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This is What my Heart Looks Like:

2 Dec

If only I had someone to share an intimate moment on a train with…

This is What my Heart Looks Like:

18 Nov

Kiss your favorite Beatle! If I had this poster, you better believe that first set of lips would be worn through!

Ten Years Gone

11 Sep

Ten years ago, I was fourteen and in the ninth grade in Tennessee. I was in the hallways walking from first period to second when I heard people talking about theTwinTowerscoming down. I heard a rumor about a boy – one I’d gone to elementary school with who had a knack for getting into trouble – walking around the halls pointing at random people saying, “You’re going to die, you’re going to die, you’re going to die. . . “ Even then it didn’t mean much to me; I thought it was just a rude and insensitive thing for him to say to kids who didn’t understand what was going on. I knew he was saying those things as a result of what had just happened, but I didn’t make the connection in my mind. I didn’t understand the significance of the attack, and what it could possibly mean for my family, my friends, or my town. I didn’t understand why he said any of us would die because of it.

To be completely honest, I’d never heard of theTwinTowers. The thing I remember more than anything is that school pictures were the next day, and I had an appointment to have my hair cut that afternoon. I know that’s selfish, but I was fourteen. Hardly anyone isn’t self-centered at that age. But when you’ve never lived through anything like that, and you’re not right there to see it happening in front of your eyes, it somehow doesn’t seem real. Things that happened on TV or the news didn’t happen to me, to the people I knew. They were far away, outside my bubble.

Everything just seemed like it was happening on an alternate plane. Like the world outside didn’t have anything to do with me.New YorkandWashingtonseemed so far away, so far removed from me. I was just in high school, young and naïve, and it didn’t mean anything significant to me. I only started to comprehend it when I got home and my mom was watching coverage on TV. She was furious that we’d spent our entire day at school watching the events unfold on the news. I think more than anything she had wanted to be the one to tell my and my brother what had happened. I don’t even know how James found out about it – he was only 11, and I highly doubt they watched anything about the attack at school. I don’t know that having her tell me about it would have made much of a difference in how I felt about it. I vaguely remember our teachers talking about it while we were watching the news, and I somewhat remember us talking about it as a family that night. I sensed that my parents were upset and worried about what had happened. They had lived through things like the Kennedy assassination andVietnam, so they had a better sense of disaster and tragedy.

Of course I was sorry to hear about all the innocent people that died that day – any decent human being would, except maybe that dumbass kid in the hallway. But my perception of it was that it was miles away, that I was safe, that it didn’t involve me. I’d never been toNew Yorkat that point, but I’d been toWashingtononly the year before with my mom and my brother. We saw the Pentagon every day on our train rides into the city. At that point, I didn’t have much sense about the world around me. My world consisted of what I knew at home – the life that I lived every day. Now that I live in DC, my feelings have changed somewhat. I can never relive that day – not that I’d want to. But I know now that it was bigger than myself, than the people around me. It meant more than I even knew. I had no reason for healing after September 11.

Others did, though. So many were – and still are – affected by what happened that day. There are thousands of people who aren’t with us anymore because of the terrible actions of a few. I lost nothing, but so many lost everything. Since then, I think we’ve lived in a world of fear. Fear that it will happen again, fear that we cannot control the world around us, fear that we cannot safely go anywhere. The thing that makes me the saddest, though, is the misplaced anger we as a country have put onto people who are different. We forget that it wasn’t a huge army of people that brought the towers down. It’s just like that saying how a few can ruin it for everyone. We built up prejudices and direct hatred toward people not very different from ourselves. We forget that everyone is just people.

Traveling in a post-9/11 world has probably affected me the most. Unprecedented security measures and rising costs have taken some of the enjoyment out of it. Sometimes I think we’re overreacting, but I know what can happen if we aren’t careful. It’s a delicate balance between being cautious and being fearful. There’s a quote that says: “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.” Where is the line, the balance that makes us cautious and safe, but not too afraid to live? Although I have it easy compared to those specifically targeted at security checkpoints, I cannot help but think it is a huge inconvenience for everyone. The vast majority of us just want to get where we’re going without hassle. We do want to get there safely, though. I understand the cautiousness, though; no one wants to be blamed for being lax on the one person who managed to slip through the system and cause chaos.

So, ten years later, have things returned to normal? No, I don’t think so. I don’t think there will ever be a semblance of “normal” anymore. Everything changed in that one morning. Some things for the better, some things for worse. We will never know what the world would have been like without September 11. At the Arts on Foot event yesterday, I volunteered at an event sponsored by The 9/11 Arts Project. We made dream scrolls envisioning a future after 9/11. Our hopes for the world and what it could be like. Most of the drawings and messages had messages of happiness, of hope, of unity, of peace, and of love. Those are the things most people want, I think, no matter where you go in the world. We all just want to live our lives.

We all just want to be people.

This is What my Heart Looks Like:

26 Aug

A lovely quote about love and relationships. It’s so hard to remember this advice.

Remember to Turn on the Light

16 Jul

Dear JK,

 Thank you for my childhood.

 I’m sure you hear this all the time from your legions of adoring fans across the globe, of which I am just one, but I cannot thank you enough for the truly precious gift you have given me. Never again will I receive one so special and so beautiful. I am lucky to have grown up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione – something I will always treasure and will never forget.

 Through your words, you have taught us the lessons of love and friendship, loyalty, trust, and bravery. Equally you have shown the problems that are created by hatred, jealousy, and ignorance. You have taught us that death isn’t something to be feared; it is not the worst thing that can happen to us. More than that, though, you have taught me how to use words. That they mean something bigger than myself. You have taught me the inexhaustible power and magic of words. I am reminded that we need stories. We need imagination. When the world around us becomes too difficult to bear, we can escape into a world that’s entirely our own.

 I am constantly in awe of your seemingly endless, astounding creativity, your meticulous organization, and your dedication to your convictions. You show us what it means to dedicate yourself to something; but beyond that, to do it well.

 Should I ever decide to write professionally, I can only hope to achieve a fraction of your brilliance, for I can never hope to equal something so perfect. I am proud to say, though, that Harry lives on in me, as he does in everyone who has met him.

 Thank you, again, for my childhood.

Checkup

18 Jun
I found this somewhere recently on a random blog; it had been copied from some magazine. Even though I’m pretty sure it was intended as a “live your best life in 2011” list, I think it’s appropriate to post now, midyear, as a way of checking up on how well we’re doing.
 
Health:
  1. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
  3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  4. Live with the 3 E’s – Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
  5. Play more games.
  6. Read more books than you did in 2010.
  7. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  8. Sleep for 7 hours.
  9. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.
Personality:
  1. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  2. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  3. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
  6. Dream more while you are awake.
  7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  8. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
  9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
  11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems  are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class, but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  13. Smile and laugh more.
  14. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
Society:
  1. Call your family often.
  2. Each day give something good to others.
  3. Forgive everyone for everything.
  4. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
  5. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  6. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  7. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
Life:
  1. Do the right thing!
  2. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  3. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  4. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  5. The best is yet to come.
  6. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Ten Things Tuesday – May 31

31 May

Ten men I’d love to have a man like…

1. I want a man like Jack Shephard, courageous and strong even in impossible situations.

2. I want a man like Mike Rowe, that is intelligent, well-read and well-spoken, hardworking and not afraid to get dirty. Someone who’s easy to talk to, that you can just sit around and have a beer with.

3. I want a man like Anthony Bourdain, rebellious and snarky, who knows all the good places to eat.

4. I want a man like Paul McCartney, because he’s just so darn cute.

5. I want a man like Jim Halpert, that’s sentimental and caring, but says and does hilarious things.

6. I want a man like Mr. Darcy. I can forgive him his pride if he can forgive mine. He’s brooding and shy, but fiercely loyal and uncommonly kind.

7. I want a man like Lenny Kravitz, because he is sexy as hell.

8. I want a man like Jack Sparrow, who provides just enough excitement and danger to keep things interesting.

9. I want a man like John Mayer, who is eloquent and talented.

10. I want a man like George Clooney, who ages like a fine wine and looks smokin’ in a suit.