Thursday, January 15, 2009

5 More Days!

They misunderestimated me.
- George W. Bush, Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000
Only 5 more days of having a man in office who made us the laughing stock of the world.
In an AP article by Ben Feller, it was written:

Bush and his loyal backers see his record this way: He kept the country safe from attack after terrorism redefined his presidency, cut taxes, freed the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, reformed education, oversaw 52 straight months of job growth, acted decisively when the economy tanked, stuck to principle no matter what his poll numbers, retooled the military and improved federal crisis management after the worst U.S. natural disaster happened on his watch.

To his critics, Bush wasted the world's goodwill after the Sept. 11 attacks, got the nation into a catastrophic and avoidable Iraq war, presided over a staggering 2.6 million jobs lost in 2008, ran up debt, reacted slowly to Hurricane Katrina, did more dividing than uniting and refused to listen to the will of the people.

Funny how different perspectives tell different stories of the same events...

I took a survey the other day about Obama, and how much change I think he can accomplish in his first 100 days in office. I wasn't entirely sure about that first 100 days, but I truly have hope for his presidency. When I watched his acceptance speech, I felt it. I don't even know what it was that I felt, can't put a name to it, but I felt it.

And at the same time, others are fearing for our future. Only time will tell, and until then, we have to trust that things will get better. In the words of our great leader,

There's a huge trust. I see it all the time when people come up to me and say,

'I don't want you to let me down again.'

- George W. Bush, Boston, Mass., Oct. 3, 2000

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Doing something that matters

The ability to convert ideas to things is the secret to outward success.
Henry Ward Beecher

I want to do something that matters.

I don't want to write for a newspaper. So many times, it includes writing articles that people have already written, asking questions I already know the answers to, talking to people whose answers are scripted, rather than honest.
I don't want to be a travel writer. What is the point of getting to travel to exotic locations and write an article that 200 people might skim? Even I don't read articles in their entirety; why should I expect other people to read my work?
There are so many more important things that need to be done in this world, and I want to find some way to start getting these things done. I want to do more than to just find something I enjoy and make a job out of it. I want to find something I enjoy doing and use those skills to help other people. Maybe that will be creating publications for non-profit organizations, maybe tutoring children from impoverished areas... who knows...

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Sampling of Images From the Year

My future neighbors

LAS E-Board on Halloween

Amanda and I in Texas for the Honors Conference

Flor, Amanda and I at the "6-D What Not To Wear Party"

Alex and I on a picnic

Road trip to CT with Tonya!

Tonya's birthday party

Summer days babysitting Holden

Florida vacation - artsy shot

Armani, Gianni and I in Florida

Sunbathing sisters

Julia and I in San Francisco

Thursday, January 1, 2009

"Happy is what happens when all your dreams come true..."

We come. We go. And in between we try to understand.
Rod Steiger

I'm in a strange place right now. It is the end of the first day of potentially the best year of my life. Behind me, I have Ballston Spa, Dante Rasera, my old house, Jo-Jo, Galway, Matt Gayken, Mrs. Koines' couch, "firsts," a mile time under 11 minutes, a 206% English average, soc-hops, kisses, bus rides, band trips, innocence, plays, Nick, graduation, Poughkeepsie, Steven, Kelly, band, LAS as we know it, etc.
Ahead of me, I have Australia, internships, adventures, travelling, New Zealand, new foods, new friends, new relationships, senior year of college (ahh! how did this happen?!), graduation, job-searching, and then...
the real world. Which, the more I see of it, the less I'm looking forward to it.
We had dinner with one of my sister's married girl friends the other night, and she was miserable. It reminded me of the song from Wicked, "Thank Goodness":
Yes -
We couldn't be happier,
Right, dear?
Couldn't be happier
Right here
Look what we've got
A fairy-tale plot
Our very own happy ending
Where we couldn't be happier -
True, dear?
Couldn't be happier
And we're happy to share
Our ending vicariously
With all of you
He couldn't look handsomer
I couldn't feel humbler
We couldn't be happier
Because happy is what happens
When all your dreams come true!
Sung in a sarcastic tone, the girl who seemingly got everything she wanted isn't as happy as she expected she would be. And I'm afraid of that happening to all of us. What if that perfect husband-job-apartment-house-dog-children plan isn't all it's cracked up to be. What if we get it all, and are still unhappy. What is missing from my sister's friend's life that is leaving her unsatisfied and bored? How do I prevent that from happening to me? How do I help my sister and friends so that it doesn't happen to them? We shouldn't have to convince ourselves that we are happy, like Glinda was doing in the song.