There is no idea that gets me going like the belief/debate behind the butterfly effect. Thinking that one small piece of the grandiose puzzle of life can affect the whole darn thing is pretty amazing. And terrifying. I think the craziest part is that I TOTALLY and full heartedly believe in this idea. Every single decision we make, no matter how big or small, can affect everything else in our life. The people, the outcomes and most importantly who we are as a person. Before I get into the million examples that prove this point to me (kidding, I won’t explain that many) here is what I believe:
Do I believe in a higher power? Totally. Do I think that dude (or lady or being or whatever) is sitting there moving pieces on a chess board that blindly leads my life? Absolutely not. I think that this higher power has an infinite amount of possibilities and paths for every single person (or puppy even) and which path you take is entirely up to you. And then from that path there are even more paths and possibilities for you to take. Here’s where that pesky butterfly comes in; there are so many outliers that can affect your path and overall, your decisions. Honestly, I think that these outliers can be chalked up to weird coincidences. Cogs in the wheel of life, if you will, that completely change a decision you may have originally had.
Major example: my love story. Everyone has one (eventually). That “oh how did you guys meet” small talk dinner conversation. So Ryan and I met when I was in college. He worked at what would become my favorite candy store. The only reason it became my favorite is because my aunt told me how crazy cool this place was, so my Mom and I went to get some treats after my orientation Freshman year. Now, there are a lot of moving parts to this puzzle: what if Ryan had not been working that day? What if we had decided to not go get candy from Goodies? What if later on I had decided not to stalk Ryan (okay maybe that one doesn’t count). The other weird pieces are where I would see Ryan outside of Goodies: was there some weird butterfly flapping her wings to ensure that our paths would cross multiple times so that I would get the hint? The craziest part is how many people have this type of story: if you had gone to a different gym, store, college, park, really anywhere, would you have met your soulmate?? And which soulmate would you meet (because let’s be honest, we could go on for hours debating that idea that we all have one true soulmate or several).
All in all, we hold the key to each door that opens up for us. No other person can or entity can change that. But can we really just say that there is no outside theory at play here? Well played butterfly, and thanks for flapping your wings in the right direction.
So in the real world when you’re mad, you can’t simply go up to someone and beat the shit out of them like you want to. You must behave like a civilized adult and “talk it out”. This statement remains especially true when the asshole you want to cunt punt happens to work with you. So here’s the saga of the day:
Some anus at work informed my students that I have been laid off next year. Don’t worry – it was simply because of budget cuts and at a private school this is too often the case. My bosses are devastated and assure me of this fact daily, at times more than once. I may rant about teaching and the failing education system in our country, but I still love the kids I teach (even when they make me want to pull my hair out of my head). I was saving the bad news of next year for the end of the year, or at least until I had found a new job to frolic off to. BUT THIS GUY TOLD ALL OF HIS CLASSES TODAY THAT I WAS GETTING LAID OFF. Did he consult me before doing this? No. Did he come and talk to me about being laid off at all? No. Are him and I at all close? DOUBLE NO. He’s an arrogant prick that is also getting laid off and unfortunately him and I are kind of on the same boat. BUT IN THE END OUR BOATS ARE SAILING IN TOTALLY DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS. No other place wants to hire him or should hire him, while I already have other job offers set up. It has taken all of my strength not to tear him a new asshole via email. He told his students about MY BUSINESS and I had to find out from one of MY students that he was doing this. This poor girl had to email me notifying me how upset she was that I hadn’t told her and asked me what the heck was going on.
So what is the moral of this story? Besides that some people are real pricks and instead of murdering him via harsh words, I wrote a very strongly worded email to my boss informing him of my disappointment. At the end of the day, no person should have the right to share your personal life with others without consulting you. But to go back and fight them on it is really letting them win, because you stoop to their low and evil level. Is this guy a complete asshole? Totally. Would an email from me really change that? Probably not. The core of who we are really doesn’t change and his classless actions have further proven what a good choice it was to let him go (we are not on the same boat when it comes to why we were laid off).
Karma’s a bitch. And I hope that someday what you’ve done bites you in the ass. A guy who truly cares about his students wouldn’t put them in the middle of his personal life. That makes them feel awkward and they feel sorry for you. THEY’RE KIDS LEAVE THEM OUT OF IT. And how dare you let kids in on what’s going on with me; that’s my business to tell them, when I’m ready and when I feel that they are. Nice job asshole. Good luck with that job search.
Does the type of music that we listen to really shape who we are as people? Our tastes, loves, goals, moods; I think all of these things can be affected by the music that we listen to. Music is not only a huge part of my life now, but it was a huge part of my life growing up as well. My mother loved and still loves R&B and hip-hop. It’s always been interesting to have a “cool” Mom who listens to top 100 hits – even today she runs a workout class where she makes weekly playlists that continue to be something I can jam out to. On the opposite end of things my biological father loves hardcore rock and roll music – from this stems any rock music that I listen to today. He really listened to the classics; Godsmack, Nirvana, Metallica. The list goes on and on.
So how did this shape what I listen to today? Well rock and R&B combined can give a bluesy feel, which is probably what I listen to most. However, my Ipod can range from Slipknot to Chris Brown (both violent so maybe that’s where the connect is; kidding, kind of). I don’t really know how I would classify my musical taste, but I do know that what I’m listening to definitely depends on my mood. I can say that there are bands I always flock back to after any given hiatus of listening to new music; My Chemical Romance, Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys-these guys seem to keep my attention time and time again. But I, as a strong badass female, always love a hardcore girl rock band aka Alison Mosshart and Brody Dalle could have my girl babies.
As much as I love the beats and harmonies from music, the thing that really can affect me are the lyrics in a song. Being a literary enthusiast, I absolutely dissect songs based on their lyrics, so a band that has shitty or repetitive lyrics will not make it on my soul playlist, so to speak. Lyrics are what stay true to your heart even after the music has stopped playing. Lyrics are what can connect us all through song.
So does music affect who we are or were as people? Of course. That’s why I’m such a badass rockstar. Kidding, but not really.
If you could go back and change one decision that you made what would it be? For all of us there are so many things that may quickly run through our minds; that first love, that first relationship, that weird food you tried, the risky hair color, and the list goes on. Then your mind may wander on to well, would that affect the person I have become? Would taking away that bad memory allow me to have all of those great memories that came from it?
I like to live my life thinking that I have no regrets. That every single decision that I make is incredibly well thought out, and dare I say it, over-analyzed. But there is one decision that I made thinking it was for all the right intentions and in the end it has severely bit me in the ass, leaving an ever-growing bruise that gets worse each day I get in my car that I can barely afford.
So background: Ever since I was a little girl I knew that I wanted to do SOMETHING that helped others. I didn’t know who the “others” would be. It went from me want to be a vet, directly to me wanting to become a teacher. That thought process started as early as eighth grade for me. I know what you’re thinking: she knew what she wanted to be that young?! What is she crazy?! Yes to both questions I suppose. I had a wonderful English teacher in sixth and eighth grade that I absolutely emulated with all of my heart. I knew then that I wanted to help people through literature. I was even lucky enough to have amazing English professors in college who furthered my love for the subject even more. What could be better than getting lost in a novel everyday and then sharing that love with tiny humans? At the point I thought, well, that nothing was.
Jump timelines to the nitty gritty – I knew I wanted to be a Mom so summers off and vacation time that matched theirs made sense. Check. Salary-kind of check because teachers make money. Benefits-check. Needed job in this ever-failing economy: check. All of the “adult” decisions.
So now on to the present. What is one thing I could change if I could go back? Well, becoming a teacher in a society where the education system is failing. If you teach at a public school you are bogged down by common core standards and testing regulations that directly correlate to your job and school funding, whereas if you teach at a private school parents treat you as though you should be working FOR their child not WITH their child. Our educational philosophies are based on outdated jobs and a world where children were expected to live by the book. We don’t live in that world anymore! A child should not be defined by a grade or a test score. This score should not affect their chances for higher education. And as an educator, that is not the moral compass that I should be guiding them with.
So bottom line: I wish that I had not become a teacher. Because since day one of my job, my faith in our educational system has been SERIOUSLY tested and has in the end been crushed. No, I have not been in the education field for a long time, but I have removed my rose-colored lenses and seen our world for what it is becoming. One that is defined simply by numbers and the newest medications that we can feed our children so they “focus”. I love today’s youth and if I could change one decision it would be the decisions of all of those people who are placing a number above an education. Very soon you will find that the people that are in your profession who truly could change your child’s experience in this world will be no longer present in your schools. I know that I won’t be.
Vent time: There are SOOOO many blog posts that pop up on my social media feeds everyday about how to live your life. These can range from how to love, how to feel, what you should be, where you should visit. I’ll be the first to admit I indulge in these blog posts like I indulge in reality television; both items I consider a guilty pleasure. In the back of our minds we’re always comparing our lives to the ones we read about or the ones in movies or on t.v..
So I know what you’re thinking – blah blah blah it doesn’t influence me blah blah blah. I’d like to think the same thing, but is that really true? I’m getting married in March (ah so soon) and I find myself divulging in all of these blogs and even questioning my decisions; is this the right time to get married? Maybe I’m too young. No I’m in love! Oh look at this blog that tells me he’s a keeper, he matches 70% of this bull shit so must be true. Screw that. NOBODY HAS THE ANSWERS ON HOW YOU SHOULD LIVE YOUR LIFE. My theory? Just live your freaking life. Live in the present, sometimes worry about the future, and you know what-it’ll all work itself out. Doesn’t matter where you travel, doesn’t matter what other people think. No two stories are the same. Everyone has a million and one different paths they can take and there is no way in all holy hell that anyone will be able to foresee what you should do or when you should do it.
So my list for ten things to do in your twenties? Stop reading a fucking list and live your life how you want to live it.
As she wandered through the halls she looked from her left to her right. How could everyone else be so happy when she was so lonely? Chatter filled the air, sweet whispers to a loved one and giggles at an inside joke. She knew that this weekend could change everything.
…”How was your break?”
“It was great, how was yours?”
“Well, not so great. My Dad passed away and seeing how much it affected my Mom really got me thinking about some things I would like to have in my life.”
“I’m so sorry to hear that. Is there anything I can do?”
“Yes actually. You can go on a date with me this weekend.”
“What? Are you serious?”
“Yeah, why not? It could be fun, right?”…
The conversation played over and over in her mind. What had he meant? She didn’t even know that he thought of her at all, never mind enough to take her on a date.
Saturday came and went. The day had been everything that she hoped for. She knew that telling him now would be her last chance.
“There hasn’t been one day that I have not loved you. I have loved you since the first time we spoke. Maybe even before that. Do you feel the same way about me?”
I have never found a blog post that more accurately describes how I am feeling about my profession right now. Even more aggravating were some of the comments on it. Very well written; in the future when someone asks me why I don’t want to teach anymore I will simply make them read this.
Every second of every day people are trying to figure out what makes them happy. We’re all taught the cliches of happiness at a very young age; love, money, success, family. So why then, are finding these things so difficult for all of us? The issue with happiness and what it should look like is that happiness is made out to be such a complicated quest. The reality of the matter is that happiness can be found in the smallest memory, or even the shortest moment.
Happiness, to me, is waking up every morning next the person I love more than anything in this world. Happiness is made even sweeter with my morning cup of coffee. Happiness is cuddling with my puppy and talking to him as though he will miraculously respond back to me someday. Happiness is hugging each of my family members as though it could be the last hug we ever share. Happiness is telling my family how much I love them. Happiness is looking the the mirror and knowing that I am growing up to be my mother’s daughter. Happiness is an inside joke with the closest of friends. Happiness is all around me. Happiness, most importantly of all, is a choice.
Each day we need to choose to be happy. There are so many clouds in our life that could take away happiness. Negativity, doubt, fear, dishonesty; the scariest of all of this is that our biggest cloud (or obstacle) can be ourselves. Herein lies the complication of happiness. We can choose to be happy or we can choose sadness. Every second of every day we must make the choice to be happy. Only then can true happiness exist.
I started this blog months ago in the hope that it would inspire me to quit my job and pursue my dreams. I have always been afraid of the unknown and of risk in general. I went to school, crossed my t’s and dotted my i’s, and always did what I was told. I took the easy route in school, getting my degree in secondary education. In my mind, I thought that education was the way to go because it was stable and meant that I would be able to always have a job (which in this ever-failing economy is a blessing). I knew that I would be able to read writing pieces and discuss literature everyday with my students, so I could get my creative fill in their ever blossoming love of literature. Boy was I wrong.
The education system in our country is flawed, not because of the teachers, but because of the new mentality of our society. We need everything RIGHT NOW and if we don’t get our way, we complain until we do. Parents do not allow their students to take responsibility because before they can even get a word in, the parent has fought their battles for them. This is not the world that I was raised in. If I got in trouble in school (a rarity) my mother would ask me what did YOU do wrong, not, why was your teacher picking on you?! How dare she!!!!
So my new friends, what is the reason for this rant you ask? To inform the universe that someone who was once inspired by the idea and realm of education has now been destroyed by complaints and criticism. I have a love for literature that I will not allow to be tarnished by GPA’s and school acceptance letters.
This year it is my goal to find a new profession that will allow me to truly flex my creative muscles. In searching for this, I also have the goal to blog daily (weekly at the least) in order to remind myself of why I am doing all of this.
Stay creative world. Don’t let society’s ideas and social norms drag you down.
individualism is wealth of the heart and mind and not of the pocket.
I read this quote in a recent reflective essay that was written by one of my students. It really spoke to me. He used this quote to describe his passion, which is creative art and graphic design. The essay was a phenomenal piece and has really inspired me to continue the pursuit of my dream, which is to live in my art.