Differences

Update: The linked post has been removed by a moderator of the subreddit for violating one of its rules.

I don’t want to be a parent. I think I’ve mentioned that in at least a few posts on here. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t recognize parenting is, honestly, a hellish job. Lazy parents exist, yes, but being a good takes a huge amount of patience, effort, energy, and a host of other traits I either don’t have or do have that would be stretched far beyond their limits.

And that’s why this post from a subreddit I occasionally browse struck a nerve. Thankfully, several comments call the OP out on their nonsense, especially about judging mothers when the reason the subreddit essentially exists to begin is because of how poorly some people are judged for not having children. However, this particular line is what ticked me off:

It honestly feels like women who are like this are taking the female gender backward instead of forward.

“Like this” refers to being stay-at-home mothers. Somehow, a woman making a choice for her life that makes her happy is “taking the female gender backward”, but a woman tearing down other women for making a choice she personally disagrees with is progressive. And yet, some people can’t figure out why feminism is considered a joke today.

Why would you want to throw away your career?

This is a stereotype about not having children that grates on my nerves! Life is not only the two choices of “career or children”. Not everyone gets fulfillment out of having a career. I personally have never wanted a high-flying career. I’m content with a job that pays me enough to keep my bills on time and lets me have some money left over for savings and spending. But if I didn’t need to work to get by, I wouldn’t. It’s a pipe dream, but I would love if my boyfriend and I could make sufficient income from home without going to work, so we could have more free time for ourselves, each other, and our families and friends.

Now, speaking specifically about kids, if we wanted to be parents, I wouldn’t want to be a stay-at-home parent either purely because of the financial dependency. Crisis can hit anyone – single, couple, parents, non-parents – and I would hope if something tragic did happen to my boyfriend that left me alone with our hypothetical child, I could get myself back on my feet through whatever job I have so we don’t struggle too much. However, if my boyfriend and I had enough savings to last a few years, and that would hold us over in the case of a crisis, I would be a stay at home parent, or he could if he wanted (or, pipe dream, both of us if the “income from home without going to work” thing were possible). Of course, every parent needs a break and time away from their kids, but overall, I’d much rather be with my child than be at work, especially considering what my current job is. Eight hours behind a register or eight hours with my family? Not a tough choice.

I’m sorry but a “homemaker” is not a [freaking] job. It screams of laziness and dependency. Don’t these women ever want to accomplish anything in their lives? [Popping] out a kid and then sitting on your [butt] for the rest of your life is not an accomplishment.

Minus, again, the absolute hypocrisy of being judgmental and that parenting is not “sitting on your butt for the rest of your life”, this is probably the most infuriating part of this post. Who in the name of Equestria is anyone to decide for someone else what their life’s accomplishments are?! First of all, again, parenting is a hellish job. It’s one made by choice, yes, but we all make choices about what we do. Even people with life-saving careers chose that path, and just like we don’t have to choose to be parents, we don’t have to choose wildly stressful career paths either. But we do. If someone is proud of having raised their children to be whatever their children turned out be, and considers that an accomplishment, more power to them. I consider it an accomplishment I have a relationship that’s lasted for four years (and counting). That’s nothing to most people, but it means the world to me. Everyone defines for their life what their accomplishments are. It’s not up to other people to decide someone has achieved nothing.

It doesn’t matter what the appeal of being a stay-at-home parent is. The OP doesn’t have to understand it, any more than I have to understand what the appeal of alcohol is (red wine is disgusting!). It is not your life and it is none of your business. We don’t need to understand why others make the choices they do. People are given fulfillment by different things. Some people find fulfillment from parenting. Some people find it from career. Some people are fulfilled from traveling. Some people are fulfilled by pursuing education (referred to as “career students”) or doing charity work, or a host of other things I can’t think of. I personally feel fulfilled when I can be with my loved ones, like my boyfriend and my best friend, and support them in their lives. That’s my accomplishment, that I can hold these amazing people in my life. Not my only accomplishment, but the one that matters most to me.

The only exception to this rule is if how you live your life hurts others, and that should be obvious. If that’s not the case, everyone should live their life however it makes them happy. No one else has to understand and no one who doesn’t understand is owed an explanation. People are different, and that needs to be accepted.

“You’re you, I’m me. Together, we can live in harmony!”

Who Has It Harder: Kids or Adults?

My vote? Kids!

Yes, I’m an adult who thinks kids have it harder.

Life is generally hard, no matter what, but if there needs to be a vote, I say kids.

“But kids live and eat rent-free, have no responsibilities, yadda yadda!”

First of all, kids are forced to attend school, which absolutely is a responsibility. Kids have a 40-hour “work” week by the time they start learning how to read. Even my internship – a job I do without pay, so close enough, is only 30 hours a week, and I can choose whether I want to leave at 2:30 or 3:00. I can also take my lunch any time I want. Kids don’t have that freedom.

That’s why I say kids have it harder: they have no freedom. I remember feeling powerless as a kid, having zero say in anything that affected me, no matter how bad it was, being told to “stay in a child’s place”, and being assumed to be stupid because a child couldn’t possiby be right over an adult. As a kid, I could say the sky was blue, an adult could say it was pink, and I’d better not correct them because “I’m an adult and what I say is right”.

Yes, as an adult, I have to pay bills and money is a necessity. But, to an extent, I can choose where to work, and I will be compensated for my time with money. It’s outright illegal if I’m not. While I’m not paid for internship (I presume the laws are different for that), I still choose to be here and I come here because I want to, not because I’ll be punished if I don’t. I’d rather pay bills and have choices – freedom – in my life than give up the former for lack of the latter.

I can travel without supervison, stay out after dark (I go to the gym on occasion in the evening), don’t need permission to go outside, can decorate my room how I like, can buy my own electronics, can watch the shows I want without arguing over the television with my sister, can listen to the music I like, everything in my room belongs to me instead of someone else because “I bought it, so you’re just borrowing it”. I really could go on for a long time. I’ve spoken a lot on this blog about how my childhood sucked and my family is broken, but even if I had the most carefree, idyllic childhood imaginable, I think my feelings would be the same.

  • Kids have to stand for and recite the pledge of allegiance every morning. As a kid, I thought that was stupid, and as an adult, I still do. But I no longer have to do it! (Side note: No, reciting the pledge doesn’t mean someone respects the country. The peers who made my school life miserable recited it. You can’t claim to respect the country when you have no respect for people in the country.)
  • Kids have curfews and bedtimes. I might be tired, but if I want to go to bed at 1am on a “work” night, yay! More internet time!
  • No parental controls! Yes, I understand why they exist. I’m still glad I don’t have to deal with them! And I can lock my devices to keep other people out!
  • “No, you can’t have pizza for breakfast.” I can now!
  • I have a more decorated room now than I did as a kid. Because I buy everything for it, right down to my computer. Though, my favorite thing would be the plethora of stuffed animals on my bed.
  • Want something, but can’t buy it? As a kid, you’re out of luck. As an adult, unless money is extremely tight, you can save up for it. That’s how I got my computer!
  • I don’t get my hair done unless I want to. I admit this one is more personal, but I’m sure I’ve spoken about how obsessive my family is about appearance. My mother forced me to have hair extensions and styles I did not want that took hours, and yelled at me and degraded my appearance when I argued. Now, my family still complains, but I no longer have to abide by them, and they eventually shut up for the most part.
  • Kids wear the clothes their parents buy them. I wear the clothes I buy me. Without getting yelled at for not matching (Fashion rules can kiss my behind!).

I know most of what I listed are small things, but as Pinkie Pie once said, “One small thing can be the biggest thing of all”. Freedom is addicting! I remember when I first got my own room. I haven’t shared a room since, minus the time I lived in a homeless shelter, because after a taste of what it was like to have my own space and privacy (to the small extent I could with a sibling), I could never go back! It’s why my boyfriend and I will have separate rooms when we move in together. He’s never had his own room and I want him to experience that. I know he’ll be as addicted as me!

The only downside is people don’t think adults are cute like they do kids. But I wasn’t a cute kid (regularly got called ugly and was hated solely because I existed in some people’s space), so I didn’t have even that.

I’ll take adulthood and all of its challenges any day. That opinion may vary on some days, but I’d say 80% of the time, it’s a given.

From Dropout To Graduate

My first day of my internship was yesterday. The day went well! The only annoyances were the school bell, which I’ll get used to, and the teacher next door who wouldn’t stop yelling at her class. Apparently, it’s a remedial class for students with behavioral problems. Not sure how yelling cures that, but that’s not my department!

Minus that, the day was perfect. Aside from the above, the whole day was peaceful and quiet. I had a partner to work with and, after we were told what we had to do, we were left to our own devices in an office-like space. We spent the day testing out hard drives and monitors, and installing Windows 7 images. Half the time was spent waiting for the installations to finish, so we played on our phones in the meantime. Got to have our lunches when we wanted and left at 2:30pm. I realize it was only the first day, but if that’s a glimpse of our day-to-day work, I could used to it! No customers, nothing hectic, no loudness (for the most part), no phones ringing every half hour, no standing for 6 to 8 hours. It was bliss. If only I got paid.

When I came home, I had an envelope from my school. Inside was the announcement for the graduation ceremony, and the form needed to RSVP. I immediately requested the day off work, and since it’s two months ahead, I’m not worried about the request being rejected. But if it is rejected, I’m calling out! The program may have been less than a year (including internship, nine months), but that’s my time and money I invested! I will not miss that ceremony!

It’s so hard to believe this is reality and happening to me. A few days ago, I had a post appear from a year ago in my Facebook memories where I said I just finished applying for school. It almost felt surreal.

Five years ago, I was a college dropout because I was not ready for college and only went to stop my family from complaining. I didn’t have my mind set on what I wanted to study, I was burned out from my previous thirteen years of mandatory schooling, and I essentially floated around until I found my job two years after dropping out. Yes, I’m late and it’s not traditional college, but I still did the work and earned it. I am still a graduate! I got to the end of it.

While I wish I could’ve graduated on time with my high school classmates, I’m not terribly unhappy to finish now. Like I said, I was burned out from thirteen years of school and wanted no more to do with it. Plus, I was much less independent at that time. Yes, I relied on my family somewhat to get through school, but I traveled alone and most of the expenses came from my paychecks. When I went to college right after high school, it was the local community college that was a 30-minute walk away because I didn’t know what else to do, and it was the cheapest and closest option. Picking a further college meant I would’ve relied on my family to drive me to and from there. Not to mention scheduling classes was a mess. I very much prefer my trade school’s way: the entire program being certain days and hours. I don’t really want to go to class at 10pm. Or travel between two different campuses for classes!

Yes, it feels much better to go to school at my pace, not my family’s. Wouldn’t you know? School’s not so bad when you aren’t forced.

Hard Work… Didn’t Work

I am finished! And I’m surprised at how I did it!

My final assignment was a four-page research paper, and my final exam was one hundred questions. I finished the paper in two hours on the day it was assigned before I left school. How? Regurgitating what was in the textbook, though not verbatim. My effort was awarded with a 95, the highest grade I’ve ever received for an assignment in that class. I was fortunate if I got higher than a 70 for tests I studied for, yet lazy effort gets me my highest score. I was also the only student who turned it in on time. We were given four days to complete it.

Doesn’t end there. For my final exam, I was going the first student finished (a rarity!), and I finished in thirty minutes while the rest of my class took over an hour. My score? 91, the only A I received for a test in this class. Now, I did study for the exam, but not as much as I should’ve. In the end, I looked over my old tests for a few minutes and thought of some tricks to remember the answers to certain questions. That was a lot more helpful than studying.

Ultimately, I finished the entire program with a GPA of 3.41, which amounts to 89%, a B+. That one point will always bother me, but I passed and I’m just happy I did. I take that as proof I’m not so bad at academics. When I’m interested, that is. Not a new discovery, really.

The above said, I do not want to repeat this! These classes lasted for eight months in total, and my internship will take five weeks. I have no idea how people commit to this for years on end! Forget my age! I think I’d shoot myself if I had to juggle school and work for four years! Not to mention I barely kept my head above water with the financial struggle. Yes, it was worth it and I’m happy I did it, but traditional college can kiss my fat behind with its 2 to 4 year schedule of this! The program was fast-paced and hard to keep up with at times, but I am glad I chose a nine-month program instead of a 2 or 4-year one. It would’ve been worse if I chose the evening schedule for this program instead of the day, though still not as bad as community college.

That doesn’t mean I look down on any who goes the traditional college route. It just means I’m glad I didn’t! Eight months and I’m on to internship! I can celebrate!

No Forgiveness

A comic I will not link to because it’s maddening prompted this post.

I have a big problem with the concept of forgiveness. It’s supposed to be “healing”. As far as I’ve been able to see, it’s a way to excuse the bad things people do.

The comic was about bullying. In summary, the artist’s childhood bully was once her friend, but ditched her because she (the bully) became popular. Artist finds the bully on Facebook years later to discover she and the other kids who mistreated her have grown up and live normal lives while the artist wishes she could erase those awful years from her life.

I know the feeling.

The title described it as a “heart-melting comic”, but there is nothing that melts my heart about knowing people can mistreat or flat-out ruin years of your life with no remorse and carry on like normal while you live with the after effects. I consider those people borderline sociopaths.

Yes, people can argue there’s no point in being angry years later and, to an extent, I agree. However, as far as I am concerned, I have the right to be angry with my bullies because they made my school life a living hell, and the adults had zero power to stop it (heads up: “tell an adult” is the most worthless advice that can ever be given in regards to bullying). They are part of the reason I want to burn my childhood to ashes, and I am supposed to forgive them because time passed? Because “kids will be kids” {so, why bother with discipline?)? Of course, they’ve moved on. Bullies don’t have remorse or they wouldn’t do it. But they do not deserve forgiveness and I won’t forgive them because, even if I will never see them again, I refuse to justify and excuse what they did to me!

No, it’s not okay to hurt someone because it will be in the past. No, it’s not okay for children to be bullies because they are children. No, time passing does not excuse someone’s abusive actions. And no, I do not wish any of my bullies a happy life. Perhaps it now makes me border on sociopathic, but for what they did to me for all of those years, I wish them nothing less than the absolute hell they gave me!

No, I don’t live my life angry every second. The only reason I even thought about it is I came across that comic. But I do not, and I will never, forgive my bullies for how they treated me.

Forgiveness is not a right and not everyone deserves the privilege.