A good day

Today was a good day. While I don’t usually characterize my days as good or bad, I must say that today was the exception to the rule. I guess part of the reason I had a good day was the fact that I had a pretty good weekend. Traveled a few thousand miles back to the South and had a random adventure in the urban section of Atlanta with a friend and some others. Witnessed an altercation that could have quickly turned into a fight and did some advocating and mediation that actually had some positive results. But I digress. Today I got a chance to spend some time with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and I really enjoyed it. As I grow older I have found that good conversation is a luxury that is often disregarded. While there are people I talk to fairly regularly and keep in touch with through phone calls or texts, there’s no substitute for a genuine human face to face interaction with someone I enjoy talking to. It’s a great feeling to have an intelligent conversation without constantly backtracking and feeling like you may be offending the other person and that they don’t understand where you’re coming from. It was also great seeing a familiar face because that rarely happens unless I travel a significant distance. I personally enjoy good conversations because they can be so enlightening and helpful. Those kind of conversations are even better when you have rapport with the person and there are mutual interests and a history of shared experiences. Those are the conversations that keep you awake, alert, and engaged despite just finishing your 12 hour shift and being beyond exhausted. Yup, it was a good day. 

Turning it Off

I’m a little obsessive with ensuring my phone is charged as much as possible at all times. At any point I’m usually within ten feet of one of my phone chargers. I feel anxious if my batter percentage drops below 50% and immediately begin planning how much time I have to find an outlet and charge the phone again. I’ve met people who don’t care about that stuff and as a result let their phones die. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it can be very inconvenient for people trying to get in contact with them. Let’s not forget that a phone can be helpful if you’re ever stranded. A few years ago I had my phone stolen by a homeless lady.  Needless to say, I was very upset. Not just because I had gone against my better judgment and given her money, but because I had a 16g memory card in my phone that contained pictures and videos from about three years of my college experience. All gone. Needless to say, it wasn’t backed up in a computer and I lost it all. I was devastated. There’s a picture that circulated a while back of a man busy in his phone while he missed the opportunity to see a whale. I wonder how many real life moments I’ve missed because of that same thing. No, I don’t intend to give up my cell phone or downgrade to a non-smart phone, but I do need to be more mindful of what’s around me. And maybe it’s ok to let my phone die or even turn it off once in a while so that I can be 100% tuned into something a bit more meaningful than social media. 

Rubber and the Road (and Scandal)

So life has once again brought me to a place where I have to make a very hard decision. It’s not critically life changing and doesn’t involve a career change. However, it’s interesting because the decision isn’t the most convenient and it doesn’t benefit me in any way. I’ve learned that sometimes the right thing feels like the wrong thing to do. Especially when it’s best for everyone else except you. While I’m not advocating being an emotional martyr I am saying that character doesn’t come out of convenience. It’s the tough times (and decisions) that show our true colors. In my case the decision has been made. The only thing to figure out at this point is a way to communicate clearly and effectively while getting the point across. I’ve learned that it’s one thing to make a decision but another thing totally to follow through. I guess a great example of this is one of the recent Scandal episodes where the new vice president explains that there is a difference between a law that sounds good and a law that is actually enforceable. If there’s no action to follow the decision then it’s pointless. So my goal is to take this as a learning experience and to make sure that my actions follow my decision because that’s where the rubber hits the road. It’s not easy but it’s very necessary and the right thing to do. Will I have that warm fuzzy feeling of knowing that I did the right thing and decided to be unselfish in my actions? Probably not. But it’s better in the long run and 20 years from now I’ll be happy with myself. Keeping the long term in mind.

This Generation’s Hero is Somewhere in You!

I don’t usually do a lot of reblogs but I felt that this was was especially timely. It was written by a Facebook friend of mine who I met when I was 13. We talk about all the problems of this world but many times neglect to mention the connection between childhood and growing up to be responsible adults. I like how he discusses an issue that is usually ignored and the importance of mentoring and making a difference when children are still young instead of trying to implement interventions later on in their lives. Great read.

You can only hide for but so long

This is a post written by a friend of mine and yes, it did happen. I’ve posted a few of my thoughts about online dating throughout some of the time that I’ve had this blog. One day I’ll have to write about some of my own experiences when I’m a bit more removed. Aside from the glowing commercials highlighting the rewards of finding a lifelong partner through the internet, we all know that everyone isn’t what they portray themselves to be online. This post is definitely a testament to that fact. Happy reading.

The Leftie Life

I’ve been left handed for as long as I can remember. It’s always been weird bumping elbows with people at the table and using scissors that are excruciatingly uncomfortable. The combination of being homeschooled AND left handed lent itself to the assumption many people made that I was smart. The jury is still out on that one but I must admit that being left handed requires you to think a lot more. You have to write really weirdly on spiral notebooks and judge distances when you are trying to navigate activities designed for righties. Let’s not forget how uncomfortable it is to sit at a right handed desk and actually take legible notes because you don’t have anywhere to put your elbows. The funny thing is that while I use utensils and write with my left hand, I do pretty much everything else with my right hand because it just comes more naturally. I don’t know that many left handed people and I remember reading stories as a kid of parents who forced their children to be right handed when they saw that they favored their other hand. I ran into this interesting article that talk about characteristics of left handed people and it was rather eye opening for me. I won’t comment on all of the assertions of the article but I will say that as a leftie who knows a few other lefties, I do think that we indeed do get angrier in certain stressful situations but I don’t know if that should be blamed on being left handed.

The Move

This week has definitely been interesting to say the least. I’ve always hated packing things up and I was spared this mind- numbing activity by my wonderful mother who consented to be flown in from across the continent to help me pack. I had forgotten how much time and energy goes into moving considering the fact that I haven’t moved in almost 4 years. College was one of those times where I always felt like I was dissembling my life every four months when the semester ended and I used to hate having to pack while studying for finals. When I got a letter in the mail informing me of a raise in the rent I decided it was time to look at other housing options. While I love the idea of a new environment, the actual execution of packing and looking for a new apartment was very daunting. One of my retirement activities needs to be scrapbooking because I like to keep small and insignificant mementos that end up in random shoeboxes stored away. The thing about moving is that it takes some adjusting. You have to find all your favorite things, arrange your kitchen and then change your address on everything. As much as I love being spontaneous and doing new things, I’m also a creature of habit and I don’t like moving once a place becomes familiar. And while the new place qualifies as an “I made it” sort of place with many of the coveted amenities of apartments, it’s still unfamiliar and weird. I think that one of the reasons moving is stressful is because people are required to adjust to a new environment. They no longer sleep and eat in the same place. It takes some getting used to. I’ve put off buying any furniture for the past 3 years so maybe it’s time to get that done. 

Floating Away

I’m sitting sipping coffee before I report for a 12 hour shift that will most likely end up being a 14 hour one and I think, “why not do a blog post?” So here goes. This week I got a chance to experience something I’ve never done before. A salt water soak. So apparently my trip to the ocean last week was not an adequate amount of salt water for me. I’m always up for a good adventure and I saw this great deal listed on Groupon and decided to try it. Apparently there are lots of great health effects derived by soaking in salt and its supposed to promote wellness and a good immune system or something like that. I didnt really care but wanted to try it. First off there was a whole studio devoted entirely to soaking in saltwater. Apparently these soaks range from 90 minutes to overnight soaks. So I go into the studio and sign my life away on a waiver promising that I wont sue if something bad happens. Then to get me relaxed the staff directs me to an inversion table where I lie upside down and listen to ocean waves with low pulsing beats. It was at this point I realized that I might be incapable of relaxing all the way. Lying upside down with headphones in a room with dark lighting probably isn’t the best for someone with slight trust issues. So after an eternity (20 minutes) I the music stops and I go into the float tank. I should preface this by saying that I’m not super claustrophobic but if I was I would have a HUGE issue with the tank. You open up the door and climb in and close the door behind you. From this point on you’re supposed to float in 10 inches of warm water that’s more salty than the Dead Sea where you WILL NOT sink. Now, I havent swam in about 5 years but I figured that it shouldnt be hard to float and it wasn’t. However, the tank is about the size of an oversized coffin and you are enclosed in absolute darkness for about 60 minutes. The only think you can hear is your heart pounding in your ears. Really relaxing right? I don’t like staring into darkness so I just did what came naturally and slept for the whole time just floating in the saltwater coffin. I don’t know if it was relaxing but it was a new experience  I just might try again. Self care right?

Missing Home

Growing up, Easter was always a special time of year. Not because of bunnies and rabbits or because of some of the religious traditions of Holy Week but because of Alumni Weekend. The time where my family and I made the relatively short trip to Alabama for the weekend. As a homeschooled kid, these trips were good great for seeing how “regular” kids were and just taking in the sights that only come with a large gathering of thousands. This trip was made every year without fail. Through multiple kids and carting strollers up and down stadium steps, my parents adapted and made it work. My family didn’t celebrate Easter however many family members made it a point to be present this weekend. From aunts, uncles, and extended cousins to people we considered family, it was like a huge yearly reunion. From childhood to adolescence to adulthood, this weekend is the second time in my life (the first being three years ago) that I’ve missed this event. I’ve attended as a grandchild and child of students who attended, as a student myself and then as a student who graduated. The routine is always the same with the exception of little adjustments. This weekend I’m feeling especially homesick as I’m missing the feeling of being in the familiar environment in which I spent 21 years or so of my life. It’s a habit that has become a tradition I don’t like to deviate from. It is a family reunion of sorts–especially considering the fact that I don’t go to my actual family reunions.  Everyone doesn’t have the chance to go to a college where their grandparents and parents, cousins and other extended family members either taught at or attended. I had an awesome college experience and while I didn’t believe when people said that college is the best years of your life, I believe it now. Not that there’s nothing to look forward to but there’s something special about living for four years with people you’ve grown up with and known for years and bonding over mutual experiences. I won’t live that close to that many friends at any point in my life again. Adulthood has happened and I have to adjust accordingly. I’m a fan of new adventures but sometimes it’s nice to visit where you grew up and catch up with old friends.  There’s no place like home and today I miss my college one. 

Mascara-The Song

I haven’t posted about a song in a while and thought that it was time to do so. There are few albums that I’ve gotten and actually regretted the fact that I didn’t buy it the day that it was released and this is one of them. This entire CD is fire and Jazmine has a unique sound that can’t be replicated. This song is in first person and describes a woman who decides to go against the grain. While it’s not ridden with expletives there are a few for effect. The song continues on to describe a woman who decides to work smart instead of hard and allow others to finance her life while she provides certain incentives. One of the stipulations in the agreement is that she makes a deliberate effort to never not look good. This song is not the easiest to sing but Jazmine makes it seem easy as she transitions from falsetto to her chest voice effortlessly while still respecting and displaying her amazing vocal skills Now, I can’t give you all the reasons why I love this song and why it’s been on repeat for the past two weeks straight except to say that it’s one of the most well-written songs I’ve heard in the while. The lyrics match the music and Jazmine’s voice in a flawless coming together of emotion and melody that moves you. The thing I like about this album is that there are no bad songs. Each song is different and unique in its own right and conveys real human emotion. That’s what separates good music from great music.