Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chronicles of Life ... My new philosophy

Some things are better left unsaid.
I would have never subscribed to this theory in my younger days.
I am by nature a compulsive talker. Granny use to call me motor mouth or mouth all mighty, tongue everlasting.
My talkative personality is a gift and a curse. It took until adulthood for me to realize that.
Getting the last word is like a silent victory for me. And I always have to get MY point across, be it wrong or right.
My mother called it talking back when we had arguments. I saw it as stating my case.
Perhaps realizing silence is golden at an earlier age would have saved me from some spankings. But speech was silver, and I preferred that anyway.
Senior says I love to hear the sound of my own voice. He’s one to talk. Where does he think I get it from?
Every Lawson seems to love to chat it up. A simple five minute conversation can last for hours.
Naturally I inherited that trait since I take after my dad’s side.
But lately I’ve been trying not to talk as much.
Maybe it was because of my friends tuning me out on phone conversations.
More than once I have finished my latest rambling to find them not listening to a word I said.
“Are you even listening?” I asked.
“No, I started tuning you out,” they respond.
I would get mad, but I do know I can go on way too long.
Or it could be because my boss has told me on several occasions I am too chatty.
She doesn’t say it in a mean way. It’s just I tend to talk a lot at the wrong time: namely deadline.
Asking me one question can lead into a lengthy dialogue. Even my co-worker has pulled out the quiet game on me.
Furthermore, how can I forget the many times I’ve come down with the dreaded foot-n-mouth disease?
I often respond first and think later. That usually doesn’t have a good ending.
But I think the real reason I’m deciding to keep mum it because I wish some people just wouldn’t say anything.
As one of my friends would say, “Well if that ain’t the pot calling the kettle black.”
My thoughts on communication are funny like that. I know what irks me, and yet I do the exact same thing.
In recent weeks, I’ve had two instances where people gave me some long, unnecessary explanation filled with useless information.
“This and this caused that and the other, yada yada yada,” they said.
I feel like Sally from the musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” On more than one instant I’ve wanted to respond with her classic, “Why are you telling me?”
It wasn’t like I initiated it.
For what it was worth, they could have kept the comments to themselves. At least wait for the question and answer session.
I guess they just wanted to “state their case,” too.
Ask me if I care. Heck, no!
Can we say hypocrite?
I am already guilty of many faults: pride, wrath and even occasionally sloth. I for one don’t want to be a hypocrite anymore.
What goes around comes around. So if I don’t like something, maybe I should stop doing it too.
When it’s all said and done, maybe I should just be silent.
And that’s MY new philosophy.

The Hartwell Chronicles ... Staying afloat

It’s amazing how time flies.
Each addition of my company’s newsletter contains a section with birthdays and work anniversaries. Guess who’s name was in there for an upcoming one year anniversary?
I can hardly believe it. I will complete a year in Hartwell Aug. 3.
Things have been pretty interesting since day one.
I remember well my journey here. How can I forget?
First, I was crying to a certain person about how I didn’t want to go.
“Ask me to stay, and I will,” I said.
But we both knew that wasn’t the case.
Then my parents were five hours late picking me up from Gainesville.
We were suppose to leave at noon, but knowing Senior I expected him around 3 p.m.
It was after 6 p.m. when we started on that long drive. And I do mean long!
A six and a half hour drive turned into over 10 hours because we kept getting loss.
“If we get lost again, I’m turning around and going back to Jacksonville,” I proclaimed.
My mother responded with words I can’t repeat here.
Later she was pulled over by a state trooper for following too close.
Senior was in the u-haul. I was on his bumper in the Green Machine, but my mom was like 100 feet away in the rental car. How she got stopped, we will never know.
I took all of this as a sign and was ready to turn right around.
But I didn’t.
There was no job waiting for me in Jacksonville. It was time to sink or swim.
We finally made it to the hotel after 1 a.m., and I was delirious with sleep.
My main focus for the next day was finding a place to live and moving in. But I was blessed to get that situated very quickly.
And the family made quick work of bringing in everything.
I started working the next morning at 8 a.m. That afternoon my family left.
I remember feeling very alone when I came home that evening. Somehow I kept from crying.
Slowly I became acclimated with the area. It only took about a week for me to stop getting loss coming home from work.
Too bad that still isn't the case for the rest of the city and county (but at least I can read a map).
Faces became more and more familiar for those on my beats. I didn’t have to coyly ask, “Let me make sure I spell your name correctly,” to find out what it was in the first place.
I’m also feeling a little less loss and a little more sure of myself every day.
Granted the road hasn’t been easy. The Green Machine definitely has some major battle scars.
Between work stress, losing loved ones and just good old life drama, I thought I was sinking a few times.
Things would probably be easier if I had my circle for friends and SISTUHS here. But I am learning to stand alone and on my own. And I know everyone is only one call away.
I’ve learned to following the rhythm of the ocean.
Looking back, I don’t think I’m quite swimming yet. But I’m definitely not sinking.
For now, I’m still floating on down the river of life. But each day I’m getting closer and closer to taking that first real stroke.
(If only I could swim in real life.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Chronicles of Life... a teenage love affair

My baby’s growing up!
Actually, he’s not a baby anymore.
The boy (aka my brother) has fancied himself on my level since I can remember. The fact that he’s newly 16 only further proves his theory that he is “grown.”
I will admit AQ (another nickname) is very mature for his age. He had to be.
All my cousins and I were already eight plus years older than him when he was born.
We didn’t care he was the last grandchild. He had to get on our level pronto.
So we all treated him as an equal. Not to mention my parents didn’t do the whole baby talk thing.
Most of his friends are a few years older. His love interests range no less than one year older.
Let AJ (yet another nickname) tell it, he’s playa, playa from the Himalayas.
He claims he has more game than me, been in more relationships than me and can pull more girls in one day quicker than I can boys in a month.
I won’t deny that. I’m not into the whole dating thing anyway.
But dear brother has always been crazy for the ladies. Recently it seems he’s crazy for only one lady.
Awww!!! A “teenage love affair.”
I’m really digging Alicia Keys’ song “Teenage Love Affair.”
Granted, I think it’s weird she’s singing about high school emotions as an adult with a video set in college. But you’ve got to admit, the song is still catchy:
“Can’t wait to get home
Baby dial your number
Can you pick up the phone
Cause I wanna holla
Daydreaming about you all day
In school can’t concentrate
Want have your voice in my ear
‘Till mama comes and says it’s too late
Cause the lights are on outside
Wish there was somewhere to hide
Cause I just don’t want to say goodbye
Cause you are my baby, baby
Nothing really matters
I don’t really care
What nobody tell me
I’m gunna be here
It’s a matter of extreme importance
My first teenage love affair.”
Makes me reminisce about my first teenage love affair. OK it was at 22, but the feelings still apply.
I learned of the boy’s boo – although he vehemently denies there is a relationship – late this spring.
During one trip home, he kept me awake texting back and forth with her all night long (yes we share a bed because I no longer have a room). I was fit to be tied.
“Go to sleep,” I demanded.
“Get out my bed,” he retorted.
The floor was hard, but at least quiet that night.
I was only home for 2.5 days, but the whole time he was cakin’ on the phone. His inbox and outbox had no less than 500 messages.
Soon enough my deeply ingrained nosiness took over. I learned her name, age, location, you know all the vital big sis questions.
I think we bonded over talks of his “friend that is a girl.”
From what I understand, she’s a nice person.
My parents got to officially meet her Sunday. She was at church and of course Senior (my daddy) had to put the boy on blast.
“Deacon Norwood wants to see you after church, and I want to see the one sitting next to you,” Senior announced.
That’s exactly why I never brought anyone home. Well that and the fact I don’t really date.
My mother, who doesn’t like anybody, even liked her. Now I just have to meet her and give my seal of approval.
I’m excited to officially learn of someone my brother has an interest in. In a way it show’s me he’s growing up and not the little baby I use to dress up in doll clothes.
That will be an interesting topic of discussion or his wifey one day.
But I doubt wedding bells will be ringing anytime soon.
He is only a teenager. And there is a certain friend of mine he would drop all others for in a heartbeat if she would merely bat her eye lashes at him.
Ah teenage love: so fresh, so fickle.