Reset?

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Found this gem on Facebook, thank you to whoever posted this for the post inspiration.

If you were given the opportunity to reset your life, would you do it? This is a question I get asked a lot. I have many questions, but never the answer. Do I get to remember everything I’ve learned so far? Will I get to right my wrongs and still have a decent outcome in life? I guess now is the time to start thinking of the answer.

There are a few things in my life that I’m not proud of. I’m not proud of giving my all to people who didn’t give a damn if I was there or not, I’m not proud of quitting school when I was younger, and I’m certainly not proud of how I handle the stresses of everyday life. But would I really reset? This reminds me of a line from another great Spoken Word poet, Neil Hilborn, from his poem “The Future”. He says “I think a lot about killing myself, not like a point on a map, but rather like a glowing exit sign at a show that’s never been quite bad enough to make me want to leave”. Resetting your life is essentially killing the old you to make a new you, right? Or maybe that’s just my morbid thinking. Maybe this is why I love slam poetry, it makes the morbid thoughts of mine seem normal. Let’s get back to the main topic, shall we?

If I were to ever reset my life, how far would it take me back? Would I get to pick the age where my life started sliding into fuck town, or would it be an automatic reset of life in general? Would I get to choose my gender? That would be nice, not being a woman, but then I’d never have my son or the man who loves me today. But I’d be paid more and treated less ignorant than I currently am. Then again, I’d never be able to show emotion as a man without being told to “man up”, which leads me to another poet, and his “ten responses to the phrase man up”. The problem is, like Neil said, my life is a show that isn’t bad enough for me to leave. Despite how much I bitch and complain about my life, it’s never that bad. I don’t even think it’s that bad, at least the normal part of me. There is always one part that wants more. But what more could I have? Most people would kill for the job I have, or at least the pay. I have a very loving and accepting boyfriend who takes each and every break down in strides. You see, he isn’t used to someone like me, someone who can go from happy and content to sad and morbid in just a matter of days. He isn’t used to someone who’s mind thinks that everything will be fine, just as soon as you blow all of your money on things you don’t need. He now understands why I am so persistent on making sure all of the bills are paid, because if there is ever a moment I cannot control the constant nagging of my mind to do the dumbest shit, at least I’ll know we are set for that month. You see, he has dated normal girls before me. Now these girls danced dangerously over the line of ignorant and selfish, but they were normal none the less. Now that’s something I’d kill for – normality.

How many people do you know can’t go to a funeral of someone they don’t know? Well, if you came to this post not knowing anyone, you will leave knowing that I can’t. That’s right. Hypersensitivity is one of the WORST  things ever. I remember getting a call from my friend, begging me to come to another friend’s funeral, someone I had never met. She needed moral support, and more importantly a designated driver. I got ready, picked her up, and made the quiet drive to the funeral home. It took five minutes of being in the room, and I was whisked away by my own emotions. Tears streamed down my  face, my chest tightened, I felt like it was my best friend that died. Needless to say, my friend got upset. She couldn’t understand that I, being in the same room as roughly fifty distraught people was enough to send me over the edge.  That is a moment I would love to reset.

I struggle with my makeup, making sure it looks perfect. My sister sits next to me, talking me through each step. She smiles as I complete each step correctly, and she explains where I messed up. By the time I am finished, she is beaming. It was just a small amount of time spent with her, but I treasure it forever. Don’t take this away, Reset.

Or the time I came to my boyfriend now, when we first met, and told him I wasn’t ready for a relationship. I wasn’t ready for someone to treat me right, because at the time, I didn’t know I was worth being treated right. Hell let’s be honest, there’s still moments I don’t think I need to be treated right. But there’s something so special about someone who wakes up at 2:00 am when he should be sleeping to roll over and hug me tightly, no words spoken for a long time because he knows that all I need is to be held. He does this because he knows I can’t hold myself together, so once again he needs to be my glue. I wish I could tell him I get better. I wish I could tell him that this is the last time he needs to piece me back together after I have slowly destroyed myself from the inside out. This is a moment I wish I could reset.

My boyfriend and our children are preparing to head to the lake, and even though I can’t deal with cold water, I go with them. I haven’t smiled this much in a long time. Our children are the best behaved kids in the water, and we are still so much in love, much like the first time we met. Our fingers laced with our children’s, we floated there together, as if we were all slowly floating into space, dancing among the stars. I would not change this for the world.

My son comes home, throwing his backpack to the floor with such a high amount of sass that I am taken aback. I’ve noticed a pattern, this only happens on days that I have to leave before dinner is finished to go to work. He is angry at me, but I hope that one day he will understand, but until then he holds his anger inside. He learned this from me. He bites his tongue to drive the tears back to the deep well inside, but that well is about to overflow. He is only seven, but he is already learning how to numb himself. Part of me wants to pick up the phone and call work, telling them that I can’t come in because my son needs me, but they wouldn’t understand. I’d have a point against me, one less point to use when absolutely needed, and one day less that I may be able to pay the bills. Please let me reset.

I am standing on stage in my graduation cap and gown. My mother, father, boyfriend, son, sister, aunts, and uncle are silently holding their breath. This is a moment we all have waited for this moment. The announcer slowly says my name and I glide to the small black X located center stage. I hold my breath as the two people I’m standing in the middle of hand me my diploma. I finally did it. There are cheers from my family and I am shaking, fighting the happy tears. This is a moment to remember forever.

My father and I bond over a cup of coffee after he takes my child to the bus stop. We talk about life, or listen to The Beatles, or bake, or just sit in silence. I remember a time when I looked at him and said that I wanted to live with my mom, because I didn’t like the woman he married. I remember watching his eyes flash and pain replace them. I am not proud of myself. This man taught me how to be happy with what I have, how to love people for how they are, and because I didn’t like his current wife I am abandoning him. Perhaps that is why I’m afraid to start my own life, because I don’t want him to feel abandoned again. Please reset!

As you can tell, life is a mixture of happy and sad times. But for the life of me, I can’t find any reason to press the button. Resetting my life would mean killing every moment that has made me who I am. In some cases, resetting seems like a great idea, removing the extra stress on those I love. But they love me, and they would help lift the metaphoric boulder on my shoulders that I seem to feel that I need to carry. Resetting isn’t an option, moving forward is. And as Neil said: “I saw the future, I did. And in it…I was alive.” My future will not involve a reset button, because my memories and lessons need to be kept alive.

Enjoy “The Future” – my ultimate go to spoken word poem.

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It’s OUR son

When I first met my son’s stepmother, I believed that she rose from hell. Just one look at this woman made every ounce of my blood boil. I know what you’re thinking, “you thought that because you still loved your son’s dad,” and to that I have to say you’re wrong. My son’s dad and I fell apart in a peaceful way, so the fact that I thought he was dating the devil’s reincarnate had nothing to do with a possibility of “still loving him”. No, there was something about that woman that I just couldn’t stand. Maybe it was because she seemed so put together, or maybe it was because she was trying to make an impression on my son, whatever it was, this woman was doomed to be my enemy.

When we first met, I noticed she was the opposite of me in every way imaginable. I was a ticking time bomb of emotions, and she was calm and well minded. I was tired, having just stayed up all night with a child who was very sick, and the bags under my eyes told the story of how I struggled to maintain sanity. She had no bags under her eyes, and her hair wasn’t sported in the messiest ponytail known to man-kind. I was wearing my favorite outfit, well slept in pajamas, and I’m certain now I hadn’t showered in about three days. She looked clean and crisp, almost as if she had been preparing for this day.

Looking back now, I’m sure she had her moments of not wanting to meet me that day, after all, she almost didn’t leave the vehicle. Whether that was my ex’s decision or not, I will never know, but she sat quietly in the seat waiting. Being quiet wasn’t and still isn’t my strong suit, so I asked my ex who she was. When He told me they were dating I laughed it off as if I were saying “Yeah, if y’all are dating, why is she in the car,” and with that little snarky chuckle, he waved her to come up to him. Oh fuck. It’s over now. She walked up to him, taking her place by his side, and it wasn’t until my son reached for her that my hatred began.

My son, the same boy that laid in my bed, body hot from a mixture of the fever and his screaming until the baby Motrin kicked in, reached for this unknown woman. He didn’t reach for me, the woman who was so exhausted that she could barely stand up straight, who gave birth to him, who made sure he was fed and bathed. No, he reached for the unknown, the new face that would probably be gone in a month. A switch flipped in my mind, and it took everything in my power to not scream in her face and take my son from her greedy clutch. I watched as she held him the wrong way and smiled that toothy grin. Jesus, even her teeth were better than mine. I slammed the diaper bag into my ex’s hands and blew my son a kiss. He was to infatuated with the new face, this new person that could be his new mommy that he ignored his real mommy.Once they were gone, I lost my nerve. I cried the ugliest cry, honestly after all these years I can’t top it. That woman took FIVE minutes to steal the heart of my son, while I had taken the last year and few months raising him, fetching his bottles, changing his diapers, bathing him. FIVE MINUTES and she was already more important than I was.

My hatred for her grew, especially when a health issue of mine presented its ugly head. I didn’t want to admit to his father on the phone that I was sick to the point that my mother needed to take my son, and I certainly didn’t want to tell her, because who knows what she may have done. So I bent the truth and told them that I would be cutting his time back with them. I felt like a piece of crap the day I met her at the gas station to pick up an old laptop of mine I let them borrow. The fear and anger flashed in her fiery gaze, and it wasn’t just her pain. My ex was distraught, and deep down I knew it was my fault. All I had to tell them was that this illness was going to prevent me from driving, it would prevent me from being a good mother. It didn’t help that I was dating a real piece of work either. But I opted to keep that a secret, and instead, I made them feel like I didn’t want them around my son.

I’ll have you know the medical issue cleared itself up, and I left the worthless person I was dating. I got my son back and called his father, all but sobbing while I apologized. I was the worst mother in the world, keeping my son from him. His dad seemed ecstatic to have him back in his life, and he said that she would be happy too. I choked back the reply of “I’m not doing this to make her happy” and I’m glad I did. We worked out an agreement on when he would get my son, and he was upfront about the fact that she couldn’t stop thinking about my son. Anger boiled in me to the point I couldn’t hold it back. I remember shouting “she is NOT his mother, I am. She is NOT to try to be his mother, she is a step mother. I AM THE REASON THIS BOY BREATHES, NOT HER.” There is was, out on the table for everyone within earshot to hear. I hated this woman because she was a better mother. This woman wasn’t the reincarnate of Satan, I was. That weekend I locked myself in my room, hating her for being so perfect, hating myself for not being a better person.

It wasn’t until my son was half-way through first grade that I called her and said the one thing we were both hoping for: “Let’s put everything out there, why I don’t like you and you don’t like me. We have to for him.” It felt like forever that we were talking, apologies being thrown back and forth to each other. She apologized for hurting my wrist that day at the gas station, I apologized for provoking her. I apologized for taking him away, and she apologized for overstepping boundary lines. We went silent for a moment, and I knew then I’d have a life long friend, bound by the hands of time. We were all in this together, and our son needed us to get along.

Despite the fact that we hated each other with every fiber of our being, we are getting along well now. There are times I’ll call her when I’m on my way to work, and she will call me to talk about things other than our son. And who knows where we will be when our son is old enough to leave the nests, but I’m sure it won’t be where we were before. She doesn’t know it yet, but if my son ever starts calling her mom too, it will be alright by me. After all she had to deal with when it came to me, she has earned that title.
Lesson eight: Sometimes it’s best to set aside your differences with someone.  You never know the good that can come from it.