Don’t Fall for Him and Other Useless Advice I Give Myself

Have you ever liked someone but the timing is off? How many times do you give yourself advice and not listen? For me, countless times, and the greatest advice I give myself which I ignore is not to fall for someone. Don’t take down my walls. Don’t let anyone in. Don’t allow anyone else to make me happy other than myself. Don’t, don’t, don’t. Well, this time I’ve nailed the head on all bad advice and fallen for a man at the wrong time. And this morning, as I consider what to write in this post, I’m reminded how useless my little conscience can be once again.

I joined a dating site on the advice of a good friend. She did so and met a nice guy through the site and they are now “officially together” and happy and secure in their adoration for one another. I see her genuine happiness and think to myself, “I want that. I’m ready for that again.”

I wasn’t sure what I was going to find on the site. Or rather, who I was going to find. As fate would have it, I can be quite witty and charming through an online dating site’s profile bio. This is no easy task, friends! In only a day, a number of eligible bachelors attempted to reach out to me through messaging. Most messages lacked any substance and typically were the vague, “hey” or “how r u?” I’m not a snob, but when I’m looking for a suitable partner, grammar and fundamental conversation points are key. So my hunt through the messages continued in a slightly disinterested and unimpressed manner.

Cue the Golfer.

The Golfer’s message was an impressive multi-paragraphed story telling me little details of himself while asking for some on my own part. He was intelligent and had an easy flow to his words that made me curious as to the person behind the “Send” button. So I clicked to his profile. Redheaded, lots of pictures with friends, and a great smile. How could I refuse returning such a great message to such a happy person? So I did. And so began our correspondence.

More than a week later and we slid into our first date. I was a bundle of nerves. Talking to the Golfer all this time had been a whirlwind of emotions; he made me feel beautiful and appreciated and liked. That is something I had been lacking for awhile, even touching into my time with Army. It’s funny how you don’t realize you’re missing something until it comes back into your life.  I was sure the Golfer had to be too good to be true. Yet that first date was amazing. Easy, fun, and dedicated to making me feel like a priority. The Golfer was wonderful.

A few more dates occurred, each one better than the last. The conversations became increasingly longer and more direct in accomplishing a growth in feelings for one another. He was breaking down my walls faster than I have ever let happen in the past. I liked this guy. I liked this guy since that first message. And that is not how dating usually works for me.

As our courting (his verb choice for our relationship status) continued and my walls broke down, I became more complacent in how the Golfer entered my life. I allowed him to meet two of my best friends. I wanted my friends’ honest opinions of this gentleman who was causing this flood of emotion in me. They approved. Tenfold. He was kind, compassionate, social, and just down right perfect.

And so the Golfer was invited to meet my parents. A huge stepping stone in any relationship, but especially in mine. As my parents had once viewed X as their son, they lost something when we broke up. They were extremely hurt at this loss, and I felt the need to protect them and couldn’t allow just anyone to enter their lives. Then there was Army… he met them, of course. But Army never cared what my parents thought about him and sometimes went overboard on swearing in front of them and talking down to them. I knew my parents weren’t a fan of him; a fact which hurt me, as my parents’ opinions matter a great deal to me.

The Golfer excelled, of course. He charmed his way into having my mother even befriend him on Facebook. As soon as he left they both described how great he seemed and how happy I appeared. My heart felt light. I was so exceedingly happy at the prospect of what this wonderful man and I could become that I let my heart get ahead of my head.

This past week the Golfer has been MIA. I was not worried though, our relationship is still  fresh. He’s working on a master’s program on top of working a demanding job. His hours this past week needed to be focused on schmoozing for work, class, and ironing out homework.

The less I heard from him though, the more I began to think. It’s funny how things become less and less clear when you have some time to yourself to think. Thinking is no one’s friend.

And so I was thinking… Thinking how surprising it was that my communication with the Golfer diminished from, say, 90% a day to 1%. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit saddened simply because I enjoy hearing from him and talking to him. Our conversations are just.. easy. However, when you’ve become accustomed to Good Morning, How is your day going?, and Good Night texts daily for an entire month, not receiving anything for three days makes you question things. So I would venture a text here and there to let him know I was thinking of him and receive a short response followed by silence. With me being the only one to begin every conversation, I began to feel like a nuisance. And when I stated as much, his response began to follow the pattern of, “I told you I was busy, I can’t stress about your feelings right now.” Within a few long days, the walls began to rebuild.

Here I was, falling for this guy, and now questioning every motion he ever made in the past. Was he playing a game with me? Were the compliments and “I miss you” texts in the past simply this Casanova’s sweet talking? I’ve had these games happen to me before, I thought I knew all the red flags.

Last night I chose to voice my opinion on his lack of communication this week and how it has upset and hurt me. Not in the respect that I wish to demand his limited time to be directed solely towards me. I do not wish to be a distraction or cause any unwarranted stress in his life. Nonetheless, I need something from him. Anything, really. And asking for knowledge that we’re on the same page in terms of our relationship and our feelings is not too demanding, is it? (Seriously, please give me your opinions!) He responded that I, again, was causing him unnecessary stress.

Okay then.

Truth be told, I’m fine. The Golfer and I have only been courting for the past five weeks. That’s how he views us: we’re courting. Not dating. Words carry strength, and the differences in how the two of us view those words means a lot.

I have enjoyed this courtship. It was exciting, and fun, and different. I felt no need to rush as I viewed our place in one another’s lives as… right. Its been comfortable, and with my busy schedule that’s what I want at this time. Yet perhaps his comfort was a bit more pointed than mine… He doesn’t have much invested in me, other than some sweet words and good memories. And though he was the partner in our relationship to straight-up say he is not interested in dating anyone else (just last weekend he said if I was interested in dating anyone else then we weren’t on the same page), there has been no discussion on a future together.

This is a red flag to me. He said being exclusive with one another was what he wanted, but yet never touched upon actually being official. He’s expressed excitement at meeting some of the most important people in my life, but there’s been no discussion for me to meet those closest to him: his family. His words don’t match his actions, and that is always something to make me turn and walk away.

I’m not playing games anymore; I’ve been through that phase already and I’m done with it. I am a mature, independent woman who holds a steady job, is happy with her life, and is ready to include someone of depth and importance in her routine.

So I’m fine.

Now I’m going to take my own advice (remember when I talked about this topic in Clear Head > Lonely Heart?) and follow my head for a change. It’s not what my heart wants — I like the Golfer. A lot.

However, I don’t like feeling as if I am harming someone by requesting their companionship. I do not need someone to worry and stress over me, or to gaslight my intentions and needs. I want to be with someone who is aiming for a future as well, not simply looking for a confidant when it suits him.

In the same thought, I don’t want to think the worst of the Golfer. My head is telling me this guy is uninterested or unavailable right now. So in the end, my advice to myself is to take three steps back. Reevaluate. Don’t engage. Leave alone.

And in time, maybe things will fall into place. Or else I’ll be okay with the potential of a great relationship simply not having the correct timing.

Either way, I am perfectly fine.

5 Reasons Life is Better Without Your Ex

The county fair was last week and, as is the usual tendency at the fair, my friends and I ate unhealthily while we walked aimlessly around and ran into old classmates and colleagues. One of the groups we happened to run into contained a kid from my high school who was also once one of my campers. (He’s now a sophomore in college! Oh, how quickly he grew up!) As we did our quick five-minute catch-up, he asked me how Army was doing. I was a bit surprised he hadn’t heard of our break up being that it was over three months ago, but I gave my well-rehearsed, polite response, “Actually we aren’t together anymore, so I’m not entirely sure.” To which he gave me the mixed look of sadness and sympathy accustomed to those transitioning through a break up. Then he proceeded to pat me on the back and tell me that I will find someone new and I will get over the heartbreak.

His words, meant to make me feel better about being single, really got me thinking. I have done a lot of reflecting over the past week on my own life and the state I am in at this exact moment. It was not until that exact moment that something struck me: I am over it. I’m over the heartbreak and the sadness and the pain. I’m over him.

A day after the fair, I went on a first date. My date with The Golfer (perhaps I’ll expand on this subject in the future…) just solidified this revelation. Here I was enjoying a great evening with a new person and I could honesty say to myself, “I want to see where this goes.” That means I was considering the future, and not looking back to the past. I’ve moved on and I was/am ready to move forward.

I remember seeing myself in the mirror back in May and being unhappy with what I saw: the girl looking back was sad, angry, and confused. Now, though, looking back it seems surreal that I was so hurt by a person I hardly think about these days. I cannot believe how much stronger and independent I have become since the time with Army. I thought we had a great relationship but I realize now that just because I wanted it to be great didn’t actually mean that was the case. We were good for awhile, but we weren’t meant for the long haul. And I’m happy with this knowledge.

Seeing my life now, I am content. However, I know how difficult it can be to see the bright side of things following a break up. So this post is a big reflection for myself, but is targeted at those who are going through the rough patches right now. Take solace! Life goes on and there are still plenty of reasons to be happy without the person you split from. So for all of you out there who might need the relief, I have constructed this little list of reasons why life is better without having your ex in it:

1.  You become stronger.
I learned this mostly with X’s and my end. Without someone to lean on, you find that you have to pull yourself together and start functioning on your own. This may seem cliche, but it’s true! When I broke up with X, I was broken. It took me months to become strong enough to even consider life without him. However, I finally gained the strength to open my heart again, and that is when I met Army. And though that relationship didn’t work out either, I did not break again, I just cracked a bit. The healing time was quicker, the mindset was clearer, and my future is brighter as I now know I can handle the worst and still find happiness in myself.

2.  You focus on your own self-improvement. 
One thing I’ve noticed not only in my own relationships but also while watching my friends’ is that when you are “with” someone for an extended amount of time, you place your own self-improvement on the back burner. You’re no longer going out and trying new things. No new hobbies, no new skills. Now that you’re single, you have the chance to learn new things and try new experiences. So get out and do them!

3.  You have freedom.
Once you’re no longer in a relationship, you are free. You no longer have someone to answer to or check in on where you’ve been or what you’ve been doing. You can hang out with anyone you like (either gender), watch the movies you enjoy most, and eat the food you enjoy without being concerned about anyone else’s feeling but your own.

4.  You can meet new people.
Sometimes when you’re in a serious relationship, social skills suffer. If you meet someone new, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to actually get to know him or her. I mean, you don’t want this new person to get the wrong impression or for our SO to think something is going on when it isn’t. So it is easier to just say hello, swap niceties, and then forget this new person altogether. Thankfully now you can smile and meet and learn about new people as much as you want without worrying about anyone’s feeling or the time they may take out of your relationship!

5.  You learn to be alone.
I believe this is one of the most crucial lessons a person can learn in his or her life. It was not until I was single that I went to a movie by myself — and the result was so inspiring that I went again the very next day! I no longer had to wait for movies to come to DVD because my SO had no interest in the same things I did. And, more importantly, I no longer cared what others in the theater thought if I sat by myself. I had control over my own life and I reveled in that knowledge. Learning to be alone is the most empowering lesson you can learn, and it makes life a lot less scary.


Now, I want to make something clear: this list is what I have learned during my time being single after relationships that were not meant to work out. I am a BIG believer that all five of these reasons why my life is better without my exes will and should be present in the relationship that will last in my future. In a happy and lasting relationship…

  • … you are never weak. Your partner does not cause you to crack or chip. Troubles will occur but you work together to hold one another up and strengthen each other. You are able to strive to function on your own because you already can, but you have a great support system behind you to help.
  • … you continue to learn every day. No matter how long you and your partner have been together, you’re never bored. You either learn a new hobby together or alone. You’re comfortable enough to have similar interests and to have individual wants and desires… and you’re both okay with simply being happy with the other’s hobbies even if you personally do not have the skill set or passion.
  • … you never feel trapped. This covers both #3 and #4. If you cannot do things on your own every now and again, then the relationship is unhealthy. Trust is a huge part of this; you trust your partner and they trust you. There are never any questions into your faithfulness to one another if a new person enters our life. There is also compromising, which is a huge component to any functional relationship. You give and you take on everything, and you’re willing to do so because you know it’ll make your partner happy.
  • … you never actually are alone. Even if you’re physically alone and doing something by yourself, you have the knowledge that you’re returning home to someone who cares for and loves you. This, in the same way as learning to actually be alone, makes life an easier and less scary place.

Writing this post has been exciting for me. I now look in the mirror and see a girl with potential. She has lost a bit, but that loss has not dimmed her demeanor — it has only forced it to glow brighter. I am proud of where my head is, where my life is heading, and how strong I continue to become. And though the future is still clear obscurity, I’m more than willing to take the plunge knowing full-well I am not only a better person but that I am now unbreakable.

Online Dating Has Turned Us Into Unicorn Hunters

An article shared in my Reader caught my eye today, and upon closer examination I felt it worthy of being reblogged on Peonies ‘n Mint. I’ll discuss the topic later this month, but as a preliminary notice: I joined Match.com over two weeks ago and met a certain someone who has been extremely kind and sincere in our conversations to one another. Tonight marks our first face-to-face meeting and though I am actually quite giddy about the date, I am also nervous. This article gives an on-point description for my hesitation…


Originally Posted on The Good Men Project:

online-dating

There has been a lot written recently about the challenges of online dating and the switch to much more of a “hook-up” culture. While it definitely exists and this topic gets most of the attention, that has not been my experience. So one of two things must be true … I’m doing it wrong … or there is still reason to be optimistic about meeting people online.

The problem with online dating isn’t that it created a hookup culture. The problem is it has made us all unicorn hunters.

I’m as guilty of this as the next person, and I’ve also watched it happen to many friends. You meet an amazing person. Their resume checks all the boxes for what you say you are looking for in a relationship, but you still move on. Why? They don’t have the right job. They aren’t quite as attractive as you want them to be. They don’t live in the most convenient area of town. You don’t like their shoe choice … whatever, doesn’t matter, none of those are the actual reason. The actual reason is that in your hands you hold the potential of meeting someone else that might be perfect! So do you buy now on the person in front of you? or roll the dice for what may be the next swipe on Tinder?

In 2006, the Editor of Wired wrote a book called The Long Tail, about the expanded economy due to the impact of the Internet on business. Anderson talks about the “economics of abundance” where everything in the world becomes available to everyone. This, essentially, is what dating sites and apps have done to the dating world. We approach it with a list of specific things we are looking for, and assume if we just keep looking we will find that exact person … oh, and they will absolutely love us, obviously!

As a divorced father of two, I know my experience being married contributes significantly to how I approach dating now. Sometimes for the good and many times for the bad. I’ve tried all the sites and apps and definitely have had some interesting experiences. Several factors contribute to this need to keep swiping until we find the non-existent, but perfect person … the unicorn.

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The numbers game
The online dating world is substantially different for women than men. I’ve had friends tell me they created a match.com profile and within a day had 75-100 emails from guys trying to get their attention. That is definitely not this guy’s experience. But think about that for a second, we are trying to get a woman’s attention in one email out of a hundred, and she is getting that much every few days. How can that much communication be sifted through to find the best fit.

You are trying to get a woman’s attention in one email out of a hundred, that she is getting every few days.

On the flip side, I log in to my Match account and can search through hundreds of profiles. It can be overwhelming with many people that seem interesting and trying to begin communication with them in a compelling, thoughtful and personal way. Many times it feels like a numbers game to throw out as many intros as possible, just to see what sticks. You can filter by everything imaginable! I’m looking for a woman with brown hair, born in September, left handed and works in the medical field … can’t be that hard to find …

People don’t know what they want
This isn’t unique to online dating, but people really have no idea what they really want. I know way too many women, for example, that say they want a guy that is: easy going, driven, smart, kind and easy to be around … then only date unemployed assholes …

I’m actually terrible in this area myself. It is probably the biggest challenge for me in dating. I think I know what I need … but often what I want, or what could be, distracts me from the right choice or commitment. I saw a post recently that sums it up perfectly, “the problem with red flags is that I’m attracted to them.”

People come and go quickly
Not that long ago, people could make plans for the next week or maybe even two and know that those plans would stick. Because they had a date! And dates were somewhat rare and certainly special. Dates haven’t always been as easy to come by as they are now. But with Tinder, you can connect to many new people every single day, so keeping a conversation engaging long enough to meet up with someone next week is nearly impossible.

Recently, I connected to someone on Tinder, we chatted back and forth, exchanged numbers and made plans to meet up the next week for lunch. Over the next few days, communication stalled and we never met. This has happened at least a dozen times to me and my friends all share similar experiences. With the number of people matching and popping up every day, it’s nearly impossible to make plans more than a day or two out.

Attention span is short … or non-existent
We have no attention span at all. This isn’t news. But as it impacts dating, it’s amazing anyone gets into a committed relationship at all anymore. If we aren’t laughing, happy and intensely attracted to someone from the moment we meet, it’s on to the next.

If we aren’t laughing, happy and intensely attracted to someone from the moment we meet, it’s on to the next.

Everyone takes pride in how busy we are. Sometimes I want to punch myself in the face when someone says, “how’s it going?” and my response is “busy” before I can even stop myself. It’s ridiculous. Everyone is busy, that’s life … but now it’s also used as status. Whoever is busier is the most important.

None of us has time to respond to all the email or return a phone call, so we sure don’t have time to text that potential dating partner back. No time in our lives to squeeze in another person, yet we expect to meet our soul mate. We don’t take the time to sit still and actually get to know a person, to understand what makes them tick and give them a real shot to see if we want them in our lives.

Expectations have been raised
We are so entitled.

Who the hell do we think we are? I mean, have some self-confidence, that’s great, but damn. The things I have heard or even more likely, said myself, as reasons to stop seeing someone would just make you scratch your head. Where did we get the idea that perfect exists? Somewhere along the way we decided to hold out until we meet someone who meets every one of our ridiculous expectations … and we cover it up by saying we have “high standards”… which is really just protecting ourselves from digging in to the hard work of a relationship.

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I have been lucky to meet some truly remarkable women I would never have had the opportunity to connect to without online dating sites and apps. I’ve done my best to maintain friendships with people, even if it didn’t turn into a romantic relationship. I also still believe there is potential in people looking for their partner to connect through these sites to something great. With a willingness to engage people in meaningful conversation, give them our attention and balance our expectations, we might be amazed how well we connect.

This article was originally written by Patrick Sallee on August 13, 2015.

My Greatest Fear

I don’t know about you, but I am frequently asked the question, “What do you want to do with your life?” I never know how to answer. I know where I am in life now. I know what I’m doing with my life now. However, the future? No, thank you. Like I said in 7 Questions to Finding Life’s Purpose, I haven’t been able to find a suitable answer in terms of the future my entire life! It’s gotten to the point that the next time I encounter this predicament (you know, when Great Aunt Marge, the one I vaguely remember due to the mole on her chin, catches me at the latest family reunion and asks about my future) I’m just going to say something completely random: “Oh, I’m preparing to take a walk-about in the Australian Outback in order to better coagulate my thoughts into a state of higherness where I can adamantly state who and what I will be as a fuller adult.” Then as she pieces together that my statement obviously makes no sense whatsoever, I’ll walk away.

But seriously. Life. The future. To the majority of the world, the answer to that all-encompassing question could be stated every day: “I want to get a good job to pay for my college debt. I want to have a nice house in a nice neighborhood with a nice car. I want to get married, and have beautiful, respectful children.”

And so that is how life proceeds for many of Earth’s inhabitants. School, work, home, family, children, and the cycle continues. By the time you stop to catch a breath, you’ll look back on your life and marvel in the total normalness around which it revolves.

This. Is. My. Greatest. Fear.

I don’t want to be in my eighties and look back on my life and have normal, ordinary, common, typical be the defining features. I’m not saying normal can’t result in happiness because it does, for the vast majority. However, for me, ordinary does not suit.

I want extraordinary.

I want to see the world. Every inch and stone and dewdrop. Every single beautiful piece that God has placed on this earth, I want to experience it. Immerse myself in it. Take hold, no fear, and jump.

When I’m at my thirtieth class reunion (oh, I’ll be there) I want to tell stories that will make the eyes of my fellow peers glaze over as they dream of the possibilities. But I want the possibilities to be my reality.

I want to be the Amelia Earhart, Mary Magdalene, Margo Roth Spiegelman, of my own little world.

I want to wake up alive, not simply living.

I crave mystery, and so I am mysterious. Perhaps my name should just be added to the history books now…

7 Questions to Finding Life’s Purpose

I came across this article written by Mark Manson titled “7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose“.  For someone who is continually rearranging her thoughts, expanding her horizons, and changing the way she thinks of herself and her future, the title intrigued me. I mean, I always thought knowing my life’s purpose was something I’d learn in stride. But that Mark Manson is a genius; he’s shaved years off my wondering by providing me with seven little questions to discover my whole reason being in this world.

Unlike Mark’s brother, I have never known what I want to do with my life to the degree that I could base all my life decisions. And when he makes the statement, “My brother is a freak. This basically never happens.” I agree wholeheartedly.

I did not declare my major in college until my senior year. I was lucky enough to take a variety of classes to slip into graduation within my allotted four-year span, and I was even luckier to have a job before graduation rolled around. However, did I know what I wanted to do for my entire life? No way! Do I now? Not even close!

This is not to say that I am unhappy where I am at in life. I love my career path, though if you had told me a year ago I’d be working for a brokerage, have a real estate license framed behind my desk, and helping writing legal paperwork every day I would have laughed. Last year I wanted to own my personal wedding venue, two years ago I wanted to be a teacher, five years ago a journalist, ten years ago an architect, and twenty years ago anything involving Disney and water looked like the best adult-life ever.

So Mark came up with questions to help the world discover their potential. These questions, he says, are “to help you figure out for yourself what is important to you and what can add more meaning to your life.” They are a bit ridiculous, but also gave me a fun and interesting way of looking at my life…

  1. What’s your favorite flavor of shit sandwich and does it come with an olive?
    If you haven’t happened to live the most sheltered life ever, then this question should hit a nerve because it pulls at the strings of the Number One truth in life: everything sucks, some of the time. No matter how happy of a situation or thought or feeling, it comes with a cost. So this question is basically asking: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate in this life? How willing are you to stick with something you care about through all the inevitable rough patches?For me personally, this question really relates to my career choices. I am not willing to put off a relationship and family for ten years to become well established in the wedding industry. I am not willing to sacrifice every weekend and holiday to coordinate and manage weddings. Though I loved my time at Shadowland and the aspect of bringing happiness to other people, I’m not going o sacrifice my own youth and sociability for a job. Coming out of graduation thinking I wanted to be an event planner or wedding coordinator, this change in attitude has allowed me to diverge my career path into something completely new and exciting.
  2. What is true about you today that would make your 8-year-old self cry?
    This question is pretty straightforward and helps analyze our passions. What with the years between our youth and today, the pull of media, peer pressure, and the glaring desire to succeed in Adulthood, our eight-year-old selves probably wouldn’t even recognize us in the here-and-now.Similar to Mark, eight-year-old Ashley was big into reading and writing, as well as playing video games. Though I have rediscovered a love for words, she probably would have been very disappointed to know how long of a break I took during college. And she would definitely cry knowing her Neopet account is most liking sporting very hungry creatures…
  3. What makes you forget to eat and poop?
    I have this sometimes unhealthy habit of forgetting to eat while I’m engrossed in a fabulous book. I also tend to skip lunch at work when I’m focused on excelling at the job at hand, whether it be organizing the store, researching farm tenants, or creating a new marketing tool.To me, Mark is not only asking what your passions are with this question, but also what drives those passions. Just like he says, once you discover what is that driving force, you can begin applying it to every aspect of your life.
  4. How can you better embarrass yourself?
    As anyone who knows me well is aware, I am the queen of tripping, falling, and causing myself to bruise and bleed — all typically with an audience. So embarrassment has always been a part of my life.When it comes to what this question is actually seeking, though, I’m afraid I am a bit weary. This questions asks what you would be willing to attempt even if you’re going to fail a few times. As someone who hates being vulnerable and disappointing anyone (especially myself), failing is not usually an option for me. I tend to skip opportunities if there’s a very real possibility I may not succeed on my first try. But, as is stated, “if you avoid anything that could potentially embarrass you, then you will never end up doing something that feels important.”

    Right now, all my fantasies include world travel. And the reasons I am not booking a flight are pretty legitimate: my paychecks are paying off student debt, I want to buy a house within the next two years, safety in traveling alone. But maybe the tides or turning…

    A more short-term embarrassment may be simply going out and meeting new people. I have been clinging to my close friends for security and belonging. Perhaps its time to expand my social network though and begin new friendships. I can always embrace the embarrassment of introducing myself to a new person and seeing if a meaningful relationship might come about.

  5. How are you going to save the world?
    I am an observant person and it has become apparent to me that this world we live in needs some help. But before I don my spandex and cape, I think I need to realize that no matter how hard I try, I can’t fix everything myself.Thankfully, there are some wonderful organizations and individuals out there that have already started initiatives with which I could volunteer.  With my nonprofit background, I have a lot of passion for a lot of different movements. Focusing on just one will be tough, but at least I’ll be starting somewhere. The newest Newsfeed articles which have riled me up are those about all the missing girls in the US who are supposedly kidnapped for sex trafficking. After some research, I have found a local organization focused on educating the community on this quickly increasing crime. I have emailed the president for more information on how I might be of service.
  6. Gun to your head, if you had to leave the house all day, every day, where would you go and what would you do?
    This is not to say you can only choose one thing to do with the rest of your life. Instead, if you were forced to leave the house every day, with no Internet access, mobile service, or any other useless technology available, what would you do?
    I would see the world. Every day. Nonstop. I would ride an elephant in Thailand, learn to ski in the Alps, do yoga in Prague. My life would be an amazing adventure, and I would never even miss the art of being a couch potato.
  7. If you knew you were going to die one year from today, what would you do and how would you want to be remembered?
    I am not afraid to think of death. It is the inevitable end. I know where I’m going afterwards, so it’s not something I fear; death is something to look forward to. However, knowing that you will die one day and understanding that your time on earth is actually very short when compared to the vast concept of Time is nothing but an advantage. You can zero in on what is most important in your life and not be distracted by that which is not.I have thought about this question on a regular basis (in a non-creepy, non-suicidal fashion) and have an answer. I would cut myself off from the digital world. I would wake up every one of my senses and experience the world to the fullest. I would make sure those I love know I love them. I would go out and apologize to anyone I may have once hurt, and make sure those who have hurt me know it’s okay, life goes on, and that forgiveness is better than bitterness.

    As for a legacy, at this point in my life, my legacy would remain with my parents, my family, and my loving friends. I would write to them, leaving them each a piece of me to remember… and hopefully share with their children so I’m not completely forgotten.

In the end, the majority of the world still has no clue what they want to do with themselves. They’re confused on their career choices, they’re constantly changing their passions, and they’re endlessly discovering exactly what it is they do and do not suck at. And guess what? IT IS OKAY!

It seems to me, my life is generally focused around experiences. I want to learn more, see more, and do more. And I want to share those experiences with those closest to me.

But here’s the bottom-line: everyone is on this earth to do, see, learn, and teach things. Some people believe their purpose is to spread their religion. Others believe it is to inspire generations to come. And still others just want to enjoy the short, undetermined period of time they have. Sometimes these ideals are important, sometimes they are just time-killers.

Stop focusing on what you’re meant to be doing in this world and just start doing something. Do what is important to you! Because, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, who has the right to say what is and what isn’t important? The answer is no one but yourself.