Category Archives: Mile High Ambiitons

It’s not always rainbows and butterflies.It’s compromise that moves us along.

Day 3: “Resources.”

Not to diminish the post below but, my phone was off for less than 24 hours before I encountered a situation that made me rethink the whole ‘I don’t need a phone; it interferes with my potential happiness’ hypothesis.

In summary, I was hungry. And, I needed Jimmy Johns.

Luckily for me I have a roommate, who I asked to place the order on my behalf. I did this feeling absolutely certain that I had outsmarted the system. Of course she responded as any responsible roommate in her 2o-somethings would… She began mocking me. “What happened to I’m stronger than an iPhone/I don’t need it to make me happy,” she whined. “This is different.” I started to explain, “I don’t need my phone; I need your help!”  We both smiled but, I quickly followed it up by shooting her a look which hopefully reflected hunger and impatience.

I’m guessing it worked because she gave in. And like a Jedi mind reader she tossed me her phone adding a quick, “well, technically you’re aren’t cheating.”  In an effort to further justify my innocence and pacify my guilt I chimed in, “yeah, exactly. I’m just using my resources.”

Resources.

They’re something I didn’t fully consider when I made this decision to go wire-less. But, the truth is my iPhone is so much more than a device that allows me to connect to a person with a similar device. It’s my compass, calendar, alarm clock, handheld meteorologist, weight-tracking, little black book reminding, social media guru.

And it’s a hell of a lot less expensive than an assistant and less annoying than a significant other. For over 5 years my phone is what’s been keeping me on track and ready for potential disaster.

So what now…

That’s the question I terrifyingly continued to ask myself as I struggled to fall asleep on night 1. My fear was that I would get fired because I overslept because I didn’t set an alarm because I don’t have an alarm to set because I turned my phone off because I felt overwhelmed.

Then, I just felt stupid.

This thought spooked me so much that I actually considered walking the 3.5 miles to and from Super Target at 2:52 a.m. just so I could buy a clock so that I wouldn’t oversleep and  get fired. But, instead I got so overwhelmed that I fell asleep anyways, completely forgetting about the route to Target I had just mentally mapped out. And guess what? I woke up, without an alarm clock, on time.

And, I didn’t get fired.

Since as long as I can remember, my cellphone has always been my alarm clock. But, it’s only since yesterday that I realized it’s been that way because I allowed it to be that way. Humans are naturally programmed to survive. We adapt when necessary, making changes and adjustments so that we don’t fail. It’s who we are; It’s what we do.

We survive. We keep going.

The problem is we’re human. We want more than just to survive. We want love. We want success. We want to be the best that we can be. We get overly emotional and swear off electronics for a week just to be able to breath again.

We adapt.

So, if turning my phone off for a week meant losing out the on 54 resources that my iPhone provided in order to gain the 1 that it didn’t, I’m glad that resource gained was me.

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I’ve got a right to be wrong.

My grandmother used to do this thing.

Back then I called it getting on my nerves although now I would probably classify it as wisdom. It was simple really; she would ask, “Are you ready yet?” This phrase was almost always heard echoing down the hallways of our summer house in Tyler, Texas where one of us grandchildren wasn’t getting ready when we pinky promised we would.

There are not enough fingers and toes between the 4 of us grandchildren for me to count the number of times I answered, “yes” when I should’ve said, “no.” I would brush my teeth under my bed, sneak breakfast I hadn’t finished into the car, and my mothers’ ultimate pet peeve–continue to exclaim, “Nobody told me I was supposed to be getting ready.” I would do everything within my power to push the responsibility of me getting ready and my lack of such onto everybody else. But, no matter what tactic I employed my grandmother would never play into it. She would always respond with a very level headed, “Alright.”

I hated when she did that.

What I needed in those moments of “I can’t find my socks/I haven’t finished my juice yet/and can I watch the end of Recess?” was an empathetic ear. But, no. No matter how hard I pouted or how many fake tears I mustered all I ever got was an “alright.” And even though I was only about 12 and wasn’t allowed to say the words; I knew that this game she was playing was absolute bullsh*t.

So one day, I did something she hated.

I hid one of her shoes,  turned up the stove so that the biscuits would burn (thus ruining breakfast), and unplugged her perfectly heated curling iron. I destroyed her routine. Meanwhile, I finished my breakfast (which had also burned–something I, for some reason, didn’t consider), brushed my teeth, and put on my perfectly pressed Sunday dress. Then, I stood in the hallway with my hands on my hips and screamed, “GRANDDOT- ARE YOU READY!?”

She came around the corner in her gown, hair still undone, make-up only half completed and said, “No—But, you are.”

I was defeated– and mostly just annoyed that I had missed half of  “One Saturday Morning” trying to sabotage my grandmothers plans. I collapsed in the hallway and crossed my arms.  My grandmother began laughing. She laughed, and laughed, and laughed until eventually she started to cry.

I hated that moment.

She watched me sulk for about 5 minutes before she grew bored with the charade and asked what was wrong. I explained that I just wanted her to feel how I feel when I’m rushed and not ready. I wanted her to know that sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I’m just not ready. Then, like a true grandma, she leaned down and said, “I know. And, that’s alright.”

So for those of you wondering how work has been since “the week from hell” and if I made good and forgave my coworkers the short answer is no. But, that’s because sometimes, you just aren’t ready to make nice.

And that’s alright.

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Buy it, coppin’ it, washin’ it, ‘bout to go and get some compliments

I’ve heard of Pintrest but, never really gotten behind the whole “look at pictures for hours and think about but, never actually make anything” thing. It wasn’t until one of my darling and ever procrastinating friends uploaded a picture of a coat holder she made from a picture frame that I wised up to the whole recycling of ideas machine that is Pintrest.So I borrowed and then modified the idea as is modeled below. But then today I was looking at it and got to thinking..’how can I make this good thing, better?’ And that’s when it donned on me, decorate it with something I love!

The Steps:

1. Buy/Obtain a  picture frame.

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I bought mine for .75 cents after popping some tags at the local Goodwill. I loved the vintage feel of it/couldn’t resist.

2. Remove the middle (usually glass) portion of the frame and the backing.

This, I feel like, goes without further explanation.

3. Buy some hooks.

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I got mine for around 2$ from Walmart (forgive me do-gooders)

4.  Apply the hooks in the location of your choice + add adhesive backing

I just eye-balled where I wanted the hooks to go and then screwed them in myself—-bare handed. Chuck Norris/my dad would be proud.

5. Hang it.

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Depending on how strong your adhesive is you may not want to hang certain (heavier) items from it. But, I hang my coat, scarf, and wallet (which is filled with fat ca$h) on it and it stays just fine.

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I finished and prepared to write Queen Martha Stewart herself as I glanced on my cluttered bedroom floor to pick up a perfectly framed team photo. Taken in early October, I don’t think one photo can ever capture the spirit of my time or the current place I am more than this photo so I placed it on top of the hollowed out square to complete this look. You don’t have to do the same but, I figured what better place than the entrance of my bedroom to hang some happiness.

Finished:

teamhooker

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the autumn leaves so dry and sweet tell me everything is not broken

“A couple hundred years ago Benjamin Franklin shared with the world the secret of his success. He said, “Never leave that ’til tomorrow, which you can do today.”… This is the man who discovered electricity; you’d think we’d pay more attention to what he had to say. I don’t know why we put things off, but if I had to guess it has a lot to do with fear. Fear of failure, fear of pain, fear of rejection. Sometimes the fear of just of making a decision. Because… What if you’re wrong? What if you make a mistake you can’t undo?

….’The early bird catches the worm.’ ‘A stitch in time saves nine.’ ‘He who hesitates is lost.’ We can’t pretend we haven’t been told. We’ve all heard the proverbs, heard the philosophers, heard our grandparents warning us about wasted time; heard the damn poets urging us to seize the day. Still, sometimes we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today’s possibility under tomorrow’s rug until we can’t anymore. Until we finally understand for ourselves what Benjamin Franklin meant. That knowing is better than wondering. That waking is better than sleeping. And that even the biggest failure, even the worst most intractable mistake, beats the hell out of not trying.”

So where have I been you ask? Loving completely, risking everything, and praying daily.

Heavy heart, now a weightless cloud, making time for the ones that count

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Lately, I’ve spent most of my time catching my breath. And that’s no fun.

There’s no wonder why sometimes I’m feelin’ under, Gotta keep my faith alive ’til love is found

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Today, I officially accepted my offer from Teach For America.

I shared this success with my students, including the crazy difficult/selective admissions process, to which my students asked, “was that on your bucket list?” This never occurred to me before but, I suppose working in low performing schools in traditionally low income communities has always been my dream, so I said, “yes.” That’s when a tall student with copper colored skin shouted out, “well what’s that say about you–that working with us is on your bucket list?”

…..Well, I suppose it says I give a damn.

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I was a flight risk with a fear of falling

It started with simple miscalculation of both the distance and expense of essentially moving cross country. As a result, I was forced to fit over two decades of my life into two polka-dot suitcases adorned with pink bows. My plane was scheduled to leave Thursday at 7am so naturally I began the tedious process of deciding what portion of my life to leave behind on Wednesday night. So here I sit, folding khakis and tucking away hijabs, not completely aware where Colorado is or what it has in store for me but, ready.

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