GingerSass

adding ginger to your sass

GingerSass - adding ginger to your sass

A brief poem

 

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Yesterday’s tomorrows
are no longer today.
It’s time to set forth
and move on to the unknown.

-KB

 

I have a lot to post about (graduation! The Great Gatsby! moving!) but right now my energy has to focus on packing up my apartment and moving home by Friday at 5. It’s supposed to be raining tomorrow and Friday so I’m crossing my fingers and toes that the rain holds out until I’ve relocated my life back home.

 

I’m both excited and saddened to be leaving the life I’ve grown accustomed to over the past 5 years. It’s both calming and terrifying to be leaving this chapter of my life and catapulting into the unknown.

 

I guess I’d better go back to packing up my life. I promise I’ll update GingerSass so much this summer you’ll be sick of me! :)

2012: A Year in Review

Tonight is the last Friday night of 2012, exactly one week after the world was supposed to end. A lot has happened in 2012, and I decided to highlight everything significant that happened to me this year, month by month.

gs2012

It’s been one heck of a year at GingerSass.

January

Not much happened in January. I turned 22, which was actually a better birthday than my 21st. My friend convinced the bartender at a local bar that I should be given a free bottle of champagne because my 21st coincided with a blizzard and I didn’t get to celebrate. I received a stuffed unicorn and zebra print seat covers from my parents. I, once again, pleaded to Ellen as to why we should celebrate our birthday together and she ignored me. Ya know, the usual.

February

I made it onto PostSecret for the first time. Whitney Houston died and I was devastated so I wrote a poem. Ryan Murphy pissed me off so I wrote him an angry tumblr post turned into a letter, which he never responded to.

March

March was a very important month for me– I STARTED GINGERSASS! (All of the posts posted before March 25th were transferred from my tumblr site.) Fun fact– GingerSass was started because I was pretending to be an investigative reporter at the Sex, Love, and Dating Conference. Also, Adrienne Rich died, which devastated me. A lot.

April

April freaking rocked. Highlights of the month include:

-volunteering with NOH8 and later being featured on their website
-meeting Frank Warren at my first PostSecret event
- saw an opera and a concert in one week
-my Poefy (poetry-wifey) was fantabulous in The Vagina Monologues and I wrote about it

May

May was a good month for me. Obama came out in support of gay marriage. I won an award. I graduated college. Life was pretty awesome to me in May.

June

June was an interesting month. I started it out writing about suicide after finding out that the partner of my friend who had committed suicide also committed suicide. I wrote a bunch of 10 Minute Musings for a grad class and reconnected with myself. I came out to my family as a blogger, with the support of Cady McClain, aka Dixie from All My Children. I even inspired her alter-ego, Suzy F*cking Homemaker, to create an internet meme. Suzy also encouraged me to write a post on why I want to be a celesbian…so I did. I also  booked and performed my first paid poetry gig, which was pretty darn awesome.

July

July started off with a roadtrip to Massachusetts with Poefy to the wedding of Taylor and Mike. I basked in the glory of cheeseball goodness. (This post is still one of my most-visited posts, btw.) I fell in love with my job over the summer. I also figured out What Obama Taught Me. I indulged in Restaurant Week. Then I got serious about my blog, invested in an actually site host, got free magnets, and was overwhelmed by the idea of going to BlogHer. I also posted about teacher dress codes, which is also one of my most-visited posts of all time.

August

August started off with me going to BlogHer’12 and MY LIFE CHANGING FOREVER. I made so many blogging friends through BlogHer, and I’m going to (eventually) categorize them on her so you can so who I’m reading. I also won a happy hour party in August and celebrated with wings and food at a local bar with my friends. Woohoo! To top August off, I started my new job, got an apartment to go along with it, and ruminated on why Res Life will always be a part of me.

September

September was an emotional, crazy month. I had an awesome first week of September. I was a national runner up to be the next Verizon Ultimate Insider, mentioned on AfterEllen, and yogurt was on sale. I made it through the one year deathaversary of my friend’s suicide, and I participated in yet another walk for dead people. September was emotional, tough, and trying, but I got through it.

October

October started off with me reflecting on how much I love my car. I also met Jack Hanna, which was a childhood dream come true. I had a kickass lesson on bullying on National Coming Out Day and fell even more in love with teaching. I went to the Dodge Poetry Festival for the first time as an educator, and I helped my students fall in love with poetry. I met Geena Davis and she told me, “You’re changing the world to be a place I want to be in. Keep up the good work.” I saw Melissa Etheridge in concert. I survived Hurricane Sandy, was really upset that Sandy canceled Halloween, and was upset by the whole Sandy experience.

November

November feels like such a long time ago. I participated in NaBloPoMo for the first time and wrote about how I’m a Jersey girl, how Sandy domesticated me, and what Obama’s win meant to me. I also talked about bacon, ghosts, and just how important it was that I found my voice again by going to poetry open mics. I cut my hair, took silly webcam pics, and thought about my future. I ended my first NaBloPoMo experience by being grateful for stickers, and really having peace in knowing that I’m on the right track for what I want to do with my life.

December

December flew by. I think the biggest thing that happened to me this month, right before my student teaching internship ended, was that I realized why I want to teach. I arranged for an assembly for my Creative Writing students, and  it really changed my relationship with them forever. It taught one student to not be afraid to be who she is, and this, in return, encouraged me to come out to her. She then wrote me a note and made me cry. Then the Newtown, Connecticut shooting happened and it hit really close to home, as it was the first school shooting that has happened since I began student teaching. My students asked me if I would take a bullet for them, and I was able to respond honestly and say yes. Student teaching ended, and I managed to make it to the parking lot after school before crying. I got creeped out by the whole Elf on a Shelf phenomenon, but secretly loved my creepy little elf.

2012 was a year of growth. I rediscovered my writing identity, and GingerSass became a very large part of who I am. I’m grateful for the opportunities blogging has given me this past year, and I cannot wait to see what 2013 holds.

Happy New Year, folks! What are you looking forward to in 2013?

PS I’m not sure if I’ll be able to attend or not, but if you’ll be at home this NYE, consider joining in on #Tweetin13. There are prizes, fun people, and it’s hosted by two of my favorite ladies. Get on it!

10 Minute Musings #12- Love, poverty, and Dunkin Donuts

8/22/2012- 40 minutes

Flashback: Winter 2009. 

Sitting in Qdoba always reminds me of the moment where my ex, Irma*, and I realized we were in love, but wouldn’t admit it to each other, thanks to a homeless man. We sat by the window, eating our chips and guacamole and watching the snow fall outside. We sat next to each other, like so many people do during the honeymoon phase of relationships, and happily got lost in the mediocre music and people watching surrounding us. 

A homeless man came up to us and asked if we could help him text his wife, that he lost his glasses and it was hard for him to see the buttons. I felt for him as he explained he was worried about her because it was so cold outside, and he didn’t want her to freeze, that he wanted to tell her to meet him at Qdoba. I helped him write his message, and he thanked me profusely, saying that I had a good heart. He ordered a burrito and sat by the window a few tables away from us. Irma said I was too nice, that he was probably going to ask me for money next, and that he should just get a job. I retorted that sometimes those who are less fortunate just need a smile and a helping hand, that they aren’t always looking for handouts. Her caramel eyes smiled and I distinctly remember being told, “You’re too nice for your own good.” I blushed, still a bit uncertain and nervous of PDA with another woman, not sure of what the reaction may be from the people around us. 

As we continued eating, the homeless man walked over to us, his blue eyes twinkling and a huge grin spreading across his face. “I won’t bother you two again, I promise, but I just wanted to say…. it’s so beautiful how in love you two are. You have something special. Don’t lose each other.” We both blushed and looked down at our food, unsure of what to say. I really loved her, but I hadn’t told her yet…but I didn’t want a homeless man to beat me to the punch. “I, erm, uhhh…we’ve only been together a few months,” I mumbled, not looking up at the man or Irma. “That doesn’t matter! I can tell you two are so in love… you care for each other so much! It’s beautiful! You love her, don’t you?” he said, turning his direction to Irma. “Like she said, we, uh, have only been dating a few months. I love spending time with her, and she’s a beautiful, great girl, but, uhh…” she stumbled, her voice trailing off. The homeless man laughed, saying, “You two are so young and so beautiful together. Even if you don’t know it, you love each other. It’s beautiful.” He winked at us and walked away, leaving us at our table and staring down at our chips. That moment with the homeless man was probably one of the most romantic moments of my life.

*name obviously changed.

Present Day.

Maybe it’s my subconscious interacting with memories of the Qdoba incident, or maybe it was the emotionally charged, beautiful post from Six Year Itch I read the other night, but whatever it may be, but yesterday morning, fate told me to not stop for coffee on my way to Student Teacher Orientation at my usual coffee spot by my house. Instead, I waited until I got to the poverty-stricken town I’ll be working in.

I parked my car, fed the meter, crossed the street, and caught the eye of a man I’ll call Sal. Now, as terrible as it sounds, after four years of completing my undergrad in  a city filled with homeless individuals and beggars, I’ve learned to look the other way. I can tell when someone is a junkie looking for money for a fix versus when someone is genuinely asking for food money. I’ve learned to look the other way when I encounter those less fortunate than me not because I want to ignore them, but because I’m a student and don’t have enough money to help all of them.

When Sal’s eyes met mine, I was overcome with emotions. They were so filled with exhaustion, sadness, and despair that I immediately felt for him. Sal gave off a vibe that I can’t quite explain, but I knew he was just down on his luck. “Excuse me, miss, if you have an extra dollar, could please get me a small coffee?” he asked, looking as if he expected me to ignore his existence. I don’t know what came over me, but, without a second thought, I asked him how he wanted it. “Wh-what? Uhh… Just black! I don’t need anything fancy. Wow. Thank you so much, I just need a little something, anything in my stomach,” Sal stuttered, appearing to be in disbelief.

I went inside, ordered my own veggie flatbread and iced latte, and then, on another whim, ordered him a sausage, egg, and cheese combo. I figured he could use some extra protein. When I walked back out and handed him his bad of food and a large coffee, he got teary eyed and thanked me, saying, “Thank you so much, miss. Most people wouldn’t have given me the time of day, but you went beyond anything…you have a good heart. God bless ya!” I was overwhelmed with emotions by his genuine gratitude and wished him luck and told him to have a good day. “It’s already good, I’m going to have some food in my stomach!” he responded.

Two well-dressed women in suits had been watching our encounter, and they came after me, asking if I had found faith. I told them I had, and to have a great day. Sometimes you just have to have a little faith in doing the right thing.

Afterthoughts:

I am a privileged white woman. I’ve never been without a roof over my head or food in my stomach. My parents are educated individuals, and I am a college-educated woman pursuing a Masters Degree in Education. I have abundant opportunities in life, and for that I am extremely grateful. I’m even more grateful for the opportunity to be able to student teach in an urban district where 2/3 of the students have free or reduced lunch, where there are over 30 languages spoken at the homes of students, and where students are genuinely excited to be at school. My district even has a specific day of the week where students come to school with backpacks so that they can bring food home to their families, or they might go all weekend without eating. The backgrounds my students will be coming from may not be something I can even begin to understand completely, but one thing I do understand is compassion and a desire to reach one’s fullest potential. I cannot wait to begin making a difference in the lives of my students.