Wednesday, October 28, 2015

All who wander are (probably) lost

Can you be lost if you don't even know where you're going in the first place? I'm not talking physically lost (although I frequently am)--I'm talking mentally lost.

I feel like so many people have these great visions of their lives, and I don't. I go to class, I do my homework, I eat, I sleep. And I do it again and again every day. I'm not unhappy, but recently the uncertainty about my future has been a pressing weight on my mind.

I'm past the halfway point of my first semester of college, and I was really hoping I would have figured something out by now.

All throughout high school I hoped that something would just jump out at me and I would know what to do with my life. I picked a major I thought I might like at a college I loved and decided to hope for the best. And I'm happy--but I'm still lost.

Don't get me wrong, I have some things figured out.

I know that in my life I want to do my best to make the world a better place in whatever way I can. I know that someday I want to have a family. I know that no matter what happens I will find a way to live a good life. These things are certain to me. But ask me what kind of a job I want and I can't even begin to tell you. Ask me why I picked my major and I won't have the answer you're hoping for. Ask me what my career goals are and I won't be have much to say.

And for a long time I felt really bad about that. I felt like I was wasting my time or my energy. But the more people I meet and the more of the world I see, I know I am not alone in my confusion.

It doesn't matter if I know exactly what my dream job is at age 18. The world won't end if I take a different path than the one I started on.

All who wander are lost, so at least we can be lost together.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Rose-colored glasses

When I met him the world got a little brighter, a little more exciting, a little more beautiful.

I had always been fairly optimistic. I tried to see the good in people. I knew deep down that life could be beautiful. I believed that everything had purpose and meaning--that it all happened for a reason. 

But when I held him, I knew what that reason was. 


What a funny word. A word that would change so much. 

Everywhere I go, everything I do--he is on my mind.

As I walk down the street I imagine him walking by my side. When I see something beautiful, I wish he could see it too. When I am sad or confused he is the first person I confide in. And just knowing he's there makes life a little sweeter. 

I'm looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. 

Every day is beautiful, nothing is too broken it can't be fixed--life is wonderful.

Because of him I see beauty in everything. Because of him I am loving my life. 

He is my rose-colored glasses. He has opened my eyes to beauty in the world that I didn't see before, and I love him all the more for that.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Who cares?

I believe everyone should vote. As Americans we have the hard-earned privilege of choosing our leaders. I remember the excitement I felt as I clung to my mother’s jacket as she entered the voting booth and flipped the monstrous lever to cast her vote. It seemed so important--all the businessmen in their suits lined up outside the fire hall, the mothers and their children, the elderly couple holding hands--all waiting for their chance to make history.

As I grew older I began to take an interest in the country I was a citizen of and the things I would someday vote for. I couldn’t wait until I was 18 and would get to join the line of voters outside the local fire hall. Now that I can finally be a part of that club I will participate in all the opportunities I have.

As I grew older I noticed that the interests of my peers began to move in a different direction. I listened to the talking in the hall, the discussions after class, the arrogant statements. I’m not going to vote. It doesn’t matter if I do. I don’t know anything about government. I don’t care about politics anyway. It made me sad; did no one care that we had the opportunity to help our country?
It wasn’t just voting that my peers didn’t seem to care about; it was more. School was lame. Studying was pointless. Who cared about cleaning their room or taking the time to volunteer at a nursing home when it was so much easier to seem above it all and sit on the computer consuming mindless media all day?

Why did everyone seem so apathetic? Was I missing something? Was it suddenly a badge of honor to be completely carefree? Did I care too much? What happened to beliefs? What happened to passion? I worried and wondered how I could feel so differently from people who I considered my friends.
And I haven’t figured it all out yet, but I do know this: We all need a personal belief system. Understanding and outlining what is important to us is vital in understanding what kind of a society we are. How do we feel about politics, religion, and art? What makes us excited, enthralled, enamored? Whatever it is, finding it is the first step to self-discovery.

As college students, we are not the same as we were as small children--we have separated ourselves from the infants of the world. As we change physically, we begin to become aware of all that the world has to offer. And we choose how to feel about it all.  Of that, what do we acknowledge? We have the power to decide what is good or bad, right or wrong. We gather information, we learn and we decide. (Sometimes) We decide to do something instead of sitting idle and letting others do the work for us. Apathy is a passive choice, but it is still that—a choice. When we don’t speak up and vote or work toward the changes we want, we cannot complain if choices are made that we don’t agree with.

And our beliefs can always change—we are always growing, we should never be afraid to reconsider our thoughts. Fear is the mother of misery and regret. Just because someone has always been a Catholic, doesn't mean he can't learn about Judaism. Education is something that can never be lost. We should learn as much as we can, travel, ask questions, debate with our peers, find the facts, look at things from someone else's shoes and decide how we feel.

We should never be afraid to tell the world what we think because sometimes it is easier to hear one shout than a chorus of confusion. We are surrounded by our families, friends, constant media updates…everyone wants to tell us what to think. We must listen and decide what we believe and what we don’t. Let’s learn how to make ourselves heard without forgetting to hear others. Sometimes we aren't the experts but listening to one can change everything. We must accept when we are wrong, work to become right. Always learn what other's think and question them. Apathy does nothing. We should seek out our passions and put them to use in the world, whether it's casting a vote or building tree-houses in the Amazon.

Whatever it is—let’s care about it. 


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Adulthood: It'll come together

I want to be an adult.
I want to wear blazers and pencil skirts, and hear the clicking of my heels as I walk to work every morning with a Starbucks cup in my hand. I imagine the people on the street looking at me. She's got her life together. 

Of course, I really don't have my life together. The Starbucks cup is holding hot chocolate, the blazer is from the juniors section of Kohl's, and I hate walking in heels for more than two hours. 

But when I'm walking down the street--it feels good. 

I want to be an adult. 
I want to go home to my own house, slip off those heels, and relax. I imagine sitting there and thinking I have my life together. 

Of course, I really won't have my life together. The house will probably be a small apartment on the outskirts of town, and the relaxation will probably include eating ice cream in my bed at 1 a.m. 

But when I daydream about it--it looks good.

By society's standard, I am an adult. I've reached the age where all responsibility eventually falls back on me.

But by my standard, I am still a child. 

I still need people, I still ask for help, and I still wonder what I'll be when I grow up.

I want to be an adult.
I want to make decisions for myself and live freely. 

I want to be adult, but I don't want to be different. 

I still want to find joy in everyday life, I still want to learn and wonder about the world, I still want have fun. 

I'm in the evening of my youth. Soon I will have bills to pay. I'll have to get up every morning and go to work. I'll have to get up every morning. I'll be solely responsible for myself. Someday I might even be responsible for other people. I am not ready for that. 

Maybe I don't want to be adult--not yet.

I'll get my life together someday. I have time.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Credo

This was a piece I wrote my senior year of high school and became rather fond of. I don't have the strength to write an original post tonight so here you go. 

I believe in independently living. Who would ever allow someone else decide what's best for them? Not me.
Humanity is built on reliance. 
Like a newborn clings to its mother, people cling to each other.
Self-reliance is a state of mind. Clinging to others is wounding.
Opinions are formed by proximity.
Prisons are formed by the mind that yearns to belong.
Dive headfirst into life. Your life. Like an explorer drawn to the sea we are pulled toward normalcy. We drown in mediocrity. Self-assurance is the boat passing by just in time to rescue our individuality. I reject drowning in dependence. I accept swimming through the self-confidence I know I possess. Only you can follow the siren call of your desires.
Humanity welcomes the ability to choose your own adventure and shun those who choose incorrectly.
Free Will is a blessing not an invitation to condemn. Like an almighty judge Society convicts those who do not surrender their self-assurance.
I believe in living a life free from the ties that bind. You cannot stop being you. The only wrong choice is to conform and surrender the promise of self-sustaining life.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Silence (not always golden)

Sometimes I feel like no one's listening to me when I talk.

I sit silently in conversations waiting for the chance to jump in with my stories--and I wait an awfully long time. When someone finally pauses for breath, I go for it, only to be talked over by someone who feels they have something better to say.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm a wallflower or a social pariah. I am very social, I love to talk and share my thoughts with others--when given the chance.

I also love to listen. Have you ever just sat in a public space and listened to the conversations around you? It's fascinating. Being able to listen and soak everything in helps me to control my emotions when I'm rudely brushed aside.

But why does our society seem to value speaking over silence?

It seems like whoever speaks the loudest has the power. So what are the rest of us supposed to do?

They say silence is golden, but being silent is not always a choice.

When I am brushed aside at a party, its annoying but its not going to ruin my life. But what about the people who actually have something to say?

Who is asking the homeless teenager about her day?
Who is working to learn about the working conditions of minimum-wage workers?

Who is the voice for the voiceless?

Circumstance is the greatest silencer of all. When listening to the stories of others becomes a chore--there is a problem.

Have we become so apathetic that we tune out the voices that we don't agree with?

Sometimes I feel like no one's listening to me when I talk.

Imagine how those who are oppressed feel.


P.S. I'll step off of my soap-box now...