Posted in Motherhood, Random Thoughts, relationships, Uncategorized

Oh great, another fat girl post.

Yeah, I know. You’re sick of hearing about the body positivity movement. Because really, body positivity? You mean Obesity Apologists. Or Obesity Glorification. Am I right? How dare fat people, especially fat women, think that it is okay to flaunt their fat all over town? Don’t they know that it’s unhealthy? Not only that, but it offends my eyes! How dare they make me look at them!

Okay, please don’t take that seriously. And I know, you probably are sick about hearing about body positivity. But it’s still a problem. Here’s why.

This exact picture popped up in my news feed on Facebook. And sure, I agree that neither of these extremes are healthy. But what really bothered me were the comments on it. People blaming fat people. People talking about how disgusting those people are. Comments on how lazy fat people are, and how they just need to put the sandwich down.

Sure, some people have these problems because they can’t stop eating. But I find it hard to believe that it is simply that easy. If it was, why would so many Americans be considered overweight? I know all sorts of people who are overweight, and none of them sit there and stuff their faces all day.

Instead, the people who I know, and the person I am, seem to think that there is no way to fix the problem. Because it is a problem. We know it’s a problem. But there are often too many things to do in the day and not enough time to take care of ourselves.

And why would we take care of ourselves? We are told that we are less than. We are told that even though we may be “beautiful on the inside,” we are trapped within these bodies that will make sure that no one cares about our personalities. Why would you fix something you hate? You’d much rather tear it down or let it rot.

And even if people don’t constantly tell us that we’re not worthy of being considered human, they don’t have to. When was the last time that you saw a girl bigger than a size 8 on a TV show playing the romantic lead? When was the last time that she was anything mroe than the comic relief, or the good friend? Maybe she’s the drunk girl. But skinny girls? Even if they’re underweight, we see them as salvagable, as worthy of love.

So yeah, I don’t think that this picture is an accurate representation. Neither of those things is a good thing, but one of them is always seen as better. But you know what’s best? Loving who you are regardless of the outer trappings. Put work into the house that you love. Know that it is worthy of working on. Don’t let other people tear you down. Remember, you are more than just your body. You are a whole person who has feelings, desires, dreams, and goals.

I may not always love myself, but I know that I am worth fighting for. I have a son and a husband that I want to be around for. I want to feel strong and beautiful. And when I make those changes, it won’t be because other people have made me feel ugly and fat. It will be because I love me, and I want to be around for as long as possible. Body positivity means believing that you have the strength to do anything, including rebuilding the foundations of your “fixer-upper.”

 

Posted in Random Thoughts, relationships, Teaching

‘Tis The Season

It’s that time of year again, the one to reflect on the events of the past, the things we wish we had done, the things we wish we hadn’t done, and anything and everything that has made us think or feel anything over the past year.  Some people use it as a time of joyous reflection, others of morose despair. Me, I like to think of it as a mix of the two.

This year has been a lot of everything. I have a lot to reflect on. Who I am. What my life is like, and if I ever thought it would end up quite like this. Where am I going from here. What my career is going to be. Who am I going to be.

I look around my classroo mas I type this, knowign that this might very well be the last holiday season spent within these walls. I am met with a feeling of bitter sadness.  If there is anything in my life that I have loved outside of my blood family, it is this. This little corner of the building that I have carved out and made my own.

I look at my students, see their smiles, their strange quirks, and I love them for it. Even the one who tries to pretend like he’s writing but is really watching Gary’s Mod videos. Like, seriously, your computer screen is facing me. You aren’t fooling anyone.

And I am going to miss them.

You know, today, I got word from a couple of my students that their writing was chosen to be featured on an online website for young writers. How cool is that? Not that it matters to anyone but me, but dang, it makes me proud.

The year hasn’t been all bad, though. This has been the most amazing year with my son. He’s a little over one now, tottering around on his own two feet, making me laugh at every turn. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but seeing him just solidifies it.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this article. Not that anyone reads this stuff to begin with. I just think that I needed to write something about what I’m thinking and feeling. -shrug-

I guess I’ll just sign this entry off here, for now.

 

Posted in Marriage, Motherhood, Random Thoughts, relationships, Teaching, Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ah yes. It is that time of year. The one where everyone gathers together and discusses what it is that they have to be grateful for. And while this year may not have been the best for most of us for one reason or another, I can honestly say that I think that there are at least a few things that we can be thankful for. And here is where I will post my list.

  1. I am thankful to have a wonderful family that loves and supports me even when I’m a pain in the butt. That includes my family and my husband’s family, who have really become one in the same since we got married.
  2. I am SO very thankful to have given birth to an amazing baby boy on the 21st of 2015. He has made this the most amazing year ever, even in the face of some of those other things that made the year not so great.  He is just the best little boy ever, and I love him more than anything in the entire world. ♥♥
  3. I am thankful for my students. They are my first children, and even though they are not children of my blood, they are children of my heart. Every day they amaze me with new things, and they encourage me to be a better person, whether they know it or not.
  4. I am thankful to have an amazing group of friends who I can call family. Even though we don’t all live close, I know that I can pick up the phone whenever and still be greeted by a cheerful hello.
  5. I am thankful that I have a home and a roof over my head, heat to keep me warm, and animals who love it when I come home.
  6. I am thankful that those that I love have the same things.
  7. I am thankful for the blessings of my nephews, the one that is blood related, and the one that isn’t. They’re both adorable, and I can’t wait to watch them grow up to be outstanding young men…hopefully along side my own little man.

I’m sure I could come up with more. But today, on this last day of work before I go on holiday break, I have to say, I feel more blessed and thankful than I have in a long time. I know that no matter what happens in the future, I come from a place of love, light, and warmth…and that I will give that same back to those around me.

May you all have a wonderful thanksgiving, filled with the people, places, and foods that you love. May the next year be as joyous as this one was, and may you all continue to be shining examples of what a good person is. Enjoy your turkey day!

Posted in relationships, Teaching

Back to Work

Hey everyone! I apologize for the seemingly ridiculously long hiatus. I figured that I deserved to spend the summer with my son, and boy, was it amazing. He has grown so much in the past several months, and now more than ever am I convinced that being a mom was always something that I should be.

Now, however, I am back to the old heave ho, teaching my students once more. This year I have my four Creative Writing classes, but I also have College and Career Prep. This class is more or less a class to teach kids how to apply for colleges, and if they choose not to go that route, how to be an adult. My goal is to make the class interesting and relevant.

It’s funny, because one of the students in that class got into a pretty in depth conversation with me. We were having a study hall period, and the student asked me about having a house. She didn’t know that most people take out a home loan and have to pay on a mortgage for 30+ years.

How is it that we are trying to prepare high school students to be able to go out into the world, and they don’t even know things like that? I have seniors who have asked me to show them how to fill out a college application because they don’t know how to do that…and they’re supposed to go to college next fall. They don’t know how to fill out W-4s when they get jobs. They don’t know how to fill out a job application. They don’t know how much a car costs or what a livable wage even is.

So I’m going to try to teach them some of those skills. It boggles my mind that we try to make sure that they can regurgitate answers on a test, but we don’t make sure that they can do things that they will absolutely need to know later in life. No one is going to fill out loan paperwork for them. No one is going to do their taxes for them for free. They’re going to have to figure it out on their own, and even then, I think a lot of them will get it wrong.

In saying that, I pose a question to my readers. Is there anything that you felt that should have been taught in high school that wasn’t? Any sort of skill that is invaluable as an adult that you had to learn on your own through trial and error? I’m interested in seeing what you all think. Perhaps I can take some of those suggestions and put them into my curriculum.  Thanks for reading!

~Aly

Posted in Marriage, Random Thoughts, relationships, Uncategorized

The Communication Conundrum

If you’ve ever been in a relationship with anyone else, you know that sometimes communicating is the most difficult thing to do. We all have our own way of communicating, whether we’re more verbal or more physical, more emotional or more logical, more deal with it right now or deal with it later.

But what happens when your communication styles don’t mesh? How do you discuss things that bother you? Do you? How does anything ever get solved? And who ends up being the one to compromise, or do you both?

This is a problem that I have had numerous times. I can fully say that I’m an emotional communicator. I need to talk through my feelings, and sometimes, I don’t even want a solution. Most of the time, I just need to be heard. Look at me, listen to me, let me know that you’re understanding even a fraction of what I’m trying to say. And I can’t sit on something. The longer I wait to discuss something that bothers me, the more upset I get.

My husband, he’s quite the opposite. He likes to find solutions to things. He doesn’t want to hear about emotions, because emotions mean that you’re trying to manipulate. It’s illogical. If it doesn’t make sense, he can’t deal with it. And you’d better not try to talk about something for too long or too soon after the fact. He needs time and space.

As a couple, it’s one of the biggest issues that we’ve faced. None of the little spats that we have are really important in the long run. But the way that we handle them becomes the bigger problem. One of us has to give in. One of us has to compromise. And how to do that is still something that we struggle with to this day.

So how do you do it on your own? When do you decide that enough is enough, and we have to do things my way. Or his way? When do you find that middle ground and decide to settle things “our” way? If you’ve figured it out, please let me know. We’ve been married almost 8 years, and we’re still trying to figure it out.

However, there are a few things that I have learned over these 8 years. We’re not perfect people. We don’t always handle things the way that we should. And that’s okay. We’ve got the rest of our lives to figure it all out. But at least these first few things are a start.

  1. Don’t go to bed angry: Everyone says this, and you know what? There’s truth to it. I know if I go to bed feeling distressed, I wake up feeling distressed. The rest of my day is stressful. I can’t shake thinking about the events of the night before. I’m not as productive. I’m not as kind. I mentally check out and focus on the problem. And that is a problem. At least try to come to some conclusion before sleep. You’ll both feel better the next day because of it.
  2. Don’t blame, explain: I do a lot of reading, and it all says when you’re having an argument, to take responsibility for your own feelings. Don’t make your feelings your partner’s responsibility. You feel this way because of something. No one made you feel that way. There may be circumstances surrounding it, but no one made you feel that. It’s less of a pointing of fingers and more of a way to open up dialogue.
  3. Don’t insult: This is one of the things I hate the most when I fight with my husband. I take things out on myself with my emotions. I cry. I think I’m stupid. And when I try to explain the feelings I’m having, it makes my husband feel bad and he gets defensive. Sometimes, that means he brings up things or says things with the intention of hurting. If you think you’re going in that direction, stop and breathe. Take a moment to yourself. But hurting the other person never gets you anywhere.
  4. Remember that talking about these things now will save you pain in the future: Have you ever stored up something that was making you angry only to unleash it in an argument in which it had no place? It builds up and sits there, and then becomes ammo for your latest tirade. And that’s not good for anyone. While you may remember the incident crystal clear, chances are that it has faded for the other person in question. If you are irritated, bring it up when you’re irritated. Don’t wait for it to become a bigger problem than it is.
  5. Remember that this too shall pass: Nine times out of ten, the arguments that committed couples have are mild irritations. Feelings get hurt, people get defensive, and tempers flare. But that’s all it is. No one was ever married or committed and had a perfect relationship. People get on each other’s nerves, even when we’re in love. But know that it will fade into the background and that you’ll get back on the right path. Things will get better.

I know that there are probably more things, but I can’t think of them off of the top of my head. So help me out, will you? Are there any things that you’ve learned in being in relationships? How do you compromise? And how do you keep number 5 front in your mind when you’re feeling hurt? If you have any suggestions, write them in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you all!