Wednesday, March 09, 2011

40 Days of 4 Things, Day 1

Today, I decided to challenge myself

I am not a good Catholic.  I have not been to church since Christmas, and before that I couldn't even tell you the last time I had sat in a pew.  Today is Ash Wednesday, which I guess is about burning plants and spreading the ashes on your forehead.  I'm pretty sure that it symbolizes the baby Jesus parting the Red Sea and hanging out on a pirate ship with pairs of disciples for forty days.   Honestly I have no idea because I've never read the bible.  Although for my first communion my aunt gave me this really tiny blue one with my name engraved in gold on the front cover.  I would be lying if I said I didn't carry it around in my back pack for years afterward. I wish I had an excuse for not being open to that kind of spirituality, I just never have been.  The fact that I'm not is weird to me, because religion is just about believing in things you can't see.  I've always been the type to believe in almost anything.  I am nothing if I am not a dreamer. 

Three weeks ago someone amazing left my life.  She was the most devoted person I will ever know. To honor her, I would like to see what this religion business is all about.  I am going to start with Lent.  When, I was a child I was always told to give something up, and I did so halfheartedly until no one was looking.  I almost always went back on my word, and did whatever I had purportedly decided to abstain from.  So this year, I've decided not to give anything up, not to sacrifice for seemingly no reason.  My sister told me that she believes it's not about giving anything up in the first place, it's about doing something to better yourself.  And though there are many areas I could stand to improve in, there is only one thing that I'm interested in getting better at, and that is writing.  That's why with God as my witness I am going to post an entry of 4 things every day for 40 days in a row. 

I won't always write the posts like I usually do, when I detail four things that happened to me that particular week.  Because it will be daily, I will try to talk about what happened on that particular day, or maybe I won't at all and just tell you four things I've been thinking about, or four things that I find amusing.  I hope either way that you enjoy it.

Last Friday, I hit another car:

This is not the first time I've talked about this, in fact you might remember it from an earlier incident which I talked about here.  I am not the greatest driver.  Although I have never myself been responsible for an actual traffic related accident, I have hit several things (and I'm assuming people) while backing out (whether that be in parking lots or driveways).  It's not that I'm not paying attention, it's just that I have no attention in which to pay with. My mind is nearly a hundred percent of the time on myself, and almost never on the task at hand.  Sometimes I'm thinking about whether I should treat myself to a Great American Cookie Company tray of cookies (I wouldn't have to think about it if it were just one), sometimes I'm thinking about how fantastic my hair happens to look at that moment.  Though usually I am thinking about how much I need to pee.  I don't know why it is, but almost as soon as I put my car in reverse my urinary tract shrivels up to that of a much older person, and I am immediately scrambling to get to my next destination so that I can relieve myself. 

This is what I was thinking about last Friday while pulling out of my school's mass communications department, after my weekly SPJ (Society for Professional Journalist, which I am only spelling out because I'll mention it again later) meeting.  It was then, while thinking of toilets that supposedly I hit a lady's car.  The only reason I even knew this, was because she happened to be sitting in her car at the time studying (I'm assuming because she has no friends).  If it weren't for her violently throwing herself out of her car, and nearly jumping atop the hood of mine, while screaming at me, I probably wouldn't have even noticed.  And though after parking my car again, and getting out to assess the damage on both of our vehicles, I couldn't see what the fuss was all about.  Her car was the filthiest vehicle I have ever seen.  Now, I'm all about having a dirty car, on the inside where no one can see how disgusting you really are.  I have been known to drive around with entire bags of fast food, that I have completely forgotten to eat, along with the detritus that I accumulate on a daily basis.  But, the outside of my car would never lead you to believe that there's a meth addict driving it (like the inside of it would suggest).  Among all the dust, and dried splattered mud, and what appears to be the remnants of some sort of water fowl on her car, I couldn't tell where metal had met metal and created the catastrophe that she seemed to be so upset about.  But, against my better judgment I gave her my information and got the hell out of there.  I could tell you that she was rude about the whole thing, I could tell you that she wasn't wearing a bra and her over thirty student nipples were pointing at the ground during our entire conversation, but I won't.  Instead, I'll just tell you that she was a cunt, and I didn't much care for her.

This week, I decided to go on an adventure

After writing that heading, I realized that adventure is the wrong word.  Let's just assume that the "ad" in adventure is the fun part, and take that out and just leave venture.  That's right, I am going on a venture.  At the tail end of March I am accompanying my local chapter of SPJ (see, I told you it would come up again that's what you call relevance) on a trip to regional conference in Nashville Tennessee.   Though, I'm excited about being able to meet new people in my field, and hear some of the speakers talk about their experiences in journalism, I'm mostly going just to get away.  I need a break, a trip, a\n excuse to stop being Jordan for a couple of days.  And though, I'm going to have to endure a twelve hour van ride with fourteen other people (some of them fatties, and some of them who just annoy me), I am determined to have an amazing time.  And in spite of myself, I am really excited. 

This month I lost one of the good things

My Grandmother died three weeks ago.  I've lived with her for the past three years, but even before she was the one relative outside my parents and sister that I have always had a relationship with.  She has always been one of the best things about my life.  It's already been three weeks and I find myself still devastated.  I say that not in a melodramatic way, it's just the way I feel. I know that some people say that death is not an ending, but a beginning, and that always sounded like a bunch of ridiculousness to me, but now I get it.  I don't think of it the way that most people probably do in that they believe it means that it is just the beginning of a person's eternal life.  I think of it as a beginning, because for the people that are affected by it, it's like starting all over again without that person.  I now understand why they measure time as before and after death because that's all there is.  There is your life before that person died, and your life afterward.  Honestly, I'm having a hard time dealing with it. 

As I prefaced this post, I will repeat, I am not very religious, and the skeptic in me has always kept me from truly believing in anything, no matter how badly I'd like to.  I am now choosing to believe there is a heaven.  There has to be, right?  There has to be a place where all of the amazing people go.  This can't be it for her, it just can't be.  I can't live thinking that's all there is to her story.  I have to believe that she is somewhere, that she is everywhere.  Otherwise what is the point?  What's the point of living a good life, if there is no reward? I believe she is everywhere.  I miss her more and more every second.  So, Goodbye Anna Francis.  You were one of the good things.

1 comment:

bathroomslave said...

I love the part where you say how death is a beginning not an end. I also don't think of it really in the religious afterlife context of the deceased, but the lives of those who have to go on after them. Death is a very difficult thing, even for those who we have watched slip away slowly.

I can tell you that it does get easier to handle over time. It never stops hurting, though. You adjust to the feeling.

I took strange steps in dealing after Brannon's death, but after three and a half years, I still get sad about it. I still miss him. I think that the pain we go through is a testament to the impact that person had on us, and it doesn't have to be necessarily negative like some people make it out to be.

I'm not religious in any shape or form either, and I find the whole thing pretty ridiculous - but I do believe in an afterlife of sorts. There is clearly something that makes us different from the other creatures on the planet, and that "something" is what guarantees us another plane of existance. Can I explain it to you? Nope. Do I think that any religious group has it down? Probably not. I think it's only something we will learn after we're gone, but there is definitely a reward for the good people and a punishment for the truly evil.