Category Archives: Prompts

Daily Prompt: On the Edge


Today’s Daily Prompt:

We all have things as need to do to keep an even keel — blogging, exercising, reading, cooking. What’s yours?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ACTIVITY.

 

Most of you probably already know that the one activity that I need in my life is photography.  Being behind the camera enables me to stop time, if even for only an instant.  It also enables me to capture raw beauty and to show others things that may have never otherwise been noticed.

Can you find the beauty in these photos of things that may usually just seem like ordinary items or people?

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An Open Letter to All You Douchebags


Dear Douchebags,

Yes, I had my first kid at the age of 19.  And yes, I had my second kid at 21.  Yes, I was only in college at the time.  So what??

You told me I was too young to have kids, that I knew nothing about how to raise children.  You also told me that I would never go anywhere in life, wouldn’t finish college, and would never be able to work at a decent job and take care of two children.  You said I would never go anywhere in life.

You called me “white trash” since I wasn’t married when I had my first kid and told me I would end up as a single mom because my “baby’s daddy” would leave me – if I even knew who he was.  When I had my second baby, you asked me if he had the same dad as the first.

You said I’d end up living with my parents forever and would never be able to afford a place of my own.  You assumed that I was on welfare and food stamps and that I had to get my babies vaccinated at the local, trashy health clinic.  You asked if I was finally on good birth control and talked about how surprised I must have been when I found out that I was pregnant so young.

You said my future would be ruined if I didn’t get an abortion – that there was no way I could give my babies good, successful lives.  You said I would fail school or have to quit because I would never be able to study, maintain good grades, or be able to pay for daycare with two young children on my hands.

You told me how terrible my kids would have it growing up since they were biracial.  You said it was my fault that people would call them names and bully them because of their race.  You called me an “n*****-lover” and said it wasn’t fair to my kids that they didn’t have two parents who were the same race.

You know what?  I finally have something to say about all those things you told me.  THEY WERE LIES. 

I was a damn good mom to my babies, and I figured it out pretty quickly.  I knew how to change diapers and rock my babies to sleep and get them bathed and dressed.

I went to school full-time and worked full-time and still got to wake my boys up in the morning, get them off to daycare, and rock them to sleep at night.

I graduated with honors and even started grad school.  I’ve worked hard at jobs that continuously got better.  I make a decent living now.  I was able to pay for a place to live, a car, my bills, and childcare.

I moved out of my parents’ house the day after high school graduation, before I even had kids, and haven’t lived with them since.  I married my sons’ father, and we stayed married for nearly ten years.  My kids both had the same dad.

My kids had a real doctor at a real pediatrician’s office, and I paid for their medical bills with real insurance.  I also paid for our groceries and utilities with real money.

Abortion was never an issue or option for us.  Our kids weren’t mistakes.  Our lives weren’t ruined.  Believe it or not, some people like having kids early on in life.  One day, I’ll be able to enjoy playing with my grandchildren.  Hopefully, I’ll make it to see the day my sons graduate from college, get married, and have little blessings of their own.

You may call me all sorts of names, but I’m proud to not be a closed-minded, racist idiot like you.  I think my babies are beautiful, and I wouldn’t change a thing about them.  It’s quite ironic to me that you spend countless hours and dollars to make your skin look exactly the same as theirs.  And your hair?  Don’t get me started.  You could only wish to have curls like theirs.

I didn’t fail or have to quit school, and my kids sure as hell haven’t suffered for that.  In fact, they’ve turned out to be quite remarkable, intelligent young men.  They’re amazingly talented and extremely smart.  They get good grades, excel in their grade levels, and can play nearly any sport they attempt.

They have dreams of which college they’ll attend and which sports they’ll receive scholarships in, and they have high standards for themselves.  Both have admirable career goals and will, no doubt, succeed in everything they put their minds to.  They both love God and are growing up to be Godly, respectful men, who will love their own wives and children one day.

So, no, I don’t have any regrets, and I wouldn’t change a thing.  Having my sons was the best decision I’ve ever made, regardless of my age.  Now stop worrying about me, take a nice long look at yourself, and move on.

All my love,

Alicia

My College Graduation - December 13, 2003

My College Graduation – December 13, 2003


Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall


Today’s Daily Prompt:

Think of your blog as a mirror: what does it reveal? Consider your blog name, theme choice, design, bio, posts… what does every element tell you about yourself?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us REFLECTIONS.

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

I glance in the mirror,

And you look back at me.

I study the look on your face,

And I can tell you don’t like what you see.

 

A forehead that’s too big…

And lips that are too small…

A far from perfect complexion…

You don’t like what you see at all.

 

You try so hard to be perfect,

But you keep letting yourself down.

You’re not happy with yourself;

You know, you’d be prettier without that frown.

 

Stop judging and comparing yourself;

Stop caring what others think.

Enjoy the blessings you have in front of you;

They’ll be gone before you blink.

 

You’re pretty on the outside

And yes, even more beautiful within;

You try so hard to make people laugh,

But what’s really beneath your grin?

 

You tell your funny kid stories,

And hope everyone will like you.

But you’re missing something so important:

Alicia, you need to love you, too.


Daily Prompt: Never Again


Today’s Daily Prompt:

Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!”  Tell us about it.  Photographers, artists, poets: show us NEVER.

The very second I read today’s prompt, I knew immediately what I did and said I would never do again – get married.

I know that sounds harsh, but let me explain…

As many of you know, I started dating my first husband when I was only fifteen.  (That’s how we do things here in the south, I guess.)  I was “head-over-heels” for him.  At least I thought I was.  As I look back on it, I wasn’t really in love with him – I was in love with the idea of love.

Obviously, as a young girl, I wanted nothing more than to be swept off my feet by my very own Prince Charming.  Every boy I ever had a crush on had a notebook page devoted solely to doodles of my first name and his last name.  Pitiful, right?  Well, that’s what girls do.

Anyway, back to my first husband – Shortly after we started dating, he became abusive.  You can read all the gory details of his abuse and the vicious cycle I found myself in here.  In addition to beating the crap out of me, though, he also did some other pretty psycho things.  He’s thrown a kitten across the room and into the wall; he’s thrown all my clothes into a bathtub full of bleach; and he’s cancelled my car insurance and then called the police on me.

He really was bi-polar, and he really did need help.  Regardless of what his issues were, however, the bottom line was that he made my marriage complete and utter hell.  I had two very young babies at the time, and he knew I had no money and nowhere to go.  I was trapped in a real life living hell.  And he knew it and fed off of it.

Marriage was terrible, and I wished I had never done it.

When it finally came time for a divorce, I was happy.  I thought that meant that my hell would be over.  I was wrong again.  He fought me for three years, tooth and nail, on everything.  He and his attorney refused to budge on anything, and they did all they could to drag it out for as long as possible.

I swore that I would never ever get married again.  It was awful, and I wanted no part of it.

It was smack-dab in the midst of my daily vows to never again get married that I became pretty close friends with Eugene.  He and I started hanging out and talking a lot about our lives and kids.

That’s when it happened: I fell in love with him.  Damn – this wasn’t supposed to be happening.  I loved being around him, and I hated when we weren’t together.  I was continually amazed at the fact that he wasn’t the same dickhead as my first husband.  I really had no idea that men weren’t all the same.  But he wasn’t.  He was sweet and caring and loving.  He was a good dad, and he also showed interest in my kids, which was a major issue for me.

I ended up really falling “head-over-heels” in love with him, a feeling that was so foreign to me that I wasn’t sure what was going on.  I had never felt this way about anyone, and I certainly never felt it about my first husband.  Eugene wasn’t mean to me, and he wasn’t abusive.  Was it possible that someone could actually love me for the broken woman I was?

It was possible.  And he did.  We ended up moving in together and talking about – you’ll never guess – MARRIAGE!

Wait, what?!  I never wanted to go through that again, but I also couldn’t stand the thought of not spending forever with him.  What was I supposed to do?

I’ll tell you what I did – I did exactly what I swore I would never do again.  I married the man of my dreams.  And I haven’t, to this day, regretted the decision to go back on my promise to myself to never travel back down that road.  Of course, I have no guarantees that this marriage will end up any different than my first one, but the difference is that this time, I want to try it, and I want it to work.

You have no idea of all the blessings God has in store for you, even when you’re broken and angry.  Never say never, friends.    

Photo by K&D Pro Photography

Photo by K&D Pro Photography

 


Daily Prompt: A Friend in Need


Today’s Daily Prompt:

Finish this sentence: “My closest friend is…”

Photographers, artists, poets: show us FRIENDSHIP.

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

My closest friend is my little sister.

I was 19 months old when she ruined my title of “only child,” so I spent much of my childhood trying to pay her back.
I cut her Barbie dolls’ hair and ripped their heads off.
I pushed her off her bed, and I scared her by telling her there were ghosts in her room.
I made her take the first bites of mud pie.

I always made her be the dad when we played house.
I ripped her favorite baby doll’s arm off.
We fought, we played, and we fought some more.
I told her that her boyfriends sucked, and she told me that mine did.
I covered for her the first time she got drunk so that Mom wouldn’t kill her.
Then I had babies, and she suddenly turned into the best aunt in the whole world.

During my darkest times, she was the only one who was there for me.
If I needed money, she was there.
If I needed a babysitter, she was there.
If I needed a dance partner, she was there.  Well, in the cage, but there nonetheless.
Then the day came that she was no longer mine, but her new husband’s.
And I bawled my eyes out.
Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

She wasn’t a little girl anymore, but a beautiful young woman.
My comfort comes in knowing that there’s never anyone who can take her place.
We’ll always have our inside jokes and silly stories from growing up.
She’ll always have a very special place deep inside my heart.
And my only solace comes from knowing that she’ll always be my closest friend…
And My Little Sister.
Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography

Photo by Leslie Dobbe Photography


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