Friday, February 28, 2014

What keeps me (mostly) sane.

In a world that's full of radioactive material, serial killers, economic depressions, adulterous relationships, it's no wonder why we all feel like we need a Zoloft at the ending of most days. Actually, come to think of it... the phrase "a hard day's work" really shouldn't be as commonly used as it is. Why is life difficult? Why are we faced with problems daily that seem to have absolutely no easy solution? Well folks, I haven't taken a class on philosophy and I'm not a clinical psychologist, so I can't answer either of those questions for you.  The only advice that I can give you, is to start doing the things in life that make your heart beat a little faster. A pitter-patter, if you will.

Many professionals suggest meditation in times of stress, proclaiming that it brings you back to your life's core purpose and it can help you ground and center your thoughts, realizing what is important and what is not. Personally, silence irritates me. Maybe I still behave like an antsy 5 year old child, but whenever I'm forced into a situation where someone is telling me to envision a clear blue sky, and a whispering wind grazing my bare neck, I start to think about the ants that would inevitably be crawling up my jean shorts, and how the grass that I'm supposed to be sitting in would no doubt cause me to break out in hives.

Meditation? Not for this girl. Not in the sense that most people meditate, anyway.

I always tell people that my worst punishment growing up would be having my music taken away from me.

Though, I can't sing or play any instruments, and I dance like a total white girl, music is such a huge part of my life. It's importance and power was taught to me at very young age, mostly by my father. To this day, whenever I go home to visit my parents, 9 times out of 10, I walk in the door and immediately hear music playing. 

As a kid, my dad would force me to sit down with him and listen to a song, say by John Mellencamp, and afterwords we would talk about the message the song was trying to send the audience, our favorite parts, the best solos, etc. and then we would play the song over and over and over again. It's one of my most fond memories I have with my Dad.

I love the saying, "When words fail, music speaks."

Through tough times, I turn up my music. Through great times, I turn up my music. I love how a song can alleviate worry, alter your mood, or stir up an epiphany within your soul. It's beautiful and incredible when two people can not say a word, but dance and listen to a song, and still be in the same exact state of mind with one another.  I can't get enough of concerts, for they can bring people together and spark a wonderful and powerful elation within an entire atmosphere.

Music is my therapy. It makes me happy and gets me through this hectic, wild life.

So, this is my music appreciation post. Tell me, what's your favorite song? Favorite artist? Favorite genre? Favorite era in music? What do I need to be listening to? What music will make my life a little better?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My 8 Wedding Summer

As some of you know, I have a younger sister who likes to go against the grain. God love her, but it's true, and she will be the first to admit it. She's a rebel with many causes. Always has been, always will be. So... true to form, about a year ago, she came to my family to tell us she and her boyfriend... were engaged... to be married... before me... her older, single, sister.

Well, this wild child kicks off my summer of hell, wait... I mean, my summer of 8 weddings. And while I love and completely adore every single one of my friends and family who have decided to leap into the world of matrimony, I fear for my own mental well being in the months ahead.

"Why?", you ask. "Weddings are a blast.", you say. To which I will respond, "In theory, you are right." But I am certain this theory will be proven wrong, beginning with the conversion of my sister from Miss to Mrs.

I am submitting to the court, Exhibit A, "The life pressures of a young adult."

I remember the stress and anxieties I began to feel in the middle of my Senior year of high school, when family and friends started to inquire about my college plans, dreams, and future aspirations. Being that I am usually a hot mess, and don't normally plan out my next meal until my stomach has been grumbling for a good hour or so, I did not enjoy these interrogations in the slightest form of the word. I am a "one step at a time", "take things day by day" kind of extrovert. The word "plan" and I, do not get along.

I'll admit, I bring entirely too much stress upon myself due to this organizational deficiency, and it's definitely something I am working to improve upon daily (I am proud to say I now carry a pocket planner in my purse and I even check it everyday), however, I do feel that every inch of my life cannot and should not be minimalized and categorized into a minute-by-minute itinerary. I feel that when I try to embrace this "Type A" lifestyle and plans fall apart or chaos ensues or the system breaks down, I have major meltdowns, to which I am ill-equipped to cope.

Of course, I have dreams and hopes for my life, but I've learned that little to nothing in this world is guaranteed, so ya gotta just roll with the punches, for lack of a better cliché.

For some reason, detailed plans are expected of us 20-25 year olds and if we even elude to the fact that we may not have one in effect, a label of social leprosy is stamped upon our foreheads, and we are instantly regarded as someone who needs assistance, requires restructuring, or just needs to get their act together.

So, while I can't wait to celebrate the event of my younger sister entering into a new stage in her life, I am dreading explaining to people why as an older sibling, for now, I'm complacent with where I am in my life. 

Honestly, I feel the reason why so many marriages do not work out nowadays is because of this enormous amount of pressure. Being a 25 year old woman, the pressure is on and steadily persistent from the "accomplished" and "successful" peers to settle down, meet that special person, buy a home, take summer vacations, achieve promotions at work, etc. Of course, all of these things are goals that I eventually want to be able to cross off a list, but if they are not reached within a certain time-frame, many young adults either shamelessly exploit themselves on countless dating websites in attempts to find a half decent suitor or enter into a panic and voluntarily commit themselves to a psychiatric ward.

Shouldn't we be more concerned with the impact we are making on the lives of others and on our community daily? 

It's an idea that I think gets lost somewhere along the way. We are definitely in the age bracket of self-absorption, trying desperately to find our way, but I fear that our connect with the rest of the world is forgotten when we are so concerned with personal gain and benefit. It's a very scary thought.

So, I will speak on the behalf of the girls (and guys) who are in their mid-twenties... be it, they are single and loving it, or in a healthy, loving, un-married, un-cohabitated relationship, or happily working at a job that does not fall under their career field of choice, or hopeful of having children one day but in no rush to get pregnant, or still renting a one-bedroom shanty downtown (and in my personal instance, almost all of the above)... As much as we love you Planning Patricia's and Pete's and have the utmost respect for the decisions you have made for your own life, I will assure you... We are fine. We are happy. And we will figure out the details of our life when we can.

That is all.
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