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Like Me

I like to be liked. I mean, who doesn’t? I’m a people person, people-pleaser and want to be liked by others. When I work somewhere, I want to befriend my coworkers and be liked. It certainly makes working a little bit easier if you and your coworkers can get along. Same thing with any other situation. When I joined my sorority, I wanted to make friends and be liked by my sisters. Unfortunately, as we all know with life, you can’t always be liked.

It’s a sad truth that not everyone will like you. It could be a coworker that just doesn’t like you, or it could be a sorority sister who just doesn’t get your personality. Whoever or whatever the reason, some people just don’t click. It doesn’t mean that you can’t work together and get along, but it does mean that you won’t be the best of friends. For me, that’s difficult. I’m very outgoing and like making friends, getting to know new people and learn different perspectives. I don’t always take it the best when someone doesn’t like me. I wonder what it is that is off-putting, and what I can do to change their minds. The simple fact is, there’s nothing I can do to change how they feel about me, and honestly, I don’t want to.

I will not apologize for being myself, and I won’t change just to make you like me. I learned the hard way, with past “friends” that it’s not worth changing who I am just to fit in. Hiding myself, is bad for me, and if you don’t like me, that is not my problem. I try to get along with everyone, and if you don’t like my sense of humor, or my personality, then that’s too bad. I will not change who I am just to fit who you want me to be. I am me, and that is that.
Not everyone is going to like you. It’s a hard truth, but it’s a fact of life. Staying true to yourself is the most important thing you can do. No one can be a better you. That’s all you, and if people don’t like you, that’s on them not you. Don’t change the way you act, or talk, it’s not worth it. Some personalities just don’t mesh well, and that’s ok.

I have a great group of friends who love me for me. They love my clutsy self who is Disney-obsessed and would rather stay in than go out. Others may not understand that, or like me for those traits, and even though it’s hard to accept it, I encourage you to do the same. Embrace who you are, and just accept that not everyone will love you for you. Who cares if someone likes you? As long as you like yourself, that’s all that matters.
This song, Try by Colbie Caillat, is a great example of just being true to yourself. Have a listen, and just be yourself. As long as you like yourself, that’s all that matters.

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Friendships Before Relationships

Hey y’all. So some recent events in my life have brought about the importance of friendships versus relationships. I recently read a great article that was about being best friends with your significant other. After a bit of a crazy week, I could not agree more with this statement. I started thinking about my past two relationships, and neither of them really started as a friendship, and to be honest, it didn’t end with that either. We are now acquaintances who will say exchange formalities when we see each other, and that’s pretty much it.

Now, if you know me at all,  you know that I am a very outgoing person, and I love staying in touch with people. So losing friends or relationships hits me pretty hard. However, what I’ve noticed from my past two relationships is that it actually wasn’t all that hard to fall out of touch with these guys. I guess that’s because our relationship wasn’t built on a solid friendship first. To get right down to it, we just didn’t have all that much in common with one another. And while I did enjoy spending time with them, it was hard to do so when we had nothing to talk about. We didn’t even like the same type of movies or books! And when the other would try to show an interest in a show or movie the other one liked, it usually just ended with us wondering how the other could possibly like that show. For example, I tried to watch Game of Thrones because my ex liked it. All I have to say about that show is that it is really gory and all about death. I’m more of a happy ending type of girl, so I couldn’t really get into the show. Of course there is so much more to making a relationship work, but it’s pretty hard without things in common. So ultimately they ended, and I was back in the dating pool.

Last week though, I came to the realization about our relationships not working due to lacking friendships. And that then got me thinking about some guy friends I’ve had in the past. One of my best guy friends has been there for me for years, and I don’t know what I would do if I lost him, even though we don’t talk all the time, I know he’ll be there for me. And I sure hope he knows the same goes for me being there for him. Anyways, that got me thinking about those friendships I had, and then lost because of “feelings.” Those things can really hurt a friendship if they’re one-sided. Which, unfortunately for me, was what happened. I really liked this one guy in college, and he and I would talk every day. At first, I didn’t like him as anything more than a friend. And then things started changing the more we talked and got to know each other. Soon, we were texting every day. After a few months, I opted to tell him how I felt. Due to some really bad timing of things, it was deemed that nothing more could possibly work out. Now, here’s the sucky part, things got awkward. Because I felt, at the time, that possibly having a relationship would be more important than a great friendship, I lost my friend. We occasionally talk to each other about life, and thanks to Facebook, I remember to write happy birthday, but that’s pretty much the whole of our interaction. After having some amazing things happen in my life that I was really waiting on, he was one of the first people I wanted to tell, but oh wait, we aren’t really speaking. If I could go back and change things, I would keep my thoughts to myself and would have never said anything. I have learned the hard way, friendships are so much better than relationships. I’d much rather have him to talk to, then have it turn out the way it did. What would have been even worse is if he had become added to the list of exes.

The point of this, is to remind you to cherish your friendships. Life is crazy, and those friends that become like family are the most important things to you. Now, going back to friendship in relationships, I’m not saying that I’m never going to be in a relationship again, I’m just going to really evaluate our friendship and make sure that the next one can withstand a relationship. A good friend of mine is best friends with her boyfriend, and they make it work. But they also put a lot of groundwork into it first, and while it took some time (and I know she would’ve preferred things to move a little faster) now they are super happy and have managed to make things work out. I am a strong believer in the idea of God’s plan, and the idea that if something is meant to be, then it will work out. God has His own timing, and it doesn’t always mesh with ours. Because of this, I’ve learned to take things slow, even when I want to speed them up by saying something. If a great friendship is meant to turn into something more, then it will. Otherwise, you may just end up losing a great friend.

The Invisible People

Hey all,

So today’s post is going to be on a bit of a hot topic right now: bullying. I was at a concert this past weekend, and one of the performers was Hunter Hayes. He has a song out called “Invisible” and it basically is about bullying and feeling left out of from their peers. I’ve attached the music video below for your viewing pleasure. I personally can’t get enough of the fantastic message with it.

While bullying is becoming more popular now, with the changing times (and internet) it was prevalent in any age, and I guarantee you that your grandparents have someone that did something to hurt them. Now, this term is used very loosely as there are wide ranges of bullying. There’s the stereotypical “give me your lunch money” to catfishing to icing someone out. Each one is a very different way to bully, but all of them cause some form of emotional damage. Now, the worst part of bullying is when it comes from someone you love or are very close with. Family, friends, those are the worst kind of bullies, because you placed your trust in these people and they betrayed you.

Before singing “Invisible,” Hunter started out with a speech about the song and about his personal life, and how he felt like he didn’t fit in with his group of friends. That got me thinking about my experiences in high school. I am one of those people who doesn’t miss high school and has no intention of wishing to go back.

I had a group of friends, and they were the same group that I stuck with from freshman year all the way until graduation. Unfortunately, my loyalty to them was one-sided. I didn’t realize it at first, but they consistently had conversations that I wasn’t a part of because I was home-schooled at the time, and “you just had to be there.” Hilarious. It sucked, but at the time I thought that was normal, of course they were all going to bond over stupid stories like that, and it was just a fact of life that I couldn’t relate because I wasn’t there. No big deal. Then my best friend at the time started another game. It was a fun game in which every guy I had a crush on, she had to have. Maybe I was stupid for not realizing it right away, but whenever I mentioned I liked a guy we went to school with, she would either right away tell me how he was interested in her and I needed to give it up, or she would proceed to go after this same guy. I eventually did learn not to share what guy I liked at the time, but sadly I didn’t learn to end the toxic friendship. Finally, after being gossiped about for the majority of senior year, I graduated and thought all the high school drama was over, I mean, we were young adults heading off to college. They had to grow up, right? So wrong. I would see pictures of parties, and trips to the mall and movies, and somehow I never got the invite from my “friends.” When I finally asked one of the girls why, all she could tell me was that I wasn’t invited, and she couldn’t invite me or they might cut her out too. Wow.

Let that sink in for a minute. I’m not going to lie, and say it wasn’t a hard summer. I had two other friends from my graduating class, and those two were my only friends. It sucked. The summer after graduation is a time of change, and it’s just plain scary, especially if you’re moving away in the fall, like I was. I spent a lot of lonely days, and I even began to wonder what was wrong with me that they couldn’t stand to be around me. Now, I know it had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with them. I actually feel sorry for them. They all gossiped about one another and said nasty things, and that’s not what friends do. One of the best things that came out of what they did to me was that I was able to move out of my comfort zone and make amazing friends. I joined a sorority in college and learned the meaning of true friendship. I have sisters and lifelong friends who I know would never trash me behind my back at lunch the minute I walk away. These are also the friends who we don’t speak for two weeks because of life, and yet the minute something life altering happens, I’m the first one they text. Those are the types of friendships to hang on to. While I couldn’t see it then, having them treat me the way they did was one of the best things to happen to me. I even was able to connect with my neighbor, who is a few years younger, and had the exact same thing happen to her. I didn’t have anyone to relate to at the time it was happening to me, but I sure am glad I was able to relate to her. It sucks but you’ve gotta just move forward and know that better days are coming.

I keep thinking about going back in time, and what I would change. I’d like to say that I would end the toxic friendships before they ended it for me, but I know that would change who I am today. So I wouldn’t go back if I could. Yes, those times sucked, and it caused some serious self esteem issues, but all of those things made me stronger. They also taught me a lesson about real friendship and what it looks like. If I hadn’t learned all of that then, I wouldn’t be able to find a true friend now to save my life. The world is full of plenty of fake people, they are everywhere, and sometimes it’s hard to find the good ones. I truly feel blessed that I was given this trial and that God showed me who my real friends are. Here’s a hint: if they gossip to you about someone, they gossip about you to someone else. And no matter if what they say is the truth or not, it can still cut like a knife. Just remember, the pain does go away, and it leaves you even stronger than before. Just keep pushing on, and remember that they have a hole in their hearts somewhere if they feel better for tearing you down.

Here’s the link to that song, take a listen and try to break the cycle. Every level of bullying hurts, and there’s no purpose to it.

Hunter Hayes- Invisible

Time Management

There have been some big changes in my life recently that have kept me away from the computer, and sadly, away from my blog. First off, I started applying for jobs feverishly, I mean a good 3-5 job applications a day; it was exhausting, but so worth it. I recently accepted a new position, within my major (a great feat, as every post grad who has been un or under-employed knows). I am very excited to get my career going, and I start in less than a week. In addition to that, I’ve been reconnecting with friends, still working my part-time job, and I’ve been seeing someone as well. It really is true that everything happens at once.
I know I have some long work days ahead of me, but luckily for me, I’ve always enjoyed being busy. In college, each year I had a packed schedule. I worked part time, was in a sorority, held a leadership role in said sorority, volunteered, took a full course load, hit the gym every single night, and still had time for a social life on the weekends. Thinking back now, I realize how much I miss that life. I loved having an agenda with everything planned out for my days a week or two in advance. I loved having those little time blocks for meetings and classes, and chapters and date functions. Even though I was running around more than I ever had before, I felt exhilarated rather than exhausted. Sleeping in wasn’t an option, and I was surprisingly ok with that. I was having the full college experience, that experience that my mom wanted me to have so badly. I attended each and every class, and excelled in each one I might add, while being in some of the best shape I had ever been in, and still making a couple hundred bucks from working my retail job in between all of it. It wasn’t a bad place to be in.
I even still found ways to go shopping with friends on the weekends, and even go home for a couple days without missing out on much. I had time organization down to perfection. I also was fantastic at multi-tasking. A class I was attending required me to plan events, including visiting venues and calling and getting quotes about catering and etc. I found sometimes the best time to make those calls was walking through campus to my car or to the library. Or maybe I had to call a venue to get information for a sisterhood retreat. Grabbing a quick bite to eat and making those calls was perfect timing. I know they say it’s best to unplug from the world during meal-times, but let’s face it, my phone was going to be in my hand whether I was making a phone call or texting friends. I might as well have been productive with it. I used dinner time as my time to unwind with a glass of wine, and chatting with my roommate about classes and what guys we were interested in at the time. Everything had a place in my agenda, and everything timed out very nicely.
Now, here’s where you think I’m going to tell you about this huge burnout I felt from struggling to balance everything. Unfortunately for those of you wanting that, I don’t have a burnout story. I never went through any type of burnout during that year. I got all my assignments finished on time, without a crazy meltdown in the library or in my room at 3 in the morning. I’ll be honest, I liked my sleep, I usually was in bed by 11 and up at 7. I managed to get everything done in those waking hours and still find me time, whether it was a yoga class, or a wine night with my best friend. Like I said before, I had never felt more alive.

I’m not sharing this information to make you think I’m this awesome person who totally has her life together. I definitely don’t now, and I didn’t then. I couldn’t get out of the friend zone with this guy I liked, and I hated that part time job I had. The point I am trying to make here, is that it is possible with hard work, to live a fulfilling life and get shit done at the same time. I didn’t have cable, so I didn’t have television as a distraction. I had a gym I was paying an exorbitant amount of money for at my school, so yeah I was going to attend classes and take advantage of all the cool features. The point of this is to inspire you to go out there and do what you want. Don’t make any more excuses about why you don’t have the time to meet someone or start that website. The time is there, it’s just a matter of if you’re using it wisely. So take two weeks, and turn off your television. Don’t come home from work or classes and just veg out on the couch. Join a gym, find a gym buddy and start a healthy lifestyle for yourself. I have let myself slip from where I used to be to where I am now, and it’s time to get myself back where I want to be. That means, I’ll be getting myself back into the gym. I also have a new type of blog in the works, and you should be seeing it once my new computer comes in. So go out and make a difference in the world. I’ll be there with you. 

Work for It

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and that is because my house has been a construction zone. Between that and work, I haven’t had much time for fun. But I’m back now, and my house is still a construction zone. That is the influence for my article today. My mom and I hired a contractor to install wood laminate flooring for us. We did all the hard stuff, like ripping up the carpet, we just want to make sure the flooring is installed properly, so we figured we would leave it to a professional. Well boy, was that disappointing. He has not come back to finish the last two rooms, and he has left big gaps near doorways that show the concrete underneath! He even then told us he would just slip some small pieces of wood in there to “plug” any of the holes. Now, I don’t know about my readers, but I personally have no experience with flooring, so I did some research on what he told us he would need to fix his mistakes, and I can’t find anything to really support it. I even reached out to an architect I know, and while it wasn’t really his field, he wasn’t sure if that was a good, professional job or if it was shoddy. This is what we paid the contractor for! If I had wanted to just guess and hope the flooring was being installed correctly, I would have done it myself.
Now that my little rant is over, let me get to the point. We all work for a living (unless you’re a trust fund baby, in which case, can I marry you?). When we get these jobs that we then use to pay all of our bills, we are entrusted by our employers to do our job the way THEY want, not the way WE want. When I got hired on at my current job, I was taught how the company wants things done and how to do my job to those standards, not to the standards that I felt were correct. Unfortunately for our society, people are giving the appearance of being lazy and expecting things to be given to them, and this causes numerous problems. The first, the whole strike about wanting to get paid $15 an hour to flip burgers. I understand not being in a job that uses your skillset, but that doesn’t mean you should strike and cause a fuss because you want to make more than an EMT does an hour. My burger doesn’t mean that much to me. Another problem is that people decide to do things their own (lazy) way. I didn’t hire this contractor to be lazy and cut corners; I hired him to do the job the way I told him I wanted it done the first day. As an employee, it is not your job to take liberties and decide that your employer would like a job done a different way. That is not why you were hired. If an employer wanted that, they would have asked for it. Society seems to think they always know what is best for people, and reality is, they don’t. If you are asked to do a job a certain way, and then paid to do so, it is expected that the job will be done correctly. If not, you’re going to get to go back and do it again.

One thing my parents taught me from a young age was the value of hard work and doing a good job. I was given a weekly allowance if I did certain chores around the house. My brother had the same system, so our parents split up the chores weekly and wrote them down on a list for each of us to do. Now, most of them were not anything big, such as taking out the garbage or setting the table. As we got older, we got given more responsibility, and our chores got a little more important. When my brother was old enough, he got tasked with mowing the lawn once a week. One day, he mowed the lawn and had somewhere to be, so he rushed through the task and didn’t do it properly. Not only did he not get paid his allowance, he then had to go back out and fix the job. That is how I was raised. Work smarter, not harder and do the job you are asked, even if it takes you more time than expected. Our parents had entered a contract with him and he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain; so he had to fix it. Same thing happened to me if I didn’t do a job correctly. My work would be inspected, and if it wasn’t done correctly, I had to go back and re-do it. I viewed it as punishment back then, especially if I had plans with friends that I now wasn’t going to get to. Now, I view it as a fantastic work ethic. I don’t leave a job until it is done to the satisfaction of my employer. Sadly, this work ethic is a dying breed. Many people don’t feel the same, and have this sense of entitlement to get paid even if they didn’t do the job properly or completely. It’s a shame that’s what we’ve come to in this world, and it makes me worried for our future children. Mine will be held to the same standards that I was, will yours?

I’ve Got This

So this past weekend my mom decided that we were going to start a remodeling project on the house. This entailed ripping up the old carpet, stripping the concrete, painting the rooms, and putting in a new wood laminate. Now, I am all for home projects, I love seeing an old space look new and beautiful. What I don’t like is manual labor. When I was a kid, before my parents divorced, I was daddy’s little girl. I never had to do manual labor; my dad would have his brother over and they would work on it, or my dad would hire someone. If I ever helped with painting a room, it was when I was five and thought that painting was a game. So yes, I was very spoiled; painting aside, I didn’t really do much labor around the house except for yard work, which to me was torture.
My mom is a single mother running a household on a single mother budget. Home remodels are expensive for anyone, but they’re especially expensive when done on a small budget. However, our carpets were a wreck, and some rooms in our house didn’t have paint. It was a necessary evil. And I took this past weekend as an amazing learning experience.
I wouldn’t say that I’m super fit, but I’m not out of shape either. I workout, I try to stay in shape and keep my muscles toned; though I learned this past weekend I am so out of shape it isn’t even funny. We started by ripping up the carpet, where I first learned that carpet is ridiculously heavy. I mean, it’s carpet, area rugs don’t weigh that much, who would have thought carpet would. But trust me, it does. Now, that’s actually the easy part of the project. Once the carpet is up, there are nails and wood planks to keep the carpet stuck to the concrete. Those had to be completely removed, as did the padding underneath the carpet. That doesn’t sound too bad except the padding is also glued to the concrete. So you get a good amount going, and then it rips and leaves a huge chunk glued to the floor. In my naivety, I figured this ripping up carpet experiment would take about 2-3 hours. However, since it was our first time, and two really large rooms, it took us about 6 hours to complete everything. My muscles had not felt a soreness like that ever before. Like I said, not fit, but not horribly out of shape either. It’s hard work. I have a whole new appreciation for flooring installers. It truly is back-breaking work. Granted, they know all the tricks to make this project a little easier, but still, it’s a lot of heavy lifting.
I also developed a new appreciation for the strength my mom has. She redid a room with wood laminate once before, with my dad, and so she had one more project’s experience than I did, but I wouldn’t classify her as an expert. She also works full time and gave up the one long weekend she had been looking forward to for months. While all of her friends were laying out by the pool, or going out on the water, or beachin it with their family, we were lugging carpet around, and shopping for laminate. Not exactly the ideal way to spend a long weekend. She took it like a trooper because she always sees the bigger picture. Even if something is unpleasant, and the next day she can barely drag herself out of bed due to sore muscles, she does because she knows it’ll all be worth it in the long run. I can’t tell you what a valuable lesson that is to learn. This lesson, while shown in relation to remodeling our living and dining room, reaches out to many other topics. She’s always had a knack for knowing what will work out better in the long run, even if it is very difficult to begin with. She’s taught me a very valuable lesson in never giving up on anything that life throws at you. She hasn’t had an easy life, and while mine may not have been as easy as she wanted it to be, I can say that I have become a much stronger, independent person thanks to all the trials that life has thrown at me. That includes stupid carpet that weighs more than I do.

Moral of the story, do I ever want to rip up carpet again? No! However, I know that it is something I am very capable of, and that while it completely sucks to have to do something like that, then paint all weekend, and work all weekend, it is most definitely worth it. I will be able to spend time in this room and know that I am looking at the fruits of my labor. I also know that no matter what struggle life throws my way, I have my mother’s fighting spirit in me, and I will come out on top. So it’s a bit late for a mother’s day tribute, but this one definitely goes out to my mom. Thanks for making me a stronger person, both physically and spiritually.

Quality Over Quantity

So recently there have been some events in my life that have led me to ponder about friendships and those that I have and have had in the past. I was in a sorority in college, so I made loads of acquaintances, and also made some true friends, those “sisters for life” per say. Of course, now that I’m out in the real world, I’m also making some of those friends now, plus I had a few from high school. The difference that I’m finding is that, it is much harder to hang on to those friends from college. Even my old roommates are harder and harder to keep in touch with; and this idea defies all logic with all the ways we to communicate with one another.
Before I graduated, I could tell you everything you wanted to know about one of my friends. Her favorite color, what foods she loved, her love life, etc. I really thought that friendship was one that was going to last forever, we had become so close in such a short amount of time. Instead, what I found was that we had a harder time staying in touch when we weren’t living in the same city, let alone having chapter together once a week, and Starbucks at least that. It’s not like this friendship dropped off rapidly either. It was a slow end, eventually the daily texts turned into weekly, efforts to get together and hang out were depleting, and eventually all communication on her side just stopped. I would still do absolutely anything for her, including give her a piece of my liver if she needed it. Sadly, I don’t know if I could count on her to do the same, and that’s the worst part of this lost friendship. I’ve tried to keep everything good and somewhat the same despite the distance between us, but like all things, it is a two way street. One person can’t keep a friendship alive, no matter how hard they try.
Yet, there’s another girl, my Big sister from my sorority, who is still my best friend to this very day. She knows everything going on in my life, and I know the same in hers. We have Facetime wine nights to catch up and talk about anything and everything (the wine helps with the anything part). The bottom line, is that I know when my world crashes to the ground, I have this girl to turn to and I know while she can’t necessarily be right there since she’s in another state, she will drop everything to talk to me on the phone and help me through it. When she needs it, I will absolutely do the same for her. I’ll be there for you, since you’ve been there for me…Friends theme song says it all.
The point of all of this is that as we grow older, we come to realize that those quality friends we thought we had, my first example, were actually meant to be in the quantity list. What I mean by this, is that she is one of those acquaintances, of which I have many. On the other hand, my quality friends are few and far between. I can probably count them on one hand. These are the friends who call me to check in, who schedule time to come visit, and take valuable time out of their busy schedules to spend time and stay involved. Now, I’m not saying that the quantity friends are bad, they’re great to have for a big group night out, or to attend a social function with. However, they’re not that person that you’re going to call at 2 am and actually get a response from. They’re not the person that is going to take your phone call while they’re at a party, or who will ditch work to help you through a crisis; at least, not in my experience.

We all know how important our support system is to our success in life; it’s a basic psychological fact. I’m not saying that you should get rid of your quantity friends, I’m saying you shouldn’t try so hard to make them quality, when they clearly belong in the quantity group. I’m guilty of this, and all it results in is heartbreak for me. I honestly couldn’t tell you if they even realize what they’re doing or if they know where they lie in the grouping, and some I don’t think care at all. Hang on to those friends who care. Those who will read every single rough draft of your blog before you post it, or those who are willing to meet for a drink for an hour because you really just need a break from reality and want to spend time with a loving friend. Those are the friendships you truly need in your life. The others are just a bonus, those who are only around when the skies are sunny and when it’s convenient for them. 

Dating Rules for an Old Soul

Over this past weekend, I had a realization when it comes to dating and romance. I am in the wrong time period. I mean it. I’m an old soul trapped in a 22 year old body. I need to live in the same time period that Elizabeth Bennet (one of my personal heroes) and Cinderella lived in. Now, yes I understand these are fictional characters, but I’m using them to help you guys realize what time frame I’m talking about. I mean the time when men courted women, not just dated.
Over the years, dating has taken on a whole new meaning, and quite frankly, I want us to revert back to the time when we were courted by men. Lately it seems like dating ultimately just leads to the guy trying to get the girl in bed. And when he fails, that relationship ends; sometimes that ends the minute he succeeds as well. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all relationships are purely physical, I’m just reporting what I’ve found and the luck I’ve had with guys. I’ve tried the dating scene that is modern dating, and I’ve found it just isn’t for me.
I want a first date to be more than going out to a club or meeting at a bar. I don’t want him to try to kiss me after the first date, he should wait a little longer. I also don’t want it to just be physical, I want a relationship on an emotional level. He should know me for me, and I should know him for him. All this physical stuff just gets in the way of actually knowing your partner. Hence, why I am an old soul living in the wrong time period. I want him to be nervous to take my hand, and not get physical quickly while dating. This also ties to my religious beliefs, but it also definitely ties to my love of Elizabeth’s time. Courting was so different. You would meet at a ball, maybe dance a few waltzes, and then talk. You were able to get to know one another without the distraction and pressure of wondering when he was going to make a move or if he was going to try to kiss you. Also, in this time period, men wanted to court to marry these women. Yes, marriage was used as a social ladder, but in my two examples, we see that marriage was also a tool for love. It could be that was just the fantastic imagination of the authors, I’m not sure, but I do know that is where I get my high expectations of romance.

In my last relationship, which I feel was a good learning experience; I sacrificed what I know I’m looking for in a relationship to try this modern dating. It wasn’t something that made me happy in the long run, and I hated that most of our conversations occurred through a text message rather than face to face. However, like I said, it was a good learning experience for me to know what I don’t want in a relationship. I’m looking for that old school love. Now, I may never find it, and if so, I guess that’s ok with me. Because I at least know that I won’t sacrifice my idea of romance for this modern day dating. Simply put, if he wants to treat me like a princess and respect me and my beliefs, then I will treat him like the prince charming he is and do the same. Dating shouldn’t be just about the physical aspects of having someone to make out with and sleep with. It should be about sharing your life with another person who understands and supports you. The other is just a bonus.

Wanderlust

Spring is in the air. Everyone is becoming “twitterpatted” (thanks Disney), schools are nearing the end of the semester, and summer vacations are looming. Now, whether you are able to go on a short weekend vacation or you’re one of the lucky ones who can take 9 days off to explore other areas, I highly encourage you to get out there and get away from your house.
Traveling is one of those experiences that no one can take away from you. You will always have the memories, the pictures, and those ticket stubs. But more than that, you will have the experience. This experience is that of meeting people from all over the world, seeing different cultures, and eating different foods. Again, you don’t necessarily have to spend thousands on this vacation, nor do you have to go all over the world. However, if you get the chance at European travel, I highly suggest it.
Two months ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Berlin, Germany for a few days. It was for five short days, and there was so much that I needed to see; the Berlin wall, the majestic cathedrals that littered this city, and some other beautiful sights. This city has so much history surrounding it, and was such a different culture. Even though it is a tourist destination, there were quite a few locals, and with that, there was also quite the language barrier. I never took German, I only know about five words, and they can’t even be strung together to make a logical sentence. My family was no better with German, so it was very different. Thankfully, most of the signs were in German and English, so navigating was a bit easier. Even with the language barrier, we were able to converse with different people around the city, and with the help of our fantastic hotel staff, we were able to easily get around the city and see everything we needed to.
While going to a country where your language is not the primary language spoken is scary, it’s also very thrilling in a good way. You are given the chance to pick up on different words, and to see a whole new culture, one you would never find in America, not even Epcot. It’s just not the same, sorry to break it to you.
Now, what can sometimes be scary is trying new food. And of course, this is another huge part of traveling. We don’t go to different countries to eat the same food that we can get at home. It’s another part of the experience! In the travel mindset, I even found myself trying new things, including duck. I’ve never had it before, but our first night in Germany, it was served at dinner. While I would have never dared to try duck in America, I was traveling, so in my mind it just made sense to try it. And I’ll be honest, it was one of the most delicious meals I’ve had. Same thing with the beer in Germany; their breweries are something of a legend. Once again, when in Germany…The beer was very different from anything I’ve had in America. It was one of those things that I will never find anything comparable unless I go back to Germany. And because of that, it made my travel bucket list. The food there was richer, and even items that I thought I knew, like au gratin potatoes, had a different, delicious spin in Germany.
More important than anything I listed above though, was the ability to see a brand new culture. I got to see people in their daily routines, heading off to work or out shopping with their families, living in this city that is foreign to me, but to them is home. Where everything takes on a new meaning, where driving is a little bit scary, but to others, is just a part of daily life. When traveling, you get to see a new side to even something as mundane as travelers on the bus on their way to work or heading home. It allows you to see and go a little deeper in your own life when you return home. Yes, you know this culture, you know these streets that you’re driving on, you know what’s around the corner. But returning home from travel allows you to really treasure the fact that you’re back in your home culture. You know what is going to be served at the restaurant you frequent, you know you generally don’t find ping pong tables in a park in your town. But you can see how your mundane life isn’t so mundane to those visiting. That your culture is so drastically different, and that while you feel it’s a part of every day life, there are others visiting who think your everyday commute is extremely relaxing, or that you live in paradise, where tropical drinks are served in coconuts, while they have never even seen a coconut in real life.

Traveling opens your mind to not only new cultures, but it also brings you closer to your home culture. So I challenge you, to travel. Save up, spend a week traveling around Europe. Each country has a different culture, from Germany to Italy. They all have different aspects, and different sights that make them special. Enjoy trying new foods, hearing new languages, and enjoy the fact that not everyone knows what you mean. Let it give you a new perspective on your life and on others. Allow the experience to fill you with a gratitude towards the place you call home, and allow you to see our differences, as well as our similarities. Even if you can’t go to Europe or another country, go out west, see the difference in lifestyle! You’ll be hard pressed to find Southern fried chicken in California, and enjoy that fact. Enjoy that their everyday aspects of life are very different from your own.

Snap Back

With the rise of social media, it is made easier each day to stay in touch with those we don’t see much. We have email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and, of course, Snapchat. Now, while these social media devices were originally created to bring us closer together, they are used in lieu of proper face-to-face communication. A great example of this is Snapchat. I know that I am a user of Snapchat, and reality is, I don’t use it to keep in touch with people from school or from my past. I use it to send goofy pictures to my close friends. Those friends that I could call up on my phone, or send a text to see in person. Rather than experiencing life, we are demonstrating our experiences to others, and ultimately missing out on life.
Now, the original purpose behind Snapchat, aside from the ability to sext and not have any evidence of that, you dirty minded people, was to send some cute spur of the moment picture to your friends. Instead, Snapchat is a carefully orchestrated device to send selfies or some crazy videos. I know I rarely get snaps from my friends of something cool they saw that they just had to share. Instead, it’s some mundane part of their life, like their morning coffee or a selfie while driving their car. Now, maybe your friends are adventurers who send you pictures of mountain ranges they climbed and gorgeous sunsets on the water. That’s not the case for the majority of us.
Don’t get me wrong, morning coffee is very important, for me it’s a lifeline to help me survive the day. However, it’s not something I need to send to people. I may not climb a mountain every day, but when I’m busy snapping selfies and my Starbucks order, I miss out on beautiful aspects of daily life. I may miss out on the beautiful bird that’s sitting on the tree next to me, or maybe I miss a random act of kindness from a stranger. And for what? A picture of my face. Not exactly an important thing.

If I get a snap from someone, I want it to be of that beautiful bird, or of that mountain that you climbed. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that while I love keeping in touch with friends and seeing that their Starbucks order matches mine (I’m talking to you, my Little), I’d much rather be living and experiencing life. My generation is seriously missing out on the important things because we have our phones in our faces. So I’m challenging myself and others, put the phone down and live. Say hi to a random stranger in the coffee shop, notice the breathtaking beauty that surrounds you. You may just find it’s even better than that cute selfie you just sent your crush.
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