Impulsive Inquiry

uncontrolled questioning of the world I perceive.


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Relocation Avoided.

Yesterday I received the geographic placement for my internship, and I am extremely thrilled to say that I am staying in Seattle!

Throughout this grad processes many people have asked me iterations of these three questions:

“Why do you want to stay in Seattle?”

Sure they get that my family is here, and my life is here, still…

“Don’t you want to embrace an opportunity to live in a different city? It isn’t for that long…”

Yes, they know what a crazy year it has been, but…

“Don’t you want an adventure?”

No. I don’t want to live in another city thankyouverymuch.

I want to stay right here.

So to all those who weep for my lost adventure, here is a list of reasons why I really, truly, have absolutely no desire to move to another city for this year’s placement.

  1. The ludicrous span of time in which I would have to build a life. First of all, who can find housing to rent for eight months? Taking into account those eight months are from September to April, when nothing is for rent. Second, it is hard is to make friends and meet new people while starting a new job and learning about a new city. It takes time! It takes energy! Then once you finally settled in, it is April and it is time to leave.
  2. I have had just about as much change and instability in the past year as I can handle. I still have to move, but at least I can still live with my lovely roommates. I have to leave my job, but I will have my city around me.
  3. My cousin is about to have a baby (literally it could happen any minute, due date was yesterday!) and I want to be around for her first year. Just like I want to be there for the fab three’s third years and little farmer’s fourth year. I missed little farmer’s first year and that sucked!
  4. My people are here. I have support systems here that I am going to need to get through this first year. I am not ashamed to admit I am going to need my mom and dad (mostly for awesome home cooked meals, but still.) The friends I live with and the friends I don’t. I am going to need their support.
  5. Seattle is more than the city I live in. It is part of me in a way that is indescribable. Seattle calms me down and centers me. It helps me regain my footing and is a friend in a way inanimate objects or places shouldn’t really be but are.
  6. I will have another chance to live in a random city if I want to. A year from now I might want to go off and live somewhere else for eight months, and I CAN! In fact, the program encourages moving to a different place for the second year.

 

And there it is. There are a million more reasons I am glad to stay, and just as many reasons why I should go.

Either way, I promised myself no regrets.

Bring. It. On.SSW_LOGO_small_v2


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I am not good at waiting.

Fun fact. I am not good at waiting. I am a planner. I like to know what is coming around the bend three miles down the road. I knew where I wanted to go to college when I was 12. This is who I am.

I am not a spontaneous trip taker or a spur of the moment change in plans girl. I like to know what is happening, where, when, how we are getting there, how we are getting back, what we will be doing while we are there and any other details about it no matter how small.

This is why waiting to hear about my grad internship placement is killing me.

On Facebook, other people are announcing they have heard (another reason I hate Facebook). Some of them only know the geographical area, others also know the agency. I KNOW NOTHING!

Thus, I am cracking up. I am refreshing my email every minute. I am reading the posts and counting how many people are placed in Seattle so far and hating them for existing.

As time marches forward and I start arranging flights and last days of work and goodbyes it is even more imperative i know where I will be come september. I want to be able to say “I am leaving for northampton for 10 weeks then I will be back in Seattle, or moving to the Bay Area or moving to Chicago or moving to Colorado.” I am so tired of saying “…and then I have no idea!” AHHHHHHHHHHHH! Lord.

So now I have a last day of work (May 16th) and a going away party day (May 17th) and a flying to Boston day (May 27th) and a moving in to the dorms day (May 29th) and a start of orientation day (May 30) and a move out of the dorms day (August 16), but no idea what comes after that.

hoo-boy.

now, if you will excuse me, I have to check my email.


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Bunny, Bunny, Bun-ny. Bunny!

This weekend I attended BunnyCon 2014. Over a thousand people dressed as bunnies or other springtime-related things (I was a duck) descended upon downtown and pioneer square for a 15 hour bunny bar crawl. Though it started at 11am, my friends and I didn’t get there until around 5:30pm.

There is something uniquely satisfying about being apart of a completely ridiculous event. Dressing up in outrageous costumes and walking around the city was amazingly fun. Every time we saw other bunnies we would yell “BUNNIES” as loud as we could. There was an instant connection forged between ourselves and any lost bunnies. No one knew where they were supposed to go, so seeing other bunnies was a relief.

While this was happening, so was Sakura con, the anime convention. Of course the bunnies crashed the convention and danced surrounded by people dressed up in awesome cosplay outfits and looking at us like we were nuts.

We danced and hopped until around 2am before making our way home. It was fantastic.

Here is a picture of Rob, Garbo, and myself. Taken sometime during the early part of the crawl.10157171_10103569859894088_478356801306435028_n

I don’t know who the bunny lurking in the background is, but that sums up the whole event!


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Set This House in Order

I am taking this week to start the process of moving out of my house. But really it isn’t a whole week.  Monday and Tuesday were Passover seders (more on that later) and so it is really three days. Which is a ton of work. The point of the exercise is to winnow down the amount of my junk lying around the house so that it is only the every day type stuff that is cluttering all the door and hallways. (Lord have mercy  on me for my convoluted run-on sentences).

Beyond the physical packing, I am taking time this week to organize my mind. Well, at least try to. In a single week my entire reality shifted, and, in classic Abbie fashion, I have been barreling on full speed ahead. No time to stop, let alone process the changes, deal with the gains and losses, or figure out what exactly I am feeling verses what a normal, mentally healthy person would be thinking. So now is the time to Set. This. House. In. Order.

The phrase comes from the book Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls by Matt Ruff. A spectacular story about the power dynamic between one man’s multiple personalities, I recommend it to all. While I have no proof of multiple personalities, organizing my mind is a chore,which, much like cleaning my room, I have let fall by the wayside.

So now, in these three days (plus the weekend I guess), I will attempt to:

1. Pack up all the books that I read over and over again to be kept at my parents’ house.
1a. Actually take those books out of my car and put them in my parents’ house.

2. Sort the rest of my books into:
A. Books to be read.
B. Books to be swapped. (if you don’t know about paperback swap it is amazing and I will give it its own entire post someday!)

3. Sort my clothing into four categories:
A. keep to wear now and over the summer.
B. Pack to store for winter and keep at my parents’ house.
C. Try and Sell. (Ha, like people want my old clothes :P)
D. Goodwill.

4. Actually distribute said clothing to its proper location.

5. Sort through all the random objects in my room/around the house and throw most of them away.
5a. If it can’t be thrown away pack it up and store it at my parents house unless:
i. I will need to use it now or over the summer, or
ii. It belongs to someone else (If this is the case then)
iii. Return all borrowed objects (or items of clothing) to their proper owners
iiii. (if I can remember who those proper owners might be…)

6. Take a moment or two to blog and/or journal in an attempt to set my mind in order (ooo, checking part of that one off now)

7. Spend some time with my brother who is in town (and can conveniently carry heavy boxes…hmm…)

8. Let myself relax with a book or tv show or puzzle or cup of tea without letting it take over the productivity of an entire day.

As it is 12:43 and I have been watching Dr. Who all morning (now with a pot of tea)  the productivity of the rest of the day that is in jeopardy. Though, I am 6. blogging…and 7. my brother is supposed to come over later…and this is 8…. and yesterday I did a bunch of 1. (though no 1a) and 2.

Progress, mostly in the right direction, if I do say so myself. Which is pretty darn good for me. As it is now 12:53 and I probably won’t finish editing and posting this until after 1, maybe I will just dedicate the rest of the day to the self indulgent part of this moving process and do more of the heavy lifting stuff tomorrow…I can talk myself into anything I swear!

 

I would like to add an upcoming attractions segment: “Things I have half written blog posts about and will eventually finish”

  • Paws on Science
  • Women’s Wellness Weekend
  • Grief and its unusual forms
  • The seattle freeze and why you are wrong
  • Passover
  • My new adventures in dating (I know y’all can’t wait for that one!)

Don’t touch that dial!


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Eureka!

This whole “facing major life changes” thing has made me think a lot about how I got here. Meaning ‘getting my MSW’ here not ‘on planet earth’ here.

Throughout the time I was applying to grad school I often griped to myself and others, (thanks mom) asking “why am I doing this to myself???” and at times it was a question I took fairly seriously. I also kept a fairly serious answer on a post-it note behind the monitor of my work computer (not a serious place in the least.) This post-it said “I am doing this because ultimately, I want to.”

And it was true. No one was forcing me. I was choosing to go through this process because it is what I wanted.

or so I thought at the time.

Now, as I head down a completely different road, I am beginning to untangle all of the reason I ended up headed in this direction.

So here I am on this journey of self discovery (or watching tv, basically the same thing) when my life philosophy was perfectly summated in the characters’ dialogue. Of course they were discussing the ramifications of time travel and how it might effect the space time continuum, but it translates well.

The words come from the show Eureka and involve one character telling the other character how their time traveling had changed reality.

“Think of time as a pond. When we went back we made ripples. Those ripples made changes, but, the farther away from us you get, the ripples fade. 99.99% of the wider world is the way we left it.”

As I listened to these words I realized that they summed up my core belief about how I can change the world. Kinda ridiculous right? Still, the reason that I want to become a social worker, is to create ripples. This is what I want. Out in the universe, not on a post-it. Ultimately, this is what I want. (at least it is today. who knows about tomorrow?)

If I can create changes in the world I touch directly, those changes will create ripples of their own. And so on.

This is how I believe I can change reality. If I change my world, if I can be the best version of myself or help one other person, then I have changed the world. I’m not big into causes or fundraisers or activism.  I do believe that one person’s actions can domino into the other 99.99%.

I believe this because it happened to me. My life was saved by a sixteen year old and a snickers bar. No joke.

This is an excerpt from my Smith Social Work application asking me about significant events that influenced my values and beliefs:

“I am lucky enough to have had a single person accidently change my life. As a teenager I struggled very hard with who I was and was angry about what my genetics had given me. I blamed everyone else for my issues and didn’t know how to find a way out. One summer at YMCA Camp Orkila, my favorite place in the whole world, my life was changed by a bet. I was twelve and my sixteen-year-old counselor-in-training bet me a king sized snickers bar, its worth being equal to gold at over night camp, that I couldn’t go twenty four hours without saying something negative. I agreed. Before this bet I had never thought of myself as a particularly negative person or that having a negative attitude was a choice. Through this bet I saw how different I could be and feel by trying this one tiny change. That one person, out of everyone who surrounded me throughout the year, saw that I was struggling and provided me with a tool to change my perspective. Unsurprisingly that CIT is now a social worker. I won the bet, got the chocolate, and have been doing my best to be a more positive person ever since.”

This is a true story.

I wanted to share this journey for two reasons.

  1.  I am heading up to Orkila this weekend and it is still my favorite place in the world
  2. Part of having your life saved is paying it forward. I know it is my job to share this experience as evidence that the little things do matter. Life isn’t always about the grand gesture or the big donation. Sometimes you can save someone with a candy bar.

 

Of course, this is still all youthful idealism. In fifty years when we are all living in pods because the atmosphere is to toxic to breathe I will look back on this and gurgle (people won’t be able to breathe deeply enough to laugh). Or, I will look back from my comfy home at a life well lived, fueled by youthful idealism. That would be cool too.


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You do, or you don’t, don’t. You will, or you won’t, won’t.

I have a decisiveness problem.

It isn’t the big life choices, but the little things that trip me up. I can not for the life of me figure out what I want for dinner. Or whether or not to throw something out. Which brings me to my other major problem.

Coming from what is probably an extension of my inability to make a decision, mixing with a ridiculous sentimental attachment to everything I touch, is my tendency to NEVER THROW ANYTHING AWAY! And thus I am overwhelmed with Stuff.

Now, I have plenty of useful things such as books and clothes (yes, books always come first) as well as some genuinely sentimental objects, my cousin’s wedding invitation or the triplets’ birth announcement. But mostly what I have is Stuff.

Random things that have made their way into my life via purchase, gifts, migration from my parents’ house, limited length nostalgia, etc.

It is this debris that is cluttering my room, many parts of my house and my car. The problem is, when I pick up an object that is Stuff classified I don’t think “useless, throw it away.” No, I think “hmm, where did I get this? Will it be useful in the future? Does it now or has it ever been sentimental? Will it in the future?”  The answers should be ” Does it matter? No. No. Does it matter? throw it out!” but I inevitably put it somewhere and promptly forget about it.

Normally, swimming in my world of quasi-useful debris isn’t that big of a deal to me. It isn’t dirty, just cluttered. But now, as I face the expedited necessity to pack up and move out, the sheer volume of crap has overwhelmed me.

I am stuck floating in a sea of indecision facing the need to sort what is really useful or important from what is junk.

And I suck at this.

So I haven’t started.

Throw in that I HATE folding my laundry (not doing laundry, just folding it) and it is immobilizing. People trying to help ask me what to keep, what to throw away and I don’t know. I decide something as simple as ‘want?: I do or don’t, Need?: I will or won’t.

Luckily, I think I have found a solution thanks to Beth Wolsey at Five Kids is A Lot of Kids and her 5 simple steps to decluttering.

Time to start digging.

 

*The title comes from the song ‘no more’ by 3lw