This Week Ten Years Ago

The Week of 6/4/2006

Witty one liner: Your cellphone makes you twice as annoying

Quote of the week: None

Planner Quote: “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Planner Quote 2.0: “Only with absolute fearlessness can we slay the dragons of mediocrity that invade our gardens.” – George Lois

Offbeat oddity (courtesy of the planner): The world’s largest Montessori school is in India with 26,312 students enrolled in 2002

What is hilarious is cellphones were still pretty novel when I was in high school. All the cool, rich kids had them, but most of us were excited to have an iPod, or in my case a color GameBoy. Now this witty one liner is the absolute truth. It is something that I struggle with, putting down my phone and unplugging. I read an article once that talked about how, in a relationship, your inability to put your phone away and focus on your partner is a sign of insecurity. The Boyfriend and I are pretty good about putting our phones away and paying attention to each other, but we both just got on two apps Plant Nanny and Walkr to help us drink enough water and walk enough every day. So when we are on our phones we are probably powering up our planets or watering our plants.

But there are times when I will ask The Boyfriend to put away his phone because I do just need him to focus on me completely. This is usually on Sunday mornings when we are having our lazy day. I will be in the kitchen area of my studio apartment putting together breakfast, and he will sit at the little counter after making our coffee talking to me as I make French toast, pancakes, dutch babies, coffee cake, or bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, and cheese sandwiches. He might pull something up on his phone to spark a discussion or elucidate a point, but we are comfortable in silence, and we have easy and hard conversations.

Wow, sixteen year old me has been falling down on quotes! Let’s see what 26 year old me has in her back pocket: “If someone does not want me it is not the end of the world. But if I do not want me, the world is nothing but endings.” – Nayyirah Waheed. This quote was read to me at the end of a pretty grueling yoga class last Thursday. We often put too much value on how many people want us or on who does or does not want us. My therapist has asked me on different occasions “why does it matter if this person doesn’t like you?” It matters to me because I was raised to empathize, to please, to make sure everyone was happy and doing well. So in my mind if someone doesn’t want me it can feel apocalyptic. I have come a long way on this and have almost completely accepted the fact that it only matters that I want myself and I am happy by myself. Because I spent over 2 years as a single, independent woman I learned to live with myself and like who I am. Because I can now appreciate and like myself, I am almost able to fully love myself, and as a result I want me. My world is no longer endings. My world is an explosion of possibility, love, and opportunity. It is still hard and I am still working very hard, but it is easier because I have an ally – me.

I feel like the “path less traveled” quotes are a little overbearing and don’t quite understand the world that I live in. When I was getting my MFA in Creative Writing all I ever heard was “everything has already been written, you just have to write it your way.” It’s like in the song  “Die, Vampire, Die” where they have the vampires who ask who your work is derived from. We cannot escape our influences and yes, everything has probably already been written, that doesn’t mean we can’t write it, make it, redo it better or differently so that someone else can appreciate it. With that in mind it feels stupid to tell me to blaze my own trail, I don’t want to be a trendsetter or a trail blazer. I want to be me. I want to be happy and I want to write what makes me happy and what will hopefully make at least a handful of other people happy.

I much prefer Lois’s quote. You do have to be fearless to be able to be more than mediocre because it is “easy” to be mediocre. I put “easy” in quotes because sometimes, for some people, being mediocre, and surviving is hard and there is nothing wrong with that. Not all of us are cut out to be special, little snowflakes who are revered by society and put up on pedestals. If mediocre means I some day have a husband who loves me and children who trust and confide in me, and enough money in the bank that we don’t want for anything important then I will take mediocre.

I had no idea what a Montessori school was and why my planner thought that high school me would know what that was, but from a quick Google – awesome that there are schools that try alternate means of teaching to try to make sure that all people are educated. I don’t know if it is a successful type of education, but good on them.

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