It’s been awhile since I have posted. I guess life has gotten in the way. So we made the move to Sarasota, Fl and OMG no one ever told me how difficult it would be. Approaching forty is harder than I thought. I am realizing life is harder than I thought. I was always one of the lucky ones; I am resourceful; however, in Florida I don’t feel that way. The first time I found a wolf spider in my house I freaked out and called my husband to kill it. For those of you who don’t know a wolf spider is a freak of nature that is hairy and jumps. They are horrific creatures but won’t kill you. I had always wanted to move and to live somewhere else. I guess no one mentions that you take the same baggage with you. All of the things that bothered you before will continue to bother you even though your belongings are being crammed into a small pod. I thought I was deconstructing my life. Getting rid of the unwanted, making room for more memories, yet as I sit in paradise the same notions still plague my mind. I don’t regret moving. It is one of my passions- to travel and see the world. I just wish at almost forty life would have given me a little hint as to how hard it would be; however, the journey is the reward so here we go…
One of my worst habits is laughing hysterically when someone falls. I can’t help myself; I find it hilarious. I don’t discriminate either, it can be an older person, a child, friend or family member. One of the best falls I ever saw was on a cool autumn day in the Mc Donald’s drive-thru. I was getting my food and I saw a boy, about five come out of Mc Donalds carrying a jack-o-lantern pumpkin happy meal. He was swinging it, laughing and giggling. Then he fell. The pumpkin flew across the parking lot, fries scattered and the boy just stared with his mouth open. There was no reaction… I just busted out laughing. Most people think this is a horrible trait but I think it just shows my social awkwardness. He slowly picked himself off of the ground, gathered the remains of the few fry soldiers who had survived and got in the car. He didn’t even cry. Even now I still laugh at this incident and find it funny.
To me the falling can happen by anyone, anywhere. One time at the Cleveland Zoo with Sugartits, my best friend, who has chosen this name, fell in front of the polar bear exhibit. I have no idea what she was doing nor do I know why she probably was wearing heels. I think it is making up for a height insecurity she has; however, I was looking at the bears and turned around and… she was on the ground. She was just laying there. “What the hell happened?” I asked. Calmly, as she was pulling herself up from her pavement slumber she replied, “you pushed me down with your mind.” Ah if only I had that ability. It was one of the most glorious moments or when she fell at her brother’s wedding, down her house stairs. There have been a variety of stair issues so far in my life. Oh the joy.
I need to follow my own rules and stop bitching. It is so draining and emotional. I think we live in a culture of complainers and it has gotten worse. I recently read a story about people in New Hampshire who liken themselves to Robin Hood. They feed parking meters that are expired- what a nice small gesture but like anything that is nice there is a dark side. Now New Hampshire wants to sue them because they aren’t getting money for parking tickets. What the hell is wrong with this world. Everyone feels entitled to an opinion about something- even if it has nothing to do with them. Take for instance gay marriage- people fight about and argue and waste so much energy. Who cares what you do in your own bedroom? Stop using the bible as an excuse… divorce isn’t allowed, neither is adultery, lying, stealing and a plethora of other sins. If we lived by biblical standards tonight I would be BBQ ing in my back yard and later for pure entertainment, smiting my neighbor as many people cheered and screamed with delight. I would probably have to smite both of my parents as well as my husband since they have all been divorced. I guess I could do a 3 for 1 special with drinks; however, I don’t think overindulgence would be allowed.
Instead of bitching we should be changing. Changing the way we do things. My best friend, who believe it or not has chosen the name Sugartits for this blog, has slowly taught me over the years it just isn’t worth it. Trust me I have no idea why she chose that name but if she can live with it than so can I. We should focus on the things that matter, like poverty, unemployment, and just simply being kind. The world is harsh enough. Recently Ben Affleck issued a challenge to live on a $1.50 per day… I think the challenge should be to be nice for a day. Don’t yell “Fuck you,” to the person who cuts you off in traffic. Don’t mutter under your breath about lazy people when you see someone homeless. Instead, just enjoy the ride in the car and give something even it is small. Maybe instead of being so closed we should be more open. We want our children to learn good values- guess where it starts at home, not in school, not on the television or from a book. Yep, that’s right at home.
There will always be a negative to talk about… try and focus on the positive.
“What are you going to do? Open up a book store and read poetry?” This was my father’s quote as I told him I was going to major in English in college. The thought made no sense to him-of course I thought he knew nothing about my free spirit, how I would change the world. I assumed he was just trying to smother my creativity, squash my spirit, kill my soul. I should have listened. I majored in English and then on another smart move went on to get my M.A in Literature. Twenty years later I find myself at an impasse- not knowing what to do with my life and what should my next career choice be. I have been an adjunct instructor for 14 years, different schools, different classes and the educational world is changing. I see my students who have changed vastly over the years. Here is what I would tell them:
1. Pick a major where you can find a job. I know it seems like common sense but as people we get caught up in emotion. Think about what your skills are and invest in them. If you don’t like people, don’t become a teacher because you have summers off. If you can’t add by all means don’t choose accounting. Think before you choose.
2. You are not entitled. This is the biggest change I see in my students. They think they are entitled to get a good job, to get a large pay check, and to have a good life. It doesn’t work that way. You have to earn it. I know it sounds shocking that it isn’t served to you on a platter but you have to work hard for a good life. Your parents, teachers, friends, etc are not here to make you feel better about yourself constantly. If you are being criticized- listen. More than likely there is truth to what they are saying. We, as society, have become enablers to our kids. Tell them the truth- they will thank you later for it.
3. Critics, bullies, and bosses- There will always be someone who criticizes you. It might not be in the nicest way- learn to deal with it. Critics help us become better people. Bullies- they have become the new hot topic. No one should be bullied but realize it does happen. Take a look at yourself and think about how you treat people. Often times the victims of these childish tormentors go on to do great things with their lives. Focus on yourself, not them. Get a life. Finally, bosses. Respect them and be loyal to where you work. Loyalty is dead in this country. Everyone thinks the grass is always greener. Don’t Facebook at work and let the world know you business. If you are going to Facebook- please don’t put stupid stuff on there(i.e. bong shots with friends, naked photos, pictures of co-workers, or where you work). Trust me- it will haunt you.
4. The most important piece of advice- get out of yourself. Travel. Leave where you live and explore different cultures, places, foods, etc. Don’t get stuck believing that one way of life is better than another. Don’t be xenophobic. Exploring the world helps you develop a better sense of self. You will feel like a work in progress the more you travel. Travel challenges your beliefs, your moral code, your thought process. It helps you develop as a person. Do it- don’t make excuses.
5. Educate yourself. College is not for everyone. It is not necessarily the golden ticket to life. Willy Wonka will not appear and offer you his factory for going to college; however, education is important. If you feel college is not right for you- talk to your parents with logical thoughts. Tell them why and have a plan. Trade schools seem to be dead but they have a great value. We live in a world where we must have machinists, plumbers, morticians, and all of the other jobs that we don’t talk about. There is no shame in hard labor and having dirty hands. If you are going to college- go to class. Think about the money you will have to pay back or your parents will have to pay back. Take your loan amount and divide it by classes and weeks. When you miss- open the window and just throw the money out. Classes you hate- suck it up. It’s called life. Do you really think at a job you can just not go because you don’t like it? Life is not about you having constant happiness and enjoyment. Sometimes we all have to do things we don’t like- like working.