New Coffee Shops and Old Friends

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Today I went to a new coffee shop in downtown Lafayette with one of my old friends. We chatted about our lives but then went into a long discussion about what we want to do in the future and how all we really want to do it help others.

It was a very enlightening talk and made me feel like maybe I was understood by someone. I forgot how great it can be to try a new coffee shop, or restaurant and just experience something with someone you don’t get to see very often.

We have now decided that every Monday we are going to get together and do something new in Lafayette or West Lafayette. I thank you Sara for helping me live and always just being a bright light in my life.

The Problem with Schools

What is the most important thing kids learn in school? Is it math? Or english?

Why isn’t there a class taught for “how to interact with others” or “how to make a positive impact on society” or “how to understand and love yourself”

Some of the smartest people I know (by school standards) don’t know the first thing about understanding another person’s feelings. They don’t have any intuition for what someone might be thinking or feeling, and the worst part is they don’t care.

Why do people want to beat other people. I understand the spirit of competition but why do you want someone else to lose, to do worse than you? So you feel better? It just makes me feel worse that someone else failed.

Now by no means do I think people we should all be considered winners. Quite the contrary really, I want people to realize that it’s perfectly okay to fail, to not win, to be happy that someone else did well.

People get so caught up in winning that they will do a lot of things that ethically maybe they wouldn’t do. Where is the line of trying to win and hurting others to do it and thinking selfishly. It’s hard to fail, it’s not fun, but every time I have I remind myself that I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Sometimes your friends and family have to come first, maybe your own health comes first, or maybe its your moral integrity.

In schools, all we teach is that you must succeed, you must win, life is a competition. But, what about how to understand your friends, what about learning empathy, what about learning who you are as a person. School has become learning the facts, but facts can be google. Google can’t explain to you why your boyfriend broke your heart, why children don’t listen, or why your best friend is mad at you. It can’t tell you how to help, and be there for others when they are having a hard time. School should be focused on so much more than learning that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. It should focus more about understand yourself, your emotions and actions, and the world.

Feel Your Feelings

So this one is gonna be a bit of a rant. I’m just fed up right now with the gossip culture we have started and how everyone needs to know everyone’s business and then, of course, has an opinion on it. I feel like a lot of people would be less stressed out if they just focused on their own lives and the choices they made.

It’s time to get off Instagram and stop judging people based on what they are doing or who they are dating. No one gets the full story from hearsay or from what they see on the internet.

How, when it became easier and faster to communicate, did communication become even worse. People no longer say what they mean, everything is misinterpreted, and it just causes so many more problems than what is needed. People don’t say what they mean but yet you’re supposed to know what they actually mean and act according to that? That makes no sense.

My life changed when I started voicing exactly how I feel about things. People think it’s wrong to have strong feelings about things but it’s not at all, it just means you are living, you’re feeling everything life has to offer. It’s okay to feel sad, to feel jealous, to feel mad, that’s normal, and then when you’re happy, you truly appreciate the feeling. 

Everybody has different opinions and feelings toward different situations, and they like to judge people when they think differently. The problem is, who knows the full story? I don’t believe anyone ever knows the full story, therefore you can never judge.

Life would just be so much simpler if more people expressed how they were feeling, and then people were actually understanding of these feelings.

Here’s to the lost souls

Here’s to the dreamers

The forgotten ones

The I can’t wait to leave

The overly idealistic ones

The happy but sad ones

The ones who say “we will see”

The ones who can’t remember what they had for breakfast

The ones that didn’t have breakfasts

The ones who want to quit their job

The ones who don’t feel good enough

The ones who don’t belong

Here’s to the lost souls

This year is gonna be your year

Happiness?

Less than two years ago I was so caught up in the idea of happiness. I thought I knew what was going to make me happy because I knew what I wanted. Shockingly, getting what I wanted did not make me happy.

Let’s start from the beginning, I was starting my Sophomore year in college and there were a few things that I really wanted and was so worried about not getting. Number one, there was a boy (of course there was a boy!!) and I liked him so much it was almost concerning and I thought if I just could have him then I would be happy. Number two, I had just made it into the college of Chemical Engineering and I thought this would make me happy. I would graduate and be happy with my job because Chemical Engineering sounds impressive and people will think I am smart. Number 3, I wanted to be skinny (who doesn’t think they are going to be happier when they are skinnier).

Well, in the last two years to say the least these three things that I thought would make me happy well, didn’t. First off, I did land the guy at about the start of junior year. We dated for a little bit and then he broke up with me and then started dating someone I know and had to see them together all the time. The thing is that now I realize that I was never happy, not when I wanted to date him, not when we were dating, and definitively not when he broke up with me. I wasn’t happy as myself and therefore I wasn’t happy with him. But it was the need to be wanted, to have someone want me in that way, that I was so obsessed with.

Second off, I thought I would be so happy in Chemical Engineering, I’d have a great job and make lots of money and then I thought I would be happy, but there is one thing I didn’t expect to happen. I hated it. I really dislike Chemical Engineering, but yet here I am 5 classes away from graduating and I have no idea what I want to do. I realized money wasn’t going to make me happy if I didn’t like my job.

Thirdly and lastly, I wanted to by skinnier. I am technically smaller than I was however at a very high cost. In the last two years I have torn my ACL twice and had reconstructive surgery twice. I lost everything on my body because of these two surgeries. I lost muscle and fat from not moving and the pain meds making me nauseous. I’ve been considered handicap for over a year because I was unable to walk. I can say that I am skinnier, but at what cost?

Now, in this present moment, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what is actually going to make me happy. Here’s a short little list that I try to live by now to remind myself that it isn’t about where I will end up, but the journey it takes to get there.

  1. Happiness does come from relationships, however it is best when love is given to others, to all others not just your significant other. So focus on the love from your friends and family and showing them your love for them (and your worth is not defined by a boy!!!)
  2. You might not always get what you want, but maybe what you need and what will make you happy, isn’t what you want.
  3. Focus on your health and how you feel when you eat and exercise; if you feel good and are healthy, that body will follow.
  4. It doesn’t matter how your life looks, it matters how it feels.

I cannot say that I am an expert on happiness because I still have days where I wake up in the morning and struggle to get out of bed. I have been through a lot but I know that many others have it worse and yet feel more blessed. The only thing I am certain of is that you don’t know you’re happy if you’ve never been sad so, sadness is just a part of the process and when you’re down remember the next time something makes you happy, it’ll feel that much better.