Friday, February 26, 2010

The Friday Five...

I am starting a new blog tradition...the Friday five...where I will document five things I fancy, love, loathe, can't live without, etc. (I stole this idea from Bryttin, but I am fairly certain she will understand). Now on to today's edition...

Five Firsts

1. My first doll was a Raggedy Anne that I called Rag-a-nan. I still have her. She is stained and well loved. Her yarn hair is torn and her clothing has been reduced to bloomers. She is still beautiful.

2. I got my ears pierced for the first time when I was eight. I had little silver star studs. I was brave and tried not cry.

3. My first car was a 1979 Chevette I named "Gil the Gutless Wonder." His energy span was 5 miles, he was wonderful tan color, and lived for nine months. RIP, Gil.

4. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White was the first book I called my favorite. I read it numberless times and still like to read it when I am lonely for childhood.

5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was the first "grown up" book I read as a child. Consequently, it is still one of my favorites. I read it every year and I secretly want to buy random copies of it for no other reason than to have a whole shelf full of Jane. It was the first time I realized that words were powerful rather than just entertaining.

P.S. I want to name my daughter Charlotte.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Prayers of a four year old...

Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for Mom and Dad and Brother and Me and Sissa. Please help Sissa to find a husband soon. Please bless that he is nice and a hard worker. Please bless that he will love her and be able to stay with her forever. Please bless that her eggs won't be too rotten and she will be able to have babies. Name of Jesus Christ. Amen

It was the most sweet, honest, and sincere prayer I have ever heard...even with the rotten egg part. I am blessed to be loved so much by someone so small.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wondering how to fly...

I feel the need to change my life. I am in the process of changing, but still I feel like there is something else for me to do, something else out there. Mostly I have been thinking of a move. A BIG move. A move that includes an address somewhere in Brooklyn or the Upper West Side and involves a tiny studio apartment that I pay too much for and a minimalist existence where I learn to live with less than I have. A move that requries more bravery and more energy than I feel I possess at the present time. It is a conundrum...

The dilema is this...I am seduced by safety. I am seduced into thinking that a life here wouldn't be so bad, that you don't have to leave the state you grew up in, that you have to stay close to your family and friends and knitting circles, that you need cars and furniture and space and sky in order to be happy. I am afraid friends. I am afraid to leave. I am afraid to try. I am afraid that in deciding to stay I am telling, perhaps, my life's biggest lie...that this life, my life, as it is, is enough. Even as I say it, I am afraid it isn't true.

Don't be fooled, I have a good life. I am blessed and happy. I am surrounded by amazing people who love and listen, who are good and beautiful. I have no reason to complain or want. I have no reason to leave or wonder. But I do. This is the truth.

I have been thinking about a poem I wrote in college. Walking to class one day, I passed the bell tower where a large swarm of birds were flying in and around the stone window openings. They were sparrows and they all flew in a time and rhythm that was constant and beautiful. (Remember my love of birds? They are as calming as ocean waves). That day one sparrow flew away from the group. She flew high and wide, circling the tower and landing on the stone. She was close to the group, but at the same time obviously seperate. It was her seperateness that I noticed, her seperateness that made her beauty. I wrote a poem about it and it was largely a metaphor. It is how I felt my whole life.

I am left wondering who to be--safe or seperate, grounded or flying, shadow or sparrow, or is there a way to be both?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A few small successes...

This has been a rollercoaster of a week. Tuesday I was ready to throw in the towel. Today I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be. How my mind can change so quickly, I don't know, except maybe it just started tallying up all the small successes of the last few weeks and months and years. All those little things that make up a life and don't get noticed because they don't appear to mean anything. The little things that acutally make a life what it is. I am a believer in the small things. Somehow all the little decisions made along the way become big things, life shaping things, life making things.

Eighteen months ago I decided to go back to school. All in all it was a small decision. I filled out one online application. I paid one application fee. I sent in one set of transcripts. I got one acceptance letter. I enrolled in four classes. One small decision set everything else in motion. I know it was a good decision because everything else fell into place. Now I am about to graduate and my life is moving in a direction entirely different than the direction it was headed in a year and half ago. My new life gives me a sense of joy and I am finally where I need to be and doing what I need to do. I didn't know that things would change so drastically, but I pleasantly surprised by the turn.

After Tuesday, I made another decision that seemed small. I decided to let myself into the classroom. I have been running my classes like my mentor teacher, which has been good. My mentor is an amazing teacher and she has taught me a lot. Trying to be her though has been exhausting and impossible. I realized I can be different and still be amazing. Wednesday I tried it out. I had a heart to heart with my students. We had "come to Jesus" so to speak and I told them that what I needed and expected from them. I told them things would be different, but could be just as good. Wednesday went swimmingly and today was good as well.

So, my small success this week is in remembering the importance of small successes, small moments...being honest, being brave, being myself, the feel of a Kindergarten hand in mine down the hall, the morning smile of a five year old face, the feeling of being in the right place at the right time as the right person, and the possibility of making a difference in the world through the life of a child.