It's been more than a month since I last blogged. I had been good about blogging regularly, but I needed to take a bit of a step back, I guess. I have been taking a bit of a social media hiatus, light on the blogging, light on the Facebook. I have been kind of anti-social lately. I think the hate, both pre- and post-election shook my faith in humanity. That is something that has been a bit tenuous at best over the last several years. So I took a bit of a break, limiting my time on FB, many days playing games but talking to no one. It was necessary, and it has hellped. I also stopped having a complex about deleting people. I hate the idea of hurting ayone's feelings but sometimes it is just a matter of self-preservation.
Teaching an old dog new tricks…
The other thing that got me was a not-so-fabby grade in one of my classes. I am not going to lie… I've been pretty proud of my grades thus far, especially since there have been literally decades since I have been in school full-time. But I blew my midterm in my Romance Novel class. I didn't get a horrible grade, a B+, but I totally know I could have done better. I deserved the damn grade, and I know it and it sucks. I am hoping it doesn't blow my GPA because I have had a 4.0 every semester running.
On the flip side, I am a bit disappointed with both of my writing classes this semester. I thought that both of them would involve creative writing, MY creative writing. Nope. Not at all. The Romance Novel class has been about reading and analyzing the romance genre, interesting, but not what I was expecting. We have a huge reading list, half of which haven't been discussed or really used. We have had two homework assignments that were kind of on the early high school level. We had one paper which was pretty simplistic, our midterm, and a final paper. That's it. It was an independent study class but I guess I expected some more input and in-depth study and writing. My other writing class has involved non-fiction. Each module consists of an article that we have to read and journal about. It's another independent study and there is only one other person in the class. We are supposed to discuss the pieces with each other but she never posts unntil AFTER the due date. So I end up talking with the prof or not at all. The final consists of a research paper. I like the professor but I have gotten nothing out of the class. I hoping next semester is different.
The other three classes have been fabulous. I love my women's criminology class and my forensic psych class, neither of which pertain to my major but taken just because I wanted to. They have been fascinating! The other class was a literature class, focused on Hamlet and Child of God. My mom was an English teached in my high school and she taught Hamlet but, because I was her daughter, I had the other teacher who didn't teach it so I never read it. The teacher was actually a friend of mine from high school, which was different. But she is pretty fabulous and I LOVED that class. It was a fantastic mix of students, some of which I got into some great discussions with.
Even though it is temporary, our house is starting to look like a home. We haven't unpacked everything because it is temporary, but at some point, you just have to make it a home regardless. On Black Friday, Corey and I braved the outside world long enough to go to the furniture and buy a new set of cocktail tables and matching coffee table, along with a spiffy media cabinet. All of which I love and on which we got a rockin' discount. We ended up paying just over $600 for about $1100 worth of stuff and they delivered it an hour later! For the first month we were here, we having been lamp shopping for the living room and just couldn't agree on bases and shades. I look color and pattern, he eschews it. Not easy! We finally found a pair of brownish-black, distressed wood bases that we both liked and I compromised on the shades. They are gray silk, crinkle-pleated shades that are beautiful when the lights are on. Yesterday we bought curtains and a rod for the living room, too, and they are gorgeous. We had Venetian blinds but there was still a glare on Corey's laptop. So we went curtain shopping, which I anticipated would be as easy as the lamp shopping. It took us only a record 30 minutes to compromise and buy. Amazing. We got a gorgeous rod with brownish-black marble-look finials and fabulous dusty teal curtains. I wanted a set of blue and white, almost Morrocan-inspired patterned ones, but the hubs hated them. Since he wanted some lovely (NOT) dark, poop-brown ones, I feel lucky that I got the ones I did, a dusty teal set of faux-silk panels with a tone-on-tone zebra pattern. They sound, admittedly, hideous, but the pattern is subtle and they look beautiful balanced against all the dark furniture and black couches. They only had two panels left, but I want four so I will have to keep watching for more to come in.
Today's wish is about change. There are a lot of changes that I wish for, big and small. Change can be hard. It can be frustrating. It takes an open mind and a willingness to listen and learn. But without change we become stagnant on every level.
What change do I most wish for today?
I'm tired of people degrading those who focus a lot on social issues instead of, or in conjunction to, economic and international policies in deciding who to vote for. I will not pretend like I understand economic and international politics very well, otherwise I risk faulty knowledge and logic. I vote on what I know and what I care about. I vote on what I agree with. I am as well-informed as I can be and as much as anybody else. These things matter just as much. -Donovan Adams
I have kept my mouth shut during most of this election, not really wanting to add to the drama and the angst that it creates among friends. Now that I am celebrating a little, my inbox on FB and my email is likely to catch fire with the hate. To each his own, people, to each his own. I don't call you names or degrade you, so you can extend the same to me, thanks. -Me
The top quote is a status from Facebook, posted in the aftermath of the election results last night. Full disclosure, my 20 year old son after his first election. The second one is one I posted myself. The amount of hate last night that I saw spewed on Facebook last night from disappointed Romney supporters shocked and appalled me. By no means am I saying that this is indicative of all Romney supporters, nor am I saying that either side has been perfect. This isn't about that. It is about the level of hate and disrespect that I saw. The racial slurs, the religious slams, the name calling, the insults. I have never seen anything so vile and so aggressively mean-spirited. I believe in respect. I believe in the freedom of thought and belief. I believe in agreeing to disagree. I believe in human compassion and consideration. I believe in finding ways to work together.
That is my wish for today. That there will somehow come to be a change among people. Allowing them to come together, to work together, with kindness, acceptance, open minds, and respect. That the hate falls to the side because it breeds nothing positive, nothing helpful. That's my wish.
Today is a big day in my world. It is registration day for next semester and, of course, it is Election Day. I have registered for 4 classes, although I may need to add another. Then there is the question of financial aid. Will I still be eligible if I find out that I need to move to Switzerland… depending on election results, of course?! I jest… mostly. I voted absentee so only time will tell how everyone else voted, too.
No thanks to my advisor, who I haven't been able to get ahold of since JUNE, I am registered. However, there is a particular 2-credit workshop I am supposed to register for, but I need her input in order to do so. So that is an issue that I am in limbo over, which does not appeal to the stress-filled side of me. But the classes I am taking totally jazz me. I am taking another religious studies class, an elective for my Cultural Studies major. It's a 400-level, Religious Thought in World Perspective, with the same professor I had 1st semester for Intro to Religious Studies. He was awesome, so I am hoping that my registration in his section holds. I am also taking another 400-level writing class, Creative Nonfiction, with the same professor I had 1st semester for College Writing. He, too, was fabulous and I learned a lot from him. But the crowning jewels of next semester are the two writing/literature classes I am taking in my major's concentration, both with the same professor and both independent study. The Faerie Realm in Folklore and Literature and Women of Faerie.
That's the ironic downside of being back in school full-time on top of Domestic Goddesshood. I have very little time to do what I love… write. Creatively, that is. Papers, while interesting, just don't counnt, nor do they nourish my soul. But I will get a lot of that next semester with three writing classes. I took a creative writing class last spring semester and the things I wrote, although short stories, have given rise to a couple of potential WIPs. I am a big believer in learning all kinds of writing, that there is something to be gained from all of it. I worked as a tech writer, both in the Army and for Corning Glass Works, and even that has something to offer. In that vein, I chose to take the creative nonfiction class. I am going to be doing a bit of writing in the future for a variety of publications, to include Wild Sister Magazine in the February issue, so I feel like that is going to be a great class to have under my belt.
*graphic by me, tubes/lineart from my pretty pixels (offlinne) and my doodlles
I am so glad this week is coming to an end. Some of it has been pretty great, some of it pretty negative, all of it crazy busy.
Lessons were learned this week, and not all of those lessons were all that uplifting. A lot of the lessons just served to confirm that which my Inner Cynic already believes, that sometimes it just doesn't pay to stand up for yourself and/or something you believe in. I have had some passive-agressive, indirect fallout this week in part because of my blog, and in part because I spoke up about something I believe in. It has bothered me more than I would like to admit. But this blog is my own. It is my therapy, my feelings, my experiences, my journey. It is not about hurting anyone, but about working my own way through things. In reality, as I said in one of my posts this week, I think the person in question is a person with a big heart that would never intentionally hurt someone. I truly believe that. My writing about the situation was about exploring an issue that I see out there all the time, not just in this single circumstance. Judgments and just how hurtful and hard they can be. We all do it, whether we intend to or not. The lesson is that we should all be more mindful of it, especially on the net, which makes it so much easier to say something that you would never say to someone face to face. In the end, after the fallout, I was left feeling like I was nothing. I felt judged unfairly. It was made clear to me that my feelings didn't matter. Instead, somehow I became the bad guy, put out there in a pretty aggressive way. And that's what made it stick with me. It felt unfair and unjust.
But it is over now, pretty definitively. I believe that there is something to be learned from every experience. And the realitiy is that not every lesson learned is going to be positive. That is something else I have learned on this journey, that it comes at a cost sometimes. And sometimes that cost is a friendship.
But, on the flip side, it definitely illuminated the value of true friendships, new and old. It also taught me the value of just letting go. After years of being a doormat, letting go of the anger and resentment isn't easy for me. Sometimes it is just the principle of the matter, but it still needs to go in order to make room for the good. It hurts to be judged and it hurts to be vilified for standing up for yourself. But it is my right to do so. So it is what it is.
A little Joy jamming on a Friday is a good thing! The host blog's Joy Jam today is pretty uplifting, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, too.
♥ Life lessons. Yes, even the bad ones. All lessons have value, one way or another.
♥ True and wonderful friends. What more needs to be said?
♥ The little things. Sometimes it is the littlest of things that make my soul sing. The little kindnesses, the kind that make you feel like you matter!