The M Word

Her: “Do you want kids?”

Me: “Today I do. I don’t know about tomorrow.”

I’ve been recently thinking about how different my life would be if I had a child. Specifically, Am I really ready to give up my time? 

I know that there are big unspeakable sacrifices to be made when one decides to bring life into this world. And I know that somehow, if I decide to take that step, I will gladly accept that challenge. But is it selfish to say otherwise, that I don’t want to fully and completely give up my time EVER? Does this somehow, make me a bad person? Not a “real” woman because I don’t want to be a mother?

No. As actress Joy Bryant eloquently points out in her essay defending her life decision:

Motherhood, in all its beautiful significance, is a job I do not want.

That doesn’t mean I don’t think I can handle it. That doesn’t mean I don’t admire and honor all the mothers in my life. It doesn’t mean I don’t have a special heart for the children I use my skills and training to service. It just means I can make a choice on what my purpose is going in this lifetime. And I shouldn’t have to defend it, but depending on the approach, I don’t mind engaging in the conversation.

I’m not sure what stance I take. I haven’t completely decided. These days, I’m not only fantasizing of the “fairy tale” of motherhood, but also of the habits I don’t want to change in my life. The sacrifices that are not in poems on Mother’s Day cards or very much talked about.

I like to sleep. I like to eat out excessively, I like to wake up when my body wakes me up on Saturdays. I like to work on my schedule. I like my weekends, and every second of free time that I can steal during the week. I like my life this way.

Speaking, writing, and living my truth. No apologies.


The M Word

Sam, I Am

Click for credit

A couple of weeks ago, I sat at the bus stop on my way to school.

There was a white man with dark hair and glasses sitting on the bench. He smiled. I smiled (that generic hello, older adult smile). He looked to be in his late 50’s.

He initiated conversation. I responded.

He spoke with a strong accent and I was curious. He asked me where I was from. I told him to guess.

Latin America.” BINGO.

He informed me he was from Italy, started his own company here. I don’t recall the details. He asked me if I liked Italian food.

“I love food period.”


Is this man coming on to me? Why must I be so paranoid? Why can’t an older man just be looking for a friend?

Conversation continued.

He told me all about the different types of lasagna’s from different parts of Italy. Not like in America, where lasagna just refers to a generic type and the only difference is what you stuff in it.

Would I like to try his food sometime?


So I took Sam from Italy’s number. His last name was so long, I just took his first two letters. “El”

Maybe I should have taken his complete las name, to Google my paranoia away? Am I being too paranoid? What happened to following your gut instinct on someone’s trustworthiness? I don’t get the creep factor from this gentleman.

Sam from Italy lives in my neighborhood, so I have run into him about a handful of times already. Most recently, he was walking his dog Beba.

He seems like a nice grandfather figure. Am I being naive or should I ask him more personal questions when I see him like who he lives with, etc? And not take his dinner invitation, at least not alone?

What about the question of culture? Are we too paranoid in this American culture? Could a homemade dinner invitation mean something different in Italy than it does in America?

Feedback welcomed.

Sam, I Am


For most of my academic life I’ve indulged in the priviledge curse of not being challenged enough. Not having to put too much effort into my degrees because for the most part what I chose came natural to me; writing and literature. I can honestly say that I’ve not experienced much true competition in life. I was not good at many sports, and to this day I’m anti-confrontation in more than one sense of the word. I attended City colleges and universities with minimal requirements in terms of admission. It didn’t take much to get accepted. The awesome thing about City college/universities is that they try not to turn people away, they want to be all-inclusive. It was an ideal start for me in 2004, as an immigrant with no real status in the United States. Eventually I got a merit-based scholarship, but the college work was easy peasy. I was an Honor’s Graduate (a great achievement- I sat on stage during graduation) but at an Associate College level, generally not very hard to do. What was the trade-off of my undergraduate education? Did I sacrifice a rigorious course load, professors who push and intimdate students to the point that they become more than sheep sitting in a classroom, and the opportunity to hear someone say “You went to SuchandSuch school, that’s impressive!”? I’m not sure, and I guess I will never know.

I’ve coasted. But a new leaf has turned.

My emergence into the Speech Language Pathology field was a little naivee. I really thought as a degree-bearing student the learning would come easier to me. But it’s been a ride, and last fall I was definitely in for a rude awakening. Last semester’s courseload made me question whether or not to even continue because if I struggle in undergraduate classes then how can I really expect to survive graduate school? Now that Graduate School decisions are still in reserve, and my future is in the hands of faculty-committees who decide if someone looks great on paper, and presents themselves with what they think it takes to be a successful clinician I wonder if I’ve been pushed to my potential in life. And if institutionally (or academically) I haven’t been pushed to my potential in the past then is there a way for ME to push myself now? Right now, when it matters most?

I’ve met my First Real Competition. I don’t know if Graduate School acceptance can be crossed off the short-term goal list yet. But, it’s not over.