Saturday, October 2, 2010

Priorities and Influences

Each one of us has a different set of influences which contribute to and position our priorities in life.

I think it is a rare bird that was born into a situation that is less than ideal and ends up blossoming into a completely different person. It takes a lot of strength, a lot of knowledge and a lot of patience.

If I sat down and thought about my priorities, two seem to be high up on the list: My love and My career. I know what my more religious friends are thinking, what about God? See, I don't separate God from anything. God is the reason I have a love in the first place (I believe he brought us together) and my career is a blessing also. I don't feel the need to flaunt my beliefs because God is in and is the reason it all exists in the first place.

With that being said, my top two priorities are my Husband and my Career. It's the truth. I love being in love. Who would have ever thought I would say that? If I could just get over the silly cultural differences and settle into a compromise (not easy for someone at my age and my personality) - I would be okay.

My career, because - not that it is the truth - but often times I identify myself by what I do. Those of us working, and doing what we are proud of, tend to do that. Kind of like the SAHMs.. you guys identify yourself through and by your children. I, on the other hand, do not have children, so my legacy will be what I give back to this world in the form of what I do with my life. I take it very seriously.

I think if you are a parent, then you need to nourish that kid both spiritually, physically, and emotionally. THAT is your legacy. If you are lucky enough, and talented enough to also leave an amazing mark by way of career - then you deserve recognition for your sacrifices, because I am sure it is not easy.

Now back to the priorities: If you ask people what their interests are, I think you have a pretty good insight into their priorities. For fun, I thought I would review what I wrote on my Blog Profile wall as my "interests." I listed them in the following order:

1. Reading
2. Writing
3. Photography
4. Travel
5. Coffee
6. Conversation
7. Cinema

I would say that hit the nail on the head. I might actually rearrange the order, if I were being completely honest with myself. Though, in a profile, the order can make all the difference in how "interesting" we portray ourselves. I might reorder it this way in what is ACTUAL:

1. Writing (b/c I do it all day, every day- both work and play)
2. Coffee (b/c it is the #1 ingredient in my tummy)
3. Conversation (fueled by coffee, I am a talker)
4. Reading (My one escape)
5. Cinema (OBSESSED - another escape)
6. Photography (I like to tell a story through pictures)
7. Travel (I want to be inspired)

After taking a good hard look at this, I like to think my interests have mainly stayed the same throughout the years, but perhaps my priorities have changed. My influences have changed.

As a child and teenager and even as a young adult, I was always fascinated by clothing and makeup and jewelry and perfume. I used to play in my Grandma Betty's jewelry box. I used to mark catalogs and magazines of outfits I wished I had, I would get into my mother's makeup box and try to recreate what I saw in magazines. I wanted to be thought of as beautiful. I wanted to be admired.

I remembered as a kid how on two instances someone really insulted me and the way I looked. Well, 3 times - and it really pushed me to try so hard to look nicer, and in turn - shifted my priorities. Not something I am proud of.

1. A little boy on the basketball court in elementary school names Rodney Chambers once insulted me about my clothes. He was a kid that misbehaved a lot, and I think I read back in the mid 90's that he was shot and killed. One day he did something he was not supposed to do, I can't remember what it was. But none of the kids would fess up and say what he did. Then Mr. Campbell, our PE teacher, turned to me and asked did "Rodney do ___?" Because I was always scared of getting in trouble and have always had a hard time lying - shook my head yes. Then Rodney screeched, "But Mr. Campbell, what does she know? She is poor, look.. look Mr. Campbell," and he pulled up my pants leg, "She doesn't even have any socks on."

Bahahahahaha. NOW - as an adult, I laugh. Perhaps I just forgot to put socks on with my tennis shoes, I was a little girl - who knows. But what I do remember is all of the kids started laughing. I think that was a turning point for me. I became aware of the my "unawareness" of fashion. Up until that moment - I did not really care.

2. I remember in 5th grade, LaTonya (a little girl in my class) asked two little boys if they thought I was pretty. I was sitting nearby, I don't know why she did it, or what the point was, but I remember waiting with baited breath.. "Oh please, oh please, tell her I am pretty."  Then I heard one of the boys say, "Nicki? No way - she is a dog."

3. In 7th grade, one of the girls that lived in my neighborhood decided to "gang up" on me and for whatever reason was always looking for ways to put me down. I remember in one of her tirades she decided to tell me how tacky I dressed. That my wearing a Florescent Green sweatshirt (I know, I know.. but it was the 80s, and I liked it!) was tacky. So, in turn, she could not hang around with me.


Oh my.

Well, needless to say - I started paying attention to everything. Vogue, Seventeen, YM, Cosmo, Glamor magazine - they were like a bible to me.

I am telling you all of this because I saw a PSA today that spoke - to ME. Well two things really, the whole idea of bullying and this PSA. Watch it please:

Need I say more?

What influenced you (I don't mean the shiny happy stuff.. )but the real influences?


Anonymous said...

I love this post Nicole! Priorities are so very important! I am with you, my husband and my children are at the top of my list. I would like to say job, but since right now I'm still looking, that isn't the case, but even then, Husband and children come 1st. They are indeed my highest priority. Also, myself. We have to make ourselves a priority in our lives because if we neglect ourselves we are not 100% for our husbands, children, job or anything else! Excellent post!

Bossy Betty said...

What a wonderful post! This subject of priorities has been on my mind lately....

Just yesterday I was at Target and I saw so many women dressed in bulky clothes and sort of slouching around. It made me think about all the "body" messages we get, even as adults.

Robin said...

I did some blogging before you started reading about this girl in junior high school who bullied me. Turns out I wasn't the only one. I didn't find that out until I blogged about it on fb. I didn't even use her name and people from junior high started emailing me. They were these, "I have to know if it Kellie because she bullied me," emails. And then it was crying and I got their emailed stories. This girl damaged a lot of people. I look back on it in fascination and amazement. In junior high, I worked really hard on being invisible. That really didn't work. In hindsight, I am flattered that Kellie thought I was worth her time to be bullied. You might be scratching your head. She bullied some really smart people. Attractive, smart, good people. That is not a bad list to be on. She bullied people that she instinctively felt were better than her. Her parents may have had more than anyone else in town, but we all that *something* she would never have. So she tried to crush it. I am happy to say that she didn't succeed, insofar as I know, with any of us. Not ultimately. She made three years miserable. High school offered freedom. It was too big (and I have my Kellie freedom blog if you're interested). Girls who do things like the one who asked those boys if you were pretty feel threatened by you. She knew you had something she didn't. She had to try and crush you. It's mean and horrible. Her self esteem was in the toilet and she needed to make you feel bad in order to feel better.

The girl down the street betrayed my friendshiip early on in 7th grade so I got to know what that felt like. It forced me to find new friends in an ocean filled with sharks. There was blood in the water all of the time at my junior high. And I am glad. I found true friends. We somehow built raft. Every now and then someone fell off and got bit. The sharks constantly circled. I am also glad that I got bullied by Kellie so that I know what it is and I know what it feels like. If H-girl ever goes through that, I know now how to combat it. You don't take it lying down like I did. You don't live in fear. You don't mentally prepare for school like you're going into a war zone. You don't allow the sharks make you feel less, unpretty, poor, and yucky about yourself. Because they will and do. Any sign of weakness and you get metaphorically eaten alive.

By the way, neon colors were totally in style in the 80s. I am not saying that it was a good style, but it was in style. So whoever dissed your clothes was just jealous. Biotch. I am going to come back and post some links to these obscure blogs I am referencing. If you feel like reading, you can. I think you might like today's blog too. It kinda sorta goes with your theme. Weird.

Sorry this is so long. You found my soapbox.

Robin said...

Before I post the links, I meant to tell you that I love the Dove commercial. Their campaign for girls and self-esteem is really top-notch.

I said I had done some blogging about this and I meant it! There might be more, but that is what I found. You can read, some, none, or all.

scrapwordsmom said...

This really struck a nerve with me, too, Nicole. Unfortunately what helped shaped me as a kid was the fact I was overweight. Well, the kids called me plain and simple FAT. I wrote a post about this last year and it was so therapeutic.

My nickname in grade school was Mrs. Fat Albert;(

Anyway, it has taken me most of my life to love my body. Even today I look at my body and say "I'm not good enough". But it is getting better. I love me. I really do.

PS....NEON was in girl!!!!;)


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