The Wrong Choice: My Specialty

My youngest graduated 8th grade today.  I had the perfect seat in the packed auditorium.  It gave me ample opportunity to watch him and get great pics as he received his diploma.  Until…….1/2 way through, they switched the direction the kids were walking.  I got an awesome pic of his back.  I came home to the FB posts of the perfect pics the “charmed” parents got of their kids; the parents who were on the right side of the auditorium, in the right lighting, at the right time, with no tall person in front of them.  Later, I took my son out for dinner at this favorite place, and he got sick.

I have what I call “white person problems” (hopefully not overly offensive).  I’m not starving, I have a roof over my head, I have a car and money for groceries, I have health insurance to pay for my health care needs and I have friends and family around me.  But sometimes, my white person problems feel so unfair.

  • Why do I have cancer and still have to worry about it, after finishing the most difficult treatment available?
  • Why did I marry a cheating louse?
  • Why am I struggling getting my kids to do homework, when other parents never even have to check on their kids?
  • Why do I not have the money to fix the leak in my kitchen when my neighbors are putting in a new pool?
  • Why do I never have the right outfit to wear?  Or, if I do have the right outfit, why don’t I wear it?
  • Why have I lost 2 sons when other people have wonderfully intact families?
  • Why did my ex cheat on me, when other women, not as nice, never get cheated on?
  • Why do I go back to selling on ebay, only to get screwed?
  • Why did so many other people get great graduation pics but not me?
  • And, before you tell me I’m being petty and selfish – Trust Me – I Know!

I work with a lovely young lady who is 27, lives alone, has health issues, and has 17 years of student loans costing $1,000 each month.  The other night she said “do you ever feel like it would be easier to just run away”, and I could actually answer this.  I ran away as a teen.  Repeatedly.    I spent 4 months living in Florida pumping gas, with just enough money to pay for my rent and groceries.  The only question every week was whether to buy a book or new underwear, because that was all I could afford.  It was such an easy life.  I worked hard and had nothing to show for it, but I also had no choices.  I never had to second guess myself.  Running away has it’s advantages!

Choice makes life hard, and  I seem to be the Queen of the Wrong Choice.

  •   I chose the wrong treatment, and I’m paying for it now in chronic pain, and the knowledge that I might have increased my chance at remission because of the choice I made.  In my haste I made the wrong choice.
  • Why did I marry a cheating louse and not someone else?  I chose him.  I had other choices.
  • Why am I struggling getting my kids to do homework, when other parents never even have to check on their kids?  What choice do  I make here?  Do I push my kids; which incidentally, has not been successful.  Or, do I just let them be?
  • Why do I not have the money to fix the leak in my kitchen when my neighbors are putting in a new pool?  I won’t go into the issues around money, because they are enmeshed with my divorce and business issues; all of which are the result of choices!
  • Why do I never have the right outfit to wear?  Or, if I do have the right outfit, why didn’t I wear it?  My last son’s graduation I wore a dress and everyone else wore pants.   Today I wore pants and of course, everyone else wore dresses.
  • Why have I lost 2 sons when other people have wonderfully intact families?   I’ve watched really mean mothers keep their children at their side.  Was my choice to be understanding wrong?
  • Why did my ex cheat on me, when other women, not as nice, never get cheated on?  Should I have berated him more?  Why did I chose him in the 1st place, and, once I chose him, why did I chose the wrong way to behave in our marriage?
  • Why do I go back to selling on ebay, forgetting that sellers have no protection and often get screwed?  Why do I chose to use this selling platform, even though there are others that take longer but work; and don’t protect only the buyer?
  • Why did so many other people get great graduation pics but not me.  I made the wrong choice.  I sat on the wrong side of the auditorium.

35 years ago, when I had no choices, I never questioned myself.  I did what I had to do.  I never had a reason to look back and say “hmm….I shouldn’t have done things that way”, because there was never a different way to have done things.  Ultimately, my life would have been much worse had I stayed on that path.  Having No choice is just as dangerous as having too many choices.  When I had no choices, I also had no options.  Had I gotten sick during that time I would have ended up homeless.  One leak destroying what little I owned would have left me destitute.  I understand that.

How can it be, though, that at every turn I make the wrong choice?   I am at a point in which I feel confident that if I have made the choice, it is Wrong.  The problem is that I don’t even realize I’m making a choice until it’s too late.

Again, these are really minor issues when compared to what some others are going through, and I get that.

But really???  I couldn’t at least have gotten a decent graduation picture?  Damn.

 

PS:  I know that I’ve probably made just as many good choices, I just don’t recognize them, because they don’t hurt.  Yes, this is a self-serving rant.  Sorry.

 

PPS:  I also know that I shouldn’t put much stock in what is see on FB.  FB is an illusion.

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4 thoughts on “The Wrong Choice: My Specialty

  1. We all deserve a self-serving rant here and there. I’m wallowing today, in fact. I don’t think it does us any good to constantly tell ourselves we have nothing to complain about because someone, somewhere out there, has it worse than us. Undoubtedly true, but this is my problem. It’s important to me.

    Believe me, I’ve asked myself some of those same questions. Why did I marry him? Why did I put up with his behavior? Why didn’t I leave? The reality is I made the choices I did based upon the information I had at the time. Even if I should have done something differently it doesn’t give him license to crap all over me.

    I’m really sorry you didn’t get a good graduation picture. That must have been disappointing.

    Like

    • As I read your comment it dawned on me that perhaps it’s easier to complain about a failed graduation picture than the realities of my life. For whatever reason, it’s making me smile.

      Like

  2. We all make choices…good ones and bad ones. We just can’t let them define who we are.
    Don’t look at this as a “self-serving rant.” It is how you are feeling…things you are questioning (and rightfully so.)
    I’ve asked some of those same questions.
    Only people who have no conscience or morality or center….never ask those kinds of questions. They just do what feels good…to them….and then…move on.

    Like

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