I really wanted today’s post to be fun, and snarky, and just amusing all around, because I don’t like getting too sappy. Plus, I was in a great mood when I left the house this morning. I have the day off, but I went down to the college to drop off paperwork and go to the once-a-week on-campus thrift store that I rarely find time to visit. After, I decided to drop by and say a quick hello to my friends in the Displaced Homemakers, AKA “Focus on the Future.”
Let me say up front that I am a “graduate” of that program. I have plenty of pieces of paper that prove I am capable of various things… I was an honor student back in the day, a law school graduate, yada, yada. Then I married a fundamentalist Christian who worked 90 hours a week and I had a few kids and I wound up staying home for 13 years, raising them, dealing with whatever. I chased them around the house and took them to the park and drove them to school and taught them to swim and took them to gymnastics, music lessons, dance lessons, karate, and 1,001 activities in a whirlwind of Long Island traffic-dodging merriment. And when they were in school, I did what I could to run the errands that were easier without them, like grocery shopping and fixing the car and the millions of trips to Walmart or Target that seemed inevitable at the time. I also spent time going to choir practice and even teaching Sunday School at one point, which was the beginning of my ultimate break-up with Christianity. Nothing like teaching kids the contents of the Bible to make you realize just how much of it you thing is BS…
Then I left New York, and the husband, and I moved to Florida with my kids. Time to find a job, earn money, and pay those bills! Where to start? Write a resumé, of course… Except that every time I sat down and tried to write that thing, I would have an emotional melt down. I could not figure out, for the life of me, how to do it. Probably because I felt I had to “apologize” for those years spent not getting paid for the work I did. That’s the funny thing… You can work for free, you can perform things of value for free, but most people will not see the value in what you do unless you charge money.
My mother was the one who thought to suggest DHP. I called, I remember sobbing on the phone because I was just such a mess then, too. I went in, I signed up, and I attended the classes. In the process, I remembered that yes, there were many things I could do, and yes, I had “worked” the entire time I stayed home and raise kids. I had maintained computer skills, I had planned and coordinated events, I had taught kids and adults… there were a great many things I had done, I just needed to translate them into a workable “product” to sell potential employers.
The first day I signed up, I took this photo in the office of the director:
Easier said than done, but in the long run, the fearless leader helped me into a part time (minimum wage) office job at the college where I am still currently employed. From there, I found a full time position as a dispatcher. While I am still probably not using all of my “brainy skills,” it’s a job, an honest job, and it’s money that I’m earning for myself. Plus, working there allows me to take a few classes in computer programming, and I have hopes of being able to tap into more creativity through designing pages in the future.
So, that’s the 10 cent version of why DHP means something to me. Now, what I learned today…
This person (I hate even calling him that) has done many things to hurt this state that I love. Here are just a few reasons he should never have been allowed to hold office:
Anyway, the program that helped me, and helped so many women, many who were in far worse situations than I, has been struggling to stay afloat.
The truth is, most people need a little help to make it in this world, despite what some will tell you. You are helped at some point in your life, or you wouldn’t survive. Maybe you had fantastic parents who taught you well, provided for you, gave you opportunities but also showed you how to use them. Perhaps you were born into privilege and took full advantage, gaining the best education that money could buy and working hard to turn something good into something better. Or perhaps you grew up under desolate conditions with parents who were abusive, but some teacher along the way believed in you and encouraged you and helped you turn your life around…
Or maybe, you had nobody, and you did it all entirely on your own… Maybe you were born less helpless than most infants, and you grabbed what you could, and you fed yourself from the time you were hours old, and you changed your own damn diapers, and you walked to school on your own, up hill both ways in the snow.
Anyway, it irks me. It bothers me when those who have decide that those who have not are somehow undeserving, unworthy even of services that help them to better themselves.
Rick Scott won reelection last November. By about 66,000 votes. That was about 1% of all the votes that were cast in the election.
Note: this post was edited to add links that actually work on 2/20/2015. Sleep deprivation… It gets me every damn time.