Losing My Religion

prayer

I grew up with very Catholic grandparents and not so Catholic parents. When I was in elementary school, in an effort to make my grandparents happy, my parents sent me to Sunday school. There are only two memories I have of Sunday school. The first is that there was a lot of coloring, and you were given a piece of candy if you got a question about Jesus right. The second was the singing. At the end of every session, each grade would gather into the main hallway, and an old woman would sit in the middle with her guitar and make us sing songs about Jesus.

I didn’t understand anything that was happening, and I often asked my teachers for proof of the history of Jesus (artifacts, anything), so my parents promptly removed me from classes.

As I got older, my family and I started going to church less and less, and pretty soon, all I knew about being a Catholic was that Jesus rose from the dead on Easter and that his birthday is what we call, “Christmas.” As we were pulling away from God, I questioned everything spiritual more and more, year after year. Eventually, when I was nearing the end of high school and beginning college, I decided that I didn’t believe in the afterlife, heaven, hell, God, anything. I had no proof, therefore, it was not real.

I didn’t think about anything regarding religion until I watched an episode of “Long Island Medium” with Theresa Caputo. I had watched other mediums perform before like John Edward, Sylvia Browne, and James Van Praagh, but they were always positioned in front of a large audience, and everything about it seemed so staged. Theresa, on the other hand, was stopping people in grocery stores, doing private readings, going on cruises and reading groups, and walking in to someone’s home and reading a group of 10 people. She did it all. Every situation she was put in, she came out with a victory. How could you not believe her? But, I still wondered, was it a sham? Were these cameras set up? So, when she came out with her book, There’s More to Life Than This, I bought and read it. Then, my life changed forever.

I started believing again when I watched Theresa on TV, but her book really won me over. She talked about experiences that people have in their everyday lives that are signs from spirit, instances that you can’t write or verbally explain to anyone else. It was as though someone had gotten into my head and described everything I’ve never been able to tell anyone else in perfectly strung sentences. I finally felt normal.

In fact, so normal that I recently began working at a Christian college. Everyone that I work with is obviously religious, and they have been their whole lives…Unfortunately, this is where I fall short. I know hardly anything about being a Christian, and I can safely say that I’m not one. At least, not the type of Christian I’ve come in contact with. Yes, I like everyone that I work with. But, I also believe in gay marriage, the fact that homosexuality is not a sin, that swearing is a part of human nature, and being edgy is what makes you real. I love Lady Gaga! Of course, all of these things are generally not celebrated in Christian faith, and that is why I can’t be a true follower.

Theresa Caputo has stated multiple times that all too often individuals use religion to pull themselves apart from others or as an excuse to “hate” someone. When, really, we should be using religion to spread love, kindness, and compassion. They use God as a symbol of fear, instead of a symbol of understanding. Like the GOP, once Christians can wake up and modernize, then maybe I’ll jump on their bandwagon to Bethlehem. I’m not trying to say that all Christians are bad people, most of them are the most compassionate individuals I’ve ever met, but, it’s time to embrace the new world and remind ourselves that Jesus was friends with a prostitute. So, seriously, is being gay really that awful?

Granny Smith – over and out

Love Runs Out

love runs out

My parents…lord love them. They’ve been married for almost 26 years and have been through a lot of shit. A disabled son, a crazy daughter, two houses, multiple cars, family members passing, you name it. My parents have always had a nurturing relationship, but lately, something has changed, and I don’t know what to think of it.

Within the last nine months, I’ve witnessed more fighting and just an overall lack of displeasure with one another. Almost every day they’ll get into a tiff, and almost every day, both of them come to me with their side of the story and indirectly ask me to play mediator. Part of me wishes I could shout, “take care of this shit yourselves; you’re adults!” But, I want to be there for the both of them because I know they have no other outside party to turn to but me.

Most nights, I hear my mother complaining on the phone about my “crabby father” to her sister or her mother. And, most days, you can find them mocking one another behind the other’s back. Usually, in situations like this, I don’t take sides. But, something tells me I have to go with my father. My mother tends to be fairly harsh on my father, getting irritated about his hearing, complaining to his face that’s he’s too angry or too particular, that he takes too long at the store, and the list could go on and on.

At dinner, she’s very short with him, but when he leaves for work in the evening, she always gives him a kiss. Unfortunately, that kiss in the evening is my only reminder that they still love each other. In times past, you could always find my mom laughing at whatever my dad said, curling up to him on the couch, you name it. Now, she prefers to not spend any time with him. Even on the weekends, the only time my dad is not providing for our family, she doesn’t seem to want to be around him.

My father, one of the silliest human beings on the planet, is one of my most favorite people. One day, many years ago when all of my mother’s siblings seemed to be getting divorced, he told me in all seriousness, “divorce is absolutely, positively out of the question. Unless your significant other is beating you, cheating on you, living a double life, or damaging you in any other physical or emotional way, put on your adult pants and work it out. I know that he would never leave my mother. He’s even told me over the past few months, when times have been rough, that no other woman “could ever love an asshole like him.”

Divorce is such a complicated, messy thing. I don’t know what I would do if my parents split up. I know there are plenty of other individuals out there who have experienced divorce themselves, or have had parents or close friends go through it. So, what do you think? Are my parents headed for splitsville?

Granny Smith – over and out

I’m An Author?

Image

So, while embarking on a journey to figure out who I really am and what I’m really good at, I decided to begin writing a book about my life a few months ago. I know, I know, it seems like that’s what everyone is doing these days because their lives are sooooooooooooooo toooootttallllllllly interesting, right? Yeah, not so much. But, I thought, if Kris Jenner can do it, why can’t I? Thus, I’ve begun my journey. The book, properly titled “Ignorant Bitch,” is about different moments and people that have come through my life that I thought I knew all about..but was definitely proved wrong. And, I think a lot of people can relate to that…because I’m assuming none of us had lives or situations that turned out EXACTLY the way we thought they would. Needless to say, the ultimate goal is for individuals to laugh at my stupidity. Below is an excerpt from the section of the book regarding relationships. I broke it up into guys I have dated in the past or came “close” to dating, our background, and what I learned from being a part of their lives. Enjoy!

Justin

Let me start with my experience in elementary school. From an early age, I thought that all boys were just naturally attracted to girls, and if a female worked hard enough, she could land any man that she wanted. I made this my mission as I went through all of my awkward moments as a pre and regular adolescent. Now, of course, I’ve always been attracted to the most expensive item in the store, so I set the bar high in elementary school and only went after the popular guys. My personal favorite was a kid named Justin. Justin was the class clown of my grade and went after anything that moved (seriously, he had ADHD). I thought that Justin was an easy first attempt at my man-handling goals, so I began plotting my attack. I studied hard! I took every move, cheesy line, and style cue that I could from popular movies, television shows, and even video games. Justin came into my life in the early 90’s, so, I naturally stole a lot of my tricks from “Saved By the Bell.” Now what seemed like a long, hard journey to the perfect plan probably only took me a day, but I was a kid! And when you’re a kid, everything seems to take too long. But finally, I meshed together the perfect plan, and as the night before my attack set in, I prepared my outfit, took a bath, and plotted out each move. I was ready!

  Luckily, Justin and I were in the same core class, so even though we sometimes went to different rooms for our reading, math, or English lessons, we were in the same room for the majority of the day. For this man plan, I decided that I would perform my execution closer to the end of the day so that Justin wouldn’t have a lot of time to become distracted by other things (like I said, he had ADHD).

And finally, the moment came, it was perfect. Justin’s assigned seat was near the front of the room, mine was near the back. As the clock quickly inched forward, I stood up and slowly waltzed my way to the front of the room. Once I neared his desk, I lengthened my pace, thinking that he would look up if he felt that someone was standing close to him… But, as I dillydallied my way across the front of his desk, no such luck. For once in his life, Justin was paying attention to the work he had in front of him instead of focusing on others in the room. Fuck, I thought, now I just look like an idiot wasting time. But, I decided that I wouldn’t just go back to my desk because part one of my plan had failed. I would finish what I had started! So, I inched my way over to the water fountain in our classroom and lightly pressed down on the knob. I slowly drank the water that came out, making sure to keep my lips pursed and some of my hair near my mouth, just like in the movies! And, as I finished my 45 minute drink, I mustered all of the adrenaline that I had in me and flipped my hair from one side to the other. And what do you know, out of the corner of my eye I saw Justin looking at me! Success, I thought. But, I still had to complete the walk back to my desk. So, I lifted my fingers to my lips and wiped away the “extra water” that was left and elongated each step past Justin’s seat and beyond. At this point, I was feeling very talented and proud of myself because I was watching him watch me from the corner of my eye and still acting like a total babe. Damn, I thought, I do have this in me. As I began to slowly drop down into my seat, I noticed that Justin had fully taken his eyes off of me and began staring at two other kids in the class who were probably having an in-depth conversation about boogers. My heart immediately sank. All of the planning, practice, blood, sweat, and tears that went into this; wasted. He wouldn’t even come up and talk to me? He’d already forgotten about me? “Fuck you, Justin” is what I wanted to scream. “You’re supposed to be paying attention to me!” “I just pulled a “Save by the Bell” move on you. What the hell?”

Needless to say, Justin never did get up and talk to me that day…or ever for that matter. So, what did I learn from this experience? Sexy, slow moves that you pick up from TV shows will get a man’s attention. But, if he has ADHD, these moves won’t keep his attention for very long.

Update: I have no idea where Justin is now. Shortly after this incident happened, he moved to a different school district. But, do I think my efforts to get his attention were a complete waste of my time? No. I just look at this instance as a practice session for the next hunk I tried to reel in. If I had to guess, I’d have to say that Justin’s current journey is probably no different than a lot of other former class clowns that I know… a technical college dropout trying to make it as a musician. So Justin, wherever you are, thanks for the practice session! 

Granny Smith – over and out

College Lies and Other Truths

As I’ve mentioned numerous times before in other blog posts…I’m new to this whole “being an adult” thing. And as I come across my four month anniversary in the working world…I’ve started to think about what I wish I would’ve know before entering the workforce. Now, there are many things. But, the number one thing that I wish I would’ve know is that there’s a very big difference between a “job” and a “career.” See below…

College lies to you, and internships lie to you. The real world isn’t anything like either one of them. When I was in college, I was told that maybe classes wouldn’t teach me about the real world, but that’s what internships were for. WRONG AGAIN! I had four internships while I was in college, and not one of them adequately prepared me for the shit storm called, “real life.” And let’s face it. When you’re an intern, companies don’t trust you. And that’s fair! You’re not an actual employee; you’re a temp; you’ll be gone within months. So, what do they do? They give all the “shit work” that they don’t have time to do on a regular basis.

When I had my internships, I thought I received extreme value from them. The companies that I worked for really let me “take the wheel” and provided great mentorship. But the fact of the matter is, when you’re an intern, you don’t have that “weight of the world on your shoulders” feeling like you do when you’re out in the workforce. As an intern, you step in for a bit, arrive early, do whatever they ask you to, and after a few months, you leave. So, if a problem comes up that you feel can’t be solved, you take it to your internship supervisor, and they deal with it.

And, of course, that’s not how the real world works. In the real world, the main reason your boss hired you is because they have a problem that they can’t fix, and they want YOU to solve it. So, if you’re constantly going to your boss saying “I don’t know…” they may let you go.

And that’s the unfortunate thing about internships, college students are never truly on the other side of the table. When I was at my internships, I remember thinking, Yeesh! I wouldn’t want my boss’s job. All I would ever do is worry.” I never actually experienced the kind of stress that any of them had to deal with on a regular basis.

I think that another part of the reason I never fully understood what it was like to have a “real job” before I actually got one, was because of the word, “job.”

In a lot of the career courses that you take in college, and even in regular courses, when you talk about the “job” that you’ll have after you graduate, that’s what it’s always referenced as, “a job.”  When I went to school, it was rarely referred to as a “career.” And when you hear the word “job,” what do you think of? For me, I thought: you work from 9-5, go home, eat dinner, exercise, watch some TV, go to sleep, wake up, do it again. And then the weekend would come, and you get to spend it however you wanted. You’re freer than a bird.

WRONG AGAIN! What they don’t tell you in college is that the definition that I just described is the definition of a “job.” And a job is probably a place that you won’t stay at for awhile. An example of a job is working as a cashier at a department store. When you graduate from college and start working at a “bachelor’s degree level”…you don’t have a job, you have a career. In a career, you wake up early, you arrive an hour before you’re supposed to, you work through lunch, you leave an hour after you should have, you take your work home with you, and on weekends, you’re checking your work email and working on work related projects..BIG DIFFERENCE.

When you have a career, you need to be devoted to the company that you’re working for. Kind of like when you’re in a relationship. You can’t just be in a relationship from 9-5, Monday-Friday. You’re in that relationship 24/7, 365. And this is for every higher level position that you have after college, even if you start out as an entry-level individual. You’re going to need to be there for your company like you would for your significant other.

So, after all this negative talk, what’s my advice for someone approaching their college graduation and looking for their first position?

DO NOT settle! Just don’t! Before I graduated, I was applying for anything and everything under the sun. I wanted to start working right after I finished school because I wanted money and at least some form of experience. WRONG! Don’t just take any job off of the street. So you’re unemployed for awhile, or you have to resort to picking up some hours at a department store. Take some time to really look through positions and make sure that you are going after what YOU WANT.

Take me for example. Now, I like my position, and I’m getting used to it more and more every day, but do I wish that I had calmed down after graduation and taken more time to look at other opportunities? I’ll admit it, yes. When I was interviewing for my current position, I had my final interview with my current supervisor and the head of HR. My supervisor made me feel like an idiot during the interview. Now, she was being harsh because she was testing me to make sure that I would be able to stand working in their type of environment, and under pressure; which is understandable. But after the interview was over, I ran to my car and balled like a baby. I felt like I just been slapped across the face and screamed at. And when they called me a week later and offered me the position, I was in shock. But, I accepted it anyway because all I saw were the dollar signs attached to the job description. I didn’t know what the company culture was like, and I didn’t know my benefits. All I knew was who my supervisor was going to be, a rough idea of what my duties were, and how much I was going to be making.

Looking back, I feel like a complete idiot, and since then there have been other opportunities that have popped up that I almost wish I could take advantage of. Although, on the brighter side, I am learning a whole lot, and the people that I work with are too good to be true! 

And, there are going to be ups and downs in every position. But before you accept an offer, ask about the company culture, even ask them to take you on a tour of the facilities and meet people that you’re directly going to be working with. Ask what a typical day looks like for someone in the position that you’re applying for, and ask the company what a successful candidate would look like and bring to the table. ASK TONS OF QUESTIONS and don’t be afraid of asking those questions. Because if it’s a good fit, you’ll wake up every morning satisfied and your “work” won’t feel so labor intensive.

So, to my college grads, happy job hunting!

Granny Smith- over and out