Laura's Corner

I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.

On your own....

In reviewing the last few years of my life, I'll keep it short and sweet.  I've had some unexpected surprises, have been completely unprepared and was not ready for certain circumstances.  Let's just say at times I questioned, "Why me?"  After a few months, lots of writing and talking with friends, I've come to a conclusion about life in general.  One question that comes to mind is, "How do we survive in a world which will throw us into gentle rain and tornadoes, all within a matter of moments?"   I think I have the answer.

As a little girl, I remember attending weddings, many to be honest.  My mother's family consisted of 8 children, father's included 3.  The women were, for the most part, educated, which included a college degree.  This included my maternal Grandmother who had, I believe, attended college as well.  I remember education being a very important part of our lives.  My Grandmother would wrap her arms around me, "Laurie, you're so smart, you've got such a good mind, use it!"  Little did she know I was drawn more towards boys than books, but what she doesn't know won't hurt her. 

Because we were educationally focused, college wasn't a question.  It was a necessity, a means to a better life.  Back then, a degree meant a solid source of employment including all the fringe benefits.  Each member of my family eventually married, purchased their homes and were financially stable.  It is still this way today.

While driving recently, a thought came to mind.  "The less dependent you are on anyone else; financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally and other, the quicker you are able to recover."   As I pondered this, I have come to the belief that this is completely true. 

Many individuals stay in relationships because their very lives depend on someone else for their very survival.  Men and women, losing their jobs, refuse to leave relationships because they are not financially able to break free.  People, who are too afraid to be alone, refuse to leave even the most unhealthy of situations.  Fear, of the unknown, of the belief that they can't do it on their own, keeps them and their children in relationships which may have never been started had one or the other been healthier.

As a woman, I am completely capable of taking care of myself.  I rarely ask for help, my pride gets in the way.  If I have a flat tire, I'll call roadside assistance.  When my furnace went out, I would check the Thermal Coupling and Heat Sensor.  Let's just say I've done tune-ups, CV Boots, packed bearings, changed spark plugs and flat tires as well.  I'm not afraid to get dirty, although in all honesty, clean is for me.  Don't get me wrong, if it's hot I am going to phone a friend for assistance with an air conditioner.  Let's just say I am realistic when it comes to my muscles and how much my back can take.

Because I am fairly independent, I able to take care of business.  I am not afraid to jump in and help a stranger with jumper cables.  I am not afraid to question salesmen, mechanics shops and pull out my phone and search google while in front of a guy trying to sell me a wash machine to compare prices.  I'm bold, outgoing, and most important, friendly.

As a mother, and a woman, I believe it is my job to encourage others to educate themselves, to be self-sufficient and rely on themselves more often than not.  It is saddening how many women I talk to who are in dead end relationships out of fear.  How many are afraid because they're raising babies, uneducated and afraid to do it on their own.  I talk with older women, who stay because they never received formal training past child rearing and housecleaning.  Sad but true.

This not only applies to women but men as well.  I've talked with countless men who are afraid to break free out of fear of losing money, sex or starting over.  I understand, because at one time in my life, I was afraid too.  It took almost 10 years to say, "I am no longer afraid.  I have absolutely no financial surplus but I am going to do this on my own." 

In 1998, I started over.  I was a single parent, working part time as a bank teller, making $8.50 an hour.  Within a week, I had pursuaded my boss to move me to a full time position with benefits.  I had a mortgage, car payments and other debts.  I worked hard, climbed the corprate ladder and within 5 years had tripled my salary.  

As a woman, I am not afraid.  Because I have been there, I am fully aware of my capabilities to get 'er done.  I am able to bounce back, move forward and let go.  I have no idea what the future holds, but I am most certain that it will include joy, happiness and plenty of amazing friends.  Whether I am single or not, there is one thing for certain; I was born a complete person, not half.  I don't need you to fill the void, I am more than capable of doing that myself. 

That said, the greatest gift you can give your child is to set boundaries and allow them the opportunity to stand on their own.  Allow them the opportunity to make choices.  Without the bad, they will never comprehend the good.  Regarding your family and friends, do the same.  If you have an individual in your life who is fully capable of doing for themselves, but refuses, begin to say no.  Tell them you're busy, not able, in the middle of or have previous plans.  Do yourself a favor and begin to withdraw from a co-dependent relationship and take care of you. 

if you continually take care of others, you will continue to neglect yourself.  Don't live a life wondering why you haven't experienced joy, peace or happiness for the past 5, 10, 25 years. 




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