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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Dating Thoughts

I've been having some conversations lately with people about dating. I have a few friends who, for the first time in their lives, are actively seeking to date. In the past, they have just happened to come across people who they fell into relationships with. And now, they are in situations where they have to really put effort and thought into meeting someone with the goal of a relationship.

I've had the opposite experience. I've usually been in the situation where I was actively seeking partners to date. It's a much more intensive, draining and frustrating process. Maybe because you have a picture in mind of your ideal outcome but little control over really actualizing and finding that picture.

But the plus side is that you are seeking what you really want instead of possibly falling into something good, but possibly having major issues be hidden until a relationship has already developed, and having that elusive chemistry shield you from seeing the real deal. Though that can certainly happen when seeking to date also, but I do think you start out with a narrower, and hopefully more targeted, focus.

It's all difficult with no promised results. It's all draining. But you can't win unless you try.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


This post by Gila at My Shrapnel once again hits the nail on the head.

This past year, while working with my students, I often found it hard to believe what some of these teenagers had gone through in their short lives. It made me feel really lucky and a little bit spoiled about the fact that I feel like I've gone through some difficult times. When really, in comparison to a 14-year-old who has experienced traumatic physical, emotional and sexual abuse, my pains are nothing. I truly am blessed when I look at it that way, and my challenges have been for the best to help me be able to help others, to be a strong individual and to have the confidence to know that I can make it through difficult situations.

And the other point Gila brings up - whether all these things are fair. Well, as my parents often told me while I was growing up - life isn't fair. If you add God to the equation and try to rationalize and put things in terms of the bigger picture, maybe some people can walk away with peace of mind. I can't really. I know I can't and never will understand. The horrible things that some people go through just are not fair. And I guess I have to stop wanting it to be.

I've heard the phrase that goes something to the effect of "if you don't expect much, you won't get disappointed." I'm not completely in line with that thinking, but I do believe that if you don't expect to have all the bells and whistles and breaks and ease of your neighbor, maybe you can feel better about your own lot. If you don't try to compare and you just work your hardest to get through what you are thrown, then you can take it one day at a time. It's impossible to compare, because how do you assign relative value to the assets and gifts, or challenges and frustrations, that one person has over another?

I think what it all boils down to is attitude. There is not a whole lot else you have control over. But you can choose to see things as a gift and lucky and a blessing. Or you can choose to see the same things as a burden and a curse. That's your choice. And I think that makes a huge difference.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Almost Done!

I had my final session of one of my classes last night. All I have left is class on Monday and the final day at my internship on Tuesday and then I will have officially completely all my requirements for my Master's degree. Which is crazy. At the same time, it seems to have been forever and no time at all.

We celebrated in class last night. This particular class has been a year-long course, accompanying my internship. So I've seen the same faces weekly since September. We have shared challenges and accomplishments.

As I looked around at my classmates, some of whom I knew even before this year, I realized that I didn't really know any of them well. I don't have any of their phone numbers. I've never hung out with any of them outside of school. A couple of them are Facebook friends, but that's it. I feel very much like an outsider there.

This is in large part because my life is very different from most of the other students in my class. The majority of them don't work and came to the program straight from undergrad. It took most of them the typical two years to finish the program, following the class curriculum, while it took me three years, attending part-time.

So I left class last night with mixed feelings. I'm very proud at having finished my program, and having finished successfully. I have learned and grown and I think I have done a good job. I have come to the conclusion that I have picked the right field for myself, which is a huge thing. But in some small way I feel like I have failed because I have not forged friendships with my classmates. I guess it just tints my feelings of accomplishment a little bit.

In general, I am proud of myself. Really, really proud. I know that this degree was about pursuing a career that I would really feel is meaningful and that will allow me to make a difference. And I have accomplished that goal. And if not with my classmates, then I will celebrate with my friends and co-workers, who have been the ones who I have made those connections with over the past three years.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Israel is 60!

Israel is officially a 60 year old nation today, and I think that's something to celebrate.