Silence is Golden

Silence cannot be misquoted.

-Unknown

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How do YOU fight boredom?

There are plenty of things I could be doing that I wouldn’t have time for boredom to set in. But those are things I have to do anyway which can be a chore boring. I love using my brain! I could read (and do love to), but with kids interrupting every few minutes, I just can’t get into a good book like I used to pre-children. (I blog from my phone that can be “paused” when my children need my attention.) In my book reading days, I picked non-fiction. I’ve read every possible book I could find on Anne Frank (her diary, the extended version, people who knew her). It branched out to reading about WWII and the experiences of others in the Nazi Concentration Camps.

In school, we had yearly assessments. By the time I was in 6th grade, I had the reading level of a high school senior. This was challenging since books written for 6th graders were too easy and those written for 12th graders were inappropriate. I took a liking to a set of old books my aunt kept in wonderful condition that she passed along to me- Nancy Drew. Thankfully, she had also kept a set of The Hardy Boys, which I read through after finishing Nancy Drew. I so loved reading mysteries and trying to solve them along with the characters! As I grew, I started reading more true crime novels.

During the first couple years of high school, I despised history classes. They bored me to tears with all the names and dates I was supposed to remember. I had a hard enough time keeping all the names of my friends straight and could only remember the birth dates of my closest family members. It wasn’t until my Junior year of high school that I had a history teacher that had such animated passion. It was this teacher of American History that sparked my later obsessions with the 1960’s history and politics. I had, all along, enjoyed history- I just didn’t know it. John F. Kennedy- before, during, and after his presidency and murder- was the first subject of my studious efforts to find truth and evidence. It was a passion driven by a shared name, state, and the fondness and desire for human rights, equality, and justice. After I graduated high school, I read the Commissioner’s report and took my own notes of what I wanted to dig deeper on. Yes, I’m a total geek.

The next “true crime” I really remember reading was A Death in Texas: A Story of Race, Murder and a Small Town’s Struggle for Redemption by Dina Temple-Raston. Everything I had read about the progression of segregation with JFK was questioned after reading about this tragedy. I grew up rather naive to racism in modern society. It heightened my awareness to the lingering problem, although I still remained mostly naive until living in the South.

There are times I wish I could forget knowing problems like this exist in my world- and worse, my children’s world. Unfortunately for those who would rather remain in ignorant bliss, I can’t unknow and I can’t stay silent.

I have a strong desire to learn, understand and find truth and eventually that leads to justice (that is the hope). I’m constantly thinking and without focused attention, I get incredibly bored. In several days, I will be back to my normal routine and classes will begin and I will have that focused attention my brain craves. Until then, I will spend my boredom soaking up knowledge and sharing it in words.

Almost a New Year

It’s almost 2014. It’s so close that people have really ramped up talking about it on social media. So I figured I’d leave some last words for this year for me to reflect on this time next year.

I’ve really learned a LOT this year.

I learned about myself. My own capabilities, insecurities, passions, failures, successes… I’ve learned that I can still change some things about myself and my way of thinking- not because it’s wrong or bad, but so I can be better understood. I’ve learned that a year is a blip on the radar of life and this, too, shall pass. I’ve also learned that a year can completely change someone’s life. This year has definitely been a life-changing year. It excites me that because of this year’s many challenges, I’m prepared for an immense growth over the next year.

I’ve learned from others. I’ve learned that there really are some terrible people in the world. (Gone are the days of blissful ignorance.) I’ve learned that there are some truly remarkable people out there who sacrifice their time and emotions to lend it to those in need. I’ve learned about the power of perception. I’ve learned that I don’t need to defend myself repeatedly because those who truly know me do understand me and that’s all that really matters. I’ve learned that not everyone is willing to listen. I’ve learned that silence can be a remarkable strength of self-restraint. I’ve learned that my strength of character shines once people get to know me. I’ve learned to take constructive criticism of myself (from those coming from an honest, caring place) and to swallow my pride- I can’t grow without looking deeply in the mirror.

The lessons I’ve learned this past year gives me a confidence that I can handle quite a bit and I know when I need to ask for help or advice and when I need to give up and move on. I’m stubborn, though, so my giving up might take longer than the average person. There are some things I’m so passionate about that I will never truly give up until there’s a resolution. (Or maybe it’s that I’m too stubborn to give up trying?) I don’t think passion or even stubbornness are bad qualities to possess. Just look at MLK, JFK, Nelson Mandela…

Late Bloomer

I didn’t go to college right out of high school. I’m past the age of a college grad, but decided it’s never too late to get a higher education. In the years since high school, I’ve studied multiple subjects. I love to learn and research. I’ve learned quite a bit about myself since beginning my journey to a degree. One major discovery was that my adult social interactions had been stunted. It’s not like I’ve been locked in a closet, I do know how to communicate in social settings, but not as well as my peers. Social media has definitely stunted this social growth experience.

With social media, we have a wide open space to give our opinions and we get a sense that people want to hear our opinions. It’s just not so. I have a lot of opinions, but as the old saying goes, “Opinions are like…” well, you know. It’s very selfish, and not entirely “socially acceptable” behavior. I’m still going to give my opinions. I just won’t waste my breath trying to convince anyone I’m right or that they should have more respect for my opinion rather than someone else’s.

As I discover some interesting things I’m learning about the affect social media has had on my social experience, I will share my thoughts and opinions. It’s only from learning from others’ experiences that there will be any type of understanding.