Hi Selena. You don’t know me, and we will probably never get to meet each other. I’m Mandi, 27, and a mom to three children, one of whom thinks you are pretty cute (he’s nine, by the way). In a very recent interview, you touched base on your “haters”, whom you described as “grown ups”. So I ask, if you are 22, aren’t you a “grown up” as well? Or perhaps, you don’t view yourself as such or have some different view on what a “grown up” really is. Here’s what I’m referring to:
“I get picked on by grown adults all the time,” she recently told E! News. “It’s grown-ups and I don’t get it. It just baffles me. I wish I could just sit them down and say, ‘What were you doing at 15? What were you doing at 18? What were you doing at 21?’ Because I can guarantee you it’s not half of what I’ve done.'”
So, I’ll break it down for you. I can tell you right now, it won’t be as glamorous as travelling the world, making millions of dollars, dating Justin Bieber (although, I don’t see that as glamorous, I see that as poor taste and a good lesson to learn). I can tell you right now, I’ve never won an award, or been in the tabloids, or been to rehab. But here’s what I HAVE done.
My parents had divorced and my mom moved her “boyfriend” into our house, who turned out to be an alcoholic. He would even drink and drive. He would get so drunk he would get angry at the slightest thing. He hit my mom. He yelled at both of us. Oh, when my parents divorced, I also learned that the man I THOUGHT was my father – for my entire life – was actually NOT my biological father. So there’s that. I was in high school, living a “normal” life with friends and choir and crushes. I went to school, I saw movies, I had sleepovers, I hung out at the mall and the library. I was a teenager.
I was a mom. I know, right?! When in the world did THAT happen? Well you see, I met this boy and we fell in love and we were stupid and we got pregnant. I got pregnant at 17, had my first child at 18. When I was 17, my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, brain cancer, and eye cancer. She was diagnosed in June 2004 and died October 2004. When my mom died, I was homeless. I had nothing, no one. I was lucky, damn lucky, to be taken in by my fiance (yes, we were engaged) and his family (his dad and step-mom) who gave me a place to live, a place to sleep, food to eat, and a chance to finish high school.
Just one kid still (the other two aren’t born until 2011 and 2012), but we were dealing with his severe global development delays. You aren’t a “grown up” yet, so you probably don’t understand, but Selena, that means that he is disabled. He has speech apraxia and low muscle tone (again, I’ll make it easy on you, he isn’t as strong as other kids his age). At 21, I wasn’t spending my weekends out partying in Vegas or on beaches. I was taking care of my family. I was helping my son learn to walk and to talk. We were going to therapy appointments every week, meeting with doctors. Our entire lives at that moment were NOT what we thought they would be when we were 21 and 22 (my husband).
Now, at 27:
I’m a mom to three, married to that boy I met years ago. We own a house, we have two dogs, our own minivan. I own this blog plus a social media management agency. I freelance. I volunteer. I’ve been in a couple magazines (but not for the same reasons as you). I’ve never been out of the country. I’ve been to LA once and NYC once. I rarely drink, I never party. I attend to boo-boo’s, stinky diapers, and hungry tummies. I give baths, read bedtime stories, and work from home.
So maybe before you think all of your “haters” (and I’ll say this, I’ve always thought you were a sweet girl, but you aren’t a very good role model for my daughter) are nothing compared to you – think again. There are men and women the exact same age as you, 22, who are fighting for this country. Those who are going to college and earning degrees. There are people your age who already own businesses, or who have families. Age is just a number, and if you look at everything you’ve done, well sure, you’ve beat out millions of people in your age group with experiences. I’m not sure I agree that life experiences make you better than someone else. They just mean you have a better story to tell when you’re old and wrinkly.
So before you think that what the rest of us do doesn’t matter, please, think again. Maybe we aren’t “haters”, maybe we are just tired of seeing our peers go out and party, get drunk, do drugs, and casual date while we are responsible adult role models for the younger generation.
Am I hater? I’m sure some would say yes after reading this post, but I don’t believe that I am. I loved watching you on TV with my son, and your music is catchy and something I enjoy. I just felt that as someone older who didn’t get to “experience” a life like yours, I could offer some insight.