Thursday, November 25, 2010

Family Matters

I am a member of a dysfunctional family. Now, I say that with all the love and adoration that is generally reserved to describe a sleeping baby or a cute puppy, and I love everyone I’m related to more than anything. But seriously, we’re nuts. However, it is the harebrained environment in which I was raised that helped create the person I am now.

Me and Daddy-O, dancing of course.

My dad is king of the crazies. He seldom sleeps or takes a day off work. He is a huge fan of kicking his leg up to his head when he’s excited about something, or whenever there’s a camera on him. He has a tendency to break into song, usually something by Cher or Madonna. He is smart, loud, sweet, and hyperactive. My dad taught me how to debate, how to see beauty within myself, how to dance like nobody’s watching and sing like nobody can hear (I realize that those are probably song lyrics and make me sound super cliché, but I mean it!), he taught me how to study, how to defend myself, he taught me to have passion, how to be aware of myself, how to be responsible…I could go on and on.

Me and the lady, right after parasailing. She's adventurous, it's true.

My mother is an angel. She puts up with all the insanity our small family provides. She’s the calm one, she’s the rock. She’s stubborn, hardworking, and takes time to enjoy the small things in life. She taught me how to love, even when it’s hard. She taught me how to cook, how to be brave, how to enjoy adventure, how to cherish home, how to depend on family and be dependable to them, she taught me that I don’t have to be the best at everything but I do have to try my best at everything, she taught me to never quit. She has supported me in everything I do in life, and not only tells me that I can do anything, but also truly believes that I can.

All but one of the siblings. This photo started with us standing a normal distance apart, then the photographer asked if we were close, being cousins and all, the hugging was our response.

Then there are my siblings. Biologically I only have two. I claim seven: Annalee and Adam (the actual ones), Lala, Junior, Gigi, Amanda, and Germania. The last five lived with us off and on throughout my growing up. These are the people that I played and fought with. The ones that I wanted to be like when I was older, the ones I still try to emulate now. These are the people who I would build forts with, play cops and robbers with, sneak ice cream from the freezer with. The ones I would pray for by my bed at night. Now that I’m older they’re the ones I go on vacation to visit, the ones I tell stories to my roommates about, the ones who listen to me cry, who listen to and influence my goals, and who make me laugh. I could not ask for better people in my life.

Then there is my extended family. I won’t go into detail. Let’s just say there are lots of stories. I have an uncle who lived in the Amazon, a grandma who faked like her cane was a gun to scar away a robber, an aunt who runs half marathons, another aunt who gives me great books to read and who justifies my quasi-feminist tendencies, another uncle who builds his kids miniature monster trucks, another aunt who takes ridiculous amounts of pictures and is prone to making friends with strangers regardless of the occasional language barrier…

The moral of the story is that I adore my family. I recognize that they are my backbone. Now for the part where this ties in with “the quest.” Mostly I just realized how much I take my family for granted. I love them. My family is an enormous part of who I am. Sometimes I get the "bright" idea to try and detach myself from that fact. However, now more than ever I have realized that is stupid. Why would I ever want to be detached from such wonderful, ambitious, and inspiring people? I wouldn't, I don't. So instead of pointing out their faults and trying desperately to separate myself from them I'm just embracing it. More than that I'm going to take time to appreciate them each. We'll see where this takes me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Quest

For Self-Actualization

In Abraham Maslow's "Theory of Human Motivation" he describes self-actualization as "the desire for self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for him [the individual] to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming."

So why the quest for self-actualization? It's pretty simple. I want to know myself. I know what I am capable of contributing to the world around me. I want to know what I actually think about life. I want to have goals. I want to have a passion for life; and what better way to do that than to feel myself out and figure out what I really am passionate about? So this is a quest, to learn about myself. Although, I hope to continually be progressing, learning, and in effect I hope that I never fully know myself.

As my facebook status once said: Today I am a young, silly girl who is prone to foolishness. I laugh, cry, and learn my way through life. But one day I'll channel all these ideas and dreams of mine; and you may not be able to see it yet, but one day I'll take this world by storm.

This is part of that whole channeling all my ideas and dreams process.

So, I may not be sounding clear right now, but that's ok. It's more for me to figure out than it is for anyone to understand.I just want to see what I love in life, what I want, what I see, discovering my own potential kind of a deal. I'm just going to try and look at my life with eyes wide open and see what I love about it, what I want to do with it, and the talents I have that can help me along the way.

That being said, I'm off to do some yoga.

Disclaimer: I spend a lot of time writing research papers...sorry if this sounded to much like one