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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ritual Sacrifice. With Pie.

Happy Thanksgiving!  As a student of history, I could go on about how as a society, we collectively lie about that first Thanksgiving, direct you to articles and documentaries about the history of Thanksgiving, but really?  Who cares.  Today is a day we stop for a moment, look at where we are at, and take note of the things we are thankful to have.  And then we partake in a ritual sacrifice.  With pie. (It’s a Buffy reference.  You’re welcome). 

So, this year, before I indulge in all the foods, I will share what I am thankful for in my life.

Ø      My Family.  My family has been here for me throughout all my craziness, and hasn’t given up on me yet.  My parents have always taken me in when I need a roof over my head, and have loved me unconditionally my whole life.  They have been patient with me, supportive, and proud of my accomplishments.  This includes my sister and my niece, whom I adore.  I am always especially grateful to have my niece in my life – she was a big reason that I not only went to college, but worked so hard and graduated.  She provides endless entertainment and is so full of love and light.  Yes, I am very thankful for my wonderful family.

Ø      My Friends.  My friends are right up there with family.  The ones that truly matter have also stuck with me, even during my crazy periods.  They have offered shoulders to cry on, ears to listen with, and laughter aplenty.  If I was ever away from home during a holiday, they took me in so I wouldn’t be alone.  I have always been one who doesn’t have a lot of friends, but the ones I have are truly special and amazing.  Y’all know who you are.

Ø      My Job.  I bitch and moan about my job all the time, but the fact that my bosses think I am capable of running a movie theatre when they’re all away instills such confidence in me.  I have learned a thing or two about the film industry from the theatre’s point of view, and have been lucky enough to get to work with the film projectors before they are retired for good.  I have also been given the opportunity to continue to use the leadership skills learned during my time in ResLife.  And in this economy, having a job at all is truly a blessing.  Especially one that will help me in my future plans.  And free movies?  Hell yeah.

Ø      My College Experience.  I graduated college this year.  Thusfar, the greatest accomplishment of my life.  Not only am I thankful for having the perseverance to push through that last semester, I am thankful for the entire four years I spent at Keene.  I grew so much, I can’t even say.  I am forever grateful and thankful for the fact that ResLife not only took a chance on me initially, but kept me around for three years.  I was never the perfect RA, but I tried, and came out the other side a new confident woman.

Ø      My Boyfriend.  I know, I know.  I’m that girl.  But truly.  I have been in some ok relationships, some good ones (that I screwed up), and some downright bad ones.  This has been the most honest and real relationship I’ve ever been in.  He is unbelievably supportive of me and my goals.  He makes me feel beautiful and desirable.  And he makes me laugh.  A lot.  He is a decent guy who has his own goals and drive, who is thoughtful of others and just a lot of fun to be around.  He’s also super cute. J  I am also very thankful for our mutual friend Blair, who threw the shindig at which we met, and who talked us both down from ledges when we thought we’d messed up before we’d even had our first date! 

There are a lot of things to be thankful for today.  These are merely a few.  So, take the day, relax and reflect.  Enjoy your feasting, and your families.  For those who are stuck working (as I will be later today), hey, at least we have jobs! 

And for those who are partaking in the insanity that is Black Friday, try to remember the spirit of the day – it started as the day people kicked off their Christmas shopping, to find gifts for friends and loved ones.  Not the day to get out there and buy, buy, buy for themselves.  If you are out shopping for you, try to remember to pick up a little something for someone else.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Saying Goodbye

            Well, I did it.  Yesterday, I applied to graduate school.  My application to Chapman University’s M.A. in Film Studies program is now in God’s and the admission office’s hands.  I should be feeling all weightless and shit.  But now the waiting begins.  First, waiting to see if the two recommendations and my transcript make it there on time.  Then, waiting to find out if the next step is in Southern California or not.  And let’s face it – waiting is not something I do well.

            Stalling, however, is a skill which I have honed for years.  I had chosen Chapman over a month ago.  I had sort of started my essays with ample time, contacted people for recommendations, all the while telling myself “you’ve got plenty of time!”  Then November hit.  Well, fuck.  I have one month to get my shit together.  But I was dragging my heels.  Why?  Well, there was the fear factor (what if I don’t get in?!).  But really, it was quite simple – before I could begin this next step in my life, I had to say goodbye to previous ones.

            My boyfriend and I traveled to my alma mater, Keene State College, this week.  I wanted to show off the campus, introduce him to people; treat him to the Dining Commons.  But something felt off.  I felt like I was intruding on a world that I no longer belonged in.  Then I realized why I’d wanted to go back to Keene so badly.  I wanted to say goodbye.

            During my four years at Keene, I made some friends, got involved and connected and found a home in ResLife.  I worked my butt off academically, and finished with a GPA just shy of honors.  Still a sore spot, but also something to be very proud of.  But being so much older than the rest of the students (combined with severe social anxiety/awkwardness), I always felt like an intruder of sorts.  Like I didn’t really belong there.  And in a way, I was right.  I will always cherish the time I spent there, but the illusion of belonging has been shattered. 

            Once I was able to say goodbye, I was able to complete my application to Chapman without hesitation.  I can now only hope that it was not in vain, and this is the next step.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Four More... What?

So, today was Election Day.  This was my fifth presidential election.  Starting in 1996, I voted (absentee) for Bill Clinton.  2000, Al Gore; 2004 John Kerry; 2008 Barack Obama.  This year, I voted once again for Obama.  Why?  Because I don’t like anyone treating me, or any other citizens of the United States, like a second class unimportant person. 

There are people who wonder why we should even vote.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I have always had a hard time expressing my opinion.  Mostly because I have thought for a long time that my opinion doesn’t matter.  But voting is one way that I get to voice my opinion; to quietly stand up for myself and what I believe in.  Please do not confuse quiet for passive – exercising your right to vote is anything but passive. 

If you are someone who is disenfranchised or uninformed and is exercising your right to not vote today, this is your decision, and I respect that.  However, in this day and age it is not difficult to not only find information, but to find ways to process and understand the information you have found, and that excuse will only fly so far.  Find the issues that matter to you, and choose the side that supports your opinions and values, whatever they may be.  Don’t let others browbeat you into voting one way or another, because in the end whatever you do at those polling stations is between you and whatever higher power you believe in (if any) and that is that.  I voted how I felt was the right way for me and my personal beliefs and values today.  In the future, I encourage everyone else to do the same.

And on a lighter note, if all else fails, vote like this guy: