Wednesday, May 4, 2011


When I left elementary school 20 years ago, I thought that I had permanently left the playground.  But, as it turns out, we never leave the school yard.  Not that I enjoyed playing on the playground.  I much preferred reading a book or volunteering than playing (yes... I was a nerd back then too).

I couldn't resist sharing this picture of a playground.  Made me laugh.

In high school, it was the "popular" kids.  The kids you hated (unless you were one of them).  I wasn't a popular kid. I was a nerd.  A nerd who played sports. But also a nerd who was captain of 4 academic teams (yes... a really big nerd).  This paid off.  I was able to attend a great college.

In college, I found people like me.  People who were nerds, loved sports, and liked to have fun.  College was great. I had the opportunity to learn, grow, and appreciate beer.

When I left college, I felt empowered.  It was the nerds revenge (at least that is what I called it).  A revenge based on hard work, studies, and intelligence, not popularity.  And yes... if you'll permit me to be a bit petty... I really enjoyed seeing that bitchy girl in high school be my waitress at a restaurant.  Not that waiting tables isn't a good job... but I think you know what I mean. Yet, in the working world, I would sometimes be frustrated by the lack of vision some people had.  My boss would continually sit me down (if he didn't beat it into my head, it didn't get through) and tell me...

"Amy, you have to realize that other people don't see the world in the same light you do.  They didn't go to Notre Dame and spend their life always wanting to learn more.  You will be eternally frustrated by this.  But you are the one who needs to pull others along and show them your vision.  It is your responsibility.If you want to make things happen, you need to do them yourself and find others who are like you.  If you can do this, then I pity anyone who stands in your way."

I really took this to heart (I hope... otherwise he would still be lecturing me). He was a great boss, a great mentor.

Here I am today.  About to turn thirty in a matter of days (does this mean that I am officially old?).  About to graduate from grad school (one more class... EVER).  And I find myself back on a playground.  A playground that I didn't like in the first place.

I am writing this about 3 in the morning.  Mostly because my mind is too active to sleep.  I find myself with a decision to make.  What is the type of person on the playground I want to be?  Do I want to fight back to the bullies who would pull girls pigtails (figuratively) and steal my four-square ball (this is before it was a mobile application) OR do I want to continue to be a nerd?

Being a nerd for a long time, my initial reaction is to fight the bullies.  But, thanks to the advice of some great friends, I need to be who I am.  I need to be a nerd.  This is how I've been successful. This is how I've lived my life.  This doesn't mean I won't be frustrated.

Side note... After walking home last night from buying my friends beer so they could help me think this out, I saw my stalker walking past me on Connecticut.  I may have started to yell at him.  Not only because he deserved it, but also because I was frustrated.  I may have just completely solved my stalker problem.  Although when my friend saw me, she ushered me into my house.  Wanting to make sure he didn't turn around to follow me.  I told her... "Trust me.  I know he knows where I live." (Remember the creepy flowers on Valentines Day?).... End note.

So today, I will continue to breathe (potentially continue to plot) and carry on.  Also... I hope to get some sleep. 

I hate playgrounds.

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