Acceptance is Cool Too, Kids.

Sometimes you get your nails done and they all chip within a the week. It’s really frustrating, actually. Expecting, after having paid $35 to get gel, to have perfect nails for a few weeks. THEY SAID IT WOULD LAST FOR SEVERAL WEEKS.  It’s rational to expect something after all evidence points toward said expectation, right? Meh, maybe wrong. See, even though many of my other gel manicures lasted beyond expectation, these, alas, did not.

The past, nor cultural allusions, should dictate your expectations. I remember sitting in philosophy class last year while we were discussing the difference between science and philosophy. Many people think that they are at odds with one another but, in fact, many people we call “philosophers” today were once called scientists. This discussion led us to question the certainty of the future. There is no certainty of the future. Ask any scientist, just because the sun has risen every day for all of time doesn’t guarantee that it will rise tomorrow. Umm, that’s a little crazy, right? But honestly, why do we let things that have happened in the past define our current situation?

Acceptance. Tomorrow, there is a VERY slim chance the sun may not rise. Your nails may chip (despite what they said). He may not feel the same. You might not get that job. Sometimes, shit really sucks; but, expecting things outside of your control to do things that are also outside your control will probably make you feel worse. This is where people get lost, or sometimes even offend. There is this poisonous misconception that expectation are good; sometimes even necessary for relationships. We think this because we have so causally linked expectations with care and love and investment. We think that if we don’t expect anything then we have disconnected from the situation at hand. Wrong. So harmfully wrong. The opposite of expectation isn’t disconnect- it’s acceptance. I accept this job for all of it perks and downfalls it brings. I accept this relationship and all of the struggle and joy that may come of it. I accept you even though you don’t always do the dishes and sometimes say the wrong things. And if one day I don’t accept it, and try to change something other than myself- I walk away. Maybe that’s harsh. Actually, it is harsh. It really sucks to walk away and it’s hard as hell. But why, please tell me why, you would ever sacrifice any great thing about yourself for something that doesn’t (and probably never will) make you happy.

I am there, standing right beside you. Life is a damn struggle sometimes; but if I spend another second wanting to change something or someone instead of accepting it, I will have wasted, completely, a second of my life. Nope, not ok with that.

Ok, I’m off to get my nails done again because, dammit, they look so much better covered in sparkles.

Writing and Love.

“When I write, it’s everything that we don’t know we can be that is written out of me, without exclusions, without stipulation, and everything we will be calls us to the unflagging, intoxicating, unappeasable search for love. In one another we will never be lacking.”

 

-Helene Cixous

The Laugh of the Medusa 

For All The Ladies (and Men) Out there…

Oh my goodness. I have found something awesome and I really want to share it on every platform ever. In case I haven’t mentioned it, I’m a feminist. Not “I hate men” feminist (I’m actually a real big fan of men) but rather I’m a “let’s empower women to do awesome things” feminist. Which is why I am so excited about this. The organizations Lean In and Girl Scouts of America have brought us the #banbossy campaign. It’s brilliant.

I’ve always been an advocate for changing culture rather than implementing “rules.” I find that rules, or laws, often anger people. It simply skips the connecting between A and C. When rules or laws that are culture based are put into place it basically creates a flawed syllogism. You remember: A=B, B=C, therefor A must equal C. What happens when laws that should be a cultural change come into place is that we skip that middle step. Assumptions, often incorrect ones, fill that void. When laws regarding women and girls come into play the assumption that is made is that we either are getting things we don’t deserve or we are too weak to get them without help. Wrong. Where laws leave a void culture must fill in. Sometimes it gets filled in incorrectly. This campaign, and many like it, are working to fix that. In a very grassroots way (hashtags are the new grassroots) they are working to answer questions, give advice, and inspire. This is a cultural problem. It is a language problem. It is lack of understanding problem.

Calling a girl “bossy” at a young age gives her the label that she is wrong and out of her place. It hushes her. It stifles her creativity. It makes her self conscious. Why do boys get the the label of precocious and we get bossy? Labels define and influence children more than we’d ever thought. Stop labeling you girls as bossy. They are strong, smart and most importantly, to quote Beyonce, they are the boss (I call my mom the Boss for a reason, she kicks-ass).

Let’s empower each other. We need to start from the bottom. Tell your wives, girlfriends, children, sisters, friends, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. Tell them they are beautiful and intelligent and they have the power to accomplish anything. This is a cultural problem. Let’s change the culture.

Ban Bossy. Check it out. Spread the word. http://banbossy.com/#

Letting Go Hurts, But That’s OK

Letting go of what’s old… not a very easy thing to do.

As I lay in my bed typing this post, I sit next to a brand new 2013 MacBook Air: untouched. Somehow, when I crawled into bed and grabbed a device on which to write my blog, I grabbed the wrong one (and have yet to exchange them). I have chosen to write on my 8 year old MacBook that I can’t pay someone to take. The software I am currently running is near a decade old. And still, I continue to type. Hmm… Puzzling.

The sad truth of the moment.

The sad truth of the moment.

I have spent the last three or so years telling my parents that I need a new computer. My old computer (the one I’m currently using) is quite slow and full of viruses that inhibit almost all functions including, but not limited to; iPhoto, iTunes, downloading, uploading, running and most things in-between. As most normal parents would, they encouraged me to pursue a cheaper computer as they were not keen on paying so much for a Mac. I, however, am a bit of a tech nerd and a devout Apple lover. So I pressed on. After making and breaking many deals with my parents to try and peruse further finical assistants, I slowly realized this would, alone, be my endeavor. So, I got, as my mother would put it, a “big girl” job and saved up. Today I took the plunge and bought a new computer. And with all the Christmas shopping going on, I got a pretty good deal. I love it, it is tiny and light and doesn’t make tons of sound when I use it, but I also love my old computer. It is one of a kind and I know it like it is one of my siblings. Yes, I’m a bit overly attached to my old computer…

Perhaps it hasn’t sunk in yet.  I look over at my new computer and feel like a mama bird that doesn’t recognize the sent of one of her chicks, like it’s not even mine (weird comparison?). After all these weird and unexpected emotions arise  from my latest purchase, I begin to wonder: why do I still feel a connection to something that no longer serves me? Why do we take comfort in things that do nothing for us, or, in the case of my old computer, actually slow us down? There should come a point where we recognize that the non-beneficial things in our lives need not be in our lives. I get it, it’s easier said than done (lets keep in mind that I’m  the girl having a hard time letting go of a computer). To quote Tom Hanks in one of my favorite movies, A League of their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard, if it wasn’t hard then everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” Perhaps a bit out of context and slightly over dramatic but I’ll stick by it. Let go of what doesn’t fulfill you. It’s easy to keep people or things in your life that only bring negativity. It’s scary to break those relationships. But the things in life that are hard and the only things worth doing.

Let go. Breathe. There is simply no time for anything short of amazing.

Just Be Grateful

With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, we all begin to reflect on our lives and the events of the past year. I was having a conversation with a friend where the topic was centered around the idea that we feel we are the same from day-to-day but when we look back, it seems that we’ve changed so much. How is that? How can we be so blind that we cannot see our own growth? Additionally, when we do self-reflect why do we tend to focus on the negative? There are so many wonderful things and progressions in our society, why must we gravitate towards the ugly? Let’s decide to see the beauty in our world. I see it in nature and I see in the lovingness of my friends and family. Let’s be grateful for those things outside of the holiday season.

Wisdom found on a wall.

Wisdom found on a wall.

I found this written on the wall of a local Nashville hang-spot. Normally, things written on walls are less than note-worthy; this, however, caught my eye. Not the classiest outlet for inspiration so we’ll  just call it grassroots. Regardless, it was a refreshing change from the “Nikki was here <3″ kind of gem’s. Not only is the calligraphy fun and energetic but it also shows some enthusiasm from the person who wrote it. In one moment and time, this person felt truly grateful. Being alive is a wonderful thing. We have an opportunity to be love and be loved. We can create and explore. A whole array of emotions and beauty is at our disposal. Life is awesome. Why can’t we see that through the cloud of negative?

Perhaps it is the media, perhaps it’s the overwhelming presence of stress in our lives but we are too easily distracted from what is truly important. It is so important to be present in our daily lives. Being distracted through dwelling on the past or focused on the uncertainty of the future is far too prevalent in our lives. We cannot change the past, only learn from it, and we cannot control the future, just prepare for it. Let’s quit giving ourselves excuses, instead let’s give each other inspiration. Lets be in the moment and find the beauty in our daily lives and lets all be a bit more grateful.

Risk Big. Win Big.

I keep telling myself that no one graduates in four years (for the most,  part this isn’t true).  Regardless, it is now socially acceptable, even slightly encouraged, to graduate in four and a half or five years. I’ve always been a rather large supporter of this idea. Take your time, figure out who you are and what you want, discover life. This was my though process as I leisurely moved to Nashville then even more leisurely took a year off.  I figured that this “timeline” didn’t really apply to me; I thought “Hey! It’s cool and trendy not to graduate in four years!”. Umm… I don’t feel that way anymore. I just declared a huge double major and will now graduate in 2017 when I’m 25 years old. Yikes.

An example of me "taking time off to experience life."

An example of me “taking time off to experience life.”

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely encourage high school students to take a year or semester off and travel, however, it think it is important to be gaining valuable experience during this time (and throughout college). Having an impressing degree or resume won’t mean much if you can’t function as an experienced adult. There was/is a part of me that became obsessed with having impressive resume. It is unique that I have lived and worked abroad and have an artistic double major in Public Relations and Graphic Design. While I am still really proud, and excited, for all of that, I am realizing that a resume needs more than flash, it needs function.

Yes, there is a part of me that is still struggling to wrap my head around the major plan adjustment of graduating at 25. I never pictured my life to progress “traditionally” but I think I may be truly coming that realization in my heart. The idea that I will have struggles, both finical and emotional, because of my decision to double major is freaking me out. I think I’m actually growing up. Coming to terms with reality is proving to be harsh. Basically, I’m being a little dramatic but, it has helped me put life choices into perspective. No, 25 isn’t old, it’s just different.

I’m thrilled to begin this journey down a dedicated and creative path. I wouldn’t have committed unless I felt that way. I think graphic design will strengthen my PR skills while satisfying my creative side. I have a passion for branding and smart packaging and I can’t wait to see where this will take me. But, I am beginning to understand the value of experience over schooling. While I plan on filling every semester with classes, I need to also be using these next three and a half years gaining experience that people my same age will be gaining outside of school. These following years will be challenging, and hopefully, quite rewarding. The ultimate goal is to be happy. Finding a balance between immediate satisfaction and long term satisfaction is a multidimensional task. Moreover, weighing out risks (that of finical woes not paying off in the end) is a terrifying journey. Somedays I doubt my life choices then others I find them to be suiting. We all need to remember that risks are bad, in fact, they are quite the opposite.

Good luck to all of you who are making those risky decisions. Finding that balance isn’t easy, but it certainly is rewarding.