Not one single hurtful thing ever got changed by someone grinning and bearing it.
Hurtful things changed because people have said ‘That hurts me. Stop.’
And every time you try to silence someone and tell them that they shouldn’t be hurt, shouldn’t be offended, shouldn’t choose this battle, that this isn’t important and that other things are more important - you are serving the hurtful rather than the hurt. — (via moniquill)
In other news, I will not have qualifications to purchase alcohol this weekend and might have to just put up with a constant heart-attack feeling while never tasting coffee again.
I cannot do ADHD un-medicated for much longer. :(
Congratulations! You’re reading my first post from my new laptop. The first was purchased from my ex, and at four years old it’s still alive but barely breathing (not my line). Seeing that its ultimate crash will be age and not damage, as I am a fantastic laptop-mama, my parents said they’d foot the bill for this one.
After finding a small but durable Asus with a great graphics card for much cheaper than the Mac they cannot afford, I got a call saying my $40 oil change/engine check turned into a $900 new accelerator pump.It was like punching my father in the gut. I would have gladly gone three more months on the old, battery-only monster, until my parents paid for my car and saved money back, had I only known.
The rest of the weekend came with laughs, lessons, a fight, all the usual family stuff. My family likes to make sure I’m fed, even when I’m not home for them to cook. They also enjoy their get-aways, which means good burgers, friend chicken and trying new beers. Watching portion controls and carbs be-gone.
I also went to my first-ever Husker basketball game. As a senior in college. No shame.And yes, we took a picture…
OK, and a silly one, one with Mom and one celebrating the WIN.
My brother and I decided we’re only going when we play against teams that suck more than us in the future. It’s just more fun to win.
My poor father hates the driving in the midst of downtown with tons of one-ways and winding roads. 10th street can go into the major freeway, another overpass or under the two overpasses, depending on which lane you take. So we didn’t get to divulge in our favorite downtown creamery after the game. Poor old man drove as far from downtown traffic as he could, until he found us a McDonalds with sundaes (disclaimer: I’ve lived here 1.5 years and am still never allowed to relieve the stress by, you know, driving them around).
All I asked for on Sunday was some quarters to complete my overdue laundry. To Mom, this meant packing all my clothes up and hitting the laundromat with me. I think she gets homesick for helping me sometimes.
They were also super gracious about my arranging project or vacuuming not getting completed with all the work/school madness of last week. Again, I just needed time to complete it, but Mother took on the project of the vacuuming and helped me lift the desk to its new place.
So, I guess in the midst of my pride, look-at-me-being-an-awesome-adult-ness, the big adult lesson was to ask for help. Even at 21. Even from parents who you want to entertain and show around. My room is rearranged, my mother’s vacuuming will always top mine (how does she do that?) and we caught up on conversation while watching underthings tumble (again not my line).
Someday, I’ll clean their house for them, just to help out.
I think the one big thing I’m learning in this business is how to deal with PR people. And roll with whatever life/journalism/PR people bring me. And to not make plans. Even when I can’t live without a planner, have company arriving and live by lists and appointments.
The lovely parents are visiting this weekend. Which means hanging out with them for two days straight, showing them my favorite quaint little brunch place, a basketball game and mostly just showing them how cool of an adult I am.
Speaking of that adult I’ve become… I never really completed the bedroom arranging project I began this semester. Oh. And I had a story pushed back to yesterday, my original cleaning day. I already had one source interviewed, scheduled one interview at 11:45 a.m. yesterday, and figured I could complete the story in the afternoon.
Companies can’t just go around saying things without quality control. And, even with 24-hour notice, even after giving them a copy of my written questions, even after scheduled interview — it can still result in a four-hour goose chase. For. One. Quote. Add another goose chase, this one to find another source, just in case that first doesn’t come through.
After design homework and taking Gallup polls, I mostly just came home, whined to the ever-patient, loving boyfriend that I was not in the mood for mischievous behavior, ruined my Valentine’s Day surprise flowers and crashed.
Here’s to hoping I can clean between way-too-early web design class and super-important math lecture.
I’d also really like to get some pictures this weekend. I’ve been doing photo-a-day over at Facebook, but of course I never think to upload them here, and need to photo-blog more.
View the story this fun goose chase brought, here
Saw a lovely fried bagel/peanut butter/banana combo from a Tumblr followee. Was headed straight to buy a banana, eat a low-cost meal at home and study.
Was deferred by a Raising Cane’s just off campus.
Damn you, fried chicken and sweet tea. It should also be noted this recipe holder is nine months pregnant. I really, really fail.
I had just enough time to compile a two-minute video for reporting class, and get to class. The export has taken almost an hour. Class has been going on for 40 minutes. Ugh. Here’s what’s been going on while I wait for a grueling 6 percent.
I love trips to Omaha on late Saturday afternoons especially, because NPR is at its best (This American Life and weekend edition of All Things Considered; yes please) and the sun is at this really golden peak over Eastern Nebraska hills. Then on the way home is late-night jazz music, which is really the perfect way to end any day. Mush, I know. It’s just a good feeling.
I understand ice skating is hard, I have no coordination to do ballet, let alone on blades and ice. Just to qualify the big championships is huge. That being said, the difference in the first group of ladies, right at 6 p.m. to the last group, at about 8 or 9 p.m. was a tremendous jump. They save the best for last, and you could see just how much one four-minute routine changed.
I was rooting for Gracie, the flawless second place finisher. She was in her first year at the competition, didn’t fall once, had both fast and slow beats that she hit every one of and ended with this perfect twirl, similar to that of a figurine in a music box. Last year’s national champion, Ashley, fell a couple times, but apparently her first-night performance was better than Gracie’s, so her final score was still higher. I detect some bias for the veteran skater from judges, but I also tripped over my feet while leaving my row for popcorn — so I’m not qualified to judge that of ice skating.
We’re discerning. Marriage. It’s kind of big.
Discerning is a big church word for prayer and consideration, and, in essence, seeing where God wants you and where you’re ready to be.
That’s not to say you don’t think about yourself. God is ever-loving, awesome and understanding. So he gets that I won’t do this until I need to know I’m taking his covenant to heart before I do this (that and get my degree).
But before this, it was about the fact that my car will be paid off in a year, doesn’t have a working air conditioner and I might want a new one before jumping into a wedding. The fact that I’ll have student loans in six months. The fact that we’ve only been together six months collectively, because we weren’t took that break, and didn’t talk on it. My aunt says to wait until I’m at least 30. The 20s are a terrible time to marry, she says. My cousin, her daughter, got married right after college and divorced three years later.
So, we made this retreat together. Well, kind of. He was a candidate and I was working it. I didn’t want to be too clingy and weird about it. I figured we’d both have our own experiences, then talk after.
We did not expect a guy in his talk to mention the love he has for his wife verses the love God has for us. For two days, it wasn’t about wanting a wedding. It was the fact that this guy is so Christ-like in how he loves me. And I don’t feel a need to run from that as long as I’d originally planned to.
(More on my recent experience with this diagnosis to come, of course)
I’m sitting in the front pew of the bigger parish in town, which isn’t mine, but its sister church. His mother sits beside me. She’s not crying, not yet. When she does, I’ll grip her hand, only because grabbing someone in a big hug and telling them they mean almost as much to you as your own parent, is a little extreme for the middle of mass. The newer associate priest has just asked us to carry up the Christ child to its manger during the Gloria. When he elaborated, he made sure to say, “The three of you.”
She chuckles at her younger son, “Tell me when to go so I don’t blow it!” But as she holds the ceramic Christ child, she tells the priest, “I’m honored.” And so am I. When he said “family,” he included me. My slight annoyance that the baby has blue eyes and brown hair, though he probably was more Arab than most Americans would like to admit, doesn’t matter now. Now, he’s just a baby. He came here to die for us, but the dying part doesn’t matter either. Not yet, anyway. He’s ours. Each of ours.
Before mass, the choir sings carols, and I’ve been waiting for his O Holy Night since he was asked to sing it at Thanksgiving. Immediately I said, “can you hit the divine?” Which is apparently a high F at the end. And while it meant not having a celebratory Christmas cigar earlier, he does. When he looks out at the congregation, most of who is already here because you want good seats at Christmas, he’s not the silly, giggly boy he is when it’s just him and me. He’s the 28-year-old music teacher whose deep voice hangs you on every word.
A bit back, I wrote about a friend’s dad dying. The friend was him. After a great five months together, we’d broken up for six. It’s kind of a messy story. It doesn’t matter now. The day before he died, his dad predicted “I think Tammy’s back.” I came back for the funeral as a friend. We swore the emotion was just grief and nostalgia. It was more. We had finally grown as independents, so we could be together. So we picked it up. But there was still grief to navigate. Then my friend’s daughter, his friend’s niece, almost died of Near-SIDS. Whatever honeymoon stage we had hit the real-life-shit stage.
But when the life support was turned off, the baby kept breathing. I don’t know how to explain how life changes when you go from just knowing a sweet, sweet infant whose birth you remember is going to soon be gone to realizing that those miracles people talk about exist. But everything was divided into a before and after. Because in the before, I read, and read about how “end that family feud today! Tell your family you love them! Hug your kids!” And I groaned, and knew. But I didn’t KNOW.
I vaguely remember walking to get my debit card from the bar where I’d left it the night before, and didn’t know why I needed to buy a sandwich when I already spent what I didn’t really have. I read posts about how miracles happen every day, so please keep praying for our child. I wanted to, but didn’t believe it. Because sometimes despite faith, shit happens, and that’s that.
What’s ironic, is all the while I spoke and blogged my fear of death. The suddenness. The finality. It wasn’t a death that changed my life, though. It was the life that miraculously continued. In the after, I’ve panicked and feared tragedy a few times. But it stopped being about the reality of what if, and became about what I’m doing with what I have. Making amends. Being with someone at her first Christmas mass without her husband, while the man I love chokes up knowing his father isn’t there mortally. ADHD medication after 10 years. An organized closet. An email to a friend who also faces tragedy. “Miracles happen everyday,” I write to him. It’s in the after that I believe it.
We sing “Silent Night” as the mass ends. The lights are all down, and my hand that doesn’t hold a candle grips her hand. The priest’s homily began with mentioning this Christ Child, who was born to die for us. But the death part doesn’t matter. Not yet. Six months, 32, 68 or 103 years, life is the longest thing we have.
You are the treasure you were trying to find—
Trapped in the map of your mind. — Frek and the Elixir, a local musician in my college town
It really seems like I stop blogging when one thing I can’t put into words happens, and then another, followed by more until there’s an entire list of events.
This year, especially this year, has been a remarkable mixture of joy and tragedy. I finally counted and resulted at eight losses, or near-losses, in my life between August and now. And I hate saying something like, “I can’t imagine being in that position,” or, “I’m just so thankful that I’M okay.” For one, what does that say to those who ARE in that position? I’m so sorry you’re there, but I’m so glad I’m not. Hope it gets better! And two, who is to say that tomorrow, it won’t be me in that situation? When did I become immortal and untouchable?
That’s just it. No one becomes untouchable. Last January, a bible study friend flew her brand new son to Denver with life-or-death complications. When I met the healthy baby boy six months later, I never imagined my own good friend would be praying over her six-month-old daughter this week with a SIDS experience. We all thought the CPR the little girl’s mama gave her would save her. We aren’t health professionals or veterans with SIDS; we didn’t realize the extensive amounts of brain damage that come with it, even if the child is stabilized.
When I spent six weeks reporting a story about a student’s death, was I aware that this could be me or one of my friends? It crossed my mind every day. Was I still shocked when my managing editor went into cardiac arrest over Thanksgiving? Absolutely. The idea that he could be there when I won the award for best news feature at our banquet last Saturday night was exhilarating. The idea that my dear friend was still seven hours away, just hoping her little girl could somehow, someday go home, was heartbreaking. It was an odd mixture of emotions I couldn’t shake, even as we partied and took silly pictures (Riley my editor, is in the grey by Elias, the boy in red).
As my mother told me there’s not a whole lot of money this Christmas, and she hopes I understand, I cried and promised her that this year especially, I’m just so glad we’re all healthy and alive. But this year, it’s not a hope that tragedy will never hit us, or a silent assumption that we’re bigger than it.
It’s an awareness, that someday, maybe sooner than I’d like, tragedy will occur in my own life. Death and sadness are not strangers to anyone. The redeeming factor is the support that surrounds you, like a strong, warm blanket.
So maybe this is my last day on earth, or a family member’s last Christmas, and maybe there’s nothing that can be done to stop it. If my mortal purpose is a short one, I know I’ve done what I can with it.
When my grandmother was battling Lung Cancer, she had a lot of worry over whether it was a battle she could win or not. But when asked if she was “terminal,” she just kind of chuckled and responded, “we’re all terminal.”
It doesn’t mean life isn’t worth living. It just means we can be aware that it can be us, will be us, and we’ll make it through that when it comes.
It ran yesterday.
A week before print, a neighbor’s grandsons, who spent every afternoon playing in their grandpa’s yard and never let me leave my house without saying hello, were killed in a car accident.
It gave me a new sight of death, even after diving into death’s aftermath for six weeks.
And the day of print, people were much more talkative about our university’s pending policy that upperclassmen on academic probation may be forced to live in resident halls, or a controversial column a few pages over.
So, six weeks after exploring and immersing myself into what happens in every aspect of a student’s death, after hearing the parent’s story, tons of phone calls that only brought more questions and emails that only required more clarification, I realized the world still goes on. It’s not as big of a moment as your mind may have created. Your head can never get too big.
I showed it off in my portfolio - as well as the email the student’s mother sent my editor complimenting my work - to a potential internship editor. I plan to show off another copy tomorrow. And today, I woke up to find a man I knew and loved, my dear friend’s father, passed away in his sleep last night.
Just goes to show, after six weeks of investigating my one fear and biggest curiosity, the news never stops affecting you, and never leaves you unfazed.
Nothing is unanswered.
How strange and how lovely it is to be anything at all. — John Green, The Fault in Our Stars (via manolescent)
I was actually 59 words over.
I just realized, out of nowhere, it’s 1500 words. Not 1550 words.
Now, after adding follow-up answers and the changed story and filling that one gaping hole, I’m a whopping 30 words over.