Saturday, January 29, 2011

twenty-somethings

Whew! Made it through my first full week of work since the new year (the 2-hour delay on Thursday doesn't count). It was surprisingly a nice week. My students are slowly driving me insane, but it's the end of the semester so there is just a lot going on. It should calm down after this week (hopefully).  I do love my students, I just don't love all of their *choices*! It's sometimes hard getting across to an 18 year old on the facts of life when you're only 6 years older than they are...somehow they do not think I know what I am talking about...:). Come on, I am OLDER and WISER...shesh!

There has been a reoccuring theme to my life this week, though. Getting asked by adults *why* I'm not dating anyone seriously? It happened at the end of an IEP meeting on Monday by the school psychologist (who I love, btw). I am glad that is what she is thinking about as we sit in a meeting. It happened the next day by a teacher in the middle of work, but in her defense, we were just casually chit-chatting, so I guess it could be a normal question. Then it happened again when I ran into a older adult I know at a work function. She went on and on about how I need to date online- "it's the thing these days!" It's like it is the question on everyone's mind. I guess I can take it as a compliment that they all are amazed that I am not dating anyone seriously. But why should that be? Since when does it define who you are as a person if you're in a relationship or not? Crazy people are in relationships, and great people also date crazy people, so why does it matter? I don't think there is anything wrong with a seemingly great person being single. Maybe they haven't met anyone special enough or maybe they choose not to be in a relationship. I like to think I am fun and a good catch, but I do not base my success on whether or not I am seeing someone special.

It is just an interesting phenomenon to experience as you move through your 20's and the different paths people take. Many people you know are pairing off and settling down, while others are just living in the moment. It's funny- I have friends who are always in relationships (serial monogamists, they're called) and then I have friends who enjoy the single life and doing as they please and are in no rush to (and rarely) settle down. Then some people are stuck between doing what they think they are supposed to do and doing what they want to do and trying to make sense of it all. Some of my happiest friends are single, but I know people in relationships who are only blissfully happy in relationships. Then there are people that are truly happy either way. It's really a crazy time of life, I think. My generation is definitely more open about all different types of relationships and life paths, but somehow that pressure is still there to do what you are supposed to do. I think everyone assumes they will get married and have kids. Many just don't want it now- even friends who have been dating people for years still can't talk about marriage. There is not a sense of urgency maybe there once was. I don't assume anything. I don't know what my life will be like, but I know I am not waiting for anyone to take care of me. I am planning my life as it is now and not as it could be with someone else. If I meet someone- great. But I am not set on what I want my life to be like.

What I have noticed is that everyone is always searching. Some are searching for relationships, some are searching for the life they want, some are searching for happiness in some form, others for something new and fulfilling. Searching is the hardest part of the twenty-something. The uncertainty, the wishes, the plans and the reality all mixed together make us want something we don't know how to find.

Bottom line: Happiness cannot be measure by what is supposed to be or what society says is normal. I think people would live very different lives without the influence of society. Great people never marry, but they live fulfilling, successful lives in different ways. So, why am I single? I don't know, and frankly, being in a relationship is not how I base success in life, nor greatness of personality or looks. Crazy, mean and ugly people are loved too. And sometimes it's the "normal" and "great" ones who love them.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Singing


I have been a singer since I can remember. I have a tape recording that my brother did of me when I was around 4 yelling at me to stop singing because I was being annoying (“she sings for like, 27 hours a day and always forgets 79% of the words,” - my best friend can quote his exact words- it is pretty funny). I was obsessed with anything related to Disney musicals (particularly The Little Mermaid) and wandered around singing something most of the time. My parents’ influences did not stop this either- my dad was always playing music (mainly classic 1960’s rock) and my mom was a singer herself. Music was a big part of my household, so it only seemed natural that I would develop a knack for it.

School was my musical outlet sanctuary so as not to only be singing at home, which was slowly causing my brothers to want to smother me in my sleep. I was in chorus in my elementary school, but it was mainly a 5th grade chorus. But I also sang in chorus class and would always be in the chorus for our annual Christmas plays (I am still mad I got the flu for my 5th grade play because I had a speaking part). In middle school I also elected to take chorus and was chosen to be in advanced chorus my 7th grade year and the next year, Reflections, the 8th grade select group you had to audition for. And in middle school these groups were a big deal. Ask anyone. Seriously. I have hours of purchased Design Recording VHS’s showcasing our talents. Come over and we can watch it together. Pretty amazing stuff. I even had a solo to “Arabian Nights” from Aladdin. (Oh, I come from a land from a faraway place…). I also did the plays, Annie and Guys and Dolls, with chorus roles.

High school was when things really took off. Those who aren’t from Central Virginia probably do not understand Show Choir. Think of Glee but with bigger groups (like Vocal Adrenaline), not singing in the halls and not being hated or made fun of with slushies thrown in the face. I grew up seeing the groups and knew from a young age I wanted to be in them one day (so did many of my peers). We were pretty good. I started in the 9th grade chorus and then made Steppin’ Out, the all-girls select show choir my 10th grade year, and Center Stage, the mixed select group my 11th and 12th grade year. We went to competitions, had sets, costume changes and sang awesome shows. We weren’t the best school in the county, but I always thought we had great vocal quality (other groups had more money so their sets were cooler). In Center Stage both years we got Superior ratings at all competitions and one time even best vocals (the most coveted award), and a few 2nd and 1st place trophies. It was a big part of my high school life. After school practices, weekend competitions, traveling, concerts…it was a dedication. And though at times it got annoying and frustrating, I loved it. I loved being on stage.

In college I still wanted to sing, but I didn’t want to do it as intensely. Therefore, with much coaxing from my 2nd year roommate, I tried out for the all women ensemble Virginia Women’s Chorus (link here: http://www.student.virginia.edu/~vawomen/). This group only practiced two nights a week and performed every other month or so. I did it my 2nd and 3rd years and stopped for my last year so I could focus more on working at my sweet job. I never fully immersed myself in the group because I was in a sorority and that was my main focus. But the group, in addition to singing, was a social group as well with parties, fundraisers and events. I think if I was more passionate about it I might have done more of those things, but at the time my social calendar was full.

So why am I talking about all this now? Well, it’s been 3 years since I have sung routinely (my singing alone in the shower or in my car doesn’t count), and I’ve recently joined an acapella group. This is a self-formed group of about 10 women in our mid 20’s that just like singing and want to do it more. We only meet twice a month but are able to learn pieces very quickly and perform around the area. Just last night we sang the national anthem at a high school basketball game (and we had only learned the song less than a week before). It was so nice to perform again- I always forget how much I miss it. I still carry a lot of my performance skills into working with high schoolers and speaking in classrooms or at school events (and my loudness). It does not faze me, and I thank my years of chorus for that. Talking in front of a group is not scary- singing, on the other hand, is!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Who are you?!

Sometimes I feel like the only people who read this blog are my parents and maybe ten other people. So please leave a comment if you read this- even if I barely know you or haven't spoken to you in years, I would like to know who (if anyone) is reading!

Have a great week. Unfortunately, no snow or surgeries for me this week, so it looks to be a normal (long) one:(!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I just pretend that I'm Carrie and life is good

 Since winter break, my roommates and I have been on a Sex and the City marathon. We began watching it over snow days and then, of course, couldn’t stop. I have probably seen the entire series 5 or 6 times, but I find that every year or two, I have to see it all again. Each time I watch it, I take something different from the series. This time has been particularly been relevant as, though I am not in my thirties, I am for the first time a single girl living and working on my own. My friends are also beginning to get married (and distant friends are starting families), which I think is always an exciting but odd time in a single person's life. So I find a lot of their relationship issues and the questions of being ok as single or wanting a relationship (and the issues that come up as we get older and try to find our place in life) are particularly enlightening and things I identify with. Is marriage all it’s cracked up to be? Is all the hassle worth it? Am I ok being on my own or do I have to have a family to be fulfilled? Is everyone moving forward while I am being left behind? It is silly to say, but the series causes me to think about a lot of issues and is a nice comfort in my life. It is also fun and funny with great quotes and lines. Here are some of my favs…

“Think about it. If you are single, after graduation there isn’t one occasion where people celebrate you … Hallmark doesn’t make a “congratulations, you didn’t marry the wrong guy” card. And where’s the flatware for going on vacation alone?"

Carrie: “Your girl is lovely, Hubbell.”
Mr. Big: “I don’t get it.”
Carrie: “And you never did.”

“The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them, and others you don’t. But, in the end, they’re the people you always come home to. Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into and sometimes it’s the one you make for yourself.”

“Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.”

Charlotte: “Is it safe to buy pot from strangers?”
Carrie: “They’re not strangers. They’re our new friends with pot.”

“Maybe mistakes are what make our fate... without them what would shape our lives? Maybe if we had never veered off course we wouldn't fall in love, have babies, or be who we are. After all, things change, so do cities, people come into your life and they go. But it's comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart... and if you're very lucky, a plane ride away”

“Some people are settling down, some people are settling, and some people can’t settle for anything less than the butterflies.”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Lasik Experience


I am the guinea pig for many of my friends who want to get Lasik. So I thought I would chronicle my Lasik journey so you can decide if it is something you want to do or if you are just interested about what it is like. And if you don't care, then don't read:)!

I got my surgery at TLC Lasik in the West End off of Parham Road. I went twice before surgery day to, first, find out if I was a candidate and, second, to get my final check up after a few months had past to make sure my vision had not drastically changed and that everything still looked good (I went back in my contacts after my initial check up since I couldn’t get the surgery right away). Both consults were free. My fee for the procedure after a discount from my insurance was $3950 (originally I think it is $4300). Thank goodness for my Flexible Spending Account, because I will save $1000 taking out the money before taxes. This payment includes all check ups (for the first year you go pretty regularly) and for a lifetime of touch ups in case you need the procedure again (I probably will need a touch up in a decade or so just because I am young, but then again, I might be fine). I got Custom Lasik, which is the newest procedure that is supposed to reduce the occurrence of halos and blurriness and be good for those of us, like myself, with big pupils. I was a good candidate because I had a common prescription (I was -4.25 in contacts with about 20/800 vision). I also had “thick” corneas, which is good for creating the flap that they have to pull back to exposure your eye to the laser.  Anyways, you’ll learn way too much about how the procedure works before you do it and even get to watch educational videos, so no fear!

My procedure was on a Monday because that is the only day this particular office does them. Therefore, it was busy with about 4 people in various stages of getting the procedure at any time from 8-11. My appointment was at 10 am, and after only waiting for about 10 minutes, I was called back. We (my mom and I) went into one of the doctor’s offices who told us about the eye drop schedule after the procedure, what to do/not do, what to expect and her answered any questions. Then he gave me 5mg of Valium. Holler.

I was then escorted into a room next door to wait for the surgeon and to let my Valium kick in. I was in there about 20 minutes chit chatting with my mom and feeling the drug’s effects, which in one word are weird. The surgeon came in to chat with me briefly, basically saying he thought I was a great candidate and should expect a good outcome but there is less than a 1% chance it might not go as expected. I had heard all this before from the doctor that had done my consults, so nothing was new. This surgeon only comes in on Monday's from D.C. so this was my first time meeting him. He did Tiger Wood's eyes, so I felt good about his qualifications:).

We went out into the waiting area right outside the procedure room. I then made the mistake of watching the person before me get it done. It wasn’t horrible, but seeing what they were going to do to me did not make me feel any better. It looked so weird. She was done in like 5 minutes and then it was my turn!

I walked in and laid down on the surgery chair and was positioned under a machine. They gave me numbing drops, which work REALLY quickly. It was time to go! The first thing they do is pry open your eyelids with a clamp and have you stare at a light. The clamp is uncomfortable because it is tight and pressured. They poke at you a bit (but you can’t feel it) and then move you over to another machine where they make the flap. You can’t see for about 1 minute and feel a lot of pressure as they are literally slicing open your cornea. Once you can see again, it’s completely blurry and they move you over to the other laser again where you stare at the light and hear the laser’s clicking sounds for about thirty seconds. Your vision becomes better as it goes on, and once it is over they fold the flap back over your eye and secure it in place by moving it with their surgical implements (even a mini brush) and giving you lots of eye drops. Your vision shifts a lot during that time. The doctor talks to you the whole time telling you you're doing well, which is very comforting. Then you’re done! The same begins again for the next eye. All in all it takes no more than 10 minutes and when you open your eyes you can see, but it is BLURRY and your eyes are VERY sensitive to light. Then the doctor examins the flap to make sure it looks good. Then they put you in a dark room and give you instructions for the day and then send you on your way after you take 2 Tylenol PM so you’ll sleep. We left around 11:30.

The pain is interesting. During surgery it is more uncomfortable than anything else and you feel a lot of pressure when they clamp your eye and make the flap. The laser doesn’t hurt but you have to keep still during the discomfort, which is the hardest part. I also felt nauseous because it’s a feeling you’re not used to and not being able to see what they are doing is uncomforting. On the way home I was so drugged and sensitive to light that my mom kept telling me I was saying how weird I felt. Which I did- it was a very weird experience.  Most people have never had anything done to their eyes, so you just don’t know what you’re feeling. You also don’t want to open your eyes because the light hurts, you are doped up on Valium and sleeping pills, and your eyes are sore. It’s very odd. I kept worrying that if I opened my eyes my flap would come undone. lol

Once I got home I went to sleep. I didn’t sleep particularly well because my eyes were uncomfortable and really runny. I could have used numbing drops again, but once I put on my sleeping goggles (I have to use tape), it seemed too much of a hassle to put the drops in. I did doze on and off and when I woke up around 4 pm, I was feeling a lot better. I was very sensitive to light from about 4pm until 7 pm so I was wearing my sunglasses and had all the lights off in the house. I watched/listened to TV because that’s all you can do. At this point my eyes didn’t hurt, they were just very blurry, but I could see better than I could ever remember.

As the night went on, my eye site continually got better and I became more and more accustomed to light. I have a pretty regimen eye drop routine (basically 3 different drops every two hours) but since I can’t wear eye make up for a week, I don’t mind eye drops. Also, lubricating my eyes feels good since one of the side effects is dry eyes and eye drops always help that.

The next morning (today) my eye site was still improving. Lights were still blurry (there is a haze around lights) but much better than last night. My follow up appointment was at 10:20. I got examined and found out I have 20/20 vision!!! There us still a haze around most objects, but that is normal and should continually get better. The doctors also say that my eye site will not set in for about 6 months-1 year, so my eye site could get better or even worse (when I say worse, I mean 20/25, nothing more drastic then that). All in all, what I see without contacts is pretty amazing since before everything was just a big blur and I would run into things without my glasses or contacts.

In conclusion, my Lasik experience was a good one. I felt taken care of and in the hands of good doctors. The recovery was really only uncomfortable for about 4 hours, which is less time than any procedure I have ever had done. I felt fine after my nap and have no lingering side effects. Today I can do all my normal things and my eyes don’t hurt one bit- they just feel a little dry. I will be pretty religious with eye drops for a while, but since I can’t wear eye makeup for a week (gross, I know), putting in drops is not a big deal.

But I am kind of sad about no longer wearing my cute glasses:(. I think I will take the lenses out and put fake ones in so I can wear them for style. Even when the procedure is elective and for the best, it’s hard to let go of 12 years of a habit!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Winter Dream

Always at about this time of year all I can dream about is this...




...being able to enjoy being outdoors, wearing short sleeves, the smell of spring, sunny and long days, running without sweatpants/sweatshirts, not freezing in my car in the morning and night, actually *wanting* to go outside, going on long walks with just my ipod or while on the phone with a friend, strolls along the malls or in downtown Richmond, parks, birds, flowers, festivals, races, going outside with wet hair..... Ahhh I just want winter to be over!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lasik's Almost Here!

Well the time has come for my Lasik dream to become a reality. I go into surgery at 10 am Monday and am told I will be on my way home by 11:30 (and that most of the time will be pre-surgery prep as the procedure only takes 10 minutes). I will then be doped up on Valium and sleeping meds, so I can go home and pass out for 4-6 hours. Apparently this will prevent me from experiencing the after surgery eye pain. I think I can handle it.

I am not really nervous, but I imagine that will change Monday morning. I am more excited than anything else- not having to wear contacts for the first time in 12 years will be pretty spectacular. No more irritated eyes because of my lenses, waking up to blurriness before I can find my glasses, having to take out my contacts at night because my eyes are dry, spending money on solution and contacts and having to wear my glasses for weeks at a time to just get the procedure. It will be pretty amazing. I hope it all goes according to plan (I have faith in my doctor as I was referred to him) and that I do get 20/20 vision without too much pain or difficulty. I have a pretty routine prescription and "thick Corneas," which all bodes well for me (I should advertise that fact when I go on dates). It's a good investment for my future. And even if I need a "touch up" in another decade or so, it is all covered in what I am paying now!

I will be out of work Monday (it's a holiday) and am taking off Tuesday. I should be up and running by Wednesday! Once I can see again I will chronicle my journey for all 10 of you lovely blog followers:)!


Bye- bye glasses (until I am 45 and need reading ones, at least)!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dating Dilemma

Being a single 24 year old, I am a prime participant of the dating game. I have never been a fan of random dating. I like meeting people and getting to know them through friends where if you like each other you gradually start hanging out more and if you don’t you don’t and it’s no big deal (or knowing someone as a friend and that friendship gradually turns into something more). Being asked on a date when you barely know someone is a whole other story. Don’t get me wrong, I like eating out, going out to be social and watching movies, but that doesn’t mean I like dating.

Case in point: I like to think that I am a nice person and, if you know me, you know I enjoy talking. So I am a great dater- I keep the conversation flowing and I am nice to you even if I don’t like you. The problem is, guys seem to think that if you are chatty, show interested, laugh and are nice through the entire evening that you dig them. No. That is just me being me. Being nice doesn’t mean you like someone, it just means you are nice.

Then once the said date is over and I am nice and the boy thinks he likes me, I have to make a decision. Do I like him enough to go out with him again or if I didn’t get much from it, do I just end it now? I am a firm believer that if you don’t feel some sort of connection pretty early with someone, then it’s not going to work. So if we go on a long date and I don’t feel it, it’s probably not there, but if we went on a shorter date I might give it another go. But this is a double standard- you’re mean if you don’t give the guy another chance and you’re a tease if you keep going out with him to see if you eventually do and then a couple of weeks down the road decide you don’t like him and end it. Then he gets annoyed that he wasted all that time and money or is hurt because I was leading him on.

It’s just a mess. I don’t wanna be mean and not give someone a chance but I don’t wanna keep trying to “see” if I like someone and then they get hurt. This is why dating sucks. And I’m not saying all guys I date want to keep dating me- that’s not true (there are plenty I have liked that have no reciprocated)- but I am a generally easy person to get along with, so I feel the ball is often in my court. Then, even if I do like someone, it doesn’t mean I want to see or talk to them all the time. Let’s take it slow- I just met you. BUT not too slow because I lose interest if I am not pursued (sorry, I’m old fashioned that way). And you can’t go too fast because then I get freaked out and run. Ugh it’s exhausting just to think about.

So this is why I hate dating. If anyone has advice on how I can change this mindset, please let me know, because I literally will be the old lady with all the cats just because I refuse to date.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Daily Annoyances

Driving home from work today, I was thinking about the most annoying things to happen to you on a daily basis. Not very extreme things, but daily doldrums. Here they are (in no particular order):

1. Seeing a green light up ahead while driving but being stopped dead still in traffic.

2. Waking up and realizing it is not the weekend and that, yes, you have to go to work.

3. Being cold at work and not allowed to use a space heater.

4. Having your animals have accidents all over the house.

5. Getting excited about your favorite show being on, only to have the cable not work when it's time.

6. Having a bad hair day.

7. Lying about being sick to get out of something and then actually getting sick.

8. Getting in an accident (that is not your fault) on the way to work.

9. Having a million things to do at work and then something unexpected comes up making it a million and one.

10. Having fun plans canceled.

11. Thinking you have food, only to realize you don't.

12. Unexpected bills.

13. Mondays.

14. Stomach Aches (any day...anytime)

15. And in honor of tomorrow (fingers crossed this won't happen)...thinking you're going to get a snow day and then you actually don't



Add some of your own thoughts!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Surprise!

This weekend I was in Raleigh with many good friends surprising another good friend on for her 25th Birthday. She had NO idea! We have all known about this since November, so we were just hoping it would not get spoiled. It did not, and I think it was the best surprise I have ever been to because friends came from ALL over- D.C., Richmond and even Colorado! I have this awesome video to show the event. It is a little sideways and shaky at first, but eventually goes right side up.



The weekend was wonderful and everything a weekend with friends should be- full of laughs, good food, good drinks, relaxation and catching up. We even went to The Pit- world famous BBQ that was on the Food Network "Man vs. Food" (and me, who doesn't love BBQ, LOVED it).


Yummmmm!

And all with the love of some cute pooches:)



Now I am doing the snow dance for this week so I can catch up on my sleep:).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Defining Moments


This is a long, serious post, so if you’re only into my happy, light stuff, you might wanna skip it. I’m in an introspective mood today, forgive me!

So often our life is defined by big events. I was speaking to my mom (hey, mom!) the other day about favorite years or decades, and she mentioned something about how her life was defined by big things that happened-John F Kennedy’s assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Vietnam wars, riots, 9/11…ect. It got me thinking about my defining moments. The thing about defining moments is that they are such a big deal at the time, but as happens with anything, they pass and often we forget. Most defining events are often tragedies. It is good to forget them because life would be depressing if that is all we ever thought about. But we should never forget the moment, how it changed our life, and how we got some good out of a what was a horrible tragedy.

As for my defining events? Not 9/11, though I remember it vividly. I won’t go into details of the day, but I was upset, and for years I would shiver thinking about it. However, I was young and distant enough from it that I was able to move on. I recognized its significance, but it never hit home (that I remember). Still, sometimes I will watch videos from youtube about that day and experience it all over again. It is raw, depressing, and unfathomable, but sometimes I need to be reminded so I don’t forget.

My defining event would be the shootings at Virginia Tech. I don’t pretend to have experienced the worst of it- I know that my friends at Tech experienced more pain, fear and sadness than I ever could imagine. But it affected me more than anything ever has. For those of you that don’t know, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech are rival schools. Still, I had many friends at Tech and visited often, so I was very connected to it- more so than any other school. I remember going to my sorority house after my 11 o’clock class on April 16, 2007 after hearing whispers about it and all of us watching CNN. They didn’t really know what was going on- we assumed it was a domestic thing (a similar situation happened just week prior)- and that only 1 or 2 people died. Then after a while they announced it- 32 students. My heart sank. I texted all my friends at Tech. Everyone was ok but no one knew what was going on. I talked to my good friend Meredith, who was an engineer, so I knew she could have been in one of those classes. She had been in lockdown in the library and didn’t know what was going on. She was nervous/excited because of the commotion. It wasn’t until I talked to her later that week that I learned she knew many of the students killed. She was shaken.

I knew one student who passed away through a friend of mine. I was not close to her, but I had met her, and, more importantly, my friend was close to her. I knew professors who lost children and friends who lost friends or siblings. Everyone was in pain. UVa organized a vigil and thousands of donations and cards were sent. Beta Bridge (the bridge we paint to advertise for events) was painted over that day saying “Hoos for Hokies.” Usually the bridge gets re-painted over in a day. This was not touched from April 16 until the summer (July, I believe- the longest it has ever gone not painted over). No one dared to paint over it. While we did what we could, nothing could really be done. Though we were rivals, I think UVa poured out more support for Tech than any other university. We are sister schools, so what one does to the other is felt by both.  Everyone was connected.

I remember walking around the next day and just thinking, “it could have been me. It could have been here.” Doors at UVa also weren’t lockable from the inside like they weren't at Tech. I remember looking around and thinking all these things and wondering how I had never noticed that before. That is what was (and is) so scary- it didn’t matter that it was 120 miles away- it was at a place just like this to people just like us who were in classrooms just like we were. I remember being in a Jewish History class that day and reading the Cav Daily about the shootings. Everyone was still in shock and not really mentally present. The class was smaller than usual in attendance, but what my professor did was great and is something I will never forget. He was shaken as we all were- professors, like him, died too. Anyways, he lectured for about 35 minutes about how the Jewish faith heals and thinks of death and tragedy. It was beautiful, relevant, and, in a way, healing. The Tech shootings affected everyone at UVa, and I applaud his ability to know that no one was really in a good place that day, so he made it relevant the best way he could. I don’t remember the details, but I remember how moving it was and how it healed a little part of me. The rest of that semester is a fog (I would have to look at pictures)- funny how I can’t remember the rest of it after the Tech shootings. There was only about a month left, but for Tech, school was done.

Things changed after that- new text message and email alerts were made, buildings got more security, doors got locks, people reported more suspicious activity and the mental health field went under intense scruitiny and tightening. But I believe that this could have happened anywhere and that Tech wasn’t at fault. Our college security system was flawed, and this was the unfortunate wake up call. Even with all this security, some things can never be stopped. That is just life- you can’t prevent everything but you can’t live in fear either. I believe at some unconscious level this event led me into the counseling field- I wanted to work with students before it ever got to that point where they would do something like this. I may have gone into the field anyways, but it definitely pushed me into an area where I was tiptoeing with renewed purpose and vigor.

The thing is the people in these tragedies, 9/11 and 4/16, are my friends, my family, my coworkers, and my acquaintances. It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t anyone I knew well. It was that it could have been anyone. Anyone. It could have been me. That’s why these events cannot be forgotten. I don’t think you can talk to a single friend of mine that was not dramatically shaped in some lasting way by this event.  I also know that something like it will probably happen again in my lifetime and few will be even worse. It’s scary. But I still have to remind myself not to forget. I caught myself last month not being fully understanding when a friend was talking about how the Tech tragedy still gets to her every time she is in a classroom. I was sympathetic, but I didn’t really connect. I had forgotten.

I don’t want to forget, because though life goes on, we should take every day as a gift and not let it go to waste. I’m not saying we should be depressed and not move on when bad things happen, but we should take our defining events and make them a permanent part of who we are. Hota Kotb spoke at Techs graduation in 2008 to many of my friends, and in that speech she talks about jobs (obvi) and also overcoming tragedies, whatever they may be. She said something to the nature of resolving not to let a day go to waste. Whether it’s the most mundane day, to enjoy it and live life not wanting what you don’t have, but wanting what you do. That is what makes you a stronger and happier person and keeps your defining events in your heart and life. Get rid of the bad and keep the good. Listen to music. Laugh and be happy. You’re allowed and it’s good. Because I realize that people just like me like me have not had the chance to live and experience even my few 24 years. People just like me. And that is something from my defining moment that I hope to never forget.



Sunday, January 2, 2011

T9 Word and Other Cell Necessities

When it comes to cell phones, I am not the most up to date. Yet, I don't care. I was the last of my friends to actually get a cell phone, a Nokia circa 2002 (remember? blue, thick phone, like 1 of 10 that actually existed), and could only use it because I was driving in case of emergencies. I didn't use it much and never brought it into school, but no one did back then.



I got a new phone for college because that was when we didn't use dorm phones and cell phones were the main thing. It was the same type of Nokia, just silver and a little bigger. I still didn't have texting though. I got my first flip phone my 2nd year of college- a red LG- and I loved it! My best friend Sarah had to introduce me to texting and how to do it (I thought it was stupid- why don't you just call someone?) and then months later the ease of T9 word (why is it called T9 word?). That revolutionized my world. Texting became not only easy and fun but the only way to comunicate.



I updated my red flip phone with a Motorola KRZR in the spring of 2008. I didn't love it and missed my red phone, but I eventually got used to it. That was when everyone was getting keyboards and blackberries. I still was only on my 2nd flip phone, so I wasn't ready to upgrade that much.


Finally after almost three years of using this phone and people laughing when I whipped it out to text (how can you not have a keyboard? no internet? you don't know what you're missing!), I decided to upgrade again. I still refuse to get internet on my phone- I have a GPS so I don't need it for directions and I am on the internet enough- if something is really important chances are someone can look it up with their phone or, god forbid, we can wait til we get home to look it up. I think internet is slowly taking over peoples' lives, so I don't need to carry it with my everywhere. And I refuse to be forced to pay $10 a month extra for a feature I don't need. But since I do love to text, I decided to get a phone with a keyboard.

I love it!! I feel a little more high tech (though it's no driod or iphone), but I got it for $2 after a rebate and I have a keyboard for easy texting. I am sad to be done with flip phones after only two, but that is what I get for being behind the cell phone times. So now I am only two years behind cell phone technology instead of four. We'll see how long I can hold off on no internet! I will be pissed when it's a necessity in every phone.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lasik

It's the official countdown for Lasik! My surgery is on the morning of Monday, January 17th. I am officially out of contacts forever. I started wearing my glasses this past Monday (the 27th), so I will have to wear them for 3 weeks before my surgery. Usually you only have to be out of your contacts for 2 weeks before your surgery for the eyes to go to their normal shape, but since I had to have my initial consultation in November so I could set aside the money in my flex spending account, I have to be examined again a week before my surgery and my eyes have to be the shape they're going to be on surgery day. Hence the 3 weeks instead of 2.

I don't hate wearing my glasses- they're a pretty hip style and my friends all like them on me. I may even keep them and replace the lenses with fake ones for whenever I need a little style change. My students all tell me I look smarter and sophisticated with them (I guess they give me the "teacher" look). I don't like having to wear them working out though, because when I run outside I wear sunglasses instead of glasses so I can't see when I run (I don't like people seeing my eyes when I run- I fear I look like I'm in pain), and when I'm at the gym they get sweaty and gross but I have to wear them to read my magazine or see the TV. But it does save me a lot of time and irritation not having to put my contacts in in the morning and have them irritate my eyes all day. All I have to do to prep now is put eyedrops in my eyes all the time to make sure they're moist for the surgery.

Anways, t-15 days! I will post more as the time nears and let you know if it's worth the money to get it done! I have heard it does, so I am very excited to have awesome eye site all in the manner of one day of rest! That's right- I will at work the day after surgery.


Rockin' the glasses on New Years!