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Procrastination: a timeless effort

I have a procrastination problem. I think it first began when I was in high school.  I would often go to work at the local grocery store after volleyball practice. By the time I got home, it would usually be 9 or 10, sometimes later depending on the night. I would sit down to do homework, and I would end up watching tv, surfing the web, or playing with my dog. In between these activities, I would complete my work, usually doing my English or French homework first and saving the dreaded Math, Science, or History homework for last. If I had a paper to write, you’d better believe I waited until the night before it was due to complete it.

None of this has changed during my time at college or grad school, except that my dog still lives at home. I also haven’t taken a Math, Science, or History course in YEARS, thank goodness, but they’ve been replaced with courses focusing on different teaching styles and theories.

Yesterday I had a full day of class, which finally ended at 7:30. I had to hop on a bus to get to a different campus for a program I was supervising at work, which I didn’t anticipate ending until 10. Then I had a staff meeting. I figured, given the buses and anticipated snow mess, I probably wouldn’t be home until 11 or 11:30. I knew I had a paper to write, an educational blog to post, and a few discussions to comment on. Lucky (?) for me, things ended early and I was able to get a ride home from my boss. I ended up staring at Facebook for awhile, watching Jimmy Kimmel, and realizing that none of my assignments were due until 7pm today, and that my paper wasn’t due until 11:59PM.

Cue the procrastination.

Instead of pulling my anticipated all-nighter, I pulled the blanket over my head and went to sleep. I ended up sleeping in, and, 6 hours later, I’ve only accomplished the assignments due at 7. (I have roughly ten hours to write my paper, but I need to subtract 4 or 5 hours from that to go to class.)

2013-03-07 12.13.40

 

Coffee was supposed to help me function. Emphasis on the supposed to.

My mind started wandering, as it often does, and I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have had such a procrastination problem if I was in college and grad school ten years ago. That would bring us back to 2003, which I was 13. The internet was dial-up, Facebook wasn’t in my life, and I only used the desktop computer for typing essays, playing The Sims, and checking email. Oh, and AIM.

Forget ten years ago. AIM was a very big distraction back in the day.

If I went to college and grad school in 1993 would I still be a procrastinator? Seeing as I was barely potty-trained at that time, I can’t tell you much about the technology then. Looking back at it, the root of all evils, the internet, wouldn’t have been that big of a distraction, but magazines, books, the radio, and television would have.

I guess, no matter what time period I went to college and grad school, I still would have been distracted and a terrible procrastinator.

But, just putting it out there, I’d be spending a lot less time on the internet.

I guess I should stop procrastinating and get back to working on my paper. But first, watch a video of a hedgehog meeting a kitten. (This is what my generation uses the internet for.)

Coming Out: Today’s Generation

A few weeks ago, while my #23til23 challenge was in full swing, I mentioned how I had written a letter to my extended family, coming out as both a lesbian and a blogger. I never actually finished editing the letter, and I never actually sent it, but the letter has been lurking in the back of my mind (and notebook), waiting to be sent. I had decided to wait to come out to the family until next week, as I didn’t want to steal my sister’s spotlight at her family birthday party.

This weekend, my family celebrated my sister’s 18th birthday (GAH! HOW CAN YOU BE 18 ALREADY?!?!). On the eve of her family birthday celebration, I was at V’s house, spending some quality time with her and her dogs, when my mom called.

More or less, she told me that my entire family had been having a V love fest, and how they had decided it was necessary for me to come out to the family so that V could be invited to the family bday party the next day…. and since it was 9:30 at night I’d better act fast.

Before I discuss this any further, I have a few observances to make.

1. V fits in really well with my immediate family.
Mom, Dad, bro, and sis like her. Mom and Dad even had me inviting her to the sister’s bball games these past few weeks, which means a hell of a lot to me. Not only does she get along really well with my family and sincerely support my little sis, but my parents are comfortable enough with my sexuality to have me and my girlfriend at a basketball game, in front of all of the families they’ve known since my sis was in elementary school. When this first started happening I got teary eyed. My parents are the best.

2. Grandma and V get along really well too.
My Grandma goes to a lot of my sister’s bball games as well. She is definitely from a different generation, but I’m really close to her. When I first came out to her a few years ago, I was worried our relationship wouldn’t be the same. While we haven’t directly discussed my sexuality, she’s been my #1 supporter. V and her REALLY hit it off at the first basketball game V went to, and Grandma told Mom “how pretty V is” and “how V has a 1940’s movie star name.” While Grandma won’t call V my girlfriend– and, because of her generation, I don’t ever expect her to really– she has told me how “she really likes my friend V” and “how she is such a nice girl.”

3. V is a keeper.
The fact that my family was having a family pow-wow love fest about V and calling me at 9:30 at night to come out to the family so that V could celebrate my sister’s birthday really blew me away. It left me flabbergasted, dumbfounded, and on Cloud 9 because it confirmed what I’ve known since I went on my first date with V: she’s a keeper. Family is of utmost importance to me, and she encourages me to spend time with them over her if the opportunity presents itself. My family really, really likes her, and Mom even said “it felt wrong for V not to be at the birthday party.” I don’t know what life has in store, and I know I’m border-line U-Haul lesbian for saying this after just under 2 mos of dating, but she definitely is a keeper.

Anyway. Back to the coming out story.

My family had been talking about how much they like V, how well she fits in with the fam, and how much it means to them that she’s been supporting my sis at her bball games. My sis specifically told my mom she wanted V at her party, which prompted the conversation that led to 3 missed calls while I was in the bathroom at V’s place.

When I called my mom back, I was basically told it was silly for me not to be out to the family at this point, and that I should let them all know that I’m gay and to invite V to my sister’s bday party the next day. I was overwhelmed with emotions (excitement, apprehension, happiness, joy, love, appreciation, contentment) at this conversation, but a bit nervous. Nonetheless, with my hands shaking, I texted my extended family the following:

“Hey, it’s Kailynn. This is an awkward mass text. I wanted to let you all know I’m gay and my girlfriend, V, will be at _s party. Mom, Dad, (brother), (sister), & Grandma all like her. Surprise? See you tomorrow, love you. Sorry for the awkwardness of this text.”

Naturally, I hyperventilated a bit after hitting send, screen shotted the text, and posted it on my Facebook with the caption “I just sent out mass text message to my family saying I’m gay and they’re meeting V at my sister’s bday party tomorrow, as per Mom’s request. Surprise?”

Within a few hours, the photo had 66 likes. People called me “brave,” “fantastic,” and “the best.” Even an ex I don’t really talk to much anymore congratulated me on “getting the last toe out of the closet.” One friend said, “And who said texting wasn’t an authentic & effective form of communication?” I received a few messages from Facebook friends thanking me for sharing my story. Some even said how nice it has been to watch my journey  grow and evolve over the years. It was requested that I post some of the replies…which I did.

They looked a little something like this:

coming out- our generation

While I didn’t expect my family members to boycott my sister’s birthday party, I wasn’t sure what to expect from them. Some of them are (seemingly) very religious, and I wasn’t sure how my text message would fly. As you can see, everyone was really loving and supportive.

Once I posted the responses on Facebook, I received even more likes. Comments began to appear, saying how my coming out was “so our generation,” “inspirational,” and “could help a lot of people.” I was asked if I could share my story on a blog, but, let’s be real people… my blog gets first dibs on my story. 😉

My story really is a story of “our generation,” or “Generation Y” or “The Millennials.” (These are people born between 1980 & 1995.) I’ve grown up in a world where I’ve seen the birth of popularity of computers, the internet, cellphones, and new forms of communication. While I love receiving hand-written letters and actual phone calls, people of my generation keep in touch through text messaging or social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or instagram. For those less advanced, email might be the communication form of choice. There’s also a constantly growing number of bloggers, such as myself, who use blogging to create an identity as a writer, stay in touch with friends, share thoughts on the world, and connect with others. Not only is my mass-text coming out a sign of this generation, but so is the fact that I posted the texts to Facebook, interacted with others about my coming out story, and am blogging about it. This is something someone 10-20 years older than me could not imagine as part of his or her coming out story, and I think it’s interesting to observe that this could actually be a new sort of coming out.

I didn’t actually feel like I was coming out this time around, mainly because I haven’t been “in” for years. I simply haven’t felt the need to share this part of my life with my extended family until now. I am, however, glad that everything is finally “out” in the open. My extended family really liked V, the party went off without a hitch, and we all had a wonderful time. It’s a relief to finally be me 100%, and even more of a relief to be doing it with someone so wonderful by my side.

2013 really is turning out to be a wonderful year for me. 🙂

Also…. I have the best family. EVER.