Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hide the tube socks cos she'll be there

Have you ever stopped and thought about the way things in your life are going and wondered if things got better would it throw the Earth off its' axis? I don't remember the last time things in my life have felt so balanced and so optimistic at the same time. Sometimes it makes me nervous about what's to come, do all good things have to come to an end? Am I going to get thrown a curve ball and have to figure out how to hit a homerun? The major worries that I have had since moving to Nashville seem to be dissolving and things have begun to fall into place. Getting into grad school was a major relief, finding a summer job (even though the pay is terrible) decreased my stress level and maintaining my old and new friendships I don't feel will be a problem considering both sides are putting in the work.
So, it is now Tuesday May 31st, 2011. Today is the last day of my 10 month contract at Johnson school. Today is a day I didn't feel would ever come at some points during the school year. Throughout these 10 months I have spent much time and energy worrying and complaining about the level of functioning at the school. Many efforts were made to plant seeds in these kids only at times to have bleach poured on the soil from teachers and parents that just don't seem to understand the mental processing of adolescents. I struggled daily trying to understand the logic behind decisions that were made by the adults in my client's lives and much of it was nonsensical. Reflecting back on my time spent at the school I have learned a few things. One being there is a negative side to teachers' unions. Two being that no matter what efforts I make and the progress that ensues I have no control over anyone else's actions and need to prepare the best I can for the worst possible scenarios while still trying to be optimistic. Other than that I made some really good friends and acquaintances at work and will only continue to grow and develop as a social worker and keep on truckin'. 
As for the week I spent it waiting for Thursday. When Thursday came nothing else mattered. My amazing friends from Michigan drove 8 hours to spend time with ME. All that way to spend 4 days in my company which is flattering I think. It made me feel loved. My friends and I spent the weekend playing putt putt (which I continue to suck at), seeing the Hangover 2 and drinking excellent varieties of beer. We made fun of each other and enjoyed each others company. We spent some time at the lake too which made me feel as close to home as I could get. It was a fun, relaxing weekend and it just felt natural and normal to be around them. They have no idea how much they ground me and keep me motivated. My best friend keeps me sane and standing on my own two feet due to her support and input. There were a lot of laughs, a lot of talks about sex and relationships and Michigan and old times. I sometimes worry though that they'll think that I've changed. I mean I have changed some but I think mostly for the better. They are amazing people that are accepting and not judgmental. They support my decisions and encourage me to do the things I really want to. I love my friends and wouldn't trade them for anything. I want them to be as happy as possible and allow me to continue to be a part of their lives. 
 On a related note it's hard to have friends judge or be unsupportive. It hurts finding out that your friend make assumptions or thinks negatively of you. I understand that from the outside looking in things can get pretty skewed but sometimes you just have to let your friends make their own decisions and just stand behind them. Unless they're contemplating heroin addiction or suicide then maybe a little push in a different direction would be acceptable. Sometimes it's just straight up none of their business and regardless of their thoughts on the matter they have no place saying anything even if the motive is a means if protection. Sometimes it feels like some people in my life lack faith in my decisions. I'm 25 and though I don't have everything figured out I have lived a little and have learned some things. My growth as a person should not be stifled because you don't support my decisions or think my actions are in my best interest. I'm making the decisions for myself so they are for me alone. Let me learn. That may rub people the wrong way but at this point, fuck it I don't care. I'll get over it and move on, soon I'm sure. 
Lately I've been thinking about relationship dynamics and how one person can effect another person. Take laughter for example (thats not a dynamic I know just serves the purpose for this), it's contagious. When you're around a person that is laughing and smiling and happy they tend to improve your mood. When you're around someone that's often negative and a naysayer you may see things in a more negative light (or they'll just annoy you). I want to be around people and spend time with people that are interested in self improvement and change. I want to surround myself with people that think critically and have their own opinions about things. Most of all I just want to be around people that have a great capacity for love and positivity. People that have those qualities make me a better person. A person that I have recently gotten close to makes me optimistic about people in general. I just stay happy and look at things in a different way than I normally would. This person makes me want to try new things and be more adventurous and experience life how I think it was meant to be experienced. When you find people that can bring that out of you it should be taken advantage of and you should keep that person close. I want to be one of those people. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Here am I floatin' 'round my tin can far above the world

Twice in a week is a bit much but I've had a lot on my mind as of late so I need to sort some things out, bear (not bare) with me. 
So I discovered today that I now have a summer job, whew what a relief, right? Maybe not as much as one would think. It will be a great opportunity, a great resume builder and damn near slave labor considering what I'm being paid but that's part of Americorps' idea, they want you to know what it feels like to live in poverty. 
So part one is great; a summer job in my field that has awesome hours and isn't that far from home. 
Part two involves matters of the heart. Touchy subject, so much so that I rarely talk about such things. F*ck it. It's worth discussing because that's where my head has been for the last few weeks, up in the clouds. 
Part one makes part two a little more tricky. Part one could have involved a job elsewhere affording me the opportunity to really explore part two. This almost sounds like a math problem at this point. If car one is traveling at a rate of...... Anyway, a tough decision had to be made and made it was much to the chagrin of all parties involved. 
So now it's time to get creative and save what little money I will be making to pay for gas. It will be worth it, I know.
It will be worth it because of the way I have felt these past few weeks. A way I have not felt maybe ever. It makes me want to sing the Beatles "I wanna hold your hand" and skip around my apartment. Something I want to tell everyone and no one because it excites me and terrifies me at the same time. 
I'm certain my close friends all think I'm crazy. I just may be. For once I know I am excited to see where things lead me instead of where I will end up. Sometimes you just need to sit back and enjoy the ride, even if you really want to floor it. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

"If I go there will be trouble and if I stay it will be double"

Watching punk kids two step and mosh in 85* weather to the Clash's "should I stay" played live by Anti-Flag is not something I would have seen myself being a part of at the age of 25. One because I'd never really had a desire to see Anti-Flag after 1999. Two because I didn't think I was going to make it to any shows in Louisville for the obvious reason that I don't live there and it's a three hour drive North for me. Lots of tattoos, piercings, mohawks, manic panic hair dye and black t-shirts, sometimes that just feels like home, or a blast from the past at least. 
So I spent most of the week wishing it was Friday, which is pretty typical, but wished even harder because I had an exciting weekend to look forward to and didn't want to wait any longer. Thankfully I have one of the coolest bosses ever and she suggested I take Friday off of work, umm....hell yes! So after what seemed like the longest 4 days on the planet and the longest four hours babysitting on Thursday night (the kids are adorable I'm just impatient) I made the trip up 65. I made pretty fantastic time and got into town with enough time to grab a drink and meet some friends of the friend I was visiting.   Bell's Two Hearted hit the spot famously and calmed my crazy nerves again. All said and done I was up for 24 hours on Thursday but it was absolutely worth it. Friday morning really kicked the weekend into gear and whilst getting ready for the day I got a phone call for an interview in Louisville...weird. So delicious Vietnamese sandwiches and some straight talk were the precursor to the interview which I feel didn't go as swimmingly as they usually do. I'm not sure what happened aside from the fact that I just felt out of my element which isn't usually a huge deal because I'm awkward at times anyway but not usually in those settings. I'll hear soon. 
The weekend was split up between Krazy Fest (Defeater, Lemuria, La Dispute, Anti-Flag, Make do and Mend, and many more), a toddler's birthday party, BBQ's, house parties, board games, mopeds and we even squeezed in a movie. I'd like to think that's a pretty efficient use of time. It was pretty much me looking like a smiley nerd or talking myself into be more talkative even when feeling uncomfortable. I met a lot of really cool people. ANNND I learned how to drive a moped which I felt pretty damn good about considering my lack of confidence in two wheeled machines propelled by small motors. Plus of course the helmet (totally necessary for a max speed of 20mph) I'm sure looked super sexy.....It's also nice to have someone to explain and be patient with you. 
To sum up the weekend in three not real words combining to make one: Amaz-za-zing. It's not a coincidence that the last three weekend have been fantastic, there is a definite theme within them all, "I'm down for whatever." I aim to live life more like that on a regular basis. 
There were some strange and some positive interactions while spending time in the city. I was able to get to know a few people and really understand more about a person that connects all of those people together. I also had a 50 or 60 year old man hit on me by opening with a line about the bird necklace I was wearing and had a girl at the show tell me she's 'sick of dude friends' and then asked if we could be friends. Ha. Apparently I'm more approachable than I thought if I'm at a Kroger or a show at least. 
This week is going to be rough for two reasons. Decisions. Decisions. It's also going to be super amazingly fantastic because my best friend is coming to visit and is bringing along the always amazing Scuba Steve. What more could a girl ask for?

Oh this is the sexy moped that I rode, it's super tough ;) I'm not a natural but I did ok. 
Also on my mind are things that get me into trouble. Things that make me nervous and then run away. Or wonder when the sky is going to start falling down around me. Decisions and implications. Not allowing myself to be influenced by anyone or anything and just make the right decision for me. Thankfully they are all positive things and will lead to good outcomes, for the most part. I don't want to agonize and him and haw because that's just going to make things worse and I really just don't have to time to do that. I will say that it feels really good to be surrounded by people that support and care about me, even if they are being protective older sisters...errr...
I keep posting on Mondays because clearly if you're reading I'm living instead of just writing about it, which I feel ok with even if it screws up the rotation. 
Today I had a job interview in Murfreesboro and it went really really well. It makes me wonder about things like balance, fate or being just plain right or wrong. 
I'm ok with taking chances I just need to make sure I can stick the landing. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's gonna hit me with a big wave.

I really need to stop posting about how great the weather is because the next week it's the opposite, I keep jinxing Nashville, oops. I'm just looking for a happy medium.
This week was another interesting one. I have been vehemently searching for a job for the summer. I think I've applied to at least 22 different jobs and I am overqualified for most of them. Having a degree in social work seems a bit of an overkill for a housekeeping job, just a guess. I just need a job so that I can pay bills through the summer, that's all I'm asking, come fall I'll have a job again and all will be right with the world. My mom voice is saying "If you had planned better with your finances you wouldn't have to work." To that voice I say 'fuck off' because I should do a lot of things differently but I don't, so now I bitch. All that I ask is that I make a livable wage. I'll likely be working a minimum of two jobs this summer which kind of puts a damper on any kind of travel plans I had. In the wise words of Tim Gunn I will just 'make it work.' Or I'm moving to a different city where I can find a job and will crash with willing participants for 12 weeks.
This work week made me glad that we only have 10 school days left. I don't hate my job. I love my clients and (some of) my coworkers and would like to say I feel like I made a difference this school year. Lately it's been 2 steps forward and 6 steps back (EFFFF I have Paula Abdul stuck in my head now!). It's so frustrating to put so much time and effort in to something so fragile and in one fell swoop its back to pieces. It could be one thing or a combination of things that makes all that hard work go away but I suppose it's also the same that makes the progress show. I work with kids that I hope aren't too far gone. The kids you wish you had or someone had gotten through to sooner. That's the hard part about working with people, there is no right equation that is a cure-all. You'd think in my free time I'd not want to be around kids but I'm totally digging this babysitting thing. I think it's because it's a nice change going from a kid that wants to throw a book at you after screaming obscenities to a kid that wants you to read him a book at bedtime. It almost makes me hopeful.
Exciting news would include officially becoming a graduate student at the University of Tennessee's College of Social Work. The only thing I can say is that it's about friggin time. I've put off my Masters for quite some time and I really want to see where this will take me next. I can't wait to get started in the fall. Also exciting news would be that I have a new scrabble opponent and shit's about to get intense. This also relates to me having a visitor for the weekend and making me realize things that I've been missing out on. There were 3 'c' words used this weekend and none of them were dirty. Chemistry. Crazy...and the last one is yours to guess. Also I learned how to make lentil burgers (sort of) and tried new things.
This weekend involved completely enjoying every minute of the weekend. I love when that happens.
My broke ass is looking forward to this coming weekend (even though I shouldn't (cos I'm poor) because it involves a music festival and possibly moped riding? Hmm. These things will take place in Louisville (I will continue to pronounce it Lew-EE ville) These next four days will probably crawl which seems to be the theme with any time not spent with fantastic people.
Have a great week :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Common ground and making it count

I love when I can just sit on my patio and reflect on my week. It's 80* out still and it's almost 8:30 p.m. I know pretty soon I'll feel like I'm melting in the summer heat but I'm currently enjoying it. Actually this weekend I managed to get a bit of a tan/sunburn and enjoy the weather, which was much needed.
I don't even remember what happened throughout the week it feels so long ago. I know I worked and probably wanted to throw things at times. I saw Water for Elephants with some girl friends (gasp! female friends I know!). I stayed late on Thursday for court and got well acquainted with Nashville's juvenile justice system. It appears to be about as effective as Wayne County's system (Detroit specifically). It made me remember how reactive and slow the process is for offenders. It makes me wish there was an understanding about 'proactivity' and why it's good. Lawmakers don't really understand why putting funding into programs to keep kids out of trouble is much less costly in the long wrong.... I mean I didn't go to law school or anything but I've managed to at least figure that part out. It results in a lot of eye rolling on my part.
It feels like last week was forever ago because somehow this weekend it felt like time went in slow motion which is pretty much the best thing ever. Or it's because I got a total of like 8 hours of sleep in two days. My female friend had a guest in town from Louisville so it was determined we would find a means to entertain for the entire weekend and entertain we did. There were many things packed into Friday, Saturday and Sunday, subsequently this week Monday also counted as part of my weekend but I'll get to that later. So...my friend and I met her friend at Dinosaur World in Cave City, KY. This is the 1/2 way point between Louisville and Nashville in case anyone was curious and quite the place to visit. If you haven't been to Dinosaur World you're not missing out on anything unless you want to pay to see giant fiberglass dinosaurs scattered about a field. Some people will pay for that kind of thing, I'm assuming those are the same people that visit this website. PLEASE go to that link, my friend found it in college and it's interactive and uhhh...interesting? Ha anyway, we drive back to Nashville and immediately do sushi (yum!) and then the fun commenced. We ended up downtown pretty late after much deliberation and bar-hopped around. The boys gave me a hard time as per usual and attempted to get piggy back rides from each other. That was a 4 a.m. night. Saturday we managed to pack in Arts and Crafts fairs, the cafe, frisbee, the Parthenon and then drinks on the beach. After some discussion we decided that toilet papering my friends 4x4 backyard and car would be a great idea knowing he was at the bar. Things were going swell and we had just started decorating his yard when he pulled into the driveway. After running down the road and deciding to go back after waiting several minutes we decided to get the car much worse. It looked like this:
Yes we are children. And it was a blast. He knew it was us even though we managed to escape without being seen. Sunday we spent the day getting brunch and recovering from hangovers and sleep deprivation. Most of the day consisted of hanging out in the sun at the park and then by the Percy Priest dam. Sunday night became pretty interesting once returning to Cave City to find that my friend's car had been towed. Ooops. So we spent a large chunk of time looking for it and were finally contacted by the local cops of it's whereabouts. That town is full of some interesting characters. The great length of time spent car hunting resulted in it turning into a late night and decided to not continue to push my sleep deprived body any longer and stay there. And skip work today. I'm lucky my supervisor is awesome. It was the best weekend I've had in forever though.

Not so random aside, it's pretty crazy how perfect strangers can be on such a similar wave length. It's also pretty nice to get to know people that want to get to know you. And to finish each other's sentences without meaning to. I should have pulled out the "jinx you owe me a coke" line a couple of times just to continue the theme of childishly fun activities. There was a lot of smiling going on. It's inspiring.
In weeks to come; hopefully job finding, Krazy fest and hopefully visits from my best friend. Woot!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week, I know I will. <3

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We're half awake in a fake empire

It was a big week for the South and yesterday for the entire country. My own week left much to be desired and paled in comparison to anything happening to most people around the country so I'll keep this short and sweet so you can get back to CNN or twitter to stay updated on The Royal Newlyweds or Osama bin Laden. The weather was crazy around here and when the rain wasn't coming down in torrents or tornado warnings weren't flashing across t.v. screens it was sunny and amazing. Nashville got what seemed to be a light slap from the storm system when parts further South got hammered. The fatality count is up to 345 (according to ABC news) which makes that a very significant happening considering that is more than twice the death toll of the Oklahoma City bombings. Obviously those are two very different circumstances but nonetheless the storms shouldn't be glossed over or be old news because they aren't acts of terrorism. The royal wedding coverage makes me a but nauseous considering America's obsession with celebrities and fairy tales. The monarchy is to remain neutral in politics so what bearing or importance do they really have aside from being figureheads? Suppose I should read up on that because it just seems like a lot of show ponying. So bin Laden was found and slain and then buried in the ocean? I'm wondering what comes next? A lot of people think the troops will be returning soon, wrong. Half of the people happy about bin Laden being dead claim it was through no help of the current president and the other half believe it will be a large reason for him being re-elected in 2012. It's hard for me either way to celebrate killing people, evil or not. Crazy bleeding heart, pacifist, anti-American, liberal blah blah. It's good to know the leader of the al Qaeda can no longer lead them but it makes me sad to think about what will be uncovered and the implications this has for our relations with Pakistan, or whatever else we are led to through what was found in his mansion. Moral of the story is people will continue to die by the hands of other men. On a different yet slightly related note, I think our current President has a fantastic sense of humor, even better than Clinton's.
Now that I sound sufficiently ignorant I will move on to something I know even less about; human interaction and decision making.
Have you ever known that something was going to end badly but you carried on with it anyway just to kind of prove yourself right? I find it necessary to be right a lot. I also find it necessary to dissect it to death. I do things for their instant gratification but have the foresight to know I am going to hate myself soon after it's done. I'm still trying to figure out the piece of me that continues to need what I am constantly looking for and can't satiate. Lately it's been a lot of me wondering if I'm missing faith in something or in general. It's irritating.
This week involved visits, marathon watching, drinks and planning. Nothing too exciting and no awkward social encounters with the general public. I'm going to call that a win.
Have a good rest of the week :)