Monday, February 27, 2006
Sara climbed into her new car for the first time. She had surrendered to the fact that life in Massachusetts mean snow--sometimes lots of snow. She also acknowledged that the winding, rolling streets that led from her house to the highway simply did not get plowed. The town clearly didn't care that even after 15" of snow, she still had to get to work. So Sara had traded in the car that had been a faithful companion during the three toughest years of her life...the car that saw her cry and heard her rail against God; the car that brought her across the country, back to the side of the world where things made sense. Her new car hadn't proven itself yet, but it had the ever-important All Wheel Drive.
Before she drove away, leaving a trusted traveling companion behind in the dealership parking lot, Sara took a faded black armband out of her pocket and slipped it around the gearshift. It was the last thing she had taken out of her old car, and the first thing to go into this new one. As she drove away, she ran her fingers over the letters, carefully applied in white puffy paint, "IFK."
Four years earlier, Sara and her friend Nancy sat in Sara's classroom, in tiny chairs at tiny desks, carefully lettering 40 black Nike armbands. It felt productive in a week filled with helplessness. The armbands were for the 7th and 8th grade girls basketball team that Sara and Nancy coached together, and for the boys team as well. It had been the kids' idea, a way of honoring their friend and classmate Francis and his siblings. Three days earlier, Francis and his 1 year old sister Kadeisha were badly injured, caught in the crossfire of gang violence. Their 7 year old brother Isaiah had been killed.
if you're lucky, you find something that reflects you, helps (the hudson, dar williams)
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Low: My poor mother with food poisoning at the hotel on Friday night. Sucked for her :(
Highs: Streaming the broadcast of my brother calling the U Dayton women's b-ball game
Seeing my parents
Seeing my cousins
The crabcakes my cousins brought for me from MD...6 crabcakes now sit in my freezer, awaiting my stomach!
The news that my cousin L, her husband and her 2 kids will likely be moving to NY in July! L lives in London, was raised there by her mother after her father (my cousin) died in 1983. I've never met either of her kids--M is 3, N is 1. This news makes me happy beyond words. I forsee many weekends where I go home, call L and offer to watch the kids while she and the hubby enjoy a night out on the town!
Past my bedtime...long day tomorrow.
there might break your sweet heart...you are my joy (you are my joy, reindeer section)
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
1) "Family really does multiply joy and divide grief"
I have always been grateful for my family...but as I've grown up, I realize how blessed I am to have cousins I can count on, even if months or years go by between sightings. Even in losing grandparents, we're able to come together and laugh at pictures of us as little kids, nestled at our grandparents' feet. We can go out for a drink, or a slice of pizza and because we share a common history and common stories, stupid jokes and stories from 20 years ago still make us dissove into giggles. There are few people with whom I'd rather celebrate, and having them by my side makes losses a bit more bearable.
2) "God's not going to drop you off at the airport and wave goodbye"
One of my favorite people in the world, a chaplain at HC, told me this right about the time of my graduation. The thought of leaving everything I'd ever known behind to start a new life by myself terrified me. Mb looked at me and reminded me that God hadn't abandoned me yet, that God had always put people in my life who could make me smile...so why would God stop now? Just because you believe something, though, doesn't mean you don't need to be reminded every once in a while! Mb continues to be a person I could count on, making time for me whenever I came home to visit and always willing to listen and remind me I was loved.
3) "You can't be happy where you are if you're always wishing you were somewhere else"
My dear friend M in Los Angeles spent the better part of my first 18 months repeating this like a broken record. I hated L.A., I missed my family, my friends, my home; I focused on all the negative aspects of that pit of a city. I couldn't see the (few) good things, the few positives about L.A. because I was too busy focusing on the negatives. It was an important lesson to learn, as I am a person who agonizes over decisions and am quick to second-guess myself. The grass is always greener...that viewpoint will get you no where. I was so miserable that I lost the optomism that had defined me up until that point in my life. It's back, but I still hear M's words echoing in my head any time I think What if? about the road not taken.
There are many more lessons to come, I know...and many more wonderful people will come along to help me learn them. Big Yellow has certainly been a source of both friends and lessons--I'm glad I get to continue learning from you all.
a nun, monday's child who's learned to tie his bootlegs (lady madonna, the beatles)
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
On a happy note, thanks to a heads-up from N, I purchased my Falcon Ridge ticket today. In a mere 147 days, I will be surrounded by great hills, great friends, great music...in a place where I am most content and peaceful.
What an inspiring update...sorry to be so boring. I am loving the Big Yellow bloggers, though. If you haven't already, you all need to check out T's latest.
in vienna, we were poetry, yes in vienna, love was alive (vienna, linda eder)
Monday, February 20, 2006
So, technology is supposed to make our lives easier, right? All these common drives and networks so that we can access our files from home, from other computers on campus...and so that we can access each other's public files. Well, this only works if the network is up and running. Today, 3 hours before our big meeting with the VP, T (my boss lady) and I were unable to access our files, save files or print files. And they were down for 2 hours and 45 minutes. How fun is that?!
So yeah, today was just joyful. Can it be Friday?
it's alright, it's ok, if i freeze i can't decay (snowman, the nields)
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Thanks for the quizo, N & A. Busy little weekend here...Friday night I had dinner in Boston with the old roommate and her boy, then we headed to Cambridge for a party for a bit. Saturday morning, the boyfriend's choco lab puppy woke me up by landing on my chest! We braved the Ikea traffic and literally had to go through the woods, over a hill and across a stream to get from the parking lot to the store. Quiet dinner in the Woo last night with EH. Today, I drove to Providence for a movie and dinner with the guy. Still not sure where that is headed, if anywhere. Still terrified.
20 years ago: Mrs. Sullivan was my first grade teacher
15 years ago: I was a 4 season athlete
10 years ago: I found an amazing group of friends for my last 2 years of high school
5 years ago: I was trying to decide who/what I would be after graduation
1 year ago: I started another job search
Yesterday: I bought a tea kettle (yes, that's exciting! shut up)
5 things I would do with a million dollars: travel, buy my parents a beach house, pay off my car, pay my parents back for college,
5 places I would run away to: ireland; sydney, aus; london; eastern shore of md; los angeles to visit friends
5 of my bad habits: procrastination; indecisiveness; sacrificing myself and my happiness for others; skipping church; impatience for people over the age of 10 (and LOL @ avoiding meditation, A)
5 fictional characters I would date: hmmm...Dr. McDreamy from Grey's Anatomy; Atticus Finch; Charlie Young from West Wing and can't possibly think of 2 more rihgt now
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Tonight felt like coming home. I sat in a room, surrounded by familiar images on the walls, talking with young women about who they are, who they are becoming and how God fits into all of it. Rewind 7 years and I'm them...hell, I'm still them! The building where we meet is a sacred place to me--where my friendships grew and developed; where I questioned my faith, my God and my place in this world; where I found my strength; where I laughed and cried...where my friends broke in to throw me a surprise 22nd birthday party. I want it to be the same for these girls. Some of them have already experienced the power of that house (think Big Yellow--this was my Big Yellow before I had Big Yellow), and others have come to look for it.
I'm not sure exactly what my role is in all of this and how I'm supposed to help the girls. As I told them tonight, my job is to walk with them, to accompany them on their journeys. To listen with an open heart and to support them the best way I can. Their honesty on this first night together was inspiring. They talked about the events in their lives that have shaped the people they are today--divorce, moves, death, new beginnings, friendships, boyfriends and parents. It's just an honor to be present to it all.
voice that's lovely and different, the music carries her intent (glory, nerissa & katryna)
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
halfway there, oh living on a prayer, take my hand (living on a prayer, bon jovi)
Monday, February 13, 2006
Goodbyes suck. The voluntary ones are bad enough--graduations, moves, job changes. I avoid the goodbye for as long as possible and sometimes all together, even though we all see it coming a mile away. I feel like I'm letting go of a part of myself when I say goodbye to a person or a place. And I am. I went to Mexico at the end of my sophomore year at HC. It was a 2 week immersion trip that wow-ed, awed and humbled me. As I listened to person after person share stories of faith in the face of poverty and hopelessness, I took a part of them with me--and left a part of myself there. It's how we stay connected, how we remain whole and yet break all at the same time.
However, it's the involuntary goodbyes that kill me. Ones that begin with a misunderstanding, or a fight, or poorly chosen words that cause a rift that is never bridged again. I haven't had *too* many of these in my life, but one in particular is painful to even think about. Her little boy is going to be 4 this week, so I always think about her this time of year. While I surely made some mistakes, there was also a lot of misunderstanding and she only got to hear one side of the story. She is one of the strongest, bravest women I've ever known, but the things that made her strong and brave also made her fearful and easily shattered by those she trusts most. A small mistake, error or misstep is a collosal betrayal. I get that, I know why, but it doesn't make accepting the goodbye any easier. She is continuing to go through tough times and I want more than anything for her to know I'm still out here if she needs me, even if I am 3,000 miles away. I miss her terribly, so much so that 2 years later, I still cry myself to sleep on occasion (which I detest admitting, so I'm not sure why I am. I don't cry often (even though I've mentioned crying 2x in 48 hours on this blog!) and the fact that I cry over this is a mystery to me, but I do).
Gee, that was depressing and pointless. I had lunch with my "student leader" for the CLC today. A really cool little sophomore--she's adorable. Really involved in many things that I did at HC, so I felt we bonded--LOL. I'm excited to get started on Wednesday night. There are 9 frosh and soph girls in our group. I'm interested to hear about who they are and what they want to get out of this group. To be a frosh in college again--they're all probably confused and terrified, but what I wouldn't give to live that part of my life again, even for just a few days.
sunshine on my floor, you're the book i've halfway read (one hundred names, the nields)
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Later, came the laughter. My roommate and I got home around midnight (the girls played til almost 11!) and a friend called her. She asked me to go out with her to meet him at a bar. I did. Ralph's Diner...in Worcester, MA...dead stuffed animals hanging from the ceiling...mannequin parts. Then, we went up to see the band.. Jane and the Grave Robbers. Let's just say that the relaxed peace I had found at the Center for the Arts in Natick was gone. J&theGR weren't actually bad (not saying GOOD either), but they were WAY too loud for me. We had a drink, talked a bit with the roommate's friend, then came home.
Spent yesterday at the b-ball games of Holy Cross, then into Boston for a 30th birthday. All very fun, saw many great people. Today, was the Blizzard of '06! Watch out, people. Seriously, though, we got a foot and a half of snow and it was crazy out there for a while. So I spent today doing not much of anything. I did go outside and shovel, though...and clear off 2 of our cars. OK, OK, I made snow angels and threw a few snowballs too--so shoot me ;) (just not like Dick Cheney!)
Now, it's off to bed. Long work week ahead.
it's nine o'clock on a saturday, the regular crowd shuffles (piano man, billy joel)
Thursday, February 09, 2006
The problem with people pleasing is that I constantly put other people before me. I think of how my choices will affect everyone around me. Of course, no choice is ever going to make everyone happy and I'm always going to let someone down. I hate that. I torture myself when making decisions, big and small. If I take the job in MA, then I'm disappointing my family in DC, abandoning the girls I could be teaching in B-more...even though MA will make me happier. For 3 days, I went back and forth, trying to decide which decision would make the most people happy--not what would make me happy. It's a vicious cycle. I've had numerous people in my life try to get me to put myself first--but it seems selfish to me. Intellectually, I know it's not, but I don't know how to get around my heart. I knew what the right job was...and I eventually took it and it IS right. Yet, now, when people ask me what I do, I always qualify it with "I used to teach and I'll go back to it someday." Like people will judge me or look down on me or something if I just say "This is my job and right now, I love it."
I'm really rambling right now. Y'all have A to thank for this--her earlier blog got me thinking. No easy answers and I don't see a change coming anytime soon. Just something for me to think about.
forgiveness for the things i've done you blame me for (for good, wicked)
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I just watched a horrible, awful, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking loss. I get way too invested in b-ball games. Seriously though...it was physically painful for me. C'mon--rebounds, free-throws, lay ups...these things are basic!!!
So, boy and I emailed more today (after going all day yesterday too)...he wants to hang out this weekend. This is very new territory for me, I must say...haven't been here before, at least not this way. It terrifies me that I want this to go somewhere (at least I think I do!) I don't know, I guess I just need to relax and see what happens. Right? Right. This is one of those areas where I need to work on my walls...my insecurities. He makes me laugh, we can talk about everything--so why do I want to run?
catholic girls start much too late, oh sooner or later (only the good die young, billy joel)
Monday, February 06, 2006
The boy and I emailed most of the day today. We'll see where, if anywhere, this goes. It's very scary to me that I think I want it to go anywhere. My stomach flips when I think about it.
Four jobs I’ve had
babysitter to many
RA (at college and over the summer for high school kids)
2nd grade teacher
asst. dir. donor relations
Four movies I can watch over and over
A League of Their Own
Sound of Music
When Harry Met Sally
To Kill a Mockingbird
Four places I have lived
Four TV shows I love
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Four places I’ve vacationed
Four of my favorite dishes
Four sites I visit daily
Four places I would rather be right now
Five people I am tagging
you've all been tagged
Saturday, February 04, 2006
So yeah, I have no idea what this is, and no idea when/if I'll find out that it's something or nothing. For now, I guess I'll just enjoy that a boy is driving 80ish minutes each ways and insists on paying 90% of the time.
chair in a moment of thought to remember the good (this happens..., nerissa&katryna)
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
3 Parts of Your Heritage
3 Things That Scare You
3 Everyday Essentials
3 Things You’re Wearing
3 Favorite Songs
impossible...but 3 *of* my favorites at the moment:
yesterday's girl, n&k
the hudson, dar
shady grove, crooked still
3 Things About the Opposite Sex that Appeal to You
focus on family
3 Things You Want in a Relationship
3 Favorite Hobbies
learning the guitar
tutoring (does that count?)
3 Things to Do Before You Die
have a family
go to Africa
3 Ways You’re Stereotypically Female (or Male)
i'm not very assertive
i'm a baby person
i'm loyal to a fault
2 Truths & 1 Lie (no particular order)
My parents have been in the same house for 15 years
I've had surgery on both my feet
I've had a black eye
3 People You’re Tagging
J, Kamper and M (M, you're double tagged)
gaping wound tells the story of it all, man lost (window, guster)