Tag Archives: Humans

Language Tutoring

17 Feb

I don’t speak sports.

I feel so un-worldly when I’m reminded of this.

Whenever the people around me start speaking fluent sports, and I have to be the stereotypical girl going, “Sorry, could you say that slower?”

The recentish Superbowl and currently-unfolding Olympics are good examples. At the Superbowl, I casually rooted for the Seahawks and was casually delighted when they grinded the Broncos into a pulp, but I can’t say I watched any more than ten seconds of the game at a time.

(Actually, I think I speak for a couple other people out there when I say the only reasons I tuned in for Superbowl Sunday were the Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Tom Hiddleston In A Helicopter Drinking Tea Superbowl trailers.)

“A stiff upper lip is key.”

With the Olympics, my response is rather similar. I mean, of course I’m watching events and rooting for the USA.

(I’m not a terrorist)

The whole concept of the Olympics is magnificent, and nobody really disagrees with said fact (cough*terrorists*cough). But I do wish I got more pumped about the whole spectacle – I think it comes to down to an altogether lack of plot.

But some people, as I’m sure you’ve noticed if you know a few of what we call homo sapiens, really, really like sports. Everyone has an area of expertise as far as conversation goes, and a certain sports and/or sports is a very common one.

Take pastors, for example. They, like everyone, have their own areas of expertise. I had one several years ago who liked to throw up clips from Men in Black and Lord of the Rings when he thought it helped his point, and even if it didn’t exactly, I always enjoyed those Sunday mornings.

However, a different pastor, a guest speaker at my church a couple weeks ago, is one of those sports fans we’ve heard so much about, and half of his sermon was a football analogy. I tracked, but I was pretty grumbly about the whole ordeal, mentally griping at him about his connecting with a few people at the cost of alienating others (And obviously, this whole “church” institution is for me alone, so he should clean up his act).

And then I realized something truly horrific.

This. This is what people must feel like when I make a fandom reference.

That, my friend, is a serious problem.

I don’t worry about that on here, of course, if you can’t stand my subject choice, you can feel free to close the web page anytime you please – but in real life, I have indeed been annoying in this way before.

Shocker, isn’t it.

At least pastors don’t hunt me down, open a conversation with an obscure football reference and then proceed to tell me to at least try football because “OHMYGOSH it’s so good, it’s got these really complex players, and you never know what’s going to happen next, and when you start to love it you can come to my house and we’ll have a football marathon, eat football-themed foods, tell each other football-themed pick-up lines, and we’ll collectively try to convert more and more people to our cult fanbase!”

It’s like looking into a terrible football-flavored mirror.

See now, I say that football is the opposite of things I understand.

But I think I understand the people who love it way more than I ever meant to.

I once shared an airplane flight with a kid who adored golf, and when he found out the in-flight entertainment was free viewing of the golf channel, he was ecstatic. I remember trying my darnedest to detect hints of sarcasm.

I mean, excited about golf? Excited about watching golf? He even mumbled, as he set up his iPad to watch the channel, “it’s kind of the only reason I would watch TV.”

Oh, cool, I thought, there goes hours of my best conversation fodder.

Which makes me sad.

What I do speak, I speak rather well. However, as a friend of the family put it best,

“… my second language is just speaking louder.”

You don’t want to talk about my favorite pieces of story-telling? Um, then *ahem* DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY FAIR LADY? OR WOULD YOU RATHER HEAR ABOUT SCIENCE FICTION HEY COME BACK

I have found myself being a jerk about a lot of things that other people love, but I never cease to be frustrated and hurt when people are jerks about what I love.

That’s a little bit backward.

For those predispositions to even out, I need to change one.

I don’t know if any of you share this cross with me, but if not, that’s okay – this has mainly been a stern slap across the wrist for myself.

I need to learn a couple other languages.

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Adventures in Anxiety

22 May

Responsibility. Money. The future. Relationships.

If you’re anything like me, you’re considering opening another tab to look at cute pictures of sweater-wearing kittens now, because those words just made you nervous. And if you weren’t considering the kittens then, you are now. Who could blame you, though?

Anyway, you’re in good company.

Anxiety. It’s been around so long, most of us greet him like an old friend (albeit one of those friends that makes you screen your calls and want to hide in a closet when he’s around). I usually deal with my anxiety with what I have dubbed the “Calvin and Hobbes” method.

It involves pretending I don’t have to deal with anything, and retreating into my own mind.

This isn’t a very efficient method, but hey, it…

Hm.

I actually have zero validation for that method. But I think you get the picture. Anxiety makes cowards and madmen of all its unlucky victims. 

Anxiety always starts for me because I’m thinking too hard – but never about the right things. And it doesn’t help that it always seems to happen at bedtime, when my mind is already going haywire. The voices in my head (maybe I should not admit to having those) start coming up with all sorts of great ideas at night.

“Hey! You know what would be fun to think about? What other people think about you!”

“No.”

“Remember that one stupid thing you did two and half years ago?”

“Shut up.”

“Well, I remember. And so does everyone else.”

“I don’t want to think about it, Brain!”

“I bet everyone else is. Hey, I have an idea! Let’s think about every stupid thing you’ve ever done ever!”

“BRAIN WAT R U DOING STAHP”

“Are you thinking in memes? That’s pretty sad.”

“I know. Sorry.”

I just admitted that I sometimes think in internet memes. My mind will never let me live this one down. Of course, it’s been wreaking havoc on me for quite a while. Why would it stop now?

Years ago, my brain decided fourteen-year-old girls were the scariest beings imaginable. I’m not sure why the age of fourteen stood out to me in particular, but it did. I remember going to youth group, seeing the clique of fourteen-year-olds giggling in a corner and hoping beyond hope that they didn’t notice I was existing so close to them. This fear lasted until I was well into fourteen years old myself, and finally realized that maybe – just maybe – this was one of those irrational fears, like fear of welcome mats, doorknobs, or realtors.

Not long after this I became aware of my phone anxiety. This one made about as much sense as dodging female junior highers did. Talking on the phone made me twitchy, unhappy, and altogether the most awkward person you could ever talk to on the telephone.

I’m better now, I promise. Not great, but better. However, I still feel that if I can’t look someone in the face when we’re talking, I feel like I’m missing out on most of the conversation.

Mostly, though, I become anxious because it’s just my nature.

I’m selfish. I want everything to be comfortable and low-stress and low-responsibility and I will stress out and run away if my environment does not promise those things. However, what I’ve found out is that the world into which I must soon launch myself does not promise that. And I’m gonna have a hard time running away from the entire world. At least unless my fantasy back-up plan kicks in and I can just run away with the

“The Doctor isn’t real, you know.”

“SHUT UP BRAIN, YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR.”

I probably shouldn’t have finished that sentence anyway. I’ll just leave it there.

All this to say,

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” Luke 12:25

In all my years of worrying as hard as I can, I have never worried away a problem. You can take my word for it. Because, chances are, running away from the world and its responsibilities may not actually get you anywhere worth going.

Unless, of course, you have a really fabulous back-up plan.