Things I Think I Know For Sure

This is a list of things I think I know for sure…

Like what you see here? Check out my about me! Or read more about my decision about living on a sailboat. 

  1. Ask Good Questions- Knowing how to ask questions is good skill to learn. I learned the importance of asking good questions from having a friend who made good friends everywhere he went. Do you want to know the secret? He asked good questions. This is a good habit to make while traveling alone or at a new job. You never know when you might need to lean on the good will of a stranger and you can never have too many friends.
  2. Try to be an animal person (or at least pretend) – Find at least one animal you could be roomies with.  Animal people are always on top in life. They are happier and nicer. I’ve read somewhere that when a creature is dependent on a person for survival, it gives the human a sense of purpose which translates to your view of your self worth. So, having purpose is important, even if it is just because you have a goldfish.
  3. Brush your teeth – This is a no brainer. Your teeth are important and dentist bills are expensive. My advice? Have more than one toothbrush stowed away in different places. Keep one in your car, purse and at home. I promise this is a good idea.  You will always be prepared for any impromptu trips or a hot date. Say no to cavities and bad breath.
  4. Follow through- Honestly, you look like a dick when you don’t finish things or don’t show up to commitments. If you truly cannot manage to keep your word, write a hand written apology that doesn’t seem like a drawled out excuse.
  5. Bring Allergy pills when traveling –  You never know what sort of foreign pollen will destabilize your entire trip. Just bring a few, just in case. You don’t want to spend all your time inside.
  6. Read When you don’t read your brain becomes lazy. Don’t be a lazy-brained person. By not reading, you are living life in the dark and short changing your brains potential to understand your surroundings. There are so many great minds who have have novels full of advice and entertainment. Go read.
  7. Be a good guest- If you are invited to someones house for a meal, you either need to bring drinks or do the dishes—no exceptions.
  8. Hang out with your parents or parent-like figures- Most older people are treasures full of wisdom, life, and love. Take advantage of this while you can. Be a sponge.
  9. Walk Get outside and walk. I recommend a place that doesn’t have noise or traffic. Walking is good for the mind, heart and body. This I know for sure.
  10. Be a funny friend for someone else in a tough situation- Every decent 90’s comedy has a funny best friend for a reason. The main character is bound to run a muck, fall into a pit of tears and need to be picked up again. The funny best friend is the savior. Be that friend. Being able to make someone laugh when they are down is probably better than giving them wads of cash (unless they are crying over loosing wads of cash). Be a good friend. Ask them good questions. Let them play with your dog. Give them your favorite book, allergy pills and a toothbrush. Or just make them laugh.

That’s it for now. Check back later for more! Like what you read? Read more!

 

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The Value of Ugliness

This is an excerpt about social media and journalism during my transition into Graduate School.

Sunset Point
Ventura Sunset the definition of beauty

I feel like this past year might have aged me about 20 years. I feel mature, somewhat organized, and yet, still completely lost.

I feel that my responsibilities have grown tenfold. This growth of responsibilities has helped me feel a weird sort of self worth. As if my “To Do List” is a reflection of my worth. Something to brag about to others, something that proves my value. Supply and demand complex.

Yet, even though my to-do list is feeding my ego, I still experience myself struggling exhaustion. Directionless energy. It’s upsetting. These emotions feel like a prison, holding me back. (Cue Anchor Man scene “I’m in a glass case of emotion!”) I often feel like my humanness is weakness. As if being tired, annoyed, or angry are flaws rather than reminders that I am not machine.

Our world is consumed, or obsessed, with beauty.  Pretty people, pretty clothes, pretty houses, pretty vacations, pretty families. We want to eat pretty food.  We want pretty things in our homes. Not only this, we want to be applauded for our pretty things. We want to share these pretty things with the world and we definitely want to be acknowledged for it. Pretty, along with busyness, equals value. And because of this we only show our pretty things, whether it is true or not

This is nothing new. Humans have been acting this way for so long. It must be instinctual. Pretending this are good. Things are pretty.

But there seems to be a new sense of gravity to this in regards to the amount of social media/communication that is available. Sure, keeping up with the Jones’ is difficult, but it seems like we are now trying to keep up with the entire world. Studies are showing that avid Social Media users are growing more and more discontent with life. And I don’t think any of us really need to be explained why this is. Being constantly bombarded with other people’s beautiful lives, makes us hyper critical of our own. Thus we react. We compete. We share our own beautiful moments. Thus, perpetuating the false representation that life is always beautiful.

The effect of beauty on us doesn’t really interest me. It seems obvious that other people’s beauty feeds envy and discontent. My question is if we are forcing so much pretty into our lives, is it silly to ask… Where does all the ugly go? What happens to it?

What happens if we lack to acknowledge the bad parts of life? The boring?

I’ve seen patterns in history. I’m not an expert, but humanity has always bonded over mutual hardships, common crises or simply confusing times. During the Great Depression, fisherman in various beach communities would offer an all you can eat crab feast to their community for free. September 11th, an entire country stopped breathing all at the same time. A country was silent. There is nothing more powerful than sitting in silence. The recent injustice of human rights have brought masses of diverse people to one spot, using one voice.

Hard times cause us to utilize diversity in wonderful ways.

Are we isolating ourselves by not publicly acknowledging that we all feel pain?

Are there consequences to this? Does this fuel a sort of self-loathing for even experiencing the mundane day-to-day life?

My ultimate question is, are we blinding rito an entire category of life? Are we pleasure seeking and discarding the bad?  And if we are, what are the implications? Was Huxley right?

And yet, as much as we love pretty, we have a dark side. We are putting ugly somewhere. The media.

I  have always been overwhelmed by how many negative stories are chosen to be shared in journalism. Shootings, corruption. Murder. Rape. Cheating. Lying. I wont lie, most news updates fuel a confusing fear based view about humanity.

While I like to pride myself of having a wild, unconditional love for those around me, recently, I there irrational skepticism growing in me. I’m sad that I am scared of my of my community. I’m sad I’m scared of strangers, who are more like me than they are different. I’m sad that I am scared that there might be more bad than good.

I also wonder what it means for us as “consumers of information.” What does it mean for our minds and eyes to be drowned in constant beauty and/or constant ugliness, and very little in-between? What are the implications? What are the effects?

I can’t help but feel that this polarization of information creates a divide between us.

The prettiness feeds our envy of others and self-loathing of our shortcomings.

And yet, the ugliness feeds our distrust in others. Our fear.

Envious and depressed of others pretty, fearful and angry of others

The mind reels. As always. And I have no answers. As always.