30 June, 2005

BTW, Forgot To Tell You Kyle, I LOVED the Orange Dress!

My cousin Graduates!

This past weekend I attended my cousins graduation in Reston, Virginia and I realized that she is an amazing person and that I have known her for a really long time. And I was just floored at the idea that not too long ago she sat on my lap and told me stories that she made up in that pea little head of hers. And now I am watching her all grown up and flirting with her boyfriend. That totally freaked me out.

And so after I got a little lit (shhhhhh, I didn't do it!), she and I started to talk. Which was awesome because I have been waiting for her to be not-the-little-kid anymore so she and I could have fun together in a non-kid sort of way. And I watched her watch me and laugh as I dispensed the oh-so-grownup piece of advice that I gave her.

And now I will share this bit o wisdom with you.

Here in no particular order. Please remember I was kinda trashed.

1. Wear sunblock, always! You know those women that say that they are 30 and look 40 and you're horrified. It's because they don't wear sun block.

2. Same goes for moisturizer!

3. Carry condoms. Okay I know that you've heard this tons before, but seriously, guys don't carry them and then make up the 'Just this once' BS. Quite frankly, being drunk and being guilted don't mix, so just don't be so lazy and carry the condoms.

4. As part of number 3 above. You do not, I repeat: YOU DO NOT, have to sleep with every guy you date! Sometimes a date is just a date. And sometimes he is not worth it. It's your call. But remember that it is ALWAYS your call.

5. As part of line 3 and 4; sometimes if you do sleep with the guy and he never calls you again, that can hurt like a bitch. Be warned and be weary. It was never about you to begin with. The guy just wanted to get laid and he was too much of an asshole to actually admit that to you. Which by the way may have been cool, but who knows he never bothered to ask. Sometimes guys mask sex with an I-really-like-you when they really don't.

6. If you make a promise, follow through and keep it. This goes for personal and business. Don't become the girl that people can't rely on, the girl that people can't trust. That is a crappy place to be.

7. Learn to share. Learn this lesson fast. Nothing seals friendship like sharing. Nothing makes you a better person like sharing. Do you really need that, or perhaps your friend needs it more. Learn to think about other people first and share.

8. Volunteer. At least once in your life for a little while. WHY? Because when you think your life sucks, you will be helping people whose life sucks more. And then you realize that you have it pretty damn good and you should stop whining already.

9. Also, volunteering makes the world a better place, makes your community a better place and you never know the positive impact you can have on someone's life.

10. Remember that the world does not revolve around you. Learn to be silent. Learn to listen. Learn to understand what others think and believe.

11. If a friend calls you at 3:00 in the morning, be there, always.

12. Get to know your college counselor. In fact bring him cookies and volunteer to baby-sit for his first born. This is the one person on campus that can make your world a happy place when it comes to money, classes, navigating the system and understanding the points you need to actually get the diploma.

13. Remember that a University is a BUSINESS. And when something is a business it means that they are there to make money! That's right. News flash. They do not give a POO about you and your grades and your roommate and your grandma. They CARE about making their bottom line.

14. So now that we have gotten number 14 out of the way. Learn to have a MOUTH. I am not saying become a screaming lunatic. But learn to open your mouth and have words come out. No one is going to stand up for you in the University System besides you and perhaps your parents. But your parents don't live here. And it's not their education, it's yours.

15. Number 14 means: If you have issues with you're student loans, classes, teachers, housing, roommate, workload etc. you have a RIGHT to have someone help you and assist you and guide you and hear you through the process. That is what they get paid for. And last time I looked college was not cheap.

16. If your college has an exchange student program DO IT. If you get the opportunity to go to another country that is safe, jump on it. You will so kick yourself if you don't. Travel later on in life happens less often.

17. Stop relying on your parents to fix your problems. That is all I am saying about that.

18. Never, EVER, except a drink from someone at a party or any other time that drinking takes place. This can be seriously dangerous and girls end up raped, molested or dead. Get your own damn beer.

19. Pick a sober-sister. You know the drill.

20. Learn how to shake someone's hand, look them in the eye and smile with a real smile. This is not only important on interviews, but important every day of your life.

21. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Listen, I love my jean skirt and flip flops and tee shirts, but I would not wear them to work. And it's not about conforming, it's about common sense.

22. Find out what your morals and beliefs are. Not your parents and not your friends, but yours.

23. Learn to compromise.

24. Become really good at time management. You will sleep better if your shit is done on time. AND BONUS **** If your shit is done on time, you actually have MORE time to hang out with your friends.

25. Being late to your interview, appointment, classes, etc. makes you look untrustworthy and then someone else gets the cool job.

26. If your friends are saying 'Yes' and your gut is saying 'No', go with your gut always. You have common sense, us it. The girls that end up dead ignored theirs.

27. Part of number 25; learn when to take a risk and when to be safe. Now you are talking to a girl that loves extreme sports. BUT, I do ALL the research first. I check out the instructors, the cables, their licenses, their operators, all the people that can contribute to me dying, yeah I do all my homework first. If you don't make informed decisions your just an idiot. My mother would argue that some of the stuff I do makes me an idiot anyway, so perhaps we can avoid this conversation in public.

28. Scenario: 1 girl hanging out with 5 guys she barely knows, alone. Humm, now does that sound smart? Yea, didn't think so. She might feel pretty and popular for the moment. It may fullfill that grand dream of being Homecoming Queen. But what the heck do you think those 5 guys are thinking. They are not thinking about her that's for damn sure.

29. Keep your sense of humor. The embarrassing suck ass moment that happened today will so be old news in about a week.

30. Don't cut your own hair drunk.

31. Don't pierce or tattoo drunk, it may seem like a good idea at the time, but um no.

32. Don't mix drugs and living and breathing. In fact don't do the drugs at all. And you know why. But here is the real reason why: No one will actually LIKE you more because you smoke pot.

33. On the alcohol thing. That girl that got really drunk and puked. Yea, she didn't look cool. She looked like an ass. Find your limit (mine's 3) and stick with it.

34. By the way, when he clings to you like that, and wants all your time, all your attention and gets mad when you make plans with your friends. Yeah sweetie, that's not love. That's emotional neediness. Dump his butt now.

35. It's not true love. It just turned out to be a fling with sex. It dosen't need to break your heart or change your life, but if you pay attention it can teach you a few lessons about the kind of girl you want to be. And cheap ain't it.

36. Don't give up on your goals and dreams when they get really hard. Buckle down and plow through it. If you put in the effort it will get easier. And you will have regrets in the end if you give up.

37. Changing your mind doesn't make you a quitter.

You get one go round, one shot. You have one opportunity to make it worth it, make it great. Decide how you wanna play it and then bring it.

Best of luck to the Class of 2005!

25 June, 2005

And they're Off!

I am writing this Blog as a start to my adventure.

I was born in the burbs outside of New York City. I feel at home with the ocean around me. The sound of a surf break is the most beautiful sound in the world, next to the sound of my baby nephew's laughter. Something inside me feels light when I am not surrounded by glass and cement and steel. Something inside me becomes alive when I leave the city behind.

I have always felt that this life is so confining, as if the world were telling me to be silent. The unnatural ebb and the flow, the constant of the city, always moving, always moving, it gets exhausting after a while.

Initially, I joined this work life to have the money to live the life that I wanted to live. I was fooled into thinking that I could do this corporate thing, play the game on my terms and not let it beat me. I could continue to live my life dictated by my easy standards and non-rules. But that all changed over time. Somewhere along the way the traffic took over. It was easy to get sucked in to their type of living.

And then one day I woke up and realized that all the dreams that I had were fading away and being taken over by someone else's ideals.

I could live in a bathing suit with my hair in a pony tail chucking in a pair of flip-flops. I find expensive clothes and jewelry overwhelming and sometimes wonder what that person is trying to hide. What do I hide when I submit to the standard and dress like them? Cars never impressed me, character does. The need to own three of everything, when one will do. The need to spend so much money on something so small never seemed right to me, never seemed necessary. It always felt forced.

I am usually taken back when others around me are mean or rude, when they say things without feeling what that other person must feel. And then I wonder if in a city this large anyone can actually feel empathy towards others.

I have a propensity to be a bit in awe of the world. I love to travel. I love the smell of the airport, the feeling of take off and the wonder that lies beyond the boarders of another place. Sometimes it's nice to watch and observe people in their natural settings. I like to see how differently people treat each other all over the world. I am always stunned when something as simple as trust is so easily given away. I am also stunned at how easily open hostility can burst forth at a moment's notice.

I love to explore my limits. To see how far I can push myself. I sometimes wonder what I am capable of if given a chance, put in a certain situation, pushed to my capacity. I had an experience sky diving once. I was overwhelmed on the way up and so calm on the way down. I felt tied down, buckled into the harness of a man whom I met about an hour before and then I felt so free strapped to that same man. It was the most mind blowing experience of my life.

I am about to embark on an adventure. I am going to change my life.

I have a dream of pursing the life that I have always wanted. I am going to take a big risk. I know what I need to do this before it's too late. I need to close my eyes, take a deep breathe and just do it.

Kala Lily