Saturday, March 16, 2013

I Need to Vent...

I've been away from the world of blogging for a good bit of time, and while I haven't been writing I have most certainly been thinking. This morning I was browsing on Facebook and ran across the profile of someone I graduated with from high school. Now, I don't keep up with much on Facebook unless it's someone that I'm close to, but there are things that catch my eye. Today it caught my eye that this person has recently become engaged. On the surface this seems well and good, and maybe it just hit me the wrong way this morning, but I looked at Johnathan and said "I feel a blog post coming on".

So, here's my issue: this person I know from high school was a total charmer. He had the looks, a great personality and incredible talent. Along the way he fell into a spiral of dangerous substances and we lost touch before high school ever ended, and I remember thinking through the years that it was too bad he made such poor choices, because he had so much potential. Then he popped up on Facebook a few years ago and I discovered that he had gotten married and his wife was having a baby. Maybe things were looking up. But no, that marriage fell apart and now he's moved on to another woman, one who also has children. None of his personal choices have anything to do with my issue, though. I told you that to tell you this:

I am so frustrated by the fact that some people can use and abuse the idea and practice of marriage while others cannot even plan a wedding. I'm disappointed that couples who are committed to each other cannot make that commitment public and legal in front of loved ones because of who they love. I'm incensed that the same people who proclaim love and grace and forgiveness also proclaim sin, death and condemnation. Yet, any straight person can get married over and over and over inside of a church and in the eyes of the law but my gay friends cannot. My gay friends cannot get married and enjoy the benefits of being a committed couple (legally) but people who have abused and misused the privilege of this commitment can, even the ones who were unfaithful to their previous spouse and left grief, anger and despair (sometimes in the form of children) in the wake of their destruction. I'm appalled that somewhere in what I'm laying out there's the potential for a thread of "logic" from the opposition.

I'm not talking about someone who was the victim of infidelity marrying again, nor am I talking about anyone who lost a spouse. My issue is with people who marry and divorce and marry again (and again and again) without any regard for the seriousness of the commitment they are making. We live in a temporal world..."this will work for now" is more of our mentality than "this will work, period." I didn't make a promise to my husband that I would be by his side until I got bored, or met someone new, or built a better second life for myself or the myriad of other reasons marriages fall apart. No, I promised my husband all of me for all of my life, forever. He promised me the same. Should he be unfaithful to me (not that I can even fathom it) then eventually I should be able to move on and marry again if I see fit. In my mind, though, despite its legality he has abused the sanctity of marriage in a way that gay couples cannot, primarily because they can't get married to start with, but beyond that because he has taken the promises that we made for granted, broken them and expects to make them again to someone else regardless of what he has done before. Some churches call that grace, when asked for in the correct context. I can't see it. Maybe it's because I have my own issues with marriage and religion (separately and together), or maybe it's because I just can't wrap my head around the idea that some people can have more and more while others get nothing. Where is our sense of balance?

If you have a license to drive, and you are continually destructive, break the rules and/or cause harm to others, you lose your privilege to drive. Why would we treat that more seriously than the destruction of our hearts? If they are truly ours to give, and the government shouldn't tell us what to believe or how to practice, then why should they tell us who we can commit ourselves to for life? And to think, all of this from a Facebook post...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

Life is full of tough decisions. Anyone who has truly lived knows this. Every day we make decisions about where to go, what to do and who to surround ourselves with; each of those decisions has a consequence, either positive or negative.

This week, I have made some tough decisions. One of the decisions that I have made is to give up my part time job teaching at the local Community College. I didn't approach this decision lightly or as a result of overwhelming emotion. I had to make a choice to allow myself the space I need to be really, really good at the things that are most important to me.

Some of my colleagues and I had a conversation after school not too long ago about jobs, especially those in education. We concluded that we work in a profession where one can compromise marriage, family, personal commitments and even health only to be told that it wasn't enough. We are told we could have done more, said something else, made one more phone call and the list goes on. Or, we can step back and say, "hey, this is a job. I am paid to do it." Sometimes we have to draw a line in the sand for the sake of our sanity.

I don't ever want to see my position as a teacher as "just" a job. What I do has meaning; it has value. Sometimes I'm not sure where that value is, and other times I know I did something that matters. I've found myself disappointed in a lot of the results that I have been getting at both jobs, and something tells me that I'm not giving enough of myself to either of them. Splitting myself benefits no one, especially (selfishly) me. If I'm looking at my future and I see a family, I want to have time to be really great at being a mom just like I want to be really great at being a teacher. One can only stretch themselves so thin before something snaps. Something had to give. I have to get back to me: the reader, the writer, the amateur photographer and the happier person I used to be. I think I'm taking a step in the right direction, even if it was a tough call to make.

I can be terribly non-confrontational when it comes to some things, but choosing myself in this instance was not one of those times. I chose my family, I chose my free time, I chose my hobbies.

I chose myself.