?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

LJ Idol Introduction

The first topic for LJ Idol is "Introduction" So here we go...

Despite my LJ name, I hate being called Cindy. I much more prefer Cynthia, even though ever since I was little I always wanted a different name. My siblings were named two of the most generic names ever and it always annoyed me. I usually say I am your everyday typical 27 year old female. But at the same time, I recently have had a lot of life experiences that aren't so typical.

After screwing around at college for waaaay longer than I should have, I decided to take time off and join a national service program: AmeriCorps' National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC, fondly called the N-trip or N-triple-C by its members) Basically, I served two terms (one term is 10 months) and led a team of young adults around the country doing different service projects with various non-profits. I lived across the street from a crack house in the worst part of Jackson, MS and worked with Habitat for Humanity. I lived with 800 other volunteers in a gutted out school serving as a volunteer camp in New Orleans. I froze to death every night at a camp in New Hampshire doing camp maintenance and end of season clean up. I slept on the floor of the Lutheran Student Union at the University of Northern Iowa and assessed flood damaged houses, also beginning the gutting process. At my worst, most tired and miserable moment, I wouldn't have traded the experience for anything.

When I came home, I had learned how to discipline myself enough to finish my bachelors degree in Psychology in one semester. Psychology is interesting and all but not exactly my cup of tea. I have very strong opinions on the over-medication of people with psychological issues and I just don't see it as a career path for me. I don't regret getting my degree in Psych because I did have a lot of fun and learned a ton of interesting things.

In March of this year, my youngest brother, Jeffrey, was killed by a hand launched grenade while serving in Iraq. He was just 15 days short of completing his second tour of duty. I never knew true sadness and pain until this happened and I don't think most people who haven't gone through things like this do. Jeffrey was one of the coolest people I knew and I am certain he has no regrets about how he lived his life. I have always been an emotional person in general and I think I have felt every single emotion that is fathomable over Jeff's death. I am incredibly close to my family and even more so through all of this. My other brother Chris was honorably discharged from the army after Jeff's death and he now lives about an hour away. We have never seen eye to eye AT ALL, but are definitely making progress. Despite all the sadness and how big of an event Jeff's death is in my life, I try very hard to not let it define me. I think eventually I will have learned a lot through all of this, but right now I just take it a day at a time. I generally dislike pity but I do appreciate people's sentiments, especially when I know they come from the heart.

There is soooooo much more to me, but I'll leave it at that for now. I try everyday to learn something new about myself and the world, as cliche as that sounds. I hope the LJ Idol experience will be a great one. :)

Comments

( 40 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
cindylou07
Oct. 14th, 2009 08:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! Good luck to you too!
jo_mako
Oct. 14th, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
My family has a long military record on both sides. I grew up a navy brat. Mum's family has served with the ANZACS and/or British army for 3 centuries. My brother in law serves in the US Army and he will be deploying for his third tour to the Middle East soon.

A friend of our family was also killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb, and it made us come up with a contingency plan for my sister and her boys, if something ever happens to her husband. I know your pain to a degree and will offer any shoulder or ear you may ever need.
cindylou07
Oct. 14th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, that means a lot. :)
melisjesus
Oct. 14th, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
This is great :)

"...and I don't think most people who haven't gone through things like this do."
Warning: English major in me coming out! This part of the sentence seemed somewhat confusing for some reason. Probably just the wording.
cindylou07
Oct. 14th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I read over that when I first wrote and didn't think it sounded great. I appreciate the feedback! :)
dreamchaser
Oct. 14th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)
Yay - another LJ friend of mine who is participating!!!

I liked your intro, and best of luck to you :)
cindylou07
Oct. 14th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
Yep! I'm super excited!

Thanks! Good luck to you too! :D
islandman
Oct. 14th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
I have similar sentiments on the over-medication problem in our society...

And so sorry to hear about your brother.

I tend to be a very emotional person as well..so look forward to seeing how you put that into your writing!



cindylou07
Oct. 14th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

We'll see how the emotional thing in my writing works out. Good luck to you!
pixiebelle
Oct. 14th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)
I know I am friends with you outside of Idol, but I think you have so much to bring to this competition. You have stories to tell unlike anyone else (both good and bad) and you can discuss emotions that some people can't even imagine since you have been through things people can't even imagine.

Again, good luck to you! I see you going far in LJ Idol!
cindylou07
Oct. 14th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks Kristen!

I think you will do fantastic as well! Good luck!
shadowwolf13
Oct. 14th, 2009 09:05 pm (UTC)
I never liked my name either so last year I went through the courts to change it. ;)

Best of luck this season.
cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
Was that a long process? Did you have to pay a ton of money? I would probably never actually have the balls to do it but I've met other people who have and I've always wondered how much of a pain in the ass the courts were.

And good luck to you as well!
shadowwolf13
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
I think it really depends on your state and the city you do it in. I was prepared and read up on it before heading to the courthouse. It cost $220 to file and another $30something for them to take my fingerprints and run a background search on me. Had I not known about the fingerprinting I would have been in trouble as Dallas Co. Court system tells the clerks that they are not allowed to tell people about it unless they ask since then the time to do it runs out and the person has to file again and pay $220 again. After all the paperwork comes back through you have to go to the courts again and stand before a judge, promising that you're not trying to get out of any debts. All in all not difficult, just a bit of work needed.
joeymichaels
Oct. 14th, 2009 09:07 pm (UTC)
Good for you for working with Americorps. I don't think nearly enough young people spend time giving back the world in that way. Much applause!
cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
lordrexfear
Oct. 14th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
You've had some wonderful experiences and done things that I don't believe I've had the bravery or unselfishness for. Bravo! I look forward to reading what the prompts drag from your life experience.
cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
imafarmgirl
Oct. 15th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
Wow, that is awesome all that volunteering and I can't wait to read some of the stories that came out of it. I always wanted to do something like peacecorp or teach for america, but never did. Going overseas is not an option because of my health issues.

I am so sorry to hear about your brother Jeff. I can't pretend to know what an experience like that would feel like, but my heart goes out to you and your family.

Welcome to idol.
cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
I can't go overseas either, that's why I chose AmeriCorps. Teach for America has always kind of appealed to me, though I don't know where I would want to go...

Thanks for your condolences, they are much appreciated.

Good luck with idol this season!
imafarmgirl
Oct. 16th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
I don't think I could hack it teaching in an inner city and if I taught really rural transportation would be an issue because I can't drive.

Thanks for the luck and the same to you.
cheshire23
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
...wow.

I am very impressed by you. I look forward to reading more.
cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :)
teaberryblue
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
Wow, I really admire the work you've done with NCCC. Thank you so much. And my thanks to your family in honor of your brother's memory-- and to your other brother-- for their service. I have several family members in military service and it would just be heartbreaking to lose one of them.

Good luck figuring out your career path! I think a psychology degree can be valuable for a lot of things, and I agree with you about medication, having both been on it and having gone to doctors who feel strongly against it.
cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

I am the same as you with the meds--I've been on them and I've talked to professors and other people who are really against it. I think it may have helped me for a small period of time but over all it let me escape from actually doing anything to help myself.
unlikekudzu
Oct. 15th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC)
It sounds like your family has a fantastic commitment to service, and I'm so sorry for your loss.

I was an AmeriCorps member of the stay-in-one-place variety, and likewise wouldn't trade those two years for anything, but I was still a tiny bit jealous of the NCCC teams who passed through. Good luck this season!
cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

I thought about doing a AmeriCorps VISTA or Direct position in New Orleans but I just loved the idea of traveling around so much.

Good luck to you as well!
java_fiend
Oct. 15th, 2009 04:17 am (UTC)
First of all, my most heartfelt condolences about your brother. I couldn't even begin to imagine.

It sounds like you've had some amazing experiences. I'll most definitely look forward to your entries. Good luck to you this season!
cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks, two times! Good luck to you as well!
(Deleted comment)
cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

Good luck to you as well!
jenandbronze
Oct. 15th, 2009 05:03 am (UTC)
Oh man, sorry to hear of your brother, that is difficult! :( I agree, taking it one day at a time is the best you can do, and it isn't easy I am sure! HUGS

Look forward to further entries from you in the competition.
cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Good luck in the competition!
hightekvagabond
Oct. 15th, 2009 05:21 am (UTC)
I used to have a friend named Cynthia who went by Cyn (pronounced Sin)..... She didn't like cindy either ;)

Good luck :)
cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
a few of my friends call me Cyn occasionally. :)

Good luck to you too!
beautyofgrey
Oct. 15th, 2009 11:47 am (UTC)
I am so sorry to hear about your brother.

You seem like you have a lot to bring to this competition. Good luck.
cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks two times! Good luck to you too!
bewize
Oct. 15th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
It sounds like you are really invested in living your life, and that's a good thing. I'm sorry about your brother. That's awful.

cindylou07
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I appreciate it.
majesticarky
Oct. 17th, 2009 05:18 am (UTC)
Wow, I'm really sorry about the death of your brother. That must be incredibly difficult to deal with...

Also, it sounds like you made a great difference in your Americorps service. I hope we can read some of your experiences there throughout the competition.
( 40 comments — Leave a comment )