On Youth

via Daily Prompt: Youth

Youth is a strange topic for me.

I am currently considered to be young, youthful, a “youth.” However, I’m also not young enough anymore.

The other day, I was out with a friend and I realized that the store “Forever 21” no longer applies to me.

For years, as a college student who was much younger than her peers, I struggled with being too young. I waited years in agony, wishing I was eighteen. Then, once I’d turned eighteen, the wait to turn twenty-one was agonizing.

My husband is almost four years older than me, but we match each other intellectually. When he got a job at a 21+ restaurant,  I couldn’t go and support him by eating there.

Sometimes friends would forget my age, and they would invite me out places that I wasn’t able to get into. I would appreciate the invites, but it was always awkward having to remind them I’m so young.

Recently, I was out at that same restaurant when a friend came in with a group. As their group was leaving, we caught up while walking back to my car. He remarked that he frequently forgot how young I was. He’s about seven years older than me.

To counter that, I often forget how “old” he is.

In other areas of my life, I am often the youngest person around. Square dancing has very few members in our area who are under the age of forty. Clogging has more younger members, but we’re still a minority.

In my sorority’s local alumnae chapter, I am one of a few young women who participate.

My hobbies and interests draw me to older folk. Even my profession is full of people who are typically more than ten years my senior.

While working at my university recently, I realized that most of the people there are now younger than me. For years, they were all older than me, and I saw them as way more smart and capable.

Now (for the most part), I see them as younger than me and find myself trying to take on a mentor role for them.

All of that considered, I can’t seem to find my “home.” People my age don’t often have the same interests that I do, but people who are older but who have the same interests seem to not want to include me because I’m so young and inexperienced compared to them.

I have a few close friends (who are close to my age) who I see typically once a week on non-busy weeks. Other than that, I don’t have a “squad.”

I suppose I will be stuck in this stage until my peers catch up to me in interests. I will forever be the awkward, weird one with strange hobbies, but I suppose I will be the master of those by the time the rest catch up 😉

Advertisements

Stubborn

via Daily Prompt: Stubborn

Stubborn. Not moving. Won’t budge.

Not open.

Closed minded.

Closed.

Open up.

To a viewpoint.

An idea.

Latching onto an idea.

Now stubborn with conviction.

Won’t give up a viewpoint.

Standing your ground.

Holding on.

Stubborn.

Being forced to let go.

Tightening grip.

Can’t let go.

Can’t give in.

Must stand ground.

Must stay stubborn.

Tug of war.

Ideas flying.

Whips made out of words.

Stubborn.

Unacceptable

Targeting others whose views disagree with yours, spinning their words into something they aren’t, essentially stalking them, and putting together hate portfolios of them while masquerading as a “concerned student group” who tries to look like an IUPUI-official group is NOT okay. We see through you. We know you aren’t who you say you are, and we will figure out how to stop you from spreading hate against IUPUI students and staff. I’m thankful I don’t personally know anyone who’s been targeted, but still. I can’t believe that this direct hate and targeting hasn’t been stopped yet, and I feel so useless as to what to do.

Enough

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted anything on here. I’m so sorry. It’s been a busy several months, but once again I find myself horrified and nearly speechless at the actions of others.

I just don’t know what to think.

I’m not going to talk about guns (though something needs to change) or religion (though it really shouldn’t be blamed for this). I’m going to talk about people. Specifically, the people, most of whom were likely part of the LGBTQ+ community, who were murdered and injured on Sunday.

There have been enough mass shootings. One is enough too many, but there have been way more than just one. There are now enough people I know, myself and my boss included whose birthdays have been marked by a horrible mass shooting event.

There are now enough people who won’t get to celebrate another birthday because they’ve been murdered in a mass shooting. There are now enough parents and family members who won’t get to celebrate a birthday of a loved one because they were torn away from this world too early.

One is enough too many.

Enough.

Enough judging others for who they are.

Enough telling others they aren’t good enough or are going to go to hell because of who they are or for this choice or that. Enough making yourself the judge of other people’s bodies, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and anything else other people do.

Just enough.

Now is the time for action.

Now is the time to reconsider our policies.

Now is the time to stop judging others.

Now is the time to create a culture and society where everyone is welcome to be who they are.

Now is the time to be kind to others.

Now is the time to be the change.

Donate. Give back. Vote. Run for office. Call out others for hate. Stand up for people. Stop using language that perpetuates a view that others are less than you. Just do something good.

I’ve had enough of prayers, silence, inaction, false promises, hate, injustice, death, murder, and judgement.


I want you to know that you are loved and cared for and that you matter.

You are beautiful. Your soul is beautiful.

You are intelligent.

You are supported.

You are enough.


I want you to know that:

We lived through times when hate and fear seemed stronger;

We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer

And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.” – Lin-Manuel Miranda


Additionally, I recently saw the play, Hand to God. This was a quote from the producer, which I felt was extremely relevant. How do we share the blame?

Hand to God was a surprise hit in New York, but, more than that, it is a reflection of a dark and disturbing time in America. Random violence is at an all-time high. Presidential politics are reduced to schoolyard behavior. A loss of faith and civility dominate the social landscape. More often than not, fear causes us to lash out in our grief instead of seeking out the help needed for healing. Pressure leads us to bad behavior and unhealthy habits. The constant hate and violence that we witness causes us to search for a scapegoat. Hand to God asks the question:

GA Adventures – Reflection: February 2016

This is a reflection I’ve written for the Family, School, and Neighborhood Engagement Scholars I work with. Read my introduction to these here.

Prompt

  • Think about our discussion and worksheets on values. Were you surprised at all? Do you believe the worksheet didn’t quite get it right, or does it fall in line with your idea of yourself? Do you see how your values play into your life? Feel free to share anything related to values.
  • Think about your digital story. Do you have an idea of what it will look like? Is there anything you need to know in order to complete it? What do you think will help you complete it without stress?

Response

Part A

The way we structured the training sessions, the fall (for the most part) focused on learning about the office and social issues. For the spring semester, Starla and I decided to focus more on the students.

Our February training was on values, and I led the scholars through a couple of values inventories.

The first one was called Choices and Values: What’s Important to Me? and the second one was called the Life Values Inventory.

I took them both in advance of the training, and I’ve done Choices and Values in the past.

In terms of how I scored, my scores for my original Choices and Values and for the most recent one were almost identical.photo 1 (4)

According to this inventory, I value:

  • Altruism, Compassion, Fairness, and Justice
  • Emotional Well-Being and Stability
  • Education, Intelligence, and Wisdom
  • Artistic Appreciation
  • Family, Love, and Emotional Security.

I definitely wasn’t surprised with the results, since they nearly matched my previous one. I can see connections between them. Family, Love, and Emotional Security are tied to Emotional Well-Being and Stability. To achieve those feelings, I strive to educate myself and use art as a coping mechanism.

Altruism, Compassion, Fairness, and Justice are things I connect with deeply. Witnessing unfair or unjust actions get me so fired up that I sometimes have a hard time focusing until I can take a breather and figure out what I can do to help remedy the injustices.

I’m an extremely empathetic person, and I believe that the most progress is made when people are compassionate.

These values are the ones that drive my “big” choices: my career, my family life, my free time. For example, I chose library and information science because I feel it’s a career where I can help contribute to fixing some of our larger societal issues.

The second inventory was new to me, but I feel it gave an accurate representation of me in terms of my more subconscious decisions.

My top scores were Achievement, Belonging, Concern for Others, and Responsibility.

Some of these obviously connect to the other inventory, but I feel like these points drive me every day even when I don’t realize it.

My need to belong drives me from when I get up in the morning. It drives my choices as to what I wear and what I say. This is one that I’m working on. I want to belong, but I want to be happy in my own skin at the same time.

I often put the needs and wants of others ahead of myself, but helping others, even in a small way, satisfies me.

Achievement to me means feeling like I’ve learned something and that I’ve accomplished something. It doesn’t have to be big, but I want to feel like what I’m doing matters.

Responsibility ties in with Concern for Others and feeds into me feeling like a grandma a lot. However, being trustworthy and dependable are extremely important (and I can even see how being responsible contributes to me feeling like I belong…).

Part B

I don’t have a lot done towards my digital story, but I do have an idea of how I want it to go. Since I’ve already made two, I feel confident of my ability to make another alongside the scholars.

I think that I just need to take several hours to buckle down and get it done, and that will be the least-stressful way to get it done.


Thanks for taking the time to read through this reflection on values!

 

Three Cheers for Two Years

When I got the notification that I’ve been on WordPress for two years, I was kind of surprised. It feels like I’ve been blogging forever, and it’s weird to think that I used to hate blogs.WP Anniversary.JPG

Looking back at the blogging goals I set for myself this time last year, I can definitely tell the effect starting grad school has had on this blog.

I did really well for the first half of the year, in my opinion, but as school started, my writings faded down to maybe once a month.

Over the course of the year, I’ve created series, added more pictures and media, and for a while, I did have a regular schedule.

The goals are still good ones I would like to keep in mind as I move forward, but I still might not post to this blog as consistently as I want to while I’m still a grad student.

Hopefully I will still update this blog somewhat regularly, but I am quite busy now that school is in full swing.

I hope you have enjoyed the past two years with me, and I hope you continue checking in with me every now and then.

For now, you can follow me at Earth Lib Perspectives, a fun blog I’ve created to fulfill a requirement for a class. I will be updating that blog weekly throughout the spring semester with postings for assignments, book reviews, and more.

Happy Reading!

GA Adventures – Reflection: January 2016

This is a reflection I’ve written for the Family, School, and Neighborhood Engagement Scholars I work with. Read my introduction to these here.

Prompt

  • Now that you’ve had a little bit of an overview and discussion on white privilege and inequality, take time to talk about what next steps for you might be.
  • What was one takeaway point from either the article or the discussion?

ResponseCenter for Service and Learning. Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarship Program Jacket

January’s training was led by Myron Duff, who is an exceptional person. He had us read the article “White Privilege Shapes the US” by Robert Jensen beforehand, and most of our discussion focused on white privilege.


As a white person, I do benefit from white privilege in ways that I don’t always notice. Part of my responsibility is to “check” my privileges. I’ve always found the article “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh to be a helpful reminder of my privileges as a white person.

In the past few years, I believe I have gotten to the point where I can acknowledge my privilege and how it benefits me constantly.

However, I’ve always had difficulty in figuring out what my next steps are, and I’m stuck.

But I do have a few ideas on what my next steps might be, and if you have ideas, please let me know. These are only ideas; they are NOT perfect, and they can always be changed.

  • Continue to check my privilege.
  • Listen to people of color.
    • And I don’t mean to stop talking when they start talking. I mean to actually listen to them. They can tell their stories better than I ever could. They can tell us what they need, and they don’t need me imposing on them what I think they need.
    • Also, don’t force people of color to speak out of the blue and if they don’t want to. Don’t force them to speak for everyone of their race. Each person’s journey through life is unique, and they can’t speak for everyone’s experiences just like I can’t speak for every white person’s experience. But if they do speak, listen to them and believe them.
  • Stand up when I see racial injustices happening.
    • And no, I don’t mean just major racist things. I mean everyday microaggressions, stopping people from planning racist-themed events, etc.
    • And don’t just yell at them. Do what you can to educate people. Some people won’t want to engage with you, but try to be persistent. There aren’t people who are beyond learning.
  • Educate Myself.
    • I don’t know everything there is to know about race, social justice, and equity, so I should always be looking to learn more.
  • Don’t contribute to the system of inequity as much as possible.
    • One hard truth about acknowledging my privilege is knowing that it does benefit me in ways I probably won’t ever see and know.
    • This point isn’t easy because I haven’t found a how-to manual on it. Being conscious that racial inequity exists is one thing, but walking through the rest of my life not doing anything about it just makes it worse.

Those are some ideas I have about my next steps.

If you have questions, are confused about something, or just want to learn more, here are a few things to check out:

Kat Blaque

Everyday Feminism

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

On a Plate by Toby Morris


Here are a couple of takeaways I have from the discussion and article:

  • The idea of race and racial inequality is different based on what country you’re from.
    • Probably even what city.
  • Even if I do work super hard to reach a certain level, I have been given a boost by my whiteness somewhere along the way.

This is a long, but really important reflection. I put it off because I was scared of what the reaction to it might be. That’s okay, because this discussion isn’t really about me and my feelings; it’s much bigger than that.