Friday, May 28, 2010
Overhearing two girls on campus talk about the merits of feminism on Women's Health.
Yoga practice, when the instructors come up and help you move deeper into your pose
My pregnant yoga instructor, and the one who always gives me a foot massage, and the one who massages us with essential oil during savasana
When engaging my bondas and focusing on my drishti actually helps me maintain my balance pose
the fact that my friends are interesting enough to entertain me for hours just with links on facebook
scarfs, and wearing them
finishing a long book...finally
hosting a party of all my favorite people
that big sigh after doing something gutsy
my new bluetooth headset
Just looking at the mountains around where I live
When one of my favorite songs comes on the radio ( so much more exciting than when it's on the mp3)
Documentaries and dramatizations of fights for social justice ( When good triumphs over EVIL! Bwaha!)
A select few movies
catching a wave
Finding something I've lost
Impromptu talks with friends
Asking my friends of other majors to explain aspects of their fields to me in order to answer pressing, yet unimportant, questions
Those rare moments when everything seems clear again.
Things that make me sad.
When I have to return a book before finishing it
When people give talks on the omnipotence of prophets
When I lose stuff, like my keys ( I actually wear them on a necklace now...so, situation improved)
When no one can find my Great Barrier Reef CD.
When people say and do stupid sexist things
When people say and do stupid racist things ( I feel like it's an exercise in redundancy to write both "stupid" and "sexist" or "racist" in the same sentence....I mean, no duh.)
When I let someone else down/ inconvenience them
When something reminds me of some mistake in the past and I grimace in public for no obvious reason
When I dumb down/neutralize/simplify my conversation on social and religious topics to please the guy I'm with at the moment
When I think I'm going to have to dumb down/neutralize/ simplify my conversation for the rest of my life or never marry. That's scary, and sucks.
When I don't have time to write on all three of my blogs.
Typos that make me look illiterate
When I get nervous and start to stutter
When nothing seems clear anymore
When the guilty go unpunished ( because that is when the innocent are punished)
I'm learning slowly, after years of conditioning to the contrary, that sometimes I'm going have to do what is good for me.
I'm going to have to firmly say no.
There will probably be yelling.
I've pretty much mastered the fine art of walking away and completely cutting myself off from things that I can't accept.
Now is the lesson on stepping up and saying "no."
Much harder, but not impossible.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Things that make me happy.
Things that make me sad.
(to fill out later.)
Dear Universe: When I said "Ok, I'm gonna do this, and if it's not perfect please find a way to stop me.", and then I said "Ok, I said I'm gonna do this, even though it makes me nervous and there really isn't a way to back out....look, here I am getting into my car to drive down and sign the contract." is this what you were expecting would happen?
I'm NO QUITTER! I feel deep guilt every time I don't follow through with exactness, but this does take a load off my mind for the time being. Dangit. I'm starting to feel like an indecisive, unstable person....the very thing I hate! Poetic, Universe. You were always poetic.
Well, back to the drawing board and I'll see how this goes. I can hang around until August if I need to.
Ok Ok.....I'm going to play a game. I'm just going to trust you on this one. Kind of like bungee jumping. Also, please help Tina find someone to sell to, if it isn't me.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Oh, trusty Megan. I can always count on you to talk to me when you are in distress.
Hey, I talk to you all the time.
You are in distress all the time. When are you ever not panicking unnecessarily about something?
True. Also, don't you think it's weird that panicking has a "k" in it, cause I do. Well, anyway, you told me not to date that one guy and to move to the city ( assuming that was you and not my own particular brand of neurosis...eh? Could you give me some sort of signal of acknowledgment?).
...That'll work...so I did a little bit of looking and I found THIS *holds up posterboard with picture of new apartment on it*, where I get my own room *points*, possibly my own office *points*, a newly renovated kitchen and bathroom, a student ward, and close to the freeway and closer to work, commuting against the flow of traffic. It's as close as I can get to my work without living in suburbs with no one my age and east enough that I won't be living in a ghetto. And all of this for less than it would cost me to get a shared room where I live now.
So, whatdaya think? How was my choice.
It was OK.
OK! You mean not STUPENDOUS! EXCELLENT! ALL OF YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE!!!!...JUST OK! *begins breathing into a paper bag*
.....Meh. Yep. A pretty middling OK choice.
AHHHH! But I don't want to do anything just OK. I'm supposed to be the best of the best. I'm supposed to make perfect, flawless choices which lead me straight onto the golden paved path of victory! I can't handle mere "OK" choices! *returns to bag....also, reaches for oreos*
I said it was OK!
No, I've FAILED! *back of hand slapped to forehead, body draped over couch dramatically*
You're gonna be alright.
My destiny is RUINED!
You're gonna be alright. If you really need to, you can make a change. You're gonna be alright.
Mumble mumble mumble crunch crunch mumble mumble
Sorry, I...I didn't catch that between all the oreos.
I said "You keep saying that like it's true."
It is true.
I really hope so.
Good on you, Megan. That's the first step to not being in a completely self-created vegetative state. Now put down those oreos.
*shakes head frantically and clutches oreos*
*puts down oreos. Immediately puts on music*
...and turn off that music....
*Slowly, turns down music to mute*
See, isn't this nice? For like, six seconds stop using these coping mechanisms and see the world is not such a scary place. Now you can get back to being awesome.
*Looks around* Ya, the world really isn't so bad. Well.....it was good talking to you.
Same here Megan.
Sigh....well I'm still a little scared...(*Voice from above* That's OK.)...Amen.
Eat, Pray, Love
An inconvenient book
Glenn Beck's Common Sense
Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?
The Art of Floral Design
Get a Financial Life
French Women Don't Get Fat
Monday, May 24, 2010
A few random thoughts, written at 1:00 AM, about why I miss the Air Force and why I'm scared of my new grown-up life
I'm much less devil-may-care than I thought I was.
I'm scared. What if I do something wrong? A recent conversation with a friend has solidified a thought I've been having for a long while.
My Mormon culture can sometimes make me paranoid. What, with all the stories in which God directs a person not to, so much as, turn down a certain street, accept a certain job or eat a certain flavor of popsicle, all resulting with the avoidance of a life altering disaster.
Now I sit around at night wondering if I was supposed to turn left instead of right. Was I buying produce when I should have been in the cereal aisle , meeting my eternal companion? If I had just clicked three more times on KSL would I have been drawn to another apartment where I was supposed to be? If I had just drunk more water on Tuesday, I could have been en route to the bathroom, and been able to help that lady tie her son's shoes, sparking a thought pattern in his young brain which would lead to a life of service and a sweeping grassroots political movement, creating the peaceful society of the future....but I forgot my water bottle, and I ignored that feeling to go back and get it.
I have to come to terms with whether I believe in a God who would allow me to throw off my destiny and screw up my life when I'm making rational decisions with my human brain, even when I'm trying my very best to do the right thing and do what God would approve of.
I used to not believe such a disaster could occur. It was, in my mind, almost completely outside of the realm of physics that one could fail when trying one's darndest.
Let me explain. My entire life, from my conception through college, I've been an Air Force Officer's Daughter. Let me explain, as candidly as possible, what this looks like.
I never saw an adult who had messed up, permanently. I didn't know those people. I never knew or saw an unemployed person in my city/town/neighborhood/ward in my entire young life. I never saw a truly overweight or sickly person. Not one. No provider in my neighborhood had not graduated from college, and all had multiple degrees. All were in the prime of health. All were considered among the most brilliant in their fields. No one in my world was older than 60. Not one. People who grow up with wards where little old ladies and gentlemen slowly pass away, where people are obese, unemployed, and have failed ( really failed) at things in life....just so you know, I never had that experience.
And it wasn't as if this was just a coincidence of suburban culture, where this can happen periodically. No, these things were separated from me by institution, by law. The unemployed, the obese, the elderly, the uncollege-educated didn't live in my neighborhood....because they weren't allowed to. For the most part, they weren't even allowed in my town ( known as a base). It's hard to admit, but I never knew an adult who had made, or been allowed to make, a complete faceplant in the mud of life.
An entire world of winners. People with the ability and ,honestly, solid hard work and self-control and the education not to mess things up beyond repair, or fall and not get up. Even enlisted personnel( who lived in different neighborhoods than me), those who had not graduated from college, were coming from hard places and bettering themselves, preparing for college and honorable careers.
In the school system I was separated further from others, placed on the upper, then Gifted Tracks. I knew of a few people who "face planted" in High School, but I never knew them personally. And, to be honest, they were mostly spoiled middle-class white kids, who had no one to blame for their failure except themselves, and who chose to stay down after they threw themselves there.
It's ok to mess up, if you immediately correct course. And we all make little errors, choosing a Good thing when a slightly better/more fun course might have been available....taking pottery instead of drama , Education instead of Political Science, attending the children's benefit ball with James instead of Habitat for Humanity with Tyler. Good choice vs. Good choice.
But a face plant----- A complete life failure, like beating a kid to a pulp because you don't like his face and getting put in jail, raping a girl, dating a jerk and getting pregnant so he won't leave you, dropping out of high school to become a full-time employee at Smith's cause you'd rather have the money, doing drugs, driving drunk, leaving your educated wife for your 19-year-old secretary, hurting your children, embezzling funds, suicide because a lover scorns you, becoming addicted to something, destroying your marriage, drinking bleach to see how it feels, blowing all your money on meth, tasing a girl you are attracted to and trying to stick her in a box---these can be avoided, but somehow are not by a distressingly large percentage of the population.
None of whom I knew growing up.
Everyone has regrets- Good choice vs. Good choice. Regrets just aren't healthy. A lot more people than I thought have face plants- Obviously Bad Choice over Plethora of Good Choices.
Now, this is not to say that I ever developed a mentality that all who suffer from poor conditions deserve it. In fact, believe it or not, I was raised on a pretty heavy diet of social justice in my progressive schools. We lived in a world where we were given every opportunity to succeed . Those who took away another person's opportunity to better themselves, based on anything besides effort, needed to be removed from that position of power, expeditiously. Racism, Sexism..."enemy targeted."
My childhood had mottos plastered on walls, shopping centers, signs, and emblems: "Failure is not an option.", "Excellence in All We Do.", "Integrity First", "Excellence in action...always", "Peace through Strength" and "Any Task, Any Place, Anywhere."
For me, these were more than mottos. In fact, I'm going to say that for most people raised in my little corners of the world, these were lifestyles. I honestly believe them, and attempt to live by them. They ring in my head and come out of my mouth.
But now that I'm in college, I've met people who know more face planters. I've heard tale of college graduates, so down on their luck they laid down on train-tracks and killed themselves. I've heard of people who die alone, people who fail in their chosen line of work, people who are forced to give up their dreams because of social conditioning, graduates who work at convenience stores to pay the rent, those who want families and never get to have them, those who married poorly ( both literally and figuratively), people who drown in debt and people who die, depressed and exhibiting bleak, self-destructive behavior all the way down to the grave.
And all of a sudden it seems dangerously possible to become one. I really hope I stay logically aware of what an obviously bad choice looks like.
But hey, "Failure is not an option."
Below: a lot of common mantras in the Air Force. And to me these are not just cute little sayings. My thoughts filter through these ideas just as much as they filter through my Christian traditions (that's right, even stuff like "Win or Die."). Imagine, if you would, how these are applied in my mind each day when put up against things like social injustice, personal failure and discouragement. Ya, suddenly my zeal is explained, even to myself.
Excellence in All We Do
"No one comes close"
("Liberty We Defend")
2nd Bomber Wing (2nd BW)
"Aut Vincere Aut Mors"
("Win or Die")
1st Fighter Wing (1st FW)
"Return With Honor"
"Tutor et Ultor"
("Defender and Avenger")
49th Fighter Wing (49th FW)
"One team, one mission!"
37th Training Wing, Lackland Air Force Base Texas
"Cum Grano Salis"
("With a grain of salt")
VS-38, Air Antisubmarine Squadron "Red Griffins"
"In God we trust: All others we monitor"
5th Reconnaissance Squadron (5th RS)
"Combat Ready Combat Proven"
463d (AMXS) Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas
C-130E and C-130H / Air Mobility Command
"These things we do that others may live"
- USAF Pararescue
"Excellence in action .... Always"
91 Security Forces Group (SFG)
Minot AFB, ND
"Any Task, Any Place, Anywhere."
460th Security Forces Squadron, Denver, CO
United States Air Force Space Command
Air Force's Strategic Air Command (SAC's) 4245th Strategic Wing, had the motto of
"Peace Through Strength"
Air Force's Strategic Air Command (SAC's)
USAF SAC Original motto was "War is our Profession Peace is our Product"
"Peace is our Profession" was adopted about 12 years after the formation of SAC
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
"Oh, General, an indecisive mind is one of the greatest misfortunes that can befall an army, how often have I lamented it this campaign. . . . you have decision, a quality often wanted in minds otherwise valuable."
-Joseph Reed, writing ,not to General Washington, whose aide de camp he was, but to General Lee, the other general in The Revolution
"We are going to DIE!"
-What I'm sure went through General Washington's brain at least five times a day.
I find myself at a crossroads. This is that scary part of my life where I feel like a single wrong turn, any small deviation, will end up in a life I don't want. It all comes down to making smart, informed decisions. Quickly.
It's kind of like George Washington during the American Revolution. While honorable, honest ( a friend of his own conscience, if not cherry trees), appropriately stoic, and intelligent- he was also indecisive. It was important stuff he was dealing with ....the lives of human beings and the fate of a Nation, but again and again the records of his aides de camp, soldiers, friends and even his rivals ( Lee...cough cough) speak of a desire to do anything at all. Surely action, any action, was better than waiting to be annihilated by the most powerful military in the world. As John Adams wrote, when awoken by the sounds of gunfire coming from an assault on Charlestown, not knowing whether the Americans were on the attack or defense, "But in either case, I rejoice, for defeat appears to me preferable to total inaction."
And so here I sit, trying to fight the Revolution of Megan Independence. Not unlike the Continental Congress, we American twenty-somethings continue to declare our independence just when everything is turning sour for us. We're poor, hormonal, often single, or even worse "newlyweds." We have only limited resources. None of our friends have gained enough prestige to make networking effective. We lack confidence and experience. We often lose our battles, and our keys. When we sever ourselves from our strong, established parent-rulers there is no longer a net to catch us when we fall, and this just when one choice in life has the potential to make or break us for the rest of our lives.
But if that net isn't there to catch us, it's also not there to tangle us up, or mark boundaries where we can and cannot climb.
We do have energy. Lots of energy. And while we lack confidence and hope at times, we can, with amazing rapidity, invert it to a near arrogance and sense of invincibility. That's right. All those things you hate about twenty-somethings;the crazy energy, running through the grocery store, dance parties until 3:00 AM, the assertion that we know everything including more than you, the bungy jumping and other activities that illustrate an inability to grasp our own mortality, our almost heartless shuffle through friends and lovers.......all those things you hate, that's all we've got to work with. And we're paying for your social security.
And now it's important that I'm able to act quickly, make decisions and be ready to change direction in a split second. And yet, I'm feeling a little paralyzed. I want to make decisions now, sign that contract, buy that car, say yes to that guy, leave that cognitively dissonant lifestyle, drop that inconvenient person, - even if it's rash, even if it's wrong, because I'd rather be moving forward in any direction than standing still, keeping in mind that my nature is more inclined to dramatic and new movements. And yet now I wait, like George Washington did, and I wait for more intelligence, more confidence in my course. A car, a home, a relationship, a belief, or a person is a lot harder to reverse at a moment's notice, and a wrong decision at this point could, in theory, wipe out the entire Megan-ental Army and the "glorious cause of [personal] liberty." So I'm sitting, sitting on my hands like those kindergartners trying not to eat those marshmallows. I want to sign that contract, buy that car, hit that block button, and take that test. I want it so bad that I'm sweating. I'm sweating because I have to wait a day ( a whole DAY....the cosmos was created in less time!) to look at and figure out if I want to move to one of those apartments in the city, while contracts are going fast in my suburb. And a day of inaction could mean the difference between victory and defeat. And sometimes I have to deal with the fact that sometimes doing nothing, moving forward by staying in the same place, can be the wise decision.
"From the first moment I met you, your arrogance and conceit, your selfish disdain for the feelings of others made me realize that you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry. "- Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice
Is he really as big a creep as he seems? I can't freakin' read this guy.
I think he's just a pompous creep. He should just date my tolerant friends who might remain unaware or ignore such behavior.