Friday, August 20, 2010

Character-Building & A Building's Character

Today marks a week of being back on-campus at LMU for Resident Assistant Training. A lot has happened in the past seven days even outside the jam-packed itinerary handed out to us at the onset. The most noteworthy is the immersion into human contact and communication that can be anything from awkward to awesome. I realized that, with merely one similarity, others can sprout and blossom. Sharing and encouraging an exchange is not as difficult as I sometimes think it is.
Something is to be said about those "annoying, irritating and useless" ice-breakers that get everyone to open up a bit more to one another. Maybe there is something else at work when these endeavors are taken like a unity of disliking these activities. I dare even to appreciate them and their awkwardness and embarassment.
I realized quite early on that I am extremely lucky to be a part of the staff of which I am a part. My colleagues/co-workers are exactly the type of people Jack Kerouac would approve of. Even the most commonplace thing is interpreted as a joke beyond jokes and a hilarity beyond laughter. The only true ingredient necessary for this recipe is open-ness. Open-mindedness to different ideas and open-heartedness to complete strangers will bring us closer together and closer to our common goal.
An important confession is that, while I've got open-mindedness down, open-heartedness is just out of my reach. Going along with the motions, volunteering for certain things, and being forced to do others, I saw in myself a type of tentative understanding of people from what I would imagine is their complicated perspective without any assumptions or stereotypes but the vulnerability of letting others know how highly I might think of them is lacking majorly. Perhaps this all plays into a bigger role of self-defense and preemptive strike but I really do wish those ''roman candles'' knew I thought they were as bright and precious as gold.

On the other hand, sometimes friends let you down in ways they do not even understand. While being back reminded me of that, I am aware that there is only room for movement forward. Backward is unacceptable. :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

August with Arms Wide Open

A great thing happened today: a thing that has taken me a long time and has, on more than one occasion, made me feel hopeless. I passed my driver's license test. It was so shocking that I couldn't believe it for a very long time. I was in no condition to drive after the exam.

I was not just any permit-holding person desirous of a license; it was my 4th time taking the exam and my 8th visit to the DMV for permit (3) & license (5) reasons. After failing my permit exam once then passing it, I failed my behind-the-wheel test twice. Then, I needed to re-do the permit as it had expired. My first behind-the-wheel appointment with this second permit I was turned down because the DMV's computers were down. After failing another time, I got my license on August 2nd, 2010, a sunny Monday. It took 2 years but boy does it still feel good.

As I was sitting and pondering my life in the passenger seat, I wondered what I should do with my 4 driver's tests, especially the first 3 disqualified ones with angry scribblings of people surely worried for their lives. I'm a scrapbooker personally, even somewhat of a pack-rat. Which got me thinking: Do you document your failures just as much as your achievements? It's important to have both to look back on. It's important not to just focus on the good and ignore the bad. One should actually face the bad head-on to overcome and learn from it. Now that I will not be making that walk of shame out of the DMV without a license it's easy for me to say that I am not humiliated or ashamed of whom I am.

I think those damned tests should burn in hell but I don't mind holding on to them and laughing at the stories they have left me with. It might be merely a sappy sentiment but I like this new outlook.