(Suitcases – Dara McLean)
Let’s ignore the fact that this lyric is wrong, but not worry too much about it, because it sounds pretty anyway.
I found a notecard in my lunchbox dated 4/14/16. It is from an activity with Cru. The idea was that you write down five things you want on the notecard and put it somewhere you won’t be looking at it all the time, but will eventually find it again. The directions were to dream big and if you write it down it’ll probably happen.
It was interesting reading my notecard. The second item on my notecard was good grades. I suppose every grade I got *after* that point was good…but I’m pretty sure when I wrote that I was hoping somehow I could get a revision of my previous not so good grades. It actually wasn’t a completely unheard of idea. At my school there were people who successfully whined to the dean that they didn’t like their grades and got a grade increase. The part that makes that very unlikely to happen in my case is that I am NOT a whiner. I hardly even stand up for myself, so yeah, I refuse to whine about my grades even if it would potentially increase them. So yeah, if you don’t express your discontent loudly and inappropriately then you aren’t going to magically get good grades. Another item on my list was “Friends, the real kind…maybe like the popular kid kind.” I have always struggled to make and keep friends who actually want me as a friend back. I also wanted reconciliation, a particular residency and job that I didn’t get, and “Healing from abuse, emotionally, self-esteem, confidence.” I thought that one was pretty insightful. For a long time I thought healing and reconciliation were basically one and the same, that if we ever got an opportunity to talk about what happened that it would all magically go away. It took a while to realize that abuse hurts and scars in a way that impacts a variety of aspects of life and cannot simply be reversed with an I’m sorry followed by I forgive you.
In church a week and a half ago, someone was talking and said forgiveness isn’t giving someone control. That really impacted me, and I realized sub-consciously, it is hard to forgive because certain someone always had power and control over me and it felt like forgiving would be like saying that was okay and that she could continue to hold the reins of control. I didn’t have control over anything else in life, so I was struggling to let go of that last set of reins and give up control. That simple statement helped me realize that I don’t have to let go of any tiny shreds of control I might have left in order to forgive, and that felt awesome.
Totally changing gears, a couple weeks ago I was going through some piles of schoolwork deciding what I was willing to say goodbye to, because if I get my way, next summer I will be moving and right now my mom keeps sending me back to my apartment with more of my stuff that I’ve left around the house, and it is overwhelming to think about moving all the stuff in my apartment (and all the stuff still around my parents house). So anyway, I was sorting through exams and syllabi and notes…and I had to laugh when I got to the APP (Advanced Pharmacy Practice) stuff…one of the things I was graded down on was smiling too much…y’know, I feel like having a positive attitude shouldn’t be a negative in a customer service position like the retail pharmacy skills they were assessing, especially since on the exact same page the assessor commented that I practiced good empathy so it wasn’t like I because I was smiling I was failing to respond to the SP’s (Standardized Patient’s) concerns…so y’all if you want the pharmacist who is crappy because she smiles too much then come to me…lol…Can I also just take a moment to vent about how much I hated APP. It was such a frustrating class. I believe there was *maybe* 1% of the class that was worthwhile and the rest was either completely pointless or a direct repeat of material learned in previous classes or that was going to be covered in future classes. Add on top of that the fact that the teachers for that class wrote lousy test questions and were lousy assessors of subjective assignments, and you have the recipe for a super frustrated student. It is not cool when you couldn’t be bothered to finish grading my and 4 other students first projects in time for us to get feedback before the final project and then grade me down on the final project because I should have known from the first project (you know, the one you have yet to give me any feedback on) that my introduction should have been worded differently. It is even less cool when after giving me my final grade on the project (which I might note was already significantly lower than I felt I deserved) that you tell me you changed your mind and are going to decrease my grade even further…not cool. Once you’ve given me a grade you don’t get to change your mind unless doing so would improve my grade. I will recognize the exception of a few teachers who said for recorded presentations you could request a regrade if there were points you didn’t receive you felt that you earned, but gave a disclaimer that they would listen not only for those points but to the entire presentation again and if they found places they gave points that maybe you didn’t completely earn they would take them away. I think that is a fair exception, because trying to grade from a recorded presentation is hard so asking them to do it again even if it is just for part of it is a lot of extra work to ask them to do, so it seems fair to put in some sort of way to discourage people from taking them up on the offer of a regrade unless there is a drastic problem.
I was reading something recently and it said ‘Sometimes “listen, really listen” is not enough, sometimes we need to ask.’ I thought that was a profound statement that is oh so true. Especially for me, there is a lot that I really want to talk about. There is a lot that has happened in my life that it would be really good for me to share, but I don’t. It isn’t that no one will listen – maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t. I mean, some people I doubt would listen, but I know enough people that I bet there are some people who would be happy to listen…but I am someone for whom communication is extremely difficult. I work really hard trying to keep up socially, and as a result I often err on the side of not sharing because it is easier to fit in on that side than on the other side. I think listen, really listen is extremely important, but I also think it is important to remember that listening is the starting point. Sometimes there is more we can uncover if we ask. What might seem small and inconsequential to you could be the hinge keeping the world together to someone else, and this is not always information that people are readily sharing.
Speaking of perspective and reframing, we usually think of adoptions that do not go all the way through as failed adoptions. While some of these failed adoptions may seem to legitimately represent a failure, it may be more helpful to see them not as failed adoptions, but successful decisions to parent. A lot of adoptions “fail” because mom and/or dad had voluntarily listed their child for adoption, but changed their mind and decided to keep him or her. Assuming the bio parents are fit to parent, which tends to be ensured once social services gets involved with a potential adoption, I think it is usually best for a child to stay with his or her bio parents. Adoptions can also “fail” when a child is completely unable to settle in to their adoptive family. While there are better and worse ways to handle this, removing a child from a home that is not meeting their emotional needs and placing that child in a home where they will be able to get their needs met is a huge success for the child. I think I latched onto this idea a little because I do really want to adopt someday, but also because of the larger implication. Sure, I failed to find a residency, but it might be better to say I successfully navigated graduation and starting my career. A couple weeks ago one of my coworkers was talking to a student about me, and it sure sounded like I was a strong addition to the team, not just some loser they felt sorry for and picked up after she’d failed everything else. That was really validating.
I also had a really validating weekend. I wish I could bottle up the weekend to replay. Which sounds really weird, because there were also some negatives this weekend, but there were enough positives that my overall impression of the weekend was positive. I was working 12’s this weekend because we were missing a person so I worked quite a bit of the morning alone, which with a high census like we had can be busy. Multiple times, when I sent techs out to deliver meds they came back letting me know that they had been stopped to pass along that pharmacy was doing an awesome job that morning. That made me feel really good, because most of the time if techs are being stopped it is to field complaints. Also, since I was sending techs out to do deliveries, I was also verifying and checking alone in addition to doing a lot of the tech duties alone, so when the one girl show is actually not making everyone frustrated about having to wait a whole minute for a Tylenol that is success. Also, multiple times techs told me I was their favorite pharmacist. That makes me really happy. It feels really good to be appreciated.
You know what else feels really good? Ginormous snow piles on a 90 plus degree day. A few months ago we had huge snow falls that basically shut down the city which frustrated me because like a news story I read a few years ago stated, millennials are more social than previous generations and even snow storms don’t really discourage them from going out to hang out with friends. The article went on to say that the city the article was from was planning on increasing snow clearing efforts to make it safer since millennials were going to drive whether the city took care of the roads or not. So yeah, I am like other millennials in that even if it snows I want to be able to still attend all my social functions and go on with life even if it takes longer to get there, so it super annoys me when places are closed or events get cancelled for snow. I don’t remember whether it was two days or three days later, but in any case within a very small number of days later, the temperature went above 90 degrees. It was so hot, but there were still humungous mountains of snow way over my head in the morning because it takes time to melt, and even on my way home from work they were still at about shoulder height. As you walk towards those piles the temperature got progressively cooler, and the temperature was actually really manageable if you stood right next to the snow mound. I wished I could just stand next to the snow and not have to go home through the heat, but I knew eventually I would regret that decision.
But y’know, it wouldn’t be the only decision I ever regretted. Sometimes I make decisions I should know there is a 97% chance I will regret later… #frenchvanillacoldbrewsmoothie So I absolutely love the taste of coffee…and I love banana nice cream (faux ice cream made with frozen banana) so I made nice cream and added some French vanilla cold brew coffee into my blender like a month ago…and the immediate gratification of the smoothie in my mouth was so enticing and so worth it. It is super hard to remember that the delayed gratification of not having a headache and upset stomach is probably worth saying no to the caffeine… #definitelynotnoregrets. I am finding that as I get older I am getting less reactive to caffeine, but I definitely still notice it, and even minor sources of caffeine can cause some issues.