December 2, 2010
Today’s Radvent prompt is about organization: Focus on one drawer, table, or surface today and spend 15 minutes making it pretty!
1. I am not going to follow this prompt for several reasons. (One, it just doesn’t blow my hair back, two; I spend my entire life keeping the space around me organized and three, this just isn’t the kind of journal where I take pictures of my desk and show them to you. And yes, I just said journal, because when I started writing online people did not write blogs, they kept online journals.) But I will use the idea of organization as a starting point.
2. I grew up extremely poor in a messy house. It wasn’t 8 PM on TLC-level messy, but my parents were both addicts, my mother was agoraphobic and we had pets. So it was messy. Our entire lives were messy. My father was in and out of jail, my sister was doing hard drugs before she could drive and I don’t think I have talked about this before, but I never graduated high school — my mother made me quit just after my sophomore year ended. Somehow the math works out that if you take a poor kid in a messy house and make her quit high school you will produce one tidy high-achiever who publishes actual, no-shit scientific papers while she’s still in college and then, in her mid-twenties, becomes an editor who corrects and compiles things all day every day. And is extremely good at Tetris. I am not one to brag (yes I am) but I am positive I can beat you at Tetris.
3. There is a part of me that thinks that everything that makes me who I am is a rebellious, tunnel-vision reaction to the awful standards, values and habits I grew up with (this same part then immediately thinks thank god I didn’t come from kind, career-focused, intellectually curious parents because who knows! what kind of asshole! I would be then), but the larger and more sensible part of me knows that many good kids come from good parents and then once in a while there is someone who just gets blisteringly lucky — I mean like surface of the sun lucky — and ends up beating the odds. Right now my father is in jail, my sister is a homeless addict and my mother does drugs and works in a slaughterhouse.
4. So those are the kinds of things I am talking about. When I talk about beating the odds.