I come from a place where middle class was the rich and the wealthy were just unimaginable in the first place. Where one was going after high school didn’t expand far past the oilfield. Now I’m sitting here folding towels on a black leather couch that costs more money than my monthly rent when I lived on the bayou. Not bragging-I don’t even care for this couch. I’m sitting across a piece of furniture that’s sole purpose is to hold multiple wine bottles and wine glasses because you know, the glasses can’t be too far from the bottles heellloo! If you think about it, wine itself is like an ode to people with money. Like you paid extra money for rotten fruit?. You’re probably waiting for the typical stigma of having a better life but being unhappy and missing the old days but that’s so far from true because this is reality. My reality at least. Some people say I’m a snob, just by default, for not missing a life of struggling. Growing up, anyone who just wasn’t poor was automatically a snob. If someone just went to a fancy dinner I heard “oh they’re rich now, they’re too good for everybody.” It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that the snobs were mostly just normal people who…liked good food sometimes… My different perspectives made me the black sheep of an ironically contradictive family. They didn’t like being looked down on for being poor but talked down about people with money. They instantly categorized people with big houses as snobs but would take a better house if they could, etc. I’m a snob because I stand by my belief that too much of our “misfortune” was justified with “that’s just the way it is” instead of encouraging the younger generation to do better. It’s ok to want more when you have little. I know it’s fine because I know it’s more than financial reasons that I’m happier now. If I had to live in a shack I would if that’s what it took to continue spending my life with my best friend, but that’s a rant for another day. Liking Starbucks drinks and bath products that you don’t really need doesn’t make you a bad person. Wishing bad on others makes you a bad person and I don’t wish bad on anyone.
I can tell you that logic of the poor life doesn’t coincide on the other side of the tax bracket. (Other than the occasional waste of things and expected ways of life of not living paycheck to paycheck.) There are towels, and then there are the towels that aren’t to be used and pillows that aren’t meant to be slept on despite looking just like regular pillows. When a towel is torn, it gets thrown away (I guess like normal people?) But the trucker’s daughter in me is standing there like “soooo, we’re not going to cut it up for shop towels?” Nah, Amazon prime is the go-to solution in this world. Another weird thing that some probably don’t think of is when you’re driving through a nice neighborhood, everyone waves. I remember riding through my now fiance’s parent’s neighborhood of people tending their lawns and walking their dogs and they’d all stop and wave, and he would wave, and everyone was smiling and I was just like “do you know all these people?!” Also, it’s going to take a lot longer to cut your grass dude stopping that many times, just saying. Where I’m from if you waved that many times at that many people, the other residents would be like wow, that’s person’s thrown off, cool, cool. Much less if you were in a really bad neighborhood. Like, is waving a way to imply “Hiii, I’m not here to rob you, I belong here!” Take it from someone who has seen the difference from passing in my finance’s BMW from my old 2004 Chevy Cavalier with a broken dashboard from where my mom tried to fit a broom in the front seat. The looks were quite different- not in a rude way, but more just confused. Telling you, one day there’s going to be one of those movie-like scenes with the caution tape around the house and a herd of police and investigators and as they’re booking the criminal, Debra from across the street is going to come out in her swimsuit cover and be like “But he waved! How could this be? I just don’t understand!” Did you imagine Debra with a wine glass in hand or was that just me?Now, even if I attempt this foreign wave notion, I just look like a bad traffic cop. My mind is saying hi but my hand is saying stop, just stop. I swear, any place with an H.O.A. is an introvert’s nightmare. Yeah, I come from a mess of a life, but it’s also why I won’t judge you when your life is a mess. I’m happier now and I’m glad my kids don’t have the same worries as I did and I do get a little spoiled sometimes but a part of me will always be or remember the girl from a trailer park whose dad rigged a broken dryer with an electric heater to prevent buying another one (I couldn’t make that up). Or the girl riding in an old pick up truck with no air conditioner listening to country songs. I’m glad for that because that’s the kind of person that anyone can fall back on when times get hard. My intentions and heart were true then till now and that’s what I’d never want to lose sight on. In the end, rich or poor, we are all just people.
I was a bit conflicted as to whether I should write this or not. I wondered if it were my place because I do not personally know the source of this post. I am still affected because of my care for another-and my care for people in general. This is more the product of my evolving thoughts on the matter after talking to an amazing man that I now get to call my boyfriend. I could go on about how I admire his strength and positive attitude and how I believe that everything in my life has led me here for a reason- but it is not meant to be about him or me. It is about his daughter, Rebecca. I write it because a) I feel this is a way to release my obsessive thoughts and concrete them elsewhere, b) there is no other way for to help, and c) because this is me in my most revealing form. If you’re reading this, I hope you feel me holding your hand.
When he first told me of Rebecca’s disease, I had a lot of questions. There’s not much information or awareness on Leigh’s disease because it is as rare as to only affect 1 in 40,000 newborns. The rest of the statistics are just numbers and percents that are hard to decipher from one another. Yes, it changed things. Yes I questioned things-but for the right reasons. Walking away was never a real thought to me. Yes, I stayed up reading about it until my formerly teary eyes were too tired to stay open. I fell asleep next to an over heated laptop just to wake up with it still on my mind. However, I researched to be educated– and now that I am, I claim this: the prognosis for Leigh’s does not exist. The statistics are text that did exist for other people in the past. Not Rebecca- because Rebecca’s prognosis is the future. The future is unknown to all of us. A person is not his or her disease-regardless of what is seen by others in this physical realm. For anyone reading, I want to tell you right now that someone does not need to have the ability to talk to have a voice nor does someone need to be able to physically walk to lead a journey. Sometimes, a spirit can speak louder than words. It’s one of those things that can’t be described, like looking into someone’s eyes and knowing that some hearts were just meant to meet. In a war between physical and faith, we are not afraid to be soldiers on the front line until the line is that of one scribbled in the sand that could easily be swept away by the wind. In that case, we will come with greater force of a thousand winds-yet softness of the clouds. There is a thin line between denial and hope and the secret is being prepared for the worst if it is to come, but putting more faith in the now. The now is our reality and the reality is that for as long as possible, her smiles will be returned with smiles-her very real eyes will see beauty in the world- her ears will hear positive words- and her heart will always, ALWAYS beautifully, vibrantly, and resiliently live.
First off, for the love of whatever is holy to you, stop saying things like “you look good today, you must be going on a hot date”..where did this misconception start that women must be looking good for men in general, date or no date..I can’t go anywhere without someone saying something “oh yeah you should go; there’s going to be a lot of cute guys there!” I CAN GO JUST BECAUSE ITS A FUN PLACE. Now that that’s out of the way, I can answer this big question everyone keeps pressing on me: How do I feel. How do I feel? I feel powerful. This feeling has been growing on me for a while now. In a way, I feel bad like I should be more upset when these things happen to me. It didn’t take long for me to realize how silly that was. I feel strong on my own. After everything that’s happened to me before, this is something I can walk away from with no hard feelings. I realize now more than ever that everything is ok. I will not use social media or alcohol or another person as a means to get to him or anyone else. I am too strong on my own to let my thoughts be consumed with such modern day childishness. Jealousy doesnt exist. There is only what I choose to be. If he wants or needs someone different than me, that’s ok. It is better than myself not being ok. What is not ok is to let something I know isnt right to continue on bc losing someone who doesn’t makes me feel anything less than amazing isn’t really a loss at all. For anyone. I mean I’m not saying any of this in a way to claim I feel this way because I’m just so great. Anything I say, I mean in a general way for any person out there. I know myself well enough to know that when I choose to walk away from a person, there are reasonings as to why. So, I will keep smiling and working on myself. I will keep learning. Not bc of him but for myself. I will keep reading and writing and trying new things. I will wear clothes that make me think DAMN GIRL. I will take long hot baths with face masks, drink wine, cook quaint little dinners and wear flowers in my hair. I will take care of myself inside and out-for myself. To sum it up , I will do whatever I want and look good doing it. This will lead me to someone who will appreciate all these traits about me. Someone who can partake in my adventures and weirdness and whatever life that comes our way-without me having to bargain or convince that this is what’s right. Good girls need to stop spending their time and energy on guys who expect anything from putting in minimal effort or vice versa, the same for guys with girls. Don’t settle for that. Enjoy this time! I will take this strength I have built and I will carry it on to, well, to where ever it takes me.
I feel love like distance- as though distance is something that I could reach out and physically grasp on to-something in the future, that is a blank canvas to me. Sometimes I envision it as a long balancing beam, but every step I take doesn’t get me any closer to where I want to be- the sturdy ground. A constant trial basis and one wrong step leads you to (love’s) untimely death. A feeling of outrunning storm clouds with the time ticking down and the only thing that keeps anyone going is the one they are going for. A labyrinth in which using the heart as a compass is the only way of ever getting out. Something that can make the bravest of people so scared that their self absorption can repel any potential love in their path. Like most powerful things, love can be dangerous. Love is unique as it is different for every person and couple based on their individual blend of stories. Even though both can love again, that specific love can never be recreated again. One cannot just copy and paste from one relationship to the next. Love is effort and sacrifice and other things that some learn over time but others never learn at all. Effort and sacrifice that results in far more abundant and better things. Mostly how I feel? Love is a true everyday rarity that I just haven’t been able to keep a hold to….yet. -Lora McFadden aka lomcfad