As hubs looked for books, I was trying to keep a 1 year old from pulling books off the shelves while trying to keep my son from picking out 20 more books to buy. I am so excited they love to read, but it was completely frustrating trying to keep track of them both in there. (If you've met my 1 year old, you'd understand -- she's a fireball!)
Anywho, once we had books for them, we headed to find hubs. My son spotted him and ran over to him, and I began to peruse the adult books. After 5 or 6 rows, I realized something: I have no idea what I'd even want to read. Even more embarrasing? I haven't read an actual book since probably last summer. So disappointing to myself!
It's not that I don't read - I read everything I can get my hands on, but it seems to be mostly magazines, newspapers, the internet. With the kids, and cooking dinner, and cleaning house, and giving baths, and reading bedtime stories (I don't count these as books I've read, lol), and after working on a computer all day, the last thing my mind thinks about at night is sitting down on something else I have to focus my eyes so intently on. I'd probably fall asleep.
That's not the sad part though. The saddest part to me was not knowing what I'd want to read. I'm interested in a lot. Decorating, fashion, home repair, dance, history, ghosts. But to be honest, I don't think I'd sit down to read a book on any of those. Somewhere between taking care of mom and then having kids, raising kids, working full time, being a wife...I've found that my interests have faded and been replaced with finding what would interest everyone else.
I don't buy books for me; I buy books for the kids. I don't buy recipe books to cook; I buy them to make my husband think I WANT to cook (I don't, but I want to appear interested). I don't go to concerts because honestly, I'm not a music fanatic. I like whatever might be on the radio, and there are a few groups I like, but not to the point where I need an IPOD. If I had an IPOD, I'd probably never listen to it. I have a few favorite tv shows, but hate that I spend so much time in front of the television. I like hockey the best out of all sports, but I don't feel a need to watch every game. I only grew to like it because it was the only sport my husband didn't watch and therefore wasn't on television constantly, but now he's taken to liking hockey this year and so my love for that has dwindled.
It really made me think though: What do I, Allie, like? Who am I now? Somewhere along the line I started settling for, "this is okay" and quit trying to find what interests me. So what is that?
I started making lists in my head. I'm tired of being who everyone else wants me to be. I just want to be me, and I want everyone to be okay with that. I don't think that's asking too much. I'm 30. I think it's about time I found myself and started being myself. Especially in front of myself!
So here goes:
- I hate being called Allison. Not at work, not anywhere. Yes, Allie sounds like a little kid, but it's better than feeling like I'm being summoned or yelled at all the time. Even better - call me Al. I like Al.
- I like ghosts - books about ghosts, pictures of ghosts, ghost stories, haunted places, ghost shows. I don't care if people think it's stupid - maybe I think you're stupid for not liking it. But I wouldn't say that, because everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect yours. So leave me alone!
- On that topic, I go to a psychic. I don't care what you think of it, so don't roll your eyes or preach to me about religion. I don't go to find out my future. I go (maybe once a year) so that I can feel like my mom is there talking to me. So what if you think it's all a bunch of garbage? If that $40 is going to give me some sort of semblance of peace about the situation, then who are you to tell me that it's stupider than going out and spending $40 getting drunk? How exactly did that help? To me, that's about as stupid as what you think I do is. So let me have my peace. If I want to believe in something, just let me believe. Maybe it helps me get through the day.
- I like ballet. I hated it growing up, I thought it was stupid when I was dancing it for the first 12 of the 16 years I danced. But I like it now. And I've never been to an actual ballet production by a professional company. I really want to go though. Ballet would be like baseball is to a man: I think the mechanics behind it are amazing, and I wish I was on the stage performing it.
- I don't like huge crowds. I'm sorry, but I don't. Call me claustraphobic or germaphobic or whatever, but crowds like those at a concert or a crowded, tiny bar do not appeal to me. I don't have a good time there, and I would rather do anything else but that.
- I drink Dr. Pepper. Alot. But it's really not my favorite pop. I don't even know why I drink it most often. Even hubs buys it for me at the store, because he thinks it's my favorite because I drink it. I don't even really like the taste.
- I love my birthday. I really do. It's not about gifts or cakes or anything like that - I just like celebrating it. Call me narcissistic, but I like one day a year being about ME. Yes, mother's day happens to but let's be honest - that's really for our moms (grandmas) and our mother-in-laws, which is okay, because my mother-in-law TOTALLY deserves to be the queen on mother's day. I adore her. The rest of the days in the year are about what the kids want for dinner, what hubs feels like doing this weekend, when I have to work or what I need to get done around the house. I love having a me day, and a birthday is the perfect day. So live with it. Remember that I love it and remember you better wish me happy birthday on that day. No gifts necessary. Just the words.
- Similarly, I love holidays, especially Christmas. I don't like to decorate, because I dislike taking everything down, but I looooovvveeee the present giving. My mom was the queen of gifts to me. She would remember something I said in January, and I'd be getting it that Christmas. I love the traditions behind it. I prepare all year, buying and stowing gifts, and I know that sounds a little insane, but I love Christmas.
- I like fashion. I think the ideas behind what people find "in" and "out" are interesting, and I like to wear what's in style for the season - and make last season's clothing work again. I like accessories and pretty things, and learning to pair new things together. I like clothing and fashion design.
- And because I like fashion, I like to shop. It is my psychiatrist, my girlfriend, my yoga, my exercise. I don't always buy things. I like to look though. Things for the kids, the hubs, home, me - it doesn't matter, I just like to find good deals. It really is a stress reliever, and I can admit it - I'm a shopaholic.
- I like to work. I like to be creative and have the ability to use the skills that I've developed. I would not be a good stay-at-home mom, because I know I could not do with them what my daycare provider (and best friend) does. I could be okay at it, and the kids and I would have fun, but they wouldn't be as smart as they are if I were home all the time. Plus, I'd miss using my skills and having adult interaction. And I wish I would quit reading in the news about people bashing working parents (and experiencing it in real life) because we chose or have to live this way. I respect and admire stay-at-home mom's, and I wish I could do what they do but I cannot. So please quit trashing me for feeling the way I feel. It doesn't mean I don't love my kids, it just means I'm a better mom to them this way. And I'm sorry, but don't say my kids will be missing out - my mom was a SAHM, and guess what? I don't remember the daily things with my mom from when I was younger. I remember her coming to sports games and taking us places, but the normal, everyday stuff? I don't. I think what's important is that my kids are surrounded by people who love them, and I know for a fact that happens each and every day.
- I don't know what my favorite type of food is. I like Totino's pizza and pizza rolls though, and I would be sad if they stopped making them. But otherwise, I don't have a favorite fast food, or a favorite cultural food. There's good things and bad things from all of them, and I like them all okay. But I don't think there is a food (other than the Totino's) that I would not be able to live without. I'm wishy-washy, I know. And I'm okay with that.
- I love to write. I write any chance I can. This blog, a novel, a short story. I make story books for the kids. I just love to write. I miss that part of my job, but I've found other ways to compensate.
- I like to sew, purely for the fact that I like to show that I can. I don't want to do it to make money, or to build my child's entire wardrobe. I simply like to challenge myself. I don't use patterns, I don't use measurements. I guesstimate things, and look at blogs and items in the stores, and see how I can do the same thing at home without step-by-step guidelines. It's fun. And I learn from my mistakes, and sometimes the coolest things I do come out of making mistakes. It's just fun and relaxing for me. None of my projects (except the quilt) has taken more than an hour or two to complete, and that's how I like it - none of this drawn out over weeks stuff.
- I like romance. I don't usually get it, because hubs lacks the romantic gene, but I love it. I like to read about it, write about it, and do it for other people. (Romance isn't just lovey dovey stuff, it's the nice stuff for others like friends, too).
- I have a total fear that something will happen to me and my kids won't know me. Deal with it, people. I will always have this fear. Hence, I write them montly letters in journals that I keep by my bed. I want them to always be sure of how much I love them, and tell them little words of wisdom or little tidbits about me, and how proud I am of them and what they do. It's not creepy to me to do this -- it makes me feel better.
- I don't like cleaning. I don't. I like organizing, but I'm terrible at it. Most of the time, I make a bigger mess when I try to organize, and then I just don't finish. Let me live with my organized chaos, because I function well that way. As long as it isn't hurting anyone, what should anyone care if my dining room table has papers on it? And to add to that, a little dust isn't going to ruin my life. At the end of the day, I find that spending time with the kids and then relaxing are far more important than dusting every few days. Someday maybe I won't feel that way, but today I do. And it's my house, and as long as I'm not keeping things dirty and germy and gross (which I do not), then it's not a big deal.
- I want to do something to really help the fight against brain cancer, mostly for caregivers. I don't know what yet, but I will find something. I know an idea will come to me.
- I want to be a published author. I'm working on it, and it's frustrating. But I really believe it will happen someday.
- I feel horrible after I've made a comment about someone in a gossipy way, which I'm working on not doing. I know how much it hurts to be the one talked about, and I don't like knowing I'm making someone else feel like that. No one has a right to mock others, and I have been really guilty of that in the past. We all have choices and opinions and we should be respected for having the courage to make choices and opinions.