I am not succeeding very well in my goal to do at least one post a month here on my Babbling Brook blog. Can’t necessarily say I have already run out of things to blog about, but it has more to do with the fact I am finding it hard to blog about what is really on my mind. It is so very personal and I am not one to discuss the personal. It is so very much outside my comfort zone.
I was taught at a very young age that one does not share their feelings. One does not talk about the uncomfortable. One has to hold all that inside and not let anyone know what you feel or how hurt you may be. A devastating lesson to learn, but I learned it very well, even though it is one lesson I should not have learned.
I am following in the footsteps of my parents with illness, both physical and emotional. Why and where they learned this lesson to pass on to me, I can only guess at this point because they are both now gone. Although their parents lived – with one exception- well into their nineties, both my parents passed in their mid-seventies. Young, in this family of longevity, most of their siblings still thrive. Here I am closing in on sixty without a lot of hope that I will even see seventy.
These numbers seem so old to me, but in this day and age not really. I frankly never gave a thought to ever even attaining this age, let alone anything older. Another thing that I learned young, keep your feet on the ground and quit daydreaming. Hence, I forgot how to dream and/or look to a future, if I ever learned to look to a future. I honestly don’t remember a time when I seriously looked ahead and thought (dreamed) about what I wanted. I floated along with the current, mostly. A few times I did take a rather radical fork in the stream of life, but that was mostly to escape where I was at and try a different direction, rather than work toward something defined. Now that, shifting directions mid-stream, I am pretty sure I learned from my father. I do remember doing that often growing up.
Maybe this blogging thing is pretty cool. It is giving me an outlet to look at some things in my life that need examined, if not corrected. I hadn’t really looked at this changing direction thing in quite this way before. It is something for me to think about.
The first shift happened when I graduated high school at the age of 17with a diploma that stated I could be an office clerk. The obvious choice, and the choice my parents advised, was to apply for an office position opening my dad knew about in Lansing. I did not want to work in an office in the city, not to mention, even if I did, I couldn’t start work until I was 18. I spent that summer kind of bumming around visiting relatives and friends and just kind of saying goodbye to my carefree days of childhood, since I knew adulthood was quickly looming on my horizon.
When summer ended, I began the arduous task of finding a job. I hadn’t taken any college prep in high school, I lived in a community that did not have a college and could not see a way to go away to University. Neither did I have a boyfriend or any other prospects for marriage. So, it was find a job! However, I did mention, I was one of those lucky kids who graduated at age 17. I wouldn’t turn 18 until October, and no one was hiring someone under the age of 18. My mother didn’t think I was trying hard enough and that I was being lazy on my job hunt. Do you know how embarrassing it is to have your mother take you job hunting? Talk about a confidence builder when you confidence is already in the toilet.
She took me to the unemployment office, after she realized that yes; I actually had submitted applications to every business in town. Guess what! I got sent out of town, out of state if I really look at it. It was actually only about 30 miles away, and ended up being my first experience with a commute. Anyway, Mom drove me to this nursing home to interview as a kitchen helper, (something that made no use at of my clerical diploma) and actually sat in on it – like I didn’t know what to do. Things went along just like almost every other interview I had had, including the; “we can’t hire under 18” comment. Mom’s chin hit the ground. I wasn’t exaggerating. Why hadn’t unemployment mentioned this? Well actually, they had but Mom wasn’t listening. She started sputtering and ruffling her feathers as only my Mom can. (Especially when she is discovering she may be wrong about something and not wanting to admit it.) Then something extraordinary happened. The interviewer looked at me and looked at the application and asked, if I would be interested in working on the floor. On the floor? What did that mean?
Evidently, they were also looking for nurse’s aides. Although he could not hire me in the kitchen because I was under age 18, he could bring me in and train me on the job as a nurse’s aide. By the time I was trained and actually able to be hired for the job, I would be 18, which was actually only a week away at this point anyway. With my mother sitting right there, what else was I to say but yes. So began my career in the field of health care giver. (Also not using the Clerical diploma I had spent my high school years earning.) I started the next day.
No, I did not need my mother to drive me back and forth to work. I actually had my own car and had had for all of my senior year. She had only been dragging me around on this job search because I don’t think she thought I was doing it right. I got the feeling that she thought if I had been doing it right, I would have had a job already. After all, she had her first job at the ripe old age of 16. She did not take into account the different era, or the different community. I am not totally up on my history, but child labor laws were getting tighter and tighter. Working before age 18 required permits from schools and parents, and there were no exceptions for us lucky few who graduated high school at 17 and did not go on to college. Now if I had been a student looking for a part time gig, things may have been different. But I was 18 and looking for full time work. Mom did not want to see and/or understand this point. I just didn’t know what I was talking about. But, not real thanks to her; I did finally have a job and I had my own car to go back and forth. My adult life was beginning.