Daily Prompt 6/9/2016 | Then and Now

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/9/2016 | Transformation

Hello, friends! I was inspired by today’s daily prompt, as well as it being Throwback Thursday, to delve into the depths of my Facebook profile, all the way back to 2007, in search of my first ever profile picture. I thought it would be a good time to reflect on who I was when I joined the social networking site (not so much social networking as a whole, since I was a pretty hardcore MySpace user back in the day), and compare it with who I am today. I’ve compiled a list of questions to answer about who I was then, and who I am now.

Feel free to copy and paste these, or add your own, and post them on your blog! I had a lot of fun trying to remember things from my high school years!

THEN: 2007
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(Holy MySpace angles, Batman!)

1) How old are you?
17 years old.

2) Where was this picture taken?
On my front porch, minutes before I left for my senior photo shoot… not sure why I chose this extreme angle.

3) What is your hair color?
Brown and red.

4) Do you dye your hair?
Quite frequently actually.

5) Do you wear makeup?
Not really. I did the year before, and it looked awful all the time. I think I wore mascara and lip gloss sometimes, and that’s it.

6) What is your favorite color?
Green!

7) What is your favorite book?
Hm. Probably Crank  or Burned by Ellen Hopkins, though I was still pretty smitten with the Harry Potter series, which had just come to an end the summer before.

8) What is your favorite movie?
Pan’s Labyrinth.

9) What is your favorite band?
Breaking Benjamin and 30 Seconds to Mars!

10) What is your favorite song?
“Becoming the Bull” by Atreyu, or “Breaking the Habit” by Linkin Park.

11) Do you have any pets?
I had a cat named Napkin.

12) What is your best friend’s name?
My then-boyfriend, Matt.

13) What is your favorite food?
Chop Suey… or anything chocolate.

14) What is your ringtone?
I had just gotten my first cell phone, and all I had to choose from were the crappy pre-set ringtones. Ew.

15) What does a typical weekend look like for you?
Oh, you know, hardcore partying… with my online friends… in World of Warcraft…

16) What is your most visited website?
Probably MySpace, but I was starting to get into Facebook. I also went on eBaum’s World a lot.

17) Do you have any nicknames?
Jan Jan, and Jan. I also went by my WoW name… Zul.

18) What is your biggest fear?
Graduating and having no idea what to do with my life.

19) What is your biggest insecurity?
I was actually pretty confident at this point in my life. I had lost a lot of weight, stopped wearing makeup, and was preparing to graduate. I was insecure about my intelligence more than anything.

20) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a degree in Psychology, living with my boyfriend, Matt, in a nice house, with a picket fence, and a dog. You get the idea.

NOW: 2016
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(Yeah, that’s definitely a better angle, Jan. Good job.)

1) How old are you?
26 years old.

2) Where was this picture taken?
In the passenger seat of our car, where I take most of my selfies these days. Best lighting!

3) What is your hair color?
Brown and blonde.

4) Do you dye your hair?
This was the first time I had dyed my hair in over two years, and I went to a salon, instead of doing it myself, and it came out so terrible.

5) Do you wear makeup?
Sometimes. I’m wearing more makeup in this picture than I normally would, as we were going somewhere. I am content with leaving the house with no makeup on, but I do like wearing foundation, since, you know, I still have the same acne I did 7 years ago. And 10 years ago.

6) What is your favorite color?
Still green! Although I am fond of teal as well.

7) What is your favorite book?
I haven’t read a book in far too long. My life consists of baby and toddler books these days. Still Harry Potter, probably.

8) What is your favorite movie?
Mirrormask, Guardians of the Galaxy, and… well, any of the Harry Potter Movies. Duh.

9) What is your favorite band?
I actually don’t have one! I don’t listen to music anymore. I haven’t heard a recent song in… years?

10) What is your favorite song?
… I don’t have one. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

11) Do you have any pets?
I have a fiance, and a toddler, do they count?

12) What is your best friend’s name?
I don’t have one really… I suppose my closest friend is Lindsey. I love her. She is a pretty mermaid.

13) What is your favorite food?
Homemade brown rice bowl with black and red beans, tomatoes, jalapenos, avocado, and sour cream. Mmm. I also really love chocolate.

14) What is your ringtone?
I haven’t taken my phone off of silent since I bought it 2 years ago. Literally.

15) What does a typical weekend look like for you?
The same as a typical week really. Wake up with my son, and spend my day reading books, building block towers, digging toys out of the trash, having company while I pee, and maybe going for a walk to the park. I’m living on the edge, baby!

16) What is your most visited website?
Definitely Twitter.

17) Do you have any nicknames?
My mom calls me J, though I’m not sure why. Most people call me Jan.

18) What is your biggest fear?
Being unhappy. Losing my son.

19) What is your biggest insecurity?
My body. Everything about my physical appearance.

20) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully living in a house, with two little ones, married to my fiance, with a dog. Oh, and if I could have won the lottery by that point, that would be great.

So… have I changed much? Not really, no. I have all of the same values, morals, and beliefs as I did, and I’ve managed to stay pretty true to who I am as a person, though I am much more boring these days. My plans for myself, however, have gone to shit, and I feel like my 17-year-old self would be quite surprised to see where I am in life. The only thing that managed to stay on track was my reproductive plans. Seriously. I planned to have my first child at 24, and that is exactly what I did.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

Mom’s Visit | Day 6

[You can read about Days 0-1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, and Day 5 here.]

Hello, friends. Today has been very… trying.

Kyle went back to work today, though I had him with me all morning and early afternoon. I had planned on getting some housework done, since it has all gone undone ever since my mom arrived, but that never ended up happening. Liam was incredibly fussy all morning, despite sleeping for nearly 13 hours straight, and was being quite naughty. On top of dealing with a cranky toddler, Kyle had a meeting with the financial aid office about getting financial help with his CDL class… and they basically told him there is nothing they can do to help him. So he came home very upset, which only made me more upset about this whole day getting off to a rough start.

Liam took an early nap around 10:15, despite only being awake for 2.5 hours, and ended up sleeping for 3 whole hours. I decided to put off doing anything with my mom until after he had his lunch, in the hopes that his long nap would put him in better spirits. This did not stop her from driving all the way to the park up the street from our apartment, and texting us about all the comings and goings happening there. It made me feel bad, and a little annoyed, that she drove all the way here, when we didn’t want company for a while, but whatever.

After kiddo woke up and had his lunch, my mom came over, and we all sat around, playing with Liam’s blocks, doing puzzles, and chatting. Kyle left for work, and my mom and I left shortly after to take Liam to the play area at the mall. We stopped to get some concrete mixers from Culver’s (basically, for those who don’t know, it is just building your own delicious, frozen custard treat with all sorts of candies and toppings to mix in), since we’ve all been craving them lately. We brought one to Kyle at work, and visited with him and one of his co-workers for a while, then headed to the mall play area.

Unlike yesterday, we had the entire play area to ourselves, and Liam had a blast, running around and screaming like a silly boy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that fun for me, as my mom was driving me absolutely insane. She was crawling around, playing with Liam, and chasing him, and kept stopping every so often to proclaim loudly, “Oh, I better stop, I’m probably embarrassing mommy!”, despite the fact that there was no one around, and I had not said anything at all. She did this at least 10 times. That’s just something she does, and it honestly drives me insane. She always says things like, “I’m just so stupid, don’t listen to me.” or “I’m probably wrong, I’m wrong about everything.” or always assumes that you are embarrassed of her, even when you aren’t arguing with her, or correcting her, or anything. It is so irritating, and she has been like this my entire life. I was hoping that she had changed, even a little bit, in the 8 years since I’ve lived under the same roof as her, but she hasn’t. I’ve called her out on it before, and tell her to stop saying things like that about herself, but it just makes her angry.

Anyway, after a little while, it started getting close to dinner time, so we headed to the bathrooms at other end of the mall to change Liam’s diaper. Once we got there, my mom told me she was going to just go wait for me by the car, which was parked outside of a totally different entrance, and I told her I was going to be a minute, because I wanted to take Liam to say goodnight to Kyle, since he wouldn’t be home in time for bedtime. She just walked off without a word.

Back in Kyle’s work, where it was absolutely dead, I found myself ranting irritably to Kyle and his co-worker friend, while Liam ran around, playing with the various things that hung from low hooks. I eventually went to meet my mom back at the car, where she argued with me over where we should eat dinner, and we ended up eating nowhere, and she just dropped me off at the partment.

Ugh. I don’t know what’s going on. I’ve just been so exhausted lately, emotionally and physically, and it has put me so on edge. I knew that this was going to be a hard week for me, as even spending 24 hours with my mom gets under my skin, but this week has been hard for so many reasons. Tomorrow is her last visiting day with us, even though her flight leaves Saturday night, but she doesn’t want to stop by that day. I’ll be honest, I really missed alone time with my son. I missed cleaning my apartment. I missed taking naps. I missed spending Kyle’s days off with him, cuddling on the couch, watching Netflix. I missed normality.

I guess that’s it for now. I want to spend tomorrow driving around, looking for garage sales and yard sales in the area. My mom is still pushing that she wants to buy me stuff, so maybe I’ll be able to find a decent dresser somewhere for her to get me. Who knows.

Well, Kyle literally just walked in, and I want cuddles. We’ve been watching The Adventures of Merlin on Netflix, and I know I’ve mentioned it before, but seriously, you should check it out.

Also, before I go, I wanted to add something else that she does that I find… odd. Whenever Liam does literally anything, like how he plays with blocks, or babbles, or runs around excitedly… just the things he does normally, she never compares him to me at his age. Not at all. She always says that everything reminds her of herself, or her and her mom, from when she was little. She never even talks about me as a baby, or her and I. I just find it strange. Is it? I don’t know. Meh.

Anyway, thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 1/12/2016 | Some Things, A Clock Can’t Fix

Daily Prompt 1/12/2016 | If I Could Turn Back Time

“If you could return to the past to relive a part of your life, either to experience the wonderful bits again, or to do something over, which part of you life would you return to? Why?”

I’m a firm believer that you should try not to dwell on regret and what-ifs, because you can’t go back and change them…. but with that being said, I’m definitely guilty of it. Honestly, if I had the opportunity to go back, I don’t know that I would want to relive anything, or to change anything, for fear of changing the present. What happened in the past should stay there, and in my case, much of it was quite unpleasant, and I’d rather forget. High school was hellish, my family was a train wreck, and even after I left home, a lot of bad things happened… mixed in with a little bit of good. In the present, I have great fiance, who loves me, despite my many flaws, and a beautiful baby boy, who is the light of my life, even on days like today, when all he wants to do is scream.

But sure, I think about the what-ifs all the time, I just try not to dwell on them. What if I had been closer with my mom growing up? What if we told each other we loved each other more often? Would I have retreated to the internet, and given up on the world outside of the computer? What if I had never met my ex, Matt? Would I still have pushed so hard to go to college? Would I have left the country? Would I have dropped out? What if I had never moved to Illinois, and moved back in with my mom instead? Would I still be stuck in my hometown? Would I have ever fallen in love? Gotten engaged? Had a baby? Would I even be alive?

It’s mind-blowing.

But… I wouldn’t change anything. I suppose, the one thing that I dwell on the most, is my relationship with my mom.

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My mother and I were quite estranged for most of my life. Actually, almost all of it. She had a rough childhood, and I feel like her lack of a steady parental figure (she was bounced around several foster homes in her younger years before being returned to my grandmother, though she never told me why) partially attributed to her immaturity, and the distance between us. But she was hardly a bad mom. I always knew that she loved me, in her own way. She worked hard, put food on the table, clothed me, took care of me when I was sick, etc., but there was little warmth in our relationship as I got older. It got worse when she got into a relationship with an unsavory, abusive character (my now step-father, who isn’t such a bad guy anymore), and I resented her for it. On one occasion, I demanded that she put me up for adoption, which reduced her to tears.

As I got older, we grew more distant, sometimes going days without acknowledging each other’s existence. Things that I needed my mom for, she was unable to provide. We never talked about boys, or relationships, or sex, or birth control. We never talked about school, or my interests and hobbies, or the future. Nothing. Because of this, we know very little about each other. I think her lack of effort to reach out to me, or show any kind of interest, made me resent her more, and feel like she didn’t care about me. I acted out, made bad decisions, stopped caring about school, and retreated more into my little, online world than ever before.

She managed to come to my graduation, but left only minutes into it, because her boyfriend had a headache or something. She never saw me get my diploma, or my award that I had earned, and there isn’t a single picture for me to cherish and look back on from that day, aside from two or three snapshots of my friends in I in our caps and gowns during rehearsal. I even had to wait outside the school for a long time afterwards for her to pick me up. I was incredibly hurt and frustrated, and she didn’t understand why. I think that was when I made up my mind to leave.

I never talked to her about applying for college. I never talked to her about having been accepted into every school that I applied to. I never talked to her about buying a plane ticket to Missouri, so that I could visit my boyfriend (who I had met online), before we embarked on a 3-day road trip to Canada for college. One week before my flight, I asked her if she could bring me to the airport. I tried to act as though I didn’t care if she didn’t want to take me, but I was sad. I was 18, and old enough to know that if I left home, I probably would never come back. I don’t think she understood that.

I left home 8 years ago, and have only gone back once, in 2012, to surprise my mom for her birthday. It didn’t go well. After the first couple hours of hugs and tears, she was back to being the immature, passive-aggressive person that I had always known, and I ended up spending the last few days of my visit at my father’s.

Since then, I have had a son. My mom is now more a part of my life than she has been in many years. Well, my son’s life. This is her first grandchild, and despite the fact that the first year of his life is coming to fruition, she has never met him. She showers him with gifts from afar, and comments on his pictures on Facebook, but never really reaches out to ask about him. In fact, and conversation I try to spark with her ends in her rushing off with some excuse, sometimes right in the middle of a conversation. Closure was never our thing, I guess.

Maybe it’s just me? Maybe we are mutually to blame? I don’t know. I guess some things never change, but… maybe they should stay that way.

Thanks for reading.

Jan