Friday, 08 April 2011
I believe that if you have a plethora of talent in the arts, or you are extremely intelligent (not just book smart, but also the kind of intelligence they don't teach in school) and you choose not to continue your education and have children, then yes, it is a waste of talent and intelligence IF YOU NEVER DO ANYTHING WITH IT even after you have children. I say this because people often refer to me as a waste.
On my eighteenth birthday, I found out I was pregnant. This came as a shock to me considering that my partner (now ex-husband) and I used both condoms and birth control. I was part of the 0.01% that things fail on. This, put a lot of my dreams, hopes, and plans, which had already been set into motion, on hold - an extremely long hold that has just recently been released.
I was one of those high school students who was active in the extra-curricular academic clubs such as German Club, Science Club (I was the President of the Science Club and the Co-Leader of the Science Team we had at our school), Marching Band (I was one of the Rifle Line Members with the Auxiliary), Orchestra (Both HS Orchestra and the Symphony Orchestra which you had to audition to get into). I was even the Wrestling Manager for two years and then there were a wide range of other clubs.
I was active. I had a 3.25 GPA, a FULL RIDE Scholarship to any college of my choice in-state and was accepted to 5 of the 6 Universities I applied to. It was as though someone pulled the stopper from the tub and I was watching it all drain away.
But there I was, on my 18th Birthday, staring at a positive pregnancy test, cursing myself. At the high school I attended, we had several different diplomas. There was the basic diploma, which pretty much read 'I didn't really assert myself; the Core-40 Diploma, which reads as 'I took several courses that prepped me for college and tried hard and studied long hours'; and the Honors Diploma which read as 'I took a lot of courses that challenged me both mentally and time-management wise, I even took the college courses in high school'.
I was slated to graduate in May with the Honors Diploma. However, having a child in March might have interfered with my schooling. So, I did what any intelligent person who faced a tough decision would do. I talked to my guidance counselor and together we decided that if I dropped my College Prep courses and just went for the Core-40 Diploma that I could graduate mid-term in December and not have to worry about missing classes or my grades plummeting. This is what I chose.
As far as the clubs? I wanted to stay in Marching Band but the Director (douchebag) really gave me no option in whether or not I was going to be performing. Even though the season would've been over before I was really showing he was "concerned" that it might not be a positive example to set for the younger and newer members. What a chauvinistic pig!
Though the girls tell me now that they still admired and looked up to me because I was willing to take responsibility for my actions and own up to the fact I was going to have a child, I became a fan of the Marching Band that year instead of a participant.
The parents who traveled with the band all felt as though the Director had made my decision for me and felt it was the wrong one. They could've watched out for me and stood up for the fact that I was still in school, still active, and wasn't going to let a little thing like a pregnancy derail my Senior Year of High School.
My last day of High School was December 15th. My son was born on March 25th. He was perfect. And honestly, I couldn't imagine not having him in my life. He's such a sweet, intelligent, quiet, well-mannered child.
I went to my High School Prom on April 25th. He was one month old, and I had pictures of me in my prom dress holding him. I still remember what his shirt said and laugh about it to myself now: "Doesn't come with Instructions."
May 25th, his two month birthday, I walked up to the front of the gymnasium with my Graduating Class and received my High School Diploma. My Principal gave me a hug and told me she was proud of me because of all that I had accomplished that year, remembering all the times I sat in her office, crying about how I was a failure in the education sector, how I was probably going to fail as a mother and how I would never be able to go to college. I felt like I was a waste.
My ex and I split after he tried choking me because I had told him I wasn't in love with him anymore and he was just using me for money for his cigarettes, movies, and fast-food. Whatever. I work hard at any job I have because I feel that if I can advance in a company I won't feel like such a waste.
Even my co-workers have started asking me what I'm doing working retail because sometimes, I drop the facade of "I'm really not smart" and let slivers of my actual intelligence show through. They become slightly frustrated with me when I begin using words that they have never heard and have no idea what they mean. I can't stop it from happening sometimes.
I'm 22 going on 23 this year and I have a daughter now with my new husband. He's absolutely delightful and she's absolutely beautiful. And I'm also starting college a semester at a time. Right now, I'm going for a basic Liberal Arts Degree. However, I might change my mind because I'm seriously considering dipping my toes into the medical profession. It's what I want to do and I know if I push myself, I can do it.
I'm not a waste, I realize that now. I just choose the path in the woods that was overgrown and needed someone to trample it down a bit. I am helping shape the future by having two children, working full-time, and going to college part-time. This isn't the fifties-and mothers are the future, past, and present.
Did you ever feel like a waste? What did you do to get yourself out of that mindset?