When I was in third grade, we learned about The Challenger explosion, which happened 25 years ago today and is the reason why I’m thinking about all of this. In some way, my nine year old mind managed to turn this lesson into a cause for concern, that perhaps something equally as tragic could happen to my beloved teacher or even to me someday when I became a teacher. I managed to convince myself that if I really paid attention and became totally fixated on in, I could somehow prevent further tragedy from happening.
When I got home from school, I told my parents all about what I’d learned. In turn, my dad told me about how he remembered watching it live in the kitchen at my grandmother’s house where we were living at the time (whether I was there with him or not is still unclear. I may have been at pre-school, but he thinks I was there). He was talking to my mom on the phone and told her that it had just blown up, and she didn’t believe him. I have a memory of being in my grandma’s kitchen, of my dad sitting there with the TV on. I can see the coiled phone cord stretched across the room. I just don’t know if that’s the same memory. It’s been driving me kind of crazy for 19 years.
You know those dates that, for whatever reason, just seem to stick in your head, giving you pause for even just a second during the day? On June 6 each year, I always think about graduating from high school. On May 15, I always think about graduating from college. They’re like personal anniversaries. For the past four years, every February 7th, I have thought about my grandmother. Continue reading
I am The Constant. I am the friend who is always there; the one you can always find. With my more distant friends, I check in periodically to say hello. I ask questions. With my closer friends, I’m checking in frequently. I like to send emails, IMs, Facebook messages to let you know that I’m thinking of you. When something is wrong in your life, I will be right there ready to help in any possible way. I will lend an ear and support you, and I will check back in to see how you’re doing. I am that friend who, even if we haven’t spoken in a few years, I will still help you if you need me. Regardless of how close we are, if you have questions, I will answer them. I frequently brag about how awesome my friends are and how proud I am of them. It doesn’t matter if I’m proud of them for getting a really great job, for doing an awesome job in school, for being good at something, for achieving something, or for being generally successful. Sometimes I’m proud of my friends just for being who they are: good people. I will tell other people how proud I am when someone close to me accomplishes something. I make sure other people know when someone could use a friend. I will find some way to communicate to my friends that I care. My name is Renee, and I am your champion.
A friend recently told me something that got me thinking. That something was that I’m too available. People always know where to find me: IM, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, cell phone. But the thing is that almost no one does. Because I’m always there, I guess it’s just taken for granted that I will always just … be there. I know that I’m a very sensitive person (and frequently to a fault), but I end up feeling under-appreciated and after so many of my texts or emails or Facebook messages are ignored, I start to feel like I care too much just for being a considerate person. Continue reading