2011, The Year of Revolution

December 31, 2011

“You say you want a revolution, well you know, we all want to change the world.”

Once again, it is the time of year where it is common to be nostalgic and think about the events of the past twelve months. It’s been quite a year for this planet Earth, and I think we can all agree that it won’t be one that is forgotten too easily.

As for myself, I think the overwhelming sense of déjà vu is what struck me the most. I am one test away from finally escaping graduating college for good and becoming a bonafide teacher. I’ve spent the last ten days in Laurel, Maryland visiting with family and enjoying some time off. I feel so blessed to have so many people in my life that have stuck by me, and I want each of you to know that I couldn’t have done any of this without help.

Reading through my past resolutions, it has also struck me that I have been so stubborn about where I’m going and “making things happen on my own steam” that I have fallen short of my goals. It is because I have people in my life who make me smile and tell me to get back on the horse that I have achieved everything I have thus far. So thank you. If you’re reading this, I probably talked to you or thought about you or, heck, even dreamt about you. Thank you for making 2011 a crazy year!

Let’s take a look at what I said I’d want to do last year:

1. Go to at least 5 live concerts this year.
I’m tired of always hearing about the most awesome show in the world. I WANNA GO!
While I didn’t make it to five shows, I did get a chance to see my favorite band live with my younger brother… and what an awesome show it was!

2. Talk to a publisher of some sort about putting out a collection of my work.
Who knows? Maybe someone out there will like what I have to say.
Getting your name out is harder than you would think. Thankfully, this last June, the poetry blog called Anatomy & Etymology published a handful of my work. My friend, Gabriel Gadfly, also published me via his site this year. With luck, there will be even more in the future.

3. Visit California, including the Happiest Place on Earth.
No dice here. I never got a chance to make the trip south this year. I still would like to though!

4. Help out a stranger in need.
I feel like I made a pretty distinct effort to help people out this year. Whether it was one of my students during my practicum or just talking to someone who needed an ego boost, I did my best to keep the morale high this year.

5. Graduate from SPU.
Hmmm. This continues to elude me. Those of you closest to me will know that this has been something I have truly struggled with this past year.

6. Start saving some money.
HA! Yeah, still not doing this one… But I’m getting better with what money I have, which, in its own right, is a major step in the right direction.

7. Get my own place again.
See, on this one I think I took a step backwards. In September I moved back in with my parents. They were gracious enough to accept me and have been more supportive than I probably deserve. Truth of the matter is that the stubborn, independent Capricorn side of me really just wants to spread its wings!

8. Sponsor a child in a third world country.
Check this one off the list. Twice this year, through an organization called PLAN, I donated money to education and survival needs of kids in central Africa. If I had the income to do a monthly donation, I would. This is something I think we can all benefit from as the human species.

9. Get a tattoo.
Nope. I think it’d be cool, but to be honest I think the pain issue has been as much of a factor as the financial one. Maybe this year will be the year I finally get inked?

10. Get a dog.
Thanks to the tumultuous summer I had, this one was quickly crossed off the list as not feasible. When I do have my own place, this one will be taken care of.

 

It’s funny how things work out, isn’t it? I have worked so hard and so long to become what I believe I meant and meant to become, and yet I still have a ways to go. Yeates once wrote that “education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” The more I have learned about myself, the more I have burned to become a better and brighter flame.

 

Let’s take a look at my resolutions for this year:

1. Get my bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate.
Pretty simple. I want to put SPU in the rearview mirror for good.

2. Continue to get my work published.
I really like sites like the ones who have already published me and I think it’s good for me to have the critical review.

3. Work on and/or finish the short-story I have already started.
It’s going to take some effort, but I think I’ve got what it takes.

4. Travel outside of the country (legally).
I’m not talking “Into the Wild” or anything. I just want to see somewhere new.

5. Send hand-written letters to my friends abroad.
I think there is something to be said about getting snail mail these days.

6. Read the Tolkien trilogy again.
I’m not sure how many times I’ve done this already, but I want to read it again.

7. Meet a famous author/poet face to face.
Listening to Neil Gaiman’s city hall lecture really got me inspired for this one.

8. Move back to Seattle.
I love my folks, but I feel like the emerald city is where I belong.

9. Get my own classroom.
Even if it was just as a substitute, I want to do what I love this year.

10. Start saving for my future.
I’m turning 25 in little over two weeks. It’s time I start thinking ahead.

 

Although I may not be at the local party with you, or giving a toast at your house this New Year’s, know that I am with you all in spirit. It’s my favorite holiday, after all. A new beginning, and a chance to start fresh. Have fun, and be safe, everyone.

 

MSBQ

 

Off-Beat Poetry

April 22, 2011

Don’t you think
That it’s a sign of the times,
The flow of this rhyme,
As we’re pushed to the brink
Of civilization
That young souls
Both bought and sold
Fight for the chance
To be their own man
In a part of the world
Where the words of one
Outweigh the cries of many

And still they persist
Like a glorious infection
Spreading through the worn
Ligaments of oppression and
On borrowed time
The smoking barrels
Aimed at their own
Neighbors and sons
A gruesome display
Of the fall of Man

And here we are
Squabbling chickens
Afraid to lose their coop
Pointing crooked fingers
But none are willing,
Too many problems
To even try to fix
And betwixt my ears
A certain bell tolls
And I can’t help but notice
Which are the people
Who love their land and
Their lives enough to
Stand up and shout
FUCK THE MAN

The last trigger pulled
Leaves young and old
In a sweetened haze
At least we went
Down swinging

MSBQ