I wrote this awhile ago, just for me. Yesterday, I was crying to a friend, over a betrayal and a lost friendship and she said” Katie, you’re a remarkable young woman who has made a wonderful life for yourself and your immediate family. You understand that you can’t save people from themselves–that’s huge. I’m sorry you’re sad, but keep living authentically and leave them to god.”
This all came to mind yesterday as I walked my dog around the park. It was cold, and snowing. We were about a mile into our walk. The park road was marked with paint from a race that had finished months earlier. I contemplated running another 5k. I realized how strange it was that I was enjoying myself at that moment. As I thought about it, I realized how many things I truly enjoyed that I wasn’t “allowed” to, and how many things I didn’t like that I was always told I had to.
I had a long intro, but, it is mainly stuff I’ve said before. So, basically, what you need to know is I was raised with these lines, in response to everything… “It is too expensive.”, “It is a waste of time/money.” “Why? you think you are so much better than us?”, “Well, God said…”, “You aren’t strong enough to stand up to people.”, “Your family needs to be the most important thing, not friends.”, “If you don’t like America, leave.”, “2nd Amendment”, “Stupid animals”, “that’s just irresponsible”, “do something useful”. So, as you read this, know that I didn’t know before that this was me, because if I liked, or expressed an interest (or disinterest) in any of these things, I heard one of those retorts.
- I’m Katie. I like taking long walks. It isn’t a waste of time. I’m not “overdoing” it. It is my “me” time. I like to use it to think, and listen to music.
- I like the gym, and I like the classes. It isn’t a waste of money.
- I love my pit bull. She is a part of the family. She isn’t a dumb animal. She isn’t mean or vicious. I love dressing her up, different color bandanas for everyday. And, clothes. And, I do not regret the purple hoodie I bought her yesterday at all.
- My best friend is an Atheist. Believe it or not, she hasn’t tried to make me one. But, she has brought me balloons and a milk shake after I was sick. She did come to visit me every day after work and helping her son with his homework, while I was in the hospital. She came early to help me with a party. And, gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts ever for Christmas. I have another friend, we aren’t super close, but we get along. She has mentioned praying for me, like when I was in the hospital. She prays to Allah.
- Speaking of, it is hard to be all “America Rocks. Suck it everybody else!” When she is from Malaysia and thinks it is amazing. When my husband has said he wouldn’t become American if it meant giving up Australian citizenship. My father-in-law has British citizenship.
- I like football. I like watching it with my husband, even though I don’t understand much beyond the fact a bunch of big guys try to get the ball to one end, while a different bunch of big guys in different colors try to get the ball to the other end. It isn’t a waste of time. It is time I get to spend with my guys.
- I like reading and hate watching most tv. I don’t think I’m “better than everyone” because I’d rather read than watch tv.
- I hate mossy oak and real tree camo being worn as fashion.
- I don’t like guns at all.
- I don’t like crowds, and can only tolerate them for a little while before my arm starts to go numb. And, yes, I realize how strange that sounds.
- I like the coffee I make at home best, but I like Starbucks for the atmosphere. Once my husband and I went there, with a bag of candy we both liked and a new crossword book. We spent a couple hours there. It was one of my favorite dates.
- I love taking my car to get the oil changed. I also love taking it to get washed. Once, I was sad because I had been looking forward to taking my car to the car wash, and Brad left to put gas in my car. He came back and he had gotten my car washed. I missed getting all the salt off it.I love cooking and trying new recipes. I like seeing how healthy or how colorful I can make a meal. I don’t want a chef. But, I would love someone to follow me around and wash the dishes.
- I love falling asleep on Brad’s chest at night while he plays shoot ‘em up video games. Contrary to popular opinion, I think putting an xbox in our bedroom was one of the best decisions we’ve made. We go to bed at the same time now, he gets his video game time, and I get my 8 hrs of sleep, in my bed. I like how he has to cuddle me to have his arms around me AND play the game. So, I don’t think the xbox is stupid, or a waste of money, or immature.
- I love drawing and writing. I don’t care how good I am at either.
- I love hiking and sitting by the river. I love new areas where I can search for waterfalls.
- I like playing paintball and coaching the 4th grade soccer team.
- I like taking my kids to the animal shelter and letting them play with the cats.
- I like road trips for the sake of the drive.
- I love quiet hotel rooms in cities I’ve never been to before and the forced down time of my husband having the rental car to get to work so all I can do is go places my legs can take me.
- I like waking up early, and going to sleep fairly early. I like the quiet and the darkness of being the first one up.
- I love school, and research and writing research papers. If I could just take a couple electives at the college every semester forever, I probably would.
- I homeschool my kids, not because public schools are evil or inadequate, not to keep them from learning about different ideas, not to isolate them; I homeschool them because I can’t imagine telling them “no, you need to sit in class, we can’t go to the museum.” Because, we are blessed with amazing opportunities and I don’t want them to miss it.
- I like looking pretty in dresses. I think however I’m happiest in a long hippie skirt and a fitted tank top. Second choice is a pair of perfectly fitting jeans, a cardigan, and fuzzy socks. If I could, I’d wear the first outfit all summer and the second all winter. Actually, I’m working on that.
- I actually really love the Tiffany gift card Brad gets every year from Delta. I don’t care that I just spent $200 on sunglasses while most my clothes are from Walmart. But, I also love the jewelry he brings me home sometimes that I know came out of the clearance section of the fine jewelry.
- I love water. It centers me. Sometimes I just need to be near it. The beach, a stream, a river, a lake, and if I can find a waterfall I can stare for hours. Whenever I feel like my world is falling apart, odds are really good you will find me sitting on a riverbank somewhere.
- In short, I like physical activity, intellectual pursuits, travel and animals. All things I’ve been told my whole life are a waste of time or money and/or made me snobby and only show I think I’m better than everyone.