Life is like a mountain.
It's hard and steep and almost always full of bumps. You fall down often, and slide backwards half the time.....but the views are always worth the struggle.
Oh wow it's been a really long time.
We had a summer of go go go--I didn't take a single class....all my efforts were put towards getting into nursing school.....and it WORKED! I was accepted into my program, and started last week! We played alllllllll summer long and enjoyed every single minute together as a family, loving our extra free time. As I rested my brain, I had so many thoughts that sprouted and began to grow in my mind--things I needed to write down. I am a fairly quiet person--I really only open up to those I'm close too--I'd much rather observe most things in life. But sometimes it feels good to just get stuff OUT, and I found myself continuously scribbling down quick notes, ideas, and feelings all summer long. Some of them take root and begin to grow out of my brain, and just beg to be expanded upon and shared....this is one of those seeds.
oh and by the way I'm dotting this post with pictures of Ali and I climbing a mountain, because what is a post without pictures? and really you can relate so many things in life to climbing a giant mountain.
We often hear people say things like "being a _______ is really hard." Fill in that blank with whatever your current hard situation may be--"single dad", "teenager", "stay at home mom", "teacher", "president of a multimillion dollar company" (ok I don't hear that one often, but I imagine that it is no easy feat), this list goes on. But what I'm learning in my wise old years, is that guess what? Being a HUMAN is hard stuff. I don't know of a single person who wakes up in the morning and says "I can't wait to start my perfect day in which I will have no problems and nothing will go wrong!! My life is so easy--I have this whole existence thing all figured out!" That person does not exist, believe it or not.
We all have issues, some are tiny and laughable, others are huge and life changing. We all have our OWN troubles, trials, struggles, and things that are just plain hard. So with that knowledge, we need to remember that every single person we come in contact with each day, (via real life or this weird thing that is social media), also has things THEY struggle with. Because we are each unique and have our own individual paths with personalized obstacles, we need to remember that the way WE do things may not be the way SOMEONE ELSE does things. And then let's try to remember (last thing I will make you memorize, promise) that we shouldn't be so judgmental of those other people because they are not doing things our way. You know, let's just be nice. To everyone. Everyday.
I live in this quirky little culture bubble that is very different than where Robby or I grew up, where too many people get caught up in "right ways" and "wrong ways", and have very strong opinions on how things should be done and how lives should be lived. And because many people here subscribe to the same culture, it's hard not to feel a little bit out of place when I don't 100% do the same things everyone does (which I think it a good thing.....right?! Let's not all be exactly the same, that is just way too boring.) If a choice is different than the "norm", it is sometimes perceived as WRONG by the majority. And because that paragraph contained a lot of very vague generalizing, I'll give you a very specific example.
In my community many of the moms stay home and do not work. I love this! I think it's awesome and hard and awesomely hard, and truly the most amazing job ever. But I have chosen to go back to school--it's something I have always wanted to do, and in these last few years I have realized that I truly want to help people in difficult times, and I can do that by being a nurse. I am so excited just thinking about it--me! A real nurse! But these choices I am making about school and work do not make me any less of a good mom. They are not bad choices at all--they are just different than what others choose to do--and that's ok! It feels like a good choice for me and my family, and Robby and I are actually pretty good at making decisions for our own family, imagine that. Yes we are juggling a lot. We are running everywhere like crazy. Some "mom things" have to go--I can't volunteer in my kids' classrooms, I cannot have freshly baked cookies laid out each day when they get home from school, (ahem, but who will have cookies waiting for ME?), we do not sing merry songs as we braid each others hair and talk about our perfect and hassle-free day, and we are usually rushed and it's rarely perfect.....(deep breath!)...but for the most part, I have felt like I am really doing my absolute best at managing ALL.THE.THINGS. But as hard as I try, I still get "why are you going back to school with young kids?" "Do you really plan on working while they are still at home?" "Are you able to be home when your kids get home from school?" they ask with judging tones. The load of all these comments starts to build and build on my shoulders, (and if we've ever met, you've probably noticed that my shoulders aren't all that big)......and I really start to get weighed down. I started this week feeling like "I CAN DO ANYTHING! I'VE GOT THIS STUDENT/MOM/WIFE/HUMAN THING IN THE BAG"....but because of unnecessary comments from others, I'm ending my week questioning, "am I doing anything right?
Back to today's main lesson: let's just be nice to people. Everyone has a giant load of hard stuff to deal with; it's not up to us to tell our neighbors/friends/strangers what they are doing wrong and how they can do it better, and it is absolutely OK(!) to do things that go against what may be "normal".
Be your own person, and let everyone else be their own person too. Then give each other a nice smile and high five as you pass by in life, because hey! Being a human no easy thing.
and speaking of high-fives, self-timered high fives on mountain tops aren't as easy as they seem/we are super uncoordinated
[So maybe this was a weird way to jump back into the old blog, but it really has been heavy on my mind (and my heart, and my ice cream consumption,) and I felt like I should share before it exploded out of me. So next time I promise more rainbows and sunshine--photos included, deal?]