Tag Archives: social work

Huh, well I’ll be damned.

Standard
Huh, well I’ll be damned.

Most of my life, I have really enjoyed being around people that are very different from me; that being said, I also spent a lot of my life being incredibly irritated with people who disagreed with me and felt particularly defensive. I love being right. Don’t f*ck with me, I will Google that sh*t.

Recently however, I am noticing that I am less inclined to enjoy being around people who agree with me. Like-minded people are not necessarily people who agree with me. It’s been a real epiphany.

They don’t encourage my passionate debate. And that sucks, because it is one of my favorite things. It’s not that I like to argue…Really. I like to learn….Read on…

I’ve spent the last three years in graduate school: the first year was spent in a very small cohort in a very small town. It was nice, I really love some of the people there…others, meh. It wasn’t very diverse, that is for sure.

The second two years were spent in a much larger metropolitan area with people from all over the place. Very diverse. Sounds cool huh?

Not always. Now, mind you, I have met amazing people who I have no doubt that I will be involved with my entire life in that program. But there are others that were in the program that “agreed” with me, but they just made me feel really robotic about my thoughts. I have been trying to critically reflect on this and what I have recently decided is that my learning ends when I am around people who agree with me.

 

And it doesn’t matter what the topic is.

Politics, economics, race, religion, class warfare, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, social work, or even something as benign as micro brews or freaking music. I find it much more conducive to the fine tuning of my own opinions, my own truth if you will, to have to understand someone else’s point of view and more thoroughly explain my positions without being defensive. It is a real skill. I like having practice in it and I cannot practice with people who are all “oh, yeah, I totally agree.” 

I’ve always told my kids that if they can’t explain something to me, they don’t understand it well enough…go back and study or try again…

And yet, I haven’t fully held myself to that.

It’s nice to be undefensive and feel validated in your opinions. 

But only for a minute. 

Until you look around and realize that you are either surrounded by “Yes, people” or people who you intimidate that aren’t going to question what you say. Talk about boring. *YAWN*

I am really enjoying learning from people who are different from me. I am really enjoying the fire in my gut that lights up when someone says something that gets my hackles up….but learning to control that fire long enough to come up with an awesome counter to continue the conversation? 

Oh yeah. That’s the good stuff. 

Bring it on.

 

Shattering patterns, one crisis at a time….

Standard
Shattering patterns, one crisis at a time….

So you know that dumb cliché that your children are your karma for what you did as a child?

Payback is a bitch.

Today marked the third LARGE parenting crisis I have had to deal with in the 16 years I have been a parent. Oddly enough, all three of them have happened when my children were the same age as I was, when I experienced practically the same crisis.

It’s really freaking scary. I have made bad decisions as a romantic relationship role model, that is for sure. But as far as everything else: school, work, self-advocacy, critical thinking, self-esteem, encouraging uniqueness, supporting their choices, not being a blind follower, talking about sex, drugs, and unconditional love, etc….I rock that.  I couldn’t imagine having to deal with any of the things I experienced because I have prided myself on being such a “better” parent than I had. And I am a better parent, my toolbox is better stocked. My education is more complete. But better is a relative term, I suppose.

The main difference between my parenting and my childhood is that I have made it a point to do the absolute opposite of what my parents did; in these specific situations.

And it’s hard.

I panic.

I don’t know what a “normal” parent would do.

I don’t always know what the appropriate thing to do is.

I know what I would tell a client.

I know what I would tell a friend.

But they aren’t my kids.

They aren’t me.

They don’t have my experiences.

And therein lies the rub.

All I can do is hope I have interrupted a pattern. Hope that when it’s my children’s turn as parents, that they don’t experience these crises. If they do, I hope they handle it even better than I did.

Mother, Mother

Standard
Mother, Mother

Maybe not meaningful to you but meaningful to me is the fact that this song came out the year I became a mother…albeit a pre-birth mother, but a mother aware of the child inside her all the same…

I identified with this song so much.

Somedays, I still do.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the men and women mothers or mother role holders, even the ones that weren’t close to perfect.

Oh my poor vanilla car.

Standard
Oh my poor vanilla car.

The first time someone told me I didn’t live in Portland and my bumper stickers were going to cost me jobs, I rolled my eyes and laughed.

regina

The second time someone pointed out people might be suspicious of me as a social worker because of my bumper stickers, I was like “oh well, people learn when they are uncomfortable.”

judy

The third time I was like:

“OK FINE SWEET JEBUS. No, I don’t want to alienate my damn clients.”

walter

grumble grumble grumble hiss

So I finally stripped my poor car today.

Luckily, I was married to a redneck who did auto body and paint once, soooo I knew how to do it with out scratching my car but gees…

My poor car is humiliated.

She is vanilla.

She is now an asexual gender neutral it.

It is now apolitical.

The only thing that could offend my client’s now for sure is the fact it’s not American made.

Oh! And that it’s white. Damn it!

I have to draw the line.

But I suppose this is what being a grown-up anti-oppressive practitioner is.

Boo.

DSABASMJ….

Standard
DSABASMJ….

Dear sweet ancient baby alien space monkey, Jebus:

I am about to go to my interview for a job that could potentially lead me straight into a potential future I like, so I humbly ask:

  • Please don’t let me sound like an idiot or a fraud.
  • Please give me the magical Goddess inspired words to wow them.
  • Please let my interviewers be part of the 50% who sees yellow as cheerful, not the 50% who are made anxious by it.
  • Please let me get the right job if it is not this one, very quickly, in time to pay my stuff next month.

Humina-Humina, monkey dust, catholic mumbo jumbo, hoodoo voodoo, sacrificial animal of your choice, genuflection, crosses and rituals, dancing on one foot, spinning around, holding snakes, talking in tongues, holy water, smudge smoke, mecca lecca hi mecca hiney ho, and all that other sh*t.

Amen.

XOXO

Jani

Gees I am such a slacker….

Standard
Gees I am such a slacker….

but…….only when it comes to my blog.

Seriously…Sorry friends…been doing the job-search-grad-school-hippy-hippy-shake (no really, its a thing) and then this week I’ve been in trainings….next week I am going to the ocean for a conference…it’s rough I tell ya, rough.

BUT every time I think the Universe is done throwing me curve balls, I get another one….this time it was an ok one though.

Facebook has this magical effed up skill of knowing who I have thought about or talked about recently and then WHAMO…they pop up on my radar.

Some people I am like:

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I had almost forgot they existed!

And then others, I have a real soft spot for….

…sometimes I have “known” these people for 25 years…Oh my dear sweet ancient alien baby space monkey Jebus….25 years? Really?

I don’t always know anything about them except what has trickled through the rumor mill over the years….

What I remember from childhood is often very different from the people they have become…and yet, they are still those same people in my head.

Memory is a bittersweet thing.

But still, I wish them so much happiness it makes my chest hurt. Huh.

It really is all about love and energy. Even if you don’t know it.

I’ve been through some emotional roller coasters lately and the one concrete thing I have realized is that loving others makes me feel good, but they don’t have to love me back for me to get that benefit.

 

 

This is the part that I hate…

Standard
This is the part that I hate…

So I have this bad habit of starting sentences with adverbs. Oh well. 🙂

Anyway, I had company this weekend who asked me why I have pictures hanging everywhere of my ex-partner….They wondered if it was an indication that I am still holding out hope to get back together or I am not over them or whatnot. I said no, I just really haven’t had the time to deal with it considering grad school and blah blah blah….

But since they said that, now all I can think of is the task. My eyes go to the pictures of them immediately as I walk by my framed pictures and mosaics…. It’s a pain in the ass. It requires an emotional dissonance and dissociation I am not totally prepared for and yet, I know it needs to be done.

It’s not like I am doing anything better today.

Facebook and Pinterest and homework and the last episode of Spartacus can wait I suppose.

I hate endings.

But I love beginnings. It’s a balance I suppose.

resume schmesume

Standard
resume schmesume

It’s that inevitable part of ending graduation….that time every one without a trust fund dreads……JOB SEARCH….

I have redone my resume 34,384,574,857,045 times with 2,384,973,048 different people telling me I need to redo it. But luckily, I have a pretty awesome BGBF who  loves me enough to have worked mine over like racehorse on his weekend and whipped it into sexy shape. All on one snazzy page. HUZZAH.

So today I filled out 15 applications, including cover letters and endless inane questions asking me to provide rationale, answers, education, and experience with the name of the organizations I worked at during those experiences to prove I know how to blow my nose and tie my shoes and encourage others to do the same, in an appropriate manner.

OY.

Holy Moly. I hope I get a job.

Don’t they understand I am an indentured servant? I have a house worth of loans! I am owned by the man!

I will work! I have to work! Let me work! PLEASE……

Not that I am desperate….yet…..

I was even asked in an application if I am an “expert in determining precipitating events.”

Um, no. Is that even an actual expertise? I know what one is but…..I’m not training to be on “Criminal Minds”….

I digress.

What did I get into!

Wish me luck lovers.

Mama needs to pay off these shoes….

Easy button, anyone?

Standard
Easy button, anyone?

I sure wish I had one.

Now I know I live a charmed life. I have first world problems. I have many blessings, it is true.

But sometimes, I wish things were easier. I know that difficult things have magical pay offs in the end and all that BS but I really wish that things weren’t all so contrary in my world.

It feels like no matter what choices I make nothing is ever easy.

I know my world would be lame if everything was always easy, I am not asking for that; but just a moment or two of grace.

Of utter perfection.

I want the spin to stop just for a minute.

Is that too much to ask?

 

Are you f***ing kidding me?

Standard
Are you f***ing kidding me?

Ok, I know that this is going to abound with moral relativism issues and non-cultural competence but this really bothers me on a personal level. Especially after yesterday’s butterflies from my arsehole post; but in this day and age, is this really necessary?

Accused witch burned alive after being tortured

I mean, yes, the area has been pounded by devastating earthquakes for the last week, but c’mon. Yes, I made a “Joe and the volcano” joke yesterday about throwing Meg Ryan in the volcano to make them stop, but it was a joke.

This is not. This GIRL was 20 years old. Accused by a 6 year old BOY and viciously tortured and killed by her own village.

Groupthink IS the only Devil in this world.

This is murder. Gender based murder.

Think a positive thought for this girl and those like her please.