Halloween

it’s Halloween! people have been celebrating all weekend but today is the actual day. last year i found my favorite costume i’ve ever had (except for the skunk costume my mom made for me in elementary school. yeah, a skunk. it was awesomely different and if i happen to find a picture of it i will post it for sure). this year, along with last year, i am sporting the little kid towel costume i found at a thrift store sometime last year. it’s a Tigger costume that sings a song. the song goes like this:

best friends, Tigger and Pooh.
they’re always there for each other.

it’s tune is fading little by little with every push of the hidden button on my chest, but it’s still just as humorous as it was the first day i discovered it. this towel has a hood with ears, a mini tail in the back, and i sewed together the sides so it wouldn’t flop all over the place when i was enjoying some Halloween festivities.

to really get in the Halloween spirit i went over to my friend, Paige’s, house before my night class. last night i painted a skeleton structure on her face and she wanted the same thing but a little bit different. i’m always up for an artistic challenge so i got my painting hands ready and headed to her house. after finishing her face, i ran back to my apartment to get myself ready. this included finding all the orange and black clothes i own and throwing on my costume with some eye liner whiskers and a nose. now we’re sitting in class…very attentively.

Imagecan’t you just tell we’re going to be teachers in the future? we’re two out of three people who dressed up…the other girl sits at the front of the room. she’s a pig…just today, not everyday. i’m not rude like that.

pennies

it rained pennies yesterday
leaving only washed up, copper-colored circles, circling around drains.
the streets were lined with change small enough for people to forget when it comes in anything less than a handful,
but with pennies flooding sidewalks it’s hard to forget what they’re worth.
the clouds were folded up dollars dropping the piece of them that is so often ignored
as if to say, “if you want me, you need to respect all of me.”
pennies hurt just as much as quarters when they fall.
sometimes people forget about one cent, only hoping for hundreds.
last summer i collected 200 dollars worth of spare change.
people threw it away with their folded up napkins covered in dollar stains from the meal they paid too much for, mocking the clouds that rained pennies.
no one sees pennies as money anymore, in fact there’s been talk about ridding the world of their existence,
but how can we tell them what they’re worth?
they know every dollar is filled with hundreds of them and i believe in power in numbers.
so when it rained pennies yesterday, i stood outside with the intentions of becoming rich.
tink, tinks replaced water droplets hitting the ground, resonating with the voice of a choir.
pennies are beautiful if you believe it.
they stand for a lot more than we give them credit.
so when it rained pennies yesterday i replaced my wallet with recycling bins 
because pennies move around through hands of faithful spenders,
slipping through fingers like they were made of ice,
only to fall into the pocket of a “lucky” one.
i’ve never heard of anyone finding a lucky quarter.
pennies hold luck, which to me makes wealth a lot easier to come by.
i’m lucky to have a mindset that makes me view things for not what they are worth,
but for what they can become.
when it rained pennies yesterday i was was the only one outside,
left to collect my luck alone as people watched from windowsills claiming,
“it’s just pennies.”
but i believe in the power in numbers.
so i sat on the sidewalk, surrounded by pennies, becoming something only a few people value.
but i knew i had enough in me to make a dollar.

weekly writing challenge: i wish i were

i wish i were able to understand people and make them understand me. without arguments i wish i were able to explain how simple life can be if we let it. my point of view on various subjects is continually changing and sometimes i feel suffocated by people who have been the same since middle school. when years go by and people stay the same, i see it as sitting stagnant in life. that’s something i don’t wish for.

with every year of experience i grow mentally, physically, and emotionally. it’s hard for me to comprehend being active in the same “scene” for years on end. i’ve been known to wander around from one group of people for the next. usually, i have one or two close friends who i stick to, but i always leave them to explore. this works for one reason; they want to explore too. at the end of our small journeys on the tangent of our walking paths, we come back to each other and bring new ideas, new faces, and new opinions to our friendship. we grow together.

and i wish i were able to make people see that sometimes all you need to do is turn on some light music and sit on your couch, staring at the ceiling for a little while. i wish i were able to show the importance of getting to know yourself before anything else. i’ve spent hours alone in my room, sitting on my couch, or driving in my car. this gives me ample time to have conversations with myself and explore my own brain before adding anyone else’s opinions to the mix. i like to know what i feel before trying to relate it to someone else and their feelings.

on the other hand, i wish i were able to make people see that in order to find the company you want to be surrounded by forever, you have have to search and take adventures. small ones at first will do. walk through the woods. step in puddles. look up at trees instead of just walking passed them. recognize how small you really are.

i wish i were able to make people see that the world is a lot bigger than they are. they amount of people on this world is a lot bigger than they are as well and even though sometimes we feel “on top of the world” we are just walking on her surface. just like everyone else. 

i wish i were a traveller to a grander scale. i’ve seen many parts of America, Mexico, Canada, and just recently Africa. i wish i were able to see more more quickly and i wish i were able to translate the importance of travel to everyone who has never left their hometown. there is so much more to be explored and many times we get stuck in a bounding routine that carries us only back to our own bed at night just to wake up in the same house we’ve lived in for years. 

and lastly, i wish i were warm. because trying to type with frozen fingers only gets you so far and it sure takes a lot less time to write with warm extremities. i wish i were somewhere other than Michigan. just for a while.

weekly photo challenge: foreign

Image

 

this picture was taken in the village of the Maasai people in Kenya. the culture is rich there with values and beliefs stronger than any soldier i’ve seen in the U.S. they believe in being manly men, not shedding a tear when they are presented with a death or pain. one of them laughed when one of the other visitors asked if his gauged earlobes hurt. he said, “ha. i don’t feel pain,”. 

the dirt ground acted as a playground for young children, a field for cows, and a living space for families. they live in small huts made from cow dung and sticks. it takes them a couple months to finish one hut and the women do all the work while the men hunt and strive to become the ultimate man with completing the feat of killing a lion. no one there would tell us exactly how they killed such an animal, but they did mention their hands and a small spear. regardless of how they do it, it’s the task itself that is pretty outstanding.

they dressed in colorful clothes hand died and sewn effortlessly. their jewelry was created with bright beads and outstandingly beautiful colors. their sandals were made from old tires and sticks become earrings for the boys who just began stretching their ears. these people were more resourceful than anyone i’ve seen in the U.S. to some people, the Maasai have nothing. to me, the Maasai have everything they need and they don’t even want anything more. one Maasai man told me his struggles with adapting to “society”. the things they need, like food, have to come from somewhere other than their cattle and in order to get other food they need money but in order to get money they need to hold some sort of job or adapt to “society” in some way. the Maasai people are highly respected in Kenya, but with “society” comes changes in history and culture and traditions.

this land felt so foreign to me during my stay in Kenya. it’s like all those things i’ve ever seen on TV or in magazines was actually real. that is real life to some people. it opened my eyes immensely to all the possible ways of life i’ve never witness before. Kenya is a foreign land to me, yet, whenever i look back at pictures of my journey there i get an overwhelming sense that i belonged there. i left a piece of me there with every step i took and i long for the day i have enough money to hop on a plane and travel back to that vast land so many incredible people call their home.

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i’ve never seen a land so open before. it’s not littered with McDonald’s signs, billboards, or lights. it is simply people working along with what nature gave them, trying to make the best out of everyday they spend herding cattle along endless dirt roads like the one above. the skies were so clear and crisp that the clouds looked only an arms length away. they billowed across the horizon with such ease; nothing getting in their way. 

Kenya life is foreign to me. yet i still felt so at home there with those people.

 

weekly writing challenge: mind the gap

going into education, i believe that kids should be treated as young adults. they can be responsible for their actions, they can be taught not only right and wrong, but situational actions as well. i have all faith that kids know more than adults think they are capable of. 

now, as far as children in adult places…it depends on the time, place, and person. do i think children should be running around bars at 2am? no. do i think they should be screaming at the dinner table in a fancy restaurant? no. however, if there is a family party at a place that happens to be not so kid friendly, what is a parent to do? especially if it is a younger kid, most the time other family members want to snuggle and kiss and pinch the cheeks of these little ones. who is anyone to deny them of that precious few moments they get in between feeding and diaper changes?

kids need to learn socialization at an early age. i think they need to be exposed to as many could-be-terrible situations as possible, not only for the sake of the child, but for the parents as well. having a screaming child disrupting any event puts parents to the test. i strongly believe that kids will act appropriately if they are giving the expectations before the situation occurs, while the situation is occurring, and then they need to be held to those expectations. the moment a parent fails to follow through is the moment that that crying, screeching, flailing toddler wins the battle. 

i understand some places being “adult” only, like some swimming pools and hot tubs in community centers or on cruise ships. not everyone wants to sit next to a kid at the pool who is splashing water and wearing water wings. that’s understandable. however, if you want to eat your dinner without an interruption…eat at your own house. make your own dinner, sit at your own table. this way you are guaranteed to eat in silence if that’s what you desire. 

i’ve totally been at restaurants or at the mall when i thought to myself, “someone, pleasee shut that kid up!” so i’m not saying children can’t be annoying sometimes, i’m just saying that children are a part of society and if you are going to go somewhere social, then you should expect to maybe sit and listen to a tantrum every now and again. it’s not the kid’s fault, usually, it’s the parents who are having an issue. “good” kids only come with good parenting techniques, but even then, some times a kid just has to cry. just like any/everyone else has those days where they are going to feel like complete poop until they shed a tear or two…or twenty. 

so do i think kids should be abandoned at home and restricted from having a meal out or shopping at the mall? absolutely not. but i also don’t think they should be allowed to run around screaming and yelling in a public place that’s not a park or something more children focused. what it comes down to is, if you don’t want to be around kids, go somewhere without them. like a rated R movie or the bar. 

some of the best feelings:

some of the best feelings (in my opinion) are:

taking off your socks after a long day
a fuzzy surface rubbing your cheek
a child grabbing your hand/finger
waking up and feeling refreshed
when someone random compliments your head band (or other accessory)
stepping on a crunchy leaf
riding your bike down a hill on a warm day
cracking your knuckles
getting an A on an exam you thought you failed
a warm shower
laying in grass
sitting in a rocking chair
uncontrollable laughter
walking into a room that has just been cleaned
an unexpected package
blasting your favorite song in you car with the windows down

although many of these things are quite simple, they really are some of the best feelings to me. i love those days where you wake up and everything seems to be going right. the sun is shining, the breeze is warm, and you can’t get the smile off of your face. it’s hard to ignore someone who is projecting happiness and, although sometimes it’s too much, it’s nearly impossible for some of their happiness to not be wiped off on you. i want to be one of those people who radiates happiness and in order to do so, i need to find the little things in like enjoyable, like, crunchy leafs…or taking my socks off.

“so may your worries, may your worries, never fall too loud. may you stay here, may you stay here happy in your own skin on the ninth cloud.”–Ben Howard

questions from a little girl

today i took Anshu to the community center by his house. he can spend hours entertaining himself in the pool and hot tub, so it’s always a go-to when i’m with him for 8 hours on saturdays. we got to the pool after a car ride full of pouting. he was throwing a little hissy fit all the way into the locker room until…he pooped! now, that might be too much information…but it’s always a good day when he knows what he needs to do and turns on his tunnel vision to the toilet.

after the bathroom debacle and a quick soapy shower we were on our way to the pool. today the water was extremely cold in the pool and only luke warm in the hot tub. i’m not a fan of cold water. i take almost boiling hot showers and hose water is only good for drinking. to me, the pool was out of the question, so i slipped into the hot tub and Anshu followed closely. we were sitting there for a while, along with a few other kids and adults. he was in between me and a little girl who was probably 6 or 7 years old. he started having some behavior issues to i encouraged him to go into the pool (usually his behavior issues come with boredom) and he flailed his arms, screeched and hopped out of the hot tub. after he was a few feet away the girl next to him looked at me and said:

girl: does he have a disability?
me: he’s got a different ability…he has autism.
girl: oh! (pause) what’s that again?

i went on to explain that he feels things different and has a different way of showing his emotions. she said, “oh, cool!”, put on her goggles, and sunk into the bubbly water almost too fast for her to hear me say, “thanks for asking” with a smile on my face.

this just goes to show that kids are curious, they want to learn, and they aren’t prewired to judge or dislike people. now, i think this girl has someone close to her with a different ability or goes to a school with inclusion because she sounded very familiar with the subject. either way, that little girl made me realize, once again, how outstanding young minds are. within the short month i’ve been working with Anshu i have gotten plenty of stares from adults who know nothing about him or his situation. that’s not to say that everyone we pass while we’re out glares at us and snickers behind our backs though. i have had some gentle people, like the little girl, who are genuinely interested in Anshu.

one of the lifeguards there told me she sees him walking up and down a road by his house sometimes with another girl. when she mentioned the road i told her that he lives right around that area and he loves to take walks so it’s completely possible it was him. every time i go to the pool with Anshu she is there, smiling away, trying to get close enough to him to say hi without him shying away. today, when we were on our walk after dinner a car slowed down next to us. i was weary until i realized it was that same lifeguard. she said, “two times in one day! how could i be so lucky!” we went on to talk about how it was a nice day and what her plans for the evening were and then she drove off. it’s interactions like that that leave a smile on my heart.

some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; i am thankful that thorns have roses.“–Alphonse Karr