Monday, October 22, 2012

Walker Event!

Us Ed Zeds had an event at the Walker Art Center on Thursday evening, and it was quite the experience!
We created a visual map of sorts, with islands of all shapes, sizes and colors that were labeled with different words; words that we feel incorporate our personal high school experiences or the high school experience as a whole, both positive and negative. The purpose of our project was to get people to walk the map to see what words specifically resonate with them; either remind them of an experience they had in school or hopefully (!) they are able to describe their journey through high school using the different islands. At the end, we asked that they call our hotline from the island of wherever they landed on, and tell us their story.
A lot of people seemed interested and felt that we were making a bold statement, of course we ran across our share of people that had very specific instructions for us to run back into school as fast as our legs could carry us. I had a very interesting encounter with a rather verbally oriented older gentleman.
I approached him cautiously, I have found that older people don't like to be bombarded with the eccentric loudness that is my personality at times (if not all the time), and explained our project. The first words out of his mouth were, "You seem to be incredibly intelligent. Why did you drop out?" At first I was very taken aback. Needless to say I have never felt like I was an unintelligent individual, however it's uncommon that anyone's first reaction to me is my intelligence. I began explaining how I felt restless and unhappy, coming from a large family left me feeling pressured to do well, etc. And immediately we bonded over our mutual frustration with the institution of public education. He reiterated several times how intelligent I seemed, and how I had the tools to go absolutely anywhere in life, and how school really is about paying your dues. He said that school is what we have to go through in order to get o where we want in life, that it is merely the price we have to pay so that we can get to a place in life that makes us happy. The longer we talked the more I really started to like him and his views. He basically told me I should go back to school, not because I'm an idiot for leaving, or that staying out of school would ruin my life, but he kept telling me how intelligent I was, and how school could help me nurture my intelligence and that basically, it is just the dues we have to pay.
I have to say that talking to him resonated with me the strongest, his words really stuck with me. I definitely feel inspired by how complimentary of me he was, and his tactic to get me to go back to school and finish my education was not to scold me or to judge, rather to be supportive by understanding and relating to my frustrations, but giving me a dose of reality that I'm sure I needed.
The evening was a great success, and I really feel that we all have come a long way since this journey started. I never would have guessed that I would have had the guts to go out on my own if it hadn't been for this project or what I have learned about myself along the way. As cheesy and cliche as this may sound, I have learned that I have a lot more strength and intelligence than I realized.

Stay excellent,

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

REAL LIFE! Aka shopping

You know that moment when you realize that you're in the real world?
For some it's a new job, or paying bills, paying rent perhaps, or the moment you get your water shut off because you couldn't pay said bills.
For me, it was my first Target trip after moving into my own place.
I know I am not alone when I say that I cannot walk into Target without spending twice as much as I had planned to, and all of that money being on a vast majority of items that you do not need. And more than likely you didn't even buy what you went there to get in the first place.
When I strolled into Target yesterday, I had a long list of practical items that anyone would need for their home: soap, cleaning products, laundry detergent, etc. However the second I walked in, my mind immediately went back into my typical Target visit: wandering through the vast assortment of mascaras, shoes, and dresses on sale. Then suddenly I came to, realizing that I do not have the funds to walk out of Target with a dozen items that I do not need. I have to buy...toilet brushes. And bathroom rugs. And if I do not purchase these items, no one will.
As slightly depressing as this was, it was also a shockingly freeing feeling as well. I was buying things that I needed for MY own apartment, and I can solely choose what to buy, what goes where, and it is all completely up to me.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that choosing my own type of bathroom cleaner and getting a Swiffer would make me feel so happy. Or would solely and forever be the moment I claimed my true independence.
Everyone should try it. I highly recommend it.
But dang, you don't realize how expensive the good toilet paper is until you buy the off brand.

Stay excellent,

Thursday, October 11, 2012


How you feel when suddenly everything becomes too much.
Having to make all these decisions about my future, having to be certain about the decision that I am making without any support from my family, and throwing myself into the real world with no one to catch me. Just me.
I debated whether or not I would have the strength to share about the loss of my family member, but with the funeral today I feel like I need to express myself somehow, I've been so cut off from everyone. And for someone who is typically very expressive about how she feels, this is unusual for me.
A fellow Ed Zed recently felt the pain of a loss of a close family member, and who knew that it could happen to two of us in such close proximity.
I won't get into details, in fact I'd prefer not to, but death is such an overwhelming burden to bear. While you know now they are at peace, and you have no choice but to let them go, the grief that you hold in your heart and your mind makes every day life seem so futile; it makes you not want to get out of bed, not want to even try to make the usual things seem important anymore.
My future suddenly seems so much at risk; I don't know if I have what it takes to really carry on with all the following through it is going to take to make what I want to happen happen. Especially since I feel so alone.
I've never felt so alone. In my rational mind I know I am not the first person to suffer a tragic loss, yet somehow you feel like you are. Like no one can understand. Angsty of me, I know.
This is so hard.