Monthly Archives: July 2009

Common Sense, by a 13 year old

“Common sense is like this: if there were a really dark cave, and you just wandered up to it, with like, 5 or 6 people, would you go in?  If not, than you have common sense.  If you’d get up in there, well…shooooooot!  You better be gettin’ some.  It’s common sense, fool.”

 

Just finished crying after laughing so hard at this definition.  He’s kinda on to something, don’t you think?

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On community…

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship, and community, and all that jazz lately.  Yesterday, there was a phenomenal post about this exact topic.I’ve written about my own shifting feelings on this whole issue, but I realized I left out a huge thing that’s making me feel better about this community business.  See, if there’s one thing that seems to be common with 20-somethings, it’s this general feeling of confusion regarding friendships and community and the end of traditional relationships.  So, recently, after thinking a lot, I decided to take some action.

For me, my sense of community goes back a long, long time.  I was raised in the church, where I was automatically surrounded by a million adults who loved me, built in playmates and companions via church youth events and a general sense of community.  I loved it.  And while it’s been many years since I’ve been directly involved in church, I still remember that underlying feeling of safety and love and care.  The truth is that the community there hurt me.  Deeply.  Being a divorcee, asking the hard questions, and being a bit silly or too honest at times does not necessarily make the best impression.

But, see, it’s not just that community.  I always feel a bit out of place: wondering if I made a joke that crossed a line (actually, that’s basically a given, so…) or wore the wrong thing or am not ____________ enough for said “group.”  I spend time analyzing whether or not people actually enjoy me, and then acting as if I don’t care either way if they do.  It’s not that I don’t have friends—I do!  I have many wonderful, amazing people in my life; however, group things are weird.  I never feel quite part of the group, like I’m part of that center core.

The thing I’ve learned in the past few months is that EVERYONE feels this way.  Every.  Single.  Person.  At one time or another, everyone feels out of place or unimportant, or questions themselves and their role in the group.  Learning this alone was comforting in a serious way.  I sometimes think that I’m the only one who feels or does or thinks certain things.  But usually, if I’m brave enough to share, I find I’m not alone.

Despite my own awkwardness and general reluctance, I missed community.  I missed having a group where I know I’m supported and included and loved.  I missed being around people with my own ideals.

So, I started one.  Yep.  Just created my own community.

I thought of some girls I know who are like me—maybe they’d done church, but were disillusioned.  Maybe they live with their significant other, or enjoy wine or other seemingly-illicit activities.  Mostly, I looked for girls who liked to laugh.  Who are not afraid to cry or talk about the real stuff that’s going on in their jobs, their relationships, their family life, their feelings and emotions.  Girls who I thought I could talk to, and spent time with and enjoy.

We meet every other week, in one of our houses.  We eat snacks and drink wine and talk.  It’s not a Bible study or anything serious: just a bunch of girls who’ve made an intentional comittment to hang out, be real together and enjoy life.  Yes, it’s new, but I have high hopes for this group.

Other ways I’ve found community?  Daily emails with this gal.  Reading and commenting on 20SB and seeing the responses I get.  Twittering back at people who interest me.  Emailing Bloggers I enjoy.  Befriending the new teachers at school.  In short: giving a shit about others.

I really think that last part is key.  You need to care.  Sure, you’ve probably read it in every dating advice column or book on making friends and whatnot.  But in all honesty, it works.  I think it’s worth taking the risk to put yourself out there, to form the relationships you are looking for.  You can’t feel excluded in your own life, unless you let yourself.

I’m no expert at this.  I’m just saying: it’s worth it to put yourself out there, to see what you can develop by putting yourself out there.  As Kyla says, “It’s not perfect, it doesn’t happen all the time and it doesn’t work all the time, but sending one short & sweet e-mail a day really agrees with me so I’m sticking with it. Because being part of any community is about my actions, and kindness seems like a good place to start.”

So, go out.  Take action.  Be kind.  Stick with it.

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Going To Hell

This just nearly made me pee my pants.  Bwah ha ha ha ha ha!

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Today Has Been A Good Day…

  • My sweetheart of a boyfriend woke up early, made me breakfast AND packed my lunch!  He’s basically the best.  I mean, I always think that, but this was stellar.
  • The girl at Starbucks was congenial, there was NO LINE and my coffee was delicious!  Love that.
  • I had a great conversation with friends before school, and I am just so happy to have my friends around all the time again.
  • A student shyly asked if she could show me the book she’s writing.  This is impressive and awesome enough; however, the book is STUNNINGLY AWESOME.  Amazingly well-written, good pacing, and sort of Twilight-esque.  She’s only five chapters in and I was so sad when it ended.  I love it when students surprise me like that.
  • Teaching has been painless today, and my students are starting to show their little personalities.  I love that.
  • I’m getting ready to make some really positive changes that I’m stoked about.
  • Everything seems to be falling into place, and I’m finding myself more and more able to deal with little bumps in the road as they come along.

What was good about your day today?

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She’s Always A Woman To Me…

This post by Chelsea (one of this week’s current obsessions) about being a woman made me think a lot.  In it (seriously, though—ignore my summary and read the original—worth it!) she discusses the sort of woman she is, and the kind she wants to be.  It made me think a lot about who I am, about who I’m trying to become, and at the end of the day the sort of woman I’d like to be.  Sure, I have a subscription to Real Simple, a bundt cake pan, a rice cooker, and I can usually find my way out of any bad situation in the kitchen.  I have a real, grown-up job, and a long-term relationship, and a cat.  I can usually pay my bills (most of the time, okay?!) and I’m what most would consider an adult.

Sometimes, I still feel like a little girl.  I think of all the things I want to do, the kind of woman I wish I was.  I wish I was the person who looked at a breakfast menu, ignored the delicious breakfast food and went straight for the egg whites or the fruit and yogurt plate instead of the pancakes or an omelette, with potatoes or toast.  I wish I was the kind of girl who popped out of bed every day at 5:30 for a run and enjoyed it.  I wish I was the tiny, itty-bitty girl whose jeans were forever falling off because she’s so little.

I wish I ate big salads.  I wish I was always cheerful and nice, and never grumpy or sarcastic or mean-spirited.  I wish I was the first friend people called when they want to go out because they know I’m fun.  I want to be that girl who goes to baseball games and can drink beer with the guys and chow down on hot dogs.  I wish I was talented enough in art to sell my stuff and be respected.  I wish my blog had a bigger following, and I got swag and sponsors and all of that.  I wish I was the girl whose outfits were imitated and coveted.

I’m not complaining.  I’ve come a long way in the self-esteem department, and for the most part, I’m a pretty happy girl, with who I am, the choices I make, the things I do and feel and am.  Still, sometimes it’s fun to dream about the things I’m not, and what it’d be like if those were the things I was…

Who do you wish to be sometimes?

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Current Obsessions…

It never fails that I can find things to read and obsess over.  Here are a few from this week:

—Mark Bittman of the New York Times posted 101 salad ideas here.  While some of them are a bit strange, most of them sound absolutely delicious.  Plus, there are some good recipes on there for dressings and such.  Yummy, healthy and perfect for summer when I’m so not about heating up my apartment!

—This crafty blog that has so much inspiration, I could scream.  Seriously IN LOVE with it.  Squee!

—I found my way to these adorable headbands via Marta and may have to order one as soon as I can pick my favorite!  I love little punches of color that dress up some of my boring outfits—and since I’m a big fan of Variation on A Black Shirt, there are a lot of them.

This blog that I found by way of her comments on another blog.  Honest writing, fantastic topics and all-around goodness.  She says she’s talking smack, but I don’t see it—I think she’s lovely.

—Music by this girl.

—Singing the theme song to Gilmore Girls to Andrew in my most awful, intentionally horrible, off-key voice.  Yep, it’s charming!  He loves it.

—My obsession with the Gilmore Girls is reaching scary levels.

This gorgeous song that I’ve been listening to on repeat.

Tell me what you’re obsessed with.  Feed my sickness!

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Always, Sometimes, Never

I ALWAYS…

—Drink coffee in the morning.  A day without coffee is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

—Listen to NPR in the morning for a bit.

—Wear skirts and dresses to work

—Have to have a little bit of snuggle time with Andrew before heading to sleep

—Check Twitter and my email first thing in the morning

I SOMETIMES…

—Take a bath when I get home at night when I want to relax

—Talk to myself in the car, either practicing lessons that I need to teach or conversations I am hoping to have

—Wish I was brave enough to move to a brand new place, just to experience life in a new way

—Think about how cool it’d be to be a rock star.  Or at least play the guitar.

—Wish I was a kid again.

I NEVER…

—Throw up.  Ever.  Nearly 13 years.

—Watch scary movies.

—Leave the house without my cell phone

—Deal with conflict very well

—Eat spicy food

What are your always, sometimes, nevers?

*Thanks to one of the loveliest girls around, Kyla Roma, for this inspiration.

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