I have a confession to make. When I first learned the subject of this week's blog was "Keeping it Real", I had to go to the Urban Dictionary to find out what that means. (Yeah, I'm the old woman of this group of young ladies and I kind of like it.)
For the record, the Urban Dictionary defines, "Keeping it real" as: "Not being fake or influenced. Being true to yourself and your values, but more importantly, being true to innate values that all people acknowledge as respectable. Not frontin' or inhibiting yourself or pretending to be something your not; but also not following dominant values that should not be acceptable.
Over the summer my hubs and I spent a lot of time at the pool. We spent almost every day overhearing conversations of the people who were near us and most often the people near us were young couples just getting started in life. Some were bleary eyed new parents, trying to navigate life in a new way. Others were couples who'd been together a while and you could tell they were really well matched; still others were bickering over events that had occurred the night before; and sadly, there were others that we'd bet our life will not be together this time next year.
One day I overheard a new Mom complaining to her girlfriend that she and her husband never just "let loose" any more. She was upset because he wanted to save money in case of emergency and she wanted him to be more impulsive. She also kept repeating, "I just want him to let me smoke pot if I want to. I probably won't do it, but he needs to let me if I want to."
Another day we chatted with a girl who kept telling us every detail of her life and every single bit of it screamed of drama and immaturity.
We chatted with a bright young lady who was in her early thirties struggling with her live-in boyfriend, who had just gotten a new job. He wanted to follow the money which meant a move to a different state. She had already decided she wouldn't be moving with him because she has a child and the child's father lives here. We thought she was such a nice person and what an incredibly difficult, but right decision.
We watched attentive parents and other parents who expected the entire pool to look out for their children. One lady, upon seeing me play with her 3 year old, and who I had never seen before in my life, abruptly announced she needed to go home for a minute and she'd be right back; then she actually left for about 15 minutes! I stayed and played with the child, but who does that?
Our teenaged lifeguard had returned to work at our place for the second year in a row. He would tell us stories about his weekends with his friends and family and we would reminisce about being his age (17) and what a contrast being 17 in the late 70's and early 80's is to being 17 right now. HUGE difference. Poor guy lost his father this summer so we spent a lot of time trying to help him talk that out.
Why am I telling you all of this? "Keeping it Real", of course. All the time we spent at the pool this summer made Charlie and I realize we are finally the older, well-adjusted, level-headed couple we've always wanted to be. As a woman, I could relate to every single girl I encountered at the pool; the good, the bad, the immature, the happy, the unhappy, the self-conscious, the over-primper, the hot chick, the hung-over and especially the dramatic, because I've been all of them, (with the exception of the mother who walked off and left her young child with a complete stranger; I wouldn't have done that.)
I would have liked to have shared with each of these girls, "I've been where you are right now."
To the new Mom that was upset that her husband wouldn't let loose any more, I'd have told her to thank her lucky stars for the Blessing of a good man who wants to be a responsible father. Partying is short-lived, a waste of money, over-rated and it robs the energy you should be reserving for your baby. Believe me, before you bat your eyes twice, that child will be grown and gone and you'll regret it. When you are my age, you'll look back and it will make you sad.
To the young girl who's boyfriend was so demeaning to her; I would say not to waste too much time in unhappy relationships. You can't fix him. He will never be the person you envision he could be; that's a myth you've made up in your mind. You deserve better. You're worth more than you give yourself credit for. It's better to be single than to be with someone who isn't good to you.
To the drama Queen: Sit down and stop over-sharing. People are watching you like a bad television show they can't turn off. The aren't relating to you like you think. Instead, they are trying to figure out how they can avoid you next time. We can all see the unhappiness behind your fake, "It's all good. I am fine.", attitude. You're not fine. You need help. I hope you will look for it.
Yes, I would have liked to say these things but instead, I realize that life must be lived where we are in the moment. We don't evolve over night, we evolve through our experiences and our experiences, both good and bad, shape who we eventually become. No, I did not say anything to these ladies, instead, I went home each and every day and I thanked God that I've finally arrived in the place I currently am with the love of my life.
I guess I'm finally actually, keeping it real.
Love to all!
Sent from my iPad