Tag Archives: kind gesture

Reconnecting

My family has always meant a great deal to me.  I’ve managed to stay close to my parents and brother by calling them ever-so often and keeping in touch.  My extended family however is a different story.  Growing up overseas, we didn’t see each other for birthdays or mini-celebrations, however every summer we would fly to Kentucky and I would stay with my grandparents for about a month.  Those trips were absolutely wonderful.  My grandmother would take me to the library with her, my grandad would take me out for fish and chips.  My aunts and uncles and bunches of cousins would all hang out for appreciation and cheer. Looking back on my life, the summers spent catching fireflies and eating ice cream were the best. 
I haven’t been back to Kentucky to see my beloved family in six or seven years.  A few relatives came to Colorado when I graduated high school but the visit was rushed and I was a self-centered teenager who didn’t fully appreciate the gesture.  I feel like I’ve become the black sheep family member, the estranged girl that no one really knows any more.

With my parents moving ever farther away to Oregon, and the realization that my family in Kentucky is growing older, I’ve resolved to reconnect and once again be an active participant in the family.  I’m ready to strut my stuff and show my family how much I love them and truly care that they are a part of my life.
I’m going to Kentucky for the upcoming holidays and I couldn’t be more excited.  I have cousins I finally get to meet, other cousins who are getting engaged, and wonderful grandparents on either sides who I miss terribly.  On top of that, I will get back in touch with my roots.  I was born in Kentucky and spent my developing years there. I thrived on the green grass, ice storms, and as mentioned above, the lightning bugs. I finally get to return home.

It’s hard keeping in touch friends and family when separated by so many miles.  Having moved all the over world and never truly settling in one place, I understand how difficult it is to maintain relationships with people over the years.  But these relationships shaped who we are and have made lasting impressions, whether obvious or not.  I’m committing to honor these relationships and rekindling what I can.

I’m going to Kentucky to rehash relationships with family, but I also yearn to rekindle friendships I had overseas.  Luckily, nowadays Facebook makes this very possible, and little by little I am making moves.  I email old friends from junior high and still wish them a happy birthday.

Although separated by geographic distance, the memories created last forever in our hearts and our minds. 

That’s why I’m digging up these memories, and honoring the good times by reconnecting with people who’ve made a difference in my life.

Who do you wish to reconnect with? Who has made an impact in your life, and how do you honor it?

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If I could change one thing…

“If you could change one thing about our life right now, what would it be?”

The answer to this question eludes me. I have so many regrets.  I wish several things were different.  I would change the way I’ve treated people. I would change how I’ve let other people treat me.

I would wish I had a good-paying job. I would wish that the dog I care for could be truly my dog.

I could change my occasional shitty attitude. I would change the way I tend to judge people right off the bat, and harshly too.  I would be more social. I would change the fact that I procrastinate.

I would change the fact that I’m lonesome. I would  prefer to not secretly wish that I had a significant other as the nights get darker, colder, and increasingly desolate by myself.

I would change to be nicer. More patient. More kind.

I would change and take a bit of my own advice.

I would not live in this house with people that increasingly piss me off. I wish I didn’t get so pissed off.

There’s an awful lot that I would change…

The big one that keeps popping up in my head is my wish that I had treated people better in the past few years. Hell, the past decade. I was a shit head to my parents for the longest time. And then I had a high school sweetheart whose heart I essentially broke. I was a crazy person for a years that followed. Failed a couple classes and got involved in bad stuff before hitting rock bottom and finally learning that my actions have consequences, for myself and others. I could take away that year and be a bit happier, that’s for sure. Later I met a good man. An impatient, grumpy asshole to be sure. But overall he was a good man. That ended horribly. And I often look back upon the way I handled situations and wish I said or done something different to change what I know now was an inevitable outcome.  I haven’t always been kind to one of my best friends. And I’ve been too hard on my mom. Shit… now the thoughts just keep rolling in. There is a lot I could change.

But, at the same time, I guess I’m this person because I’ve messed up so many times. I mean, if I didn’t have these regrets or realizations of my own flawed, wild, sometimes stupid, simply wrong, and utterly plagued self, I wouldn’t have learned a damn thing. At least I’ve got some experience under my belt.

So I guess if I could change one thing, to get this ordeal over with, I wouldn’t change anything about myself. I’m fine right where I am.

Instead of me, I would change something for someone who really deserves it.

I would change the fact that my folks aren’t rollin’ in the dough any longer and secretly grant them a bunch of money.  I don’t know how much is a ‘bunch’, but I want them to have all their debts paid (my college loans especially), and I want them to take an awesome vacation for their 25th wedding anniversary.

My mother and father have put up with a lot of shit because of me. From my overall crazy, rebellious, stubborn, center-of-the-universe attitude to the actual trouble involving the law, police, and the ridiculous amounts of stress that occurs as a result of dealing with our glorious criminal justice system, they deserve a lifetime of vacations.

They have saved me in more ways than I can count.  Financially, emotionally… they’ve stuck by me through thick and thin. My parents love me despite things I’ve done that I don’t share with anybody.

So screw changing my situation. I just want my parents to be happy and comfortable for the rest of their lives. I want to fill their bank accounts and shoo them off to Hawaii where they can eat bon bons and snorkel and hike… anything they want to do. God knows they deserve it.

My folks. They rock. And they deserve a vacation.

 

I don’t know if that’s the answer the prompt was looking for, but that’s all I can come up with.

 

 

 

 

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Good Things This Morning

So today as been surprisingly awesome so far.  And I should mention that having a good day that starts first thing when I wake up is extraordinarily rare.  Usually I wake up late, have to take care of a hyper-active puppy whilst getting myself to look presentable before rushing out the door cursing with a granola bar in hand.

Today was a lovely exception and I thought I’d share just because there’s no one else is here besides the pup to brag to.

So for today I’ll mention some More Happiness .

Note: A couple of these things occurred last night. I usually don’t drink in the mornings, not heavily anyways.

Happiness is…

Weird, captivating dreams.

Two, perfectly fried over-easy eggs and perfectly toasted toast.

Bernard (my doggie) when he’s not being a whiner, beggar, or turd-burglar.

A white russian and intriguing romance flick with a good friend.

Friendly neighbors saying hello.

Gorey, cheesy horror movies.

My Honda when it’s NOT making painful noises.

Two surprise tickets to an AWESOME Halloween concert.

Plans for pumpkin carving.

Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up” while I apply mascara.

Good things happening in the morning.

Appreciation of those good things.

AND David Bowie, of course.

Dammit, I need to appreciate these good things more often.

This is how I usually feel in the morning

How I feel today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you’ve had a good morning too.  If it’s been a typical cruddy one, put on a record, read a poem, jump on the bed, or do all three! Have a good weekend folks.

 

 

 

 

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A little help goes a long way

Today I woke up, groggy and annoyed by that certain I don’t know what.  I had a HUGE list of things to do. Write a resume, read a billion pages, write three papers… fun stuff.  So, naturally, I sat on the couch and watched football.

The anxiety continued and I just felt “ugh”.

I finally plopped down with bad TV on in the background and began typing up a resume I’ll be needing for several endeavors in the coming weeks.

It was being a complete pain in the ass. Do I say this? Do I add this? Do I sound too vague here? Do I sound like an egotistical turd here? I had no idea what I was doing.  On top of that, getting the format just right had me so frustrated and mad I had to open the window to let the Autumn air cool my boiling blood.

Then, like a little answer from the spirits above, somebody came home and with only a smile and a bottle beer, turned my horrible mood around.

We sat on the couch and while he watched some silly action flick, I continued to type away, and as I encountered a roadblock and made disgruntled noises, my friend would say “Lemme see. Try this, or this… that looks good, change that…”

Slowly but surely, a beer, one glass of wine, and a couple slices of pizza later, my resume was complete.  And it wasn’t awful, in fact, it was pretty alright, and I feel fairly confident in applying to a program mentoring troubled youth tomorrow.

I know I could have done this myself, but the truth is that my friend helped me more than they know.

It’s wonderful how kind words of encouragement and couple helpful pointers can truly transform a daunting and unenjoyable task.

Thank you friend, I owe you one.  And if I get accepted to this program, I owe you a dozen.

It’s wild how one person, a couple kind words, a little help, and good company can really brighten someone’s day. How much it brightened mine.

Humans really are social creatures, imperfect creatures.  And sometimes it’s not wrong to ask for a little help sometimes.

My father has always told that people depend on each other, and it’s okay to ask for help.  You’re right Dad, I have to say, you won that one.

Tonight I would’ve ripped my hair out and cursed a bunch and killed a puppy (just kidding) if I hadn’t had a little help.  So many other nights too!

Whether it’s schoolwork I need help with from a professor, man-advice from my best girlfriend, life-advice from my parents, or spiritual advice from a dusty book on my shelf, it’s there to be lovingly used.

A little bit of help goes a long way, and I am so thankful to have these resources.

Thank You.

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What happened to common decency?

This morning I missed the bus as usual.  This time is was different though, because a young man had missed it too.  Both of us panting and feeling annoyed, I offered him a lift to campus.  He seemed so shocked at my gesture, but to me it was logic.  If I’m driving to class anyways, why wouldn’t I give the kid a ride who had frustratingly made the same mistake as me?

The conversation during the ride was forced and awkward.  Questions like what’s your major and whatnot formed the basis.  I asked him why he had a cast on his right arm.  He asked me permission to drink a can of Mountain Dew.  I was helping the guy out, but it seemed like the last place he wanted to be was sitting in the passenger seat of my Honda.

After parking, he said goodbye, and I said that I’d see him around.  No smiles, no offer to help put money in the meter(that’s OK ’cause I was going to have to pay it anyway), was there even a “thank you”?

I felt like I had done the right thing, but it also felt so unfriendly, so impersonal.  Is giving a stranger a lift to class rather that weird?

I got to class feeling hot, tired, and hungry.  I sat next to a blonde girl wearing a tie-dye sweater, and as we make eye contact for a split second, I smile and give a nonchalant “good morning”.  The girl averts her gaze immediately, taken aback from my informal greeting, gives an uncomfortable moment of eye contact and looks away.  She practically turned her entire orientation in the opposite direction.

Why is decency so reviled?  Why is common courtesy so rare that when someone offers a kind gesture it freaks the other person out?

I felt like a leper.  What’s wrong with giving someone a ride to class?  Why is saying hello such a threat?

Stay away or I’ll bite you!

It’s no secret that our society is quite impersonal and often unfriendly. We ‘other’ each other and avoid situations where we might feel out of place. We avoid eye contact, avoid sitting too close to someone.  Avoid having our views challenged.  In an age of Facebook where our lives are on display for all to see, we lack intimacy more than ever.

We walk around campus with our headphones in, staring at our shoes and focusing on getting from A to B with the least amount of friction possible.  Sometimes I’m this person.  Avoiding everyone and everything because I’ve got a bone to pick with life at the time.

But more often than not I appreciate a greeting, I welcome the unexpected recognition that I exist.

We’re not all so separate, so foreign.  We’re a bunch of humans walking around on Earth.  Essentially, we’re all the same.  We all struggle, we all carry baggage, we’ve all had a screwed up life in some way or another.

Given this, why do we avoid each other so?  Why is it so hard to make a connection with another being?  Why is friendliness seen as a threat or intimidation rather than a gesture of good faith?

I think each of us, and society as a whole should question this.

Why are we so pissed off all the time?  Why is being kind the exception and not the norm?  What happened to common f***in’ decency?

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