C'est La Vie
What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be. Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy. And I use these words pretty loosely. There's so much more to life than words..
Things I love
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
In the Civilian world, including in my current and past college classes, a natural talent meant that I was the person one wanted to be around, so that one could achieve his or her own greatest because he or she would benifit from forming a mutually positive relationship with me. That is, we are all good at some things and bad at some things in this world, (disclaimer: I do not mean the following in the cheesy way it may sound) and we can all help eachother become the best possible overall if we all work together happily. Realistically, that just can't happen in all cases. However (comma), a company, class, or organization can do very well if team success maximally encouraged and if individual success is not so high-pressure -- so that the naturally good can succeed without the naturally not-good being affected or feeling threatened.
I guess that works in most classes or civilian environments because the individual is up against a certain scale, a varifiable goal. You will take a test, and you will get a percentage score on that test based upon the number of questions that you as an individual answered correctly. And then your final grade will be composed of what you as an individual accomplished throughout the class.
When you are concretely up against eachother and yet are supposed to work together harmoniously -- well, you can imagine what that fosters. A cross-country team, for example, is really all one team and so everyone working to get everyone to their best means that whatever 5 best of the 7 teammates happen to be that day, the team does better than the other teams. A non-team running race does fine because everyone is in competition with eachother, period. You win some, you lose some, but the running community in any local area tends to be very tight and have great friendships come from it.
So competition inherent in life is not the problem. But competition inherent in the scale of individual success is. It is a very big problem.
Way I figure it, if I'm gonna be so under the microscope that I can never be perfect and that people are going to let accusations fly should I be rewarded for something even while I am not perfect (because, of course, if your standards are lower for Joe Schmuckatelly over there, Joe can be at about 80 percent of the performance I regularly do and therefore maybe 64 percent of perfect, but since he is meeting your standards for him enough, no one cares.. but if I am within 20 percent of perfect, the standard I am supposed to meet is absolutely perfect and even one hair out of place or one minute later than 5 minutes early or such.. boy does that just jump right out at you and convince you I'm a complete dirtbag!) .. .. ..
Therefore, if I am too good to be accepted as imperfect and too bad to be seen as perfect, I will never get the rewards set up to motivate people to do their best. So I am stuck in a trench where I am expected to do my best but not motivated externally and too tired to motivate myself internally, especially when I watch all the dirtbags (and the not-so-dirtbags-but-not-superstars-either) get the goods and the pats on the back.
It's kinda like all those vents I did before I joined about how I had made enough good decisions not to be eligible for welfare and enough bad ones to need it.
Then, nomatter how much I ask for help or express that I'm burnt out or anything else, I'm being told that I don't ask for help enough. But because I "don't ask for help enough", the help I ask for is constantly denied or overlooked.
It isn't that Canada's looking nicer this time of year. It's just that I'm completely exhausted all of the time now. I fell asleep in my ballroom dancing class the other day. I have already given up my volunteering (the youth group from the church I used to go to) and much of my social life and the idea that I might be able to do some of my homework -- this is why my math class grade is suffering so much and even in ballroom dancing I'm not doing as well as I should be able to. My house is messier than I'd like, my car is still not fixed. At least at boot camp I wasn't expected to take classes and volunteer and be responsible for my healt-finances-emotions-religion-etc and have a social life in my off-time. There was no off-time. But that was the nature of the beast. Here, what off-time I do have (which is limited) is expected to be filled with so much stuff. And all that considering I don't even have a husband or kids to take care of! I just can't put this much time in at work and still get anything productive done outside of it.
I just can't.
So, here's to hoping things will change FOR THE BETTER very soon. I know that may come in disguise.. I just hope it comes at all.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Two and a half months of no posting, and what a long and eventful two and a half months they have been.
I did not go to New Orleans. I was supposed to fly out that Sunday (after my last post) and on Thursday afternoon or so found out that my ticket had been cancelled without my knowing it. When I called the comptroller (who the cancellation notice had said cancelled the ticket), she said my Chief had told her to. So I asked the person between myself and my chief in my chain-of-command, and was told that the class would be coming here in September instead, so they weren't sending me to New Orleans. I was sad, to say the least. Very sad.
And then, just a month later, Katrina hit. And the New Orleans that existed the day before had changed. And I would possibly never get to see it at all, and if I did, it wouldn't be the same one everyone's always talking about.
On top of that, since the people who would have brought the class here in September were our New Orleans staff, and since the materials with which they teach the class were all in NO buildings, the class here was cancelled as well. So I've been doing this particular job since April 1st and never really got the right trainging for it, and still frequently find out that something I've been doing the whole time was entirely wrong.
Need I say more?
Having joined the Navy to see the world, I've seen a lot less of it since I've joined.
Now that it's within the last month of waiting for the STA-21 results, I get people asking me daily when I will get those. I wish I could put one of those big buttons (like waitresses and cashiers sometimes have) on my shirt -- one that would say "The results come back in a month. I'm sure you'll hear about it by the time I do."
I am glad they care, it's just that it's similar to when I was working in Admin and people asked me daily when I was going to be moved upstairs to the pay department. That wasn't my decision or anyone else's business until it happened, and they couldn't understand how frustrating and stressful it was that nearly every single person in my command asked it or made a comment every day -- and then whatever reaction I made (even to have no reaction at all) was interpreted to mean that I did or I did not want to move up there, and my words were twisted all over the place and I kept getting yelled at for it. My response to that was that I've asked these people not to keep asking me in the first place, and it's their own disrespect both to ask and to twist my words. Of course, THAT didn't go over too well.
On a similar note, I have decided for sure (within the past two and a half months especially, and it got certain within the last two weeks) that I am not going to reenlist. I can't. I'm glad for the time I've had in the Navy (if not glad for quite all of the esperiences) but we're just not compatible. It's like with Jim, with whom I was spending a lot of time before I joined, and who was my main home-town contact while I was at bootcamp and whom I very much loved .. and then when he visited me in MS, I realized that although I did very much love him, I didn't love him in that way (which I thought perhaps I did before the visit) and that was so difficult to realize because, really, he was such a great guy and so good to me and he grew me. He had a lot of the things that it's difficult for me to find in guys -- he was always introducing me to new music that I loved, and he made me laugh so much, and we could do nearly anything together and have a great time. But I just still didn't love him like that. It was hard. And that's how it is with the Navy and I .. not that the Navy and I always have a great time together or anything, but it has grown me in a lot of ways and it has given me so many things (job security being the most prominant) .. but we're just not right for eachother. Not as an enlisted person, at any rate. I don't know that I'd be more right on the officer side -- there's still politics and many of the other things that I CAN put my finger on of why the Navy and I aren't right for eachother. But if I do get picked up this year, I will follow through with it and see how it is on that side. If I don't get selected this year, though, I don't know that I will reapply.
There is so much more happening and that has happened in the last two and a half months, but I'll just touch on a couple of highlights:
I am taking two classes this semester -- ballroom dancing and Pre-Calculus. The pre-calc is difficult, mostly because there are so many things I never learned in previous math classes, and what I did learn was so very long ago anyway. Words like the Quadratic Formula sound familiar to me, but words like "Complete-the-square" never were. So I'm relearning all of that stuff, and we have only just started to move into the real learning, which is all built on those foundations.
My ballroom dancing class is very fun, but a little more difficult than I was anticipating. We're fortunate to have a decent number of guys compared to many classes -- we have nearly one male for every female, which makes it a bit less difficult when trying to learn how to dance together instead of just practicing solo.
I still haven't gotten Al, jr.'s muffler repaired, and now he sounds like a Wookie with emphysema and asthma. I'll do that one of these days -- it's not like it's a huge repair anyway. Other than that, though, he's still hanging in there like a champ and then some. And I still get made fun of for him constantly, but I don't mind that so much because he gets me to where I get made fun of and back, so he can't be all that bad.
There aren't many concerts here that I have found out about, yet, but Flogging Molly will be here later this month (just before my one-year-at-the-NAR anniversary), and Clumsy Lovers in November. So there's at least two to look forward to. I'm planning on visiting MA sometime in November as well, to finally see Auntie Jo and Uncle Bob my other relatives up there, and hopefully see some of that music scene since I was too young to enjoy it when I lived there. Maybe even visit Boston College just for the fun of it, even though I didn't get accepted there yet.
And I've got one of my closest friend's wedding on New Years' Eve (since I don't know if she's told everyone yet, I won't say her name here) which I hope to be able to attend.
The next few months will be the whirl of the holiday season, right up through my birthday on February 1 (the quarter-century, even!) and with the future announcement of STA-21 as well as whether or not I made E-5 off this last exam, things may not settle down much after my birthday, either. But with "only" three and a half years left on my current enlistment, I'm in constant pursuit of keeping my civilian mentality and lifestyle so that if I do get out at the end of that time, I'll still know how to function in the civilian world. I've become more than Navy enough to be a great Sailor for the time being -- I don't need to be institutionalized into not functioning as a civilian. Especially now that I've decided not to go career enlisted for certain.
Part of why I haven't blogged in so long was not being ready to say all of that out loud .. but I've been open with everyone at work about it, so I'm ready to be open here.
Don't get me wrong, there are still a lot of people to whom I would recommend the military, including the Navy. And it's not that the Navy needs to change or that the things I don't like about it hurt its efficiency or effectiveness in any way.. its just that we're not compatible, the Navy and myself, where it always has been and always will be perfectly compatible with others.
Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
"So how do i do normal
"It's been known for a train to jump its track. It's ok, so you'll know, most times they come back. It's ok to lose your life, when you finally see your birth. It's ok to say, "I love you," and figure sometimes it's gonna hurt.
"As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes, all exciting at first, but then by the end you're sick of 'em!"
"Hey, this is weird! I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?" "I love it!" "You're kidding! What a crazy random happenstance!"
"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
"It was Flannery O'Connor who said that 'grace must wound before it heals.' Her words help me to separate what is most true about life from the things we want to be true. We want life to be painless. True grace is a hard sell because in order for the human heart to understand forgiveness and love, it must first experience darkness and isolation. A life lived under the rule of grace is a life of need which allows us to receive an appreciate the gift of the giver of grace. This is why we will always have the poor with us; this is why God will not allow us to ignore injustice; this is why we are called to a life we cannot handle alone, which can and will break us in the effort to live it -- because grace must wound before it heals."
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
I thought Christmas Day would never come. But it's here at last, so Mom and Dad, the waiting's finally done. And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning.
O little town of Bethlehem,
Walk humbly, son
Strings of lights above the bed
"In a little while I'll feel better
"Please tell me once again that You love me. That You love me. Please tell me once again that I matter to You and You really care. Please tell me once again that You're with me, forever. It's not that I could ever doubt you, I just love the way it sounds. I just love the way it sounds."
"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
have you seen my love
Traveling is significant because it takes so much effort. Either you're going to some place you love, or you're leaving some place you love. Usually it's both.
I think I have Bond's ability to get into trouble but not his ability to get out of it. Someday I'll be in some foreign country with 5 thugs with automatic rifles pointed at me, and I'll just.... fart
"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
The summer ends and we wonder where we are And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car And you both look so young And last night was hard, you said You packed up every room And then you cried and went to bed But today you closed the door and said "We have to get a move on. It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead, We push ourselves ahead."
Looking out the bedroom at this snowy TV.. ever since commencement, no one's asking 'bout me. But I bet before the night falls, I could catch the late bus.. take small provisions and this Beethoven bust. I could find work in the outskirts of the city, eat some fish on the way.. befriend an old dog for a roadside pal, find a nice couch to stay -- a pull-out sofa, if you please!"
Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."
"Life is a phantasmagoria .. It is a pell-mell of confused and tumultuous scenes. We try in vain to find a purpose - to bring an order, a unity to life. I suppose that is the appeal of art. Art is the blending of the real and the unreal, the conquering of nature. It is real enough for it to reflect life, but has the unity that life lacks."
"in time memories fade.
I've always had this feeling about Patty that she's complex and intriguing...I like Patty alot. She's got a good heart and tells terrible squirrel jokes.
"Try to remember that world-weariness isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the book of Mark, I think its Mark, Jesus looks at a blind man and sighs. Jesus sighed before even telling the man he would be healed. He sighed, and I'm not sure that there's a much more human expression of frustration than this. Faced with the horrid picture of a cursed earth and looking into the white eyes of a man blind from the day he was born, He sighed. The Creator of the universe in human form was sad "of the evils of this world," the world He created. Your Creator sighed for you in the same way before He healed you and made you His."
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love
-- Andrew Peterson, After the Last Tear Falls
"when you most need people, you don't need perfection - just to know someone gives a damn"
"My brother's always [telling me], 'You should be more mysterious--boys like that.' But I'm not good at that. It would just make me more uncomfortable."
"Loners want to kill you, but not for any particular reason, and they'd probably like you if they weren't being guided by the violent voices in their head."
"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
Her mom: "We're all safe."
-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002
i'd throw out all my shoes
i'd set up cans for friends
to dump their shoes senseless shoes
a pioneer of callouses
lordy-be and bless my soul
i'd be a barefoot spaceman
the first you'd ever know"
"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
"Generations circle and each one atones. The sins of the father are seperate from my own. In Pilgrim's Progress, it's forgiveness that makes whole, and as time levels and consoles, I place the daisies in your bowl."
"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
Blessed be the rock stars!"
Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know... I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "No answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand."
CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
"Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccuptaions, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul."
""Don't go matchmaking for me, Ilse," said Emily wit a faint smile... "I feel in my bones that I shall achieve old-maidenhood, which is an entirely different thing from having old-maidenhood thrust upon you."
"I wish Aunt Elizabeth would let me go to Shrewsbury, but I fear she never will. She feels she can't trust me out of her sight because my mother eloped. But she need not be afraid I will ever elope. I have made up my mind that I will never marry. I shall be wedded to my art"
"Tomorrow seems like a long ways away. But it will come, just like any other day... Deep inside, where the wounded creatures hide, I am afraid. Maybe I got lost somewhere along the way somehow. Please rescue me... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the dark shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me... Though I fear, though I am afraid, You are with me. Though I'm angry, tired, broken down and confused, You are with me. Though I sin like I've never sinned before, lose myself right out an open door, You are with me."
"The invisible people agreed about everything. Indeed most of their remarks were the sort it would not be easy to disagree with: "What I always say is, when a chap's hungry, he likes some victuals," or "Getting dark now; always does at night," or even "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?"" -- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
"When People object... that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water should refuse a rope thrown to him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying, "Oh but you had an unfair advantage." It is because of His advantage that He can help."
"But, you know, as a Christian, one of the big questions you always ask yourself is, "So we believe in Jesus, we believe in the teachings of the church, but what does that look like when it's lived out?" Because surely, one of the things that Jesus said that I think we often overlook is, "The person who hears my words and does them is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." He didn't say "the person who hears my words and thinks about 'em" or "whoever hears my words and agrees with it." But he said, "Whoever hears it and does it."
"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
"I have packed all my belongings. I don't belong here anymore. This pair of sandles, one pack to carry, this old guitar and this tattered old Bible. And I know I won't be afraid. 'cause I know, I know Home is where You are."
"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but
"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve
to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not
"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my
feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed
"They say God blessed us with plenty. I say
you?re blessed with poverty. ?Cause you never
stop to wonder whether earth is just a little
better than the Land of the Free"
"Computers will know everything in the 21st
century. They'll be like me in the 20th