- Find an organization that I am passionate about to volunteer for
- Write a poem each day
- Eat a fruit and a vegetable each day
- Make time, at least 20 minutes each day, to listen to God
- Repeat this: “I am optimistic. I am blessed. I have no expectations. I trust God.”
- Fall in love with a person and not a thing
- Show the people in my life that I appreciate them
- Dream big, let go of limits, release the fear of starting over, have nine lives
Oprah recently did a Lifeclass with Greg Behrendt and his wife Amiira Ruotola about dating myths. Behrendt is the author of the book He’s Just Not That Into You, and they have just co-authored a book called It’s Just A F***ing Date. Their no nonsense approach to dating is designed to put women in control and help them to stop feeling as they have to alter themselves in order to find the right guy. Of course, I will admit that all of the talk about single-dom generally revolves around what women are doing wrong. We talk too much, we reveal too much, we don’t make guys wait, we’re not vulnerable enough, etc. Then everything guys are doing wrong is chalked up to “they’re just guys.” I resent this dating conversation, because it takes two to tango. However, one thing that I did like about the class is the part of the discussion about the ways mobile and digital communication have changed dating. A discussion was sparked between the men and women in the audience about texting. Text messages allow us to fall into vague, bad communication patterns with the person we’re dating without risking anything as we over analyze everything. I personally hate texting people I do not know well. I think that until you know someone’s speech pattern, word choices, and tone of voice, texting them is a bad idea. You end up over analyzing everything they type and texts between strangers often come off as curt and snarky. As a single person whose dating life is about as alive as pine trees in the Sahara, I was happy to see that I am not the only one who finds courting through text awkward and impersonal.
I read The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros for the first time when I was 15 years old. During my sophomore year of high school my English teacher gave us the assignment to choose a book and write a paper about a social issue raised in it. Me, being over ambitious, decided to read The House on Mango Street and write my paper about Mexican assimilation in the United States. I find myself re-reading this book at least once a year and my favorite vignette is called “Bums in the attic.” I have re-typed it below:
Bums in the Attic
I want a house on a hill like the ones with the gardens where papa works. We go on Sundays, Papa’s day off. I used to go. I don’t anymore. You don’t like to go out with us, Papa says. Getting to old? Getting too stuck-up, says Nenny. I don’t tell them I am ashamed– all of us staring out the window like the hungry. I am tired of looking at what we can’t have. When we win the lottery…Mama begins, and then I stop listening.
People who live on the hills sleep so close to the stars they forget those of us who live too much on earth. They don’t look down at all except to be content to live on hills. They have nothing to do with last week’s garbage or fear of rats. Night comes. Nothing wakes them but the wind.
One day I’ll own my own house, but I won’t forget who I am or where I came from. Passing bums will ask, Can I come in? I’ll offer them the attic, ask them to stay, because I know how it is to be without a house.
Some days after dinner, guests and I will sit in front of a fire. Floorboards will squeak upstairs. The attic grumble.
Rats? they’ll ask.
Bums, I’ll say, and I’ll be happy.