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Most Normal Girl


Saturday, September 30, 2006

Thoughts From The Road

I’ve been up since 6:15am. Being awake that early on a Saturday is not my cup of tea. But I decided to wake up early so that I could meet a friend for breakfast before heading to the airport. I am in Boston (my 2nd home, away from home) for work.

My friend never showed up. I tried calling her, twice, but without luck. I hope she’s okay – I still haven’t heard from her. We had made plans the night before and we agreed on the location (my hotel) and the time (8:00am). By 8:30am, I headed downstairs to get something before leaving for the airport. So I ate breakfast alone in the hotel restaurant. I couldn’t help but notice that every patron in the place was white – while every worker (hostess, servers, bus-boys, and chefs) was someone of a cultural minority. I felt awkward. My awkwardness was not alleviated by my seating assignment. As usual, being a lonely diner gets you seated in the back corner of the restaurant – almost as if the place is embarrassed to have you as a guest. “You loser, you don’t DESERVE to dine with us alone. Go get yourself some friends.” But I have plenty of friends around here and was even supposed to be having breakfast with one of them. Alone, I sat, sans friend – watching.

I’m now at the airport. Early. I’m always early. If I’m even five minutes later than early, I get stressed. I feel better sitting in the airport chairs, knowing that as soon as the board at the gate lights up with my destination, I’m where I’m supposed to be. Early.

I’ve been sitting in this rocking chair for over an hour; reading. Every now and then I look up at the planes sitting on the tarmac outside – the big picture windows looming before me. Pastor Bob and his wife (who apparently has no other name than WIFE) are sitting beside me, reading the paper and lost in their thoughts. There are a few of us who have been here a while. Some of them are annoyingly loud – usually those who are on their cell phones making the big and important calls. I just sit and occasionally shoot an annoyed glance in their direction.

I’m tired of reading. I’m tired of sitting. I’m tired of traveling. I’ve only been on the road since Tuesday and I’ve got two more weeks left. ...TWO WEEKS... This is the first time that I have not looked forward to the travel season. This is my sixth year of doing this and I dread every minute of it. I want to go home. I want to sleep-in on the weekends (like I should have done today), eat home-cooked meals, sit in my office, drive my new pretty car, and make plans with Blair. I am so sad that it’s brought me to the brink of tears a few times, just today.

Nearly every ten minutes, I check my e-mail – hoping to be loved. I would probably be excited if I got spam mail at this very moment. But, no such luck. I keep seeing the opened messages from the last few days. Somebody write to me – tell me you’re thinking of me and wishing that I was home as much I am wishing it.

I check the e-mail during the brief intervals of reading. This book isn’t helping any. I’m reading about a lonely, self-loathing, pitiful, FAT girl, who is depressed. Quite frankly, I’m bored. Yet, I keep reading with a diminishing hope that she’ll stop whining and actually do something for herself. I hate self-pity.

Ah, Bob and Wife have left. They had a gate change.

My flight will be boarding soon. I’m off to New York for the next couple of days. Long Island, New York, to be specific. At least it’s a place that I’ve never been to before – so there is THAT. Blink, blink.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 11:40 AM :: 0 comments

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Trying Hard To Take A Decent Picture



This is me and "Johnny 5 Course" on Friday night. We were sooo desperate to get a good shot in before my batteries on the camera died. ...Here was what we got...
Posted by Jessie_b :: 11:12 PM :: 2 comments

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Captain Obvious

Here’s how the recent phone conversation with my dad went:

“Hi Dad. Blair and I are going to the Dodger’s game on Monday night – do you think you could ask your friend, Mr. Smith, (who is the Dodger’s announcer) if he could show us around the announcer’s booth?”

“Oh, that’s right – I forgot. Yes, I’ll ask him today.”

“Thanks, Dad. …Do you want my direct phone number at work so you can call me back?”

“Uhh… sure. Hang on a minute, let me get a pen.” MY DAD IS A HIGH SCHOOL ART TEACHER. YOU WOULD THINK THAT HE WOULD HAVE WRITING UTENSILS AT HIS DISPOSAL.

“Okay, go ahead.”

“xxx-xxx-xxxx.”

“Okay, and that’s at XXX College?” I COULN’T RESIST… I CAME OUT WITH THE FIRST THING THAT CAME TO MIND.

“No, Dad. That’s my direct number for when I’m whoring around the streets of Hollywood.”
Posted by Jessie_b :: 10:22 AM :: 2 comments

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Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11th

This was from a friend of mine. He wrote:

"As I drove into the office this morning, I was listening to the radio as the DJs were calling out names of those lost in 9-11. I couldn't help but think of all of my friends and family and how thankful I am to have each of you still in my life. That day changed our society and it's unfortunate how soon we forget about how close and united the days after the bombing we all became. Time goes on and we move forward and somehow we become so busy in our own lives that we don't take time to say thank you for being part of one anothers' life.

I wanted to send an email letting you know that I am greatful that you are still part of my life and I am happy that we are each still here today. Today, I hope each one of you truly takes a few moments and reflects on how much each one of us mean to eachother, how we have helped and supported one another and although time and distance sometimes prevents us from talking or seeing one another, I'm letting you know that you are in my thoughts. Also, I hope you take some time to mentally thank those who protect us on a daily basis - those above and yes, those who are still here with us, protecting... the soldiers, the FBI agents, homeland security, police force, fire... without them, 9-11 can become an easier re-occurance. I believe today should be our day to give thanks... perhaps our generation's "Thanksgiving".

I hope you have a GREAT day and know I am thinking of you."

And in response, I wrote back:

"Yours was the first e-mail I opened this morning.

I think 9-11 means something different to all of us. Individually, we see how the world (perhaps how WE) have changed in the last five years. I still get goose-bumps when I remember where I was, what I was thinking, and how lonely I felt. To me, today’s memory serves as a reminder of how personal those terrorist attacks were – it was more than just the buildings, it was more than a particular date, a particular time, a particular person… it was part of all of us. And that memory will never be forgotten.

At the heart of today, I am hopeful that we can take the time to reflect on what is important in our lives. Maybe each other. Maybe those who we have lost. Maybe hope for a safer/brighter future. Maybe… all of it. But as we reflect, it’s important to remember that we keep moving forward. The sun will rise again tomorrow and LIFE keeps living.

Thank you for being such a wonderful and special friend to me, XXXXX. I love our friendship. Despite the distance (of space and/or time), you are always in my heart."
Posted by Jessie_b :: 1:42 PM :: 0 comments

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Untitled

This morning I went into Starbucks to buy a dose of caffeine. As usual, there was a line and as usual, the people behind the counter were slow. When my turn approached, I gave my order and waited patiently while the girl filled a cup with my morning drug. We made small talk about waking up early, still being sleepy, the weather forecast for the day (HOT), and other tid-bits. As she rang me up, I couldn’t help but notice the scars from a razor that had left their mark up her left forearm. I caught myself looking and quickly looked away – hoping that she hadn’t seen me look. She was still talking – wishing me well with the errands that take up a Sunday morning and bidding me a nice day. I looked at her and smiled, thanked her for the vat of caffeine, and wished her a nice day too.

What I wanted to do was reach across the counter and give her a hug. I wanted to tell her that it was all going to be okay – that cutting up her body was no reprieve from the world. I wanted to talk longer – to ask why? But there was a line of people. And who am I to be asking such questions to a complete stranger?

It’s now the middle of the afternoon and I can’t stop thinking about her. I have the image of her arm – her scars – in my head. Each of them piercing my heart.

I have done my best to be an advocate for young adults – especially women. I love the work that I do and I can’t imagine ever wanting to do anything else. But there are moments when I wish I could have gotten to THAT ONE – and sooner. Maybe I wouldn’t have made a difference; but then again, maybe I would have. The young women I have led on retreats and those whom I meet during interviews are at that critical stage in life… Many of them have told me their stories. I try my best to fully understand and offer advice when I can – or when it is welcomed. I know that I’m only a blip on their radar screen and someone who is temporarily involved in their lives… but if it makes a difference to JUST ONE, maybe even THAT ONE, then it matters.

As for this girl, I can only hope that she is in a better place in life. I hope she has someone who is a genuine friend and who is supportive of her. The next time I visit that Starbucks, I hope I see her again – just to give her a smile and maybe talk about the weather. …At least it’s a start…

For more information on cutting, please visit this website.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 3:19 PM :: 0 comments

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Friday, September 01, 2006

Apparently, I'm Boring

Yesterday at work, a colleague sent everyone an e-mail saying that he was going to be putting up some contact information for each of us. He was asking for interesting or funny quips that could be added as a "bio" under everyone's picture. This got me thinking...

I'm boring. I have nothing funny... nothing interesting... I'm a serious person with dull interests (example: I love reading the Chronicle of Education, I'm fascinated that Pluto is no longer a planet, that Vanna White is still employed, that I don’t like BBQ sauce but I LOVE Arby’s sauce, that I can analyze human behavior but can’t figure out my boyfriend, and that tripping, falling down entirely, farting, or laughing so hard that your drink comes out your nose are the funniest things EVER). How, then, can I communicate in a couple of sentences that I have no hobbies, no role models, no crazy stories, no big passion for any particular sports team (except the Yankees and the Raiders - WHO I HATE), and yet - I'm someone you should very much want to talk with?

Well, as usual, I obsessed about it for hours. I even asked my parents... who ultimately came up with nothing.

I guess it's true - I'm abnormal in the "interesting" category. GREAT.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 9:05 AM :: 0 comments

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