"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Don't think. Don't Judge. Just listen.

I recently read this book. Just Listen  by Sarah Dessen. This book has so much meaning behind it that I can barely grasp all of it. Here's the summary:
Annabel Greene is the girl who has everything. At least that's who she plays in a commercial for Kopf's Department Store: top student, popular cheerleader, dazzling prom queen surrounded by friends. In real life, though, Annabel is the girl who has nothing: no best friend since her friendship with mean-but-exciting Sophie ended with malicious rumors flying, no peace at home while her older sister's eating disorder preoccupies the family, and no ability to tell anyone what's on her mind.
And then she meets Owen Armstrong- intense, obsessed with music, and determined to always tell the truth, no matter what the consequences.
Can a girl who hates confrontation find a way to connect with a guy who thrives on it? And can Annabel find the courage to tell what really happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends?
The more I got into the book the more the character Owen made me think. It's still on my mind. The book basically makes me realize that everyone has a story. Things aren't always as they appear. You can make all the assumptions you want, but in the end the only way you'll ever know the truth is if you get involved. Owen explained to Annabel that using words like "something" or "stuff" are place holders. They're used to mask the truth. "R and R" means rephrase and redirect. I think it could easily be applied to real life. Just rephrase a statement that isn't a direct attack toward the person you are talking to.
The most important thing I got from the book is : Don't think. Don't judge. Just listen.  It's self explanatory. People don't take the time to just listen to each other. Maybe it's time to try.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine's Day

Every year around this time couples get extra lovey dovey, and every year, Cupid forgets to visit me. Don't worry, I have yet to turn into one of those women who mope around eating chocolates and watching Lifetime movies all day. The hopeless romantic within me is just dying to get out and do all of those goofy things that love makes you do. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Valentine's Day. The entire day just has this.. vibe to it.
I can't help but to want to spend my day with someone truly special to me. I want to make Monday a day amazing for someone I love very much. I'm both dreading and anticipating what this year will bring. When I was younger I always imagined the most romantic Valentine's day ever. As I mentioned before, I have a very active imagination.
I almost miss the days when February 14th was nothing more than a paper card with a picture of a kitty that reads: "You're puuuuurfect, Valentine!"
Back then it didn't seem to matter much. I remember when I was little my sister and I would rush home from school with our little bags full of valentines from our classmates. We'd go door to door in our neighborhood and give our cards away to everyone, and told them that we loved them. If they weren't home, we'd tape it to their door and watch out the window until they got home. Back then, that was satisfying.
Now, I'm eighteen, and the world just isn't as kind. I'm sure if taped a paper Valentine to my neighbor's door that has "To: Lacey From: blah blah" they'd get highly upset.
I don't really know the point of this blog. I guess I just wanted to talk, but, that's it. Valentine's Day is six days away, and all I've got is a heart shaped box of gross chocolates, and a single pink rose for my daddy coming my way. That's just alright with me. I mean, it is the thought that counts, right?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Life (n) [lahyf]: the general or universal condition of human existence

Since I can remember, I've always loved kids. I've been around babies and toddlers since I was one myself. To me, being around kids is second nature. I for one cannot wait until I can have kids of my own. Anyone who knows me knows that the one thing I want most out of life is to have kids of my own. Don't worry, I won't be having kids anytime soon. In the last year a lot of people who are close to me have had kids. It gets me so excited! It amazes me to watch them develop their own personalities. My nephew is five years old. I like to think that I've played a big roll in helping to raise him. He started Kindergarten this year, and he comes home from school saying words like "humongous" and "ridiculous". He can read my text messages, and his memory is unbelievable. I love every second of watching him and my niece grow up. I lost my faith a long time ago, but watching them grow and learn gives me a little hope.
Now here is my point in all of this. No, I haven't come to come life changing realization, but I have decided what I want to do with my life. I want to be a special education teacher. Special needs people are probably the best people in the world. They are real. Their feelings and words are nothing short of genuine.
In eight grade with the help of a teacher, Kate Everett-Gholston, I got the opportunity to spend an hour a week with the special needs kids at my school. It changed my life. There are a boy in the class, Ryan. Ryan didn't talk. We worked with him all year, and by the end of the year the most we got out of him was a barely audible whisper. Ryan touched my heart the most. I could look in his eyes and I just wanted to cry for him. I can't imagine what it would be like to not have a voice. However, he was always willing to offer a smile, or a hug, or the occasional kiss on the cheek.
Once I got to high school I didn't see the kids anymore. One day in tenth grade I was going to the bathroom and the tables were set up for lunch. I heart someone yell "Cousin!" I looked up and saw the special needs kids eating their lunch. Before I could register what was going on Ryan's arms were wrapped around my waist and he was crying. He said "Lacey, I talk," It was quiet, but he said it, and that's all I needed. It wasn't long before I had two more sets of arms wrapped around me, Jasmine and Ebony. Two girls from the class I helped with in eighth grade. I was so happy, I couldn't stop crying. The teachers were obviously watching the whole time, I guess not sure of what to do. I walked them back to their lunch table and told their teacher that we were old friends. Ryan, Jasmine, and Ebony introduced me to all of their new friends, each one excited to meet me. I kept looking at their teacher, worried she would be angry that I wasn't in class, but instead she just studied me, smiling.
When I got ready to leave she stopped me and asked how I knew them, and I told her the story. She just looked at me and said "thank you." It was the most sincere thank you that I have ever heard. She told me those kids need to be around more people like me. Until recently, I didn't know what she meant by it. It takes a special person to have that kind of effect on those kids.
Now, almost everyday, toward the end of second block I  sneak away from class to go see those kids. Ryan calls me Cousin. Everyone else just calls me friend. I love them all so much. They hold a VERY special place in my heart.
I know it's hard for some people to understand. That day, I just knew I wanted more and more moments just like that one. I love knowing how happy they get to see me; their faces just light up. It's amazing.
So, there you go. THAT is why I chose this career. It is life changing. I cannot wait!