Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Role Models

We have a lot of unrealistic role models in our world.  Ads, movies, even the people around us can lead us to set unrealistic expectations and focus on the things that don't really matter that much.  I'm sick of bad role models, ones who teach us to be materialistic and picture perfect at all costs.  So instead, I'd like to share a video about a girl who I think could be a better role model.

Most of my close friends/family have heard me rant about how sad I am that Nellie got kicked off of The Glee Project (go ahead, laugh at my obsession), but I think this video can give you a pretty good idea why.  She wasn't all about looks, she wasn't fake, and I believe she had the potentially to be a really good example for girls about forming your own definitions of attraction, etc. based on things that are more important.

when it's too much...push back

but NEVER give in.

If my life has taught me anything, it's that I can push through anything.  When no one else can be strong, I can.  I may not be able to make decisions, but I can climb over any wall, solve any problem, remedy any situation, and tackle any problem.  There's nothing that can't be solved with blood, sweat, tears, and prayer.  I may come out the other side bruised, broken, and torn- But I always come out.

Monday, July 30, 2012

selective underloading

I'm a fan of education.  Really.  I'm a university student, and hopefully someday soon I'll be enrolled in a graduate program.  But in some areas, our world has progressed from education and begun to border on overload.

Information is available so easily and anyone can upload anything, that it's to the point where discernment is the most important skill of the age.  It's not whether the right information is out there, but whether we can find it, recognize it, and not get distracted by all the other clutter.

Additionally, because it seems all the information already exists, it's easy to use media as a cop out for thinking for ourselves.  Media seems to be say, "Don't develop your own opinion, just find someone else's you mostly agree with.  Who cares what it is you want your life to be?  Everyone else has it figured out, so just follow them."

I'm not just talking about academics and work here.  There's more at stake than that.  The proliferation of insane amounts of information in various forms of media makes it almost impossible for us to decide for ourselves what is real.  How often do we assume that the pictures we see on Facebook, the scenes from movies, or the headlines in newspapers is how life really ought to be?  It's insanely easy to feel like we're missing out or just plain doing life wrong.

I'm feeling inclined to purge myself from all these ideas and instead have some of my own.  I'm not saying NO to all media, but I think I'm going to take some time to be more selective about the kind I consume.  There's enough chaos going on in my head without hundreds of other opinions about how life and love ought to be to confuse me.

And yes, I recognize the irony of posting this on my blog.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A better perspective

I am not the most beautiful girl in the world, but I am pretty.

I am not the best athlete, but I enjoy sports and have a natural competitive drive.

I am not the smartest person at this University, but I have good writing and problem solving skills.

I am not the hardest worker, but I do work hard and try to find time to relax.

I am not the best cook, but I make food for those I love.

I am not always the most careful with finances, but I'm learning how to budget and be frugal.

I will not be the best mother, but I will do the best with what I know.

I am not the best at everything, but I am the best at being me.

And I am enough.  


Disclaimer: Many of these thoughts come from an amazing article in the New York Times my roommate referred me to about self-imposed business.  I loved it.

For the past week, and for the next 8, I will be unabashedly NOT busy.  I am not taking classes or working, and it's a nice break after doing both since August.  I'm just studying for the GRE, figuring out stuff for grad school, and taking care of some small practical things like laundry and scholarships.  Other than that, I'm having adventures, creating culinary masterpieces (kinda...), taking long afternoon naps, and making spontaneous trips.  I'm enjoying a BREAK.  

But here's the thing: I feel intense nagging guilt.  Not because there are specific things I ought to be doing.  No, I do those.  I get my to-do list done every day, and then some.  Guilt because I have free time.  Guilt because I'm not overly booked and busy.  

And yet I'm learning something very important: when I'm busy, I lean toward narcissistic.  I think we all do.  It makes us feel important.  But when I'm not busy, I have time to take care of myself and others.  I have time to make those I love feel important.  And I have time to feel loved.

I also have time to feel other things though.  Things that the busyness blocks out.  And I'm realizing that being busy is really just a coping mechanism against the emptyness and scary feelings I'd have to face if it was gone. 

Being busy doesn't make you better- it doesn't even make you good.  The most important thing we can do or build while on this earth is real, lasting relationships.  And those relationships are best when we are calm, have time to relax, and are able to focus all of our attention on one person at a time.  Busyness isn't necessarily productivity- and productivity isn't the end goal.  Who cares how much you can produce if you don't have anyone to love?

What I know

Relaxing is vital to survival, sanity, and kindness.

Sulfur in the air causes rain- so apparently fireworks are good for forest fires.

Being happy isn't wrong, it's beautiful.  Enjoy it.

Sillyness is the butter of relationships.  Cuddling and conversation is the bread.

When the situation arises, the right words will come.

Everyone is doing the best with what they know.

Remember compassion and understanding, then add practicality and advice.

God doesn't make mistakes, but he does make miracles.

Sometimes living in the now is okay, it's even good.  
Because it's only when we truly appreciate the moment that we are able to use it to understand the past and learn for the future.