Archive | September, 2012

Eleven Years

11 Sep

I’ve always hated my own birthday parties. I think I inherited that from my mom.

See my mom grew up in a small house in a small Iowa town with five brothers and sisters, and they were always strapped for money. Her younger sister shared the same birthday week as her, so one weekend was her birthday party and the next weekend was my mom’s. They just kept up the decorations to save money.

My mom’s birthday was on a Thursday one year. She was turning 7. They decided to have the party on a Friday, November 22, 1963. JFK was killed in Dallas, Texas.

The decorations were up, but no one showed up.

Needless to say, that can scar a little 7 year old. Birthday parties are scary. People may not show up. They may not have fun. It’s a lot of drama to bring in to the picture on your own birthday.

I was one week shy of my 12th birthday when terrorists attacked our country, killing thousands.

Just as no one will forget where they were that day JFK was killed in 1963, no one will forget where they were that morning of September 11, 2001.

I was at my dad’s house. I had never heard of the word terrorist before. I had never heard of the World Trade Centers. I had never been to New York City. I was so confused. I just knew that something very, very bad had happened, and my life as an American would never be the same.

Unlike my mom, people did show up to my birthday party a few days after that on the Saturday. In lieu of gifts, I collected money for the American Red Cross. It was the best $140 check I have ever sent.

It has been eleven years since that day. I’ve moved states, twice. I graduated middle school, high school and college. Had my first kiss, first love, first heartbreak. I’ve had my first kid job, and my first real job. So much has changed since September 11, 2001.

Today I woke up in time to take the Marta and was fully planning on it.

Until I remembered it was September 11. And I didn’t want to take public transit.

Because I was scared.

The likelihood of something happening on one of the least-used public transits in one of the smaller metro cities in the U.S. is microscopic.

But I was still scared.

So I guess not much has changed.

But now that my 23rd birthday is a mere week away, I really should embrace my birthdays. Because today we all remember and celebrate those who lost their lives eleven years ago and weren’t blessed with the stress of having another birthday.

-gh

Going Through the Motions

10 Sep

Get up. Shower. Make-up. Clothes. Hair. Brush teeth. Feed Pluto. Get into car. Drive to Marta. Walk to the station. Swipe pass. Get on train. Get off train. Swipe pass. Walk to building. Go up 29 floors. Work. Go down 29 floors. Walk to station. Swipe pass. Get on train. Get off train. Walk to car. Drive home.

That’s my daily routine. Sunrise to sunset, I can say I pretty much do the same things in the same order. You might say I just go through the motions. Day by day.

I see other people at the station going through the motions. I see the same people, wearing the same outfits, getting on and off at the same stops, oftentimes in the same cart of the same train.

Marta comes. Marta leaves. North. South. East. West.

Walk in. Find a seat. Don’t make eye contact. Walk out.

The phrase “going through the motions” has been in my mind recently. In fact, quite a few people have used that term in conversations with me meaning very different things. I’ve heard it just last month with the worst news I’ve gotten in years, and the best. “I’m just going through the motions with you, Gabrielle,” they said.

When one phrase can seem so menial, but change your life so much, it’s hard not to think about it. It’s hard not to watch myself going through the motions in life.

So I stopped. I stopped living life like I was going through the motions. Yeah maybe my morning routine and Marta ride will be the same few processes over and over, but overall I’m done going through the motions. I’ve started to live life, say yes to things I’d never imagine and challenge myself to do something new each day.

I’ve never felt so incredibly blessed and alive as I do at this moment in time. I live in a beautiful apartment, have wonderful friends near and far, a supportive family and landed my dream job out of college. And this life is way too beautiful to just spend it going through the motions.

Get up. Smile. Get ready. Sing. Travel to work. Call a best friend. Work hard. Try something new. Take the Marta. Laugh. Get home. Dance. Do something different, every day. These are the motions to go through.

-gh

War Damn Marta

4 Sep

Here is some video and picture Adventures in Martaing from taking the Marta to the Clemson vs. Auburn game in the Georgia Dome on Saturday. Little words needed. Enjoy!

Also, War Eagle-ing on the Marta!

That’s all for today, folks. Win or lose, it’s great to be an Auburn tiger!

-gh

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