You Think Your Thoughts and I'll Think My Thoughts

If you ain't walked a mile in my shoes and you ain't lived a day in my life... you can't motherfuckin' judge me partner. In order to understand my train of thoughts, you'll have to put yourself in my position. You can't expect me to think like you cause my life ain't like yours...

When I heard T.I. say this on this song, I had an epiphany of sorts. I've always felt like this but never been able to explain it. Allow me to explain it now.

On a pretty regular basis my friends make decisions that I don't understand nor do I agree with. Sometimes those decisions are ones I've advised them against, other times I had no idea they were coming, but ultimately, at the age we're at, my friends are grown and it's not my job to criticize or analyze every decision they make. More than that, I don't want anyone doing that to me. Like T.I. says (and to paraphrase) if we don't think alike how can we make the same decisions?

So when one of my closest friends calls to tell me she finally sees the light and is planning to break up with her boyfriend, I'm reminded of this post I made awhile back where I outlined my feelings. I felt like the best thing I could do while she was in the relationship was keep quiet. He wasn't beating her up, he wasn't abusing her necessarily, he just wasn't a good guy for her. However I ultimately decided that I needed to resist my hero complex tendencies and let her walk this path under her own power.

Ok, I didn't really run through all that in my mind when she called. I actually squealed...admittedly from excitement. She busted me out; she asked "was that happiness?" and I told her I'd have to get back to her on it.

Then a mutual friend called and railed on me. She told me that I shouldn't have done that. She told me that our friend has been struggling with this decision and dealing with everyone from her mom to her close friends using this as an opportunity to reveal how much they never liked this guy (which, btw, I didn't do) and THEN she also took the time to tell me in no uncertain terms that if I had been a real friend all along, I would've told her from the beginning I didn't like this guy.

[record scratch...]

I was confused. She and I had talked about this. I explained my rationale. I told her that I wasn't going to say anything about how I felt about their relationship unless I was asked a direct question. I explained that as much as I didn't like watching it, she needed to learn. I further explained, that I wouldn't be able to do it for too long and so I would put up with it for a little while but either she was going to have to change her situation or we would have to stop talking about it. The latter is what happened and everything seemed to be fine.

I don't care what the 3rd friend says. I stand firm in my decision. I even back myself up on my squeal (hey, she caught me off guard!) I HATED when my friends took it upon themselves to outline everything that was wrong with my relationship. I thought to myself, "hey, who's living this every day? You or me? So who knows what to do?" and I take that approach from the other side of the glass, too. I'm allowed to have my own opinions and they're allowed to be different from yours, but unless I'm asked for 'em, I'm gonna keep them to myself.

There's no such thing as a hard and fast rule where life is concerned. That's what makes personal blogs interesting... we're all going through various forms of the same shit, so for me it's always good to see how other people with different backgrounds and experiences are handling the same situations. I believe some things very firmly (this being one of them) and when asked for advice in situationst hat apply, this is what I would advise, but I understand that in most cases, for the decisions we make, we are the lone ones to deal with the consequences and that means way more than anything else.


Chris Brown Apologizes publicly to Rihanna?

Folks are suggesting this is Chris Brown's public apology to Rihanna... not sure about all that, but we all know what it's like to feel so sorry for something you did and not be able to do anything but say "I'm sorry..." and feel inadequate.



This Destiny's Child album (The Writings on the Wall) came out in 1999... just so everyone can feel as old as I do, because I STILL love this joint. I found an obnoxious one with the lyrics for kicks.

Anyway, YAY for me doing 2 posts in one day.

What actually inspired this is thinking about the Chris Brown/Rhianna situation. I'm going to follow the lead of a lot of my fellow bloggers and refrain from commenting on it. It's obvious and no need to beat a dead horse. However, I'm starting to read what looks like the beginnings of some criticism of Rihanna for taking him back. Clearly nothing about this situation, with the exception of Chris Brown being sorry, has been validated, and in that vein, everything is very much hypothetical, so I won't speak in terms of Chrihanna, I'll talk in terms of... well.. you and me. Us regular folks.

I clearly don't advocate taking someone back after they've abused you. Neither physically nor emotionally, neither sexually nor financially (yes, financial abuse is possible). No sort of abuse is ok or excusable and without the appropriate help, no one should take someone back if they have abused them.

But I speak from a personal standpoint when I say I completely understand why someone might. It's easy to believe that the other person will be different this time, that they are sorry (and I'd even go so far as to say most times they probably are, in that moment) and that they will change. I did it time and time again. I was never physically abused, but I was emotionally and I didn't even understand what was going on at first. I always thought he would change. I always thought that **this** time he understood what I was saying when I said "when you do [insert issue] it hurts my feelings..." I was wrong and it took awhile for me to really understand myself what was happening.

I say all that to say that in a situation where someone returns to an abuser, it's easy to be critical. It's easy to stand on the other side of the situation and see all the warning signs. We all do it, I've done it, even with my own history, and when children are involved, I have NO patience and CAN'T understand. However, I think it does the other person a greater service to try be patient with them. We all understand that when a person's life is in danger patience isn't an option, but I can tell you that yelling at them and telling them what an idiot they are for going back without just taking a moment to look at it from the other side doesn't do anyone a favor.

When Keeping it Real Goes Right

Robin Monique at The Life & Times of Robin Monique has committed to giving up the use of "LOL" for Lent. Her post and explanation of why got me to thinking about some stuff. She said:
Often, I’m trying to soften the blow of a statement that I feel will be interpreted as harsh. Even more often I’m attempting to add a jestful tone to something that I’m quite serious about. As a person who encourages people to shoot straight from the hip (Ask CJ how many times I’ve demanded that he “says what he means and means what he says.”) it’s hypocritical of me to hide the intentions of my words behind the “LOL.” Even from a more practical standpoint the “LOL” are three characters of my 140 or 160 I’m allowed with Twitter or texting that can be put to much better use.
This resonates with me. I find myself using smiley faces when I'm not smiling and saying "lol" when I'm not even giggling. But I want to soften a blow or show that I'm sorta joking or to avoid awkwardness. I know that for as much as we use non-verbal ways to communicate with each other, we're all still really bad and understanding tone. In fact we just blindly assign tone to written word. We have no other choice. So being as blunt as I am from time to time, I find myself using "lol" or ":)" to make sure people know I'm not being serious. Or... rather to divert attention away from how serious I'm being?

Robin Monique talks about how she prefers people who "shoot straight from the hip" and so do I. In fact, I pride myself on doing the same. Unfortunately my experience has been when you're honest with people they don't take it well... ever.

However, recent events have me reconsidering my "don't ask don't tell" personal policy. That is, unless my friends seek my advice, I usually don't offer it -- and even when they do ask, I like to make sure they really want to hear what I have to say. Now I'm beginning to feel like a bit of a hypocrite. Surely there's a happy medium between saying what people wanna hear and saying what they need to hear. One where they understand that it's not about hurting their feelings (though I accept that it may) but about being helpful.

My mother and I clashed over the years because she would say something I felt was insulting for no reason. She would say "it's the truth!" to which I would respond "just because it's the truth doesn't mean it's necessary to say..." and I still feel that way but maybe I oughta broaden my scope a little...



I started another post, and got sidetracked by a ridiculous amount of pointless meetings.

I don't like being the token black kid. I do it, though, because... well, I'm not sure.

But really what I don't like is when people act like that's not what's happening.

What brought this on, you ask?

I've been asked to sit in on a meeting next week that I'm not needed in so I can be a like-faced representative of our office.

Token black kid.

I've just decided to address this issue with one of my managers. It's not that I'm uncomfortable, I'm happy to sit in on the meeting. Black folks like seeing other black folks. Everyone, however, in the room will know why I'm there and I know they will be insulted... I'm a little insulted. Hell, I'm not sure how I feel. Somewhere between surprise and insult, I think.

I hope I finally get to do at least ONE of the posts I've been wanting to do. Lord help me.


It hurts

I can't do posts on Monday. I spend most of the morning catching up on all the posts I missed over the weekend. Also, lest we forget, I have a "real" job so... I'm catching up on that. By the time I get around to doing real work my day is more than half-way over.

So, this is all you're getting for right now and this is because I love you. I love you all.



And here we are again. I had a post in mind, and now I'm doing this because of an e-mail I got.

I always say to myself "you could do more than one post a day" and I intend to, but time constraints and the fact that we all can see I like to be long-winded makes that a little harder to do. In fact, I think the real reason I'm on twitter is to force myself to be concise sometimes.

The article I recieved in an e-mail is rather long, but I highly recommend reading it through. Here's the link: (I would normally post the text, but like I said it's long, and I'm long by myself.) :)

Menace to Sorority

Here's a (my) summary:

Chanise Alton-Smith was born female, but identifies as a male. As a result, he prefers to be called Devin and referred to using male pronouns. He attended George Washington University and had never been interested in sororities. However a senior member of Zeta Phi Beta continued to approach him and encourage him to attend their functions and get to know the sorority and it's members. He did, and he liked the sorority and so he joined. There are some instances mentioned where it became clear that his sisters didn't understand the identity issue and so, according to the article, he tried to be understanding and compromising even when they asked him to wear feminine shoes and things of the like. After he was officially accepted into the sorority, the older members who seemed to "get it" graduated and the new "administration" seemed more intent on fighting Devin's wishes to be recognized as male. They wouldn't allow him to wear male shoes to events and at official Zeta Phi Beta rush events, they would refer to him as "she" to potential members. Eventually, Devin was notified that his status as a member had been changed to inactive because he turned in a transcript late. He became depressed and eventually withdrew from the school, after destroying his paraphanalia and returning it to his former sisters.

The article details some of the specific things they did to him (which is why you should absolutely read it) that were clearly meant to make him feel uncomfortable and force him to be something he did not identify as. I think the article quotes one of his older sisters as saying "it's time for you to start acting like a woman..."

Of course, my first question was, why would he, since he identifies as male, join a sorority? GWU's discriminatory rules essentially say that a fraternity had the right to deny Devin admission because he was born a female, but a sorority could not deny him admission because he identifies as male. But I still wonder... Zeta Phi Beta has a commitment to 3 things, one of which is Finer Womanhood. Anyonoe remotely aware of the sorority knows that. Clearly womanhood doesn't apply to Devin and so again, I wonder...

And then I read the comments where someone made a good point: when the members of ZPhiB approached Devin and recruited him and then allowed him to participate in their intake process, they, at least, implied they understood his situation and were willing to be accomodating. And it should be highlighted that the girls who essentially forced him out were NOT the ones who recruited him. My concern is that not enough was done to explain to everyone Devin's situation and how it would be best handled.

I just think a lot of wrong decisions were made by both sides. The sorority members are portrayed in the article as callous and uncaring. The university didn't participate in the article so their stance, outside of what is publicly available (i.e. the rules governing discrimination) is unclear and the national sorority's opinion is also missing.

So I'm very interested in what you guys think...


Daddy Issues

I have like 3 or 4 other things that I keep saying I'm going to blog about, but this one is sticking with me right now.

Glennisha did a post about her relationship with her father and that got me to thinking...

I think of all the blogs I've had over the years (and from 1999-present, I've had QUITE a few) I've never talked about my father. Not in passing, not on accident, not jokingly... nothing. I think it's just a testament to how much he isn't a part of my life. I don't think about him hardly ever. He doesn't cross my mind. I don't wonder what he's doing. It's hard for me to even imagine what life would be like if he played a larger role. The ever-psychoanalyzing side of me, however, thinks it's more 'cause it's easier this way than just your run of the mill "it is what it is" attitude.

At 22, I've seen my father twice. Once when I was in the 3rd grade and then again the summer after. He spent 2 weeks with us the first time and 3 months with us the second time. He left and that was that. He called me a couple of times. One time sticks out in my brain pretty hardcore. I was young. Had to be only 9 or 10. He called and the convo was something like this:

Him: How are you?
Me: Fine.
Him: I'm going to start calling you more
Me: [Silence] (even as a young child I could pick up on some B.S.)
Him: You don't believe me?

I could hear that he was hurt thinking I didn't believe him. At 22, I know how to make a person think I do believe them when I don't, but at 9 I thought (and, maybe rightly so) that you had to really believe someone to say you did and so I immediately believed him. That was the end of that.

The next time I spoke to him I was 16, and in the 11th grade. By this time I had met 2 of the 7 half-sisters I had that no one (not even my mom) told me about (that'll be a story for another post). He had re-married and relocated from AL to CA. Palo Alto, CA, to be exact. As luck (for SERIOUS lack of a better word) would have it, that year I went to Stanford for their first (or maybe second) hosting of Harvard's Model Congress. I found my father's number, and contacted him shortly before my trip, against my mother's will, to tell him I was coming. He seemed excited.

I got to San Francisco and called him again. He asked me not to call his home anymore. Apparently (though he totally beat around the bush with his explanation) he didn't want his wife to know I had the number and was calling. But he promised he would pick me up for dinner that night.

So as my friends and chaperones are making plans for dinner, I keep saying I won't be going because my dad is coming. Lucky for me I had some responsible chaperones who didn't want to leave me until they knew he was coming. He never called, he never showed. That was when it clicked. I understood that no matter what, he had his priorities and I wasn't one of them. I also understood why my mom had been so against me reaching out to him because she knew all that too.

That was 2003. I haven't spoken to him or had any other form of contact with him since then. He called my mom a few months ago. He asked about me and my mom told him if he wanted to know how I was doing, he needed to call me. Like I said, I haven't spoken to him since 2003.

You know, it is what it is. I'm always shocked at how shocked others are when they ask me if I have contact with my father and I say no. It seems like second nature to me. Do I have Daddy issues? Hell yeah. I think we all do. Have I handled them in the best way? Probably not -- we don't come equipped with knowing how to handle abandonment, but I think I've made the best of a not so wonderful situation. Lord knows it could've been WAY worse. I used to always say that I felt like I used his absence as fuel to my fire. I needed to succeed and be good at whatever I set out for to prove that I could.

These days, it's usually something like Glennisha's post or questions that make me think about him. Otherwise, he would probably never cross my mind...



So I'm perusing the ol' blog as I do from time to time -- reading what I wrote, realizing how I ramble, hoping the people who do check this out actually get what I'm saying... blah blah blah and it occurred to me that while it's accessible, my contact information is not obvious. So there it is ---->

Send me an e-mail. Send me an e-mail about anything. I'll respond, I'm good at that. I know some people don't want to comment, but I'm sure some of the stuff I say at least makes you wanna call me stupid, right? :)

If you're into instantaneous, try Twitter: ASmith86 Google Chat: DarkDiamond2008 or AIM: PlatinumGold2000 (hey, I've had it since 1999... so sue me...)


Lessons Learned

Pop Up Video is my FAVORITE show of all time. Damn VH1 for getting rid of it.

In 8th grade I learned a very important lesson: Dont' talk behind people's backs. It's not worth it.

There was a girl I went to school with who rubbed me the wrong way. She and I were on the same sports team. Because of our practice location, we didn't use the school's locker room. We just threw our stuff close to our sports equipment and used the bathroom. After a while, you learn which bag belongs to whom. I came to practice, threw my stuff down and noticed her stuff wasn't there. I went to the bathroom with a teammate and while we were in the bathroom (3 stalls) I began this tirade about how this girl bothers me. Mid-way through my tirade, my teammate asks me what I would do if she was in the bathroom. My heart dropped for a minute but immediately it occurred to me I hadn't heard anyone come into the bathroom, so it was fine. I came out of the bathroom and 5 seconds later she walked out right behind me.

Lesson learned... supposedly...

New Year's Eve 2005 I was sitting in a parking lot with one of my oldest, closest friends waiting for some of our other friends to meet up with us so we can trail them to another city for a big NYE celebration. My boyfriend (at the time) and I had discussed the possibility of him coming up to spend NYE with me. I had an ulterior motive: I didn't really want him hanging out with his friends. I felt like they would get him in trouble and he was already in a lot of trouble. He ultimately decided to stay where he was and while I was in the parking lot he and I were on the phone. He was detailing his plans for the night and how he was tricking his parents. I was using a wired headset to talk to him. He told me one of his friends was beeping in and he would call me back. My phone had been open and so when he clicked over, I closed it, in my mind ending the call. I took the ear piece out and begin detailing for my friend my ulterior motives for wanting him to come up with us and how I had busted him out with his parents after he started smoking again. A moment later, my phone rang. I picked up and he said "I just want you to know, you didn't hang up the phone..." With my wired headset in, I needed to physically push the end button, duh! He had heard most of what I said when he clicked back over to tell me to hang up. Definitely one of the worst NYEs in history for me, but I learned my lesson...


This morning I sent an e-mail that was meant to be a vent session about a co-worker to said co-worker. Whoops. I immediately copped a mea culpa and things are AWK.WARD, but hey, it's the price you pay for being... well... dumb.

Sigh... I'll learn one day, guys. I REALLY will.


High Standards

For a lot of my life, I've felt I was held to higher and different standards than most people. For a lot of my life, those higher and different standards have frustrated me beyond belief.

I first realized how upsetting it was around the age of 16. At the time, I was a familiar and reliable face in a particular organization. The adults in the organization often trusted me with tall-orders when it came to leadership and mentoring other youth in the program and I welcomed the responsibility. At some point, I started having those existential crises teenagers have and I needed a break. This organization stressed how important it was for us to always be there as much as possible. Anyway, one week I decided to skip a regular meeting and planned to chalk it up to needing to study for a test. I was the only one who went to a private school and figured that would be a safe excuse. The truth was, I had a test coming up and did need to study, but wasn't actually using that time for that. I just wanted some space to think.

One of the adults I had a close relationship with subsequently reprimanded me for missing out. She told me what I already knew: I was a role model for the younger ones and had much responsibility and blah blah blah. I was taken aback. I responded that in light of a peer of mine having done the same thing the week before with no problem, I didn't understand what the big issue was. Her response? I was smarter than that particular person and she implied that as a result I didn't need the extra time to study that she did.

Even at that time I knew what this was really about: They had come to expect more of me and didn't expect the same of my peer. In turn when I made one misstep it was seen as much bigger than it really was and the reality of what it meant to be held to a higher standard hit me like a ton of bricks.

I often joke with my friends that I'm going to tell my kids that if they're smart, they'll play stupid until high school. Otherwise, people will always expect the best and never settle for less.

Expectations are, when used correctly, great rearing tools. They work when you expect high yet realistic levels, but they backfire when your expectations are too high or unrealistic.

As I was walking home yesterday and reviewing over and over in my mind the events that transpired yesterday, I got more and more upset with my friend because I felt that ultimately she was holding me to some ridiculous standard. Then I thought about how all my friends, just about, have been guilty of expecting things from me that they don't expect from others. What's worse is that I have some sort of complex that makes reaching those standards important, but today I'm deciding I've gotta cut that out if only for my own mental stability.

One anecdote in particular comes to mind:

Sometime during my junior year of college, I needed a "break" from reality. I literally woke up one morning and decided I didn't want the world to be able to find me. So I called my mother (who, at the time, had mini heart-attacks if 24 hrs passed and she didn't hear from me) told her what I was doing and then turned the phone off and planned not to turn it back on until I woke up the following day. I thought it would be a hard task, but it wasn't. The day passed by and it was freeing to have my own thoughts and not have a whole lot of people to answer to.

When I woke up the next morning and turned my phone back on, I had 10 text messages and 8 voicemails. Some of them were repeat voicemails, but they were ALL angry. "Where the hell are you?" "Why is your phone turned off?!" "Please call me back!"

None of these people e-mailed me, none of them tried to find me on campus. I just wasn't there in a way most convenient for them and it was like the sky fell through. Unrealistic expectations.

I draw the "needy" out of people and have yet to figure out how to stop doing that, but I'm working on it...


Please Let Me Breathe

I've been bumping this song for a LONG time and I always listen to it when I'm having "one of those days..." and I never knew there was a video until I went looking for it on youtube. The video kinda made me feel better.

I've noticed in the past couple of days one of my co-workers, who is also a friend, acting really stand-offish. She's sorta moody, from time to time, but I suppose we all are. I know I have bad days sometimes, and when that happens, you don't want to cross me.

I could tell she was upset with me, but felt like it was her place to say something to me. And I have to admit, as much as I didn't want to let it, it starting getting to me. I mean, we're friends, right? Why can't you just say "alright, you upset me when you did...." I mean, am I asking for a lot? Anyway... when I started this post, it was just going to be about how frustrating it is to know someone is upset with you but not know why.

I should clarify here that I piss people off regularly. I know that. So I'm usually aware and ready to cop a "mea culpa" or at least admit to what I did. But in this case, I was at a total loss. Just last night I was telling one of my other friends "this makes no sense. I really didn't do anything..."

Enter her timely e-mail (can I say I hate when people do shit like this via e-mail? I mean if we're really friends, you'll at LEAST call me, right? And we work together. Asking me to go on a walk wouldn't be that hard, right? Ok, anyway back to what I was saying...)

Apparently she told me she was sick sometime last week and I responded by saying "sweet" and according to her I realized that wasn't the right thing to say which made her feel like I wasn't paying attention. Then when she didn't come into work towards the end of the week, I apparently didn't show enough concern and took too long to finally notice she was sick.

Let me say something here: Whenever a friend of mine is sick, I'm usually good about calling to check up on them. She has been no exception. So excuse me if I had a lapse of whatever and it didn't occur to me to call and inquire about her well-being. The irony here, I think, is that I started to call her but didn't because I figured if she was out for 2 days it was serious otherwise... we all don't feel well and take a day off but 2 days and I figured it would be serious. When she was at work the next day, I figured all was ok. I was wrong and apparently she was pissed at me even then.

In any case, I apologized. I didn't feel like it was worth it to argue about it. She says she tried to tell me and I didn't pay any attention and since I can't remember the setting or what might have been distracting me, I can't argue that. And, the truth is, I AM sorry if I hurt her feelings. I think what I'm really upset about is how she sent me an e-mail and let this go on for almost a week before she said anything.

Whatever happened to the people in your life who knew you well enough not to take themselves so seriously? I mean when I didn't ask her about how she was feeling this ONE time, what did that say to her? I think if the roles were reversed I might have been a little surprised, but not upset. I surely would've said something -- even if it was jokingly -- but I guess everybody doesn't live life like I do, huh?

I mean, you know, if this was something I did regularly, I think being upset would be in order. If she tried calling me and I never answered, I think being upset would be in order. But you know... it is what it is... I learned my lesson.


30Secrets, 25Random Things

Amerie's All I Have is a great album.

And after revealing 30 secrets and doing a Top 25 Random Things About Me note on facebook, I'm pretty sure I've purged my soul sufficiently. Here we go...


I love monster trucks

I'll always love you

I hate how much I follow in my cousin's footsteps. But it could be worse. He could
be a crackhead

If you talk to people who knew me before 1999, you'll probably find yourself talking about what seems like 2 different people

Sometimes, I pretend to be dumber than I am to avoid the intimidation factor

I'm pretty sure Joey is the greatest teacher. Seriously

I'm pretty much always aware of what I'm doing.

I used to (and still do in some situations) absolutely hate admitting to my educational background...

I didn't know people really thought Southerners were stupid backwards, no shoe-wearing, people who married family members until I went to college... and then I was confused by why these same people came down South for school.

There are 2 people in my life that I purposefully frustrate for the entertainment..

I have a problem with authority. Small one, usually easy to ignore, but there nonetheless.

In all my life I've trusted 1 person completely. That didn't go so well. In response, I work hard to be someone people around me can trust, but I still don't trust completely...

I can remember the moment I fell in love.... with music.... :)

Sometimes, I wonder if giving up fencing for community service was a bad idea, and then my ankle pops and my knee aches and I remember it was a pretty good idea.

It bothers me when people question my motives...

I over analyze everything.

I SHAMELESSLY love Michael Bolton. Shamelessly. I call him Mickey B.

Joey made a podcast for me one time when I went on a trip. I listen to it a lot.

Everytime I hear "Gettin Some..." by Shawnna I think of my sophomore year of college and I chuckle to myself...

I watch this video: as a pick me-up.

I did everything I could think of to make sure I would remember Kris, but I'm afraid it wasn't enough. I can't remember what he sounded like.

I really want to be way more transparent for the people in my life than I am.

I have started at least 10 different short stories, usually based on something in my life, but never finished any of them.

I am afraid that I am still defined by what happened in my last relationship.

I am an only child, but I have a hero complex which is usually a characteristic of first-born children

Sometimes I think people think I'm too good to be true. That disturbs me.

I have been known to communicate personal feelings exclusively through music...

I'm a pack rat. But only with notes and e-mails and other forms of written
correspondence. I still have notes friends I passed to each other in high school...

I really don't get people who are never motivated by anything. It drives me crazy and I can't understand it

I consistently crack myself up. It's convenient since I enjoy being amused.

25 Random Things About Me

1. I broke my leg when I was 2. The Dr. put the cast on wrong and so my hip grew out.
2. On top of the hip thing, I have very flat feet and walk over on my ankles.
3. Vanderbilt was never my top choice. GWU was where I had my heart set on going. Vandy gave me substantially more money AND tricked me with Mosaic weekend. In any case, it goes down as one of the best decisions I ever made.
4. I begged my mother, right up until the night before my first day, not to make me go to Baylor and to re-enroll me in public school. She promised I could go back if I didn't like Baylor after 2 yrs. I loved it day 1.
5. I was the first black female President of student council at Baylor. However, because I wasn't elected, I'm not recognized as holding that distinction.
6. I always wanted older siblings. Tough thing to want, cause you can't make those. When I was 14, one of my cousins mistakenly introduced me to 2 of my older half-sisters. I have 7 total (my father is friendly).
7. There are 3 things I hate telling people when they first meet me: my age, where I went to school, and that I'm an only child. I've found people judge me, usually incorrectly, based on those 3 things.
8. I fenced (sword-fighting for the uninformed) from 8th grade until 10th grade. I quit to do community service full time.
9. I had well over 800 hrs of community service by the time I graduated from high school.
10. I love camping and hate hiking; love rappelling (descending down the side of a mountain, for the uninformed) but hate climbing.
11. On my high school Senior trip, I fell out of my canoe, got hit in the head and lost my glasses in the Chattooga River
12. I've learned the most about myself on ropes courses. "What's inside you will come out..." I miss doing them, but I think I miss the group of people I did them with, more.
13. Per my family's ancestry book, Scottie Pippen is my 4th half cousin 2 times removed.
14. My mother is the youngest of 14, and I'm the 2nd youngest of 25 grandchildren. My youngest cousin is 4mos younger than me and my oldest cousin is 34 years older than me.
15. Wikipedia is my favorite website, as you can tell if you followed any of the imbedded links. I could get lost on it for hours.
16. I have a slightly obsessive personality. By that I mean, when I'm interested in something or fascinated by someone, it's pretty intense. I want and seek all the info I can on the subject; however, once my interest has been satisfied, I'm completely over it. A good example is my obsession in the 3rd grade with the Titanic. I looked up everything I could on it, and had a pretty good working knowledge of its story. I got over that about a week later and haven't really cared, since.
17. I get more upset at transgressions against my friends than I do against myself. In other words, kick me when I'm down and I'll be (sad face) kick one of my friends and I'll kick your face :)
18. I'm always surprised at the things people are willing to share with me about themselves. I don't know if it's cause I'm a stick in the mud or if it's that people really trust me like that. Either way, it's always consistently shocking.
19. I used to suck my thumb.
20. I wore braces from the 6th grade until 11th, all because I wouldn't wear the rubber bands. My mom got braces after me and got them off before me.
21. One of the first things people always learn about me is that my favorite color is purple. It always seems to come up in conversation early.
22. My favorite tv show of all time is Family Matters. I've seen every episode at least three times and can quote many of them.
23. My friends say I'm always on the phone. I don't believe them.
24. I knew my ABCs at 2, was moved ahead in school, but I really don't see myself as being all that smart.
25. I seriously wanted to be a Senator until my sophomore year in college. At that point, I decided I wanted absolutely nothing to do with politics and wanted to go into something dealing with teens and education. Yet, here I am, working in Congress on, among other things, education issues and I really like my job. My mother said she always knew I'd end up here anyway.