Tanka – Mondaze 

Monday morning start

Yawning eye lids come apart

Splash water, restart 

Fill the caffeinated heart

Catch the train, time to depart 

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Positive Thoughts  

Writing types tend to be dreamers and rely less on logistics and more so on personal intuition. So yes, I am one of those people who believe thinking positively equates to greater and more desirable results in life. I also believe everything happens for a reason, and therefore I have no regrets in this life or in any I may have already lived.
I am an open minded person, and in my heart there is nothing too far fetched to believe. Maybe there is a God, and he is purple with 7 breasts and a tail where his beard should sit. Maybe he looks down on us from above, glances west from the east or east from the west, or is always watching through some mystical crystal ball traveling through the space time continuum. I trust that my personal description of this omniscient being is entirely inaccurate. But I also trust that no matter the appearance or description of his power, he or she exists.

He is also my friend. I am not exactly sure why, I don’t always deserve his kindness. But he looks out for me despite my efforts to push him aside. Only recently have I decided to follow a moral compass, and even still I don’t believe I’m doing a good job. 

But, I’m still living without regrets. 

Never have I lost something and wanted it back. Many years ago I lost friend due to drugs and poor life choices. Hers, not mine. I missed that friendship for sentimental reasons, not the authenticity of our friendship. We were in different places in our lives and let’s just say my place was several stories higher and is now beyond any horizon line she can see past. She was also the one to end the friendship, something I might not have had the strength to do myself. 

I want to thank someone, I’m not sure who, for giving me the things I don’t deserve in life. Like when you close the door on someone before they reach the elevator and then find a 5$ bill in the lobby. Perhaps I’m just immune to karma, or there’s a master plan somebody has written for me and refuses to let my stupidity get in the way. I truly believe my guardian angel needs 12 espresso shots a day just to keep me alive. 

I know many would disagree with this entire idea, and instead suggest that it is my own hard work and dedication that has brought me this far in life. To those individuals who do not believe in luck, we’ve clearly never met. 

In any case, I did not expect my life to be going exactly as planned up until this point. To this day, my motto has always been, “So far, so good.” I intend to keep it that way. 

I decided to write this post because of how often I think of my luck compared to those less fortunate than myself. I want to remind myself that my troubles are small, and that I could save my sorrows and instead use that energy to help others. They say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But as an educator I always see room for modification and improvement. 

I am grateful to have been offered a position as a third grade teacher almost immediately after graduating from an impressive institution. I am grateful to be living with my best friend in a NYC apartment located in the West Village. I am grateful to have lost what I didn’t need and grateful to have gained what I did. 

I am happy, I am healthy, and I truly believe there are even greater things to come. 

A Study Abroad Essay ~ Florence, Italy

Why do you want to study abroad?

In a world that is often concerned with what bizarre and curious extraterrestrial life lies above our heads and below our oceans, it is easy to overlook the fact that there are thousands of different nations on this planet – all with a different culture and way of life from what we are used to – just waiting to be explored. Growing up in a bilingual family, I have traveled to the picturesque country of Greece several times in my life. I know the art, music, and literature. I have been exposed to a group of people with a completely different philosophy than my own.

It is my academic goal to expand my familiarity with other cultures for this reason. I want to achieve the knowledge that cannot be acquired through textbooks and lecture halls. I want to go above and beyond taking a foreign language course and instead find myself in that foreign country, learning more about the statue of David by looking him up and down in person rather than on a computer screen. To see the words in my history book come to life on the grounds in the society that wrote them. There is much more knowledge to be acquired when you are standing in the middle of it, rather than through the looking glass.

It is my personal goal to submerge myself in a country that feels otherworldly. I want to seek out personal enlightenment by living like I would have if I were born at another latitudinal point on the globe. How do people in other nations spend the same 24-hour day as I do? What foods have I never tried and what music has slipped my ears? I want to know the world outside my comfort zone. There are friends I have not met, stories I have yet to share, countless adventures to be taken, none of which I am prepared to miss out on.

It is my professional goal to gain the skills that may not be available to me if I never leave the country that has raised me. I am bicultural and therefore have the advantage of being nurtured in more than one way of life, but that does not mean that I have had all the cultural experience necessary to succeed professionally. As a teacher I will have small children in my classroom; young minds from different backgrounds. It is my job to relate to them as well as be able to teach them beyond what they already know. I want to culture them as well as myself.

A semester abroad in Florence, Italy is exactly the kind of experience that I am looking for in order to achieve the goals I have set out for myself. I will be in the midst of a culture that emphasizes family values and a love of food built by an ancient civilization highlighting fine art. There is a new world to be discovered, one that it is only a continent away.

Journal Entry #20

I came home at 1:30 a.m tonight. My mother called me in a frantic rage 5 minutes before I pulled up to the house. There was no warning call or set time she had asked me to come home. 

She was standing in front of the steps in her night gown, waiting to bash me and my friends as I exited the car. She threatened to throw out all my clothes and smash my guitars. She told my friends they aren’t welcome in our house anymore and told me to “shut the fuck up” right in front of them. They sat wide-eyed, stunned at her boldness and irrationality.

She told me that she scheduled an appointment with the doctor to discuss my Attention Deficit because it’s apparently getting worse. I looked at her in disbelief, horrified at her absurd and extremely hurtful accusations. I told her that I’m 20 years old, I’m a good person, it’s summer vacation, I’m not going to stop coming home at this hour. 1:30 is not unreasonable. She continued to threatened me, scream at me, eventually waking up the neighbors.

I have tried to talk to her about this before, she doesn’t understand nor does she want to. I need an escape, but I have none. I need to get out. What’s the best I can do? I’m currently on Amazon, searching for a new door lock with a single key I can install immediately. It’s a start. 

This is some bullshit I’m not prepared to swallow. 

Journal Entry #19

~Early Summer Vibes~

I drank with my boss last weekend.

It was pretty cool. I work as a life guard now, doing absolutely nothing for 8 hours a day and getting paid minimum wage for it. The other day I spend a straight 3 hours playing cards games with my fellow guards. Later we watched movies and ordered Chinese food. I left with a solid $67.2 and not a single person drowned. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

Chris is the head life guard over at my pool. He’s a short guy with a big personality. Recently turning 24, he’s a bit older than my friends and I in age, but I think we’re at his level in other things…

Dani kinda likes Chris. I can see why, he’s not terribly good looking but it’s something with his persona, maybe the way he smiles or the way he manages a pool. I’m not sure what it is, but I can see it. So I got close with Chris at work, it wasn’t difficult. He’s so open and talkative. He’s probably my favorite person to spend 8 hours with at this place.

I’m not sure when I noticed it, maybe I’m just imagining it, but from my first day at work I thought there was something fishy about the way he treated me. Always making others do my work, complimenting me at every chance, and texting me outside of work. I wanted to get close with him for Dani, for my friend, not for myself. The worst part is that I’m actually loving the attention.

He noticeably became upset when I told him about Mark. Well, I didn’t tell him. It slipped out from others. He jumped right back up from it though, which I was happy about. But he hasn’t stopped treating me with extra attention. Maybe he hasn’t been flirting with me and that’s just how he talks to women? A lot of guys have flirty personalities. Or perhaps he’s not giving up despite my being in a relationship with another man for 3 1/2 years.

I invited him to come hang out with us last Friday night. I wanted him to get closer to Dani, whose also a life guard for the same company. It looked like it was working. We went to some fair by his house for an hour, got pizza, played pool and then he suggested he buy us alcohol. Now what kind of 20 year old would pass that up? One too many shots later I was buzzed and eventually gone. Our next stop was karaoke and I killed that mic with every fiber of my being. That dance floor is still oozing from my sweat. I knew my actions were completely unattractive and that was somewhat done on purpose. Mark was there too, and surprisingly got along with Chris very well. They’re Bro’s now, I guess you could say.

From the corner of my eye I could see Dani leaning on his shoulder, he’s drawing her in closer, smiling and laughing, probably at my terrible mic skills and dance moves. That’s beyond the point. I don’t know what happened, maybe nothing at all. But it was sweet to see them together. And I probably will, since he wants to hang out with us again.

I came into work the next day with a hangover and sun glasses to hide the shame. Chris was smirking at me as I walked in, and I knew what he was thinking. So I said it first. “Please, don’t fire me!”

We had a good laugh, then took out the playing cards and continued on our shifts. Our long, but not ever boring shifts.