Finding You: The Right Kind of Selfish

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A lot of my posts, both recent and long past, seem to be a bit redundant, but I am passionate about many things in life, and one of those is being yourself and valuing yourself. There are many, many points that have been on my mind about this the last 24 hours, so here are three that kind of sum it up:

1. Valuing yourself ≠ Selfish

I believe it is important to make this distinction right off the bat. There is a hug difference between being narcissistic and self-absorbed and valuing yourself and all your qualities, both good and bad. As long as you use your knowledge of yourself for confidence and sharing yourself with others, then you are by no means in the wrong. If you start thinking you deserve better things than other people because of who you are or the things you have accomplished, well then you are the wrong kind of selfish. But go ahead, appreciate yourself because there’s not always going to be someone else to do the job.

2. Never, ever, ever change. Ever.

Did you catch that? Don’t change, for anyone. Granted, if you have an addiction or serious issues that harm others, by all means get help and change. However, there is person inside of you who, if you find them, won’t have to change for anyone. That is the real you, the one who attracts the people you want in your life, the one who finds the perfect significant other without trying, the one who will bring you happiness and contention with your life. Find that person, become that person, and then don’t change for anyone.

3. Stay strong.

These two things combined get really overwhelming. You’ll falter, if not fail at first. It’s okay, we all fail on the daily. But I can promise you that those moments of success at self-fulfillment will be enough to remind you to try again. One of the reasons I am writing all this is because I just came out of the swamp and into the sunny clearing, this time better than ever. After my last post, For All the Lonely People, I realized that I really, really needed to take my own advice. By the time I was falling asleep last night, I was making myself honestly step back and evaluate myself… and I realized that I did not give myself enough credit. I fell asleep thinking about how there is no reason for me to not have self-confidence. I made sure, of course, to clarify with myself point #1, and then I made sure I was fulfilling point #2, and I was left here, at point #3. It’s funny, too, how ever since this transformation occurred, I have receive more compliments than an average day. Maybe it’s just luck, but I personally believe in a Mighty God and I think He’s just trying to make sure I don’t relapse, that He thinks I’m doing something right. I could be wrong, but for right now it seems like a pretty good explanation.

I really want every person who might happen to read this to take a moment to realize your own talents, intellect, passions, and beauty, and how all of these things make you an amazing being unlike anyone else. Consider how all of these gifts of yours can be used to benefit those around you as opposed to staying inside where they feel safest. Then, I want you to honestly and completely embody your own persona, your true self. Maybe you’ll notice a difference, maybe you won’t. But you never know until you try…

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Collegiate Diary #4: For Me (Sorry)

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Woah, I exist. But actually, I feel bad about being that blogger that gets into it for a little while and then disappears for a while. Being cliche is my least favorite thing, so I do apologize.

So now, what to write about?

[Insert list of pluses and minuses of my life]

Honestly, there’s so much on my mind that I don’t think I could say anything coherent or interesting or inspirational. So I guess this is where I don’t write for an audience, but I write for myself.

I guess one of the biggest things that’s wracking at my heart and my brain is always being the one who’s different, the one that no one wants. They might think I’m fine, but I’m not the one that anyone actually wants. The two girls I go out with are both short, super cute brunettes who actually get drunk and are super social. I’m tall, blonde, and don’t drink and will talk your ear off but I’m not natural at being social. I’m not as physically desirable like them and I’m not socially desirable either, apparently. So needless to say, this takes a toll on me. I shouldn’t let it get to me, but no matter how much I try I still keep thinking “Man, what it must feel like to be wanted.” But at the same time, I’m not going to change myself just to get a certain type of people to like me. I’m not going to go to a party and get s***faced just because then people will want to take advantage of me. I’m not going to dress in clothes that I don’t like. I’m not going to give myself a fake personality that exudes extreme sociability. That’s not me, and I have to accept that it won’t be. And let’s be honest, the more I try to be someone I’m not, I won’t be attractive to anyone at all. At least if I’m myself I’ll get the kind of people I actually want to have in my life.

But still, easier said than done.

In addition to this teenage crisis, the stresses of being an [injured] dance major and dancing with a dance company and having a social life but taking time for church and the maintenance of my body and keeping up with my friends and home and my family… it’s a lot. I’m used to a lot, but sometimes you just need a gigantic pause button to not have to do any of that and just exist as you are. You don’t have to be anything for anyone anywhere. I would like to go to the quietest, most beautiful place and just lay down and have sometime to myself, nature, and God. A deluxe escape from the hustle and bustle that is my life.

If you did read this, I hope you got something out of my banter. If you think it was a waste, I warned you in the title.

“Shake It Off”

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I’m sure that there are many people out there who are reading this thinking, “Oh my gosh, Taylor Swift is so [insert distasteful word(s)].” And yes, maybe she has been any one of those words. However, Ms. Swift most definitely did something right with her song and music video “Shake It Off.”

So if you haven’t already, please watch this music video and then come back to read this post.

I’m not trying to write a review of any sort; I just wanted to share with everyone the message and music that Ms. Swift has brought us.

Now, how did she do something right? Isn’t she just dancing poorly next to experts?

No, no she isn’t.

Ms. Swift was able to, all in one video, show the wonderful artistry of many forms of dance while embracing her own inadequacy to dance and inviting others to ignore the haters and do what they want, which is beautifully showcased at the end with the “normal” people dancing their a**es off just because they can.

I see such beauty in this because I know that so many people (including myself, daily) struggle with letting their true colors shine through, and just being who they are, not who everyone else thinks they should be. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed if you can’t dance like the girls in the club, or if you can’t sing like the people on the radio, or if you can’t do algebra like the person sitting next to you. There is no point in being embarrassed of who you are because, while you can practice and improve on things, you are always going to have your own quirks and downfalls. So don’t worry what everyone around you is saying or doing: shake it off and be you.

The Collegiate Diary #2: Friendly Acquaintances

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The funny thing about going to college is that you get all of these preconceived ideas of what’s going to happen when you get there. You expect to meet all these people, including cute guys (and girls), join clubs, go to the gym, eat tasty food, get all your studying done, go to parties, wake up early… there’s so many standards that you set for yourself beforehand that you expect to accomplish them all right away. It’s only day 3 of class, day 5 on campus, and I feel like I should have done everything I expected to do. Yesterday I was already beating myself up for not having very many friends. I had like 4. So here I am, feeling crappy about my tendency to be timid and shy, not willing to just go out and meet people. I’m simply not that girl. Even if I forced myself to do that, I wouldn’t be that girl. And, on top of that, I’m from a state that is over 1,000 miles away so I knew no one before I came here. Over half of the school has at least someone they went to high school with or is related to or something. That really takes a blow at your self esteem, seeing people acting like best buddies on the first day. So anyway, here’s an inside look at the friends I have managed to make in 5 days on campus:

Tiesha: She’s my roommate, so we’re kind of forced to be really good friends. Luckily we get along well anyway.
Makayla: I met her at orientation, we’ve texted and passed by each other but never hung out since arriving at campus.
Laura: She dances with me and is super nice, but she’s that girl that I said I could never be even if I tried. So she has like 50 other friends lined up, too.
Christina: She dances with me and is giving me all of the information I need to know about the program I’m doing, and she’s super sweet but more like a mini mentor than a friend.
Corey: Okay, I’m not gonna complain about having him as a friend. We met the night after the first day of classes playing Cards Against Humanity (look it up, it’s so much fun). Anyway, yesterday he asked for my number, and we’ve talked and played games last night again. He tells me puns (my FAVORITE) and even used a chemistry pick-up line on me. So I guess I’m pretty stoked about that one.
Corey’s friends: They’re who I played Cards Against Humanity with. Not close with any of them, although supposedly one of them is in my history class.
The Random People I Have Had One Conversation With: So in other words, I don’t know any of their names and consequently they don’t really count.

So, here’s my closing word of advice:

As you can see, I’m no social butterfly, and I’m managing to maintain a meager amount of people to keep me company in this giant, unfamiliar world. But, if you’re more shy than me and find yourself in a new situation where you seem to be the “only one” without new friends, don’t sweat it! It’s just one of those mental expectations that you’ve made for yourself with an unrealistic deadline: day 1. So chill out! Push yourself to meet people, but if you go out trying befriend everyone in the room, they won’t really be the kind of friends you want. You’ll find people; relationships don’t form overnight (well, your roommate might be one exception). Just let yourself meet people naturally and you’ll find the people you want to spend time with.

The Collegiate Diary #1: Expectations?

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The Collegiate Diary. Maybe a little cliche, but it’s bound to happen sometime.

I figured that now that I am a college student, many of my posts will undoubtedly be about life at the University, so to help out those who honestly don’t give a pineapple about life a college I have created an almost original series title to guide readers to the blogs best suited for their reading.

As far as a first post goes, I guess that I’ll now get you all caught up after a whirlwind of a weekend.

Last Thursday, my parents and I stuff my Subaru Legacy full and embarked on the 17-ish hour journey across the country. We spent our first night visiting friends, one of which is currently going through chemotherapy, but is still managing to be one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met. We arrived in town Friday night after a beautiful and scenic drive through the mountains, and met up with our close friends who live two hours away from campus, who brought the big stuff that my car wouldn’t fit.

Now, move-in day: This university in particular has an extremely well organized and “fully synchronized” system for moving-in. But in their terms, moving in is getting your excess of items up to your room. Boom, done, moved-in.
No.
It takes at least 2 full days of unpacking, rearranging, and running errands until you are actually moved-in and able to functionally live in the space.

Time goes by slowly but quickly, in the sense that before you know, you’ve been rearranging your room for 3 hours and missed lunch but it feels like you’ve been on campus for a week not two days. Strange.

And now that everyone is sufficiently bored, I won’t bother with the emotional turmoil that I occasionally feel. We’ll wait for a mental breakdown for that.

I don’t really need to talk about my roommate yet, either, except that onestly, she’s my only real friend and we barely know each other.

Life As I Know It

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There are kind of a lot of things that people leave out when they talk about getting prepared for your very first semester of college. So here’s a little list I have been mentally compiling.

1. Life as you know it is over and done for that day you say goodbye to your friends, family, bed, town…

Poof, everything is different and nothing will ever be quite the same.
Sure you’ll see your friends over break, but they’ll change as they make new friends and experience things without you. Your family will have gotten used to only calling and video chatting you, not to mention you won’t have the same independence as you did at school.

2. As much as you think you’re ready, you’re not.

We anticipate our claim of independence for years, always wanting to grow up and move out. I personally always felt the desire to get out of my small hometown, see the world, move at least to a different state. I’ve been excited for so long that now that that day is literally here… I’m scared out of my mind.

3. You will always take pride in your hometown.

So where I live, unless you live within a 45 mile radius of our town you will most likely never have heard of it before. I love big cities and the excitement in the hustle and bustle of people everywhere, but now as I’m preparing to leave in 7 short hours, I realize what I wouldn’t do to just live in the middle of nowhere next to the river and listen to the music of nature just for one more day.

4. You start acknowledgng your “last”‘s.

I started counting mine my last day at work, and from there it doesn’t get better. You mark your last time going out to this place with your friends, eating a homecooked dinner, visiting your grandpa in the nursing home, see your friends, petting your cats… there are so many lasts, and you want to make sure each one counts.

5. You’re gonna cry.

I didn’t cry at any part of graduation, which is a big deal for someone like me. But as soon as you say your first goodbye or realize something is a really big “last”, the waterworks will begin and most likely continue to be a threat at all times.

6. You will feel lost.

Physically, as you try to pack and just end up with piles of clothes and you sit in a sea of items you have to fit in your car.

Mentally, as you try to remember everything to pack and deal with the life-changes and stress of life in general, especially economics.

Spiritually, as you begin to second guess your decisions and lost hope and faith in what you’re actually doing with your life.

I have a dream. Or maybe she has mine.

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I like to think that I have always known what I ultimately wanted in my life: to be a professional dancer. And yes, I have known that for quite sometime. The part where the dream gets fuzzy is the means by which I achieve my goal. You see, in order to become a professional dancer, there’s a lot of complicated things that need to occur that I’m not going to go into now because it’s late and I’m tired and I’m only writing because I can’t let this brew for any longer.

So there’s this girl, right? I have become really, really close friends with her and it’s great. She’s a gorgeous dancer and I’m jealous of her insane control and technique. I’m also jealous of her ability with children, her close relationships with our instructors, and most of all, her most recent spontaneous opportunity.

She has been given the opportunity to basically just not go to college (she’s ready for move-in less than a week) and then magically be a part of a professional company as a trainee. I’m really happy for her, I am. She would not have been happy where she was going to be, so it’s wonderful for her.

But see I auditioned for a company in the winter and was offered a traineeship… and turned it down because I wanted to go to college. I was determined to break the mold and go to college for dance and still get a professional ballet job. And now here my friend is, getting this amazing opportunity and I’m suddenly second guessing my entire life’s decisions. (Okay that was a bit dramatic, but it’s kind of a big deal.)

And then of course there’s a guy involved, too. Not a guy I have much of a relationship at all with, but needless to say if I was a few years older I would be all over that. And she is going to his company, and he’s a huge part of this whole plan and so are the teachers that I wish I was closer with.

See how it comes full circle?

Yeah, probably not.

I always want to be different, do things that aren’t normally done. I want to make a name for myself even if I went to college. I want to double major and work hard and just do everything I possibly can to be the best I can be.

…But I still wish I could be in someone else’s shoes, have someone else’s talent, have someone else’s persona. I try so hard to be myself, but it’s hard when it seems that that’s the you everyone else likes the least.

Life’s not fair.