internalize the pressure to have children.

There’s just so much running through my head right now that I want to scream, but I don’t want to abandon her just because I got a new job and I can’t relate. But it’s that now I have this job I can better manage my finances and start to really pay off my loans and she’s just really impressed and my friends were already doing this. This is what people do. The work hard in high school, finishing college in 3-4 years, get a job, and then get married if they want, and then wait at least 1 year before having a child if they want. I know people who operate outside of that plan, but we’re not close. I got shaken up when the “get a job” wasn’t going as planned and had to learn to adapt and now I feel that my friend is just trying to suck me into her world so she can have someone who can relate.

When I met her she was an artist with a long-term boyfriend. It seemed that she dealt with some deadbeats in the past and found herself a good man, so honestly I believe that she needed him. Now besides her trying to set me up with the only shared trait between the guy and I being that we’re single, and the comments about me finding someone soon and having a baby, she says family is important to her, she wants a luxury car like mine, she wants to move up the corporate ladder, she wants to work to support her family, she has to get home to fix dinner, she wants to make a name for herself, and she wants to run her own business. She says things and I feel like I’m just a yes-woman. She really surprised me when she mentioned creating a business plan and I just want to tell her to focus on that and the family. I want to ask her if she understands that if she goes into corporate (specifically what I’m doing, which is what she references), she won’t be cooking dinners every night, and she will not have her baby, who’s actually a toddler, always by her side. I want to ask her when the last time is that she went on date night with her husband. I want to ask her when the last time is that she slept with him since the toddler still sleeps in the same bed and has no crib, and when her baby is peacefully in the arms of another she goes for her child because she misses her and the child is not crying for her, but yet later talks about how much she has to do.

I can’t do this any more. I am single. I can do what I do because I am single. I have chosen to be unmarried and without child to be able to do what I do. I shake my head even thinking about what she said about getting the same car I have. It’s a convertible that’s a faux-four seater. It’s a pre or post baby car, so that’s not going to happen. What is she thinking? Her set up is that she has the family car and the husband has the sports car, which I pretty sure he saved up for… So now I just want to scream what were you thinking!? And I’m just so scared. She can’t be talking about wanting to do more to contribute to her family and then talk about wanting my car, then saying her husband was concerned about her spending, and then planning a shopping trip. My God! I think she really tried to bond with me over the fact that we were both working for temp agencies and other temporary positions at some point, but our situations were still different because of the wages and types of jobs I had, as well as the fact that I was either focused on not selling my investments until I had exhausted all other financial options, and then doing what I could to have the funds to invest more and pay down my loans, while also finding time to have fun too of course.

There are just so many things going on, and I feel that it’s all superficial. I don’t eat out a lot, and if you give me a recipe, I can cook pretty much anything and it will taste good. Yet, people think as an unmarried woman I can’t/don’t cook. Why am I going to waste money on food that I can prepare myself? I would much rather put that money towards a nice apartment, car, traveling, and investing (I get a rush as my portfolio grows!). And that’s precisely what I do, while also refusing to pay inflated prices for apartments. I like clubbing, but I can get there when it’s free for ladies, and I don’t need a drink to have a good time. My friend new this about me, or maybe not because we didn’t spend to much time together one-on-one talking about our goals maybe. But now I think she has an image of me that seems like it’s from one of those reality shows like Love and Hip Hop, or whatever other show is out there about women being “about that life.”

Lord Jesus, I just want to scream! I can’t deal with this, but I’m letting it get to me because I feel that I am supposed to be her friend. I feel that I should be helping her. I know older married couples who have been through what she is going through. In some form or another, I research pretty much every path I decide to go on. Am I supposed to connect her to the knowledge I acquired through circumstance and proactivity? Or should she be out searching for mentors on her own?

I just want her to be herself and stop thinking in stereotypes.

She invited me on a couple’s trip once, which she said wasn’t a couples trip, but it was, and I felt so uncomfortable. I am perfectly fine with going out with couples, but they usually also have individual identities. I went out with my brother and his girlfriend and it wasn’t awkward. From that experience I also raised my eyebrow to her doing something that made her look like the damsel in distress… So if she plans a group outing, I’m not going. But I was thinking about one, that could help her deal with what I perceive is actually not enough couple time with her husband, and a friend would come with me. She asked if the other friend would be ok with that, and I do not get why my friend would not want to come along… Then there’s the baby. PUT HER DOWN! I guess the mother-in-law doesn’t want to watch her because she’s a handful. I guess… the child is one… I haven’t been around her much, and the only time she was hyper was after sugar, and then she just wanted to crawl around. That’s what the play pen is for, or the crib, which they do not have… My friend also commented that her baby was calm with me, and I saw her being passed around just fine… It looks to be a mommy thing… I was a nanny for one of those mother’s whose child was in elementary school, spoiled child and clingy mother… I’m not watching her kid again, and I’m not watching my friend’s kid if the situation turns out to be the same, which looks to be happening…

I have nothing to give. If she wanted her name in lights, maybe she should have thought about the plan, the hardwork, the continued struggle, and maybe actually having her name, and not also attaching the title of “mommy.” But then it’s like she’s more comfortable with the wife and mother role, so she should embrace that while also getting a crib, not going within smelling distance of the mall, and not wearing heels while carrying a child…

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