Thursday, January 19, 2012

If You Get What You Put In...

So its been a really long time since I've blogged. I was going to say that I blacked myself out in protest of SOPA and PIPA, but in reality, I think soup is good and I don't really know Pippa, but I have nothing against her. I like Kate better, though. And, I really am anti piracy. I don't get the big hats and the scraggly beards, and all that "arrrrr matey" business. What are they, Australian? No one says "mate" up over. (Get it, instead of down under). But, I have a conundrum, so I thought I would take to the interwebs.

I find that the divine Ms. T is a bit lost these days. She has quit all of the things she used to do, with our blessing, but she has yet to find something new. She quit violin because she didn't actually enjoy playing. We decided to let her, as daily practice and paid lessons are not worth the daily battle and expense for something she won't put any effort toward. Volleyball... same thing. Girl Scouts.... ditto. But now, there's nothing. We tried to find some volunteer activities, but there are few for an almost 13 year old, and her goal of participating in drama is harder to come by than I had thought. So, she is drifting aimlessly through her 12 year old universe. But, she's not the only one, so I am not too worried. I know that as she grows older, opportunities will arise and she will be able to find activities. Here's my fear... I am not sure she'll enjoy any of them.

She is participating on our new church's youth group, and I have seen the same thing I've seen from anything new she ever starts. Very little. If you get out what you put in, and you put nothing into everything.... what is she ever going to get out? There is very little participation, so she comes home with a blah opinion of it. The next week she is even less interested in going. But, if she isn't going to contribute to anything.... she won't ever get past the new kid hump. I see in the youth group the same thing I saw in orchestra, volleyball and girl scouts.... a kid who is there, but not there. Friendly to others if they meet the long criteria of how they dress, look, act, etc... but not going out on a limb if you don't make the first, second and third move. Worse than depressed... apathetic.

I moved from my lifetime home of Bettendorf, Iowa to Kansas City when I was one month shy of 14. I was terrified of making friends and being somewhere new. In Iowa, first days of school were never scary, because it was the same kids shuffled around to different classrooms. But, that day... I would be alone for the first time since I was 3. The day we moved I got a fortune cookie that said, "You're only as happy as you'll let yourself be" and while I still had more butterflies in my stomach than in the Amazonian rain forest... I went with it. I wasn't happy to have moved... but I tried. So, I guess my question is.... what happens when you won't let yourself be happy?