Thursday, November 26, 2009

This is my excuse for failure. But I have to say ... I think its legit.

Okay so the very next day after deciding that I wanted to give food to starving children ... I'm walking through a building on campus and I see a box collecting non-perishable food items and canned good donations for the Food Bank of Western Mass. Irony? I think not.
Fate? ... My life's calling? Possibly.
You can sure as heck bet, I donated 2 cans of green beans, canned corn, and a box of extra butter movie theatre popcorn. (Because I figured if they're food insecure and starving then they might need the extra calories).

The next day, was maybe not so much giving away - but more giving back. A week ago I was at practice, and an hour into it I felt lethargic and shaky and weak. And my coach was kind enough to give me one of his granola bars, which really helped boost my energy again, and I was able to have a good practice! So in the spirit of "giving away," I also decided to "give back" and I replaced his emergency granola bar stash with one of my own.

So of course at this point I'm feeling really good about life. Thanksgiving is coming ...and I just keep giving and giving ... and it feels great! My spirits are high, we're in the holiday season, people are great, the world is wonderful yada yada blah blah ... and then I failed. What goes up, must come down....

Yesterday I did not give anything away. In fact, something got taken from me. And no, that is not an excuse. I know. But it really crushed me. I was so upset over it that I got distracted and forgot about trying to give away. All I could think about was the fact that something got taken from me.

So that you can possibly better sympathize with me, and not think Im a jerk for breaking my committment, I'll try to justify myself and explain the situation. It's kind of a big deal.

Yesterday its a cold rainy day. Hardly anybody is on campus because they all went home for Thanksgiving. I decided to stay the day and work in lab for 4 hours. After that I REALLY REALLY just wanted to be home for the holiday. But I decided to be a good athlete and practice in the rain, all by myself, because I don't want to let down my team and my coach. So I go to the building where I practice EVERY day. I decide to run 3 laps inside before braving the cold rain. I put my iPod down, underneath my headband in the corner of the room. I run one lap, check to see its there, it is. Run a second lap, check to see its there ... it is. Run a third and final lap before being done .... iPod is gone.

The next 10 minutes are so blurry right now. It was pure adrenaline. I stormed into the gym where about 25 - 30 boys are playing basketball. I demand for my iPod. Nobody is fessing up. I steal their basketball and stop their game. I rip into them. Inappropriate words were said. Finally someone told me who took it ... the kid obviously ran away with it seeing as he snipped it from me right under my nose and knew I'd come looking for it. I said some more inappropriate things about nobody being a decent person to stop him as they watched him steal something they knew wasn't his. I was not about to let some immature 16 year old boy steal my $180 iPod, on MY campus, in MY practice building, when I was gone from it for no more than a minute and a half.

I mean, ya... I shouldn't have put it down. But am I not supposed to trust people ever? Am I really in the wrong to think that I can't walk away from something that belongs to me for 2 mintues, in a place where I go everyday, a place where I deserve to be and should feel safe in, and think that nobody will take my stuff. Is that too much to ask?

Either way ... I wasn't going to let this go. I demanded respect from those boys and I got it. I called the cops on him. He stole from me. I got witnesses. Name, address, number, fathers name, mothers name, fathers profession and work location ya da ya da ....

...Seriously? I can not believe that happened to me. As much as I was in the "holiday spirit," ... I hope that kid gets it. I'll get it back though, I have no doubts. Either that, or money for it. Or I'll bring him to court...whatever. I go to UMass. I don't mess around.

SO, yeah, as you can see, I was a bit worked up and distracted. So after having some kid steal my iPod, I wasn't necessarily in the giving mood.

Does anybody sympathize with me? Am I excused? Or am I a let down? At a time when it was must crucial to prove that I am still a giving person, even when I don't get anything in return, I failed. But to be honest ... I don't feel too guilty. I kind of excuse myself. Having my iPod stolen for no reason, when I did nothing wrong is kind of unfair to me. Plus, today I gave my brother my gum, I gave an old hat to charity for kids who can't afford winter clothes, and I also expressed all my thankfulness to my loving and supporting family and friends and I tried my very best to give them love and support back. Because it was Thanksgiving and all ...

I do still want to give. As long as this kid gives me my iPod or money within the next week. Then I will forgive him. Because not only do I think it's important to be a giving person, but I also think its important to be a forgiving person. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Hes young and stupid. As long as he learns that stealing is wrong and mean, then I'll move on. I'll move on, and I still fully intend to complete 30 days of giving.

Maybe thats what I gave away yesterday - I gave away a life lesson.
Ehhh ... thats really stretching it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

This is turning into a charity commitment

The last four days I just keep giving food away. It's definitely the easiest thing to give away because lets face it ... everybody needs food. You just can't live without it. But when I stop to think about it, I keep giving food to my roommates and friends, and although I'm happy to do that for them, wouldn't it be great if I could give food to starving children? Or I guess it doesn't have to be that specific, but anybody who actually NEEDS stuff. I should start to give things away to people who NEED things. Not just give stuff away. Theres a difference. Thats my aim for the next 16 days. Give something away every day to somebody who needs it.

Geesh I really know how to challenge myself. Why am I doing this again?
I honestly don't know. But why not? I have no reasons not to either.

Just for shits and giggles:
Come up with an interesting way to make This is NOT a Book move.
The result -->

Sunday, November 15, 2009

this is just ... last minute and...just ... butterflies.

10:10 on a Sunday evening. I'm about to go in my room, shut the door, do homework and call it a night. Then I realized, I didn't give anything away today! Nothing. I kept everything to myself. In fact, people gave me things! I got a free coffee and bagel from Dunkin Donuts from my friend this morning. My roommate gave me some of her popcorn. I also took a piece of someones gum this morning. I took all these things from people, and I didn't give one thing in return. (Not to mention all those things were food items. Clearly Im a poor starving college student who cant afford to feed herself properly and takes everybody else's food. I should probably stop doing that.)

Yesterday I gave two things. I gave my headphones to my roommate for the day, and I gave soda to my other roommate. Same with another day this week, I remember giving two things away. But I don't think that makes up for giving nothing today. I mean, some days its easy. Some days people just straight up ask me for things and all that I have to do is say "Yes, here you go. You can have this of mine" or "Yes, I will give that to you." Or something along those lines. Its just so easy I just give something away simply because somebody asked me to.

And then a day like today comes, and nobody asked me for anything and therefore I didn't give anything away! Im astounded. Im actually pretty dissappointed in myself. Not once did an opportunity come up where I could give something away ... ? I must not be trying hard enough. I really need to step up my game. It's only been 8 days and Im already slacking! I have 3 more weeks to go!

Well, I wasn't going to let this go. I have to give something away today. So one of my best friends was over helping another one of my best friends with her homework. So I wrote her a thank you card for being my best friend. But it was just too hilarious to me that I couldn't think of anything better to give away right now besides a dinky little thank you card, so I made it more hilarious by googling friendship quotes to put in the card ...

Your friendship is special
Like the flowers that bloom,
Or when a butterfly emerges
From within its cocoon...

You remind me of that butterfly,
Loving and free,
Bright and colorful,
For the world to see...

We will share sunshine and rainbows;
Sometimes, the rain and the snow;
We'll stand together through it,
While the cold winds blow...

When the time is right,
We won't stop to ask "Why?"
Our friendship will take flight
On the wings of a butterfly ...

If I came up with this myself, I'd be impressed. But I didn't. I googled it. So its just pathetic and hilarious. We got a good kick out of my poor attempt to "give something away" that was clearly last minute. So maybe in this case, I can classify tonight as giving away laughter. Or my dignity. Either one ... it's done. On the wings of a butterfly .... oh my.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This is an update =)

So I've actually written a lot of posts here,and I'm a decent quarter way through (Not a) book. But between the scavenger hunt and month long committment, things are slowing down. So I thought I'd give an update.

I am reading a book called "This is NOT a book." And its true, it really isn't a book. Every page is a different experience. It gives me something to do, an activity, an adventure. Why am I doing this? I am a young college student going through a lot of changes in my life. I need something fun to do to help get me through. To help me laugh. To help me explore. To help me live. I have nothing stopping me. I have minimal responsibilities. And I have a lot of spunk. So Im taking on this challenge to complete every page in This is Not a Book for me to find out who I am and what life is about, and for you to enjoy my stories by reading my blog. (Which if you've noticed I've ironically named NOT a Blog, since Im reading NOT a Book).

So WHAT exactly have I been doing?? Well ... some things are pretty meaningful and somethings are quite pointless. For example, did I tell you that I had to color an "obscure shape" using "the strangest method I can think of" ?? Well, I did it. I stuck two markers up my nose and tried to color. I have this amazing talent where I can expand my nostrils, and yes, I fit markers up my nose, and I colored. Unfortunately, after a few scribbles it hurt ... so I continued to color with the second strangest method I could think of, which waswith my toes.

Did I also tell you that I cut and pasted a face on the cover of the (not a) book. I put an two eyes, one with a patch, and a giant smile. So now it looks like a pirate! My pirate friend.

These are just two of the many silly things I've been doing...
But somethings are much more important. Or not necessarialy important, but meaningful. Or not necessarialy meaningful ... but activities that after all is said and done I realize, "wow, that really made an impact on my day."

For example, I am currently engaged in a month long committment. Every day, from Saturday on, I have to give something away for one whole month. Its proven easy some days, and difficult on others. It is going to be a long month, but one thing is for sure, it is rewarding to give things away! It feels really good!
So far I've given away two packets of gum to all the members of my house, homemade healthy granola bars to my guy friends, a book about ideas that I thought my friend would be really interested in, my towel and sandals to two different teammates during our pool practice workout, I bought my friend an icecream cone, and I gave a piece of gum to my friend in class today.

Giving things away is liberating. You should try it. Maybe not necessarialy for a whole month, but maybe just sometimes.

I also started a chain letter, in hopes that people connect with friends and read my blog! So far it went to Durham NC and is now at Tufts in Boston ... and we'll see where it heads next!

And an update on the scavenget hunt: I still need to discover a scientific theorem. And trust me, Im working on it. I was in lab for 3 hours wednesday and I will be there for 3 hours tomorrow ... No need to fear, I will save the world.

So, basically I am reading a book in which I do what I'm told. And somehow that is supposed to make me feel like an independent self-sufficient confident young woman. Yepppp .... :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This is lent for lindsey

My friends have been really great lately. Theres a chance that they all collectively decided to step up their game and be awesome human beings all at once. Or theres a possibly greater chance that I never stopped and took a step back to be grateful for them and all they do for me.
I've been pretty sick this week (swine??) and everybody just seems so caring. My roommate made a giant cauldron of soup, my friend from home brought me food and stopped by just to say Hi and see how I was feeling ...people just care. Its really nice. And sickness aside, my friends are very supportive. Tino made me a secret code this week! And then Sean gave me his map! (The Umass transit bus routes). He even read my blog while we were in class! Giving up his education for me ... thats true friendship. I just feel loved. And that makes me feel happy.

So I'm ready to give back.
Page 62 says: This is a COMMITMENT. Do one thing on this list every day for ONE month:
-wear an article of clothing inside out
-read a book you don't think you will like
-sing on your way to work/school
-give something away
-take a photo
-draw something
-write a letter

I've debated over which one I've wanted to do for quite some time now. Between the blog and my journal, and being in school and writing papers, writing a letter everyday is the last thing I want to do. And reading a book I don't think I'll like could turn out to be such a hassle. What if it turns out I'm right, and I don't like it! Then Im stuck doing something that I hate for a whole month! Thats miserable. And sing on my way to school. That would be miserable for everybody around me. I'll spare you all. Draw something ... I do that a lot anyway, I doodle, I sketch, it just wasn't challenging enough for me.... I need a challenge.

So give something away. This could be my little conscious effort to give back to my friends who have been so great to me. I want to show them that I care too. That they mean a lot to me and that I am so thankful to know them and have them in my life. So I guess every day from now on I have to give something away. Now what will I give away?? I have NO idea ... I don't think people necessarialy want my stuff. Anddddd although I don't NEED everything in my life, its not like I want to start giving away my clothes. Sooooo, Im going to have be be creative. I might have to spend some money. Or I might have to be really cheap. Im assuming some days I'll give stuff away that really doesn't mean anything, but that fact that I am consciously giving something away is the point. And I'm hoping that other days I can actually put effort into it and give something away that matters, so that I can show my friends that I love them. And maybe somedays I can give something away to a total stranger so that I can make a new friend!!

Well ... I'm sure I'll figure it out as the days go on. Like I said, today is Day 1. So I was at the store buying packets of gum for myself. And by the time I got home I realized that I would have to give it away. My roommates Erinn and Elaina have frequently offered their gum up for the entire house, so now its my turn. Gum for everyone in my house! With 6 of us I don't think that 6 packs of gum will last too long ... but luckly I am doing this for a whole month! So I can do it again when we run out!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

this is cracking the code

A play-by-play of the last half hour of my life:

Its 10:30pm on a Wednesday night. I'm feeling sick so I am going to bed early. I check my e-mail one last time before sleep.
I have a message.
I don't know who it is from. They're name is "avrilflowerfan".
I open the e-mail. It is short and sweet.
It reads "Make sure you check your mailbox. There may be something of interest to you in it."
I skeptically walk outside to my mailbox.
Its dark, our house light doesnt' go on.
I check over my shoulder once or twice, nervous that someone was playing some sort of prank on me.
I reach in the mailbox.
There is a little piece of paper that says "LINDSEY" on it.
I rush inside.
I open the paper.
It doesn't make any sense. There are squares and dots and lines.
It doesn't say anything I can read.
It's like some sort of secret code....

I run and show my roommates.
"Its a secret code!!!" I jump up and down.
A secret code for my scavenger hunt!
Together we rush to my desk and whip out a pencil.
We don't know what the dots and squares and lines mean.
The first line has 2 symbols, a space, and then 7 symbols. We take a gamble and guess that it says "Hi Lindsey"
5-10 minutes later, we cracked the code =)

It said:
"Hi Lindsey,
I Hope this helps you on your scavenger hunt. I just want you to know that I think what you are doing is awesome! I'm proud of you. Remember that your friends will always be there for you! Good luck Lindsey, -- Tino "

My friend Tino gave me a secret code. What a guy =) I am so grateful that I have fun and supportive friends who make secret codes for me to crack, and blog about, and complete my scavenger hunt. And to have friends that get just as excited as me, and jump up and down with me, and help me crack the code in record breaking time. Friends are really good to have around. They make me smile and laugh, they support me and they help me. I never thought a silly little gesture like this could make me so happy, but it really is! I am so happy right now.

Secret code - found and solved! I can check that one off the list now too.
Along with the pea pod that I ate in my mom's stir fry last night and (on a more inappropriate note)the dog poop (poop=palindrome) that I saw on the sidewalk two days ago.

Thanks Tino!!