I try to not care what people say, but hearing that I’m ugly from co-workers and customers all day just tears me apart.
“If you wore make up you’d look better.”
“If ask you out if your were a little prettier.”
“Too bad you’re not even attractive.”
“If you’re going to be a manager you need to start looking approachable. It won’t hurt to thin your eyebrows and just fix up your face and hair a bit….actually a lot more.”
“All of your cousins are beautiful. What happen to you?”
Why do I let my family control my life? Why are their opinions so important to me? Why did I let them hold me back from something I’ve wanted to do since I was 9? All I’ve ever wanted to do was serve and protect my country with the best, the United States Marine Corps.
My grandpa wants me to go to U of A and become a doctor. My mom wants me to follow in her footsteps and become a Wild Land Firefighter. They always told me I can be anything I want to be. Then the day I sit them down to tell them what I plan on doing after high school they tell me, “No. You can’t do that. I won’t let you. If you do it you are dead to me.” I was 17 when I graduated high school. My mom told me, “I won’t sign the papers. And if I find out you contacted a recruiter you are gone. You leave my house and don’t come back.”
Now, 2 years out of high school, and 1 year break from college. There’s a family gathering going on. I walk into my grandparents house and my grandpa says to me, “how’s my future Marine doing?” Everyone gasps and shakes their head because now they know what I REALLY wanted to do after high school. No one approves. I turn to my grandpa and say politely, “There are no ‘future Marines’. If you did not earn that EGA, you are not a Marine and do not have the right to call yourself a Marine. Thanks to my loving supportive family, I will never have that chance.” I was furious, but what my grandpa said next made me burst out laughing like a crazy person. He stood up, got in my face and said, “Well shit, I ain’t no Marine. United States Army. And you know what? Army don’t play that. And that’s a fact jack!”
Oh, Duck Dynasty. Why must you get me off track all of the time? I totally forgot what this whole text post was supposed to be about. Rant about my family not supporting my decision? Side effects of finally convincing your grandpa to watch Duck Dynasty? I don’t know anymore.
I know I need to stop taking baby steps and grow the fuck up. I keep telling myself I still have time. Just wait a little longer. They’ll change their minds. Won’t they?
A poem I wrote for my little sister:
I remember the day you were born. I remember the drive to Superior, my heart was racing. I kept praying that I would make it in time to see you be born. We sat there in the hospital for hours until you were born. I can still feel mommy squeezing my hand, then I heard your cry. Tears ran down my face when I saw you for the first time. My baby sister, my world, my everything. I see you growing every day. I remember missing you so much while I was away at school. Every minute I spent with you was heaven. My baby sister, definitely an Angel sent from God. You changed our lives into something more beautiful. You made our family stronger. I remember your first smile, laugh, and the time you took your first steps. You’re growing up too fast. I miss the times you would let me hold you like a baby. I miss all the time we spent together. You were my little tail, you went wherever I went. You were so attached to me it annoyed me, but now I miss it. The day our house burned down I thought I lost you forever. We knew brother and daddy were okay. Mommy asked if you were okay and no one would answer us. My heart shattered, and a part of me died. If you were really gone I didn’t want to be a part of this world anymore. I kept wondering why someone would do this. Why would someone go this far and take my baby sister away? I prayed to God that you were okay. Every single memory of you played in my mind. I started to hate myself for all of the times I was annoyed with you and scolded you for simple things. I promised myself that if you were still alive I would cherish every single moment with you no matter what. Then I heard daddy say, “Kiera is okay. She’s fine. She’s right here with me.” And I could finally breathe again. I never broke that promise and I never will. I see you learning every day and it’s amazing how you catch on to things so easily. People may think I’m crazy for making a big deal out of the little things you do. Even when you’re a teenager I’ll make a big deal out of an A+ on a homework assignment. I’ll always be proud of you because I know you’ll be amazing and do great things in life. You’re five years old now and I can’t believe next school year you’ll be in Kindergarten. You’re so cute when you get mad and mumble things under your breathe I can’t help but smile. You’re crazy cool like mommy and sing and dance a lot. You’re silly like daddy and watch movies a lot. You’re just like brother because you two are the “know it all’s”. You’re like me when you get glued to books and blast One Direction. Kiera Nashota Shay Belknap. Daughter, sister, best friend, partner in crime.