Friday, October 23, 2009

What is Home?

It has been awhile! I have sat at this screen with my fingers perched at the keyboard a few times, typing away....only to backspace and delete before I could realize what I had just done. Needless to say, I am a pretty passionate person and if I don't feel at least 95% about what I am going to write, I don't waste my time.

I watched Garden State last night. Technically it was the second time I had ever seen it, but realistically it was the first. The first time because I watched it with no interruption and no catnaps. It was beautiful. I loved it. It is definitely up there with my favorites. If you are as behind as I am, please watch it, if nothing else the music in there will touch you. But, the movie posed a great question...what is Home? Something I think maybe we have all struggled with from time to time. Is home my apt at College? Is it the new city I have moved to? Or will home always be that place where Mom and Dad are in charge? Hmmm.....well I will give it a shot:

Home is....

1. Where your dirty laundry and dishes await you
2. Where you can walk around naked and no one can say anything
3. Where you can cry, or yell, or laugh as loud as you want
4. Where you can spend time with your family or friends
5. Where you either leave everything from the day behind, or bring everything from the day into it
6. Where you relax, indulge, and take the no bullshit approach
7. And...home is where it feels homey.

In the movie, Andrew states he doesn't believe in a "home" per say. Yeah, there is a structure, an address, etc. but specifically he says "maybe home is just a group of people all searching for that imaginary place we call home." I have learned over the years that Home really is what you make it, and who you make it with. People are home. Family and loved ones are home. The reason we all grow up looking for a place that feels homey, is because once upon time, our families made these architectural buildings where we sleep, into something called "Home". Home does exist, but, it is 95% in our hearts, and 5% structure.

For example my Home would have never existed if I didn't know, without a doubt that, I could always go back, no matter what. It wouldn't be home if I didn't hear the dog bark, or my Dad awake at 3:30 in the morning to read his book. It wouldn't be home if I didn't shed a tear every time I went back. It definitely wouldn't be home if I didn't look at the walls of my bedroom and remember all of those confusing and exciting times in high school. And......most of all it wouldn't be home if I couldn't sit on my couch in the living room with my family.

"Home" does change, but family doesn't. We will all grow up (for those of us who haven't yet) and make our own homes. But not so much making it beautiful and trendy, but making it a place for our children to grow up and know what Home feels like and, so that someday they can search for their idea of home and realize that all home ever was, was this great gift called family.

In light of this, my idea of home was really tested when I walked outside of my apartment the other night. As Michael and I were walking to the car I heard rumblings on the sidewalk in the pile of whatever leaves Los Angeles has to shed. It was two bums. Bundled in blankets laying on a heap of leaves, looking quite comfortable actually. It was a dark, cool night,  and they were laying underneath the stars. Michael just kept walking, like it was no big deal, and I just couldn't believe that two bums were laying on the sidewalk right outside of our apartment, content as could be. I have thought about those bums quite a lot since I ran into them. Not because they bothered me, or because I was really worried about them, but because I realized that in that moment they were at home. They had each other. If anything I am always thankful for a roof over my head, but in this case, it really occurred to me that love does trump all. And that is what home really is. Love.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I am in a serious realtionship with Facebook

Well, here is to posting two days in a row. Originally, I thought I would give a little gap in between my posts but I couldn't help but feel the urge to get back to  my computer and write about dear old Facebook. Sitting in LA traffic for nearly and hour and a half helped, as my mind battled back and forth about the pros and cons of Facebook. More specifically the beast that it has become, and the fact that most days I feel like it is a bad boyfriend whom I love to hate.

Love is the keyword here, because it is easy to hate Facebook, but lets face it, we all love it to a certain extent. If you disagree then I assume you don't have a Facebook account anymore. Some days I love it. Some days I hate it. Sometimes I love how it makes me laugh, and others I hate that it makes me feel so darn unaccomplished, or behind. But, I have definitely come to the conclusion that whether I like it or not, I am in fact, in a serious relationship with Facebook.

It all started one College Sophomore morning in the basement of a sorority house. Facebook asked me out on a date, and I obliged, very willingly. It was great at first. Learning everything about it, telling it all about myself, sharing pictures, and life stories. Then, Facebook started to introduce me to other people. I learned so much about friends and classmates because Facebook had all of the secrets! It gave me a lot of information that my peers didn't necessarily disclose on a regular basis. It was great.  The best part about it was that I only had to show the best side of myself. No fat arm angles on Facebook! No morning breath, or pimpled face, or teary eyes. No, no, no, just pure glory people! It was the best relationship ever.

Facebook has changed a lot on me through the years, and every time I log into my account and see that it has out done itself once again, I curse because I have to learn something new. But isn't that what a great relationship does? I guess I changed a lot on Facebook as well. You know, my weight fluctuated a little, my hair was short, then long, then short again. Friends have come and gone, many have stayed the same, and I have even moved a few times. So really Facebook and I have been through a lot together.

But, believe it or not, we have broken up several times. I have deactivated my account out of jealously, anger, and disgust, only to find that Facebook never leaves. It is always there, storing all of my precious information. And then,  magically everything goes back to normal when you sign back in. Its as if the break up never happened. Then I go on a little confused, and feeling a little guilty because I treated it so bad, and that once again I have given into this relationship. Will Facebook ever go away, or am I going to have to really kick it out of my life for good?

Someone very precious in my life ( my wonderful boyfriend) brought to my attention a few weeks ago that maybe my relationship with Facebook really needed to take a break for awhile. You see, with this day and  age of constant status updates, the phrase "the grass is always greener on the other side" became a very big reality. Don't get me wrong, I love status updates. I hate to admit that I love knowing exactly what is going on in everyone's lives and most of the time peoples updates make me laugh, or put a smile on my face. But, what I didn't realize is that I was forgetting to appreciate and be thankful for what I had in my life, where I was, where I came from, and where I was going. It's way to easy to do this. Someone gets to go to a football game you are dying to be at, another just went on a shopping spree and you have no clothes, or maybe its that family or friends are all getting together and you are missing out. Whatever it may be, I was beginning to wish that I had everything that everyone else had, not because I truly wanted it, but because on Facebook everything seems so glorious. I don't know what it is about those darn status updates, but they really can give life a face lift sometimes.

So...after a two day hiatus from the world of Facebook, I was back at it. Addiction? Maybe....probably. Boredom? Most certainly. Nosiness? A little.  I must say that with the help of my oh so cute significant other, I am dealing with my Facebook addiction. I try to keep it at a minimum, but most importantly I am viewing Facebook in a different light. So here is a little letter to Facebook from me:

Dear Facebook,
I love you, but I have to think of our relationship a little differently these days. You have just gotten too powerful for me to place any or all of my trust in. I will not be taking anything that is written within your walls for certain, because  deep down I know that the only things that are certain in life are true friends and family. Thank you for keeping me up to date on all of my friends lives, and making me laugh in the meantime. But, please, don't bother me unless I bother you. I am turning off all of my notifications and I hope you will understand. I wish you the best of the luck in the future, but please don't replace true friendships for Facebook friendships anytime soon. That would be a sad day. Don't worry, I won't stay too far. I am grateful that you let me share my writing with my friends, and pictures with my family, but for now I will be thinking of you as the Facebook I knew four years ago, when you were young and innocent. So long.


In conclusion, I really think that in some way we are all in a relationship with Facebook, although the degrees of seriousness vary. I am no less guilty than anyone else out there. I am just learning that day by day I have to wean myself off of this relationship and maybe someday I will break free. Or will I? We'll see. For now, I have learned a valuable lesson, and that is to just be happy with who I am no matter what is going on in the rest of the world. Because, really, all that matters is happiness that comes from the inside not from a social networking giant.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Quarter Life crisis

This post seems out of place. I should have written on this topic first, considering it is the omnipresent topic for my entire blog. But, I have never been much of a rule follower, and my previous post came from passion and confusion at an important moment in my life. So for now, I will allow myself to blog they way my heart and mind tells me to.

Quarter Life Crisis? What is it? How am I handling it? And how do most handle it? Well, to tell you the truth, I have uttered the words "Quarter Life Crisis" to more than a few older adults who have laughed in my face, shown great confusion as to the meaning, and others who simply shrug it off as a dramatization of a young kid who feels a little lost in the moment. Well, I am here to write and say that yes, in fact, a quarter life crisis is a real thing. Not made up, not dramatized , and it shouldn't always be overlooked.

After pondering over whether or not this was a real or imaginary problem made up in my head, I realized I was asking myself, "how could this not be real?" Yes, your twenties are some of the best years in your life. We are young, fresh, hip, liberal, risky, energetic, shameless, and confident. These are the years that we will tell stories about while we are finishing up dinner at the neighbors across the street when we are in our 40's. These are the stories we will try and hide from our own children, and keep them from following in our footsteps. And yet, realistically, for some, these will be some of the hardest years of our lives.

I feel as though I am a part of a generation to really feel a burning passion to really make a difference and do something with our lives. Yet, the path to do so is so muddled. Since we were young, we have always been told that it is either too hard, too risky, or just too out of the ordinary to reach for. Too often we are all brought up to believe that as soon as College is over or as soon as you have said hello to the mid twenties you should be expected to follow the path that most others do. Move home, get a job, get married, have babies, live next door to your parents, and see the entire family more than 2x a month. Now, let me just pause for a second. Doing all of the latter is not a bad thing. In fact it is a beautiful thing. Not that anyone really reads my blogs yet anyway, but for a brief second I had a star moment. I saw outrage by readers of my comment. But please, I do believe that there is nothing wrong with any of that, I just believe that it is the complete wrong timing for some of us out there. So...there is this burning passion to really feel things, learn things, and step outside of our comfort zone a little. There is a passion to not settle for the typical Corporate America type job that could more or less be known as robotics. Really, listen to me here, IT IS ROBOTICS. At least the company that I used to work for was. Go to work, sit in your cube, wear these clothes, paint your fingernails like this, Lord have mercy don't have more than 3 white wines...EVER, say this, say that, and oh yeah....please hand us the ticket to your life. No thank you, I say. Whether that was voluntary or involuntary can be left to your imagination. But then, when you decide to not be a part of that, to move on, and to take some crazy risks, you would not believe the back lash. So in the end, a lot of quarter lifers take the easy route and always wonder about what could have been, because would you ever realize how easy it is to actually believe everything everyone says to you because you are scared? WAY TOO EASY.

Basically, everything above was kind of an intro into the definition of a Quarter Life Crisis. Here is the definition from Urban Dicitionary: " Usually occurs sometime in your twenties, a few years out of school and still feel as though you're waiting for you're life to begin. " Ahh, how true! It seems as though many days I wake up and I repeat this saying to myself...."Is my life here yet, oh, oh, there it is! Wait, this isn't what I thought or had planned! Well, I guess my life hasn't begun yet." The definition from Urban Dictionary then goes on to say: "Some people will respond to a quarter life crisis by rushing into various landmark type goals in life (ie, getting married, moving out from your parents house, getting your first house, getting your first real job, having kids). This could be because their friends have....

My two favorite lines "your first real job", and "because their friends have" these are the two phrases that I believe really mold this situation called a "Quarter Life Crisis". It is a period of time where we are constantly measuring. Imagine us all with rulers comparing our lives to the lives of our friends, family, and fake friends we have on Facebook. I can picture it quite well actually.... everyone walks around with a ruler and measures their own accomplishments with that of everyone around them. Thus, feeling better or worse about their own efforts. Of course the ending in my head is that every one's rulers are eventually broken because no one can handle this race to the top of nothingness. Because once we get there, we may fearfully realize that there is nothing there and that this game of who has done what and who has what, is really quite hysterical. In the end, every one's rulers would be broken because we would realize that our measure of success is quite relative to our own individual hearts.

Well, to answer the question as to how I am handling this "Quarter Life Crisis", I will say that, hmm, well, I am handling it. Trying to embrace it everyday, and wondering, when will it be over? Or is it never really over? Am I always going to be searching for my real life to begin? I think not. Because I think really it is about realizing that my real life has begun, this is just part of it. Every bit. The confusion, the glory, the fun, the tears, the romance, and of course the fear of not knowing exactly where your life is going.

Thank you for reading, and please bare with me as I improve my "blogging" skills. Whatever they are. You can laugh at me too if my grammar is a little off, or if I switch narratives. I will get better, but the truth is, I don't really give a rat's a$$. I write because it flows, not because it looks perfect.

**All of my information came strictly from my noggin aside from the definition from Urban dictionary. I have not read any commentaries or books on this phenomenon called a "Quarter Life Crisis". My coffee is cold and calling my name.