On Being Considerate & Forgiving

I think I was raised too well. I’m not saying I’m perfect or I have the best manners but man…when it comes to being selfish, I’m a failure. If there were Olympics for manners, I’d get the gold medal in “Consideration” and I wouldn’t even qualify for being ‘Selfish’ and I would probably be laughed out of ‘Etiquette’…I’m a burp-and-be-proud kind of girl. Only in the right company of course…

But when it comes to being considerate of others, picking up after myself, helping other people, thinking about others if I’m going grocery shopping, picking up a knick-knack or something that a person mentioned they need…I’m golden.

Unfortunately, I’ve realized that not everyone will be that considerate…hell, they may not even qualify for the Manners Olympics…because they don’t think outside of the box…the box that is their own wants & needs, regardless of the people around them.

The problem is with me, I can’t change…I’m programmed this way. As much as I want to be a bitch and selfish…and say “Fuck everyone”…I can’t. That’s not me.

I don’t want to be a doormat either…

So how do I balance this?

I also give too many second…third…fourth chances. I want to forgive someone even if they hurt me…If they just apologized or reached out, more than likely, I’ll be ready to forgive them and give them another chance, hoping that their actions were a fluke…that they’re better than that…I justify their actions…hope for the best and get hurt yet again. I can’t stay mad at a person…even if I spend hours venting and cursing to my best friends about how angry & hurt I may be…there’s always a chance that if they ask, I’ll give them another chance.

I’m tired of being hurt and used. I’m also tired of the fact that unfortunately…most people suck…and like Sarah said to me this morning…there really is only one person that I can rely on…and that is just me.

The problem with that? I’m also the person 90% of the people in my life rely on…so where can I lean on to ease some of the weight off my soul?

For One More Day

Yesterday, there was the worst Metro accident in DC history… (My heart and prayer goes out to the loved ones of the deceased and the injured)

Everyone naturally said “This is a reminder for us to appreciate the people we love.”

Why is it that only tragedy gives us the reminder to appreciate the people we are blessed to have in our lives? Shouldn’t we do that everyday?

I do my damn best to do it everyday. So I seem crazy mushy or super needy or clingy or I’ve been called fake…because I show people I appreciate them. As often as I can. Even if it’s just a little ‘Hello’ or ‘Smile’…

(The rest of this blog, I wrote in April, 2008…It felt fitting to post it here today)

Charlie Daniels:

A brief candle; both ends burning
An endless mile; a bus wheel turning
A friend to share the lonesome times
A handshake and a sip of wine
So say it loud and let it ring
We are all a part of everything
The future, present and the past
Fly on proud bird
You’re free at last.

written en route to the funeral for his friend, Ronnie Van Zant of the band, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

I was hit by death early on in my life…In fact, before I was even born. My grandfather died three years prior to my birth…before meeting any of his grandchildren. I grew up, only knowing him through those black & white pictures and stories that my mom and aunts told of him. I felt deprived that he wasn’t physically in my life but his words were a cornerstone of the foundation of who I am today.

Growing up, I had a great uncle who was like a grandfather to me…he filled that void as best as he could. His real grandson was one of my cousins who loved pulling my hair…and because he always had a shaved head, I couldn’t get revenge for the pain that my pretty little head endured. Though we grew up in different cities, we were close. I still remember his giggle like it was yesterday. His life was cut short when he was killed in a freak accident on the first day of school. He was either 6 or 7…I was 5 or 6. He died instantly and our grandfather had to wait by his body until the ambulances could get there. Our grandfather died of a heart attack just a few months later. I was 6 and I knew of death. I had lost two of the most precious people in my life and I kept a picture of my cousin close to me all my life. His mother gave birth to a son a year or two later…he was named after his big brother he could never meet. How I wish that his mother could have one more day to hold her first born in her arms…

What would you do with one more day with a lost loved one?

I’ve been thinking about this since I read For One More Day by Mitch Albom.

I began thinking about the people I’ve lost…Who would I want one more day with? What would I say? I’ve lost two great aunts in the last year and half…the most recent one being the widow of my “grandfather” who died shortly after his grandson’s death. Long years passed and I guess heartbreak can only be held off for so long…

Then I began people who used to be in my life…who are still alive but in my past. Would I want a day with any of them? No…they are in my past for a reason and if I really wanted…I could track them down. There are no lost words between me and anyone who is in my past. This is why I am so adamant and passionate about those in my now…I don’t want you guys to ever doubt who I am & the place you hold in my life. Hindsight is 20/20 but I’m working on bettering my vision so that I don’t have to look back.

I only have one thing to say to anyone who is in my past who may have gotten there on a “bad” note. I forgive you. I forgive you for any pain you may have caused me…and I apologize for any I’ve caused you…knowingly or unknowingly. I try to be very careful with my words, even in fights because I don’t believe in hurting on purpose…no matter how upset we may be. So I’m sorry if I caused you any pain…and I forgive you for the hurt you caused me.

When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free. ~~Catherine Ponder

So back to the question…who would be that one person for me? The answer has always been clear…my grandfather. I would hold him in my arms, knowing that in 24 hours, I’d have to let go again. I would just sit there and listen to him. We would go to the park so that he could push me on the swings. We’d walk hand in hand, just taking in the moment. I would look at him…taking in the meaningfulness of his eyes, how genuinely he smiles, his laugh…every line on his face…So that I would never forget. What would I say to him?

“I love you. I hope I’ve made you proud.”

Why is it that we only realize the value of our lives…and those around us after it’s too late? Remember…death is certain. Make sure that you make every moment of every day count.

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in, we’ll become too soft. But a wise man Levine said it right. He said ‘Love is the only rational act.'”
~ Morrie Shwartz, Tuesdays with Morrie

So tell me…if you had one more day with someone…dead or alive…Who would it be? What would you say and/or do?

Feelings: Inconclusive

The one number one question I’ve been asked this weekend is…How do you feel?

Since I’m all moved out and all.

I’m sitting here on the couch at my new place, after a fantastic night out after a full day of driving and all I can think right now is…I don’t know how I’m feeling.

It still hasn’t registered.

But I do know I’m incredibly sore (Thanks fucker who hit me Friday)…and tired (I drove SO much) and uncertain…Because I did this horribly terrifying thing…leaving behind what’s been crippling me all these years and I think I’m in shock. I think my family is in shock because I actually did it. I packed my life into suitcases and into my car and rolled out. This is crazyness. It felt as if I was going on vacation, the way I packed my clothes in to suitcase. But nope. This is no vacation.

I’m exhausted yet I can’t sleep so I’m sitting here uploading pix from tonight & playing with my new iPod. That’s right. I bought myself a new iPod.

Because 2009? All.about.me.

I think it’ll hit me when I go to work on Tuesday…because everything will the same..yet…so fucking different.

Jesus, Dori (the cat) just jumped on the couch behind me and scared the shit out of me. I gotta get used to living with animals.

I think I’m just gonna go to sleep now. We have mad cleaning to do today.

Forget The Risk, Take The Fall

I have no idea how it happened but all of a sudden, thanks to a Twitter convo that got out of control, I am now planning a road trip to Atlantic City…We’re aiming for August/September…If you’re in the DC area, it’d be this massive road trip…a couple of cars depending on how many people are going and the rest can join us there. So far, I have: JustJP, GingerMandy, FrickinEh, The Odd Duck, I Hate So Much, Baking With Plath, LiLu, Lexa & Deutlich. f.B, you weren’t on Twitter last night but naturally you’re invited. If you’re in the DC area and are interested in being included, email me @ jordanq@thepqnation.com and I’ll include you in the planning emails.

Projects of PQ:

I’ve been talking one of these for a while…and the other one is pretty new but I’ll be focusing on two projects this summer, in addition to freelance jobs. I know, I just can’t sit still. These two projects though, I need you guys to pimp me…since this is for others and not for me.

HTML PQ Style: HTML tutorials & tips…For those switching from Blogger to WP, wordpress.com to self-hosted and everything in between from plugins to design. Most tutorials don’t address the most BASIC FAQs…the foundational questions…That’s what I’ll be focusing on. I’m the most efficient in WP but I’ll be poking around in Blogger to take those questions as well. I’ll also be available to help people switch to self-hosted accounts from a free WP or Blogger account…as well as help with finding new designs, etc. For now, my ‘fee’ will be on a case by case basis.

Career Tips for 20-Somethings: All the career advice out there is too general…Not aimed at US…the 20-somethings trying to make it in the corporate world. I’ll be writing tips, advice, etc…based on what I think is important, as well as your questions…I will try to make it as broad as possible, addressing specific issues pertaining to different industries…but it’ll be more focused on DC professionals…for now. I will also be offering services to edit resumes…I worked with resumes for two years and it’s something I actually enjoy doing. I know that other services out there charge an arm & a leg…I’ll only take a finger. This website will be more professional, organized & open to questions. I will also try to have interviews and guest blogs with real professionals in the HR and other fields. This site will be shaped based YOUR needs so spread the word…and start getting questions in.

If you want to help with the funding of either of these sites, email me and I’ll give you the Paypal info. What I really need will be word of mouth advertising once the sites are up & running.

*points to sidebar* If you’re on Google Friend Connect and/or FB Networked Blogs, take two seconds to add my blog to your lists/dashboard.

**There was a pic here but a bunch of whiners said it made them dizzy so I took it down**

I found my flash drive with all of my pix…I found some pictures I didn’t even realize I had…and pictures from old high school days (1999-2003)Pictures of my brother when he was a baby…But one picture truly hit home, with everything that’s going on in my life right now…and the fact that I’m beginning a new chapter in my life in less than a week…It’s time to look back one more time…make peace…and move on.

Summer 2006

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

This Is Your Life…and Death

On an episode of House, there was a patient who got angry with Wilson because he was no longer dying. 3 months prior, he’d been diagnosed with cancer but it was a false positive. Wilson thought that the man would be happy. Naturally, House came in to the office just to watch the man’s reaction. He got angry because he was going to live.

“You aren’t suing me for a wrong diagnosis but a right one?”

He said that he was happy living in the present and now that he wasn’t dying…Wilson had taken that away.

“He isn’t mad because of a death sentence. He’s mad because I gave him a life sentence.”

This got me thinking…What we seem to forget that our lives ARE ending…one minute at a time. Death is the ONE thing that’s absolutely certain in this life…so why wouldn’t we live in the present? Do we need a terminal illness to remind us that life is precious?

I used to be stuck in the past…or I would spazz too much about the future. What if’s haunted me day in and day out…but I’ve realized that I’m wasting my life with every second I dwell. This is my life and it’s ending one minute at a time.

I could get hit by a car when I go out for lunch. I could trip and fall downstairs, breaking my neck. I could have a stroke. I could get pneumonia and not survive it. I *could* get cancer.

Any of this could happen an hour, a day or 15 years from now. I don’t need a diagnosis to tell me that I’m dying…I know I am..we all are but until then…we’re alive.

Why not live in the present and be as happy as we can be?

What if you were in that man’s shoes and you were given a “second chance” at life? Or if you were the doctor…what would your reaction be?

Finding ‘Home’

[Photo credit: *MaryElise*]

“One never reaches home, but wherever friendly paths intersect the whole world looks like home for a time. ” ~ Hesse

When I was 9 years old, we moved to a brand new city, away from the apartment that I had known as home since the day I was born.

When I was 10 years old, I was uprooted completely and moved across the ocean to a brand new country…Away from everything I knew as ‘home’.

And now, I’m uprooting my life once again…to define what home is for me but this time, I’m doing it alone. Because for the past 5 years, at least, home hasn’t been this house. It hasn’t been this chaos. I’ve found home in the little things…the times I spend with my brother and dad alone. And every thing that I’ve bought with the purpose to keep me rooted. I’m a very sentimental person. I don’t buy things on impulse usually and everything has a story to it.

So I’m having a real hard time figuring out what to leave behind…because as I move forward to define my own life, I’m afraid that I might not have a home to come back to because this family might fall apart without me. My brother’s promised me that he’ll keep my things safe for me. He knows what every keepsake means to me. But do I give that responsibility to a boy who has enough burdens on him as it is?

The other night, I went through all of my books and put aside hundreds to be sold at a yard sale…because I can’t take them all. I have boxes of pictures…I have posters and flags and little knick-knacks that each have meaning and define a moment in my life.

I feel like if I don’t take the things that matter, I won’t stay rooted no matter where I am. Because when I leave, the turmoil might cause me to be ripped from my extended family. I don’t even know when I’ll go back to Turkey again…

I am redefining home…because apart from Turkey, I don’t know what home is…not really. With every passing year, my family has disintegrated more…pushing me further away. I’ve done all I can to keep myself grounded and not let that part of me fade away.

I know deep in my heart what matters but I’m afraid that without the physical reminders, the memories will fade away.

Maybe I’m just scared.

Because for the first time, I’m redefining ‘home’on my own, thousands of miles away from where I belong.

What is home to you? Do your parents still live in your childhood home where you can go back and see physical reminders of your childhood? Are you sentimentally attached to ‘things’?

I Am the Author. You Are the Audience. I Outrank You!

Face it.

We will spend our entire lives having the people around us dictate what is ‘best’ for us. It may be directly or indirectly but the judgment in their tone, the words they choose, the look in their eyes will shift us a degree or five without us even realizing…because if they view it as wrong, then maybe we should rethink it.

The group of people in our lives who will do this the most will be family. Parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles…everyone who think they know us simply through blood relation. The ones who think they know us without even asking us what is going on in our world. That is the most dangerous of all.

“They’re family. They wouldn’t do anything to harm me.”

True. They wouldn’t do anything to harm you…consciously. But just because they’re family doesn’t mean they know you…and if they don’t know you, how can they gauge what is best for you?

I may have failed logic but common sense is one of my better subjects in the school of life. And I am an expert witness. Go ahead and voir dire me and let me tell you about all the uncertainties caused by the experiences that have made me qualified enough to be an expert in the area of poison by family.

Passive-Aggressive is the family’s strongest weapon, reinforced by guilt. After all, they raised you. They brought you into this world. You owe them the satisfaction of having your life dictated by their wants and needs. Because they think they know you when the only thing they know is a shell of a person because they refuse to listen and see the truth. In reality, it’s easier to avoid the truth and stick to one road with blinders on. After all, the only thing they’re harming is your determination to be the best you can be…because these days, that’s a crime.

So we grow up, conforming to what they want because after all, they know best. Our confidence and creativity get thrown on the back burner as we go through life in the steps expected, not wavering…not finding ourselves but rather, continuing to look in from the outside as if our life is a movie that we’re watching on the big screen. We want to yell at the person on the screen as if we’re yelling at a character in a horror movie about to get pushed down a flight of stairs.

“TURN AROUND. He’s right beside you.”

Not all of us survive the fall.

The good news is that your life isn’t a movie.

It’s in your power to re-write the script.

You are the one person that can find you…that knows what’s best for you…because guess what…

You’re the writer & the lead actor. So why don’t you start taking control and living your life according to your own lines?

*Title credit: The Producers (1968) – Franz Liebkind (Kenneth Mars)

A Time to Kill My Dream

“What is it in us that seeks the truth? Is it our minds or is it our hearts? “

I was 12 when I watched A Time To Kill and as I watched Jake Tyler Brigance (Matthew McConaughey) fight for justice by separating people from their prejudices and making them see with their hearts, I decided that day I wanted to be in a court room one day, fighting for justice myself. My career choice wasn’t put on me by my parents…it was my own passion that led me down that path. Once I reached high school, it was clear that I would do everything I could to pursue my education in law, even if I hit a few bumps along the way.

“And until we can see each other as equals, justice is never going to be even-handed. It will remain nothing more than a reflection of our own prejudices.”

I entered the debate team of my high school in 9th grade. My sophomore year, I tried out and became a lawyer on our Mock Trial team. My first three years in high school were spent researching and writing up arguments. I spent many nights after school debating, practicing and going over evidence. The first time that I entered the courtroom for our trial and made my opening statement was one of the most exhilarating nights of my life. I knew that’s where I belonged…even with my shaking hands and fast-beating heart.

One of the reasons that GWU became my first choice for college was their debate and mock trial teams. Once I was accepted into their undergrad program in their International Affairs School, I began researching information for tryouts for debate & mock trial. This was it. I was moving forward with my dream.

Unfortunately, I never made it to the try outs. Since I was living at home and any extracurricular activities naturally met in the evening, my parents weren’t comfortable with me hanging around campus late…even though this is what I’d been working towards for four years. In one moment, all of my dreams were crushed. I spent my nights working part-time instead. I never forgave my mom nor myself for letting her get away with everything she’s gotten away with…I wonder how different my life would be now if I had pursued debate and mock trial in college.

The strange thing is…as much as I want to move onto law school, I think that the next step in my life after getting my B.A. in International Affairs will be a Master’s in journalism. Or Criminal Justice. I know that I want to be involved in justice and making a difference one way or another. Will I ever stand in a court room and speak to a judge & jury again? I don’t know…but I do know that even though one dream was crushed, the little girl who was moved by justice, perseverance and passion won’t ever let me give up on my dreams again.

Did you ever watch a movie that had such a big impact on you? What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you pursue it? Why or why not? Are you happy with the career you chose or would you rather be doing something else? If so, what?