So here’s the deal. The artist behind the Love Yourself: Tear album is being nominated for Best Recording Package. Which is not one of the below categories BigHit entered BTS for Grammy nomination consideration:
Album of the Year
Song of the Year
Record of the Year
Pop Duo/Group Performance
To be honest, I hadn’t had any hopes of BTS getting a nomination at all. There were many articles already explaining how BTS would have little chance with Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year – mostly due to Grammy’s being snobs to boy bands in general. There were some hope, including from yours truly, BTS would nab either Pop Duo/Group Performance and Pop Album. The one category which stood out to be the best possibility was Music Video. Still… I knew it was going to be tough.
“If you can’t work in a field you are passionate about, learn to be passionate about what you do.”
I don’t remember who this was attributed to, and it’s a paraphrase from my not perfect memory. I saw it on a bulletin board yesterday at work. It was a bit deflating, first thing in the morning, especially mixed with everything already churning in my head.
I’ve worked many different jobs in my life. I’ve always gone above and beyond and been successfully promoted.
The single most difficult part of writing is not being acknowledged on a regular daily or weekly basis. After I’ve spent a week writing a chapter or two, no one is sitting at my dinner table pouring a drink and putting their feet up ready to commiserate with me and my sore butt. Realizing that the society of friends is the reason I’ve been able to stick with the school this long has finally pushed me to start looking at writing retreats. I need some (geographically) close friends who write!
When I think about what my bosses notice me do at work, I’m never correct. Some of the biggest things I accomplish are not noticed by anyone. On the other hand, the smallest effort outside the box, everyone sees. Doesn’t that seem opposite of what life really is?
While my mornings are filled with my non-verbal kiddo, my afternoons are pleasantly occupied teaching reading in an older grade. Another aide and I share a group of four students in which we manage four reading rounds of 15-30 minutes. Every week we have a new book for guided reading. A few weeks ago it was about a penguin selling hot chocolate. With my not always wonderful habit of speaking before I think, I said: “We should have hot chocolate this week!”
The other aide looked at me, a bit perplexed while the kids cheered at the idea. I mean, we were reading about it all week, shouldn’t we have some? Of course, when I left the classroom, I immediately forgot.
I forgot the next week too.
I finally remembered on my day off, Friday. I was in town anyway and drove through at McDonald’s to get five small hot chocolates. I snuck in the back door of the school with a bag of tiny marshmallows and a tray of steaming drinks. I dropped them off in the quiet room where we study, with a quick warning to the aide I usually work with that they might still be hot in an hour.
“Aren’t you staying?” she asked.
I smiled at her, “Are you kidding? It’s my day off, I’m so outta here! Have fun!”
I got a note the next week from our excited Special Ed Coordinator. She was thrilled that we thought to include drinking hot cocoa to go with the story. Turns out, one of our kiddo’s had never had it before. He loved it, of course. She said, “Now every time they read about Hot Chocolate they’ll taste it, maybe they’ll wonder if it had marshmallows, it opens windows in the mind.”
Here we are a couple of weeks later and our story is about a mouse who wants to touch the moon. It’s a no-brainer, I own the moon. A 3-D printed moon with all the cool features and lit from the inside by an LED, I mean, it’s really cool!
If you think the kids thought Hot Chocolate was cool, they went nuts for the moon
Of course, I wasn’t there because I’m not on Fridays, but it was another big win in reading. We have pictures of each of them holding the moon that we will print and send home with them.
I got an excited text from our coordinator, but really, it’s such a tiny thing. An afterthought is what it was.
All my energy and brain power is focused on propelling my Kindergartner into self-reliance and communication. I just show up to reading and read. It’s odd, isn’t it?
I don’t think we truly understand the power of tiny things. If we did, wouldn’t we fill the world with them? Wouldn’t we quit dreaming of being the hero and find so much more satisfaction in being water, in filling the cracks and gaps? Doing those things that don’t require any effort at all, or so it seems, could that change the world? Could I change the world with only my passion?
Our Thanksgiving has never been traditional. Growing up I had my fill of that. Cooking all day, setting the tables, family, displaced college students, friends of my parents. All followed by dish washing to the power of ten, tired and very cranky parents, too many people crammed in our house.
After we moved to Pittsburgh and suffered through a couple of friend Thanksgivings, we settled into our own thing. A morning round of cooking our favorite foods, in pajamas. The rest of the day watching movies or football, reading, playing games, or whatever we wanted, in our pajamas. Paper plates, plastic cups, naps, cuddles, quiet, laughter, recharge, our day has it all. Moving twenty hours closer to our hometown hasn’t changed our tradition at all.
We didn’t plan it that way, we thought we’d be seeing much more family. However, a few years in we realized it wasn’t any different from Pennsylvania. Everyone was happy to see us when we made the twelve hour drive, each way. We were exhausted.
We like spending time with family but quickly got tired of always making the drive. After two years we slid right back into our comfortable tradition. Today we celebrated again. We laughed together, argued, cooked, and napped.
This morning while I was lazing in bed, I thought about the things I’m thankful for this year. Too many to count, really. In past years, that feeling of gratitude has terrified me. Always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Perhaps I’m most thankful for the change in my perspective. After spending so many years trying to ensure that other people love me, I finally understand it all hinges on loving myself. So many people say it, in an offhand manner.
“You can’t love anyone until you love yourself.”
I would have argued, “If you have energy left to love yourself, you’re doing it wrong.”
I would have declared it until I was blue in the face, until that year arrived that I couldn’t love anyone. I laid on my bed, unable to move without excruciating pain and wished someone would take care of me, someone would love me. I cried so angrily with the realization that only I would do that. It was so much easier loving other people. I was so angry at everyone.
What I’m beginning to understand now? My love is the only love I wanted. Only I could give myself exactly what I needed. Only I can fill those cracks with acceptance. Only I know how to open my heart again and share an honest love that comes from a bottomless, bubbling spring, not some rusty bucket I beg others to fill.
And all that brings me to you. All you crazy people who read and comment and for some reason, beyond comprehension, recognize something in me as a kindred soul. Thank you for giving me feathers for my wings, and a soft place to land.
Today I went back to junior high Home Ec class. They don’t call it that anymore. Now it’s called FACS. I have no idea what that stands for. Feeding All Children Sugar? So far they’ve made cookies, two different kinds and a smoothie with no greens. I really don’t know what it stands for but the classrooms look exactly like you remember!
I had to go in and talk about my “career”. I was after the Electrician. I didn’t plan any remarks, as a kind of test for myself. It’s been a while since I spoke in front of any kind of group. My youngest has been texting me all week trying to find out what I was going to say.
Don’t embarrass me
Who is this?
I’m just going to talk about my job
What are you going to say?
I don’t know. Leave me alone to think about it.
No talking about me!!
I’ll take that into consideration.
So when I started I said, “JoJo is worried about what I’m going to say, so I’ll talk about her first. She was born in Pittsburgh, PA…”
Her head drops to her desk.
I continue, “I have a brief slide show.” Kids cheer and her teacher stands up.
“Just kidding, I don’t have a slide show.” I laugh.
I give them a brief overview of my ‘career’ which is mostly “housewife”, turns out. A job I’m not terribly good at. As I looked around at their faces I thought about what I want Jo to know. I told them my story, grew up in a small town, just wanted to leave. I mentioned graduating high school, living in New York, traveling, spending too much time in college running up debt and then not graduating. I used words like intention and resillience. I talked about Chicago (don’t roll your eyes!). Told them about Jo’s part, her belief, her mindset. How much I learned from her optimism and flexibility. They’re going to need every bit they can muster, I told them. College isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a career for you. There are as many paths to success as stars in the sky. Get up when you’ve been knocked down. Standing where you are until you’re steady, until you see the next step. I admitted I was in college for three years before I even had a clue what I wanted to do. I promised them they didn’t have to know everything now. They just need to keep going.
I only had fifteen minutes. At the end I explained how I wanted to bring each of them a pen and pocket notebook to write their dreams in, but Jojo wanted donuts.
In case you wonder, donuts still trump having to pick up a pencil for any reason in 6th grade.