Monday, July 20, 2015

So, I have a tossed salad of thoughts today

Feel free to join me for this more or less disjointed smattering of observation. I haven’t really had time to sort through each of these things individually. Ergo, I haven’t been able to write a lengthier post.
I mean, after all. This is a blog, for goodness sake, Botsford. You get, like, three paragraphs max before people decide they could while away their time elsewhere.
Here we go:
The things you miss the longer you’re away from home get odder and more obscure the longer you’re gone. For example, last night on my flight from Fukuoka, Japan back to Busan, I grabbed a New York Times. And, it isn’t like I can’t find the New York Times online. But, the feel of the newspaper in my hands, the little remnants of ink on my fingertips, the smell of it even, just tossed me down that vast, stark hole of nostalgia. It knocked me back to a smallish apartment in Waukesha, WI where I spent so much time perusing the morning paper while eating cereal and drinking my coffee getting ready to don my teacher pants in hopes of sharing life with my high school students…and maybe some literature. It knocked me back to a place where I barely knew myself. And, this newspaper smell, just for a second, erased everything in the past five years. Then the giggles of the students in the next room brought me back to the here and the now, the woman I am, dreams of the woman I want to be. It is always a shock when the mundane becomes profound—a welcomed consequence.*
*Phrase taken from the novel The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth.

I have been trying to write this next post for ages, but I just haven’t done it or gotten around to it, which is an excuse. I know.
Men are great. Like, seriously, men have been some of the most influential humans in my life. I have an amazing father. He would schedule his work trips and schedule around my sister and my various activities to make sure that he always made my games or her plays. And, even as I’ve grown, he and I have had some rough patches, but we have grown much closer because of it. But, really, the men whom I’ve encountered whilst living in Korea have been just absolutely stellar. Boot and I have formed a relationship in which I’ve always felt at home. Ben is a very weird mix of older brother advice giver to younger brother silliness. Tom was with me at my most vulnerable while in Cambodia. And, there are so many more. If I didn’t name you by name, it doesn’t mean I don’t think about you all the time. These are just three who happen to be on my mind today. Tomorrow, it may be a completely different set of people. It is imperative that we, as humans, work together to create safe and equal spaces to share with one another. If you haven’t seen Emma Watson’s address to the United Nations, crawl out from under that rock under which you’ve been living and watch it here. Like right now. I will wait. I just want to shout out to the men in my life that have helped me grow and support me as I continue to change and grow.

The last one is something with which I often find myself struggling. 

I don’t do a very good job letting the people in my life know how important they are to me. I am not very vocal with my affirmations, I just assume that people know that I think highly of them. I think that this is something that we have sort of lost with the introduction of immediacy of text messages and facebook. If I want to talk to my best friend in D.C., I can send her an email, kakao message, facebook message, and skype message within a matter of seconds. And, she will probably message me back within 12 hours. This era of instant gratification has made me become lax in taking specific time to let people know I care about them. I would spend hours in University writing little pick me-ups for my residents. Or, I would spend work time in high school writing notes to friends in which I would always add something along the lines of “Hey, I am glad you’re my friend.” Because our communication wings have been so proverbially clipped, we’ve forgotten how to interact with the humans around us. So, I plan to work on noticing things. I want to affirm the humans in my life. If we’re friends, chances are I think really highly of you and care very deeply about you. I don’t really know how to be an acquaintance just a really, really good friend.

Have a happy day everybody. High fives all around.  

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