6 Years and a Few Months Ago

Solo Date 9: JFK Presidential Library and Museum

I have always considered myself to be a bit of a nerd since I have a strong love of learning new things. In grad school, I adopted the term life-long learner, which was kickass wording for job interviews I might add. I have always wanted to be a life-long learner since I adopted that phrase, as I truly believe to teach is to show others how to do just that. 

One must continue to learn to show students how to learn, to show students that they should want to learn and it’s exciting to learn new things. We also need to show students that they should want to learn for the hell of it. They should be curious about the things they’re interested in and find out about them on their own. 

Anyway on this date, I did some learning on my own. While headed to Boston for a rugby match, I stopped over in the morning at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum.

One of the best things about going on a date to a museum with yourself is going at exactly your pace. You can stop and read the things that you find interesting and skip all the things you don’t. You can play with all of the interactive exhibits (even if maybe they’re intended for kids.) There’s no acting any which way for any person. Some genuine time with yourself is more than just freeing, but eye opening. Letting myself truly choose what I want without just going with the flow of whatever the crowd chooses is an experience I need more of. 

Personally, I will always stop and pretend to be president when given the option. And the crowd goes wild for President Michie. Fake Applause noises and all.

Did you know JFK wanted to be a teacher or a writer before the war? Also he made huge advancements for students with disabilities, specifically. I enjoy the little tidbits of knowledge you get out of museums like this. There are pieces that you take with you because it is important to you. Look at that! Things in common with JFK.

It is so cool seeing old fashioned appliances and literature. I love old posters even if some of these are not original. Nothing is cooler to me than actual pieces from different times, real relics. I love wallpaper and old fashioned tvs built into a whole giant case like that. If they would function with cable, I would have one of those for sure. One day in my weird home, maybe it will be like a walk through the decades and I’ll have a record player in the kitchen with some bright pink walls and sinks. When you’re alone, you can daydream about whatever you want.    

I don’t think I have ever given myself enough of a chance to just be out in public and be quiet. Giving myself the time to observe the world in silence and process what’s around me. I am too social for example to have ever experienced museums like this with others. School trips, I was more concerned with which friends would be in my group, than I was concerned about what exhibit we were on. Yea, I’m not sure I learned one thing on any school trip to a museum. 

Finding: Giving yourself time to be exactly yourself is freeing. 

JFK Quote I noted

“If not us, who? If not now, when?”

Present Day 2020

Six years later and I’m living in that whacky house I dreamed of and I keep finding whacky things to fill it with. I picture some kind of mixture of Pee Wee Herman’s house and the bar from Cheers coming to fruition. 

I just scored this piece from an antique store which is just like the one I wanted to steal from my close friends that I call my commune family. 

Living in my own place has definitely given me the time and now space to be exactly myself, which I talked about loving on this solo-date. It surely is freeing to watch as much Full[er] House as I want– because that show is god-damn heartwarming. I can also leave my underwear in the kitchen and have my bedroom in the doorway to the house. Damn, it feels good to be a homeowner and there are certainly some perks of not having settled down yet. For example, I don’t have to hide my Oreos. I also find joy in getting to be my silly self, just like the girl pretending to be president in that solo-date.  

I go on to talk a lot about love and dating in a love of these dates and on this date was quite the same. For privacy purposes, I cut that short in this piece.  I will say the quest for love ever continues 6 years later, but I learned from every experience that I wrote about in the dates and moving forward into the present. I will share some general ideas about love, but this one I thought was one to keep for me. The thing with dating is some people give you a part of them that they wouldn’t share with the world– and that’s special.

In my writings I go on to talk about more of these ‘blips,’ a coin I termed with a coworker I used to ramble on to on our lunch. Blips are the ones you thought were really something, but turned out to be mere blips. Blips is the best word for them because they ignite your radar in this intense blipping fashion, just to keep flying past. You thought that it was it, the big bomb. The bomb would, of course, take down the plane. That’s settling down in my brain. You get out of flight and come crashing down into some sort of wonderful. It’s like a bomb and then poof! There’s the little white picket fence and all the cliches. No more flying crazy, no more navigation.

Not this time though. Just a blip– many blips would come after that date. I can’t say I didn’t love every second with each one, but as I say, that’s a whole different story.

Even though, I chose to retract a little of this blip, I mention love because you can say love is a goal of sorts. Finding romantic love is certainly something I wanted and mentioned in all of my writing 6 years ago– something I was/am looking for. I won’t say I don’t write a lot about the same now.

I will say six years later, I have achieved a heck of a lot of the other goals I set out to achieve in that time in my life. That is really exciting to reflect on. It is amazing to read notes from your past self basically begging to have the things you have now. I think that girl from 6 years ago would be proud. That is cool to think.  

Here I am now– still finding new goals to achieve and yet still going back to work on some of the old ones. 

Learning: You never have to follow a timeline, even if you made it yourself. There is always time to try again. 

I am proud to be putting the time into the things I really love again [i.e. this blog]. I am writing and sharing, which I have always wanted to do. I am working on the ever yo-yoing diet that was just as prevalent in my solo date writings. [I just hit 205lbs today. Swing swing from the tangles of…] I am working on my fitness, the things I already loved and even some new things [Hello, I have a run club!]  

This night’s run in my new reflective long sleeve, something I get excited about now that I am an evening runner

I am proud to prove to my past self that I kept it going. I truly continue to be a forever learner and that makes me proud. I still believe teachers need to have a love of learning. One of the things I remember vividly from grad school is that one of the biggest factors in being a good teacher is exuding the desire to want to learn. You need to believe what you’re teaching is important. While I have trouble explaining why it is so important to solve for x, I truly believe in teaching what I teach. I believe in exposure to logic and all of the things that lie under the word problems they[we] hate. 

I believe I was meant to be a teacher… and maybe all teachers need to believe that underneath, too. 

The thing about being a true lifelong learner is knowing that sometimes you’ll fail even working on the same things and that is okay. 

Learning always happens in the failure. 

Tear a meniscus diving and you’ll learn to pass the ball. Gain 25 pounds and you’ll learn you can’t outrun the Oreos. Go down in the weight you can lift and learn that you can’t take a month off without your body reacting. 

You fail. You learn. You move forward. You fix it or you continue to regress.

That choice is always yours.