Monday, April 9, 2012

To Running On Our 2 Month Anniversary

Dear Running,

Things just aren't working out with us.  Why the disconnect?  I am reminded of a Beatles Song...

You say "Yes", I say "No".You say "Stop" and I say "Go, go, go".Oh no.You say "Goodbye" and I say "Hello, hello, hello".I don't know why you say "Goodbye", I say "Hello, hello, hello".I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello.I say "High", you say "Low".You say "Why?" And I say "I don't know".

We're at the 2 month mark.  We should be friends by now.. or at least frenemies.  I don't know why you make me hurt so much.  You're making it very hard to like you.  No matter where we spend time together, on a treadmill, a bike path, grass, sidewalks, asphalt-  the story is always the same.  The only time we get along is on an elliptical.  As much as I hate to say it, I think I may want to leave you for walking.  Walking and I are just better friends than us right now-  and you and I can keep in touch via the elliptical.  I don't know what to do with you running.  Part of me says that we should cut our losses, and part of me thinks that maybe we still need to push through our rocky patch.  But when do you know when to give up and cut your losses and when do you know to push through?    I've decided that you and I need to get some counseling.  I'm planning to see a specialist next week about the pain you cause me...  maybe, as another Beatles song goes "We Can Work It Out".

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I Am The Face of Bullying

Thanks to The Bully Project for sponsoring my writing. Visit their website to join the movement and learn more.

This is me (in the Pink Esprit)  at age 11, at the beginning of Junior High.  That's when it started.  The names, the jokes behind my back, the passing of notes about me in classes...  I didn't have a whole lot of friends.  My "old" friends had moved on to their new social circles in their new junior high. I was trying to navigate my way and find a place within friend structures that had been established in kindergarten or later on in grade school.  My parents were divorcing (practically unheard of in a Catholic school), I was having issues with knees (which developed into full blown knee problems) and essentially my world was falling apart.  It was a battle zone at home, and a battle zone at school.  Because of my knees,  I had to miss a lot of gym class... then because I was teased for always missing gym class  I would just miss school all together thinking that would solve the problem.  Instead it only increased the fodder. Teachers, students, they all joined in on the fun. My 8th grade year book has a "where will they be in 20 years" at the back of it... mine says "She will finally have come to school enough days to graduate".

There are lots of different forms of bullying.. not just the slam a kid up against the lockers kind.  Girls don't deal in physical bullying.  Girls get psychological.  Girls get mean.  I wish I could say that I am one of those people who will stand up to you and make you back down-  or at least try to tell you my 7th and 8th grade self was.  I wasn't, however.  By nature, I'm a pleaser.  When people don't like me, instead of brushing it off with an "I don't care" attitude, I spend too much time and energy trying to figure out why they don't like me.. and how I can get them to like me.  Couple this with a kid who has been "trained" to emotionally ball into a fetal position and surrender instead of standing their ground when having to battle the "mean girls" (and in all actuality, the "mean guys" too), because of the battleground in their home.  What happens when a bully realizes you are an easy target that isn't going to fight back and isnt going to tell on them?  

Once I graduated from that school and moved on to my high school I thought everthing would be different, it would all change now that I was in a new school getting a fresh start with dozens of other girls also getting a fresh start in a new school. Unfortunately I was battle weary and really had a hard time trusting anyone...and not everytime but there were enough times even in high school where I had put my trust in someone only to have it shredded and passed around a very small school like a toy.  I withdrew, kept to myself,  secretly hoping to be noticed, liked, befriended.  I was the "weird" one that people knew but didn't socialize with...  who wasn't an outcast, but didn't get invited to parties either.  Some of those people still feel I'm the "weird" one... but the difference now? I really couldn't care less.  

Adult me realizes that if people are still judging you based on who  they think  you used to be... that they aren't even worth a second of thought.  They do not deserve to rent out space in your head or heart.  Adult me, wants every child who is bullied to know that while those words hurt and sometimes its hard to muddle through another day,  that it will be o.k. 

While some people may think that you are a 
... the problem is with them  not you.  

I've made my peace with my past.  While I would never, ever want to re-live it; I have accepted what it was, and have used it to fuel me on the days when I feel unmotivated.  There were days when I was young, when I got so low, and the emotional pain was so bad, that I would have rather been dead than have to endure another day of being the butt of everyone's jokes.  I look back on those days now amazed  that I would ever let small minded people force me to hate myself that much.  

Because if I had rolled over and let the haters win, 

                                                            I would be here

                                                               Instead of here

Bullying is a very serious issue these days, and The Bully Project, a movie about child victims of bullying is a must see for parents and their children.  What better way to open the dialogue with your child about bullying, bullies, and the effects of unkind words, than a night out together watching this film.  Please take a moment to view the trailer below.  

I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. Find showings in your area for The Bully Project and buy tickets here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Channeling Your Inner Flintstone

I don't know if this is common everywhere,  but here in Chicago there is a joke that everything is "like ten minutes away"  even if in reality is like 45.  So, yesterday when I decided to ditch the gas guzzling SUV in favor for the bike to run my handful of errands I figured "those stores are like a minute down the street they're not far at ALL  I can easily take my bikes to run my errands".  Fast forward a few hours and a soaking wet, saddle sore Me grumbling back into my driveway and switching out the bike for the car.

There were a few problems with my plan.

1.  While everything appears to be close when you're in your car, driving possibly ten (ok maybe 15) miles over the speed limit.. of course everything appears close.    I made it to one of my four stores on bike.

2.  When riding a bike and trying to wear your purchases in a pack on your back, it really throws off your ability to balance, especially when said things are heavy and shift frequently.

3.  I do not live in a bike friendly area.  Every street is at least four lanes, if not more.  Most lights do not have cross walks or those little pedestrian thingies that you can push to get the traffic to stop.  In addition, its apparently illegal to ride your bike on the sidewalk (which I learned last year)  but even still- the sidewalks in this town are almost non-existent,.. and when there is a sidewalk it stops suddenly and inexplicably.

So  the movies got returned, and I picked up a few things at the Jewel... but after that I said bleep this, rode home and drove to my other errands.  It never dawned on me that the Jewel that I drive to practically every day (not just for the jewel theres like a billion things in that strip mall that I frequent)  is actually four miles from my house-  it does not seem that far to me at all.     So a total of 8 very slow, expletive filled miles yesterday in place of the car.  Id say that is enough of a contribution towards being green for one day :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

When Is Sharing, Whining?

A friend of mine  mentioned that my blog recently has gotten whiny.  I read it over, and I don't see any instances where I'm whining but perhaps my tongue-in-cheek, self deprecating humor sounds whiny.  Whining is not my intent, and so many times in blogging (or even writing anything really at all), I can be thinking of what I am saying one way  (think sarcastic, acerbic or biting)  and it can be perceived as another (whining).  So if my writing has come off as whining it was not meant that way.  I have actually been really cognizant of what I post and say, because well I am out of a job and it does suck but this blog is not a "lets sit around and have a pity party" blog.   But, it made me think-  when is sharing simply sharing, and when is it whining?  If I talk about how sore I am, is that sharing in my daily experience or is it whining about how hard it is?  What is the line that divides the two.

We all have days when all we want to do is sit and complain but how do you tell when your "one day of complaints" has morphed into three, or five, or a month?

I'd love to hear your thoughts!