That song was ever present last night at a birthday party I attended. Yet it was so much more than a birthday party. It was a tight-knit group of about 20 people who love deeply and value connections and relationships like I have never experienced. There was great food and drink of course (make-your-own fish tacos), but most importantly there was great company. During dinner, my sister commissioned me to play three songs on guitar, none of which I had ever tried, and I hadn't even heard of one of them. I took about 10 minutes to practice/review "Ice Cream" by Sarah McLachlan, "Imagine" by John Lennon, and "You've Got A Friend" by James Taylor. As dinner ended and the next part of the celebration started with inspirational spoken word (similar to slam poetry), I crept with the guitar onto the deck where everyone was listening. During the wild applause that followed the two speakers, I was quickly ushered into a camping chair and was told to start playing "Ice Cream" (the song I hadn't heard before). Luckily, the chords had been easy enough to practice and everyone started singing along, which was such a great thing to listen to because they had all been sent the lyrics unbeknownst to the birthday girl. However what followed was what this post is about, and what I have been thinking about since last night. This party was for one of my sister's closest friends, and she bought a book that was filled with small messages about what it means to be a friend. What I realized last night is that not only were all of these guests thoughtful and loving, but they were all grateful. They were enjoying the time they have together, celebrating these interconnected friendships, and the life experiences they all share.
All of this dawned on me today when I decided to stop by the beach on my way home from work. I stood there about 30 ft above the waves, noticing the push and pull of the water against the shore- sometimes occurring at the same time to create a crest of a wave crashing into itself only for half a second. I noticed a pile of seaweed drifting back and forth, as if it were the bandana on the invisible tug-o-war between the sand and the water. This got me thinking how grateful I am for this experience. It hasn't even been a week yet and I have been having the experience of my life. I met so may wonderful people last night and I look forward to many more great times.
Now onto what I'm doing at Jeans 4 Justice! Today was the official start of my work, but most of my day was actually researching and beginning to gain more background knowledge of the organization and the cause itself. One of my assignments was to gather a list of college-based organizations having to deal with healthy relationships, sexual violence, and leadership -all geared towards males. I have about 6 but I believe it will be an ongoing list. Another one of my assignments is to do a ton of research on the topic of sexual violence. I have several articles to read, and I'm absolutely ready to dive in. I have already started bringing up ideas as to how to market the organization differently and to make it more accessible. I believe that I will also be involved in Justice In Motion and maybe training for a half-marathon myself!
One of my goals this summer is try to buy food and cook in a more sustainable and healthy manner, which, so far, has ended up being ore delicious! I promised you that I would include food-related posts, so here's what I had for dinner tonight (it tasted much better than it looks): pasta with pesto that I bought at the farmer's market on Sunday, and sauteed peppers and tomatoes with pepper and garlic powder! I rounded off the dinner with a handful of dried mango slices that have gotten better each time I have them. I have work at 10 tomorrow so it is time to say goodnight, but for most of you, it will be the morning or afternoon when you read this, so good day to all!