Pay It Forward

Life is so much better when you pay it forward. So do something nice for someone today. Even if it’s just holding the door open, I can guarantee you will make someones day a little brighter. Happy Thursday folks.

October 13, 2011. Tags: , , , . Advice. Leave a comment.

Change Comes In Many Forms…

…and all the time. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is bad. The lesson I am currently learning is that when things happen I should take note and see how I can grow from it. How can this make me more aware, better, smarter, more understanding.
A friend of mine lost her fight against cancer this weekend. She was a bright light in a grimy city. She had a positive energy that rubbed off on everyone and I learned a lot from her. Even now I am learning from her. I’m learning not to take things for granted. To look to the further but not lose sight of now. To take the time to appreciate my surroundings no matter where I am. I’m learning to find the amazing in everything. I hope you can find this too.

October 12, 2011. Tags: , , . admiration, Advice. Leave a comment.

Suze Orman Scares Me…

…but in a “you need to look in the mirror” way. Today is pay-day, and of course by the time I log onto my bank account more than half of my paycheck is gone due to electronic bill pay. It’s so sad to see it go. I never even knew it was there. I scroll down the page, past all of the deductions to where it shows my paycheck appear. I like to pretend that I started my banking experience seeing that number. I know I could set up my bill pay to send my money out Monday, but really? Who would I be kidding? I know it’s not MY money. It goes to bills and other such things. So Suze Orman freaks me out because she says I need to buckle down if I want to buy a house, have a wedding, have babies. Though what she says is certainly not gospel, it does make me think. So, no more “stupid spending”, my term not hers. Spend responsibly. So now I go out into my weekend and try to repeat this mantra to myself as I pass sale racks and yarn sales. Have a great weekend everyone!

October 7, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Advice. Leave a comment.

“You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”

Every website, newspaper, water cooler conversation, and TV channel is talking about the death of Steve Jobs. Why lend my voice to the hum of sadness all over the world? Because it matters. Truthfully, before yesterday I hadn’t really known a whole lot about Steve Jobs. I knew he was an innovator, a creator, an entrepreneur, a guy I sometimes cursed at when my iPhone froze. What did I didn’t know was how insightful he was. How truly in touch he was to the human world. He wasn’t just another nerdy computer guy. He was smart, thoughtful, and touching. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I had never watched his Stanford Commencement Address before. I didn’t see this side of him. I truthfully didn’t see him. So after watching it. I read it. It resonates so much with everything I’ve been thinking. He is truly one of the greatest teachers we will ever know. Here is the link to the Address he delivered. I hope it touches you like it did me. Below is an excerpt that rang especially true. You will be missed Steve Jobs.

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

October 6, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . admiration, Advice. 3 comments.

The Speech of All Speeches


I am the maid of honor at my best friends wedding…in three weeks…OMG I literally just stopped typing, looked at my desk top calendar and recounted. THREE WEEKS. And I have a speech to write.
Normally, I’m a fine speaker. I don’t punctuate pauses with “um” or “like.” I can be witty, heartfelt, all around okay. But as the date grows nearer I realize that this isn’t just me standing in front of people talking. Which believe it or not, I actually don’t like doing. But me, standing there telling a large group of people how much I love these two people.
I love them so much I’ve been watching YouTube videos on “Best Maid of Honor Wedding Speeches” (Which as much as I love these people I am not rapping…) I’ve been going to the library for love quotes and etiquette books and so on and so forth. This means so much to me, that I’m over thinking it. So, today, I’ve decided to just sit down and write. Write about everything I know/love about them.
So my question to you is, when was the last time you sat down and thought about how much you really love someone other than your significant other? It really is a heartwarming experience. You should try it sometime.

October 5, 2011. Tags: , , , , . admiration, Advice. Leave a comment.

I’ve Been Watching A Lot of Oprah Lately…

…which has both fed my mind and made me even more discontent than before. I was watching an interview she gave to the COO of Facebook which aired on OWN last night and I couldn’t help but have my own personal little “Ah ha” moment. Oprah was talking about the point where she finally decided to start her own network. She said she asked herself, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” So then I asked myself, what would you do if you weren’t afraid? I would write. Though I enjoy writing my blog, Facebook status updates, silly texts and notes; it’s not what I want. I want to write fiction. I want to get lost in my characters. I spend so much of my day imagining scenarios for everyone around me that sometimes I forget that my made-up world isn’t their reality at all.
So, what would you do if you weren’t afraid? Would you bake cakes all day? Would you become a pilot? A lawyer? A doctor? A teacher? What would you do, if you weren’t afraid?

October 3, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . admiration, Advice. 2 comments.

The Importance of Being Wrong

Life lessons don’t come easily to me. When they happen it is usually when I’m spouting my mouth off about something I don’t actually know all that much about. Life used to be very black and white. I think I get this from my parents who as far as I can tell, have an answer or opinion about everything. They aren’t overly pushy or know-it-all’s but they just naturally have an opinion or answer. I mean for every little thing.
I, more than my siblings, inherited this little trait at a young age. At a not so young age I learned a thing or two about what happens when you have an opinion about something you have no business talking about.
For instance, when I was a freshman in high school, my best friend got in a bit of trouble doing some very adult things with her boyfriend when her parents happened to walk in. After he was booted from the house and she was grounded with no phone for the rest of her life, she cried for about three days straight. Finally her mom, not knowing what to do, called me and asked if I could come over and help calm her down.
Naturally I went over and held her and told her it would be okay. I have to admit that I didn’t know much about consoling someone. I don’t come from a huggy, touchy-feeling family. I promised to call the boyfriend and make sure he was okay; I promised I wouldn’t tell everyone the details, etc, etc. As I was leaving and she was upstairs still crying in bed, I stepped outside with her mom and my dad since he was picking me up. We were talking about how she won’t stop crying and what could be done to make it stop. I then proclaimed that, “I will never cry over a boyfriend.” I said it with a mocking tone of voice indicating my friend was one of those girls who was ruled by love and lust and never used her head. Such things were preposterous to me. Never would a man be so dear to me that I would spend multiple days crying. I wasn’t being very fair to my friend that day.
I maintained that opinion through high school and into college. That is, until my boyfriend of five years and I broke up. Not so suddenly, but still painfully. I cried. I cried at night when nobody could see it. I was ashamed to go back and cry over a man. A man of all things. Men were for enjoyment, amusement, and to open jars and kill spiders. I didn’t understand why I was so emotional. I wasn’t dying. My family was safe and well.
Then it hit me.
I knew nothing of love on that day freshman year. I didn’t understand what could happen when another person holds your heart. So eight years after my declaration I was handed a nice helping of crow.
I think this applies to anything you feel strongly about. Politics, money, other people’s relationships. Until you’ve had a similar experience or understand and see the other side clearly, you will never know why people say or react to things differently than you do. Show some compassion for someone who may make a bold statement you don’t agree with. I’m not saying you shouldn’t argue your case, but have some decent facts to back yourself up. I for one still step in a nice pile everyone in awhile. I get passionate and sometimes forget to see the other side of the coin before my rash judgments. I think that is human nature. But if you take anything away from today’s blog post, and yes it’s a bit longer than most, then take the knowledge that what may seem impossible or downright stupid to you now, could be something you understand tomorrow, or the next day, or ten years from now. Happy Thursday everyone.

August 11, 2011. Tags: , , , , , . Advice. Leave a comment.

Grow Up to be What?

Have you ever stood in front of the candy isle at a drug store? Just walking back and forth trying to make the right selection? I think career planning is very similar. Let me explain.
While in elementary school adults tell you to do your best and study hard because it will pay off when you are older. While in middle school they tell you to not to let your peers drag you down and to persevere through your own awkwardness. While in high school they tell you to find a passion and go with it. Then they tell you to pick a major. Hmm…a major. Something I will study intensely for four years. Something that will help define what kind of job I get. So what do we do? We pick the subject that we excelled at in high school. For me, this was English. I loved to read so it seemed like a natural step. I worked hard, I studied. As college came to a close I was told to follow my passion but to make some money doing it. Who is going to pay me to sit around and read then regurgitate what I just absorbed? Answer? Nobody outside of the academic world.
Now let’s fast forward. I am in my middle (to late) twenties. I am back to pacing the candy isle but this time I have anxiety about which to choose. It’s not as simple as it once was. If I choose sour patch kids will this set me up to support all of the kids it supplies? Will benefits be involved? What about bonus’? If I choose good old reliable snickers will I feel as if I’ve settled and sold out to have a steady income and security? Can’t I have both? Can’t I just choose it all? WHAT AM I GOING T O DO? (This is the point where I pace faster and faster with a manic look in my eyes. I’m scaring the small children around me, the clerk is worried he’s going to have to call the cops. I’m lost.)
I realize life is full of tough choices. I also realize certain doors are closed because I lack the interest and knowledge to ever pursue them. I don’t want to become a lawyer or doctor. Some options are still open but supply such a low pay scale I’m better off getting a part time job at Starbucks (at least they have benefits…)
So my thoughts today are this, how do you actually chose the right career? What is it that propels you to the next step? I understand it is hard work and dedication, but doesn’t that happen after you’ve made up your mind to pursue something? I’ve been told to follow my heart or my interest, but don’t they know that my interests change at a whim? I change hobbies like I change shirts.
So please, next time someone comes to you and says, “How do I know what to be when I grow up?” Don’t tell them to follow their heart, tell them to find something they enjoy doing enough that you don’t hate doing it every day. Help them experience many things so they can make an educated decision to pursue or not pursue. Tell them to try new things, even things they thought they for sure would hate. I’m in this stage right now, bouncing from idea to idea. I feel like I have multiple personalities. I’m ready for the adventure, I just have to guide myself toward what kind of adventure awaits me I guess.

July 28, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Advice. 1 comment.

And…

…Sometimes its better to stay out of it. Life lesson of the day.

July 26, 2011. Tags: , , , . Advice. Leave a comment.

Random Acts of Kindness…

…are sadly uncommon. Yesterday I was at the grocery store buying eggs to make chocolate chip cookies and the guy in front of me only had a twenty. Now he didn’t need money to buy his groceries but the cashier was waiting for smaller bills since she was running low. His total was like $10.26. He had the ten, but only that and a $20. No change. So, I pull out 26 cents and hand it to the cashier. This is where it gets sad.

They both looked at me like I had just bought a family of four a weeks worth of groceries! Like my 26 cents was the greatest thing they had ever seen. The guy even asked how he would like to pay me back. He volunteered to wait until change could be made.

Seriously?

Seriously.

I told him not to worry about it and that it was my pleasure. What kind of world do we live in where people are taken aback by the most basic of gestures? I guess I got my Karma points for the day. And the satisfaction of not only helping a stranger but the look of pure delight on Boyfriends face when he came home to fresh-baked cookies. It’s the simple things folks. Remember to be kind. Besides, maybe someday I’ll need 26 cents and someone will help me. You never know.

May 19, 2011. Tags: , . Advice. Leave a comment.

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