Thursday, October 14, 2010

baby, what's your sign?

I came across emma tree's beautiful blog yesterday and read the following:

"life is just overwhelming at times,
and we are all standing on a corner
with a sign in our hands needing something".

She, as well as Graciel , posed the challenge to show off our own signs.
Below are mine. They were taken at work, with the camera on my phone. My real camera has met an early demise (but work with what you got, I say)...

I have never been the assertive type. I am a person that will let things happen to herself than make things happen. It feels easier that way, somehow. I was once described in high school as "unobtrusive, but always there." That rather apt description has followed me throughout life and was starting to be a disadvantage to my personal and professional life. I would go out of my way to be agreeable and easygoing, but I was losing space, literally and figuratively ( for example, the area I worked with students at school consisted of a student desk wedged between some filing cabinets and the area for the coffee maker and refrigerator).

I need to elbow my way in and take up some space and be a real presence. In conversation, in the classroom, in decision-making, and in my life when I have the power to make something happen rather than let something happen.

Laughter is one of the keys to my survival. If I don't laugh at least once a day, a vice-like tension starts to build in my chest and I begin to traverse the slippery slope of frustration and sadness. Laughter gets me through the day. When I want to cry (which can be often), I try to laugh. To quote "Garden State:" If you can't laugh at yourself, life is going to seem a whole lot longer than you like."

The rat started out as a running gag. Members of the Reading Department would place it in work areas, unbeknown to people. When discovered, it would give a slight fright and a good chuckle. One day, it disappeared and was forgotten about (or so I thought...). One morning, as I was preparing for students, I wandered out to my bookshelf and found....RAT MAN. It startled me and a laugh, starting in my toes and working through my belly, erupted in raucous fashion. I laughed and laughed until I cried. I don't even know why. The absurdity of it all, perhaps. But those laughs are the laughs I yearn for. Through laughter (and the friends who make you laugh), things don't seem that bad.


  1. Oh. Unobtrusive but always there!!?? Are you me? :) I loved these signs, especially that first one, elbowing your way into life, and I so identify with that. This is hard to do, isn't it? But we have to learn how. Have to. (It also reminded me of Office Space - the movie. You don't have a red stapler, do you?)

    See how cleverly I worked in something for you to laugh at? LOL!

    Loved this a lot!
    :) Debi

  2. Thanks, Debi. I did get a good laugh as I read your comment this morning. A good way to start the day!

    I do not own a red stapler, but when I stop receiving paychecks I'll know I'm in trouble!

  3. Wonderful post...I really love that quote from Emma Tree.

    Laughter is the music of the soul.

  4. It truly is, Giovanni! And thank you thank you for your kind words.

  5. I didn't know you did sign day! I wish I had! This was great and all true and I am so glad about both your signs, you do need them both, we all need both those things.
    And we're going to do some laughing this weekend cause I need some too!
    I need to do some catching up here...