Monday, March 10, 2014

No fricken clue.....I don't know.....I am not sure.....Maybe?????

So there are days where I am quite proud of myself and the life I have worked to create. I know I have received a ton of love and support along the way. From my family, to friends, teachers, bosses, aunts, uncles and cousins. I have received a lot of support during the course of my lifetime and I certainly feel that it does take a village. There have always been different folks I turn to for different types of advice. There are some people I speak with for emotional advice, those I speak with for professional advice, those I speak for interpersonal advice, etc. etc. I continue to remain gratefu for the love and support I continue tor to receive whether I be in Uxbridge, Norton or New York City.

As proud as I am for applying to and "paying" my own way through graduate school (loans paying back for the rest of my life why paying in in quotes) and as proud as I am for picking up and moving to a brand new city, only knowing Greg. As proud as I am for having found a job here in the city where I knew no body and as proud as I am for having been at Children's Aid now for the past going on 9 years and working my way from a Coordinator, to a Manager, Senior Manager and now Director, when it comes to many things about my life, I still have no fricken clue.

When I was a kid I can remember thinking I would be married with a full-on family by the time I was 26. I would certainly own a home and live right down the street from my parents. I would own a car and have a yard and a washer and dryer. I thought when I was little it must all be so much easier to figure out when you are older becuase you have so much more experince and are so much wiser and just privyed to such much more information.

How wrong was I?? I think I did a pretty good job at being a kid. I had more figured out then than I sometimes think I do now. I pretty much "knew" my plan or I thought I did. I needed to do well in school that year to be promoted to the next grade. I needed to do well and practice my activies and do my homework. I had college as an eventual goal and again, marriage and kids were kind of always a given.

Life was so much easier when it didn't feel like there were options. I mean, I guess there were different activities I could have done, but I did the activities I enjoyed most and was decent enough at to participate in. Second grade became Third grade and as long as you did your work, passed your test and picked-up on the skills and emotional cues you would meet your goal and be in third grade the next year.

These days, I just feel like there are so many things that my answer is "I have no fricken clue" or to be more blunt..."I don't fuckin' know."

Greg and I have been together for nearly 13 years now, I know crazy, right? Even though we were together for a long time, we always knew marriage was our next step. We always knew that, there were no questions about getting married. Granted we had to plan it and pick a date, etc. but in the grand scheme of things, wasn't too stressful and we had a fuckin' clue about that.

Now that we are married and both much more "established" in our careers and our lives you feel the pressure to be "more grown-up." Or I do anyways.

I sit here in Manhattan with my 35th year on the horizon. I sit here and often wonder if I am the only person feeling this way. I sit and I look around at my friends, whether be lifelong or Facebook. I know they always say don't compare yourself to others, and it isn't really in a comparing kind of way. It is just in an intriguing kind of way. I am so curiuos how you know. I am so curiuos how you knew. I am so curious how you are so much braver than me? I am certain that as a women, knowing there is only so long you can safely and biologically have children there is always this window that seems to close each and every year. Like my window of opportunity is shrinking.

So, as the song goes, Patty and Greg sitting in a tree...K I S S I N G, first comes love, then comes marriage....we all know what comes next and it isn't supposed to be then comes Patty not being sure about a baby carriage. I am extremely grateful to have so many friends in my world that have children and also a fair amount who have decided not to have children. It is one of the questions that Greg and I continue to grapel with. We continue to talk about and I continue to live in the I have no fricken clue place.

I always imagined myself as a mother. I always imagined myself with children. It wasn't until the last few years that I really started thinking about it maybe not being the case. I almost feel like we should have had kids at like 26 so we didn't have the chance to think about it so much. We spin our wheels about how we will do it by ourselves with our families in other states, we spin our wheels about cost. How do two people work full time and have a baby. We spin our wheels about child care and space and just everything. I know folks always say that you find a way to make it work. That would normally be my philosophy, but as someone who has had panic and anxiety become much more of their life than it used to be, I also have to think about that. I want to be the best mom I can be. I have no doubt my kid(s) would end up in therapy, but whose don't. We all do the best we can with our kids and I have no doubt Greg and I would too. No doubt.

So, are we going to have kids, I really have no fricken clue. I hang out with my friends' children and I want kids so bad. I see a cute kid on the subway or in the neighborhood and I want nothing more than to be a mom and share lives experiences with someone. I spend time with Greg and just think, cranky, we would have such a cute and cool kid. But that is all the ideal. That is all what is on Facebook, that isn't what happens as a new mom when I already have a heavy  predisposition to panic and panic attacks and it is the first few weeks so sleep is lacking. It isn't what happens when I find myself unsure what to do like the thousands of years of mothers before me. When I am feeling good and confident, I talk about "our kids" like it is an inevitable. When I realize that I have no fricken clue, I write a blog like this.

I would want to be the best parent ever. There are so many things I have always thought about wanting to do with my own children, it makes me sad to think it may not happen. At the same time, I also know Greg and I's financial situation in the city. We get by just fine for two working professionals living in the city without a car and no dependents. Once you start talking about costs for a healthy baby, it becomes stressful. Figure in the possibilty of having a child with mental or physical challenges and it becomes overwhelming. Again, I would want to be the best, most loving mom ever for our child and knowing there is always a possibility of having a child with a mental or physical challenge, is it fair for us to have a child, knowing we wouldn't have the resources to provide those types of supports in the city?

So, question......are you and Greg going to have fricken clue.

Onto the next area. For those of you who don't know, Greg and I have plans to get a Wheaten Terrier in July we are so very excited and cannot wait to welcome this lil guy' into our family! We have been thinking and planning and saving and we are just too excited. With thoughts of the pup have come thoughts of possibly moving out of the city. We actually went to look at some apartments up in Yonkers this past weekend. They were huge and right on the water, so we have so much to think about. Are we ready to move out of the city......I have no fricken clue. I think we are both on the fence. The thought of having more space, a washer and dryer, amenities and more room for us and the pup would be incredible. It would be so nice to be on the Hudson and while it would be a little bit more of a commute part of me is truly in love with the idea of moving outside of the city. Getting away from the hustle and the bustle (the honeymoon really put this into perspective for me). Having quiet nights and weekends. Having neighbors I interact with more often. Part of me feels like I am really in love with this idea.

Or, maybe it is just a crush? Maybe we would move up there and we would love it for 6 months and then be miserable. Maybe we would miss the city and find that it is jus so inconveninet. Maybe we would realize we really needed a car and we end up spending more than we wanted and aren't able to save what we had hoped.

How do people make these decisions. I continue to wish that life was a choose your own adventure book. That you could live out one scenario to see what would happen if you took a left and see what would happen, how you would feel and how it would all turn out. If after seeing how it turns out you were not happy with that, you could then turn back to page 11 and decide to take that right instead. Knowing in advance that this was the better way to go.

I know life is the way it is for a reason. I have no doubt that all of my experiences and mistakes have made me the person I am. They have taught me the lessons I am meant to learn this go-round. I cannot think of anyone or anything I have ever met or experienced that hasn't impacted my life and who I am today--in some way. I know that and I get it.

I just honestly have no idea and am not sure if we will move out of the city. To be honest part of the Yonkers appeal is also because we do think so much about kids and wanting to ensure we have the room and space. Wanting to ensure we can provide the best environment we are able to.

So, question.............are you and Greg moving out of the city....... answer.... I have no fricken clue.

Knowing what we make and what our expenses look to be for the foreseeable future, after we make our first-step decision about short term where will we be living for the next few years, we also have the are you and Greg going to buy a house question. Like much of which I have been battling with lately, my entire life I always assumed I would own a home. A home with a yard. A home with a driveway. I always assumed I would have a washer, dryer and a car. This is all I saw growing up, so I just kind of thought that was how it worked.

NYC is a whole new world, for me anyways. There are some people who own, but most folks who own are outside of Manhattan, or at least outside of the bouroughs. Some people I talk to in the city about owning will say "why would you ever want to own a house" then others say "why wouldn't you want to own a house." I think if we could come up with a downpayment we would be looking at owning much more seriously, but unfortuantely with student loans and Manhattan rents, saving is a slow and steady process. We just finished saving 2 years for our wedding/honeymoon, so I think we can expect at least another 2 ish years of saving up for a downpayment. I think that makes sense.

But, when I am in our apartment and the bathroom breaks, or the ceiling collapses, it is nice to just call the super and say, "Hey, Ray, come and fix our ____fill in the blank" It is nice to not need to shovel, or mow or replace, anything. Granted we have been throwing our rent into a black hole of sorts for nearly 10 years now, but I guess I don't have to shovel.

Challenge with moving upstate are really all about needing to get a car and needing to afford the monthly Metro North Fees which can reach nearly $500/person/month.  Much of the reason we are still in the city is because of the fact that we don't need a car and the monthly metro is only $112/month. Which may sound like a lot, but with no car, gas, insurance, parking, etc. it isn't bad for all our monthly travel.

So, question.......are Greg and I looking to buy a house some day soon.....answer I have no fricken clue!

I am so grateful that there are options out there. I am so grateful that we have the freedom to decide and know that our families and friends will support us regardless. I appreciate all of this, but I have to say choices and so many options with so many implications can be really, really, really overwhelming. I need to get back to the gut level of decision making because all of this analysis gives me a headache.

I think I need to learn to trust my gut and trust my instincts on some of this more. I am normally a gut decider and because I am not allowing myself that gut reaction, I am finding it nearly impossible to decide.  I just feel like these are all such important decisions and I would never want someone else (our kids) to suffer because of our oversight. It reminds me of the Radio Lab episode about choice. It went over a few scenarios about how your brain works and stores information, but I think the most interesting one was about the chocolate cake.

There were people who were brought into a room and they were given a piece of paper that had a number they needed to memorize. The numbers ranged for 3 digits to 9 digits. The people were in the room with their piece of paper and were told they need to remember their numbers. They were given  a few minutes to memorize their numbers. They would then walk down a long hallway to where they needed to report out their numbers. As people were walking down the hall they were offered a piece of chocolate cake or a fruit cup. What they ended up finding was that while everyone walking down the hallway was practicing their numbers as they walked, those people with less digitis pretty much always chose the fruit cup, while those trying to remember more numbers all took the chocolate cake. The thought being that your brain can on hold onto and process so many variables and factors and make wise decisions. Those who weren't stressed about remembering their number had more time to think about the chocolate cake and whether they should really have it. Those that were so preocupied with memorizing the longer numbers didn't even think, they just took the chocolate cake.

What is the moral of this story.....well, I guess I need to find ways to free my mind up a bit to make the important decisions and eat more fruit cups. Take things one step at a time. Don't even get me started on what is your passion and what do you want to do for the rest of your life. I really have no fricken' clue other than save the world and pet puppies.

For now, I am just going to focus on moving in the next few months and the dog. I am not going beyond that right now because I am not sure how helpful it is or will be. After we get situated with the dog, we will revisit the next item that I have no fricken clue about.

I am grateful for choice, I am grateful for diverse experiences and I am grateful for options. It just seemed a bit "easier" when the path was planned out for you as a little kid. Being a grown-up is hard work! <3 p="">
And that's all she wrote...


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