Next week at this time there will be caps, gowns, smiles, tears, laughs, and pictures had. There will be handshakes, hugs, introductions, and good-byes. The question that still lingers for me is now what? What will we do? What will we become?
We will become what we have become.
The answer came quickly to me, and instead of being satisfied I was confused. I had the answer with minimal processing. I have to remind myself that this is a good thing. I believe that three years of graduate school changed me for the better in all areas, especially self-awareness, empathy, assessment, and practice. I have ideas about what kind of social worker that might mold me one day. This change is in all of us, no matter what different letters we have next to our names. We will be the change in our professional lives. Our personal and professional change may be what leads us to that supervisor or clinical director position. It may lead us to be an administrator one day.
It’s you. It’s me. We must be that change. We have to start it. If we haven’t started it yet, today’s a beautiful day to begin.
This was my first Saturday that didn’t involve being in class all day or stuck in church. What’s the big deal, you ask? Let me put it in perspective for you: for three years your Saturday is in class from 9-4, with content that at times is confusing, deep, and sometimes too personal. When you come home you’re tired, and that’s not even taking into account travel time if you’re from a distance. I totally understand that I chose to do this and am a better person and hopefully a good social worker and future therapist as a result. So, a Saturday to bum around and do really nothing was so nice that I decided to blog about it. Here’s what I did (or kinda did):
Slept in some more
Cleaned my room (what? Oh yes, my room is spotless for today)
Call of Duty
More Call of Duty
Even more Call of Duty
Shower (sweet, sweet 2pm shower)
Dinner, drinks, and TV with some of my best friends.
That’s a great day, considering my Saturdays consisted of waking up, showering, going to class, napping, and not having any energy to go out.
I think the first thing I’ll do after graduation is grow a post-MSW beard.
This is the first time that I’ve written something that isn’t related to vicarious trauma in the child welfare caseworker, aggravated circumstances and policy change, and psychodynamic theory (fun stuff, right?).
I joined eHarmony about a year ago because I was asking myself those normal, single-person questions. What’s wrong with me? Do I need another person to fill my life right now? Am I afraid to be alone? Of course there was also damn, I need to get laid. I was hopeful at first, understanding that all I needed was a little push to get me on a date and then my past dating experience could take it from there. I started talking to a few matches and made dates. I was naively surprised that some women didn’t post recent pictures (I remember one was from three years ago). Now while I’m not in shape, you must have some guts to put a picture up from three years ago and hope the person on the other side falls for your trick (or never decides to meet you). The last eHarmony date I went on was in February, but that wasn’t a date so much as a random hookup.
Then I joined Plentyoffish, a free dating site. I actually found a more diverse amount of women here and had more fun. There were never any dates, though, as I found my avoidant personality stopped me from ever meeting anyone. There were Bible freaks, mental hospital weirdos, and the women in college that were just too naive. It seemed that the professional women I talked with lived too far away or lost interest with me.
So far, internet dating has been like a huge tease. I’m not sure if I’ll ever meet someone here or not, but for those of you still reading, here’s been my generic experience so far:
- Every woman is “fun loving and spontaneous.” If you really exhibited those qualities, I would expect you to grab my hand and run as we went skydiving before I even learned your last name. Please be honest with yourself. Say if you don’t do well in social situations rather than being in denial and saying that you’re “fun loving and spontaneous.”
- Dog lovers. Listen, I like dogs. I probably will own one when I own a home. Showing me 132 pictures of Fluffy the poodle on her birthday and telling me her life story is nauseating.
- “I’m looking for the one.” I’ve been guilty of this. Recently, when I message a woman I stick to getting to know her, just talking, and seeing what happens. Sounds normal, right? I wasn’t like that. I wanted to get in your pants as soon as possible and figure out the rest later. That worked out real well. Women ready to pick out curtains after a couple of messages exist, though, and that’s just scary.
What’s the moral of this? I don’t think there is one. I joined internet dating to find companionship, and to use a baseball analogy, hit and flied out to left. I’m not sure if I’ll come up to the batters box next time around, but I have definitely been thrown some unique pitches.
I’m watching Sportscenter and they’re talking about the strategies (or lack thereof) of teams like the Yankees and Devil Rays are using to keep their key players rested and prepping the ones that need the most work in garbage time for the playoffs. Then it occurred to me: I don’t care. Even if the Red Sox did make the playoffs I don’t know if I would have cared. For those of us that don’t even watch baseball, we’re about to be treated for two more months of playoffs that will drag on and actually make us happy to see basketball again.
Talk about a stretch.
So then I thought, this is America’s Pastime! The great game of baseball! The game of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson and Carl Yastrzemski!
Oh. It’s also the game of Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, the Black Sox, Canseco, BALCO, McGwire, Sosa, Pete Rose, A-Rod, Bonds, and that idiot Bud Selig.
Should more negative things come to mind when I think about the sport that is allegedly America’s Pastime than positive? Maybe that’s just me, but seriously? If anything it makes me wonder if baseball is dead? Is it really America’s Pastime? Or is it becoming a P.S. to the sports world? How many of us throw baseball under the rug when football starts? I know I’m one of them. Baseball is a nuisance to me when they advertise wild card or divisional rounds. Get this off the television! I wanna see Aaron Rodgers bomb it out!
I’m not sure how many people want to see how baseball was played in the 19th century (maybe me, just once). McGwire and Sosa dueling for home runs and doing everything but dry-humping each other after they both broke the record was interesting, but it goes away. A-Rod may eventually break the home run record, but that will also go away. And if one day we find that Albert Pujols used steroids, it’s going to break lots of kids’ hearts (including mine) but it’s going to go away.
Hitting 75 home runs in a season isn’t interesting to me. Something that’s interesting to me is a player trying to break Hack Wilson’s 191 RBI record in a season. Nobody past 1950 is even on the top 5 of that list! Try to break that record, HGH-boys!
Baseball is the bottom of the 8th inning with the score 1-0, bases loaded and two outs. A pinch-hitter comes up to bat and 45,000 people are screaming at the top of their lungs until the first pitch. Then it goes deathly silent. If it’s a strike, they moan and complain. If it’s a ball, they scream and clap. If you don’t feel anything with that many people willing one person to hit a bloop single to left, you don’t have a heart. All you feel is that if this hitter can score one, just one runner home that your team has a chance to take the lead and win the game. Baseball is that moment, that clinching, teeth-grinding, on-the-tip-of-your-toes moment hoping the guy makes some kind of impact with bat on ball.
It doesn’t matter if he hits the ball or not. Win or lose, that moment is going to return, and it’s the moments that you’ll remember, not the final score.
Today on my birthday I feel blessed. Blessed to have the family and friends I do. Blessed to have friends that will all sit around, no matter the place, drink and have a good time. Family that will laugh at each other and eat, eat, eat. We’re Polish, it’s what we do.
27 has hit, and as I type this I’m debating typing up eharmony and taking the internet dating plunge. It almost feels like a failure, but who knows? Could it be an opportunity?
I really should be doing my Supervision presentation.
“I just couldn’t do it. It was too powerful. It had power over my life and I couldn’t get away from it. I sacrificed everything for it and it took my life away. My friends, family, everyone. I didn’t care about them at all. It was all just about getting my next fix.”
I hear that alot. Just about all the time. In fact, there isn’t much you couldn’t put in front of the word Anonymous. Addiction is a huge ordeal that has affected one of us or someone we know.
I now humbly add to the mix Wendy’s Anonymous.
It’s getting bad, people. Last Sunday I had a craving for a Frosty and my self-discipline to diet went out the window. The Double Stack calls my name daily. It might as well say “heart attack” after saying my name, but since I’m an addict all I care about is that it wants me and it wants to eat my soul.
I will not be haunted by the redhead Wendy and her square-patty seduction.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you the 5 Steps to Wendy’s Sobriety.
- We admit that we are powerless over Wendy’s.
- We came to believe that any food the Thomas family sells can only lead to insanity.
- We will make a fearless attempt to count all the calories we ingested by eating Wendy’s.
- Make direct attempts to lose all these calories by fasting, dieting, and/or exercising them away.
- Educate those about the dangers of Wendy’s and the disastrous effect on our lives…and our colons.
I’m collecting my one week chip on Sunday.
What are you doing to maintain your Wendy’s sobriety?
Small dogs: I think those little shits and cats should be grouped together as probably the most annoying things on earth. Maybe even more than cats. Holy shit. I just said something’s more annoying to me then cats. I was driving to class today and I saw some guy walking a hot-dog dog (Dachshund, you didn’t need the fancy name to know what kinda shit dog I was talking about) and I had pity for the guy. For a second I wanted to run over the dog. It would’ve probably made the guy’s day. All those little things do is piss, shit, yelp, bark, and shit some more. Oh, yeah, girls like how cuddly they can be. Well, ladies, when your “I love small dogs” representative to the world is Paris Hilton, it should say something to you.
I don’t want a fucking dog that can fit in a purse. I want a dog that looks like a mean sunuvabitch and is loved and adored by all. And I’m going to name him General. Shit, I should name him Patton or Leonidas or Ulysses or something like. I’m going to have the dog that makes little shit dogs like the one over there on the right quiver and run away. Like a fucking bulldog. Are bulldogs smaller dogs? Sure. Small as little prissy-pants over there? Not a chance. Those things look as tough as nails and can make women melt in no time. You know why? Because they’re fucking awesome.
Redheads: Holyfuckingshit redheads. They do something to me, man. I don’t know what it is. Similar to the heartdropping feeling I’ve had as of recent posts. I mean hell yeah. I make no bones about this. Redheads are hot, and if you are a redhead, watch out. I’m working out and trying to lose weight so I can bag as many of you in the sack as possible. I should have clarified this earlier. Redheads don’t annoy me, it’s just the entire manginariffic feeling I get around them. God damn you, redheads. But I love you!
Shaving: Who the hell shaves? God, it’s warm tonight. I think I should go Ambrose Burnsides on you all this winter. ‘Cause that’ll look great.
And just because:
You’ve been RICK ROLL’D!
Rob and I were talking about this after the gym, so I decided to write this one out. We all wanna be rich. We’ve all dreamed about what we would do with it. Here’s mine.
- After graduating, pay off all my undergrad loans and the money the state paid for the MSW
- Pay off all loans my family owns, buy any mortgages so my parents don’t owe a dime
- Give my family as much money as they need
- I would probably finish my education all the way up to my therapist’s license. Just in case tragedy would hit I could have some kind of job after going broke.
- I would pay my sibs to do the same, and then after they’ve had enough education, they’d have a choice: pursue their careers as they see fit or hang out with me and be rich 🙂
- After everything with my family and self was taken care of, my full attention would be brought to my friends. I’d pay off Beck and Paul’s mortgage, and buy Micah and Mandy a house. Rob could live wherever he wanted too. Or they could all live near me. Or both. I’d just buy a flat in Scranton.
- You guys know I love history. I buy as much land in Gettysburg and give it to the NPS. I’d also ask them for a straight dollar amount to be able to take a horse and ride around the battlefield with nobody stopping me and anyone else that wanted to come with me. In a broader scope, I think this would be my philanthropy. I’d buy as much threatened and non-threatened Civil War land and give it to the NPS. Preserving history and a damn nice tax write-off.
- Season tickets to Fenway.
- I’d be able to accomplish a life goal of finding the towns in Germany and Poland where my family came from.
- I’d definitely travel. Travel, travel, travel. An ultimate history tour of the world.
- A special Las Vegas Fund
- The Todd Wroker Special aka “How much money do I need to close this strip club and make it private for me and my buddies”
- A special Christmas where I’d give special people a blank piece of paper and tell them they had 6 months to create their perfect car. No expense spared. V12? Check. Corinthian leather seats? Good. Need for speed? Perfect.
I’m sure there’s lots else. That’s all I could get.
Yeah, it’s 7:20 on Sunday morning. So what? I can’t sleep in sometimes. It’s called getting old. If it hasn’t happened already to you, it will.
Late last week I was told that my Supervision class on Saturdays was going to be moved to McGowan. For those non-Marywood students, McGowan is basically where I spent my life in undergrad as it housed the psych classes. I’m proud to say my sister is currently prowling those halls as a soon to be sophomore. When I heard it was McGowan, I was very happy. McGowan! McGowan! The first thing I wanted to do when I got there was walk down the hallway with all the professors. I knew the names were going to be different but the feelings the same.
I remember sitting outside my advisor’s office waiting for her just to sign the damn paper so I could register for classes. Every time she’d look over my grades and make judgments that I thought were so wrong at the time. Yeah, they all turned out to be right. I remember once she said I should wait a few years for grad school. I thought she was nuts! So to spite her I tried it anyway, and soon after failed out because I just couldn’t do it. I wait a few years, get some experience on my belt, and in May I’ll have my MSW. Thanks, Sister Gail.
I also remember just the feeling of home in this little hallway. Most of the teachers knew my name, but I think this was because I was a guy more than I was a goof. You could knock and go in any of their offices and they’d be happy to see you. Can’t say that now at work. Every time you walked down that hallway you saw someone you knew. You said hi or you didn’t, but you knew they were going through the same classes you did. You knew that they were trying to find a reason to perform an experiment or they were trying to decode the god-awful nonsense that was statistics.
So, when I went to class, I made sure I left a little early so I could take a slow walk down the psych hall. It felt that I never left. I took a picture just for nostalgia.
Mangina: the condition of man when on the exterior, he appears calm, cool, and collected, while on the inside he is scared out of his mind. This is usually triggered by the sight of an attractive female.
Mangina is a disease that all guys have every once and awhile. Some people call it cold feet, other people may call it being a pussy. I call it mangina. It’s an inability to take the first step and introduce yourself and make yourself vulnerable. Or do something silly and hope for attention. It is a condition of man that can make or break you, and hot damn it feels pretty good right now.
Ohmygod I totally have it right now. I haven’t had it in such a long, long time, either. I try to keep a cool exterior, especially around people I’m not familiar with, or when I’m by myself. I was by myself at the time, and the very attractive female walked past and said hey. I said what’s up back to her in my dashing, cool way (right), but inside, it was much different.. My heart sunk. That fucker dropped all the way to the floor. In my head I had been transported to grade school thinking Ohmygodthisreallyhotgirlsaidhitome! A shiver went up my spine and I this close to giggling. Fucking giggling.
In intelligent retrospect, I feel very happy just to feel my heart sink and emotions run wild again. Six months ago in the same situation, I probably would have wondered how I could have manipulated her into my bed. Not anymore. That shit was downright harsh.
Now, I’m waiting for that next moment for my heart to cannonball into the deep end and see what happens.