Friday, May 27, 2011

Adventures in Non-Revenue Travel

Most of you readers know that my darling Daddy is a pilot. Sometimes this is a great thing. Especially when we want to travel, because when he wears his uniform, we get to cut the security line. And TSA is nicer to us. Let me tell you, it brings me great joy to skip the security line. It is also great because it means we can fly for free. Free is a beautiful thing. However, there really is no such thing as a free lunch, because free flights mean standby. When the whole family flies standby, we need 3 seats, because Dad can fly in the jumpseat. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to get three seats sometimes.

This weekend, I'm planning to go to New City to find myself a place to live. My family, being my loving, over-protective, over-involved, opinated family has all decided that they would like to come with me to help me make that decision. We were supposed to take a redeye tonight, and three days ago, there were plenty of seats. This redeye wasn't exactly ideal (sleeping on a plane and then apartment hunting didn't sound like a blast, but it would work. And give me plenty of time to go to my Cylinder girls' gradations. Unfortunately, it's a holiday weekend. Things change quickly on a holiday weekend. 10 minutes before the ceremony was supposed to start, Brother called and said I needed to leave, because the flight we were supposed to take at 10 PM was now obscenely overbooked and we needed to leave immediately. I asked some friends to apologize and explain to my girls and raced out of the stadium (where I was stopped by no less than 3 security guards for trying to go out the "wrong" part of the stadium). We got to the airport and only Dad and I could get on the flight to stop number one. Mom and Brother are stranded at home. We have been trying to do internet backflips to get them registered on any and all flights that will get them to our desired destination so that we can find me a place to live. It's not going well. And Dad and I have 4 hours to kill in his least favorite and my second-least favorite airport in the country. Mom and Brother are most likely going to be on a flight that leaves at 1:30 in the morning. I'm glad that my family has such a good sense of humor. We have to laugh, becasue if we don't we'll cry.

Monday, May 16, 2011

One is one too many, one more is never enough

-Realizing that I do things that I find maddening in other people.
-Trying to decide the best way to move. No choice is much simpler or more pleasant than any other. So not looking forward to the actual moving part of moving out. Not to mention the cost.
-People who come in to work wanting money to buy food who make my entire office reek of cigarettes. If you'd save yourself the $60/carton, you could buy a lot of food. And the associated Dr. bills from the various health problems from smoking.
-Feeling guilty for judging ^^^^
-Making the same mistake over and over and over again. 
-Not knowing everything I want to know about SPSS.
-Not knowing what the future holds.

-My friends are almost all graduated now. I'm proud of us for finishing. And on time, to boot!
-Bestie coming home for a few days before she "[says] goodbye to everyone. Forever! :("
-Friending everyone in the program on Facebook and realizing that I will probably like them. Or at least I probably won't hate them.
-My Starbucks cup. I <3 it.
-Netflix. Even if it is the single greatest waste of time ever invented in the history of man.
-Dancing like a fool.
-Not having serious anxiety over not knowing what the future holds. 
-Clinique mascara.
-Kenny Chesney's new song You and Tequila.
-The fact that it's summer and that means lots of fresh fruit.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Making Friends

In a few short weeks, I will be leaving my hometown, the house I've lived in for the last 8 years, my family, and all of my friends and moving to the other side of the country. 

While this new place is beautiful (from what I hear) and everyone is nice (from what I hear), I'm nervous. I'm nervous about making friends. I'm nervous about starting what is presumably going to be the hardest thing I've done yet with no support system. I'm really nervous about making new friends. In fact, I would say that with the exception of 1-2 close friends, I've only ever "made" friends with multiple people at once two times in my life: when I joined Drama Club (and that, for the most part, was a group of "frenemies" rather than friends), and in the last year or so. And I would say that the friends I've made in the last year or so have mostly sought me out rather than the other way around--not that I don't love them or don't want to be friends with them or something, I just would say that objectively, they did the friendship initiating. I think I'm bad at making friends. I don't think that I'm a bad friend, although I have had my days, but the actual initiating and getting to know someone part? Not so good at it. It is also a large part of why I hate dating. I'm pretty good at being a girlfriend (at least, I think I am) and I'm a pretty good friend too, if I do say so myself. But the getting to know someone? I suck at that. I'm actually pretty shy. Especially when I'm in a new environment. So the thought of having to make an entirely new set of friends is...daunting. 

I wonder if they'll like me. I wonder if I'll be the youngest (again). I wonder if I'll like them. I wonder if we'll have things in common. I wonder if they'll be gossipy or cliquey or obnoxious or welcoming or kind or funny. I wonder if I'll spend all of my time alone or on skype with family and friends a million miles away, or if I'll have people to go to dinner with or watch Glee with. And my girls keep asking what will happen if I "meet someone." I told them I'd cross that bridge if I came to it and that they'll probably get married before I do. 

I've been facebook stalking, because well, I'm me. I like to know what I'm getting myself into. And from what I can tell, I think I'll like the people. And I figure they're probably just as nervous as I am. We're all new. We're all moving. So I'm going to do my best to be intentional. I'm going to work on making the first move, initiating friendships. Because I'm pretty sure that if I don't, the other person might be too nervous too, and then I could miss out on a really great friendship. And besides, I'm plenty used to rejection at this point in my life. I might as well take the chance. It's like President Roosevelt said:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."


Or, like his wife says: "Do one thing every day that scares you." 



Monday, May 2, 2011

"Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that"

Yesterday, Osama Bin Laden, one of the worst enemies of America was killed in an attack on his compound in Pakistan. Many Americans spent the night cheering and celebrating. They were exhilarated by his death, and felt justice had finally been served for his orchestration of the 9/11 attacks. But I must pause. I don't feel the joy that my countrymen feel at his demise. It doesn't bring me happiness or a sense of vindication. Yes,  now he can no longer orchestrate massive terrorist attacks. Yes, he was a horrible man. Yes, it is his fault that many thousands of Americans and other civilians around the world have been horribly murdered. But does his death rebuild the towers? Does his death bring back the mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and sons and daughters that have died at his command? Does his death erase that grief? Does his death undo the damage he caused? It doesn't.

And maybe as an American, I shouldn't care how his family and friends should feel, shouldn't concern myself with their grief. After all, he was a "Bad Guy." And we all know that nobody loves Bad Guys. I understand the necessity of his capture and/or death. We couldn't let him continue to live (somewhat) freely because it was a constant sign of victory for terrorists everywhere--American forces could not locate or capture our greatest enemy. But it brings me sadness. The necessity of his death doesn't make it any less saddening.

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that" -Martin Luther King Jr.