Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's Your Life

The next month or so should be intense. Classes are starting again on Monday, and with no more than four semesters left of college, I am more than excited to get back to the old grind. It'll be difficult, as I'm again balancing an over-sized course load with work and a social life, but it'll be so worth it. Add to the excitement of a new semester a new relationship with a wonderful guy, Monty Are I's acoustic show on January 30th, possibly the Joe Perry Project on February 6th, PostSecret on February 12th, Vanna on the 13th, Starting Over Tuesday on Valentine's Day, and a hockey game on the 19th, and you have yourself one very enthusiastic and positive girl.

Having a positive attitude is important. The more positive you are, the more likely you are to accomplish your goals and achieve everything you dream. It's fact, studied and proved by behavioral analysts. I wake up every day and decide that it's a good day. Why? Because I'm alive. I'm breathing. I have everything I need. Sure, there are obstacles in my way. I have huge dreams and high ambitions. I know that the most worthwhile things in life never come easily, but that's alright. I'm willing to work for these things.

It bothers me that people often throw themselves pity parties because they don't seem to understand that not only can we choose the light in which we see the world, but also our own destiny. The world is not going to change itself; nor is it going to give itself to you. Your dreams will not fulfill themselves. Things will not just fall in your lap. YOU must get off your lazy rear end and change things for yourself. You are the only one who can fulfill your dreams. There is no sense in whining about what's going wrong; it won't change a thing. Instead, figure out where the real problem lies and do something about it. You are capable. Choose to acknowledge that.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Perfect Strangers

I cannot help but wonder sometimes if there is a greater power... a power that controls our lives to some extent and guides us along the way. I'm not the religious type, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason and that the people in our lives are there with purpose. I believe that each and every one of us is here to achieve something, no matter how great or small it may seem.

There are people I meet and I wonder how it's even possible that our paths collided. With hardly anything in common at the surface aside from a mutual friend or two, it's difficult to understand right away why we become involved in the lives of the people we do. We choose to let certain people into our lives, usually with little to go on besides a first impression. Why, though? Why should I allow a perfect stranger into my life and give him my time, let alone my trust? That's just it, though. These people are perfect strangers. They somehow fit into our lives just right. We are drawn to them for one reason or another. In time, we may fall into a perfect harmony with them and they will follow us through our lives as friends or as lovers. It amazes me, though, that in this great big world with millions of people, we find the right ones for us. We somehow manage to find the individuals who will influence us, move us, change us, love us. How? Chance? Fate? A greater being?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Close Your Eyes; Feel Instead.

I know, I know... fourth one tonight. What can I say? I'm on a roll.

"You closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too-even when you are in the dark. Even when you're falling." - Tuesdays With Morrie

Above is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books. The book is my favorite for a reason. Sometimes, you really do just have to close your eyes and feel something to believe that it's there. You cannot see love, but you certainly feel it, especially when you close your eyes. Remove the tangible, the visible, the definite, and you will find everything you've been looking for. You'll find love, trust, and honesty. You'll also find heartache, lies, and worry. The most real things are the things you feel when you close your eyes. They may not be perfectly apparent to the eye, but to the soul they are undeniable.

The topic of trust is, well, an interesting one to discuss. Trust has to be a mutual thing. Without trust, you have nothing. Trust and love go hand-in-hand. You cannot truly love someone until you establish trust with him or her. Trust cannot be given; it must be earned. Trust is honest. To truly trust someone is to believe that he or she will always be there to catch you when you fall, to support you even on your worst days, and to never betray you.

That's the thing, though, with trust. You put your complete faith in someone, hoping that this person will never give up on you or let you crash and burn. Most people will eventually let you down, and yet you continue to trust in others. Perhaps, as human beings, we are gluttons for punishments. Perhaps we are hopeful. Perhaps we know that eventually there will be that one person who will not let us down. It's that person to whom each of us will finally give ourselves fully. It is that person you will see and feel when you close your eyes. It is then, with your eyes closed and your heart open, that you will find everything you didn't even know you were looking for and you will realize just how worthwhile it was to overcome all those obstacles along the way.

Those Were The Days...

There are some parts of my childhood that I will never be too old to enjoy. Oreos, for example, are still my favorite store-bought cookie, but only if they're double-stuffed and paired with a glass of milk. Swings still make me feel like I can fly, but it hurts more to hit the ground than I remember as a child. I'd still kill for a cup of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows after playing in the snow. Man, those were the days.

It's funny how as we get older, we seem to feel that we are no longer allowed to enjoy the things we loved as kids. In reality, though, we are every age we've ever been. We grow older, yes, and we experience new things in time that make us mature into adults, but you cannot tell me there is not a child still within you. You cannot honestly tell me that in your adult life you have never had the urge to jump in a pile of leaves or make a snowman, or that you don't miss feeling uninhibited by life and consequences every now and again. What about your favorite cocktail? It's basically kool-aid for big kids. You like it because it's tasty despite its complete lack of nutritional value. We may have degrees, jobs, and bills, but we still enjoy the little things - sneaking a cookie before dinner, sliding down the biggest slide at the playground in the middle of the night, and the snow angels we make with the little ones we love. We are, believe it or not, still kids at heart.

Bad? Not A Chance.

What makes a person good or bad? Are people truly one or the other? What qualities define a person as one or the other? What if a person has the qualities of both the good and bad?

There are times when awful things happen to people and we find ourselves thinking, "he had that coming," or, "she never deserved such a thing to happen." Why? Why is it that for some people we call it karma but for others it's bad luck? Why is it justifiable for one person to do something particularly horrid to another, but not for someone else? "Oh, but you're such a good person... it was just a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes," may come out of the same mouth that condemns another person with, "You're going to Hell; there was no excuse for that." It's amazing what double standards we have. It's absolutely terrifying that what is okay for some is not for others. Who are we to judge? Who are we to condemn one person and put another on a pedestal?

I know people who are convinced they are "bad," when in reality, they've finally just grown a backbone. It does not make you a bad person to speak your mind. It does not make you a bad person to stand your ground and not give up. It does not make you a bad person to believe in karma and feel that, well, we all get what we deserve. In the grand scheme of things, most of our day t0 day goings on are unimportant. They are not defining moments in our lives. They will not send us to Heaven or Hell. No, they will not label us as "good" or "bad" because of the small choices we make. The things that define who we are may not be the ones we think they are. You are not a bad person if, for example, you forget your best friend's birthday or you miss a family event every now and again. You are not a bad person for feeling angry or upset, for wanting others to see the world as you do, or for resenting another.

There are reasons that we feel the way we do. There are reasons we act in the ways that we do. There are reasons, yes, for the things we say and to whom we say them. The reasons may not necessarily be good ones, but they're there. There is always something that drives us to do the things we do, so can we really be faulted for it? This is why, and you may or may not agree, I believe that humans are inherently good. We may make poor choices and do things that society considers to be bad, but everyone is born with the ability to choose. We may choose to live positive, fulfilling, loving lives, or we may choose to rape, kill, and steal. I like to think, though, that deep down, beneath all the masks and the mistakes, everyone is good.

Hello, 2010!

It's a New Year. It's a new me. Well, that's not true. Like most people, I started my new year in style with friends at a party. Like most people, I have already broken my resolution. Again, like most people, I'm optimistic about the new year.

The year 2009 was an interesting one. It wasn't particularly awful, but it was nothing special, either. There were break-ups and hook-ups, laughter and tears, and a little bit of trouble. I worked like a dog, enjoyed time with my friends, and conquered the swine flu. I went on adventures to places around New England, chowed down at Denny's three hours away in the middle of the night, and made some incredible new friends. The year was a moderate success. It was less exciting than '08, but I really have no complaints. The year ahead is guaranteed to be another adventure, and I am more than ready to take it head-on. Watch out, 2010, I'm coming to get you!