Friday, March 7, 2008

Om Girl

Many people have asked me over the years what my often-used user name, Omgirl, means, most recently my friend Cara. Let me explain...

When I went to college, I thought I wanted to study psychology. I did that for 2 1/2 years and then realized that although I enjoyed psychology, I did not enjoy school enough to take 6 more years of it in order obtain a usable degree in it. So I hunted around for something else to take. Something more useful. Anthropology! You know, that well-paid, pervasive occupation that is always looking for more employees. It's worked out really well, as you can see. Background: Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been fascinated by other cultures, other people. Indiana Jones was me hero. All my friends growing up in Detroit were Japanese, Jewish, Black, Arabic, Chaldean, Indian, and Korean. Ok, there were a few white people. But I always found people of other cultures more interesting. I loved learning other languages, wearing foreign costumes, collecting international knick-knacks (and still have a great collection). So when I found out there was a major in college that basically allowed you to spend all your time learning about other cultures, I knew that was it. So I switched to a double major of Psych-Anthro and signed up for classes (I scrapped Psych altogether a semester later). I also heard that there was an internship through anthropology where you could go to India for a semester. That had been one of my fondest dreams since I met my first Indian friend in elementary school and since 75% of my friends my freshman year of high school had been Indian. So I signed up immediately. During my first semester in Anthropology, I took mostly India-oriented classes in preparation for my trip. And the culture fascinated me. One thing that I read about in my studies was the Om symbol. Most of you probably know the Om from seeing it in classic meditation in movies and such. Sitting cross-legged, hands on knees, eyes closed chanting "Oooooooooooommmmmmmmmm." Yep, that's the one. In Hindu mythology, the Om sound has lots of really cool meanings:

1) Om is all the sounds of the universe put together--heaven, hell, earth and silence.
2) Om is the sound of the past, present, future and the sound of God.
3) Om represents a oneness of body and soul, a oneness with God, a meeting of the spiritual and physical self.
4) When Om is chanted, it resonates with the universe and allows a deeper understanding of the things that are being meditated on.

I liked the ideas behind the Om symbol so well that I got it tattooed on my lower back! So now, I am the Omgirl. There, Cara, was that a long, drawn-out, boring enough response to a simple question for you?

p.s. India was awesome. If you ever get a chance to go...well....nevermind. India isn't for everyone. Let me tell you the story of the mysterious monkey poo first. Then if you still want to go, I can give you some good travel recommendations.


CaraDee said...

I was going to make a joke about you sitting there cross-legged on a mat, but I wasn't sure.
India! Wow, glad you could experiencet that.

Jennifer said...

Wow, that is really cool. I have wondered what the meaning/what it meant but never asked. India huh? I would never have thought to travel there, until your post that is. Hmmmm I will have to think about that one.

CaraDee said...

I was at Anthropologie today and thought of this post. Get it? Get it?

CaraDee said...

Apparently, I'm the only person to comment here. We were driving home from the south, (not the country region, the county region) and I was telling Bran about your "hidden" room story and such. Apparently he wasn't aware of the ancientness of your house and wanted to drive past it....He's slightly obsessed with older homes. So miraculously I found it, and he WANTS to see it. (It was after 9 and I saw lights, but you know, no notice and all) So I told him I would procure an invite. Wow, that was long, I should have emailed.

Chelsea said...

Well look at that, I thought it was because you worked for the Dharma Initiative. I stand corrected. Namaste. :)

alex dumas said...

I'm sleepy now. Maybe I'm hypnotized. Ommmmmm.