Sunday, April 30, 2017

Not Graduated...

Tonight I submitted my last assignment of the semester.

It was always calculated out that I would graduate in May of 2017. Always. My mind has always been set on this time frame because it was the fourth year of schooling and even though the school counselor told me most people do their bachelors in five years now, I knew that wouldn't be me.

I was going to do it.

And, you guys, I almost did it.


I worked so hard for so many years. I stayed up late and wrote papers, denied my kids time with their mom while I took online tests and replied to discussion boards.

I read numerous textbooks, all of which were extremely difficult for a person with ADHD.
My brain has had to work extra hard to concentrate on my classes and actually retain the information I was learning about.

And in the end, I fell short by one class.

One stupid class.

And this last semester, I tried to take 5 classes instead of 4 so that I wouldn't ruin my chances at a May 2017 graduation but that was too much for me and I failed 1 of the 5 classes.

It was a hard pill to swallow.

But the truth is that June 26th is not that far past May. It won't make a difference as to whether I'm able to start my teaching program on time.

All it changes is whether I get to participate in a graduation ceremony.

Sure, I guess I could wait to participate in the December graduation but by then, I'll be a semester into my teaching program and I think the hype will have worn off by then.

So I won't get to walk with the other students graduating. That doesn't make this any less of an accomplishment.

I might be a little frustrated with myself.
If I would've just spent a few extra hours studying...
If I would've just been more organized...
If I would've concentrated more on the material...

But the truth is that I can't go back to the beginning of the semester and change any of it.

All I can do is move forward with the realization that I am going to be DONE at ASU in only two months! Two months from now, I will have finished that last class and will be able to call myself a Sun Devil graduate like my father and so many others on his side of the family.

Two more months.

I can wait two more months.

I've already waited and worked for four years.

Two months will fly by.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

She Swears

Swear words. 

You either love them or you hate them, amiright

In high school, I used swear words in every day conversation. They felt so powerful---probably for reasons relating to my last post on being stubborn and wanting to go against the grain.

But then I got the LDS a guy who had just come home from a 2 year LDS mission...and I quickly had babies...and somewhere along the way, my mouth cleaned up considerably.

When my kids were really little, I found myself reprimanding them for words like 'butt' or 'stupid'---maybe because it just seemed like the right mom-thing to do.

But I didn't really care---I just thought I should care. Because that's what the good moms do, right?

And then, you guys, I got divorced. 

*huge gasp*

You didn't see that one coming, did you? 

Technically, neither did I...Ha...ha...ha......................................ha. 

So my husband moved out. Just, like, left one day. Goodbye. See ya.
Yeah. That happened for real. 
It wasn't a dream. It wasn't something I made up. It just happened on a seemingly normal day.

And right then and there, my whole world changed---not only because of the obvious reasons but because I realized just how quickly you can go from trusting someone to losing a huge portion of the life you thought you'd always have.

I realized nothing is predictable. You cannot rely on others. 
You just cannot. 

You might think you can. They might promise they'll always be there. But then one day, you'll make a mistake or they'll blame you for things out of your control and they'll leave.

They always have the option to leave. 

{I know---super negative tonight...}

But it's the damn truth! You cannot force people to stay. 

Like last year, during a time when I was working a job that I loved and all of a sudden, my boss started to dislike me. And I had not done anything to warrant that. Like at all. But I ended up quitting and walking away because you just don't know when people will turn on you and you've got to learn to fight for YOU and not stay in an unhealthy relationship of any kind. (Life lessons I've learned along the way...)

Even in an unhealthy relationship because you love your job.
Nothing is worth that kind of anxiety.

So back to the point---wait, is there a point? 

Oh yeah, I got divorced. People that promised to always be there deserted me. Blah blah blah.

So somewhere in the middle of all this, I was in a therapy session (because therapy is the best invention in the history of ever---and so are anxiety meds, yo) and I kept saying things like, "I'm just so effing angry" and "All of the effing things in my life that are stressing me out" and "Divorce is so effing hard" and my therapist said,

"Suzanne, do you ever actually say the F word?" 

And Mormon little me was like, "Umm, no, because that is the worst word in the whole world and I would never let that gaping black hole of death come out of my mouth. Ever."

And she said, "Maybe you should try it." 

And, you guys, if you're paying someone to give you advice, you should probably take their advice, right?

So if my mom reads this and is gasping that the black hole of death came out of my mouth, my therapist told me to do it...

Needless to say, I went home that night and I wrote a letter to my ex-husband. A three-page letter of mostly F bombs and other profanities. And then I ripped it out of my journal, crumpled it into a ball, took it out onto the back porch, and set it on fire until only a few tiny ashes were left.

And I realized that the ugliest of words was being used to describe the ugliest of things in my life perfectly.

That ugly four-letter word was the most appropriate word in describing how I felt about divorce, losing friendships, being cyber-bullied, and dealing with so many other really difficult things.

Maybe swear words are just words. Maybe the power of them is something I've made up in my head.

But they help. They describe the feelings I often have a difficult time describing.

Sometimes Most of the time, they make me laugh.
Sometimes they make me cry.

But I'm pretty sure swear words were put on this Earth just for me. 

That's a rational thought, right? 

I no longer feel bad for swearing. 
In fact, I'm pretty sure if I didn't swear, I'd be darn near perfection so swearing keeps me humble and puts a healthy dose of sin on my record.
Because that's how that works, right? 

So when things get hard and I get angry at the world, instead of lashing out at others, I'll just keep writing down my swear words and burning them up. And saying them out loud. And writing them down without burning them up. And texting them to my friends. And yelling them in my car.

Because I can, damnit. 

And swearing is my therapy. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I'm Ignoring You

I imagine I was stubborn, even as a baby. I think I've just always been that way. 

In fact, for most of my life, my opinions often take their own course instead of following a particular crowd.

Like how I registered as a Republican when I turned 18 but I'm not really, truly a Republican or a Democrat. 

A lot of my stubbornness has been good---making it so I don't often quit the things I'm passionate about---but being stubborn has also held me back at times.

Being stubborn caused me not to be the best wife I was capable of being. There were times I would stand my ground and yell until I was blue in the face that I was right(!) but there were also times where being stubborn caused me to fight harder to save my marriage. {Although we've witnessed how well that worked out. Just kidding...kind of.} 

Being stubborn causes me to not always be the best mom I know I can be. There have been times where I am absolutely out of line when reprimanding my kids but being stubborn has also caused me to fight as hard as I can to give my kids a beautiful life.

It's a quality I love and a quality I hate. 

Being stubborn brought a tattoo and a lot of extra piercings, some of them as a direct result of knowing I was being told NOT to get them.

And being stubborn made it so that no one could convince me NOT to leave the LDS church in 2015.

No one. 

And really, that's going to be my main topic today because it's been on my mind a lot and that's kind of how this whole blog thing works.

When I left the LDS church and started attending a Christian church, everyone had opinions.
They always do. 
So depending on who I was talking to, I was either making the greatest or the worst decision of my life.

I distinctly remember feeling like my head was spinning because I hated how contrasting everyone's opinions were.
And I distinctly remember when the thought came into my mind, "Suzanne, you're stubborn! Stop listening to everyone else and start listening to yourself!" 

And so that is what I promised myself I would do. 

I spent a lot of the past 2 years ignoring people---all of the people.
In fact, you were probably ignored by me somewhere in there. 
I think the hashtag #sorrynotsorry would be appropriate right here. 

That being said, I'm kind of still ignoring you. All of you.
Because that promise to myself is still true today.

I made a decision to go back to the LDS church on my own. It wasn't because of something someone said to me. It wasn't because I like Mormon people more than I like Christian people. It wasn't because I was running away from something bad or running back to something familiar.

I came back because I had a conversation with God. It's pretty simple. 

And since coming back, the same things have been happening that were happening a year ago. Some of you are telling me I'm making the best decision of my life while others have reached out because they are worried about my salvation.

And just as true as it was a year ago, I find myself hearing what you're saying and thinking, "Wow. It's incredible how many people love and care about my family!"

But simply put, I'm still going to ignore what you're saying. 

Because I know---undoubtedly I know---that I am in the best place at the best time for my family.

I left the LDS church because I felt God closer somewhere else. And now, I can sit here today and tell you that since returning to the LDS church, I feel God closer to me now more than I have in the past 29 years of my life.

I appreciate your concerns and your praise---you know, depending on which side you're on.
I love knowing how loved we are by you. 

But this decision has not ruined my salvation.
This decision is what is saving me. 

On the days where I feel bombarded by people telling me I'm headed down Satan's path, I get a little discouraged and just wish we could all build each other up instead of pointing fingers and telling each other what we are doing wrong.

But then I try and remind myself that each of you are following a path you wholeheartedly believe in. You have faith in your God and in your church beliefs. And you are all trying to help.

But I guess I just want you to know that you don't have to tell me that I'm right or that I'm wrong.

Because I know I'm doing the right thing. And my right thing doesn't have to match your right thing.

My right thing is only mine. 

So thank you for loving me. Thank you for caring about what happens to myself and my family. Thank you for sharing your faith in God with me.

But I'll take it from here. 
I've got this. :)