Fare Thee Well: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 31

Photo by Anders Jildén on Unsplash

Wind scatters petals
sighing perfumed memories
as they fly away.
Still, I am grateful for spring
and the sight of the full bloom.

This poem is linked to the Tuesday Platform over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.

Liner Notes for this Groove: Someone who has been a dear friend to my husband and me since college is going to be moving away this week. Logically we know this is the best thing for him and his family. The cost of living will be much less, there are older relatives there who need care, and littles who will be adored by said relatives. But even though we live in a golden age of communication, we're still really going to miss the whole family.  

We got to spend some time with them before they headed out on Sunday. First we did Chinese buffet and as Ella Leya said in The Orphan Sky, “The conversation ran as fluidly as the tea out of the samovar’s crooked nose.” Then we hung out in our mutual friends' arcade and played like we were still all college kids (until the aforementioned little ones were ready to drop). It was one of the best ways to say goodbye that I could have imagined. 

Here's to Woody and his family...safe travels, best of luck. House Driks will miss you.

Song Choice: Saying Goodbye from Muppets Take Manhattan

Negative Feedback and the Nerd Girl

So if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you probably already know I’m kind of a nerd. Like many people who were overachievers in school I got used to the high of a sweet, sweet A+. Maybe a little too used to it. Those hits of external validation become life.

But external validation makes pretty poor armor against negative comments when they come. And they always come, no matter how many honor rolls you were on or AP classes you aced.

Lisa Simpson is not impressed with your negativity.

I’m not going to lie. It’s still not easy for me to handle external criticism, especially if it’s about something that brushes up against a core perception I have of myself. I don’t think I’m alone in that though. I’ve seen some pretty chill people lose it when a soft part of their underbelly gets prodded.

So what do I do when the inevitable negative criticism is lobbed my way? First, I take a deep breath. Then, I’ll call/ PM/ hang out with a member of my personal squad if one of them is available. I have a wonderful inner circle of friends who are kind about letting me vent, while not letting me get stuck in self-pity mode (and good about being caring but honest when I've missed the mark). I try to remind myself that part of being smart is being open to learning. Only an idiot thinks they have nothing more to learn. So what does this negative experience teach me? 

Eventually, I do get to a calm enough place to be objective about the event. And if it the criticism has a valid point, I try to honor that and change.

Of course, there are times I just laugh about it and practice my Spanish cussing with my friends too. Hey, I’m not perfect! 😆

Song Choice: All Star by Smashmouth

This blog post was created for Poets United's Moonlight Musings: The Interactive Edition 1.

Bridge Out: Blogging Around with Rommy, Week 30

Photo by Giancarlo Revolledo on Unsplash

I can't build bridges
when people steal the supplies
and hit me with them.

This poem is linked to the Tuesday Platform at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.

Liner Notes for this Groove: One of the casualties of 2016 was my patience. Before then, I prided myself on being something of a bridge builder, of being open to hearing a wide range of views.  Like David Stuart Davies wrote in A Taste for Blood, "I'm anybody's for a cuppa and a biscuit.” Or at least, so I thought.

I still aspire to that some days. I want to engage in respectful discourse where the point isn’t to “win” a conversation, but to reach an understanding. If I have the emotional energy for it, I will. Because despite how angry I can get, I still think that it’s going to be well-nigh impossible for society as a whole to move forward if more of that doesn’t happen. *rubs her temples and reaches for ibuprofen when she thinks about all the times people were quick to mouth off instead of paid attention to the actual words exchanged* 

But my time is too precious to engage with the willfully ignorant, with those who can’t be bothered to fact check. I’m not going to go out of my way to keep people like that in my life or spend much time with them either. My mental health is also too precious for that.