In fact a mature person does not fall in love, he rises in love. The word ’fall’ is not right. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. They cannot manage and they cannot stand – they find a woman and they are gone, they find a man and they are gone. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have that integrity to stand alone.
A mature person has the integrity to be alone. And when a mature person gives love, he gives without any strings attached to it: he simply gives. And when a mature person gives love, he feels grateful that you have accepted his love, not vice versa. He does not expect you to be thankful for it – no, not at all, he does not even need your thanks. He thanks you for accepting his love. And when two mature persons are in love, one of the greatest paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone; they are together so much so that they are almost one. But their oneness does not destroy their individuality, in fact, it enhances it: they become more individual.
Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. How can you dominate the person you love? Just think over it. Domination is a sort of hatred, anger, enmity. How can you think of dominating a person you love? You would love to see the person totally free, independent; you will give him more individuality. That’s why I call it the greatest paradox: they are together so much so that they are almost one, but still in that oneness they are individuals. Their individualities are not effaced – they have become more enhanced. The other has enriched them as far as their freedom is concerned.
Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness.Osho (via lilyjoon)
I wish that I had a fun story to tell y’all about my week off. But unfortunately, this girl got food poisoning/stomach flu/Lord knows and has been sick all week.
BUT, I did manage to make it out half a day to the river with my beautiful friend, Sam. I KNOW it’s because of the media, but it is weird to me that suburbia exists outside of New York City. I don’t know if I truly thought the city stretched on for the entire state. But getting to go to New City and Nyack and other areas around there almost made me homesick! Homesick! For suburbia! Me!
We spent the first part of the date on Sam’s boyfriend’s boat. He is from Tennessee, and he had family from Tennessee so Sam was truly outnumbered. (Damn, I miss Tennessee. Can you tell?) I now know the appeal of floating down the Tennessee River. Boats are awesome. The wind. The water. (Too bad I’m see through and had to slap on sunscreen every five minutes.) Josh has this AMAZING dog. So sweet. But he loves the water, and it’s so funny to watch him fly into the river and chase after ducks.
After a wonderful but brief trip, we headed back. And the raging food poisoning kicked in once again. I loved the town that we went to. It almost made me nostalgic for a place like Collierville or Dahlonega. But, after twenty minutes, I was in so much pain it was hard to stand, so my sweet friend took me home.
(Why does this always happen during the fun times?!)
The next night was the boat cruise around Manhattan. Gorgeous. I am so spoiled. Great company. Great views. Windy weather. I felt like a princess. New York is truly breathtaking.
As is what always happens when I’m adjusting to a new situation, I get a little introspective. (Shocking, I know.)
If you have the answers…
Recently, I’ve been thinking about friendship and relationship and connection. At what point in our lives do we stop caring about “being cool?” At what point do we choose to hang out with the people who edify us and build us up and inspire us to be better? At what point do we forge our own path and ignore what may be seemingly “cool?” At what point are we seriously just too old to put up with this crap anymore?
Cliques are endless. And limitless. And sometimes hurtful. But at some point, we have to sit back and realize, we bond with certain people because we have shared connections. Shared values. Shared likes. Shared dreams. Why should I spend any time trying to force myself upon people who may not want me there to begin with?
I have people that build me up! And that I want to spend all of my time with. Even in this short time of being here.
I want to cherish the good in my life. If someone does not like me, that is not my problem. (As long as I have not been hurtful.) It’s still hard for me to let go of the fact that I don’t have to be everything to everyone. If someone isn’t nice to me, I can just let that person go instead of fighting for their approval.
Of course this is easier said than done. And of course, I have been on the other side of this. Being the exclusive one. Being the one that is too gossipy and hurtful. That’s not fun, either.
If anyone has any advice, insight, anything, I’m always open.
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool." -Almost Famous
Weekly blogging turned out to be a BUST when grad school rolled around. (Who would have thought that squeezing a semester into a month would have been hard? Certainly not this girl…
So, here is my month in review! It was quite a hectic one. But I’m going to try to sum it up as best I can and as best I can remember.
Columbia School of Social Work
I arrived at Columbia all bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to start my new career and learnings and experiences.
But by the end of orientation, I was already a bit bored. (Shocker, I know.)
The next few days were more intimidating. These teachers. Oh my goodness. They were very hypocritical. All at once telling us that they are our peers (which is just not so), then telling us how we were wrong in our thinking.
The more time I spent in grad school, the more I became thankful for my undergraduate experience. Our professors at Belmont encouraged our open thinking. They encouraged us to be radical but look at all sides. That’s not really how grad school works. Our professors wanted us to have one streamlined way of thinking, but called it “dialogue” so it seemed like a learning experience. (I may seem snarky here, but it’s really hard to describe the atmosphere of this class.)
Another thing: the professors just wanted us to jump into the water without a lifejacket. WHICH IS FINE. But they basically told us they would not answer any questions about the assignments, nor would they give us feedback until we had gotten a grade. I get it. You don’t want 77 students emailing you at all hours of the day, but, but, but…I’ve never written an OpEd in my life. Some of my peers had never written an annotated bibliography (THANKS, DEB)! And the weirdest of all, they graded us for how we asked a question. You could have gotten a “B” for asking the wrong question!
Grad school is not a place to disagree. I lean on the somewhat conservative side of being a liberal. So much so as at this point in my life, I’d have to call myself a moderate. (But I hate politics. ‘Tis why I am a clinical social worker. Let other people handle that ish.)
These classes attacked conservatives with not a lot of evidence to back it up. I GET IT. Republicans help the rich, promote capitalism, and drive the margin of wealth deeper and deeper. (Dad, I can hear your argument here. I’m sure I’ll get a phone call later.) But at the end of the day, being a Republican does not mean you are synonymous with Satan. I disagree with a lot of conservative policies, but does that mean I think they are bad people? No. Not at all. Zero. You cannot just lump people in together and say they are the same. And maybe I take it too personally because the majority of my family proudly represents the GOP, and I think they are amazing people. But at the end of the day, my anger comes back to not looking at both sides of the argument.
But then again, there are some things that I just disagree on and don’t really look at the other side of the argument. (Insert notion of hypocrisy and biases here!) So, at the school of social work, I assumed we were all on the same page. We all have a bachelor’s in social work. We all have the desire to help others. We should all be on similar pages, but there are some things that I heard throughout the four weeks that were just shocking to me. Shocking.
But at the end of the month…Nope. Didn’t really learn much. But fear not, I am not discouraged! I am very excited for my real grad school classes. I’m taking electives about the corrections system and addictions. Two of my favorites. It’s going to be good!
What Would Carrie Do?
I wish HBO would redo Sex and the City for this day and age. (Don’t argue that that’s what Girls is. I love Girls. I adore Girls. I try to be Jessa, even though I am TOTALLY a Shoshana type. But it’s just not the same.) As mentioned previously, this girl has jumped on the online dating train.
And. It. Stinks.
Okay, that’s too broad of a statement. I have met some true gems. (A man who has turned out to be one of the most intelligent I know; A truly kind high school math teacher.)
But this is not a time to talk about the gems. This is a time to talk about the FAILURES.
I had a rough week. I decided I wanted to date. Just date. So I had a week of really, really, really bad dates. One guy took me on his lunch break to a small cafe and proceeded to never speak to me again after I told him I was not interested in casual sex. One guy lied about his age and ended up being much older than I expected. But the true icing on top of the cake was, let’s call him P.
P is a video game designer, and he doesn’t let you forget it. When I told him that I wanted to be an addiction counselor, he told me about the cocaine he does to stay awake while finishing up a game. P also thinks he is the smartest man to ever walk this green earth. (A 28 year old, still bragging about his SATs. Cute, right?) To top off everything wonderful about P, he smelled. And I don’t mean a faint musk. I mean the body odor of a man who has just finished the Appy Trail without the rugged appeal. Oh, this date was terrible. So terrible. He took me to this loud, tiny bar where we couldn’t even talk. He kept telling me that he knew how much I wanted him. No. Not the case. But here’s the crazy part. I’m nice, so I went out on another date with him a few days later. (Instaregret.)
I’m not trying to find a boyfriend. I like being I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.E.N.T. But at the end of the day, it would be nice to have, you know, have a guy that wants to have intelligent conversation with me over wine on a semi-consistent basis. Is that too much to ask?
Sweethearts are Everywhere!
So after the terrible date with P, I went ahead and gave into a good cry. Not because of anything he said or did, just sort of one of those pitiful “WhYyYyYyY MeEeEeEe” moments. That good cry just happened to be on the Subway when I was headed home. At first I was in a car that was pretty abandoned. Not anyone sitting across from me. I was letting the hiccuping sobs fall where they pleased.
Then the earth mother shows up. That’s really what she was. She had this uneven hair cut, soft eyes, wearing a hemp necklace and a warm, earthy yellow dress. She let me cry for another stop. Then she stood up, and I knew what was coming. The lady (Megan), bless her, just came over and hugged me until I had to change trains. Didn’t really ask me what was wrong. Just told me her name, and then she said that no one should be alone, crying on the Subway. She also said she has done it more times than she could count.
Then, no more than a few days later, I was in the Subway, sharing a pole on a very crowded afternoon. The girl I ended up talking to (Stephanie) was SO nice. She told me about her life, a cool place to run in the city, places to avoid walking at night. She also, funnily enough, designs new stuffed animals from previously loved ones. (And they are the best things I have seen. CHECK THEM OUT. Frankenstuffs on Etsy.) After a day by myself, it was nice to have a friend on the commute home to just share in life with.
I’ll Be There For You
Speaking of friends, I’ve made some pretty stellar ones in my month of grad school. I never understood what people meant by saying they wished they could go back and do undergrad with certain people, but now I totally get it.
So first, there’s Sam and Kayla. I sat next to Sam on the first day of orientation. At first I thought she was part of this cliquish group, but I was so wrong. We became FAST friends. And when I was telling Sam I went to Belmont, Kayla piped up from behind saying she knew a girl from Belmont. Turns out, it was a girl from my study abroad trip. (Cue “It’s a Small World” Theme.)
And we have been pretty inseparable ever since. (And I love it.) Sam and I are a little crazy, and Kayla keeps us level headed it. So it works out perfectly. They are both truly wonderful and gorgeous girls, inside and out. I’d be lost without them, this much I know for sure! Plus, we spent the first weekend together sipping on WAY too many mimosas at brunch.
Then, at this terribly awkward Personal Development and Self Awareness seminar, I bonded with Laura and Sammi. Laura is hysterical. She could probably tell you the name of any nail polish color you could ever dream of. Plus, this girl is just one of those hysterically honest people. She’ll tell you whatever she is thinking and feeling. Sammi is such a soulmate of mine. I found a fellow grandmother. Plus, we may have bonded over unlimited margaritas. (Which I will never do again, parents, I promise.)
I’m glad I have met such a good little bunch here. It makes New York feel like home.
But it’s also great when old friends come to visit! Melissa came to see me when I very much needed to see her face. We spent a lot of time cuddled up in the bed. Reminicisng. But we also went to High Line, Chelsea, West Village, tons of delicious food places, Broadway. All the stops. It’s hard to say how much I miss her. Some people you are not meant to be parted from. Of this I am now sure.
So, there was a mouse in my apartment. It was 1:30am. I am (obvi) watching Netflix, and I see something run along the baseboards. At first I think, giant bug. (Which, in retrospect, probably would have FREAKED me out even more.) So I turn off the Netflix and stare.
About five minutes later, when I’m sure I have gone insane, I see it. It’s tiny little head pop out from behind the radiator.
And I lose my everloving mind.
I start sobbing. Uncontrollably. Shaking. Calling everyone in my phone that I think lives remotely close. No one answers.
But I CANNOT be alone in the room with this three ounce TERROR. So I take every ounce of courage I possibly have in my body and RUN out of my room to get my doorman.
Now, I know it’s not in my doorman’s job description to help with mice. He knows this, too. But at this point, I’m nearly hyperventilating, and I think he’s afraid of me actually passing out if he says no.
So he comes to help me find the mouse. And nothing. Can’t find a thing. And I KNOW I’m not crazy. So I stay up all night because, well, terror.
And yes, the tears were partially out of fear of this small, harmless creature. But also a little out of loneliness. I know exactly what I would have done if I ever saw a mouse in Nashville. I would have gone and gotten Allie, and we would have put our heads together, called everyone we knew, and then somehow managed to deal with it on our own. Then, we would have had a sleepover and really just ended up staying up talking all night.
It just sort of set in for me that I don’t have that right now. Maybe I will when my new roommates move in. But it’s just a little lonely having no one to share the random roommate aspects of life with. (Miss you, Als.)
Other Random Happenings
But mostly, I’m keeping my heart open. New York City is an amazing place.
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?”
― Langston Hughes