Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Maybe I don't want a Happy New Year, he said. Maybe I want an intense New Year with a lot of growth experiences... (story people)







From the first morning, heading off to Sacramento...to San Francisco, a couple of pictures from my trip.



We gather on the field, the moon high above us, boldly shining through the scattered puffs of white. Like sheep milling about waiting for the inevitable shearing, anticipation pulses through our veins. We curse our muscles, straining to get that last pushup. We sprint towards the finish, gasping for breath. Steam billows from our bodies, too warm for the chilly air.

We are at PT.

5:30am.

We are loving it.


There is something to be said about rising before the moon sets to push your body beyond its limit.




I was actually placed in the C1 group, which is unfortunately a lot easier than I would like it to be, but I am going to move up to B next week. However, I am finding ways to push myself, even going so far as to do extra situps and pushups (!!). This is a great feeling.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

getting on with it

Well just a quick update--

As of last night, I am no longer in my "pod" and have my permanent team assignment! Gold Unit Team 4. So, that's pretty exciting. I know who I am going to be spending the majority of my time with over the next 9.5 months, which is a relief. It should be quite interesting, to say the least, but I think it will be good. I really like my team leader--he is very motivating and seems as though he will help us to create team unity, which is going to be extremely important.

Additionally, I completed my baseline test today. For those of you who don't know, that is the PT test that I had where I was required to run 1.5miles and do as many pushups and situps in 2 minutes as I could. I ran it in 14.46 minutes which means that I will be in group "B"--smack dab in the middle. It's still going to be challenging and I am pretty excited to get whipped into shape!

This afternoon I have some downtime so I am doing laundry (at this point I only have 1 tshirt that was issued to me, so the laundry is WELL needed). It is very warm here-70's to 80's and it looks like it will continue to be so through next week.

After hearing that friends and family down in the San Diego are safe, I am very relieved, but my heart still goes out to them for the devastation that surrounds them. I have been asked if I will be sent down there, but they are not sending us anywhere until we receive ample training. The Red Cross was supposed to do disaster relief with us yesterday but they are quite busy down there with the fires, so that had to be put off. It makes my heart swell when I think that in a few weeks, I will be able to help out in a disaster such as what is happening down there right now. I can't wait to really be making a difference.

I hope everyone is healthy and happy. If you ever feel like writing, my address is:

(my name) Class 14 Gold 4
AmeriCorps *NCCC
3427 Laurel St
McClellan, CA 95652-1014

Love you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

new favorites

brian andreas...story people books and artwork:

-Often, I write all day long with white ink on white paper, late into the night, until it is all I can do to feel the letters curving to earth from the tip of the pen & then, I fall asleep. Dreaming of running, or maybe driving in a car the color of water & I wake the next day remembering nothing & I gather the stack of paper & a pen of black on the desk in front of me & the words begin to dance over the page like long legged insects across a still lake & the words in white whisper behind & underneath the new day. If there is any secret to this life I live, this is it: the sound of what cannot be seen sings within everything that can. & there is nothing more to it than that.-

-Are you a princess? I said & she said I'm much more than a princess, but you don't have a name for it yet here on earth.-

-These are little packets of light & you need to plant them early in the year & remember to mark where they were because lots of times they look like weeds in the beginning & it's not until later that you see how beautiful they really are.-

storypeople.com

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

it goes in waves

A few of us went to San Francisco on Sunday, which was a fun adventure. We took the Greyhound bus there and back, which turned out to be just right. When we got there, we did some of the touristy things--rode the trolley car down to the waterfront/piers, chinatown...some of them went to Ghirardelli (i played in the water instead). It was fun but exhausting, mostly because there was so much more that I wanted to see--more of the true innerworkings of the city, not just the tourist spots. From the moment I stepped off the bus, I felt like I could live in that area--the city is beautiful and it (at least seemed) like the people are pretty friendly. I would like to go there with someone who has lived there, to see things that most do not--to get away from all of the crazy tourists! Overall, though, it was fun and a good thing to do on my day off.

My attitudes towards this program definitely go in waves. I hope that things start to even out a bit as I try to stay positive and keep the big picture in mind. So far there has been a lot of sitting in classrooms learning policy.

I am tired of these uniforms because they represent only uniformity. There is no individuality allowed, and this drives me absolutely up the wall. I guess the expectations that I had centered around a lot of free-loving liberals who wanted to save the world........and that isn't exactly what I am finding. We are all here for different reasons, we all come from different backgrounds. Needless to say, this is a big learning experience for me and I am sure this is just the start!

And then there are the dorms. Exactly like freshman year of college--roommate and all. And that is exhausting. We all know how much I enjoy living by myself. HA. I am saying goodbye to that quickly. :) However, I think it will be different once we are out on Spike and it is everyone living together. I don't know why I think it will be different.......but I keep telling myself that. ;)

Reading through this, I realize I sound fairly negative about the program, when in actuality it is largely positive. On Saturday we are participating in Make a Difference Day and will be helping out with community gardens in the area. I am excited to actually be doing something hands-on. I need this sort of things in order to be able to stand all the classroom sitting we are doing. :) And, I have met some really fun people who have allowed me to laugh and be myself, which is great.

Team selection is tomorrow evening and I am both excited and nervous. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 19, 2007

i'm here

Okay so I'm here...pretty much exhausted...and so happy not to be in my uniform clothing! It's pretty stiff...I'm not a fan of the belts and the pants... but it's not that bad. I'm going to try to type up more of what I've been up to, but I'm pretty tired.

So far, things are pretty good--lots of information but it's coming at us at a reasonable rate. The people are nice, and there are a lot of us.

The first night I was feeling very overwhelmed, mostly because of all of the regulations, the strictness is not what I signed up for. However, yesterday the director talked to us for awhile, mostly about what great things we are going to be doing, and I felt a lot better. Once you get past that there can't even be garbage in your trashcan in your room (??) and your shirt must be tucked in at ALL times... you remember what you're really here for--to help others, to do good things. And I'm excited. I am so excited about going out on my first spike, for the next 10 months.

We get our teams on Wednesday, which is pretty exciting. Right now we are in temporary "pods," with whom we spend most of our time during the day with.

Last night a group of us went out to check out the nearby establishments and found a definite biker bar, which was awesome, and then to the sports bar, which was more what most of us are used to. It was fun to get out and relax a bit (which we are allowed to do!)

Alright, I think I'm headed back to my room, might take a nap. I'll follow up later with more of how things are going/what we are doing and learning.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

it's here!

So, I am about to put finishing touches on my packing...and then try to get some sleep...which probably won't happen. I am all jittery and hoping that I'm not forgetting anything. Eeep! It's finally here, I am off to save (at least part of) the world!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Beginnings

Okay, it starts now. The new life, the overturned leaf. As the days get closer to when I will leave for Sacramento, I am trying to pinpoint exactly what I want out of the next 10 months. How about the rest of my life?

1. I want to enjoy moments, whether big or small. I don't want to look back and think that I should have done this or that--I just want to do, do, do--and enjoy each moment for what it is.

2. Meet new people! Enough with this isolation that I have become so accustomed to. No longer do I only "need" one person. I have found a life that is so much richer when I am surrounded by those I love and who love me in return.

3. Break out of this box that I have closed myself into the past 2 years. I haven't grown enough, not in the way that I would like. Expand my horizons. Learn all that I can.

4. Save the world...or die trying. I don't want to let anything stand in my way. I don't want this fire to burn out and I will not let it. It's not enough to just do AmeriCorps, I need to continue to fight for what I believe in, what I care about, long after 10 months of service.

5. Find some semblance of peace, particularly in my heart. Come to an acceptance of what has been and move on. I guess, put my heart back together. One piece at a time.

6. grow, GROW, GROW

Two more days.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

official!

I received my flight itinerary today...I'll be into Sacramento at 1:09pm on Wednesday! Ah! It's real, I am actually going to do AmeriCorps. It's finally here. All this time waiting and it is finally (almost) here. I even took out my eyebrow piercing today to make it official (we can't have facial piercings while in the program, or at least while we are working, which is basically all the time). That was a little sad, but I got over it pretty quick when I realized the reason!

I also tried to put to rest this past relationship, tried to be sad for the last time, and am doing my best to move on. I sent off his things, said my goodbyes. It is sad how it all turned out--angry and disconnected--but this is probably the only way it could ever be final.

My grandparents, my mother, and I went out on a drive to the country this evening. It was really fun to hear my grandpa tell me stories about the old houses out there and where he once went to his country school teacher's for dinner. I complain about the wind here and sometimes about the backwardness, but when it comes down to it, this place is my history. My family has been here for generations and my blood is in this soil. How many people can say that? Can know specifically where their great grandparents did this or that? I can, and it means a lot.

Tonight as I watched the (gorgeous) sunset, I felt completely at peace. Thank goodness for family.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Things are still flat. And windy. The cat is getting used to the leash...I'll work on a photo of that for those who are interested. :)

Last night, after dealing with that fat cat, I took some time to look up at the sky and see the stars--without all of the lights from a city. I saw a shooting star and as silly as it sounds, made a wish. I stood there for probably 15 minutes and I let a lot of things out. It was surreal--feeling that wind whip around me from every direction-- letting so many emotions come and go at once. I tried to banish all of the hurt, I sent it away in the wind. With each deep breath of that wind I breathed in a new life. Things will be sent away, never to be seen again, and it will all be better!

I have 12 days and I will be in Sacramento. Lots to do! So much to pack! Jesse is letting me borrow his huge North Face duffel bag...I think I could fit in it if I tried... not to be completely filled up, but it is nice to have the extra space.

Gosh, I am ready for a big change. These 12 days can't go fast enough, now that time has stopped.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

the flattest state around

I'm in Kansas. Wish I had some pictures but basically a vast blue sky and flat flat ground sums it up pretty well. The wind never seems to stop blowing and time is slower here. It's a whole different world!

We've moved the stuff into the house but the title has yet to go through so we can't exactly set up residence yet. Calypso (the cat) is living in our car and I take him for little walks around the grandparents' backyard (on his leash).

I've been asking for so long for time to stop, for a chance to catch up, and I feel I may be getting that time now. I am healing, surrounded by family and wide open spaces. Lots of time to think on the drive out here (in between the license plate game with Jesse). I am ready for big changes, the single life, for spontaneity, for PT (!), temporary housing, even steel-toed boots.

Mark my words: I will thrive.