Baby Fever at 20

I have a slightly shameful confession to make. My boyfriend and most of my friends already are well aware of this, but it’s not usually something I broadcast to the world because of my own insecurities.

I have baby fever. Bad. I’m almost 20 years old, and I have intense, crazy baby fever. It’s weird, I know. I get all sorts of weird mental things coming out of this, actually. I have a love/hate relationship with my Paraguard IUD. I usually cry when I ovulate (and that is usually surprisingly painful). And also when I have my period. I tend to mother my friends (sorry guys!) and I also mother my boyfriend (sorry, Clark!); they are all nice enough to put up with it and not say anything. I’m also secretly really envious of one of my friends, who is my age but has a darling child. These are all sort of creepy, but not necessarily bad- but I’m not done yet.

I actually have a deep, paralyzing fear of being infertile. Again, I’m just under 20 years old- I really shouldn’t be worried about this. But it actually keeps me up at night. It’s one of the main things that helps to feed my anxiety. School also feeds it, but that isn’t as bad, because at least I can change my circumstances through studying- infertility is something that I am unable to do anything about directly, and that freezes me with fear. I regularly stress about it, which probably isn’t very normal, and sometimes it brings me to tears.

I also make everyday decisions with a few things in mind. I make decisions based on what would be best for my kids, and what will help me fulfill my mission. These two driving forces basically motivate my entire existence. That’s why I’m so quirky, and refuse to do a lot of the things that other college students normally would. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke anything, I hardly ever go out (although that’s more of a social anxiety thing), I take care to make sure I am safe, and I won’t go out if I don’t think I am protected. I have only ever slept with one person, Clark, because I know certain STI’s can transfer over to my children. I’m actually going to college because of them- I want to provide them with a good life, and college is a great way to get a good job so I can support them. I’m going to be a teacher because it helps me with my mission, and will allow me to be home with my kids and still hold down a job. I have chosen Clark, who I know will be an amazing father, to be my lover- father material always goes before fun or attractiveness. I practice with other kids to make sure I have a bit of previous experience before I jump into motherhood (although I’m well aware that babysitting and actually having a child are extremely different). I don’t ever make decisions without thinking about the two drives that are the most important in my life.

I know it isn’t smart to have children right now- it’s inconvenient and not a good idea, and I definitely need to finish college first. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting. I’ve got a soul for this. I’m overflowing with love and compassion and empathy. I’m soft and warm and perfect for comfort. It breaks my heart to be unable to have my children right now, but I know it’s for the best. I keep telling myself, only a few more years, but that doesn’t really help much, honestly. It’s a little bit depressing, because there is nothing I would like more than to have a baby of my own to love.

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Monster-In-Laws

Clark is a fantastic boyfriend. I wonder, several times a day, how he could have possibly have been raised by his parents, who have successfully brainwashed 4 out of 6 of their children into blindly following a twisted take on Christianity. I have done my best to try to balance my activism with their extremely conservative viewpoints, and I’m done trying.

I acknowledge that I’ll probably always be the black sheep of the family, but I can’t be manipulated into silence. I refuse. There are lives at stake here, including my own, and I will always keep a sharp eye for injustices to expose and rally against.

I’m finished trying to please pessimistic parents into trying to like me. Clark loves me- that’s what matters. Clark understands his crazy, off the wall parents, and he likes my family more than he likes his own.

I’m tired of being forced to explain myself to the in-laws, the constant monitoring of my facebook for articles that are LGBT oriented or feminist in nature. They misinterpret everything. I’m throwing down the gauntlet here.

Posted on my facebook:

Hello all,
I have received some indirect disparaging comments as of late regarding my work with LGBT rights, human rights, reproductive rights and feminism. I would like to express the fact that my advocacy for these things will not change. I will continue to fight for the rights of the oppressed until we all are equal in rights and opportunity.
If you have a problem with this, are offended by this, or by the things I say and do considering these things, I implore you to click my name, head to my page and defriend me. I refuse to give up my views to placate anyone, and will continue to fight for what is right. I will not apologize for voicing my opinion or being involved in these movements.
I stand up for the voiceless, and I advocate for tolerance and love for all. If you have an issue with these things, I have an issue with you, and I want you to do us both a favor and defriend me.
Thank you.

I’m done with trying to hide my sense of justice. I’m tired of being called a ‘bad Christian’ or ‘too feminist’. It isn’t my fault that their ignorance is too great to be overcome. (Anyone who calls me ‘pro-abortion’ obviously doesn’t have their facts straight- it’s ‘pro-choice’ because I don’t like to micromanage other people’s lives.)

I shouldn’t have to adjust to their delicate and easily broken views of Christianity, humanity or diversity. I shouldn’t have to tolerate their intolerance of me, or those similar to me. Different doesn’t mean bad.

Clark could do much worse than me. I know my own value, and I am aware of the fact that we are both incredibly lucky, since we are both people of exceptional caliber. If they choose to fixate on everything about me that they don’t agree with, that is their problem and their loss.

I refuse to be silenced, especially since I speak up for others. I refuse to stop this. And I believe, 110%, that if Jesus lived in this era, he would be right here next to me, advocating for human rights and equality. So you can stick that where the sun don’t shine. Maybe my show of backbone will make you realize that I’m stronger and wiser than you will ever be. I’m 20, and I will lift others up. You are in your 50s, and all you seem to do is put them down.

I’m doing God’s work- so what the hell are you doing, huh? Find something better to do with your time than stalk my facebook and pick on my flaws, my dear Monster-In-Laws.

Mission and Second Chances

What is the purpose or mission for your life? What is my own? It is interesting to see other people’s takes on this topic, because mine is limiting and freeing, at the exact same time.

My mission, given to me by God in the darkest spot in my life, is to serve others. My mission is to save people and ease pain. My mission is to love with my entire heart, and care for others even when they push me away. My mission is to be compassionate and yet honest, when no one else will.

This isn’t a typical sort of mission, but it’s mine. I agreed on it years ago in exchange for my own life, and I have never regretted a minute of it. Most people don’t really understand this underlying current in my existence, but most of the things I do revolve around this common factor. The mate I chose, Clark, has the patience and strength to lift me up while I struggle to fulfill my purpose. The career I have chosen gives me access to young children who need me to guide them and reassure them. My choice in friends simultaneously uplifts me and requires my own intervention, helping me to learn how to be of the most service to them and teaching me through experience how to deal with various issues.

I’m honestly still not quite sure how I received my mission. I just know that one day, I was considering suicide, and thinking about how that would be better than feeling so empty inside. I didn’t even care about my own life, and it shocks me now to think of myself like that- thinking about my own death so nonchalantly, so detached. I must have blacked out before I could do any damage to myself, but when I woke up, I knew there was a purpose to my existence. A small but firm voice whispered in my heart what I needed to do, and explained that this second chance at life was given in exchange for a lifetime of service. I’m still surprised that I agreed to it, but I think it was because of the nature of my own mission, and how it involved helping and saving and caring. No one had done that for me- and now I have a responsibility to find those who need me and help them get back on their feet. I do for others what no one did for me, and that’s why I love it so much.

It breaks me apart regularly, and it’s hard for me to come to terms with this heavy weight on my shoulders at times. I give and give until I’ve got nothing left, and it nearly kills me every time. I take on emotions for others, even though I don’t have the capacity to process them properly. The influx puts my heart and mental health at jeopardy, but every time, I end up fine. It is incredibly painful, especially when I watch those that will not allow me to help them. I can barely handle it- but somehow I do. I was remade for this, and so I continue, even though I am weak and I doubt myself. I have a drive to do this- I have a promise to fulfill. I have a duty, a job to do, and I will never regret doing it, even if it kills me.

God gave me second chances. It’s my job to give others second chances at life as well, and I will always be trying to cultivate options, loving others until it hurts, and doing my best to hold up my end of the deal. I’m not sorry it’s turned out like this- I’m just glad I didn’t get my wings too early like I thought I would. I’m stronger now than I thought I ever would be, but it still isn’t easy; I don’t think it will ever be easy. But it is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done. I don’t have a choice in the matter at this point, but I no longer want one.

Even if there is just one person I have helped, all of this will be worth it. I’m called to this, and I will continue to pour out my love and compassion until it makes a difference.

Hanging In There

Hello!

I’m pleased to report that not only has Clark stopped sulking about his situation, but is actively searching for alternatives, including trying to talk his money savvy father into letting him take out a small loan (because even with the extra few thousand dollar load per year, Clark is getting an incredible deal with his education here). So he might be able to stay! Although I know not to get my hopes up too much, I’m still overjoyed, hopeful, and feeling a lot less stressed about everything, after having a test and major presentation yesterday. I’m glad that I managed to avoid an anxiety attack in the midst of the chaos this week. So life is looking up.

Now onto the next obstacle- Clark’s mother is going to be in town this weekend! It’s the first time I’ll meet her in person, and I hope she likes me. I always speak defiantly of his parents, and promise myself I’ll stick up for my beliefs, until I come face to face with them, and then I compromise a bit. It isn’t a bad thing, I’m glad that I feel the need to soften my extreme liberalism in the presence of his parents, I just don’t want to betray my dignity or causes either. I haven’t been pressed on anything, but when I am, I pray I will have the courage to stand my ground, even against my future in-laws. Human rights are not to be taken lightly, and I know it would take a while to forgive myself if I let them dictate my actions. I hope I can find a happy medium where I can politely state my beliefs and be accepted anyway.

I hope everyone is having a great Tuesday! Rachel