A little housekeeping out of the way first...
#1- Would you believe this is my 400th post?? I find it hard to believe that, over a little less than two years, my creativity has re-appeared again to such an extent that I have thought of 400 unique things to say (more if you consider guest posts, half-written posts that I abandoned, and my work at Umm... Now What?)
#2- Thank you all so much for all the wonderful music recommendations! I was surprised at how many people suggested other artists that I already adore, which gives me high hopes for the music I have yet to listen to. Unfortunately, I was less than smart, and elicited all these suggestions right smack dab in the middle of the end of semester rush (after nearly nine years of this annual pattern, you'd think I'd figure it out), meaning I haven't had a spare moment to really listen to any of it yet. I'm the type of person that feels that new music should get my full attention on the first few listens, so I feel like I need a free afternoon to really revel in these delicious new tunes. Trust me, I'm looking forward to it!
#3- I am also happy to make an announcement of my first annual holiday giveaway. As mentioned last post, I am going to have a contest/draw sometime over the next few weeks for some mix CDs. I am still hashing out the details (e.g., how many do I want to give away?), but I am going to make both a mix of the delicious new tunes from all of your suggestions, as well as a compilation of the tunes I feel everyone should hear. So keep your eyes peeled!
#4- Speaking of Umm... Now What, we are back in search of guest posters. The stipulations are pretty vague-- it just has to be something related to life in our 20s. And, no, you don't need to be in your 20s to write it. It can be under your blogger name or anonymous. If you are interested, you can email me at princesspointful at gmail dot com if you have any questions, or send a piece directly to ummnowwhatblog at gmail dot com.
#5- Happy Thankgiving to all my American friends! Don't brag too much about your delicious dining, please, as some of us have very late regular week nights tonight, and may well be dining on instant noodles.
#6- People who choose Maybe Attending on Facebook event invites are officially the scum of the earth. It would be one thing if they truly had to wait and see if they were going to be around, but those who want to keep their "options open" can officially bite me. Just say you aren't coming. I don't want to be your back up option.
Can you tell I'm planning a birthday party? And one day after posting the events page, there are almost as many people officially confirmed as are "maybe attending".
(What do you mean this doesn't fit into my category of blog housekeeping??)
And, now, the real post...
As I've mentioned a number of times, I'm from a city much, much smaller than the one I currently reside. We're talking ten thousand as compared to several million.
When I first moved to the city, I assumed there would be a certain level of constant hypervigilence required. I remembered my mother's lectures every time we came to the big city, about keeping our wits about us and a tight hand on our purses. I remember our town's residents' steadfast insistences that the big city was full of drugs, crime, and anger. And although, as a teenager growing up four hours away from a town as large as a hundred thousand, I desperately wanted all the glamour I thought big city life offered, I was a little apprehensive about the other realities. As I drove in to the row of lights and billboards on the search for my first apartment when I was 19, I wondered if it was ever really possible to feel relaxed amidst all this action.
Of course, I adjusted, like one always does. The uneasiness I assumed would follow me around disappeared within a matter of weeks. As time passed, I began to find reasons for all those things a small town girl was told weren't safe in the city- walking home alone late, taking the night bus, living alone in a basement suite, working at a prison.
The differences I noticed were not the constant presence of malevolent people and malicious actions, as the nightly news had always taught me. It was more the lack of consideration, in all honesty. I get shocked more by the people who push past others, who ignore the person who has dropped their grocery bag, who fly through crosswalks full of pedestrians. My boyfriend commented on how I get more riled up at the actions of people on the bus than anything else, even seven years after leaving a small town. I'm used to people being mindful of those around them. It just doesn't occur to me not to hold open the door for the person a few feet behind me.
Lately, however, it seems as though the world has been trying to shock me into remembering how much has changed. It began with the witnessing of a violent crime in a public place. Then, on Tuesday, after I'd left work, two people were shot directly in front of the clinic I work at. My co-workers had to take the day off work because the front stoop was a crime scene. Last night, four blocks away from me, another man was shot, and jumped through the window of an apartment in a friend's building.
It's funny-- I read the headlines, just like everyone else, but I sometimes forget that this stuff really happens. This is even odder when you consider that I actually work with a forensic population, and thus hear in detail about these events as part of my day-to-day life. Yet, the very same scenarios I assumed would constantly bother me when I moved to the city are instead surprising me, reminding me of what I never believed I would forget, that I do live amongst those sensationalized headlines.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
A little housekeeping out of the way first...