I opened Facebook to find a very sad video of a pregnant woman winning a twerk contest. As a former athlete I was actually impressed with her flexibility and coordination. I mean I've hurdled, played volleyball and basketball while pregnant, and biked and walked, but I still could not imagine my body moving in the way that hers did. Amazing as it was, sadness rushed over me as men cheered and threw dollars at her as she split, twirled and gyrated on the floor. I wasn't disappointed with her act, I was disappointed in the fact that (as an online observer) she was definitely not in control of her body... She was an object of shock and discomfort. And although she may have felt empowered, the fact that she was dancing for men throwing dollars and ended up on a ratchetry sight (sites that display the worst of us usually from the least economically empowered) was huge to the narrative of the "control" she actually possessed.
We go to a great public school in a very good district where neighboring districts have yet to catch up. In fact, I deliberately moved to this district once I knew my marriage was on the rocks because I knew my kids would not thrive in the environment we owned our home in.
That's the saddest thing about urban living. You pay twice. You pay a high premium for the house you purchase and because resources are allocated in other areas (areas that benefit you and gentrification), the schools are an all too often forgotten part of the resource pie. So the schools fail and parents who can afford it, end up jumping into the charter school circus or finding private and parochial schools that meet their educational and learning environment standards. Her father and I were prepared to take these options seriously.
I often ask myself in the morning "dude what if I died today". Not in an "I wanna die" kinda way but more in an "are you prepared to fully live today as if it were the only day to your fullest potential" kinda way. This type of morning reflection gets me excited to do my best each day, especially on the rough days when I lack motivation. As a former athlete, I rely on motivation heavily and goals to get me through. Somehow this sentence continues to keep my eyes on the prize.
I will take a ride from anyone I know without the thought that anything could happen. It’s strange how city living will allow you to extend this trust to taxi and Uber drivers as well. That’s why calling up an Uber after a site visit for work was really no big deal at all. It was also no big deal that the driver was deaf. He had a 4.5 rating and I was able to use the tiny amount of American Sign Language my mom taught me and what I maintained while coaching against deaf schools to communicate with our driver.
I've had 3 in diapers. Let's just say, I know how to help make it all easier...