Tuesday, December 7, 2010

rant + joy = enjoy

I need to get a couple things (unrelated to Peace Corps) off my chest.
I don’t want kids. Now that I’m actually going to get married, and apparently I’m getting old(?) the issue seems to come up more and more often.  When I say I won’t be having children, I get these “Oh yeah right, you say that NOW” or “You’ll change your mind” type responses.  I may not know exactly what my future is going to look like, but I know what I want, and I know what I don’t want out of life.  My partner and his scheduled vasectomy may help you understand.  Presuming to know otherwise about what it is that I want out of life is offensive to me.  I’m sure your intent is nothing but nice, but please don’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I love both my nieces and my nephews and they bring me incredible amounts of joy and I couldn’t imagine life without them.  Does this mean I want to be a parent? Absolutely not.  And why is this such a shocking and horrible thing to people? Are there not enough humans on the planet already? Who decided that every woman born with a uterus is obligated to fill it? This world is EFFED UP.  Most people think those that don’t want children are selfish.  I personally would feel selfish if I took it upon myself to add more humans to the mess just because I ‘wanted them’.  The world leaders still can’t figure out how to equally distribute something so simple as FOOD, let alone education and other resources.  The people that are here are literally destroying the planet and each other due to nothing but selfishness, greed and non-forward thinking.  There are millions of babies/children who are orphaned, abandoned, unwanted, unloved, constantly being looked over because people want ‘something that looks like them’ or any other given reason. 
Again, this is totally just my viewpoint.  My best friend Ashley was totally meant to carry, birth children and be a mother, and she is AMAZING at it and has known her whole life that is what she wanted.  Her amazingness, stamina and passion for being the best mother possible while still kicking ass at the other components of her life humbles me everyday, and if everyone approached motherhood with her perception of it and family the world would be an immensely better place.  I on the other hand, have toyed with the idea in the past, but always hesitated.  That ‘biological clock’ that seems to be ticking in some women was never installed in me I guess.   Aside from the reasons outside of myself to not have children, I am absolutely not interested in being pregnant or giving birth.  I am well-endowed enough without producing baby food as well.  I have endured the searing-hot-twisting-knife-pain of bursting ovarian cysts (too graphic? My apologies.) and spent days in the hospital for it without marching in there voluntarily to endure even more pain and misery.  Not to mention the absolute havoc it wreaks on every other part of your body and already hormonally imbalanced brain.  I’m good.  “But giving birth is what women are designed to do!” And men are designed to get them pregnant, so does that mean that every man should run around knocking as many women up as possible? Not so much.
Who’s going to take care of you when you’re old? Unless your son/daughter is a doctor/nurse/some other medical professional that lives in the same town as you and decides to quit their job and whatever else to take care of you… then the nursing home or in-home care staff will be taking care of you, just like the old folks who didn’t have children in the first place.  And who’s to say that your kids are even going to be good people?  Some of the biggest assholes in the world have the nicest parents imaginable and people wonder how the eff that happened.  I’ve seen countless old folks completely abandoned by their children in assisted living/nursing facilities and they were intelligent, sweet, caring humans with asses for children. 
Most importantly? I like to do what I want, when I want, how I want, and with whom I want to do it with. I LOVE my work.  I love helping people, I love making a positive impact on this insane planet, I love learning, I love traveling, I love meeting people, I love experiencing life the way I want to experience life… and when I have free time, I want to spend it with my partner, and my friends and family that I already have.  And no this isn’t just because I’m ‘young’ by whoever’s standards.  I could die tomorrow. By MY standards, that would make me one day from dying. So by YOUR standards, that makes me old.  “But babies are so cute and adorable!” Yeah, so are puppies and kittens, and they don’t scream and whine and cry and pout when they don’t get what they want.  Sometimes they just shit on your pillow or something, but I’d much rather toss my pillowcase in the washer than listen to some 150 decibel tantrum about a goddamn candy bar or annoying TV show that they want to watch. 
So does that help? I really don’t want kids, please believe.  If for some reason I ever decided I wanted to be a parent I would foster or adopt.  And that is also pretty unlikely.  Next rant…
Why is it that any yuppie can go home and get drunk with themselves or others every night, suck at their job and life and then get sympathy and extra medical insurance for being an ‘alcoholic’, ‘suffering from the pressures of work and/or life’?  I refuse to participate in the idea that alcoholism is a disease.  Cancer is a goddamn disease.  Not your inability to stop grabbing the effing alcohol.  That is called weakness.  It is also called ‘choice’.  Addictive personality? Another copout.  They used to have homosexuality listed as a disease in the DSM too and we’re all aware now how ridiculous that is. There is a difference between having a good drink to chill and incessant fiending for a buzz/drunk.  If you have a personal issue or can’t seem to enjoy yourself or relax without drinking yourself slurry, therapy does wonders to solve your actual underlying issue.  Then there are people who are suffering from actual legitimate medical issues, who are either not allowed or who are totally stigmatized for using natural remedies that were created and given to us for just that purpose, who then get screwed on their insurance (this is going to change now, hooray) and prescribed a million expensive a** chemically-loaded drugs that aren’t only legal and sometimes do more damage than good, they are making more yuppies millions of dollars so they can drink themselves slurry just so they can sleep at night because they’re so effing greedy and selfish.  Harsh? Perhaps.  Generalization? Mostly.   But oh, the irony.  And finally…
Why is it that the people that don’t know about any given topic are allowed to create the stigma that surrounds it? Religious zealots who know nothing about equality and acceptance, while pretending to be the symbol of it, are allowed to overthrow human rights propositions that have absolutely nothing to do with them.  Is it because those of us who actually get it are so much more relaxed about it and those who don’t are so much more passionate about their stupidity?  I have to believe that as a whole we are inherently good.  That most humans have good intent.  That there are more people that care about others than don’t.  But statements like “God Hates Fags!” and “Aryan Beauty”…? Are you effing serious? Do you think God created YOU and no one else? Keep drinking and then going to confession to ‘repent’ and it will all be ok… 
Back to the positive! I had my first night out in Negotino tonight with my lovely and fantastic coworkers, which I enjoyed thoroughly.  I really am very lucky, I work with some wonderful people who I am looking forward to spending the next two years with.  I also spent the day in Demir Kapia at Popova Kula winery, its very beautiful, as is the whole DK area.  I spent the day before in Strumica and made a pit stop at a beautiful waterfall as well.  This area is so beautiful, and I’m looking forward to exploring further and meeting more wonderful people through the work I get to do.  On the Peace Corps side, I somehow get to be President of the Volunteer Advisory Committee AND be the Jr. Communications Coordinator for GLOW (Girls Leading Our World): http://www.glowmacedonia.com/ which I have been wanting to be involved in since before I started my PC application process.  So I will be a busy one over here, living the dream on a daily basis and hopefully changing some lives as I go. 
El Capitan has taken to stealing things (sponges, hair ties, pens, earrings, etc.) at night and leaving them in random places while I sleep. It makes mornings interesting, especially when I can’t find a certain item for a few hours.  He has also taken to drooling, which is lovely.  Too much attention, petting, scratching, cuddling, etc. leads to excessive enjoyment, therefore excessive saliva.  Or it could be the fact that I put up Christmas lights in my apartment and they’re AWESOME and Christmasy and drool-worthy. We may never know. 
I finally was able to upload pictures for the last month or so! Here are pics from my last couple of weeks in Kratovo, swearing in, and my move to Negotino up until now :) http://picasaweb.google.com/enger.emily

Love and gratitude,
EM