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Archive for August, 2012

A new door.

August 31, 2012 1 comment

I run into walls.

It hurts. But each time, someone

shows me to the door.

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Categories: poetry Tags: , ,

I am not a wolf.

August 30, 2012 5 comments

For as long as I can remember, I spend a lot of time alone. I’ve always liked quiet, individual activities, like reading, writing, and drawing. Even with sports, the ones I like to both watch and participate in are mostly solo endeavors (swimming, track/cross country, cycling, judo, etc.). Growing up, I always liked coming home to an empty house. I live alone. In my mind, I go through life like this:

However, this may be more accurate:

Like a feral kitten, I talk a big game about independence and resourcefulness. I think I can catch a mouse for dinner and then skillfully avoid animal control after tearing the heck out of your vegetable garden. I think I can chase that opossum, who is three times my size, out from under your car so I can claim that space as my own. However, I’m just a kitten–tiny in size, limited in life skills and experience.

On a day like today, I forgot about my kittenhood and believed I was a wolf. I was not having a great day. Among other unawesome occurrences, I got a rejection letter from a job which I interviewed for and I was genuinely hoping to get. Sure, I can rationalize my disappointment by telling myself that the position was only for 15 hours week, but it was an agency I like and a model of care that I interests me.  I know not to take it personally, but it still feels personal. So I started to take this rejection, coupled with some other sucky life stuff, and do what I usually do, which is to push it away and pretend that my unmatched fierceness cannot stop me from moving forward.

Today, that wasn’t working. As I get older, I find more often than not that my lone wolf ways are not that effective. I sat alone in my little nook of a kitchen, wondering if/when/how things would change. I wanted to someone to talk to. My immediate thought was, “I really, really want to call my brother.” Of course, I can’t call my brother. Since he died 14 years ago, that takes him out of the running. I sighed. I stared out the window. Then, with my elbows propped on the kitchen table, pressing my forehead in my hands, I swallowed my wolfie pride and called my, friend, Leydy.

I met Leydy through the Cuba program I participated in this summer. We were roommates on the trip, but we might as well have been partners for kindergarten field day. We clicked like that–one of those rare connections when making a new buddy where you’re so comfortable with that person, it feels like you’ve known each other since you were five years old. Or in our case, you feel so comfortable around each other that you might act like you’re five years old. Leydy has been in Chile for an internship since July, so it’s been a while since we talked. But we got on Skype and chatted for two hours. We talked about silly things, like boys and how stupid they are, and serious things, like the presidential election and the state of humanity. We made plans to visit when she gets back to the states. We waved goodbye. I felt better.

The life of a feral kitten usually does not end well. There may be a hit and run involved, or a one way trip to animal control. And of course, there’s rabies. Running around on my own all the time doesn’t show me much about dealing with what’s in front of me and weighing the possible outcomes. The only perspective I have is my own, and that perspective isn’t always reliable.

Even wolves run in packs.

Haikuesday 08.28.12

August 28, 2012 2 comments

Despite what I think,

I can’t help but wonder if

luck and fate are real.

Categories: poetry Tags: , , , ,

Saturdays with Mr. Latimer

August 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Today, I spent the afternoon with Mr. Latimer. Since I’m no longer in school, my father and I meet up regularly. I like spending time with Mr. Latimer, but it’s still strange for me. For about ten years I lived several hundred miles away from home. We didn’t see each other a ton, and neither of us thrive during phone conversations. Until a few years ago, our conversations solely revolved around the Philadelphia Eagles. These conversations, to a degree, were one-sided:

Mr. Latimer: Blah blah pre-season. Blah blah blah quarterback. Blah blah blah defensive line.

Me: Dad, I don’t care about the Eagles. I’m not listening to you right now.

Mr. Latimer: Shut up. This is important for you to hear.

Since Mr. Latimer and I spend more time together, the nature of our conversation has slowly evolved. After years of exclusively receiving lectures on the Eagles, I remain surprised by the variety of topics we discuss. Today’s conversation included:

1. Harry Potter (Mr. Latimer is reading the series. I know, right? My brain is still having a hard time with this one.)

2. Bows and arrows. (We like to shoot things.)

3. Lord of the Rings (We like to read books where mythical beings shoot things.)

4. Judo injuries and rehabbing judo injuries. (We don’t like it when we have reduce time spent sublimating our anger through grappling sports.)

4. Michael Jackson (While Mr. Latimer thinks he is a total Creepasaurus Rex, he respects the late pop artist’s craft.)

5. Conspiracy theories across ancient civilizations (Mr. Latimer possess a great love of history, and is also a paranoid weirdo.)

So that was this Saturday. What will we talk about next time???

Categories: Family Tags: , ,

Haikuesday 08.21.12

August 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Ayva took my hand

along with her mom’s.

                                                                                                        I quit

thinking about me.

It takes a village to get me a job.

August 20, 2012 2 comments

Things are weird for me right now. I officially finished my MSW program a few weeks ago and I find myself tangled in the soul-bashing process of job hunting. Now, I’ve been here before. This is my second degree, and my third time since I finished undergrad that I find myself unemployed. While I clearly found work after some time during those periods of unemployment, I struggle to find comfort in that. Lately, I find myself feeling panicked and dejected. It reminds me of what it was like when I was barely 22, and spent four years of my life building my education to increase my marketability, only to realize that most potential employers didn’t care about my GPA or my extra-curricular activities.  I was frustrated that they couldn’t just feel the electric power of my potential as soon as they touched the unopened envelope that contained my resume.  What was stopping them from knowing my greatness?

Of course, now I don’t feel quite as lost as I did when I was 22. My job search is actually focused since I spent the last two years training for a specific job. I’ve spent time thinking about what kind of work I want to do and where I would like my career to go. It remains discouraging, however, that once again, potential employers are not leaping on their desk with elation once they read my cover letter and resume, so relieved to have found such an amazing candidate. I feel like I’m getting pushed backwards while trying to move forwards, leaving me stuck. I prefer momentum to stagnancy any day.

This time around, I realize that no matter how many applications I send out and as much work as I put into my education, skill-building, perfecting my cover letters, etc., I can’t  go through this process alone. I will need help. So I’ve been reaching out to people like whoa. And it’s been incredible to see how responsive people are. I wasn’t prepared to receive such support. Some of it is even unsolicited. I think about three times a week, I’m floored by the giving nature of the people in my life. Such support keeps me from lying face down on my couch, trying to will HR directors to call and email me, only to find myself stress-eating bowls of cereal at three in the morning. All the helpful gestures and kind words from my buddies, family, former colleagues, and past instructors and supervisors ensures that I keep my act together. I would hate to betray such generosity.

I can’t promise, though, that once I get a job, I will  to stop stress-eating cereal at three in the morning.

 

 

 

With benevolence and grace.

August 16, 2012 1 comment

Twice before, we had to sit him down

to tell him that we didn’t think

we could keep going like this.

We couldn’t breathe, and we couldn’t think,

and mostly

we just could not look at him anymore.

But both times,

he listened.

Now it’s strange,

watching him work from the other side,

conducting himself with benevolence and grace

even in circumstances where such poise

may very well go to waste.

 

Categories: poetry Tags: , ,