No Rush

It’s been a trend in my family to marry young. Not because we’re strangely religious or conservative, but because they knew what they wanted; kudos to them. All of my siblings, their spouses, and my parents tied the knot by 21, the youngest being 18. When you know, you know; or so I’ve heard..

Although sometimes kidding, I think people make assumptions that I’ll follow suit.  Recently I’ve received comments about my love life; or you could say non-existent love life.  Such as: “When are you going to get married?” Somewhat jokingly. “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” “We like all the in-laws so far, don’t mess it up.”

This frustrates me. Let me just hop in my time machine and let you know when the special day is. What’s it to you if I don’t have a boyfriend? And clearly it’s my duty to make sure that everyone approves.

***

Family gatherings can be difficult, I won’t deny it.  Being the only one lacking a significant other can be lonely. Everyone has their partner for games while I tag along with a couple of my choosing.  Everyone having that partner’s shoulder to cry on at our Grandpa’s funeral.

***

Let me be clear, I don’t think poorly of those who marry young, whatsoever. Not that it would matter if I did.

What I do have a problem with is people making comments that make an eighteen-year-old woman feel pressured to get a move on; in any way, even if it’s just to have a boyfriend.  As if it’s normal to marry young or it’s weird that I’m still single.

I’ve had the fairy tale misconception in my head since I was young that women are to marry prince charming, have babies, and stay home with those babies, while the strong successful husband provides for wife and said babies.

Of course, I desire that feeling of unconditional love someday. Knowing what it’s like to share my life with someone, faults and all.

BUT I also desire to love myself, become my own person; to have a chance to be independent and make something of myself.

I’ve learned that it’s okay for me to take my dear old time, I mean come on, I’m eighteen. I’ve learned that if I never get married or have kids, there’s a reason. I’ve learned I can be successful on my own, that I can take care of myself. I’ve learned that I don’t need a man to complete me.

Fitting In

All my life I’ve desired to “fit in.” I think just about everyone can relate one way or another. 

By fitting in, most probably assume at school or work, but not me. Sure, that’d be nice; but I don’t feel the need to fit in in those surroundings. I’m perfectly content with a few close trustworthy friends. Quality before quantity. 

For me, I’ve always wished to fit in with my family. Yes, you heard me right, my family. 

5 years 9 months, eight years 9 months, and eleven years 9 months is the timeline separating me with my three older siblings, I refuse to round up another year. Old habits from when I was young die hard.     

Like most toddlers/young kids I was demanded to take a nap (especially on Sundays.)  I would rest my head where you’d normally put your feet so I could just barely see out my door that lead into the kitchen. Waiting for signs of movement and listening intently for any conversations I might be missing. Wanting with all my heart to be involved with the “big kids.” 

As a kid I was banned from playing with my brothers and their friends. When around me they’d spell out the word T-R-A-M-P-O-L-I-N-E or B-I-K-E R-I-D-E to avoid having to drag me along. Thanks guys. 

As a pre-teen, I’d be sent to go clean my room, go to bed, or just simply leave when any topics were deemed inappropriate for my ears. Hurt and disappointed I’d walk away grudgingly no matter how many times I argued. Why was I the one to have to leave, why couldn’t have they left? I’d think to myself bitterly. To this day I resent them for it. I settled from listening from a far, and let me tell you, I did; with hot angry tears streaming down my face. 

I constantly wanted to be older. I wanted to be able to be seen as a mature young adult to my siblings. I craved to be accepted by them. 

Not fitting in with the big kids definitely sucked at the time, and I was very hurt and discouraged; but at eighteen, legally an adult, I don’t know what I thought the hype was about. I’ll never catch up to my brothers and sister. They’ll always be almost 6, 9, and 12 years older than I. We’ll always be in different walks of life. I’ve accepted it. I no longer desire to be older because once you are you can never go back. At 18, all I want is to be 10 again with my only responsibilities being chores and homework. 

So instead of living for the future too much and the past too much, I’m attempting to live here where I’m currently at. I’ll get to the good times when I’m older, but for now I need to cherish the good times I’m in. 

 

Start Small

Traveling has always been a huge dream of mine. Maybe it’s because the farthest I’ve been out of the U.S. is Canada…

There’s so much out there I have yet to see and experience. And eat!
Until the day comes to travel and wander (hopefully soon) small trips will have to do.

Earlier in the year my family was surprised to hear I had never been to Mackinaw (which is practically a crime if you live in Michigan) So my sister took it upon herself to have a sister trip as my graduation present.

Last weekend the car was packed and we were on our way. I’d like to share a few photos.

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We went up in a lighthouse for free!

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44 steep slippery steps later we made it to the top.

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A beautiful view of the lake from the ferry.

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And again.

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The famous hotel.

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The incredibly clear water.

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270 steps to arch rock.

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The famous spot.

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Famous fudge!

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And of course the bridge.

Even if traveling far or going on big excursions isn’t a reality for you, make the best of the small trips. They can be just as amazing.

The view and the history was splendid to experience and I had a great time with my sister sharing our ideas, thoughts, and aspirations. 

Have you recently gone on a fun trip? Big or small? Tell me about it! I’d love suggestions as to where to adventure to next.

Old, Broken, and Loved.

On Monday, a sign will be pounded into the grass of our small front yard declaring with obvious obnoxious print that it’s is indeed FOR SALE. And I don’t like it, not one bit.

I’ve moved once, at the age of four, from one small house in my quiet quaint town to another larger house in the same Midwest town. And frankly, at the age of four it doesn’t phase you much.

But now, now it’s a different story. I’ve resided in this 134 year old farm house, where my great Grandma once lived, for fourteen years. It has become a part of me. The creaky stairs, the worn hardwood floors, the chipped walls, the old fashioned glass door handles, the 1810 bolded black on the front of the house, the ancient drafty windows, the scurrying of mice in the walls.

No, it doesn’t sound ideal, but it has history.  The only house around with a dirt road to get to the main part of town. To just a house surrounded by other houses. To the same house, watching houses around it get work done while it stands strong not needing a face lift because each year adds character.

This home has provided me comfort for the times I need to be alone. It’s provided me warmth in the brutal Michigan winters and air in the blazing summers.

The memories created in this 5 bedroom, 3 baths, rickety home with my three older siblings and parents will never be lost or forgotten. As the house sells and we pack our copious belongings, the memories will be packed too.

I’ll be sad to say goodbye to this building I call home, but I wish that a lovely family finds it just as ruggedly beautiful as we do.

The Unwritten Life

(Poem I wrote for college writing)

Austin
Picturing you,
freckles lightly scattered across your face, like Stephanie.
Squinty blue eyes, like Cory;
and strawberry blonde hair
cascading across your large forehead, like Caleb.
Unfortunately,
you will forever be a mental image,
solely existing in my mind, never escaping.

I imagine,
griping over sharing a car,
ungrateful brats, unaware of our numerous blessings.
Lounging in the homey living room,
stressing over
homework,
college apps,
our future.
Talking about our
worries,
fears,
and failures,
confiding in each other-
best friends to no end.
Through it all, depending on you to get me through my worst nightmares.
Sadly,
you’re only alive in my vast imagination.

I wonder,
how different my life would be
if I had my partner in crime
fighting this cruel world beside me.

I could spend an eternity pondering “if only land,”
imagining what life would have been like with my other half-
my twin, Austin.
But I shan’t dwell too long,
it won’t bring him back.
It won’t make life fair
or help me understand why I lived
and he died.

So instead of mulling,
I must move on.
Remembering everything happens for a reason,
a reason for my parent’s loss,
and a reason for my life.

Independence

At five, I finally built up the courage to ask my Grandpa to take the worn training wheels off my girly pink Barbie bike.

I went around my house, person to person, asking for help to learn how to ride my new two wheeler. However, all I heard was maybe later, no, and I’m too busy. Slightly discouraged I walked out the door to my bike resting in the driveway, hopped on determined to do it myself.

I peddled circles just like I’d seen my dad show my sister from home videos. I fell. And got up. And fell. And got up until finally I had accomplished something on my own; with a few scrapes on my knees the scars never fading to this day.

Sometimes you can only depend on yourself, because people will continue to let you down. So believe in yourself, be determined to do something on your own, look at it through a child’s perspective; don’t give up, peddle on.

To this day, the fact I taught myself how to ride a bike is a constant joke about how being the youngest of four by a substantial amount of years I was deprived of childhood moments. I wasn’t given as much attention, I don’t have as many baby pictures to cherish but it makes the ones I do have that much more special. That day I road in circles over and over was the day I learned what independence is and the importance of it in this world.

I’m Lazy and I Know It

Tonight my mom frustratingly reminded me how lazy I am. My initial reaction was to raise my voice and show my annoyance (she’s not the easiest person for me to get along with) instead I simply agreed with her. I don’t deny that I’m lazy. In fact, I 100% agree that I am the epitome of lazy. One of my favorite things to say is “I’ll do it later.” (And I do) but she hates when I udder those words.  She wants to know why I don’t do it immediately.

And my answer is: because I’m seventeen, I only have 4 more months of childhood, I want the least amount of responsibilities possible while I still can. Because too soon I’ll be paying for college (all on my own), making decisions I surely don’t think I’m adequately prepared to make, and because who knows how many more years I’ll have the opportunity to “do it later.” One day I hope to be married and have kids and when that time in my life comes I know I’m going to have no other choice but to do it now.

So give me some space, give me a task and I’ll get it done. Don’t remind me ten times in the hour, I haven’t forgot. Let me savor these last few months of “childhood” while I can.