Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Aurora has wormed her way into my schoolwork!

I got my first writing assignments back from school last week. Both with a grade of 100! The first was pretty short and boring but the other was about none other than myself and my little bean. The assignment was a 'personal reflection' essay. We were supposed to talk about a significant point in our lives and the result. my subject choice was pretty obvious haha. Its not perfect (despite the perfect grade... it's a low level class) but I thought it was worth sharing. Pardon the super formal speech, it's the exact essay I submitted and I didn't feel like editing it down for the blog. I mostly just wanted to put it here so I can keep track of it and look back at it later. Here it is, feel free to tell me what you think!

Born To Be a Mama: How Parenting Has Made Me a Better Person

To say that my daughter was unplanned would be putting it mildly. She was a complete and total surprise! She was also, undoubtedly, the best thing that ever happened to me. I know this statement may seem like the ultimate cliché, but it is the truth. My life was forever changed the minute I saw that little pink plus sign. Becoming Aurora's mother has undeniably made me a better person.
So, where to start?
I had an ill-advised fling with an old friend and, as it turns out, we were completely incompatible. We called it quits after about a month. Two weeks later, I discovered I was pregnant. I told the father and my two closest friends but I kept it from everyone else for a long time. I tend to be a pretty private person and I just was not ready for all the inevitable questions.
Finally at about seven months, my pregnancy was becoming a little obvious. I started to feel like everyone could tell I was pregnant just by looking at me. I planned to work until the last possible minute, but I had to tell my boss that I would be needing a few months off after the baby came. Though I had been apprehensive about telling him, it was a shockingly easy conversation.
After I had told my co-workers, I knew I had to come clean to all my friends. This was the first of many events that would forever change my self-image. They were thrilled. I was met with nothing but encouragement and told by numerous people what a good mother I would be. I was shocked, amazed and so very grateful to have such support.
Now, before I had gotten pregnant I was a bit reckless. I was a bartender by trade, working night shifts in bars with bad reputations. I smoked like a chimney. I was a night owl who enjoyed drinking which led to more than my fair share of bad decisions. I must admit was also a little selfish. My relationships were always temporary and I entered into them even if I knew the person was not right for me. Basically, I was a mess.
The metamorphosis came about pretty quickly. There were some major overhauls; I stopped smoking and drinking, cold turkey. I did not go out at night anymore and I cut back on shifts at the bar. Some changes were more subtle. I had never saved money before unless it was to buy something. Once I knew I had another person to think about, that was one of the first things to change. I needed to be prepared, I needed to safe guard the future of my child. I went to a doctor for the first time in 12 years to be sure I was healthy and I bought life insurance. Suddenly, being selfish was no longer an option. Everything I did was to get ready for her.
I had some apprehension about motherhood, it seemed like such a huge undertaking, but I should not have worried. The minute they put Aurora in my arms, everything seemed to come naturally. We had some hiccups, do not get me wrong. I will not sugarcoat it and tell you that every moment was perfect. In truth, it's the hardest job I've ever had. The payoff, however, is immeasurable.
Aside from the obvious life changes, there were emotional, and even social, shifts that came with parenting. Those are a little harder to explain, but I will try. For instance, I was a very closed off person before I gave birth. I would rarely do silly things, I would never ask for help or show someone how I was feeling. I did not want to share anything. Boy, did that change! It did not take very long before I was smooching my little one on buses and pulling faces at her in public. I was suddenly able to admit to my best friend that I needed help for the first time. Perhaps more importantly though, I was able to admit that I loved someone with every fiber of my being and without reserve. This was the ultimate 'first' for me and it has changed me for the better. It's amazing what that sort of love can do for a person. I truly believe it has made me more conscientious and kinder to others, not to mention happy.
Most of all, I am happy.

The best part was probably my instructor's comments:

What a wonderful tribute to your daughter this essay is, Angela!
This essay represents a job well done. You’ve told your readers just the kind of story required by this assignment, and have explained effectively how this experience helped to change you in a positive way. 
The essay is written in first person and for a general reader, just as it should be. It is also free of significant mechanical errors and formatted according to MLA guidelines. 
Please continue this high standard of work on future assignments, and let me know if you have any questions or concerns about doing so. 
All the Best, 
Prof. Yezbick

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