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Monday, October 13, 2014

October Progress, Reflection, and Rockaway

With the changing temps and changing colors of the leaves, I find myself changing as well. Life around me has been a whirlwind of good, bad, and ugly all balled up into one. Trying to explain it will be overwhelming for both me as the speaker, and for the listener. I do believe there is a positive to every negative, and nothing lasts forever. I have been studying hard in school, working on a project that is semester long and takes time to do. However, I am proud of how well I am doing. So far I have received all A’s on each assignment. The class I am taking is Issues in Human Service Administration. I like it, because it allows me to see how human service programs and/or organizations are organized and operated. This week makes week 7 of the course, next week the semester ends. I don’t mind the acceleration of classes between semesters. I really want my Master’s degree.

I still go to the beach to reflect. I visited Rockaway beach on Sunday. I met a friend there where we caught up on some things. It was nice seeing her, and being out in Rockaway since Hurricane Sandy. I see some progression, more movement and some stores open. However, the lot is still empty and is now put up for sale. This lot is on Rockaway Beach between 112-114 streets. It’s significant to me, because it’s where I stood during my volunteer work after the storm (December 2012). I remember the smell in the air, the soot and sand on the streets and sidewalks, and the burned down buildings surrounding the area. The friend I saw on Sunday lost everything to Sandy. Her home was one of the houses that burned down where the lot now stands. I remember trying to leave her a voicemail that day in December wanting to see her. It took a lot not to cry even though my voice cracked the more I talked. Walking with her on Sunday by that lot was sad. The silence that followed us is poignant as we walked pass the now weedy lot.

As we walked to the beach, and I stopping every minute to pick up a seashell, I couldn’t help but feel melancholy for standing on what was once a boardwalk. The beach still has its natural beauty, but remnants from Sandy is still felt. Although, I believe things will get better out there, I don’t think it will ever be the same.

I like the train ride going and coming from Rockaway. I love riding the train when it’s outside. I like the train tracks and watching the flora. The sunset is beautiful as I think about the gifts that we don’t always see when going through something bad. Spending time with my friend, picking seashells, taking pictures, and enjoying the environment are gifts that I don’t take for granted. One of the funniest moments is trying to carry an already heavy book bag, holding my cane and a cup of coffee, and grabbing some pieces of cardboard. My friend laughs at me as I tell her, “I know, I’m a mess! But I love cardboard too much to pass up an opportunity.” She responds, “So what are you going to use it for?” I said, “For crafting of course! I told you, you can’t take me anywhere!” We laughed.

Another highlight is meeting important people, people in the news business that I admire very much. I was recently invited to a fundraiser PIX 11 news was hosting to support the American Cancer Society. I not only saw my reporter friend, but had a chance to meet some of his colleagues. I believe in the power of networking, and I appreciate the kindness and advice I received from PIX 11 reporters. I would love to work in media, and hope someday that will come true. I have many interests, as I shared with one PIX 11 reporter, and it’s those interests that motivates me to pursue career opportunities. Being able to share what I do as a writer for Examiner, this blog, or writing in general to that individual is an honor. His advice on writing and promotion is greatly appreciated.

I recently attended a job fair and met some nice employers. I even applied to CBS news for a freelance writer position. I hope to receive some calls and interviews. I am ready to get back into the workforce, whether it’s teaching ESL, working in media, or otherwise, Dara needs a job. I am keeping my fingers crossed while remaining in faith, being patient, and working on self on this journey called life. 

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