Monthly Archives: February 2016

Why I Write – Part 1


The other day I received my writing certificate in the mail from Delta College.  It is the result of 18 credit hours, a wide variety of wonderful classes and instructors, and even more hard work.  As a result of the program, I created a portfolio ranging from poetry to creative non-fiction, wrote the first 20 pages of a movie script, as well as completed a memorable literary analysis class.  The program also challenged me to restart my blog.  Can you tell how much I loved this program?  In fact, I miss my writing classes.  What surprises me though is my feelings toward finishing the program.

It should not be that big of deal.  I hold two bachelors of art degrees from Michigan State.  As happy as I was on graduation day at MSU, none of my formal academic experiences at MSU were just about me.  At one time, I thought pursuing a degree in Spanish would make me that more marketable in the business world, same with all of my study abroad activities.  I studied supply chain management due to the reputation of Michigan State’s program and the success supply chain grads had at the time.  The fact that it interested me seemed to be almost an afterthought.  The reality that I loved all of these pursuits made those decisions that much easier to make, but my feelings were not the reason why I made them.

In contrast, I decided to complete the writing certificate program at Delta College for no other reason than my own love of writing.  That is it.  I did it purely for me.  It did help that I was already going back to school to earn my teaching certificate, but teaching does not have much to do with why I wanted to pursue this writing program at the same time.

If I could give new high school graduates one piece of advice, it would be to pursue something you love simply because you love it.  It doesn’t have to be a formal part of your education or be a means of financial support.  Everyone needs a creative outlet and a sense of completion outside of academics or work.

freedome with writing

The Lessons of Infertility


Is This Why We Don’t Talk About Infertility? – Pamela Tsigdinos

At times, a writer comes across something so powerful, so visceral that she must comment on it, even if she originally planned to discuss something else entirely.  That happened today.  I came across the article today on Facebook, and upon reading it, I knew immediately that I would have to write on infertility.  I have never read anything as honest or thought-provoking on the subject, and it is wonderful.  Pamela Tsigdinos makes it clear that not everyone dealing with infertility later becomes pregnant or adopts.  She acknowledges what no one tells you, what no one can prepare you for as you deal with fertility issues:  It doesn’t just go away.  Old wounds can be ripped open in a matter of seconds, and you may not fully understand why until later, even if you later become a parent.

The truth is it takes time for the many wounds to heal — and sometimes they re-open.  Each of us comes to terms with infertility in our own way, but even that can be complicated by the weird way society expects us to pretend away something that has shaken us to the core.  It’s only when we can give voice to our infertility experience and be heard that we can find our north star and move forward. – Pamela Tsigdinos

Society does indeed have a weird way of pretending away infertility.  I’ve witnessed it in those closest to me.  When I first learned of my infertility as a child, my mom would reassure me that the technology would catch up with me by the time I was ready to have children.  She, of course, was referring to in vitro fertilization.  In a sense, she was absolutely correct.  However, as I grew up, particularly in my 20s, the more I learned about in vitro fertilization, the more I recognized that it is not for me.  I don’t know how I could put myself through the physical and emotional roller coasters that in vitro demands only to possibly experience heartache time and time again.  It didn’t make sense to me, especially when I thought of how many children need parents and a home.

In contrast, my Grandma R. had quite a different reaction.  In fact, hers cracked me up.  She used to tell me that there was always the possibility that I would fall in love with a man that already had children and had lost his wife, that I would have a ready-made family.  If nothing else, it is a great story, and if you know hers, certainly within the realm of possibility as she saw it.

As for me, when I found myself confronted with my first serious relationship, I panicked.  How was I going to tell him about Turner Syndrome and my infertility?  I shouldn’t have worried; a friend of mine beat me to it.  When I finally recognized that I had to tell him, it was one of the most anti-climactic experiences of my life.  He already knew.  I just wish I hadn’t worked myself over it.  As much as he reassured me that it didn’t matter, it did.  It mattered to me, and frankly, I don’t think he knew how to deal with my feelings.

While it appeared to me that those who knew and loved me understood, my worst experiences were with people who had no idea.  One experience in particular left me shattered.  My ex and I had been together for well over five years, still (thankfully) unmarried.  As we were sitting around a bowling alley enjoying a beer and conversation after putting on a road rally fundraiser, this stranger immediately asks my ex’s mom if she was anxious for us to get married and have children.  This woman I did not know hinted that my ex needed to get with it and marry, have kids already.  I sat there panicked, willing myself to recognize that this woman only meant well.  I fought back a flood of tears.  I then gained a whole respect for my ex’s mom.

In response to the question as to whether or not she wanted grandchildren, she simply said not particularly.  The thing is, I know for a fact that this was an outright lie.  I know she wants grandchildren.  Frankly, she reminds me so much of my own grandmother.  Any child would be lucky to have her as a grandmother.  That day I learned she cared enough about me to shut down a nosy neighbor with a lie.  I will never forget it.

This is precisely why weddings and showers can be so difficult.  It seems to me that as soon as a couple marries, there are immediate questions as to when they will have children.  I can’t stand it.  Why do people feel they can ask such intimate questions such as when someone will get married or have children?  I realize that most people mean well, but I just wish that they would take half a second to recognize that not everyone gets married or has children.  It isn’t always a choice.

One more thing (and this may be a particularly hard concept to accept): children are not the elixir for happiness.  Beyond being massively unfair to expect any child to shoulder that burden — making you happy — it’s important to remember that happiness comes from within, as does finding peace with all the messiness of life. – Pamela Tsigdinos

One would think that so many of the issues surrounding infertility would go away when one makes the decision to adopt.  Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.  I badly needed to recognize that my happiness is not contingent upon motherhood.  Oddly enough, it was my dad who made me face this, even though I was extremely angry with him at the time.  In all fairness to my dad, I don’t think that he will ever understand why I want to be a parent.  He simply asked me a bunch of difficult questions that I did not want to face.  What it comes down to is this:  I am no less of a person if I don’t have children.  My happiness is not contingent upon whether or not I adopt.  My life will not have any more meaning if I am a parent.  As much as I do not want to admit this, he is correct.

Does that mean I no longer want to adopt?  No.  I want to adopt more than over.  It simply means that it isn’t the end of the world if it doesn’t happen.  There is no one way to be in the world.

Click on picture to read Pamela Tsigdinos's post on infertility that inspired my own.

Click on picture to read Pamela Tsigdinos’s post on infertility that inspired my own.

Chasing Happiness

meant to be

As February and Turner Syndrome awareness month comes to a close, some old debates in the Turner Syndrome community rear their ugly heads.  Every now and then, someone brings up the subject of how women with Turner Syndrome are portrayed in popular culture.  Believe it or not, Turner Syndrome is portrayed in popular culture with varying degrees with accuracy.  Some stereotypes do more harm than good.

One of my old favorite TV shows, Law and Order:  SVU, once aired an episode named Clock with a protagonist, 17 year-old Janey Speer, with Turner Syndrome.  Originally Stabler and Benson believe that Janey is the victim, but soon it becomes much more complicated than that.  Inaccuracies relating to Turner Syndrome aside, the way in which Janey’s boyfriend is treated in the episode is particularly troubling to me.  Essentially he is treated as a pedophile.  Connor’s motives for being with Janey and going along with her plans – and they are certainly her plans – are continually questioned due to the fact that Janey looks so much younger than she actually is.  Janey’s emotional and intellectual maturity is never mentioned.

The episode is also troubling because nothing is mentioned about hormone replacement therapy and suggests that most women with Turner Syndrome have a short window in which to become pregnant.  I understand that this piece of information drives the plot; however, I worry that it gives younger girls with Turner Syndrome false hope.  While this may be true for an extremely small percentage of women with Turner Syndrome (less than 5%), it certainly isn’t the norm.  This fact was never mentioned in the episode.

There is one particular scene in Clock that I love though.  When Janey is the hospital and her entire plot to become pregnant comes to light, someone mentions that women and girls with Turner Syndrome are extremely stubborn.  While it is fair to mention that I would have been extremely stubborn anyway given family history, I love the idea that it is a trait of women and girls with Turner Syndrome.  Why wouldn’t we be?  We have to fight that much harder to get what we want out of life – and I see nothing wrong with that.

Another well-known portrayal of Turner Syndrome in popular culture, Gwen in The Condition by Jennifer Haigh, is much more realistic in my opinion.  There is a scene in the beginning of the novel where Gwen is compared to her slightly older female cousin.  That scene sticks with me because it is precisely what I did at that age.  While the way in which Gwen’s family deals with the fact that she has Turner Syndrome is extreme and appears false to me, I love Gwen’s reaction to it all.  She comes across as the most levelheaded person in her family.  Ultimately, she realizes what she is missing in her life and pursues it with all that she has.  Her decision to risk it all for love by uprooting her life and starting over in the Caribbean is one of the most personally satisfying endings to a novel that I have ever read.  It is something I would consider if I were in Gwen’s situation.  I couldn’t help but cheer for her sheer force of will to be happy.

Everyone seems to have a different opinion about Clock and The Condition.  I admit that both have their issues, but it still amazes me that Turner Syndrome is portrayed in popular culture at all.  What impresses me is that girls and women with Turner Syndrome are largely shown to be strong willed and determined to let nothing stop them from achieving anything.  It may come across as naïve or overly optimistic, but I would rather be determined than resigned.  Resignation never helped anyone.


The Competitive Edge


There is something bothering me in the text of one of my textbooks this semester.  While this particular book doesn’t necessarily suggest that teachers work to try to reduce competition in the classroom, the book explains that that idea is out there.  In many ways, I couldn’t disagree with that idea more.  As competitive as school can be on all levels, I think we get it all wrong as it is now.  At the same time, making high school less competitive is a good recipe for failure.

Let me explain.  Increasingly it seems as though we as a society are intolerant of people who do not fit certain molds.  We expect everyone to perform academically at such a level that they will be well prepared for college.  I keep coming back to the idea that college isn’t for everyone.  I’m not saying that most people aren’t capable of completing the work; I’m saying that not everyone is a good fit.  Instead of trying to force everyone into a certain mold, maybe we can help people, particularly teenagers, figure what their strengths are and what they enjoy doing.  What is wrong with someone pursuing an education at a trade school if that is what he or she enjoys doing?  It isn’t that I don’t believe that everyone needs some type of formal training and/or education after high school.  I do.  It is an economic reality.  What I don’t agree with is trying to get everyone to fit one version of life after high school:  the traditional four year college degree.  Instead, I believe students need more help and support figuring out what they want to do upon graduation, whether or not they decide to pursue a college education.  Students who would rather do physical work or pursue something other than academics should be supported as much as students who can’t get to college soon enough.

What saddens me is that there are only narrow definitions of success in most high schools.  Either you succeed academically or athletically.  If you are extremely talented, you might succeed at both.  What about the students who like to build?  The students who are artistic?  What about the students who like to create?  It may not always be the case, but it does not seem as though their achievements are celebrated enough at most schools.

At many high schools, sport dominate.  That is all fine and good.  Sports are great for the students who are talented enough to compete.  What about the majority of students who can’t compete at that level?  What is out there?  The answer in many cases is nothing.  For example, I have no athletic ability whatsoever.  That doesn’t mean I dislike sports.  I know that I am not alone.  I’m not sure where I came across the idea, but what would be wrong with organized, non-competitive sports too?  In essence, a high school version of the college intramural system.  When I first came across that statement about how high school is too competitive, high school sports came to mind immediately.  Students who aren’t athletically gifted need opportunities to develop physical talents too, outside of a required general gym class.  There should be room for both competitive and non-competitive sports.

My larger point is simply this:  We all need to recognize that all individuals have their own unique strengths and weaknesses.  We can’t expect perfection out of everyone.  At the same time, natural talents need to be encouraged, developed.  Students need some type of competition.  College admissions are more competitive than ever.  No matter what opportunities students pursue after graduation, they will face competition.


Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger

be you

This meme has stayed with me.  The message “Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger” can mean so many things.  For example, does it mean to be the parent I needed when I was younger, or does it mean to be the teacher that I needed when I was younger?  Does it mean to be the friend I needed when I was younger?  It can mean all of those things.  What I also love about the message is that it means different things for everyone who reads it.  I had wonderful parents, grandparents, teachers, and much more growing up.  I never lacked the adult support I needed as a child and later teen.  That said, no one is perfect.  There are gaps and holes due to the fact that we are all individuals.  If I took a few minutes, I could easily come up with ideas as to what that meme means to me specifically.  I love the idea that by cultivating those areas one will be in a better position to help children and teens like ourselves.  That is largely why I am going back to school to earn my teaching certificate:  I care about teenagers and want to help them succeed.  By taking the time to figure out what we were missing growing up, it is easier to discover what children and teens today might need.

I also can’t help but relate this to a conversation I had with a friend yesterday.  She and I discussed how we tend to box ourselves into the many roles we play in our lives.  For example, when I am at work, I act a certain way.  When I am at home, I act another.  Neither is truly my authentic self.  She asks the question why can’t we be consistent?  What is stopping us?  For her, this means juggling the roles of mom, pastor, wife, and writer.  Oddly enough, this made me realize just how soon my roles will change.  Soon I will be business owner, teacher, and hopefully, mom.  While I will remain a writer, I will no longer primarily identify as a student.

As I thought more about this topic, this appears to be more of an issue for women than men.  Let’s face it:  Our society still expects women to do it all, or at least try to do it all.  There isn’t nearly as much pressure for men to be perfect parents, look a certain way, or create a home.  It is sad, but I still see so many women act surprised when men are wonderful, involved dads to their children.  It should be expected, not treated as something rare.  By the way, I know so many wonderful dads.  It isn’t rare.  What doesn’t exist is a man or a woman who can do everything well all at the same time.  There are, and have to be, trade-offs.  Choose wisely.

I am lucky – damn lucky.  Most people don’t get the opportunity to do it all over again.   Over the last few years, I’ve taken the opportunity to figure out exactly what I want, made decisions on how it will all fit together, and pursued those new goals with everything I have.  I am not there yet, but I am well on my way.  I am grateful that I’ve had such wonderful role models, namely my parents.

Why I Am Glad I Am No Longer in My 20s


Over the last few days I’ve struggled with precisely what I would like to say in this blogpost.  Recently I found out that one of my young cousins is not entirely happy at Michigan State.  In fact, she is considering transferring.  My heart breaks for her because I have been there.  She is considering leaving MSU because most of her friends are attending another university.  After thinking about it for half a second, I realized that I had once been in her shoes.  I remember all too well what it feels like to feel so alone among tens of thousands of students.  Unfortunately, I was so far along in my programs at MSU that transferring would have been extremely unrealistic.  Add to the fact that the people I wanted to be with most were in Austin, Texas, it was not a good situation.  I admit that I fought back tears as I left Austin.  Somehow, I made it through the last year and a half at MSU, even though it lead me to make the worst mistake of my life thus far:  my ex.

When I originally decided to leave Michigan State to complete an internship, a full year of study abroad through MSU, and then a six month co-op in Austin, Texas, I never once considered how it would affect my friendships.  I left MSU in May 2001 and didn’t return until January 2003.  When I returned, I was not prepared for how difficult it would be to readjust to campus life in East Lansing.  I wasn’t prepared for the deep loneliness that set in.  In making the decision to follow my dreams of beginning my career in supply chain management and completing two separate semester long study abroad programs, I lost most, if not all, of the friends I had made my first two years at Michigan State.  It also strained the few relationships I had maintained from high school.  In fact, one of my best high school friends married while I was in Spain.  She asked me to be in her wedding, and frankly, our relationship was never really the same once I was unable to do so.

All of the separate programs I participated in were wonderful, and each new experience brought a new set of friends.  Yet, it wasn’t until those last three months in Austin (September – December 2002) that I felt truly at home and truly happy.  Then it was time to go home and return to MSU.  I can finally admit to myself that I was deeply unhappy my last year and a half on campus.  As I admit that to myself, what would have been the solution?  I had to finish my degrees.  I can’t imagine how I would have had to upend my life if I had decided to permanently move to Austin and transfer to the University of Texas.  At the same time, my deep unhappiness lead me to a romantic relationship that was entirely wrong from the beginning.  There just wasn’t an easy answer.

It is for that reason that I wouldn’t want to give advice to anyone in a similar situation.  There are trade-offs for everything.  I can’t go back and change the past.  My education certainly isn’t wasted, even though I am not working in supply chain.  As much as it pains me that I lost so many friendships when I decided to pursue all that I did, I do not regret one single experience I had at Michigan State.  All of those experiences made me the person I am today.  To all of those 20-somethings facing these type of decisions, best of luck.



Women Need to Just Stop Judging Other Women


Adele Is Freaking Feminists Out and I Love Her Even More for It – Chicks on the Right

Since when are the decisions individual women make for their lives up for general debate?  It happens every single day as far as I can tell, particularly if said woman happens to be a mother.  Men are not subjected to downright mean spirited questioning of their personal decisions once their children are born.  Women certainly are.  In fact, there is currently a post on BlogHer in which a mother discusses the judgement she faced from other women in the face of a necessary C-section.  You can read the article here.  I am not a mother yet, and I still see the debates and judgements happening every single day.  Breastfeeding, immunizations, working mothers, school choices, C-section versus natural birth, etc.  The list is endless.  Is it anyone else’s business other than the family and individuals affected?  It shouldn’t be.  People make different decisions for a wide variety of reasons.

That is where Adele comes in.  She recently stated that she didn’t fully recognize her purpose in life until she became a mother.  I am paraphrasing, but that is the gist of the idea.  She simply is suggesting that she views motherhood as more important than her singing career.  She isn’t saying that all women need to feel the same way.  She isn’t saying that her singing career isn’t important.  She is merely expressing her personal views on HER own life.  That’s it.  I admit that I haven’t personally seen the backlash that she has received for this interview, but I can easily imagine it.  That sad part is, there is just as much backlash against anyone who suggests that women can be just as good of mothers when they decide not to stay home with their children.  No, I am not joking.  This isn’t the 1950s, and there are people who truly believe that people (let’s be realistic here, mainly women) need to choose between career and being a good parent during the first few years of a child’s life.  In fact, I came across just such a Facebook post by a stay-at-home mom yesterday.

In this post, the author of this Facebook post commented on an article titled The Loudest Silence I Ever Heard by Travis Norwood.  She goes on to state that the article, which discusses severely neglected children in a Kazakhstan orphanage, proves that CIO (cry it out) is harmful to children.  The article, which is disturbing and deserves its own blogpost relating to adoption, isn’t the issue.  The issue is this woman’s reaction to it.  She questions the ability of children raised by working parents to form healthy relationships and basically function well in society.  She truly believes that it is a necessity for one parent or another to stay at home with their child at least until age three.  Excuse me?  What about parents who must work?  What about single parents on every level?  Whether this woman realizes it or not, she just heaped a ton of guilt on parents who simply do not deserve it.  Does she not see that most of these parents have the best interests of their children at heart as well?  Does she not know any successful women who juggled career with raising children?  If not, I feel sorry for her.  I know so many.  In fact, most mothers I know do just that.  Successfully.

When will it stop?  I am sick of women using up so much time and energy to tear down other women who happen to do things differently or make different choices.  It is one thing to discuss why you made the personal choices you made.  It is quite another to suggest that those choices work for everyone.  Can we just stop pretending that everyone is the same and there is only one way to be successful?  It is particularly bad with regards to parenting.  There is more than one way to be a wonderful parent.

mom 2


The interview that started it all.

Ten Books to Keep Your Brain Happy


The Ten Most Important Books to Feed Your Brain

I’ve been on a reading kick lately, and frankly, after finishing A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, nothing is going to compare to the emotional intensity of that book.  Fortunately, I came across this list of books that contains titles that offer something different.  I expect to be intellectually challenged, but in these titles, at least I won’t be looking for the emotional intensity and character development of A Little Life.  I do not remember the last time I became so emotionally invested in fictional characters.  In fact, it will be nice to read something other than fiction for a change.

What drew me to this article is the author’s list of what he considers to be the top 10 braingasm books.  He defines these books as books that can fundamentally change lives.  If the one book I’ve read (Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers) included on the list is any indication, all of the books deserve to be read at least once.  In fact, the way the list is structured, it offers additional titles for anyone willing to do a little research.  As for Malcolm Gladwell’s books, I can recommend them all.  In fact, I might just reread Outliers.  Above all, I love coming across lists like this.  I will never be able to read (or reread) all of the books I love or are highly recommended, much less books that just sound interesting.  I will never understand why people do not like to read.  I am convinced that he or she simply hasn’t found the right title yet.


The “L” Word – libertarian


It took me over a decade to fully admit that I have a strong libertarian bent.  When I first heard the term in high school, I simply did not understand.  I kept thinking that it must represent something I would never completely understand.  What is so controversial about wanting less government and wanting to give people more control over their lives?  I still do not understand the misconceptions.  For example, the idea that libertarians want no government.  Of course we need government for national security, infrastructure, etc., but the real question is why aren’t more people questioning the daily, routine intrusion of the federal government in our lives?  There is a pervasive idea, particularly among millennials, that government is the answer to everything.  It sickens me to recognize that so many people do not understand how government overreach can shutdown small business and job creation.  I actually lost a friend over such an argument – a man with whom I attended business school at that.  Most people do not see the connection between the two and think that government can create jobs.  It simply can’t.  It can only help to create an environment that is conducive to new job growth and business creation.

It saddens me just how politically cynical I’ve become over the last few years.  The person I would have loved to see elected President dropped out of the race recently.  I will once again hold my nose and vote for the person I perceive to be the lesser of two evils.  Neither, no matter who wins the Republican and Democratic nominations, will fully represent my political views.  I do not care much about social issues.  There is a role for government to create a safety net, but it is non-profit organizations, which deserve much more support, that are in the best position to make the largest impact.  As for issues such as gay marriage and abortion, what needs to be changed?  While I completely disagree with the idea of abortion, I recognize the necessity of legalized abortion and firmly believe that everyone should have fully control over what happens to his or her body.  I can’t imagine being told what to do with my body.  At the same time, there is much to be done to help support pregnant women who are thinking of having an abortion.  They need to know ALL of their options, not just abortion.  That type of work does not require the government at all.  As for gay marriage, now that it has been upheld by the Supreme Court, I fail to understand why it was such an issue in the first place.  If two consenting adults want to get married, why not?  Why should government be involved in marriage at all?

If I had to pin down my own beliefs, I would say that in theory, I am fairly liberal on social issues, even though conservative values have always shaped my own personal life.  The thing is that I’ve never expected anyone else to live by those values.  I cannot stand people trying to impose their values on me, so I try not to impose my values on anyone else.  Fiscal issues are altogether different.  I am a fiscal conservative.  Sadly, this is exactly where both parties fall far short for me.  Both spend like crazy and are doing next to nothing to rein in spending.  The way I look at it, the less money in the hands of the government, the more money in the hands of people like you and me.

I originally decided to write on this topic in an effort to better understand why libertarians are so misunderstood, why exactly I am so drawn to libertarian ideas, and why I believe what I believe.  It all comes back to the idea that I believe government is way too big and that our freedoms are slowly, surely being eroded.  If that makes me a rebel, so be it.




I am caught between being mentally ready to move on with the next part of my life and still having so much to finish before I can do so.  Frankly, I am bored.  I miss my writing classes.  I am ready to teach.  While I haven’t thought about it much since I’ve gone back to school, it is becoming clearer every day that I need to move on.  It isn’t nearly as noticeable in my education classes, which are composed of a wide variety of people who are largely non-traditional students.  In fact, if I would guess, I would say that most students in those classes are in their mid to late 20s.  They are just mature enough to make things interesting.  They at least have some life experience.  There are some who are traditional students, but it is by no means the majority of students in my education classes.

My one and only Spanish class this semester is a different story all together.  I am the old lady of the class.  Last night, before class, I just sat back for a few minutes and listened to my classmates talk.  I saw an earlier version of my self reflected in their mannerisms, their speech, and their topics of discussion.  I couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing there among them, and yet, I also found myself grateful that I am no longer the naïve young college student who hasn’t experienced much of life.

Sadly, this year has not gotten off to a great start.  My best intentions at the beginning of the year simply are not enough in the face of personal struggles.  I struggle to get caught up with my course work, and while I am not truly behind, my heart is not fully in it.  I would love for my heart to be in anything at the moment.  That is the issue at the moment:  I am well on my way to creating the life I want for myself, but I am not at the point where I can make the big changes yet.  I just have to hang in there and finish what I’ve started before I can move on.

I play around with the idea of moving to a city, usually Austin, Texas, and starting over yet again.  It is a fantasy, of course.  I could not do that to my parents, my siblings, their families, or my grandmother.  There is the business to think about, as well as finishing my education.  At the same time, it would be much easier to actually have a social life.  There just aren’t many single people my age without kids where I live now.  How am I supposed to ever have a social life?  I have friends.  Mostly friends with families, including young children.  It just makes it that much more difficult to actually do things together.  I know how to meet people – IF there are people to meet.  There is no set way to deal with my life the way it is now.  There is no set script.  I can’t point to one thing and say “Oh, OK.  This is what I need to do.”  I am not going anywhere, but I wonder if I’ll ever find someone to share my life with here.