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Posts Tagged ‘discovery’

The other day a friend asked me if I was the type of person who sets goals and starts projects, but lets them fall to the wayside, whether I was the type of person who lacked follow through. And the answer to that is a simple yes.

I am that person.

There is so much I would like to accomplish, specifically in reference to my writing, yet I cannot force myself to follow through on any novel I start or on any promise I make to myself. So it got me wondering about why that is.

Why don’t I follow through on my goals? Why can’t I push myself to abide by any plans I lay out?

And I don’t think there is a simple answer. It’s a question I’ve been dealing with in various ways for the past year. It’s the question of why I have such a hard time deciding my own fate and future. I’ve been struggling to find myself, both personally and professionally. And while I feel I discover myself a little more every day, I am still quite a long way from fully knowing the answers.

I know that this feeling of constant searching has affected my ability to follow through on plans and achieve any goals I set for myself. The quest for self discovery is so draining in and of itself that I haven’t been doing many things I enjoy. I don’t read as often, I don’t go out to movies as much as I would like, etc. I feel exhausted all the time with the combination of my mystery illness and my search for a career.

The good news is, that since writing the first part of this post, I have finally decided what I would like to do. It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time, and always kept in the back of my mind. I’ve decided to go back to school to get my Masters in Library and Information Sciences. That’s right! I’m going to be a librarian.

While this may not be the most glamorous career, I’m incredibly excited. It’s a career that I feel would fit my needs very well, both as a literary addict and as a public servant. I would get to spend my days surrounded by books and information, while helping a public to find anything they are looking for. I could help to organize reading hours for toddlers or book clubs for women or do literary outreach to senior citizens. I’ll be able to still teach, but my students will be people who are really looking for help, whether it is with literacy or information about certain topics. I haven’t felt this excited about anything like this in years, possibly since college.

So along with the end of my quest has come the feeling of relief. Now I’ll just have to follow through with my plans to return to school in the next 6 months. if it sounds like I’m slipping, remind me to follow through!

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I heard this phrase in a Gym Class Heroes song and it inspired this very short story that follows.

He said to her, I hate you like a slug hates salt.

For Majorie, this was more than just one of the usual insults that are thrown her way on a daily basis. She had gotten accustomed to the dark scowls and stares in the hallways. She grown used to the whispers in the locker room, or the threatening notes slipped between the slats of her locker. Majorie had even found the “I hate you” statements said straight forwardly to her face, or sometimes to her back, as she walked through one clique or another, rather ordinary.

But this one was different. This insult meant something more to Majorie than the other ones. This insult at last revealed something about the hatred she had found so absurd and incomprehensible. Why would they ALL hate her so? Surely there must be one of them that could like her, just a little bit; someone to say hi to in the mornings and wave to as they passed on their way to class. Surely someone could sympathize with her plight. She hadn’t know what she had done was wrong. It had felt like the right thing to do. And that’s what was so puzzling, it had felt SO right, deep in her soul, in her stomach, down to the cells in her toenails, she knew that it was the right thing to do.

What had it gotten her, this surety of justification? The scorn of the students that surrounded her day in and day out. Majorie recognized that the politics of high school were difficult to navigate. She consciously knew that by alienating those students most popular, she had created a ripple effect in the social pool, eventually creating the tidal wave that swept her away to an isolated island so far, she couldn’t even see the other unpopular people from here. Majorie sulked and cursed silently when she thought of those freaks and geeks who suffered at the hands of the popular kids, but still did nothing to aid her isolated suffering. How could they not see how closely their stars were aligned? How could they not see how she was just a hair’s breath away from where they might be should they choose to do the right thing as well? How could the social outcasts of high school leave her so outcast?

And then one day, that boy, the one who stared at her over lunch tables and through crowded rows in class, had said this to her. “I hate you like a slug hates salt.”

Majorie knew that slugs would definitely hate salt as it was deadly to them. But Majorie felt there was more to this that just a reference to how she poisoned the student body. She felt that there must be a clue here; that somewhere in this statement was the life-line she had been waiting, praying for. Majorie must break it down.

She mulled it over in her mind at night before bed and in the morning over the sink. She focused on the words as she walked silently through the noisy halls, as if the phrase had created a protective bubble around her. Notes that had been slid into her locker fell to the ground unnoticed. The unspoken words that seemed to deafen her at lunch and after school, went unheard as she listened to the phrase over in her head and rolled the words carefully around in her mouth and over her tongue, tasting each one. This last insult formed a shield, armor, steel plated around Majorie, so that the cruelty of each day sounded like a faint ping upon that armor instead of the slashing wounds it had been prior to the day of the insult.

I hate you like a slug hates salt.

I hate you was clear enough, but it was in the simile that Majorie felt the clue must lie. She’d already recognized the reference to poison, and how she must be the salt in this comparison. So it was the slug she found intriguing.

Could a slug hate? Was a slug even aware of salt in the first place? Was it only once the slug was placed in the salt that it became aware of it’s hatred for it? Making any hatred the slug had prior to that moment, just hatred of the unknown possibility of poison or death. Thus was Majorie this threat, the threat of the unknown, the threat of the possibility of death, of destruction over everything the slug is? Did Majorie wield that much power? Was she so challenging to this world of petty politics and feuding cliques that she was to be equated with the death of just such a world?

This was a revelation for Majorie. This was a moment of greatness so overwhelming, Majorie nearly fainted in class. She hardly noticed the stares and gawks as she slipped out of the classroom down the hall to the bathroom. Majorie this time didn’t shrink from the room, she smirked and stood tall.

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