sixteen sixteen

Something many of you may or may not know: I’m a youth educator. I go into middle and high schools and talk about sexual violence prevention. And as unappetizing or appealing it may sound, it’s actually very rewarding, and 99% of the responses from these kids is positive. I walk away every single day knowing I’ve delivered information that has made an impact on them.

However, something I’ve been thinking about since I’ve been going into schools, particularly high schools, is how much I was like them when I was in high school. It doesn’t matter the school district, the type of classroom, even the type of student—I find myself relating directly with every single one of them. Unfortunately, this often leads to lots of memories of high school that I had kept buried, but it’s also lead to another feeling—a feeling of regret. Mostly, when the students mention stories or incidents, and it makes me wish desperately to give them advice, to let them know that things will change, and most importantly that high school isn’t everything.

So in keeping with that thought process, I’ve decided to make a list of all the things I wish people had told me when I was 16, and that I wish I would have listened to (in case someone DID tell me). But I want this to respective of everyone’s experience—having discussed this idea with Alex, he, himself, had several things that he wanted to add to this list. So, if you feel like there’s something I missed—or something you wish someone had told you, please feel free to add.

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I was 16

1. I wish someone had told me that having sex with someone does not equal love. It will not mean you love them, and it will not mean they will love you.

2. I wish someone had told me that my race and my sex will be apparent everywhere. That even at the young, tender age of 24, I would experience racism and sexism on a regular basis. I wish someone had told me to look out for it earlier.

3. I wish someone had told me that high school, in the long run, doesn’t really matter. That I wouldn’t be talking to 99% of the people after graduating, that the events that happen there will not result in nearly as much pure happiness or pain as the events to come. I’m sure this statement will be true in 50 years—that I have not yet experienced as much pain or pleasure as I can still.

4. I wish someone had let me experience of being a icon of beauty that wasn’t white, thin, blonde haired, blue eyed. While I believed that wasn’t an icon of beauty when I was in high school, they are still the standards I live up to.

5. I wish someone had told me to really work hard to keep the people that matter. I’m no good at that all.

6. I wish someone had told me that everyone has ultimate potential—that the people who will make the most difference in your life do not have to be pseudo-intelligent/creative bullshit assholes. That I am BETTER than that.

7. I wish someone had explained what consent was. I wish someone had explained what to do when you are in a dangerous situation—how to get help if you’re sexually assaulted or in an unhealthy relationships or anything (how can Manhattan High NOT have a program like this? I am baffled.)

8. I wish someone had told me to be more patient.

9. I wish someone had told me that my definition of love or friendship or anything was completely wrong (although, that’s not necessarily true—I simply did not have all the information yet to make a more correct definition).

10. I wish someone had told me that I have a CHOICE.

11. Eventually, sophomore year in high school will NOT be the most impactful year ever.

This is all I have right now. I’m sure even I will have more things to add at a later time. Please add things if you feel like I’m missing something.

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i’m so tired of missing people. why can’t you (all) just come back?

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life planning

Planning on going back to school is so damn exhausting. After a couple of weeks of planning, I think these are the schools I am looking at for my MSW, for the school year 2012-2013 (if we ever make it out of 2012!!):

University of Washington- St. Louis
University of Chicago-SSA
University of Washington- Seattle
University of Wisconsin- Madison
University of Kansas- Edwards Campus

Most of the application dates are December 1st, so I have a lot of work to do in the next couple of months. Namely getting reference letters and writing 100,000 essays. I was originally planning on getting my MSW/MPH (public health), but instead decided to just get my MSW due to the fact that that once I go back to school (as long as health care policy doesn’t get fucked), I’ll go back on my parents’ insurance. This will leave me 1 year where I won’t have to worry about insurance (until age 26) and if I got my MSW/MPH, it would take longer than a year to finish. So, we’ll see.

Considering I haven’t ever lived outside of Kansas or Missouri, I’m nervous. I have friends in many places, so that could help, but it’s sort of a lot to take in–finding a place to live, moving (again), how Alex feels about this, where will I get in (if at all?!), etc, makes it sort of an overwhelming idea. Which is why I’m starting the process in March of 2011. Any advice is much appreciated.

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if you read this:

you should read this too:

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i am constantly overwhelmed by my own mortality.

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are the holidays the hardest every year? too much alone time with my thoughts. i want to write so much more, but the words aren’t even there.

all i have are memories of you, and you, and you, and they’re overwhelming me slowly.

too much time alone.

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moneygrabber & etc

On a more positive note, I love these songs:

Fitz & the Tantrums – Moneygrabber

Cee Lo Green – Fuck You

Willow Smith – Whip My Hair
(Way to go, Will Smith’s daughter!)

Usher – Hot Tottie

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“Homesick” -Kings of Convenience

I’ve been listening to this song all day, and feeling homesick. For those of you who know me well know that feeling homesick for Manhattan doesn’t ever happen. I’m missing friends I don’t have to explain anything to; who’ve known everything the whole time, but now seem so far away. & yet & yet. They’ve missed out on so much now; maybe they’ve not really known anything at all.

It’s funny, for the longest time, for years and years and years, I dreamed only to feel like I did the year I was fifteen. Looking back, I’m not sure why. I only think of this one specific moment, over and over: Alina, Cammie, Erika, and I (was Erika there?) walking home for lunch at Alina’s house, and it was cold; around Halloween, and eating homemade pizza at her house. There used to be more details to this memory, but most of them have faded. And so many more important people than just those few; none of whom I have any real contact with. I feel like all the most important memories I’ve had are now drifting away. Remember that night? After the musical? It was so strange that when I talked to you, you didn’t remember a night so vivid in my mind in years. Maybe now, maybe that’s why they’re all leaving. Maybe I’m realizing these memories aren’t important to anyone else either. More probably, they’re just being overshadowed with the other memories of Manhattan; and to forget one memory meant to forget them all.

Anyway, the song is so true:

a song for / someone who needs somewhere / to long for / homesick/ cause I no longer know/ what home is

True friendship is such a fickle thing; and so hard to find keep.


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all dolled up in straps

I’m writing today, from a very different place than I’ve been for the last several weeks (possibly months). Not a physical place, of course, but instead and emotional place. I have been very…conflicted and upset about my move out of Lawrence. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, Lawrence was a place where I felt like I fit in for the first time in my life. Also, for the first time in a long time (since I was 15 or 16), I felt like I had a real group of friends I could have a good time with (I’ve had individual friends I’ve depended on, definitely, but not a whole group). Understandably, I was nervous, upset when I moved to Olathe, despite the great job opportunities for both Alex and I (which have continued to be great, so obviously it wasn’t that which led me to being upset). Something about living in conservative suburbia again after living in lawrence, where everything wonderful was within walking distance seemed unbearable.

However, just last night (although this has been culminating for several weeks I’m sure of it), I realized I’m starting to have that sense of community in my new home now. It doesn’t really revolve around Olathe, KS, as really that place is a deadend cesspool, but simply within this new life I’ve begun. I have found some people I can rely on, which is nice, and I’m finding that I’m socializing more now than I have in years (mostly, I think, because these new friends are, as of right now, completely drama free, which is such a relief). I’m getting comfortable with my surroundings–I have places I hang out regularly, I feel like home is something tangible now. Yesterday was one of the most poignant days I’ve had in a while. I went to the Uptown Theater for The National concert–and it was one of the best concerts I’ve been to, maybe ever. I was reading a review of the show where the author mentioned the people either love The National or think they’re boring, and I find that so hard to believe. All the music is so—full. I cannot explain it any other way. It was such a good night with such good people: Alex and I went and met up earlier with Brandon and Emily, and had drinks, and it just felt so good.

So maybe Kansas City will never be Lawrence, it’s finally becoming SOMETHING. And I’m starting to like it. But we’ll probably definitely move after this lease is up. KCMO is where we want to be, which is strange because I never thought I’d say I WANTED to be in Missouri.

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fall mix

I made this awesome fall mix. Fuck you, if you don’t think it’s awesome.

At The Bottom of Everything -Bright Eyes
Gonna Get Along Without You Now -She & Him
Tighten Up -The Black Keys
If I Ever Feel Better -Phoenix
Daniel -Bat For Lashes
Home -Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Such Great Heights -The Postal Service
Samson -Regina Spektor
Jesus, etc. -Wilco
M79 -Vampire Weekend
Tightrope (Feat. Big Boi) -Janelle Monáe
Golden Brown -The Stranglers
Honey and the Moon -Joseph Arthur
La Cienega Just Smiled -Ryan Adams

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