Month: May 2015

Be A Considerate Restaurant-Goer

Okay, dudes. I just have to rant a little bit. Bear with me here, please.

If you go into a restaurant where a host or server seats you, let them fucking do their job and seat you. Unless you have a legitimate need to be in a specific place, and you tell them about itthen deal with where they put you. Chances are there’s a system in place to keep the servers from becoming overwhelmed and to keep seating fair between the sections. When you request to sit somewhere other than where they’ve already started to take you, you’re wasting their time and you’re probably going to be viewed as an asshole. Because, more than likely, you are.

Mars must have been in freaking retrograde or some shit tonight because every other table we got requested to either be moved or to sit in a section other than the one we were taking them. There was one baby on one half of the restaurant, and three freaking tables decided that the actually quiet baby was going to absolutely ruin their dinner so decided to take it upon themselves to let us know how to seat.

One table decided, after being seated, that they liked the look of another booth better. What. The. Actual. Shit. I’m sorry, did I hear you correctly? That table looks better? What is it? The identical upholstery? Were the salt and pepper shakers in better alignment? Fuck off, dude, and sit where we take you.

Also, if you know when a restaurant closes, chances are when you go in fifteen minutes before that time and order full-on dinners, the server (and the cook!) kind of hates you. Then, when you order dessert 24 minutes after close, they really just want to stab you in the chest with the ice cream scoop. Then, when you tip them 12%, they never want to see you again.

So please…be courteous. You can have preferences, just communicate them early and effectively. Please. And don’t be that guy and go in one minute to close and shout upon entering “I have a reservation for one minute to close!” Because that’s actually happened before. And because thems fightin’ words, asshat.

I have been thinking about this blog post all night. Hopefully it wasn’t too intense. Kind of not sorry if it was.

Until next time, folks! Love to you all! (unless you’re shitty to your server!)

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Two Years

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I am spending the night at my mom’s house tonight, and I took the opportunity to go through all of my clothes in storage to figure out what I still wanted to keep and what I was going to donate. I came upon this dress. I wore this dress two years ago to my sorority formal (left photo) and I decided to see what it looked like on me tonight (right photo). Needless to say, when put together, these photos are pretty shocking.

This post is about how beautiful, forceful, and rewarding time can be.

Two years ago I looked like this. Happy (ish), yes… but unhealthy. I ate (mostly) well but ignored my body. I was a typical 20-something who didn’t really worry about how I treated myself.

Today I am continuing on a path that was started almost a year ago. Every day I have to put effort into my body and every day my body rewards me by being stronger, healthier, and happier. Only time has allowed this progress.

Two years ago I was in a relationship with someone who I let define me. Someone who unintentionally held me back because of the love and comfort I felt with her and of the love and comfort she felt with me. I  allowed myself to believe that I had found the best partner I could, because I wasn’t that great of a catch, anyway, so she had to be it, right? I found myself defining my worth by my relationship status. I was worth more in a relationship, even a bad one, because it proved I was desirable.

Today I have been single for almost two years. Time has healed the wounds of our messy break-up and time has taught me that I can love myself without having someone else to love me. Time has shown me that I can be happy, fulfilled, and confident without being in a relationship. Time has taught me that dating can be fun, that it can suck, and that it is entirely up to me what I get to do in my life. I am making decisions based on my ideas and feelings and not factoring in a partner’s, and that is a very liberating feeling.

Two years ago I was less than six months removed from the most traumatic experience in my life. I was broken. I hid behind a relationship, classes, Greek obligations, and two jobs. I hid behind a smile and alcohol. Two years ago I didn’t see a road to recovery, I saw a road full of mediocrity leading to possible salvation from the absolute horror that was my daily life.

Today I can say that I am truly happy. I get frustrated sometimes, I get sad sometimes. But I am happy. I am confident. I love myself, and time has taught me that only I have the final say in what happens to my body. Time has taught me that not all men are monsters. I have learned that with love and a little help from family, friends, and the college therapist, time really can heal wounds you never thought would mend.

Two years ago I was a junior in college. I had a year left of school and I had one last summer on the campus staff. I was wily and rebellious. I had just been elected president of my sorority. I was on the verge of a major success or a major failure. I was afraid of making decisions and terrified to write a research paper that decided my final Honors grade.

Today I have a bachelor’s degree in History. Today I can look back on my three incredible summers and the work ethic they instilled in me (that’ll make my boss laugh if she reads this- but it is totally true). Today I can call one of my very best friends and he will answer and talk to me about nothing… or anything. I can thank that summer for his friendship and our bond. Today I can thank my presidency (and my sorority) for instilling in me a sense of responsibility and accountability I had never experienced before. I have taken these two years to reflect on my experiences and adjust my personality and decisions based on my final year in school and this past year of soul-searching.

Two years ago I didn’t have a clear goal in mind for what I wanted to do. I didn’t have much confidence in myself or my abilities. I had friends and relied on their, and potential suitors’, opinions of me to validate my feelings and myself in general.

Today I have a job that I am moving partially across the country for. I know that I deserve that opportunity. I know that I am smart. I am hilarious. I am kind, caring, and determined. I am a stubborn asshole and I am honest. I am proud of who I am. Today I know that I am beautiful. I have a great smile and a bomb-ass haircut. I have biceps (kinda) and abs (kinda) and that’s freaking awesome. Today I love myself. And that I owe to time and all of the wonderful people that I have decided to keep in my life and spend that time with.

Spend your time doing the things that bring you joy with the people that bring you joy. Time is so precious- you can’t get it back. Invest in yourself and your happiness and you will see that time will reward your efforts. Spend your time wisely and reflect on your time spent regularly.

Oh, and I’m totally keeping that dress.

Time-Traveling State of Mind

There’s some famous quote that says something like “Depressed people live in the past, anxious people live in the future, and peaceful people live in the moment.” While that sounds all beautiful and simplistic, I think it’s a little bit bullshit.

Let me tell you why…

Sometimes depressed people hate the present moment. What happens to them every day- day in and day out- is shitty and makes them depressed. They might have a perfectly “normal” past without trauma or tragedy- they’re just depressed. They could also be super depressed about something that might be happening in the future…. just about anything can cause (and perpetuate) depression, it’s not necessarily the past.

Anxious people can be anxious about the present moment. Plain old existing can be enough to make someone with anxiety upset. It’s not always a “what if” scenario that’s freaking them out- they could be publicly speaking or in a room with a hundred people, or in any sort of situation that currently makes them feel anxious. Anxious people can also get super caught up in that one time that one thing happened and feel anxious any time they’re in that situation again- which is crazy ’cause that is living in both the past and the future- apparently people with anxiety are time travelers in my mind.

Peaceful people totally know where it’s at, though. Peaceful people can remember the past and not let it affect their present state of mind. They can live in the moment and let it wash over them like a soft wave at the beach but can wonder and dream about the future while allowing it to carry them in its current. Peaceful people have developed a way to cope with past experiences and worries about the future- it is not that they don’t dwell or worry- it is that they understand that life will happen whether or not they try to let it. Sometimes bad shit happens and sometimes incredible shit happens. You just have to be at peace with yourself and your life choices and allow your path of life unfold before you step after step.

Peace out, friends. Until next time.

Teaching is Learning

I’m frustrated, guys. Super frustrated.

I am a lowly AmeriCorps volunteer in an elementary school here in Cleveland. I work very hard every day to make sure that these children are supplied with the tools they need to become efficient readers and good people. I get paid next to nothing to do this. But this is not where my complaint lies.

My complaint lies with all of the teachers I’ve met (at this school as well as others) who seem to believe that as soon as you have a teaching certificate then you get to stop learning and adapting.

What kind of logic is that? Education is continuously evolving, and we need to evolve with it. I’m not even a certified teacher yet and I know this. I know that as our world changes, so do our children. And as our children change, so must our methods.

Teaching is learning. You must learn about your students, their proficiencies and obstacles. You must learn about new methods of monitoring students’ progress and you have to freaking adapt to all the things you’re learning.

You’d think that people who choose a career path solely focused on learning would remember that learning is the key to progress and success…forever.

/end rant. Thanks for reading. Until next time, folks!