You’re My #1

     I can’t sleep 😦 It’s weird that I was able to fall asleep effortlessly for the past week, but I slept in on Saturday and now I’m wide-awake. It’s 3:50am. Thing is, this isn’t new for me, I’ve habitually stayed up late since I was in the age of single-digits.

     Part of why I can’t sleep is because I feel like I have unfinished business. And today you’ll get to hear the story of “#1 Brazilian“.

     Our history dates back to September 2007 – Frosh! I was waiting for my bus to commute home on the first night of Frosh since my friend who was my ride decided she’d rather stay at the rez of some new friends she made. #1 Brazilian was at the bus stop as well. I don’t remember how we started talking, but it was easy and fun because of the openess Frosh creates, and novelty of the university experience we anticipated days ahead.

     We rode the bus home together, and I figured that would be the first and last time I’d see this friend of mine; I thought nothing of it.

     During the first week we had a philosophy class together, took the bus at the same time 3 mornings a week, AND, randomly rented lockers right beside each other. As you can probably guess, with time and increased positive interactions, #1 Brazilian grew on me in a big way – there wasn’t anything I didn’t admire about him. I remember we’d rub each other’s hands to keep each other warm as we’d wait for the bus; our knees would touch in philosophy class (and he would always save a spot for me); laughing at the silliest things, I always had a good time with him.

     The problem with me was that although I was in university, my mind was still in high school mode where I wanted everything to move quickly. I thought that if chemistry was present, one person should obviously ask the other person out, you date for 4 years, then you get married, have kids, have a joyful career and happily ever after. Although I didn’t tell him what was my philosophy at the time, I likely came on too strong through my actions.

     Second semester we didn’t have any classes together, and I hardly saw him while waiting for the bus – this forced me to cool down (even though I imagined a whole bunch of extravagant scenarios over the break where he’d ask me to be his girlfriend). #1 Brazilian found his niche, and group of friends who shared that niche.  We didn’t really even talk that much.

     To be honest, I was slightly resentful because I really thought we had a connection, I thought he could feel it. I was incredibly attracted to him in more ways than one.  I didn’t see him at all for 2 yrs, until last week, for a brief moment. Then all of the feelings came back.

     Last night I had a very intense dream, the details of which I cannot disclose 😉 I woke up wishing that dream was real life. And now I can’t stop thinking about him, the dream, and the good memories of first year.

     The knowledge that I’m graduating after this semester is liberating, but also carries some pressure. I’ll be meeting new people, learning new things, and encountering new experiences. Which empowers me to decide what I want to leave as the last impression on my current relationships – of particular relevance, the one with #1 Brazilian.

     I’ve decided that I’m going to tell him that I had a crush on him. Naw, that sounds too high school. I think instead I’ll say I had a strong attraction to him since first year, and over time it has intensified and deepened? I was trying to be sensual…that’s never been my strong suit though! Anyways, I’ll work on my script.

     Why is doing this so important to me? Because who knows, maybe he feels the same way. If not, I’m probably not going to bump into him as often afterwards, so I’ll only feel embarrassed for that moment.

Green Dot Campaign

*click the title for more info*

I feel very fortunate because it’s the first week of the new year, and I’ve attended a workshop that is empowering, and educational.

The Green Dot campaign is an initiative to reduce power-based personal violence which come in the forms of sexual violence, partner violence, and stalking violence. The workshop focuses on the bystander’s role when faced with a violent, or potentially violent situation. It was very interactive, addressed reasons that may hinder us from stepping in, and we watched real-life situations of humanity not helping each other. And of course, we learned how can we take action, whether it be proactive (ie. becoming trained in a workshop such as this), or reactive (ie. directly, distractedly, or by delegating).

I learned a lot about myself and the reasons that I tend to not get involved, whether it be because I feel an interaction that doesn’t directly involve me is not any of my business, or because I hesitate due to distrust of how my good intentions may be abused, or end up hurting me. I wish that this training had been offered during my training to become a Residence Advisor, because I would’ve felt more confident in my decisions to intervene. But that’s life, you encounter experiences, you reflect upon them, and you adjust for the better.

After completing the 6 hour training, I feel capable, just like when I finish my annual CPR recerts. All in all, I want to be able to go anywhere and feel that I can handle any situation that I come across, and that if I see an inappropriate situation, I can help.

A clip that stands out to me took place at a subway station. A man began to seizure, and fell onto the tracks just as the train was approaching. Another man, with 2 young children, jumped between the tracks, and held the seizuring man, and himself, within the space that is between the tracks and waited for the train the pass over (with 0.5 inches to spare!). I thought that was absolutely incredible! I should add that this hero was a navy seal and was trained in how to protect, and to be reactive in an emergency.

For some people, the inclination to protect, take action, be a leader – these are ingrained. Which is why I am especially encouraged to attend workshops such as this. There are traits within myself that I would like to strengthen and nurture, and participating and really taking in this experience is a step in the right direction of many actions required to help me become more like what I would like to see myself as.

I would strongly recommend attending a training session to anyone who aims to become more educated about humanity matters (especially regarding violence), along with anyone who is interested in self-empowerment.