Tag Archives: question

Question Your Routine

Hey Teens!

This week I want to share something specifically with you guys.

Recently I’ve been spending a lot of my time writing and finishing up homework for the upcoming school year. This means that I have basically been locked up in my room and focused on my schoolwork. Any free time that I’ve had, I’ve used to call my friends, or catch a couple episodes of my favorite TV show. I notice myself not really interacting with family members; my little sister, in particular, often gets ignored. This is something that commonly happens. I often notice that it becomes part of my routine throughout the school year. It was really something that I never noticed until one of my friends brought it to my attention. He began to tell me about his own issues with unintentionally isolating himself from his family, and about the negative impact it had on both him and his family members. It really shocked me, that I was committing the same mistakes as him.

This really made me question my “routine” and what I should be doing with my free time. Family is such an important part of our lives, and unfortunately I am also guilty of sometimes isolating myself from them. I’d like to make a point of saying that although it is wonderful to have your form of escape, as I have mentioned previously, one must not forget the importance of bonding with family. Our loved ones take time out of their busy schedules to try and reach out to us. Sometimes we forget how incredible they are, and we fail to let them know how much we enjoy hanging out with them. Because of what my friend told me, I decided that it was time to change some of my ways. I realized that I needed to spend moments with the people I love most. Many times, we will prioritize certain things over what is truly important. Make memories with your family, and live every moment to the fullest. Go and question your “routine”.  

-Dani

An Open Letter To My Daughter

Daughter,

When I told you that your father and I were getting divorced it was probably the saddest thing I have ever had to do. We were in the bathroom. I sat on the closed toilet lid and you were across from me on a step stool. I don’t know why I chose that moment. Maybe because it was quiet, because you seemed like you were paying attention. I didn’t think about what I was going to say before the words escaped. I wasn’t prepared for the questions your 5-year old self would ask. I just dove in, head first into concrete, because I needed you to know. I needed you to know why we weren’t sleeping in our own beds and why your clothes were in a suitcase and why I would cry while I ate dinner, or dried my hair, or did just about anything. I needed you to know from me, from my words, that our life was never going to be the same, me and your Dad. Because telling you made it final. Telling you that I had failed, I had failed my one big job, was something I could never take back after I said it and I knew this. I knew that telling you would mean I would never turn back.

Then, I needed you just to know we weren’t going to be married anymore.

Now, I need you to know it wasn’t your fault.

And in the future, I will need you to know why.

You wept. You didn’t just cry. You threw yourself onto the cold, tiled floor, and yelled at me.

“But why, why can’t you just stay together? Why?”

I bit my lip and I thought carefully for a pause.

“Why can’t you just love each other? Why can’t we just be a family?”

How could I tell you that the reasons why I can’t stay are heavier than you, taller than you, bigger than you, older than you? They are heavier than I can carry alone, and I carry so much. I am tired.

You made it sound so simple and yet this decision, this life, is so complicated. I made myself believe, I convinced myself with such will, that this could be simple. It was simple to uphold vows and forgive.

But the cost, it was so high. I tried to tell him. I tried for so long and he would never hear me. Or maybe he did, and he just didn’t want to anymore.

You asked very grown up questions for a very little person.

You asked me if I was angry with him. You asked if I would always love him.

You have asked me this many times over, many nights later. My answer is always the same.

“No, I am not mad at Daddy. Yes, I will always love him.”

This is a truth; this is also a lie.

You see, I am not mad at your father. I am mad at the man that was supposed to be my husband. He let me down in small and large ways that cannot be undone. This is for me to hurt from. This is for me to learn from. This is for me to try and protect you from.

I will always love the man I once knew, the man that gave me you.

Without him, I would never know what tiny fingers wrapped around my necklace felt like. I would never know your big, contagious laugh or the sound of your off-key singing. I would never see your big, scrawled handwriting and doodles with hearts. I would never know that you think your eyes are the color of chocolate and mine are the color of blueberries. I would never know how to remove permanent marker from skin, or nail polish from carpet. I would never know clumsy hands braiding my hair, or stinky feet in my face in the middle of the night. I would never know what it felt like to love something more deeply and more naturally than I do you.

And to that end, without your father, I would never know just how badly it must hurt to know that the two people who were supposed to love each other as much as they loved you, shouldn’t stay together.

But, my little girl, know that I thought about this long and hard. And when I thought about leaving my marriage, the last person I thought about before I did…was you.

I thought about what I want for your life. I thought about the kind of man I want to love you, take care of you, hold you. I thought about the kind of smile I want you to have not just on your wedding day, but on an ordinary day. I thought about the unending respect and independence I want you to have for yourself; the inner strength to know the difference between enabling and empowerment. I thought about how much more I not only wanted, but expected for you and I realized that in order for you to recognize and chase these things, I had to want them, demand them, for myself.

And yes, I thought about what it would feel like to sit at your wedding and watch your father-daughter dance with a man who would no longer be my husband. The thought of disappointing you put a pit in my stomach. Disappointing you for expecting more for your life than I had mine. I feared what you would have thought of me twenty years from now, knowing I devoted my life to teaching you to be more than me, all the while expecting less than for myself.

Someday we will talk, woman to woman. But for now, know that this was not your fault. Know this. Hear this. Believe this.

I did my very best.

Know this.

Hear this.

Believe this.

I loved your father with a love that was more than love.

In the end, my love for him was not a reason to stay.

My love for myself was a reason to leave.

My love for you was a reason to keep moving.

Know this.

Hear this.

Believe this.

~Jessica-Awesome Single Mama