Thursday, March 24, 2011


Friends come, Friends go. Some friends stay in your mind, some friends stay in your heart. Some friends are around for a short amount of time in life, some friends are around forever, whether you want them to be or not.

Recently I was going through old photos, of me and some of my early childhood friends. Snapshots taken at various times, birthdays, play-dates, school gatherings, etc, you know, the usual get- togethers children congregate for. I recognized all the faces, and memories hit me like bricks, stuff I hadn't thought of in years. I looked at each face, and realized, maybe not for the first time, the who and what kind of people shaped my individual life.

  • There were my cousins, first and foremost, not only because they are family, but because we got along, and love (for the most part) flowed evenly.
  • There was the girl next door, who if not for her in our early childhood, I think I would have been lonely, because my older brother and her older brother didn't want us hanging around them and their friends.
  • There was the girl down the street, "the girl with the pointy glasses" as my cousin used to call her, who if not for her, I don't think I would have learned to draw and be just the little artistic that I am.
  • There was the girl who lived around the corner, who if not for her, I wouldn't have learned the meaning of humility, after I stepped into her house and witnessed her entire family screaming with sorrow over the loss of a pet bird.
  • There was the girl who's family was poor, who if not for her, I wouldn't have learned what it meant to be scraping by with dignity.
  • There was the girl, who if not for her, I wouldn't have learned what it meant to accept people with a disability, her mom suffered from Cebral Palsy.
  • There was the girl who, if not for her, I would not know the meaning of guilt. I left her, because of the fight her brother and mine got into. She was a good friend, but because of some stupid allegiance to my brother, I dumped our friendship with no explanation. That still haunts me today, and I wish I could go back.
Then there were pictures of life after early childhood, the teenage years. In School we all make friends, most people make friends for life, I wasn't so lucky. After grade school, any chance of lasting friendship, went downhill in lieu of a boyfriend that started in my sophomore year of High School, and he became my world. Friends dotted the landscape, mostly his friends, people I wanted them to like me, because I liked him. But there were no solid relationships, nothing I can look back on and remember fondly, only as a matter of fact. For that matter, the only real friends I counted on were the same age(ish) cousins, who lived 3 hours from my home, they probably kept me in check when I needed the kind of friends everyone else had. When I started to drive, I found myself driving that 3 hour trek, just to be around them, because I needed them, even if they didn't need me. I had a desire to know I had friendship, I needed to talk with them about stuff everyone else was talking about. I needed my cousins just to hang and feel better about teenage angst.

So I don't have a lot of pictures today of my current friendships, which is funny, given my love of photography. Right now, there are a few friends who mean the world to me.

  • One stems from knowing each other in early childhood, not because we were great friends at the time, but because we connected later in life and realized we should be friends. She means a whole lot to me, even though we don't see each other as much as I'd like, just knowing that we can connect at any minute, sits in my heart like a bright beautiful rainbow.
  • One stems from a job we had together. This friendship was unexpected, our lives were thrown together because of a mutual set of acquaintances. Suddenly we shared a daily commute to and from that work, and we had some awesome conversations, shared some magnificent epiphanies, and laughed a great deal. It hurts that she lives so far away now, that our one on one time is now confined to a brief visit. In fact I just saw her, and when we parted, I walked away crying, because we both know its useless to try anything else.
  • One stems from new motherhood. She and I have daughters about the same age. She and I connected in a natural way, just getting each other. It's a nice, and easy friendship, I completely appreciate her, and I think she appreciates me too.
  • Of course there are other friends that I adore. I love to be around them, gather news, learn about their lives, know what's new. And I think of them often and would love to get together more, but our lives are busy, I understand that. I appreciate when they think of me, and I hear of something we can do together, it's always lovely in so many ways.
  • And the most wonderful, fulfilling, loving friendship of all, is my family. My parents, my brother, my husband and daughters. It's a different kind of friendship truly, but the best of all.
Friendship is bigger than we think, I wonder how many people take these friendships we have for granted? I try not too, because it's part of who I am as a person. From the that first baby your mom sat you down next too, to the person you sit across from at the local coffee bar today, it's someone to connect with, someone to share, laugh or cry with, it's a person like you, or even the opposite of you, that makes life full.

It's still shaping my individual life.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Politics, no change?

Here's something I never thought I would delve into, Politics. wow.

For the most part of my life I did not pay attention to the world of Politics, because frankly, every time I've listened to any politician, they all sound exactly the same. They all promise the same things, do the same things, look the same way. There really isn't much deviation. I mean, I have always voted, because I can, and vote which way I do because of which party I signed onto . And truth be told, I followed the majority of my family, because I didn't know any better, and figured if it was good enough for them, its good enough for me. I never sat down, outside my Civics class in High School, and those fun little cartoons from the 70's (I'm just a Bill, and I sit here on Capitol Hill...) and learned about the intricacies of politics, who was doing what, what party stood for what, who was more criminal than his or her counterpart. As I said, they all sounded just alike, they all look alike. I think part of me wished they could all be as cute as that little Bill who sat on Capitol Hill, all sweet, humble and full of sorrow.

But with this last Presidential Election, I finally sat up straight and paid attention. Probably for the first time in my life, I believed that someone could finally make a difference. There was so much hope, A first Woman President, A first African American President, anybody besides someone who threw America into a nonsense war, or another just like him who would most likely do the same thing. Maybe someone who would get the USA back on track and save us from a Depression, or worse. A woman, intelligent, brilliantly situated and seasoned, ready to embrace the future, I really pulled for her. Then as she lost the Primary, here was this AA dude, likable and smart. He picked up from where she trailed off, and I listened to him. Unfortunately he did look like any other politician, said the same tired lines any Presidential Hopeful has said in the past. But still, it was like a wave of change was coming. At least that's what I wanted to see, we all wanted to see it I think. I was happy that he won, my daughter was very young, I remember holding her in front of the TV saying, "if he did it, you can too". The tide has finally shifted, I thought maybe we can put all the stupidity behind us and walk into the future with open opportunity.

Well, Social networking has become a huge part of our lives, no one can deny it. So on Facebook, Twitter, even my beloved Flickr, I find that my hopes for putting stupidity behind us isn't reality. There are too many people who fight change, I just don't understand why. Our President today is in turmoil, not because he's a bad President, but simply people can't agree that what he is doing, working hard and putting policy in place to make life better, necessary for the greater good. For them, who oppose him, It's scary, to pass laws that change the way things have always been. It's scary, to have someone who believes in the Average American, not Military to bring us out of helpless economic downturn. It's scary, to look forward, with our head up, and step aside the fear that forces us to look down, staying on the straight and narrow. For me it's not all that scary, I like change, I've said it, I'll keep saying it. But what is scary, is the frightened folks who are willing to do whatever necessary to keep others from stepping away from the narrow path.

Because the more it seems we fight over the stupidity of situations, the less appealing it is to see if anything will come of it. Which in the end, nothing ever does, or not to a point where everyone is satisfied. I recently read that one single Bill, a simple Bill, to lower the volume on TV commercials took over 30 years to pass. Was that the Bill the little guy on the step of the Capitol was waiting for? If it took so long for this seemingly simple Bill to even come up in the Senate, what about all the tough problems? How long will the tough ones take?

So, Now, I look at Politics, and wonder if I should go back into my mode of not paying attention, just voting my party, rather than my conscience. It's not going to change no matter what I or others want. There are good things and bad things that come out of the world of Politics, but it all remains the same, for the most part.