Monday, October 26, 2009

ramblin' through the messes.

My beautiful girlfriends....
strong, resilient, hilarious, brilliant.
not that we have any messes
to talk about or clean up.....
oh no!
we just tell funny upbeat stories ;)

I was driving back to my office after delivering a presentation, Miss Muskie style, thinking about the new connections I had made with a classroom full of human beings who had dropped out of school and had returned to give it a go again. It must reek of failure to them on most days. Hopefully on other days, they look at the ugly building and see it as something they can conquer!

I spent a few minutes or so with them telling a few stories, sharing some crazy bits about me. Then I passed it over to them so I could learn at least a little bit of their personal stories and to find out what kind of information they wanted to gather from my presentation. There's no point standing up in front of any group like a blathering talking head passing out disconnected fluffs of information if there is no engagement with the audience. How boring is that? How rude is that? How typical is that??? Lectures get you nowhere especially when you are in front of a group who tuned out and turned off for that very reason........

When my daughter asked me this morning on the way to dropping her off at school, what I was going to talk about (I was there to give them information about College courses and upgrading options....) I explained the purpose and then told her what my plan was ...... how I would deliver it.... through a conversation .... one which I would set up by sharing a few goofy stories about my time at high school. She looked at me with THAT look she gives me (the same one my husband gives me actually) when she hopes I don't make a complete ass of myself. I reassured her that, YES indeed I would make an ass of myself if it engaged the class and pulled them into a conversation of sharing and asking questions. I don't care. I'm pretty much an open book when it comes to the STUFF I've shared.

This of course alarmed her 16 year old sensibilities even more. So, I dropped the subject and moved onto asking about losing one's virginity. That question didn't get very far. DAMN! It did make her laugh though. Oh, and roll her eyes. It wasn't an off the wall, out of the blue kind of topic, which I am prone to do. No, this random talking momma was simply continuing a conversation which had begun the night before when I was informed of a few teen girls who are preggers at the school, and the conversation my daughter had with one of the future Daddios.

Who. is. 16. and lost .in. the. weird. world. of. make. believe. playing house .in. somekindof. mom. and. dad. drama. Like reality tv. Sadly, he thinks he's going to be able to turn off the channel.

This fantasy is brought to you by unfulfilled love and belonging needs, parents who refuse to let their children take SEX EDUCATION because one does not PROMOTE premarital sex, one PROMOTES abstinence and the idea that our bodies are dirty (by NOT talking about it) so don't be talking about erect penises and where they shouldn't be place ...... , thereby fostering a daughter who doesn't know the basics of intercourse and what to do with all those stirring feelings. This fantasy world is exacerbated by wacky religious rules where A: If you have sex before marriage you will go to hell. and B. Let's fix this fuck up by getting you two little ones married just in case God was a bit busy and didn't see the end product of the backseat rumbling fornication and will let it go. This time. ....And C. You better make it work, because if you divorce you will go to hell too. Good luck......... change your plans, drop your dreams and move on......... Praise be to Jesus.

So, I was merely extending the conversation we began last night. When she jumped out of the car to get the hell away from her crazy ass mother, she was laughing as I was babbling on about the myths of "being on the pill" and got pregnant anyways, or the condom broke. Over my explanation that there has only been one documented immaculate conception, my beautiful daughter told me she loved me, shut the door and scurried off to escape the lunacy left behind the wheel of the van. Off she went. My God, I love her.

And off I went to meet a group of people I expected hadn't fit into the regular system we embrace as public education, knowing a couple of them would most likely be teen moms whose bright innocent faces now had a look of shock and awe on them. Maybe a couple of young dads in there too unable to comprehend anything beyond wanting to escape into the smoke of a doob, a chat room and a few riffs of Guitar Hero. DUDE!

Unfortunately, I was right and eventually spent a couple of hours with a group of students sitting in a semi circle. Their classroom was tucked away in the upper reaches of high school beige fatigue, amongst other classrooms filled with unengaged teens looking everywhere except at their teachers at the front. How do I know this? I glanced in many as I walked towards room number 226. It hit my gut with a vengeance of memories. Oh, how I hated high school. It all came rushing back in a pit of anger as I realized that not one blasted thing had changed since I sat in class lala land dreaming of camp, parties, kissing boyfriends, catching up with girlfriends, weekend ski trips, ANYTHING but the blahblahblah of the talking head at the front of the class. Boredom ruled the day then. Boredom ruled the day today.

I decided to take it up a notch and be as nutty as I could in front of the classroom......... share feelings, ask for feelings. ASK THEM what they are thinking, feeling.......... what they did on the weekend. How are they FEELING being back at school. What kind of jobs would they like to do....... stir, churn, make them squirm a bit. Make them laugh! Offer them a chance to express themselves. Luckily, their teacher was all for it. Hurray!

In the end, there was talk of many different types of training and career options and if they had an idea, I threw three more at them that were similar as an attempt to expand their thinking. They shared their interests and unshaped goals. More importantly, they shared some of what makes them tick. One of them did fall asleep....the one with the youthful baby face very bright red flushed cheeks. I don't think he was feeling well. And even if he was fine, I didn't care if he fell asleep. He obviously needed it. Who the hell knows what he has to contend with on the homefront??? He's in this class for a reason and guaranteed it ain't a pretty story with a happy ending.

On my way back to the office, as I listened to music, I began to think of the messes we fall into as human beings of how our lives are filled with drama, conflict, angst, disorder, excess. Excess in so many areas..... Abuse of all kinds. Unfinished business, unsolved problems. Our coping is maxed out as we turn inward or outward, depending on our style. Big emotional barriers form shielding us from hurt or resolving anything. WE try our best to bury our heads in the sand as the chaos of our lives get messier and more complicated. We lose focus, drop our values, run away, sleep with the first warm body that pays attention. We drop out, crawl under the covers and play the victim. Until...................??

We live in the drama we create. Not that the massive wounds many of us carry as heavy painful burdens are our fault. They aren't for the most part. But, we create the ongoing drama that follows it by trying to avoid healing and forgiving and moving forward. Healing ourselves, forgiving ourselves and others.......... finding resolutions. Finding a way to surrender and soften from the PAIN.

hmmmm. I wonder if many of the messy messes we make are because we are suffering from boredom? Or are we just too numb and need the excitement of the drama?? Or maybe, just maybe we're doing our best coping?

Lives are not pretty for the most part. They are chaotically driven, eventful, emotion full, painful. They are also loving, exhilarating, absolutely STUNNING. Lives brim over with connections, disconnections, crapping times and clapping times. And you know what? The VERY best we can do for ourselves and others is to be open to sharing stories, to listen to the silence between the words shared, to affirm one another, to accept one another and to remind each other that we have the capacity to be happy. Despite the messy messes. Heck, maybe even because of them....

Love to you all........ don't be so DAMN hard on yourself. oh, and can you do me a favour? Share one of your stories with another person tomorrow. Just one. xx

Enjoy your messes ...... embrace the chaos ..... and never forget to laugh it off with a friend.

ps. jeez. I didn't even get to my afternoon or the drama of the evening. :) Oh yeah and tomorrow? I've been asked to confront a bully. My plan? I think I'll bomb her with love and then listen to her stories.


BlazngScarlet said...

I have come to embrace the messy mess and chaos of life ... it makes me appreciate the gorgeousness of it all the more.

I am sharing a story today .... with everyone who stops by. ;)

Anonymous said...

don't hold back on my account!!!!!!!!!!

Awareness said...

Scarletina.... me too. I think I'm addicted to it.

Paul.... Did I scare ya mate? :) I blame the Irish in me. Can you imagine if I had been sipping on God's nectar when I pounded away at the keyboard?

BlazngScarlet said...

Oh geez Dana, had you been sipping on "God's nectar" when you wrote this I surely WOULD have been a bit scared!
Ok, not much, we Irish lassies don't scare easy. (Oh, and another Virgo to boot! LOL)

jenn gw said...

I think it is time we all went to the school of Dana.

On a limb with Claudia said...

You always impress and inspire me -just the fact that you wrote this post is inspirational to me! :) Well done!

Anonymous said...

You are my kind of people. I love everything about your approach to the kids, getting them to open up and so on. Sharing stories - what a wonderful tool.

And re. the teenage pregnancies - I cannot believe the amount of misinformation that is still out there. What are some parents thinking? Kids need to know EVERYTHING about sex. There is no excuse not to talk about it!!

Awareness said...

Scarletina....manically sober describing a typical morning. You should hear about the wacky 72 year old man I met at the Big Stop on the Trans Canada when I stopped there for lunch! He managed to tell his life story (IT WAS MESSY) in a matter of 10 minutes! what a character he was!

Yes, Virgo too.... we ROCK!

Jenn... I don't know! It's a little nutty. :) I wouldn't last a week teaching at a regular high school now would I? Oh my God. You know what? If I did end up teaching high school, the first thing I would do is hang out in the cafeteria and talk SEX ED and about FEELINGS that go BUMP in the night.

Claudia. :) thank you. However, YOU inspire me. I wish I had the discipline you have to write novels.

Selma... I love a challenge. It looks like they want me back too! :)

swile67 said...

oh how i would love to have a chat with you about sex ed and the church!!! you and i are once again on the same page i think! hey, one of our assistant pastors just preached a sermon about the reasons you should marry young ( meaning 17, 18, 19) I was in the nursery unfortunately but have his notes. He was soooo out of line oh my goodness. One of his reasons is it is better to marry than burn with passion ( quoting Paul , but totally taking it out of context) I am sooo furious I don't know what to do. He has been talked to I believe. I should scan the notes and send them to would find them interesting and definitely they are not theologically sound. Another thing he said was we need to reprioritize as Christians about putting education first and being career minded...get married, don't worry about education as most employers don't want you to have an education! WHAT!!! he is crazy. Anyways, I have to run and didn't mean to keep rambling about it, but it all stems from the whole premarital sex thing in the church. christian kids are repressed. In my opinion, they need to be taught self control not to "marry instead of burn with passion!" okay, i'm off...ttyl! Karyne

Awareness said...

Karyne.... that is crazy! It still surprises me when I hear about this kind of thing because it is so far removed from any sort of logic and interpretation of the Bible. Its beyond the pale that this guy would preach such shit about marrying and not getting an education....?? what?? How are they even connected?

A year ago, I was asking my daughter about the sex ed classes she had just finished taking in school. She told me about the girl who was sitting beside her. It was the first time that her mother had allowed her to attend the class (it was the third year of the curriculum which had begun in middle school with the basics on our bodies etc). This girl was shocked and queasy throughout the whole time. She had been so protected from any discussions on the body that she didn't even know what a penis was. She had never heard the word VAGINA! From the descriptions of how she reacted to the information begin shared, she was disgusted by basic body knowledge and frightened about the whole natural process of makin' babies!
It is those kids who get themselves in a heat of trouble. They don't know how to handle their feelings and passion, and they won't come forward to get protection or birth control. If they are hearing messages like it's a GOOD thing to marry in your TEENS, than no freaking wonder they end up doing just that. More often than not they ended up in my office on welfare.... wondering how they can cope with babies while trying to get their grade 12!