Prompt: Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?
Life is much like writing in ink. All you can do is read over your past and look forward to a blank page for your future that will soon be filled with words that can never be erased – Unknown
This particular quote appealed to me as I have always enjoyed writing and found myself gifted in the area of writing. I acquired this quote when I was fourteen-years-old and ‘My Space’ was the big social network. I have had it on my profile on FB for years.
The quote makes me think, and continues to make me ponder life. What I realized after thinking about this quote was that you can read over the past and remember your memories, but you don’t want to become stuck in the past. You may have had interesting events and fun times you would like to remember but there are also parts of people’s lives in the past which were painful and difficult.
For this reason, it is a wonderful gift to have a blank future in front of you, a blank page every single day of your life. You cannot change the past but you can shape your own future. There are always unknowns who will have you write things you wished you hadn’t and make you wish you’d never experienced an event. But you, as a writer of life, are the one writing in ink. You write in life what you decide, therefore, it is best write about what a terrific life you had. How you dealt gracefully in most times of hardship. Make yourself have a life you are excited to write about and look back on.
It is up to us to react to life in a way that is compassionate, caring, understanding, and helpful to others. And when life becomes problematic for us, that is the time to lean on others and write about them in your blank pages too. We all exist with the guidance of other people and their experiences in our lives. As John Donne wrote “no man is an island.” The experience of life is one we live together and that is a blessing from God.
Thanks to Jacqueline from a Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales for hosting Echos of My Neighbourhood each week.
I won’t tell you too much about the fun I had with these girls about eight or nine years ago now. I am just grateful I still have them all in my life. We had a habit of picking up one those disposable cameras you could buy at the drugstore. We took a load of pictures every weekend we went out for quite sometime. The amazing thing is I have scrap booked all the important ones. Smart phone cameras weren’t good then infact, I think flip phones were what was in.
For a long time these have been photos on my Facebook wall. My generation was the first generation to use Facebook. I think I signed up in second year. We at first only read each other’s posts and added anyone and everyone we knew or saw at our small university of under two-thousand students. There was no advertising or games. But it was nice to be in a small university too. I doubt I would have come upon the friends I have if I’d gone to a bigger university. Not to mention if you ran into someone else who went to our same university, you were bestfriends the whole night.
We studied hard and spent a lot of time going out to bars and clubs. I think I liked the country bars the best. During this time, smoking was banned from bars in Edmonton which was wonderful because you didn’t have to take a shower after being up to 4:00 am in the morning. And drinks used to be cheap, especially if you were a lady. You could get highballs for ninety-nine cents anywhere up to two-fifty. Sometimes shots would be on special. Thursday nights were the worst and best nights because we could go down Whyte Avenue in Edmonton and receive mostly free drinks the entire night.
There are lots of good times in the past and lots of good times to occur in the future. We are not all party girls anymore in university but are all attempting to try our luck at ‘adulting’ as we reach the age thirty, some of us sooner than others. Now there are careers, more schooling, husbands and weddings, moving in with boyfriends, pets, and babies. There are some sad parts of life such as dealing with loss and the fact our bodies don’t work quite they way we wish they did when we were twenty. But our friendships have remained strong and I hope they do for a long time. It was fun to be free and to be youthful and do the things girls and guys in university do. But sometimes I think it is even funner to see my friends become ‘adults’ and see where their lives are going. I am so proud of all of them.
In second year University, I caught the eye of a certain basketball player. He was in an English class with me. He was tall, loud, and had the most beautiful blue eyes. I thought he’d be fun to be with. But it was difficult for me to talk to him. He caused me to feel anxious. I knew I had to only become used to his loudness to be comfortable around him, but I never felt relaxed. He didn’t attempt to get to know me better, to make me feel comfortable around him, despite my shyness.
At first, I was so shy I would ignore him, unless I absolutely ran right into him. I only felt this knot in my stomach and I stuttered when I talked to him. I was extremely frustrated with the entire situation by third year university. I finally told the basketball player I liked him. I told him truthfully, I often didn’t talk to him because I was busy taking five courses and working half-time. I tried to get across to him that when I was busy, I was off in my own world. I was attempting to get him to make an effort and ask me out.
I received a funny look from the basketball player for saying ‘I was in my own world,’ even though he rubbed my back to make me feel better. That was the end. I wasn’t a fun girl to him because I wasn’t outgoing and he didn’t understand how busy my life was.
During the years I had this ‘thing’ with the basketball player, I grew used to other girls I didn’t know talking behind my back, calling me names, and being critical of me. I went to a small university and it often felt like high school because young woman became easily jealous over the smaller guy population.
It took me years to get over the preconceived notion that I was shy — a wrong attribute to have. I learned a guy maybe hot and seem fun, but if he didn’t make the effort for you, you shouldn’t waste your time on him. Sometimes I would build a guy I liked up in my mind, as if they were perfect and not a flawed person. I would have been more comfortable being me if I realized I shouldn’t have to try so hard to please a man I liked. Even someone you are attracted to, and makes you nervous, is approachable if you remember they are only human like you.
Also, I learned when I started working, because a person makes you nervous is no reason to ignore them if they haven’t given you a decent reason to avoid them. The exception to this was catty and gossipy women. I learned some woman are going to be touchy even as adults when they should know better than to spread gossip or call names. These women are people whose mean words you should ignore. Better yet, ask them to repeat what they said so you can hear it clearly this time. Embarrass them.
Most significantly, I learned I was not a shy person but a woman who was often an introvert. It didn’t mean I wasn’t social and fun to be with. But I required time alone to ‘recharge my batteries’ while others ‘recharged their batteries’ off the energy of a crowd. I liked small groups better than large noisy functions. I felt and still feel a few trustworthy friends is all a girl needs, even though it is fun to meet new people. I also enjoy working independently, or one on one with people. I am extremely talkative in this kind of situation and I feel a more meaningful connections with others in small group settings.
In my opinion, we have a society which is often centred around extroversion. It’s not an acceptable value because it causes people who identify with introversion to feel that if we are shy and not outgoing, there is something wrong with us. There is nothing about a person that is deficient because they are introverted. Certain people are skilled at hiding their insecurities and may appear outgoing but at heart, they are introverts. Some introverts such as myself are more clearly introverted.
I don’t identify with being a shy girl anymore. I’m a listener, a loyal friend, and an observer. I have no problem stating my opinion or saying no. I am happy to be me in the ‘background’ and not taking center stage. This doesn’t mean I never get noticed. It means the right people notice me and take me as I am. I want to be around people who see introversion as a vital part of society, not a hindrance.