Why read the paper for upcoming births, when you can just check Facebook?

I just found out via the informational super-timesuck that is Facebook that my best friend from kindergarten is– wait for it– PREGNANT.

Now, we don’t really talk anymore, unless we run into each other. We were pretty good friends right up through school, although we only hung out a few times. So why do I feel so, so sick right now?

I think it has to stem from a number of things. I’ll make a list. Lists I can do, especially when I’m upset or stressing.

Why I Think I’m Upset Because My Best Friend from Kindergarten is Having a Baby

1. We’re not even twenty-one… she’s older than I am by like a week! Are we old enough to care for living organisms wisely? Is twenty a responsible enough age? I thought this was the age to run around and get shit-faced and make impulse buys and have indiscriminate sex? Most people our age (the ones I know, anyway) can barely take care of themselves. Like, they can’t even wash their hair on their own. And maybe I’m strange for feeling this way, but I know that I can barely take care of the puppy, and the puppy’s not even my puppy, officially. Let alone a baby. A freaking human being thing relying solely on me.

2. I don’t know the dad situation. This requires a sub-list.

a.) None of my business, first of all.

b.) From what I glean from Facebook, they’re together and really happy or something of the sort, which eases my panic slightly

c.) Like I said, none of my business, but she’s known for having gone through many boyfriends. Doesn’t say much for stability… but what the hell, who am I to talk? I won’t have a steady job until August, so I’m leaving that alone

d.) But speaking of jobs, so she’s going to work in town for the rest of her life? What does Baby-daddy do for a living? They’re just going to stay in this itty-bitty town with the same people and the same routine for the rest of their lives? How is anyone okay with that? (Sub-sub list: 1. I should not be so judgy, and I know it. Let the record state that I am not attempting in any way to pass judgment, I’m simply ranting and worried and stream-of-consciousness-ing this shit. 2. My mother was okay with staying in this itty-bitty town with the same people and the same routine, ever since she and my dad got together. She’s worked at the same bank in the same town for nearly thirty years. Then again, she was married for ten years before I came along, so… not sure exactly what that’s proving.)

3. Back to reasons why I’m upset: this smacks of poor planning. Isn’t there something else, at twenty, that one wants to do before settling down with a child? Like, I don’t know, move? Travel? Live? For me, child-rearing refuses to be a pastime that one chooses to engage in when there are a few spare minutes. Maybe it’s just the way I was raised, but from the second a kid is born, they need to be the Top Priority. There should be thought and effort and love poured into that child’s upbringing. I know that if I ever had a child, they would be the center of my world, immediately. With that knowledge in place, I can comfortably say that it will be a long, long time before I am financially stable enough to support anyone other than myself. And when that happens, I’m test-driving the money theory with a giant dog, just to be sure. There’s just no way I’d even think about bringing a child into this world without a safe, stable home, enough money for healthy food, and adequate time to spend with it.

4. That said, I’m starting to think that I might be equally upset that my friend has the freedom to have a child. That sounds crazy, probably. And you know, I never thought I’d want one (I still quaver at the thought a bit). But there came a certain point (I can’t remember if it was earlier this year or last) where it hit me: if I want to make something of myself, and have a career in the profession I am most passionate about… I am going to have to give something up. I fear that might be a real relationship. I fear that I might have to give up marriage, or if we’re being modern, a deeply committed romantic partnership. I fear that means giving up any possibility of children of my own. A successful opera singer (sopranos, particularly) will hit their prime mid-thirties. Guess what that means for me? All of those years before– my twenties, early thirties, when most women meet a man and fall in love and have those traditional, often lovely things– need to be spent working. Practicing. Singing. Otherwise, no payoff. No success. That’s the way it looks to me right now, and although I want the work, and need the stage– I fear I don’t have the freedom, the luxury, to just meet a guy and have a kid with him. I can’t be that irresponsible, or that disloyal to myself and my goals, because honestly? The second I learned of a new life, one I’d be charged with loving, raising, and protecting? All of my goals, all I’ve worked for, would evaporate in favor of that child.

So maybe it’s that I’m too selfish. Maybe I’m too scared. But maybe the reason my stomach sunk and my heart broke a little upon reading that news, about my best friend from kindergarten, is that I can’t. And it’s such a common thing to see or hear about today, with young women who aren’t necessarily in a permanent relationship or supporting themselves. Not that that’s what she’s like, or what she’s going through. I hope that she and her current boyfriend will stay together forever. I hope this baby will be born into a stable, happy, loving home and grow to be someone magnificent.

I hope my list will be sufficient to get me through the rest of the facebook updates I’m sure will come… and the moronic comments that will undoubtably accompany.

[EDIT] because I just can’t leave anything alone: I did a little more creeping into the cybersphere and I honestly think that they’ve got it figured out. I update mostly for my own peace of mind, to resolve the shock a bit for myself. It’s just so strange to know that people I’ve grown up with are going to be raising families of their own. It’s even stranger, and going to be significantly more difficult, I imagine, to reconcile myself with the fact that this is something I will not get to do if things work out for me career-wise. The busiest, most successful people I know fell in love late in life, past the time when they could have had a family. The people I respect the most, that fall into this category, tried marriage and children and sucked at it, divorced and then found the love of their life. So, I guess it’s a predetermined game for me, and I have to deal, and not freak out because other people get to have a traditional life and I can’t. I chose this— because I love it, because it loves me back, and because I can make some kind of a difference by doing it.

And if it makes me sad to read about all of these pregnancies on Facebook, well… I mentioned it’s a timesuck, right? Might as well not even waste the time.

Another list because I can’t seem to get off the internet

Yeah, I have about zero will power right now. Mary, EE, Ivana and I just got back from Relay for Life at U of R. I spent the rest of my money in support of cancer research. Not only has every other person in my immediate family had it, but I’m likely to, and so is my sister, unless we luck out like our father has so far. I made a luminaria for Grandpa, Aunt Ginny, my great-grandparents, and Aunt Josie. I also have a really spiffy t-shirt and pink button necklace now, but I would have spent the money anyway. It’s probably the best cause I can contribute to right now, and shit, if it means I’m without Java’s for a week, the world won’t stop turning, will it?

Anyway, I guess I said this was going to be a list in the post title, so here we go. What did I do today/think about (not that it’s relevant, or that anyone cares)… this is my own blog, after all, I don’t even have to write well, let alone justify myself. So there.

List of things I did/thought about today (in no particular order)

  • Matt Grills is a wonderful artist/human being and I could have sat in his recital for another few hours… days… weeks. Whatever
  • I can’t go to Wegman’s without spending money on cheese… I’m a sucker for a certain Brie, and I don’t care who knows it
  • I’m getting old
  • I had to check and delete my full voicemail inbox today, and heard messages I’d saved from two years ago. My great-aunt Mary Jane left me a message asking for my mailing address, and I’d saved it, probably because I guess I saved basically all of my messages at that time. She passed away over winter break this year. It’s not like I’m unaware that she is pain-free now, and I hope happier and at peace, but it was a quick clench of the heart to hear her sweet voice again, so unexpectedly. Also I was in Java’s waiting for my sandwich and basically about to cry. Knowing she’s better off now and missing her are two separate things entirely.
  • You know when you’re looking for someone who’s supposed to be meeting you, and end up literally staring at someone you know, but not really looking at them (more of a looking-through?)? Did that tonight. Whoops. I blushed so hard afterward I felt like I was hot flashing.
  • My eyesight has gotten SO BAD, to the point where I’m beginning to be concerned…
  • I think I’m going to enjoy the German future tense
  • I miss Russian more than I thought I did… I wonder if Michelle found my notebook when I asked her to, three weeks ago
  • I want to go home and see my family
  • I want to go home and have a fabulous place to practice
  • I don’t know how I’m going to make any money this summer
  • How shall I obtain Professor Daigle’s signature?
  • How shall I admit that I actually have a physical list of questions to ask about performing?
  • I just yawned wide enough to crack my jaw
  • I thought about Daniel today, after I listened to the Aunt Mary Jane voicemail. I guess because his is another death that has affected my life, albeit a little differently. He was nineteen, three years ago and eleven days from now. God.
    But as I thought about him, and felt sad for a pretty good chunk of time, I swear I almost heard a voice snap– pleasantly but sarcastically– “What the hell are you doing? Go out and live,” and I probably imagined it, but it killed the morose mood I’d sunk into and spurred me into getting ready for my next class, and resolving to be a little ballsier.  I’d like to think it was Daniel, even though I know that’s nuts, and if I were him I wouldn’t waste my time. But I know he tried to live life to its fullest, so, I guess you never know.
  • In other news, Mu Phi is lame, and no, I didn’t get a damn email, or text
  • I’m tired of this list and I’m tired in general. I guess I’m not very interesting this evening. Oh well…
  • “Guten Abend, mein Schatz! Guten Abend, mein Kind…”

I like to make lists

So, here is my day in a nutshell.

1.a. History class

1.b. Drama that I am going to ignore and hope goes away

1.c. Learned that, actually, all straight boys here ARE really weird or involved with someone

1.d. Reminded myself that it’s okay to be single

1.e. Reminded myself that I hate people anyway and don’t play well with others even under the best circumstances

1.f. Chose to ignore the fact that I lie to myself about hating people… all the time

2. Lunch, class, stress, meeting with teacher, failed practice session, quick break, more class, gym

3. SA meeting, where I showed off my incredibly toned legs, cute choice in workout shorts and ability to look sarcastic and fit (read: slightly sweaty but pumped on endorphins) at the same time

4. Saw this quote on Edo’s facebook and decided it suits my week thus far: “I will, however, prove to myself that I can do what I want to do, and that I am as good as I know I am.” I am capable. I am smart. I am efficient, productive, strong and determined to do what I’m here to do, regardless of whatever may stand (or try to stand) in my way. I’m here for a reason, and no one, not even myself, will tell me differently.