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Saturday, October 18, 2014

It is about to go down!!!

Hello fellow travelers on this journey of life!!! I haven't written in a while because I'm always censoring myself in my head and then end up not writing at all because the things I want to say, to share are personal, sometimes not so pleasant and sometimes plain out controversial... so I behave like the good girl that I'm expected to be and not write a damn word...oh and not curse at all too...but enough with that bs...i am done...u know at 41 years old...i don't need to be worrying about offending people...if they don't like what I write or do, then don't read it. Feel free to just ignore me and my work. I won't take it personally, I promise! :)  but before going any further, I have to give credit where credit is due. I absolutely adore my fellow blogger, writer and dear friend, Gabe Berman. Now Gabe and I have never met in person, but communicated enough be in on the phone or via Facebook or text. Gabe is a kindred. He is also the author of 2 awesome books!!! (Live Like a Fruit Fly & Where is God when your loved ones get sick? - both available on Amazon).
So as I read Gabe blog about his daily life in Long Island, I smile, my heart smiles because he is HONEST!!!! He writes as he thinks and feels and I respect that. I used to believe that one should not curse in their writings but I realize now that if that is how one communicates/ thinks...then that is what should be included....hell we all curse don't we...even the most holy of us occasionally slip up in our heads if not out loud. So as I read Gabe's most recent posts, I was inspired to just be honest...be vulnerable...be myself...perhaps others will recognize a bit of themselves in my experience of life....after all I can't be the only weirdo who thinks, acts and feels like I do.

Alright so here goes...

I am not known for being diplomatic...in fact...i lack it! and to be quite honest, I find it exhausting. So let me share a recent episode of yet another time, when I put my foot in my mouth and walked away immediately regretting it.
I recently attended a funeral of a dear aunt who lost her battle to cancer at the young age of 52. I adored her and respected her and still can't believe she is gone. In fact, I found myself talking to her just the other evening as I was sitting at my jewelry table working on a piece. And in my head, I could see her smile and respond. Now please be clear that I am not a psychic or a clarevoyant and most definitely am not a Ghost Whisperer. But this was a just me missing a loved one who left way too soon!

Alright, back to being with family members before her funeral. Isn't it funny how we all come together for weddings and funerals and although funerals are by nature, supposed to be sad and they are sad but they are also a time of laughter and connection. We tend to come together as a family unit as we together mourn the loss of our loved ones.  While we wait for the funeral or get together after the funeral, we break bread together and cousins hang out together and aunts usually are helping out in the kitchen while the uncles sit back and watch the scene unfold. So it was at one such dinner the night before the funeral that I walked in to the home and immediately was surrounded by family members whom I hadn't seen since my divorce 10 years ago...oh did I fail to mention this was my ex husband's aunt. :) Well she was and although I've always been invited at weddings and other occasions, I have never gone. But there was no way I was missing her funeral. I had been in regular touch with her over the years and had a lot of respect for the strong, educated woman that she was.

So here I was standing with an uncle and aunt whom I had not seen in about 12 years. Now they have a son who is a senior in high school and is about to graduate. So naturally the conversation flowed towards his plans for college. They informed me almost proudly that they had decided that they didn't want him going away to an expensive university because he would get the same education attending a local community college for two years and then would look into transferring to a university to finish his Bachelors degree. They started to tell me how the son was going to basically follow in his father's footsteps and become a US customs inspector of some sort. They continued to explain how that would be wonderful for him and in 5 years, he had the potential of becoming a plant supervisor or something like that. Now I stood there just blown away. Why would you want your son to do what you do? Not that there is anything wrong with what he does but they live in America, the land of the free and opportunity.  America, one of the few countries in the world where one can access the BEST education available. And yet their aspirations for him were to have the life and successes that the father had experienced.  Not being college graduates themselves, the mother had been a stay at home mom for the most part and I respect that. No judgement there. In fact, I applaud and encourage all mothers who can make it work, to stay home and raise their kids for as long as they possibly can. And the father, I believe had completed enough college courses etc to be promoted to the supervisor position. At first the conversation was quite polite. But I think I lost in when the father said to me that in about 5 years, their son will make to a position of a supervisor and make about a $100,000 a year. HUH??? WHAT?!!! Are you kidding me? $100,000??? what is that...how much is that...what kind of lifestyle can one really afford with $100,000 a year. Now obviously I see the judgement exuding from my words because I know many families who make a lot less than that a year and are happy and healthy. But my immigrant roots scream in opposition as I remember the sacrifices our parents made when they came to America while in their 30'a to start over a new life for their kids. We were raised with the "You have to go to college. You have to get your Bachelors, You have to get a Masters! You have to make something of yourself. You have to preferably be in a career where you're working with your head and not with your hands." You see, our parents no matter what their education backgrounds from the mother lands of India and Pakistan, had to start from the bottom up with jobs such as working at What a Burger, the local dry cleaners, delivering pizza and even driving a cab in Chicago. They struggled and eventually were able to make a life for us. They worked two jobs, sacrificed the fancy lifestyle even when they could afford it to put us through college all in the hopes that we would have a better life than they ever could imagine for themselves. Because that alone would justify the sacrifices they made.
So back to the uncle and aunt, long story short, I basically said something similar to "Don't you want your son to have a better life than you?" and "Why aren't you encouraging him to aim higher". Of course I immediately bit my tongue and regretted those words ever leaving my lips...but it was done. I politely ended that conversation as I wished them the best and "I'm sure he will do great" etc etc etc bullshit.... and walked away from them, avoiding them for the rest of the weekend. I felt like an idiot and indeed I was a jerk for imposing my views, my expectations for my children on their family. But oh well...another lesson learned...keep your mouth shut Anita!!!
Later as the boys and I flew back home, I told them about this conversation and they just smiled and shrugged their head. "Mom!!! Only you!!!" they both said. Aly told me that he had a similar conversation about college with them and instead of blurting out like the idiot that I am, he was very mature and diplomatic and he bit his tongue and politely stood there saying nothing. He said, "Mom, I realized that that was their way of thinking and it was not my place to tell them any different." Damn!!!! Smart kid!!!! Now why didn't I think of that!! Oh well...yet another lesson learned....when in doubt keep my mouth shut. :)

Over and out!
Sending you love, light and blessings.
Anita

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