Category Archives: Society

To the people who look to me

If you’ve ever read my blog before, you probably realize that I really don’t have all my apples in a row. Despite the fact that I am in my mid-thirties, I am still figuring a lot of this stuff out as I go. I think most adults are. I’m pretty sure that’s actually the secret of being adult: we’re all just making it up, we just have the confidence and experience to make it look like we know what we’re doing.

In light of the fact that I really have zero clues about what I’m doing, it fills me with great awe that people look up to me. I take that responsibility very seriously. I want those people to know that words cannot express how awed and humbled and thankful I am for them. They keep me thinking about how to make myself better: a better teacher, a better listener, a better friend. They make me challenge old ideas and want to embrace new ones. They make me want to live my life as the best possible version of myself that I can. I really can’t thank them enough.

I also want them to realize that mistakes are ok. Goodness knows I have made my fair share. Change is ok. It is scary and can be confusing and can sometimes be sad, but most changes in my life have been for the better. And the things that caused many nights of tears healed as time passed and helped mold me into the person I am today.

It’s ok you don’t have it all figured out. I certainly don’t. It’s ok to be frustrated as you try to figure it out. I certainly have been frustrated with road blocks in my life. It’s ok to be you and be silly and have fun and still be an adult. Goodness knows that I love Disney movies and laughing about goofy stuff.

Above all, I want you to know that I am your cheerleader. I want you to be successful, whatever that means for you. I will cheer your accomplishments. Because honestly I appreciate every one of you and want nothing but the best for you.

Resolution, smesolution

It’s a new year, full of new adventures and new experiences and new friends. And the same me. New Years tends to be the time for people to make outrageous claims about how they want to change their lives, hopefully for the better. But most of the time these “resolutions” last the three weeks it takes for the memories of bad holiday choices to fade. I have decided that I’m not making any resolutions this year.

Instead, I am going to continue to reflect on my life and behaviors and make adjustments during the entire year.

This year, I’m going to continue to reflect on and improve my teaching. I am going to look at my lessons and their outcomes and adjust my strategies. I’m going to listen to my students (both their voices and their actions) and be responsive to their needs. I am going answer questions and encourage exploration and reward positive thinking. I am going to help and be available but have boundaries because I am also a human.

This year, I’m going to continue to reflect on and improve my relationships. I am going to make time for friends and family. I am going to listen to their problems without offering unwanted commentary. I am going to help them when asked and ask for help when I need it. I am going to spend time with people I want to spend time with and not worry about the people that I don’t want to spend time with. I am going to be more accepting of my friends’ opinions, but not be afraid of sharing my opinions with them.

This year, I am going to be kind. I am going to be open to new ideas and experiences. I am going to not be afraid to be myself. I am going to not be afraid to change. I am going to not be afraid to not change.

This year, I am going to be the best version of myself that I can be.

Not Adult Enough

Every once in a while I feel like I’m not Adulting correctly. Yes, with a capital A. I look around at other women in their 30s and see their nice blouses and nice pants and nice shoes. I’m just sitting over here in my Disneyland t-shirt, jeans, and Converse. Never mind the fact that I own my house and have a good job. I wear graphic tees as a 33-year so clearly my life isn’t put together.

It’s weird how we compare and judge ourselves. I am, by most standards, a pretty successful person. I hold 2 degrees and am earning a third. I have a decent paying job that allows me to pay my bills and still go to Disneyland when I want. I have friends and family who support me. I have students who like me (even if my class is hard). I have peers who respect me.

And yet, when I go out and see other 30-something women I judge myself because of the outfits I like to wear when I’m relaxing. I compare myself to them and think they are “more successful” than I am. I think they are more put together than I am. I think they’ve figured it all out. There is no reason for this other than the fact that these other women are wearing a pencil skirt and blouse with a belt. That’s literally the only thing I have to go on. It’s like my brain says, “Wow, that woman is wearing black slacks and a really nice top. She must have her shit together.” It doesn’t make any sense.

I do also think it’s a bit of worry about how others are viewing me. Maybe they look at me like I’m this girl-child who hasn’t figured anything out. “Look at this chick. Who wears graphic tees into their 30s?” *Scoff*

The thing is, though, I guess I don’t care enough to really change my behavior. I like the clothes I wear. I like displaying my nerdom. I like finding fun designs and showing them off. I’m actually pretty comfortable in the things I wear out.

I also want people to think that I’m adulting correctly. Because I am adulting the shit out of my life. When I’m not watching Disney movies or playing video games, of course.

Election Time

Yep, It’s that time of year again.  The time when American’s come together and fling mud at people who don’t agree with them.  That time when politicians thrown promises around like dollars in a strip club.  That time when there is a cacophony of rhetoric and he said/she said blame splashed across the interwebs.  The republicans are ruining America.  The democrats are destroying our way of life.  Obama will kill us all.  Obama is the savior.

Blah, blah, blah.

I’m so sick of it all.  I’m sick of every politician blaming every other politician for the state of things.  I’m sick of name calling and finger pointing done by grown adults who are supposed to be leading this country.  I’m sick of the republican and democrats alike fighting over meaningless “party line” differences.

I did something different this year in regards to my voting habits: I researched the candidates.  *shock and disbelief*  Yes, I sat down in front of my computer with the votes guide book open and I looked up candidates for governor, US rep, state reps, corporate commissioner, state treasurer, and attorney general.  I read what they had to say on education, health, energy, the economy and I made up my own mind about who I wanted to vote for.  I didn’t vote for someone just because they were in a political party, but because they shared similar values to mine.

I urge everyone else to do the same.  Political parties and their “party line” agendas are destroying this country.  It does us no good as a nation to hold steadfast to ideals without any room for negotiation, exploration of new ideas, or compromise.  It just pits two sides against each other in a medieval style battle: each side facing each other across an open field, swords and shields raised, ready to beat the crap out of each other for the town down the road.  But who is harmed the most in that situation: the town down the road.  The American people are being hurt the most by our political parties staring each other down across the aisle.

Instead of voting for someone just because they belong to a political party, do a little research into that person.  It took me all of 45 minutes this morning to finish my primarily voting ballot.  Maybe for some, that’s too long.  But I think we owe it to ourselves to dig a little deeper and look into the people will be make decisions that ultimately shape our country and our lives.  When you think of it that way, maybe 45 minutes doesn’t sound like too long at all.

No, you can’t pet her


Ginger the dog

Two years ago, I got a dog.  Her name is Ginger.  That’s her to the left, laying down at the dog park after we ran around for 20 minutes.  She’s a pretty good dog.  She sleeps on the floor next to my bed.  She lays on her blankets in the living room while I’m watching T.V.  She lays on her blanket in the office while I’m playing on the computer.  She jumps up and down when I come home.  And, generally, she does dog-like things.

She also has a problem with people running up to her.  She doesn’t bite.  She doesn’t even really growl, but she does cower a little bit and her hackles will raise.  She was probably abused at some point in her early life.  She’s not a huge fan of new people to the point where she cowered and whined at a friend of mine whom she’s only seen maybe once or twice.

Most afternoons, Ginger and I go for a walk around my neighborhood.  During our walks, I usually wear headphones so that I can listen to one of the many podcasts that I enjoy.  I usually walk at a brisk pace (exercise for both me and the pup), my head watching my feet, watching my dog, and watching where we are going.  In general, I ignore people.

Recently (for the past few nights anyway) other families have been out enjoying the lovely “fall” air.  And kids have run up to my dog, begging to pet her.  At least, I think that’s why they are doing.  As previously stated, I have headphones in.

Yesterday, two teens asked something, to which I didn’t respond (headphones).  When I didn’t react, they proceeded to reach out and try to pat Ginger on the head.  Ginger, of course, cowered.  At which point, I had to take my headphones out and tell them that, no, they can’t pet my dog.

Similar thing happened tonight.  I saw a family in front of me, walking toward us with their dog.  So I crossed the street.  Let me repeat that – I purposefully crossed the street.  Away from the approaching family.  So, of course, the dad rides his bike over and shouts at me as I’m walking away with my headphones in.  When I don’t respond, the two girls run in front of me, effectively blocking my path.

What’s my point?  I understand I own a cute dog.  She looks fluffy and friendly and, honestly, she probably won’t mind being pet by a little kid.  But I’m walking at a brisk pace, I have headphones in, and I didn’t respond to your questions.  Maybe you should tell your kids to continue your walk in peace and not run up to an unknown dog and stick your hand in her face.

Am I wrong in this?  Should I stop my stroll to let every kid pat Ginger on the head?  Should I interrupt my podcast enjoyment by removing my head phones to first listen to their request and then deny them?  Or am I completely in my right to just ignore them and continue on my walk without stopping?


I’ve never really been prone to panic attacks.  I’ve heard other people describe them, I’ve seen their effects, but rarely have I experienced them.  That is until a few years ago.

See, I got hit by a drunk driver, which broke my wrist.  I had to have emergency wrist surgery, where the doctors screwed a plate into the carpal bones as well as reset the ulna and radius.  I woke up in extreme pain, blinding white pain.  I have yet to experience anything else as painful in my adult life.

Since that day, I’ve had a few panic attacks.  They usually, but not always, take place in a car (which is understandable) and thankfully I haven’t had one while I was driving (probably due to a control issue).

Panic attacks are awful.  They start in my chest.  I can feel my heart rate speed up.  Then come the jitters, as if I’ve had too much caffeine that day.  My entire body is alight, waiting for some signal to untangle.  It’s like being in fight or flight mode for several minutes, somethings hours, but never receiving that final cue as to which route you should take.

The worst part is the accompanying insomnia.  Because every nerve seems to be standing at attention, waiting for that final sign, it’s almost impossible to sleep.  Laying down violates the whole flight or fight process.  Laying down and relaxing is right out.

So I get a few restless hours of sleep then go back to trying to calm my restless body.  Tea helps, deep breathes, walking the dog.  And life continues.

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