“Are these RAW?”

I’m posted up at my desk today, and I think this is a very important point: I traded a bed for a desk. I am sleeping on the cot, because I want a writing career. It’s as simple as that.

We’re starting to schedule our meetings during lunch break because we have so many of them. Here is an excerpt from 12:00-12:25 of my day today.

We’re making a poster to illustrate our project, and I’m starring hard at the poster trying to figure out a good way to remind the group to keep the chemical cleaner bottles off the kitchen counters and table when not in use. Chemicals and food should be separate.

And I look up, and George is staring into my eyes.

“I’m trying to figure out what you’re thinking about.”

And then I explain something with a click of my tongue, as I do, and George calls that out. He is fascinated with my communication styles.

“What does that even mean, Annie? Everyone just nods their heads in agreement with you, but I am baffled because all you did was motion with your hands and make a clicking sound with your tongue.”

On Sunday before I cut his hair, I walked in the house and said, “20 minutes?” while making a scissors motion on my own hair with my left hand. And he was blown away. Alyssa was sitting on the couch behind him, and announces that she loves the way I talk with my hands.

But I’m completely getting away from what took place today.

The poster from round one is covered in tea, because I thought it would be a good idea for us all to sprinkle green tea all over the paper, in a symbolic gesture.

This round, we all drew pictures. I made the straight path drawn on the poster wavy, to symbolize the winding road that we’re all taking. Sometimes up, sometimes down. Always moving somewhere regardless.

And then Carinne begins rubbing me all over with two raw eggs and singing. She’s got them on my face, and I’m asking, worriedly, “Are these raw??!”

No answer, just more egg love.

Accomplishments as of late:

Determining that I can be deodorant free. That I don’t need to put product under my arms, and I don’t even need to shower every single day to smell good. Even when we are working eight hour days in the sun and dirt daily. If I can go without deodorant here, pretty sure I can make it most places. Not going to use deodorant ever again, I don’t think. Surprised to learn that the longer I go without, the more my body odor decreases. The first week without it was really noticeable, but now my skin is adjusting to itself, and evening out without the aid of deodorant.

So if I can’t take anything else from this, I have that.

I know I have a lot to take from this experience right now— and not all of it is positives. But they are things that I have learned to see clearer in the future.

I feel as if I am still in the dark about people’s use of manipulation. It’s just not something that I want to see in people. But Jess has been helping me to see, as of late. I don’t ever want to become bitter and become stuck on other people’s problems, as I pride myself in my ability to separate myself from what is going on around me for the most part.

But I have learned, and it is clear to see every minute of the day here, that everyone is looking out for their own interests. And a few of us put others before themselves, but most people don’t. So realizing when others might be taking advantage, or just not on the same page as you about when self interest or selflessness takes precedence, is a skill in and of itself.

I don’t want to become a completely selfish person, as I think it harms you in the long run. But I also don’t want to continue giving to people who only take.

So working on standing up for myself, and taking what I need. And surprised to learn how easy it is to do that, when I actually do. The hard part is just remembering that I need to take every once in awhile, instead of just giving.

Not that I am completely selfless, but I was raised in a very egalitarian family, and we all pitched in, and were taught to think of others before ourselves.

And while that model works great when everyone is on the same page, the world is not on the same page. Obviously. So it’s about developing a level of awareness and action in social situations, as well as continuing to be thoughtful and to go with the flow.

Just finished dinner, headed to the Friday meeting, then I’m done for the night.

Shopping at the farmer’s market tomorrow, and then I’m done for the weekend. Going to find a cafe in Ukiah, and post up.

And then Sunday, Sunday is all mine for writing and processing.

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