Wondering Where It Started

The quest for parental guidance is still a mystery.

I moved out West last summer with my boyfriend. We packed up his car with the few belongings we kept and hit the road. I found a job within two weeks of being out here. It seemed like the longest, most exhausting, and torturous two weeks of my life but, I got the job, have been with the company for eight months now, and even got myself a promotion.

I am proud of myself. My boyfriend seems to be proud of me. Are my parents proud of me? I am not sure. It was a week or two before I left that they told me how they hated the idea of me moving so far away. They nearly begged for me to move to a closer, MidWest, ‘big’ city and tried their best at a short story expressing their misfortune when they moved together. An ear-load of negativity, essentially, and their youngest child in tears, for her dreams, goals and future would not be taken seriously.

However, I thought me finding a job I like and am thriving at, not being pregnant at 24, nor obese, still in a healthy relationship, and, not to mention enjoying a life I love, would skew my parents’ opinion towards my life and how I am living it.

They still show little support.

The quest I mentioned, is my hope to discover if it is me or them having the psychological issues. Some of the questions I have been asking myself are: why is there such little support, why aren’t my parents in favor of my choices, are my choices good enough? With this, I chose a path of self-help, which led me to the syllabus from one of my last college courses, The Sociology of Self-Improvement, as a guide. I began reading and rereading some of the texts from the course: 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleDrive, and The Road Less Traveled.

These books hold a truth:

In living this life of mine, I am creating my own values, and that is what life is truly about.

 

More to come on this seemingly lifelong quest.

 

“The Best Leaders Get to Live On”

We must adapt and be the best we can. “The best leaders get to live on.” This is quite the powerful note to start a book with. But, as a leader you must always send a clear message to your audience. I received my clear message about three years ago, when I really began thinking for myself. I was given the opportunity to move to Hawaii. I accepted, no hesitation. I bought a one-way ticket, packed or threw out all of my belongings, and was on my way to a new life. I didn’t know anyone on the island. I was going to start fresh, be a new me, live life the way I wanted to. And I did. I remember my friends, family, the boyfriend I broke up with to avoid a long-distance relationship, they all thought I was crazy, that I wasn’t going to follow through with it, that I would be back in Iowa within a year. They were wrong. I lived my new, individualistic, and positive life out there. From then on, I knew if I could get rid of half the things I own, find a job I love, get into another university, fall in love with a major, meet a new group of friends, all at twenty years old, I was pretty ahead of the game.

My move brought me to the realization that I am a positive person. This was news to me. My friends, from back home and on the island came to me for advice on anything. They liked my view on life. They knew I was a reliable and honest person. I began work at an all natural deli. I was cutting vegetables I never knew existed. My boss sat me down one day and gave me raise after three months because of my strong work ethics. She liked my fast-pace, upbeat spirit, and that I remembered our customers’ names. I was being praised for actions I have always known to be commonsense. 

After reading through Strengths Based Leadership, and learning the attributes of successful business men and women, I, at first, felt distanced from them; there was no way their leadership characteristics and mine could ever match up; they are millionaires, I can’t even keep my checking account above two hundred dollars!  I had to remind myself that money isn’t what leadership is about. Rather, it is connecting with people, spreading awareness, building relationships. I had to remind myself of the former NATO Commander, Wesley Clark’s quote, that we must continue “working to sharpen [our talents].” It isn’t possible to one day, three years ago, come to the conclusion that I am a leader and that’s that. I must continue to work towards strengthening those features everyday as I go further into my future.

As a (fifth year) senior, I still look back at my past experiences. I do this for two reasons; one because I miss my island life dearly, but secondly, and more importantly, to remember how I got to that point in my life. I had to figure out who I was while out there, and who I still had time to become. I know learning and gaining knowledge is an important value of mine, along with traveling, and meeting people who share the same values as I do. After studying abroad and attending school in Hawaii, I really have to try at keeping my strengths an values alive. I have to continue to remind myself and others who similarly “want to get out of here” or others who are applying to jobs in the midwest, that there is so much more out there; so many more people to meet, so many opportunities to grasp.

Same Damn Thing

Maybe we raised ourselves.

Maybe we still are.

A quick smirk my way from the small guy indulging in his gelato his mom paid for.

Here she comes trailing behind with a few other women.

The little guy rushes over with his iPhone,

“Mom, look what I took a picture of! A guy on his hoover board!”

An elderly man goes by, I look up and give him a smirk.

I realize I am just like the small guy.

My iPhone lights up. It doesn’t make noise, doesn’t vibrate, it is on silent for the most part.

‘Ma’ is calling.

Why are people trying to contact me?

It’s so annoying.

Ohpp, too late, missed it.

I go on with my studies, soon realizing I should call her back.

I brighten my screen to read I have a voicemail from ‘Ma’.

I listen. And realize there isn’t a need to call her back.

This is a relief.

 

Power: the ability to do something.

 

How do you truly feel? What do you truly see?

In yourself.. in your life.. your future.

What do you DESIRE?

Is the mind able to separate from the soul

or perhaps the soul from the mind?

Is it true you get the situation you prepare for?

Is it true every perfect gift is already yours, awaiting your recognition?

It is true that it is easier to choose the life of a bum, or a drunk perhaps?

To drink everyday and not have to think.

The alcohol doing it for you.

It is easier to eat the packaged food. Already made for you. Just heat it up.

Caffeine to wake you up and get you started for your tough day.

How does your day compare to the day of the others?

Smoke to settle you down when the night falls.

 

Once you start, you can’t stop.  You’ve said it yourself.

Habits? Brainwashed? Tamed? Corrupted?

Are you able to find your own way of thinking?

Change the way you do one thing, and you’re in amazement.

“I can do that?.. I can do that!”

What is the way you used to do it before?

The past.

 

“Face a situation fearlessly, and there is no situation to face.”

 

 

 

 

Memory for Remedy

“Oh yeah, she’s good. She’s real good.” 

The voice raced into her ears, straight to the head.  She looked up from the TIME magazine grasped in one hand.  Her gaze, now distracted, dedicated to air, air which started to feel clustered and rushed. She took a sip from her nearly dry glass of red wine.  Her mind could not resist the venture. She pictured the haze in his eyes, the way his lips glazed over the disclosing words.

The conversation changed after a moment of stillness. One guy stood up and said goodnight to the rest. He walked into the room and stared at the woman.

What’s wrong? 

“Just thinking about work.”

pi

?

are you in me

part of me

around me

on my tongue

are my words your words

would you trade places with me

would you come back

where are you

am I supposed to know

do you want me to know

do I like things because you did 

    would have

what did you like