Yesterday’s tomorrows are no longer today. It’s time to set forth and move on to the unknown.
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!
A few years ago, although I didn’t know it at the time, I was at a bad place. I was unable to speak for myself, and I stopped being true to myself and my voice. I stopped listening to what my heart and soul said, and I listened to what I thought was right in order to stay happy.
I was wrong.
Now, as a woman on the brink of turning 23, I’ve realized that my voice is something I need to hold close to me. I’ve learned to put myself first, and to go after what I really want.
Out of the Box is that outlet for me, and, despite the hesitation I felt at it a few years ago, as well as the unmentionable reasons that held me back, I’m glad I found my way back. The universe works in funny ways, and it was definitely in my stars to find my way back to such a warm, inviting place. Without it, I’d be lost and silent, which is a deadly combination.
Thank you, Out of the Box, for giving me a chance to find myself again. Happy 10 years!
I don’t know what it is about the phrase, “Can you meet me for coffee tomorrow morning?”, but it sends chills down my spine. I was asked this question tonight, and it gave my heart palpitations.
I love coffee. I love the friend who invited me to coffee. I even love the fact that I have off from school tomorrow and can go to coffee!
So why did that simple question, filled with some of the most blissful moments of life, immediately give me heart palpitations?
It’s clichéd, but I associate “Can you meet me for coffee?” with the phrase “Can we talk?” which is usually a bad thing. Honestly, if you were going to have a “good” talk, wouldn’t you just go to a restaurant, or invite someone over for dinner, and have a hearty meal as you talk your hearts out for hours? Meeting for coffee means short and sweet. Unless, of course, it’s a first date. But coffee for a first date gives you leeway to escape if you need to, and leeway to people watch for hours if you’re actually enjoying yourselves. Meeting to talk over coffee means break ups, favors being asked, items from Craigslist being sold, and selling your old textbooks to a naïve undergrad.
Combined with the phrase “tomorrow morning,” I immediately assumed something bad had happened, and that my friend was breaking up with me… which is a bit of an over-reaction, especially because we’re not dating. I asked what was going on and what was wrong, and I was told, “Nothing! I just feel like seeing you.” Because sometimes coffee is just coffee.
I said this to someone the other day as I sat hand-making 30+ buttons for a walk I’m attending tomorrow morning. I’m walking on Team Lauren in honor of my friend who committed suicide just over a year ago.
As I sat making the buttons (which, by the way, is one of the most depressing craft projects I’ve ever done) I was thinking about charity walks, and how a lot raise money for research.
With the exception of a walk I did once with my youth group in middle school, I’ve only done walks for the already-dead.
I know this sounds sick and twisted, but I found a sick sort of irony in the fact that I’ve only raised money for dead people.
In high school, I volunteered with SHARE Infancy & Pregnancy Loss after a former teacher of mine asked students to get involved with the Walk to Remember, a walk that remembers infants who have died too soon due to pregnancy and infant loss. Looking back, it was a bit odd for a teenage girl to be so heavily involved with such a cause, but it hit close to home. (My family has been touched by infancy loss as well.)
Now, I accidentally put together a team for the Out of the Darkness walk for Suicide Prevention and Awareness honoring Lauren after she killed herself. (You should all definitely consider joining or contributing to Team Lauren. I’ve put a widget on the sidebar of my blog, you should be able to view it on my homepage, click it, and donate.)
I’m not sure what it says about me that I only walk for the already-dead, but I do know it’s important to remember them, and to raise awareness about how they’ve died.
What sorts of charity walks have you been involved with?
For the past eleven years, September 11th has been a day of solemn reflection and temporary patriotism across the country.
A 9/11 tribute from my freshman year of college
This year, I have been able to look at September 11th through new eyes. I am student teaching tenth graders, and, for most of them, September 11th is just another patriotic day on the calendar. They were 4 or 5 years old when the terrorist attacks occurred, and if they remember anything at all, they just remember the images that are bombarded across television sets year after year. Of the students who have actually memories of that date, most of the students just recall their parents or guardians being upset, or a lot of people leaving school early.
For me, the day has a completely different meaning. I was thinking about the significance of 9/11 in my life earlier this morning, and I realized that I am 22 years old. 9/11 happened 11 years ago. This means that for half of my life, I have been living in a post- 9/11 world.
A lot of my students have no personal recollections or memories of 9/11. Today, I ended up explaining to them how different the world was 11 years ago. Their minds were blown when I told them there was a time when there was hardly any security at airports, that you were allowed to bring liquids on planes, and that there were very few restrictions on packages you sent in the mail. To them, they have only known a life filled with extra security and safety precautions. Terror alerts are as normal to them as thunderstorm alerts, and terrorist is a casually used word in their media-filled lives. They only know what the Twin Towers look like as a result of “really old movies” (their words, not mine!), and the 9/11 memorial is just a construction project that has been going on for a really long time. September 11th is just another day to wear red, white, and blue, but they don’t get off from school for it. They know that it is socially acceptable to feign sadness, remorse, and a lack of understanding of the events that surround this day, but they do not remember the actual emotions that this day brings out in some people.
For me, I am blessed. I didn’t lose any loved ones on 9/11, although my aunt was in the last subway car that went to the World Trade Center. She and my uncle both survived working in the city that day, and for that I will always be grateful.
A few months ago, for my Teachers as Writers course, I dug up an old journal I had started on September 11th, 2001. I was convinced that the world was going to end, that Osama bin Laden was going to kill me and my family, and that life as I knew it was going to end. After reading through my neglected journal, I wanted to give my eleven year old self a hug and tell her it’s going to be okay. I was so filled with fear of the unknown, like many Americans at the time. In a weird sort of way, being able to revisit my thought process as a child allowed me to realize how much has changed and how much has remained the same in our crazy world.
I haven’t looked at Facebook yet today, but I can almost guarantee that when I do, I will see a lot of “Never forget” statuses. I can also almost guarantee that there will be moments of twisted 9/11 jokes, political ideologies, anger, hatred, and temporary patriotism. I respect that everyone has the right to their memories, emotions, and opinions, but I also hope that all of you will remember that some people are also still suffering various levels of grief and emotions 11 years later. Some people were personally affected by September 11th, 2001, and others were not. I hope with all my heart that everyone who reads this blog will think before joining the bandwagon, and that you all will be respectful of the lives that were lost eleven years ago.
I leave you with the song “Where Is The Love?” by The Black Eyed Peas. We used it to discuss life post 9/11 in my classroom today.
It just ain’t the same, always unchanged New days are strange, is the world insane If love and peace are so strong Why are there pieces of love that don’t belong