Wednesday, November 29, 2006
(click to enlarge & read)
Last year, I was walking down the boys hall in Mendenhall (the dorm that connected to mine) and this was posted on someone's door. I later looked it up, because it struck me so hard. I also researched it, and it's all accurate. Kevin Carter was the photographer, and he really did kill himself a few months after he spent time in Africa, photo-documenting the famine and poor living conditions.
Em was telling me about a book called Nickeled and Dimed. In it, a woman who is well educated decides to see what it's like to live on minimum wage at three different jobs. She lets herself start out with only $100. And she finds that life is a lot harder when you're stuck in a lower class position. That's the thing...you really are "stuck". Lets say.. you are 24 years old. You have two children, and a boyfriend who is not the father of either of your children. The children's father sends you some cash when he can, but he also doesn't have very much. You have a job at McDonalds making minimum wage because you couldn't afford to go to college. Then you find out your pregnant again - because you can't afford birth control. (I mean, feed your kids dinner every night or prevent more kids, which is more important??) Some would argue the BC, but when you come home at night and your children are looking at you with hungry faces, how can you make that decision? It's like an endless cycle...how do you get out of it? Maybe once you have the third child, your boyfriend leaves you. Then, you have three kids, you have to pay for them to go to daycare during the day, and McDonalds is just not paying you enough. So what do you turn to? What makes a ton of money REAL quick? Two things - prostitution and drugs. Not to say that all prostitutes are lower class, but it's a common occurence - and it's no secret that being a prostitute will make you a lot of money, and we all know what the drug world is like. I wish that the people in this world who aren't as privledged (sp?) had a way to climb out of that hole - instead we make it harder for them. And as we all know, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
On a lighter note - the holidays are here, and everyone seems to be getting into a Christmasy/Hannukahy (haha?) sort of spirit. Kim has every pre-set radio channel set to the Christmas music station, and all 6 CDs in her CD Drive are Christmas CDs! I was driving down Walker Ave today and saw atleast four different people waiting for buses. I had such an urge each time to offer them a ride - they looked harmless. However, I'm not naive enough to forget that you can't judge people by their looks. A man in a business suit may be the serial killer while the schizophrenic woman in the purple dress and pigtails is probably the nicest person in Greensboro. Which makes it hard for me to do nice things, you never know how people will react. I had three leftover brownies after my ASL class today, but did I offer any of them to the people I passed on the street on the way back to the car? No... On that same note - today Kyla and I were sitting inside and a man on a bike stopped in front of our house. He looked pretty raggedy/unshaven. And he came up to the door and Kyla said, "Should I answer it?" and I said, "yeah" and she said, "He probably wants money" and opened the door, and he said, "Excuse me, I found these keys on the sidewalk outside of your house, do they belong to anyone who lives here?" And they were Liz's keys, she must have dropped them last night ... We thanked him (I should have offered him a brownie haha), and he went on his way. So...thank you random unshaven man who Kyla and I misjudged!
One more thank you before I sign off --
I was riding down West Market today, on my way to Ems apartment. And there was a pretty bad accident in front of the Harris Teeter (grocery store) ... two cars totaled, another smashed up. And they were putting the people on stretchers when I rode by. Well, that reminded me... when Laura and I were in an accident a few years ago, and I broke my nose and Laura burned her arms - I was laying on the side of 141 and this lady who was behind us driving had pulled over, she got out of the car and talked to me until the ambulance came. She held my hand the WHOLE time, even while they were putting me on the stretcher and into C Spine, and right until they closed the ambulance doors. She was so nice and thoughtful, and said just the right things so that I would stop crying. I'm very very sad that I never asked for her name. I would love to send her a holiday card...
That's enough. Sending love.
Friday, November 24, 2006
High school. It can't be summed up in all of these pictures, not by a long shot. If I were going to proportionally represent high school, there would be a lot of other people-- however, I am illustrating my favorite part of high school, which happened to be the last two years of it (surprisingly.) The LSC has been one of the best things in my life... I am so thankful for my friends. I thought about it yesterday all day. I'm thankful for so much, so many people, all of the things that I have, my puppy...everyone. But the LSC has been such a good cornerstone. It's like a backup plan...you know it will always be there. I love my friends so much. These pictures are just some random times, I could have posted seven HUNDRED pictures instead of seven, but I just picked these ones out randomly.
The picture of me dancing with that old man in the mall ... we had a scavenger hunt at one point during my senior year... and one of the things on the list was for someone to teach you the jitterbug! But you weren't allowed to tell them that you were doing a scavenger hunt...So we went to the mall and I found this group of old men and women sitting together, and told them that I was learning about the Jitterbug in school and could they possibly show me how to do it? So all the old people like, pointed to that old man and were cheering for him (apparently he was a great dancer earlier in his life haha) and so he got up, all proud, and taught me the Jitterbug right in the food court of the Concord Mall! So cute...
The other night Maria, Theresa and I had a really long talk about high school...how we remember it. It's crazy how fast it went, and how far away it feels. The things we went through in high school...it was so much more than "drama"... actually that word can't even be used to describe what we all went through in high school. I will never be able to thank my friends enough for standing up for me, and for loving me no matter what... and some of my friends hurt me and I'll also never forget that. But I think in the end, that's not what matters...
It's friday today... tonight is our GS reunion, and TOMORROW Em comes!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Today is the 22nd... a year ago today, actually right at this time, we were at Liam's viewing. It was pretty much a dream for me, I don't remember a whole lot of it, except that I signed with Mrs. Kane's deaf sister and took care of Alli most of the night. And of course I remember what Liam looked like. I was terrified, especially since Liam was in half of his halloween costume that he'd refused to take off in the last few weeks of his life. So he was dressed as a Power Ranger SPD Dino Thunder ... I have a picture of Liam in his halloween costume on halloween...He's in the halloween parade at our church, and he's waving to his daddy. He felt so sick that day (as it was only 2 weeks before he passed away) but he wanted to be a part of the parade so badly.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Making Jr. Staff, Summer '04
Time to help my mom cook some dinner :)
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Liam a week after relapse. This picture was taken on my 18th birthday-- 4/17/05
I wish I could say that I have so far spent this day remembering Liam during the happy days, the pain-free days... but it's so hard. All I can think about is how much horrible pain he was in, how badly his body hurt. "Mommy, I feel like my head is going to crack..." He said those words three weeks before he passed away. He was in pain for so long... it hurts so bad so think about. I seriously feel physical pain just thinking about it.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Last night I saw UConn play UMD in the semifinals of the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championships. The game went into double overtime, and then a strokeoff, and UConn lost by one stroke. The game was amazing. The reason I went to see isn't because I'm a hockey nut (although I wouldn't mind being one, it's such a great sport-) Amy Williams, a good friend of mine from high school, now plays hockey for UConn. She's a freshman this year, so she basically sits the bench until she gets a little bit older. But it was so great to see her, I surprised her. Her reaction was absolutely priceless. I was holding a hot dog and she jumped on me, hugged me and jumped around and knocked my hotdog 4 rows down the stands...spraying relish on a poor innocent bystander's blanket ;)
GS Camp Grove Point, 2004
I saw this picture today when I was on facebook. Laura posted it in this group, and it reminded me of how much I miss girl scouts. Call me a dork all you want, it was just amazing to spend time with such awesome people. I miss those girls, I miss how the 8 of us were a small family...everyone contributing something different to the pot. What a great thing to be a part of for 13 years.
This picture was taken in NYC last year, about a month and a half after Liam passed away. I saw this huge brontosaurus painted on the side of a building, and I had to snap a picture- anything that's dino related automatically makes me think of the little man. I'm scared, nervous, and anxious to wake up tomorrow morning. November 19th. Liam, please give me the strength to get out from under the covers tomorrow morning. Thank you buddy.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Today wasn't the best day ever. It didn't have a bad ending, just a bad start and a really bad middle.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Today I overheard the most asinine conversation. I'm currently reading "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris, and I found a couch in the EUC (our student center) in between classes to get a few pages in. These two girls on the couch across from me were discussing whether homosexuality was a product of nature or nuture (neither of them were familiar with the phrase, trust me...it was more like ridiculous comments.) One girl actually said that she thought maybe "gay people are happening more because moms aren't dressing their girls in all pink anymore, and their boys in all blue, and kids don't have as much of a personal identity anymore" ... WHAT? I also fell off my couch when she said that! Imagine... a little boy turning gay because his mom didn't dress him in all blue when he was a baby? I mean, her point was somewhat valid, the part about the identity. However, whatever you were dressed in as a child is not going to affect your sexuality. It might affect your sexual identity - it might confuse you at some point, more so if your mom was extreme and like, dressed you in skirts or something. But the truth will be revealed. It always is.
I need to get some sleep. More tomorrow.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
I talked to my advisor last week about my major. Nothing was really resolved, but atleast I have a little more time to do the thinking that I've been putting off for the past five months. I really don't know what I want to do with my life anymore. There are a few things that I think I'd be good at...but teaching deaf children is not one of them!
Imagine how scary that is. I have been completely convinced that I know exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life. And then all the sudden I realized, it was like a light switch was turned on in my head. I realized that I really don't even want to teach at all, let alone teach deaf students. I need my life to be bigger than that. Not that teaching isn't big...but I need... bigger.
When I say that, no one really gets it. My advisor and my sign language teacher both just kind of cocked their heads...they don't get it. My girlfriend and Becky Layman are the only people who've even responded to that statement. I just need my life to MEAN something. I can't work at a meaningless job for the rest of my life... I need to be helping people and making people happy..just so that I can fall asleep at night knowing that there is a purpose for me here on this Earth.
There has to be a reason that I'm here. It can't just be "because". I've survived so much in my lifetime, I think we all have. Just the fact that we've made it to 19 or 23 or 46 or 89 is a miracle in itself, don't you think? How many times have you been behind the wheel of a car or how many airplanes have you been on... or how many times has the riptide pulled you a little further out to sea and made you nervous. Just something that I think about sometimes. Someone asked me a question from an "If" book once that said, "If you could be informed of the day of your death and how it happens, would you want to know?" Of course I wouldn't want to know. Some people said they wanted to know because then they could live their lives to the fullest and not waste their last days doing meaningless things. But...sometimes those meaningless things are the things that matter.
Life happens and we can't stop it or slow it down, we can only improve it and improve the lives of everyone around us. That's what really matters.
I guess we all do what we have to do to find peace.
I'm constantly trying to make sense of things that may never be resolved. Why must a 5 year old succumb to cancer. That "c" word... that ugly word...cancer. It's a nightmare. Nonetheless, I cannot go back in time, and I did not have the power to transfer Liam's cancer to my own body (which I wished to do so many times). Now I can only close my eyes when it is raining, when the sun is shining on me, and when the wind is flowing around me and know that he is all around me, wrapping me up in a huge hug whenever possible. Thanks, buddy. I miss you and love you. :)
What else.. well, I've been thinking about getting a new blog because LiveJournal just doesn't do it for me anymore. LJ was nice in high school and all that, but I felt like I was writing for my friends. I want to write for myself again, like how I started out.
I've learned a lot from my dog Sydney. She's some sort of hound..everyone has their guesses. Doberman, Red Doberman, Rottweiler, Coon Hound, Lab...she's a big mix (like a tie dye!!). But I love her and she teaches me things everyday. She's a permanent fixture in my life and even though I can't always afford the best, most premium dog food and even though sometimes she has to hang out in the backyard with the other dogs, she still loves me. (I bet it's cause I rescued her from that awful pound!)
That's enough for today. I often have so many thoughts that are in my head...complaints, ideas to change the world, life plans to remember and record...I'll be back soon.