Four Pages

Four pages.

Times New Roman.

Size 12.

Four pages have the power to change my life forever.

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Mean Girls

not a mean girlIf you take a look around, you’ll see them everywhere. It starts out in school… Elementary school. You have the girls that have all the latest things, and they make fun of the ones who got their clothes at a yard sale or thrift shop. In high school, they travel in packs with their makeup, cell phones, belly-baring shirts and too-tight jeans. They’re at work… You know who they are. On Facebook, look for the ones with the overdone makeup and hair and all the status messages talking about someone else. You’re either one of them, or you’re being talked about by one of them. P.S. On Facebook, they travel in packs too… And just like high school, all the mean girls have the dumb guys there to cheer them on.

I was the kid in elementary school with the hand-me-down, yard sale, and thrift shop clothes… It wasn’t that we couldn’t afford better, it was the simple fact that at the time, I had figured out my Moma would buy me more stuff if she saved money on clothes… And clothes weren’t cool to me anyway. So I went to school in my used clothes and never thought anything of it. Makes sense now that the only friend I had was a girl named Lisa whose parents simply couldn’t afford to take her out and buy those super expensive designer clothes that we would have outgrown in a matter of months anyhow… And of course, it didn’t help that I was super smart and in the gifted program and skipped a grade or two in school.

By the time I made it to high school, I knew I was pretty… I had modeling agencies and pageant representatives telling me so. But in school, it was a totally different story. There were four girls (I said they travel in packs, right?) that made my life a living hell. They carried their backpacks (that rarely had books in them) with their purse full of makeup, and pointed and stared at girls like me and talked in hushed whispers. Now, here’s the thing about high school… If you don’t fit in with this pack, you either give everything you’ve got to do so, and sell out your best friends in the process, or you try to do your best to survive without them and band together with the other “freaks” they’re making fun of. My sister sold her soul to fit in with them… I had my own merry band of freaks.

Now, the interesting thing about having a sister that was in that crowd is you would think they would lay off me. You would think she would take up for me. You would be wrong. I took an automotive class because I grew up in a shop and decided it would be an easy A. They called me a dike. I was 13. I had no clue what that was. I became friends with a few of the guys in the class… Suddenly the rumor was that I was giving them blowjobs in cars. Again, I was 13 and had no clue what that was. My mom signed me up for my first pageant, and that’s where the real hell began… “She should know she won’t win, hasn’t she seen her face?” I didn’t know what they were talking about, until I started staring in the mirror one day, and one of my “guy friends” who was also one of “their” boyfriends informed me that I had the biggest nose he had ever seen, and “had I ever looked at my eyebrows?” I made a waxing appointment the next week. Then, my arms were too hairy. Then this, and that, and the other. High school soon became a living hell.

I got to the point that I would get so nervous and upset about school that I would throw up non-stop in the mornings waiting on the bus (I still carry a toothbrush with me because of this). I would get sick in an effort to avoid a class that most of the “mean girls” were in. It got to the point that the school nurse accused me of being pregnant… I was 14 by now, had never had sex, and still really didn’t understand what it was. Through all of it though, I never told anyone what was going on. I had convinced myself that they were right… I was useless, I was ugly, and I didn’t deserve to breathe the air they breathed.

By now my mom had remarried and we had moved out of county, but we still drove to that school, every damn day. Then, the weirdest thing happened (please note, this is sarcasm)… My sister got pregnant. She dropped out of school, moved in with her boyfriend and his family, and got married. But somehow when word reached the school, I was a slut, I was a whore, I was pregnant with some girl’s boyfriend’s baby… I still was 14 and had never had sex. But suddenly, the friends of the mean girls were sneaking to talk to me and ask me for tips. They wanted to know how to sneak around… Did it hurt??? How many guys had I been with??? Now, I had always been a bullshit artist, I learned it from my daddy… I just had to lie my ass off without laughing in their faces. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. I wish I could say that this turned my world around, but it didn’t. They were still mean, horrible girls, but it brought me a little amusement while I plotted my way out of that school. And thankfully, my mom did pull me out and put me in a school where I wasn’t subjected to that kind of talk and bullying. P.S. This doesn’t tell my entire story of that school, I had friends, great ones that I still talk to… It just tells what I went through with the mean girls.

Fast forward more than 10 years in the future… Please tell me why I had a supervisor tell me that she shaves her arms because no one wants to look at that nasty stuff on a woman’s arms? Please tell me why women are ashamed to go to the office without makeup? Why have I nearly ruined my eyes because I don’t want to wear my glasses in public? And mostly, please tell me why ladies are ridiculing other ladies for posting pictures of themselves on Facebook? I should never see adults saying “Oh my God, did you see her eyebrows?” online. And “Hunny, she should know better than to use those filters, we know what her skin looks like in real life!” or “Doesn’t she know she’s too fat to dress like that?” Aren’t we supposed to be mature adults who are above all of this now?

Why is it that we can’t just say an encouraging word instead of trying to tear each other apart? Why can’t we teach our little girls to build each other up? Why can’t we lead by example as adults and show our teenagers that this is unacceptable? When will we realize that words can hurt and cut deeper than any knife ever could? When will realize that a single sentence can either end or save a life?

I am thankful that for every person who did everything that they could to tear me down as a teenager I had someone else there telling me that I was beautiful. That I was smart. That I was great. That I was funny. That I was amazing. If I hadn’t had those people telling me those things, I would hate to think of what would have happened. A person can only take a beat-down for so long before their self-esteem starts to fall apart.

I would like to challenge every one of you to show your “mean girl” what a real friend is. Let them know that destroying a person is not the way to go, but building someone up can help everyone… After all, those “mean girls” I went to high school with… They didn’t turn out to be much. Most of them didn’t graduate high school, none of them graduated college, almost all of them have been arrested at some point, and if they have a job, they make minimum wage or barely more. Why not show the mean girls how to be a friend, and build each other up. Show them that they can be more than just a bunch of mean girls?

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Dear 19 Year Old Pregnant Girl

Dear 19 Year Old Pregnant Girl-

No, you don’t know me. No, we’re not friends on Facebook. You’re friends with my friend, and you’re set to Public, so when she clicks “Like” I can see your posts in my newsfeed. It’s equally entertaining and annoying at times… I have something important to say to you though. Those people you complain about, who say things to you because you’re 19 and pregnant, they care about you. Yes, it may irritate your pregnant ass and hurt your feelings, but deep down, those people are talking to you because they care about you and your unborn child, so cut them some slack.

The truth is, they say things like you’re so young to be having a baby because you ARE so young. You are just a baby yourself. I can say this because I was only 19 when I had my oldest. The only difference is, I was married, so people didn’t have AS MUCH to say (they still said plenty, trust me). They still have hope that you will go to school and do something amazing with your life (yes, being a mom is amazing, but it is so hard to keep a job, go to school, and raise kids as a single mom… I’ve tried, and if I do all three at once, I end up doing a crap job with at least one of the three). They want you to be successful, and they wonder if you have truly thought about what you’re going to do with the rest of your life.

I’m going to be honest… I never thought that it would be this hard. I had a husband, who was supposed to be my partner in all of this. I thought that I would finish school and become an art teacher. And it all went wrong. Sweetheart, you’re already starting this by yourself, and I’m sure you’re strong enough to do it, but I really hope that you have a support system. Those people who are talking to you, they want to be there for you, I can promise you that.

Now honey, I’m about to tell you something that will make you very angry with me… When you said that you can provide a baby with everything they need at just 19 years old, I completely disagree. If Medicaid, WIC, or foodstamps is a part of your plan, then you are not providing that baby with everything that he needs, the government is. If you are living at home, you are not providing that baby with everything that he needs, your parents are. If you do not have a job, health insurance, and you are not standing on your own two feet and taking care of yourself, then you certainly are not capable of taking care of that baby by yourself; simple as that. So you owe the people you so publicly chewed out an apology. I have worked for 12 years now, and kept off of government assistance for the most part, but I still do not provide my kids with everything they need by myself. My family is a huge support system, and they help me every step of the way. So suck it up buttercup, apologize and admit you need help… Because as much as we all would like to think differently, at 19 you do not have it all together and you can’t do it by yourself. At 27, I don’t have it all together to do it by myself.

Please just know, you have a long road ahead of you… And the sooner you realize you can’t do everything on your own, the better off you will be. I promise you, there will be plenty of people cheering you on, myself included. I really hope that things work out great for you. I hope that you finish school and that you do one day provide that baby with everything he wants and needs. But mostly, I hope that you wake up really soon and realize just how hard this is going to be.

Welcome to mommyhood, I’ll be your guide, your friend, and your confidant, if you ever decide that you aren’t going at this “on your own”.

With love,

Alicia

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Cleaning Out My Closet…

I’ve seen a ton of people post about spring cleaning this week, and I even heard of the 40 Bags In 40 Days Challenge, so I decided to challenge myself… To start cleaning out my closet!

Unfortunately, I don’t just take up closet space at my house though, I take it up at my mom’s too! She has pretty much ALL the clothes that I wore when I was in high school, and everything I couldn’t bear parting with as an adult, but could no longer wear. It’s all just sitting somewhere. The great thing is, seeing as how I graduated 10 years ago, it’s been enough time that most of these clothes have come back into style, so there are some very lucky people out there!

Now, I’m too lazy to have a yard sale, but I need the money too much to just give perfectly good clothes away right now, so I’ve been selling them on eBay. Most of what I’ve done is three day listings, and they’re doing pretty good (each individual item has been bringing an average of $5, and some as much as $18!) with a goal of three new listings each day until I am completely out of crap to get rid of.

My challenge to you is to do the same! Take a good hard look at all the things around you and start cleaning out your closet,  or fill it up with some things out of mine! Seriously, look up aliciainasmalltown on eBay and see if you can find anything you like!

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Let’s Take A Hike…

Since it is FINALLY getting warmer outside, the oldest and myself are taking this opportunity to get outside and really get moving and having some fun… We go to the park or bike almost daily, but this past Saturday, the child said my favorite words “Let’s take a hike!” And so we got the dog in the car and went to Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, GA to take a hike!

 Let's take a hike!

I feel blessed, I really do… I have had this beautiful thinking spot (the Canyon) around me for pretty much my entire life, and it seems as though I have really passed the love for it on to my oldest. The youngest, not so much.

 

 

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As you may can tell from the pictures of my super sweet kiddo, he is quite taken with the place, and takes every opportunity to learn something new while we are there!

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20140216_113428P.S. If you’re hiking with a dog like Diamond who gets a little out of control with pulling (especially when she sees other dogs!) then the Cujo leash is for you! It has a bit of elasticity to it that will allow for some pull, but it seems to get her right back in place afterwards. Next time we bring her though, I think we’ll be using a harness instead or her collar.

 

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