Thursday, May 30, 2013

Letting Go {Literally}

Day 30, Thursday: React to this term: Letting Go

Second to last post in this challenge- phew!  Almost there!

I'm going to take a very literal approach in responding to the term "letting go" and use a pair of photos to provide a visual representation of a time when I had to let go.  

Don't let my smile fool you, my teeth were chattering and my knuckles were white. 

 
 
"Letting go" of something whether it be literally, physically, or emotionally is something that is difficult for most people- myself included.  I think it is difficult because it is scary.  It leaves you vulnerable. It might hurt. It involves taking a risk that has no guarantee to end in your favor. 

While showing photos of the time I threw myself off a perfectly good bridge isn't exactly the "deepest" or most insightful route I could have taken with this prompt, I still think it is very symbolic of what letting go can feel like sometimes.  As I wrote about here, I never ever had wanted to bungy jump, but there I found myself with my toes hanging over the ledge nearly 50 meters in the air.  As you can see in the first photo, my right hand was hanging onto that pole for dear life.  What you can't see is that seconds after this photo was taken, they had to send an employee up there to literally pry my fingers off from around that pole.  He probably had to do this at least five times before I finally let go.  But I did.  Finally.  I needed a little extra help.  But I did let go.  And I'm glad I did.  I could have been hurt in this process of letting go, but I survived unscathed.  And I came out of it with more courage.  More confidence.  And while I don't feel the need to ever repeat this experience, I'm glad I did it.  And I can only hope that this physical experience of letting go might make letting go of other things in my life now and in the future a little easier and a little less scary. 
 
Catch up with my "Blog Every Day in May" challenge here:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5 (Oops! :-/ I did blog on day 5, just not following the prompt...)
Day 6
Day 20 (I broke my streak- I missed this day...)
Day 27 (So mad that I missed another one... and SO close to the end)
Day 28

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mah Jams

Day 29, Wednesday: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories. Use Grooveshark or YouTube to include them in the post

This was a fun post to write.  Except for the fact that I got completely side-tracked going through all my songs on iTunes that I had nearly forgotten about.  It's funny how certain songs really do come to represent a certain time, or phase, or event in your life.  It's amazing how many memories and emotions a song can bring about without any other provocation.  Here, in no particular order, are five songs that bring back memories for me. 

Sweet and Low - Augustana
This was our wedding song. David really wanted a song that wasn't anything too "common" for wedding songs. He chose this one, and I love it. It makes me a little bit sad that it's not something we'll hear all that often just randomly, but I love it nonetheless. Takes me immediately back to our wedding day.
 
 
PYT - Michael Jackson
The second I hear "Where did you come from baby? and Oooh won't you take me there?" at the beginning of this song, I'm immediately in the mood to dance. This song takes me right back to my senior year of college. My girlfriends and I would listen to this song while getting ready to go out and would frequently request that it play at whatever bar or party we ended up at that night. 
 
 
Holiday In Spain - Counting Crows
Although this song isn't necessarily about Spain, it kind of served as my "Spain anthem" while I studied abroad there. Everytime I hear this song, I remember all of the fun adventures I had while living there during my junior year of college. 
 
 
Learning To Fly - Tom Petty
I've always liked this song, but it really became the most meaningful to me during my first year with Teach for America.  After a hard day teaching, I would blast this song on repeat while driving home in the horrendous traffic.  I would usually be crying at the beginning of the song, thinking about whatever had happened that day, but by the end I always felt a million times better.  It is still such a big "pick me up" song for me. 
 
 
The First Single - The Format
This is a song by a band from Phoenix that was pretty popular (at least in Phoenix) toward the very end of high school and into college for me.  This song reminds me of driving around Phoenix during high school or during my summers home from college.  I actually don't listen to them much anymore, but even now whenever I am home (and don't even get me started on how it's been close to a year now...), I still feel the urge to blast this CD and roll the windows down to let in as much of that pleasant 100+ degree air as possible :-)    
 
 
I'm just realizing that I have a song for each of the places I've lived.  Kind of neat how that worked out.  I wonder what song will be "that" song for me that will always remind me of Australia when we leave here...

 
Catch up with my "Blog Every Day in May" challenge here:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5 (Oops! :-/ I did blog on day 5, just not following the prompt...)
Day 6
Day 20 (I broke my streak- I missed this day...)
Day 27 (So mad that I missed another one... and SO close to the end)
Day 28

 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Then & Now

Day 28, Tuesday: Only pictures

Just a quick explanation before I let the pictures do the talking for today's post...

I love looking through old photos.  And since moving here with most of my belongings in storage back in the US, I've really been wishing I had brought my collection of old photos and albums.  Luckily, I do have some.  So for today, I thought that since I've been missing my family, I would include some "then and now" photos of us.  Enjoy!

Mom & Dad
 
Sister and Me (I'm on the left in the first photo, and on the right in the second photo)
 
Brother
 
The husband!

 
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5 (Oops! :-/ I did blog on day 5, just not following the prompt...)
Day 6
Day 20 (I broke my streak- I missed this day...)
Day 27 (So mad that I missed another one... and SO close to the end)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Link to "An Open Letter Regarding Inquiries About My Reproductive Plans"

Day 26, Sunday: Something you read online. Leave a link and discuss, if you'd like.

It's funny how when you're dating someone, everyone is quick to ask when you're getting married.  And then once you're married, the hot question quickly shifts to, "when are you having kids?"  I've been married for almost two and a half years and we don't have kids yet.  Yes, we both want kids someday, just not now.  I'm lucky in that my family doesn't really ask the kid question much at all.  I do get it from strangers or people I've only recently met, more often than I'd like.  Most of the time it doesn't bother me that much- it's annoying more than anything else.  But especially for strangers, I just think it is a very personal question to ask since you never really know a couple's circumstances or what emotions you might be stirring up for that person. 

I can't remember who it was that sent this article/open letter to me (I think maybe it was my sister?), but I loved it from the second I first read it. The sarcastic tone in which the author writes this open letter is spot on... and hilarious.  If someone ever really bothers me about this issue, I would forward this letter on immediately. 

Enjoy!

"An Open Letter to Friends and Family Regarding Inquiries About My Reproductive Plans"


 
Catch up with my "Blog Every Day in May" challenge here:
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5 (Oops! :-/ I did blog on day 5, just not following the prompt...)
Day 6
Day 20 (I broke my streak- I missed this day...)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

From the Mouths of Babes

Day 25, Saturday: Something someone told you about yourself that you'll never forget (good or bad).

Just about this very time last year, I had just told my students that I wouldn't be back the next year because of our impending move to Australia.  It was surprising news for both me and them.  Because of the setting in which I teach, I have most of my students for multiple years.  So it was especially hard to think about not being their teacher the next year.  As a teacher, I place a lot of importance on what my students think about me.  Kids are extremely (and sometimes brutally) honest.  They speak their minds and have a certain way of "telling it like it is."  So when I received this letter from one of my students who had been with me for nearly three years, I was so flattered.  I will always remember sweet Kassandra.  Her words were some of the best compliments I've ever received. 


On an unrelated note... while I was looking for the above photo among the other photos of student work/letters that I've saved over the years, I came across this gem and just had to share.  Oh how I miss these amazing (and hilarious!) kiddos!

This was a journal entry responding to "tell me what you did this weekend."  Apparently this second grader was dancing in a club?  This student was very proud of the multi-colored disco ball. 


 
Catch up with my "Blog Every Day in May" challenge here:
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5 (Oops! :-/ I did blog on day 5, just not following the prompt...)
Day 6
Day 20 (I broke my streak- I missed this day...)

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Three Worst Traits/Faults

Day 24, Friday: Your top 3 worst traits

Not sure if these items are actually "traits" or not.  Maybe "faults" or "things I need to work on" would be better descriptors.

Exhibit A: Indecisive. Clearly choosing just one flavor was much too difficult of a task for me...
1.) I'm a procrastinator.  Always have been.  Every once in a blue moon, I will get in a super pro-active mood and get things done well in advance of when they need to be done.  And I love the feeling that I get when this happens.  But despite that, I still can't seem to make a habit of it.  I put assignments, chores, phone calls, and a multitude of other things off until the near last minute.  Maybe I work well under pressure?  Or maybe I'm just a master of distraction? 

2.) I'm indecisive.  I labor over decisions both big and small.  Where to eat dinner, job decisions, travel plans- you name it, I will most likely have a hard time making a decision about it. Sometimes I feel like I'd rather just roll a dice or have someone else make a decision for me.  I think this actually has quite a bit to do with my next "worst trait" in that I just over-think decisions and choices.  I have gotten better at this one over the years though, but I know I need to work on this even more.  I think one thing I do have going for me in this area is that once I actually do make a decision, I don't waiver from it.  My indecisiveness usually comes only during the decision-making process. 

3.) I'm an over-analyzer.  I think a lot of women do this.  I put way too much energy into worrying and thinking about things like: why someone did or didn't say or do something, figuring out the significance of an event totally out of my control, obsessing over various scenarios or reactions that are most likely completely unlikely.  It can be exhausting.  I envy people like my husband who are able to see things in a much more black/white fashion, while I just get caught up in all the gray areas, the "what if's, and the "what does it mean"

In writing this post, I think I've realized that these three traits/faults all really have a lot in common and probably feed one another.  I procrastinate sometimes because I am indecisive.  I am indecisive because I over-analyze.  And on and on.  At least I can say that hopefully if I improve in even one of these areas, the others should also follow. 

 
Catch up with my "Blog Every Day in May" challenge here:
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5 (Oops! :-/ I did blog on day 5, just not following the prompt...)
Day 6
Day 20 (I broke my streak- I missed this day...)