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Archive for the ‘World’ Category

 

It’s not a secret that I make a lot of mistakes. I’m not perfect and I defenitely own the fact that I’m not. The thing that frustrates me is that no one is perfect yet not everyone can admit this. There are too many people in this world that have a hard time accepting responsibility for their actions and admitting they may have been in the wrong. I believe it’s easier to say “I’m sorry” than living with the knowledge of someone feeling upset with me. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter if I believe what I did was wrong but rather if someone felt hurt by those actions. Empathy, compassion and love should come before pride.

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I’m feeling awfully guilty. Today, I went to the coffee shop to work and sat down at a table with another man. When I put my stuff down at the table he stood up, smiled and told me that he was a gentleman and would be honored to sit with such a beautiful girl. We shook hands and introduced ourselves, his name was Jim. I plugged myself in and after politely engaging in some conversation I was eager to put my headphones on and zone into my own world. I smiled and nodded at what Jim had to say hoping it would be enough to camouflage my impatience and irritation.  He told me he was a storyteller. “Great” I thought, “storytellers love to talk”. Then he asked if I knew the difference between a storyteller and a writer. I simply responded with “No”. I resigned to the fact that it was going to be awhile before I was going to be able to get any work done and switched gears. I told myself that someone was trying to teach me something in this moment and instead of resisting a lesson I needed to be embracing it. So, I listened. Jim went on and on. He spoke about Henry Kissinger, the Cuban Missile crisis, New York Times Op Ed writers, his own struggles, emotion, experience and people. In only a matter of minutes, it was apparent that Jim was extremely smart and there was no question that his intelligence far exceeded my own. However that wasn’t our only difference. Jim is physically challenged. His speech is slow and slurred, his hands and arms are crippled and his walk is crooked. I don’t like that I use these things to describe him because those things are so small in comparison to him as a whole. Yet, as a human, I can’t help but not only see these things but truly be unable to disregard them. After Jim asks me for some help plugging his phone into its charger, refill his water and open a packet of crackers for him he asks me if I’m married. I smile and shake my head. He asks if I have a boyfriend and again I shake my head. He tells me he doesn’t have anyone either and it’s because people judge him on his exterior. I feel a tinge in my heart. I want to tell him that I can relate and that people judge me on my appearance but I stop myself when I realize that my issue isn’t comparable and that I’m just like all those other people who have hurt Jim. It doesn’t matter if I’m not embarrassed engaging with him or having people stare at us as he talks to me but because there’s no way I could ever be attracted to Jim, I feel guilty. As hard as I try to love and accept everyone, I’m just as guilty as the people who have hurt me. I feel as though I don’t deserve anyone to love me because right here, there’s someone ready to love me and I’m rejecting it due to superficial reasons. If only we weren’t so human, this world would be a better place.

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The older I get the more people I meet, the more places I move and it’s only naturally for me to want to visit the people and places I’ve left behind. Not to mention, there are all the places in this world I dream of visiting or revisiting. But, when I add up vacation days, money and airfare the numbers don’t always work in my favor. Plus, the amount of time it takes to actually travel somewhere doesn’t make some trips worthwhile. It is impossible to travel everywhere I want in one year and I am forced to forfeit experiences (which is difficult for me because I hate when group pictures are taken without me in them). This makes me heavy sigh. So, do I miss Christmas to go to Scandinavia? Do I skip a wedding so I can go shoot a documentary in Africa? How come Europe has bullet trains and we don’t? I wouldn’t have to choose if we had bullet trains and I think the world would be a better place.

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I love babies. They’re fragile and unaware. Not to mention, they’re us and who we used to be. A friend recently had a baby and I was invited to come visit, only hours after her little girl was born. I had been to visit babies, such as new cousins, at the hospital before but there was something different about this experience. Maybe because I’m getting older or because it was one of my peers’ babies but it really moved me. It moved me in a way that brought tears to my eyes and a sort of happiness and excitement that was so precious. Of course, I was super embarrassed because no one else was crying-not even the brand new mom or grandma. After laughing, apologizing the tears away and taking a few photos, I left the hospital feeling so calm. Content. Happy. I felt as if I had been recharged, ready for life and the challenges ahead of me. They say that “being born” and dying are the most painful and difficult experiences to endure (which I’d like to know how anyone knows that) and if this tender little human could handle being born and struggling into our world then we can persevere over our pain, struggles and conflicts.

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Most of us living in the US of A have led pretty charmed lives. Sure, we had our adolescent struggles as well as our fair share of disagreements with our parents. It’s an understatement when I tell you that I was angry at my parents for most of my teenage years. Not only was I grounded from the age of 12 until I was 18 but in this time my dad kicked me out of the house for not washing dishes properly as well as didn’t talk nor look at me for bringing home a D in conduct on a report card. Did he handle these situations rationally? No, not at all. I even went to therapy with them, for them and because of them. What it all boils down to is they did the best they could with what they were taught. I know my Dad loves me, was scared I was going to turn into him and only wanted me to succeed. If you didn’t have a parent like that, I’m sorry. That’s horrible and you didn’t deserve it however, stop giving them power over your life. It’s only you, right now, always and forever so live how you want to live. One of grandma’s, I won’t name names, is in her seventies and still blaming her parents for her “horrible” life. This doesn’t just boggle my mind but makes me feel so sad that this woman is not even a woman in so many ways. She’s stunted, debilitated and imprisoned by merely an emotion. If this sounds anything like how you feel then free yourself and forgive! Don’t be my grandma (unless you want to bake me cookies and tell me how wonderful I am).

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It’s a simple fact that everyone is different so why is everyone trying to live the same life? Your neighbor’s grass looks greener from over the fence but if you got closer you’d see all the weeds and dead patches. You think you’d be happier if you were married? Well, then you get married and envy the simplicity and independence of being single. You wish you owned a home? Then you buy one and realize all the work that constantly needs to get done and your bank account dwindles and your weekends are busy going to Home Depot. You wish you had more money? Then when you have money you realize all the responsibility that comes along with it or how difficult it is to trust people. If you get caught up in this, the list could keep going…”I wish I had her body” “He has a better job” “Their mom and dad help them out more than my parents” “He’s in much better shape than me” “Her kids are better listeners than mine” “I wish I had an Aunt Sally who took me on trips to Africa” and blah blah frickin’ blah. Don’t be such a downer.

The things is, everyone struggles and everyone can thrive, the details are unimportant (to-may-to/to-mah-to). Everyone has pros and cons. So, let’s focus on our pros and make the world a better place.

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My parents tried to introduce me to the idea of death and funerals at an early age. Their thought process was that if they treated the idea as normal and just a natural part of life than I wouldn’t think too much of it. The thing was-I had a mind of my own and it was filled with anxiety. For a long long long time I was terrified of death. Not just of my own mortality but my loved ones as well. Whenever I would leave my parents, uncles/aunts or grandma I would tell myself “This is going to be the last goodbye”. It was hell. I worked hard to change my thought process and thankfully I have learned to embrace the idea of death without crumbling at the very thought of it. Shirley MacLaine believes in reincarnation. I’m not sure if I do too but I do believe our souls never die and if that’s the case then we never die. War is pointless, if death doesn’t mean anything. The thing is our society wants us to fear death. They want us to be afraid so we buy things to make us feel like we’re cheating death-Earthquake survival kits, medicines, insurance policies, etc. Not to mention, a group that is afraid is easier to control than a group that is brave. My suggestion? Live live LIVE your life loud. In the end/beginning/transition, we are alone. Let’s embrace it and not be afraid anymore so are world can be healthier and happier!

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