Archive | August 2012

Relaxing

After a long day on Sunday, I sat down and decided to type in relaxation into my Pandora music station search. After a few songs, a song by Brian Crain came on (“Song for Sienna”). The particular song was Song for Sienna; it had an unwinding nature to it yet also hinted at expectation and excitement for something that was to come. I was very intrigued by it and ended up Youtube’ing Brian Crain. He has a lot of music but my favorite two songs of his so far are “Song for Sienna” and “Butterfly Waltz“.

Following Crain, a song by Yiruma, “River Flows in You“, played. I also ended up Youtube’ing Yiruma as well. My favorite of his is “Kiss the Rain“. The tone of the song, for me, made me want to reflect on my life and think about where it’s headed.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

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DIY Lovers

I consider myself an amateur DIYer. I love looking at DIY project ideas and what other people have done. As I wrap up my term of service here, I was looking online for some inspiration for some parting gift ideas and stumbled upon this “100 DIY Gift Ideas for the Cash Strapped College Kid”. All of the idea suggestions are categorized and link to various sites. Check it out here if you’re a DIY fan or aspiring DIYer like myself! 🙂

Loving… Yourself & Others

A good friend of mine shared this quote with me today which I would like to re-share here:

‎” Not everyone should have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships. Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention. Which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which ones discourage? Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill? When you leave certain people do you feel better or feel worse? Which ones always have drama or don’t really understand, know, or appreciate you? The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.”

Quote taken from Lessons Learned In Life. Check out Lessons Learned in Life’s FB page here.

We Need to Work On Working With Others

I understand the standards and morals I live my life by are different from what others live their lives by and may not even necessarily be what they find the most important to them. Still I believe there should be a common thread of humanity within us all to care for each other as people, not for who we think we are or for the groups we belong to, either by choice or through social classification.

Along with humanity, there should be a better practice of ethics. Obviously, we live in communities and not isolation. You can think all you want that you are not involved in any communities but if you interact with anyone besides yourself, you are participating in a community. We should all pull our weight and do our share. Of course, some of us will be more excited about certain tasks than others will be but when everyone is required to complete a task, it is expected that everyone pull their weight. I don’t care if you dread the task, at least pretend you are pulling your weight. What ticks me off is when other people don’t pull their weight either by being unresponsive or hard to work with. What is even more ironic is that when they need something to be completed, now they are the ones blowing up about how no one is f*ing helping them with anything and being so hard to work with. Wouldn’t things be easier if I commit to working with you, either because I am choosing to or because I have to, and you commit to working with me, either by choice or by force?

Here in the office, all of us AmeriCorps and VISTA members take turns staffing the reception desk and fielding program calls. Reception was a task that mostly everyone dreaded because we had to basically work on whatever projects we had around answering calls. This worked out pretty well until later in the year when things got a little more hectic. As a non-profit, you don’t have very much man-power and a lot of your bigger initiatives that require more man-power will call on the whole team. Whenever this was the case, working reception shifts became more of an issue.

Then as the summer started, with our college coaches working with recently graduate high school seniors and helping them prepare for their transition to college, our reception shifts encountered, yet again, another obstacle. We managed to work everything out by dividing up our reception teams differently. This reception week, the last week for all of us 12-month AmeriCorps members, was originally supposed to be covered by the college coach team. We ended up combining teams because they had a lot of exit items to complete. Yet, ironically, while the rest of us have picked up the slack and helped out the college team, no one is being cooperative and helping fill in for shifts that needed to be switched. Not only to bash on the college team but all of the other AmeriCorps members, as well, are not stepping up. I am already taking on two reception shifts this week when everyone else only needed to take on one shift. It just doesn’t seem fair to me that no one is stepping up. To make matters worse, many of the college coaches are intending to skip out early and it looks like very few of them will actually show up for their last day on Friday.

I’m not being cynical because the college coaches are not planning to come in on Friday when I am still expected to. Okay, maybe they have the okay from their supervisor, no big deal. What is a big deal to me is that no one is willing to step up, especially the college team. I just feel when others pick up your slack you should at least try to work with them or meet them halfway. It’s so frustrating when you are already covering for other people and they just keep asking for more.

“Endurance is the crowning quality, and patience all the passion of great hearts.” – James Russell Lowell

Dreams

For the last few nights now, I keep having a very similar dream. In this dream, I am sitting in a room with other people – my siblings it seems – and we are watching TV; outside it starts raining. In the earlier dreams, the rain would get heavier and I would be afraid the rain would break through the window. As the dreams progress, each time it rains, the rain seems to fall down harder, faster; the winds stronger, fiercer. Then mixed in with the rain come gun shots. In last night’s dream, the gun shots were more concentrated and finally one of the shots hits the window and it breaks. The breaking of the window lets in the rain from outside. It’s not a splattering of water but a gush and soon the living room is flooded. I yell out to someone to take the younger kids out of the room and somewhere safe. I yell out to someone else to help me grab valuable, useful items. We try to grab what we can carry but it didn’t take long before the water catches up to us. Oddly, even though I remember the water level being about already 4 feet high, I was able to walk normally in the room.

We manage to escape to higher ground. I see that we’re not the only ones there. There is a whole group of people camped out on a hill. I don’t remember any rain when we are sitting on the hill. Then someone walks by and says something to us about how we have to stay on the hill and higher ground. Everything below has been blocked off. They tell us about how there was something bad that happened down there and that we shouldn’t go down there. “Attempt at your own risk. Don’t interact with the people who are still stuck down there.” That is all they say.

I remember thinking something weird was going on and it didn’t make sense to me. I had to find out but I didn’t know what it was I was looking for or what I intended to find. At that moment, my younger sister tugs on my arm and says she needs to use the bathroom. Not really knowing who to trust anymore, I use this as an opportunity to explore for myself and find out what is really going on, I take my sister down the hill back towards where everything happened. I see there has been a steel bridge put up across a hole that is now sealed up. We attempt to cross but it becomes too dangerous so we turn back.

Somehow the scene changes. I no longer worry so much about my younger siblings, especially the very little ones. There are now 4 or 5 other people who are trying to help me. We wait until it is darker, then we try to gain access to where everyone escaped from. I remember climbing down a tunnel and trying not to be seen. Once we reach a low landing, low enough to get a good view of everything below, we all stop to take a look. We see a bunch of people sitting, staring aimlessly, at what I don’t know; and waiting, for whom or what, I don’t know.

Not to far from where we are standing, we spot an old lady, probably in her late 60s or 70s, sitting. She looks pretty harmless. Slowly we approach her and someone in our group reaches out to her and says something to her, asking her what is this place and what is going on. She says something about how something evil has happened, leaving everyone that did not manage to escape like this.She tells us she cannot see and her skin no longer is receptive to touch. This shocks the person who reached out to her and they withdraw their hand gasping, wondering what it is that could have caused all of this.

In that moment of, the old lady jumps up and points down below and says something about an officer in the midst. Everyone jumps up alert. In my head, I thought it was weird the old lady who claimed to be blind and having lost all sense feeling, would be the first to notice the officer. Something’s not right. My eyes quickly scan the landscape and I see all of the other people who before were sitting placidly, were now all slowly rising, no longer the same beings they had been only moments before. I shout out to my team, “This is a trap. We have to get out of here now.”

At that moment, as we retreat and attempt to escape who knows what it was, I wake up. I hope to never have to find out what it was that was going on down there.