My Parents’s Love turned me wild

My parents have always been, and I pray will always be, wildly supportive of my ambitions and dreams. They’ve supplied me with all the tools I’ll ever need to bring my goals to fruition: they never said “no” to anything that would teach me, academically or in a life sense. I went to a great school; I had the best holiday experiences. I was always encouraged and rarely inhibited.

I really cannot, and should not, complain. Now I could be the drama queen that I am and say that being showered with their love has set me up for disappointment. I could say that the positive reinforcement I’ve received my whole life has led me down a narcissistic path, but I don’t think I can put that all on my parents and my upbringing. But that is classic me, I guess, going as far as taking credit for even the “nurture” aspect of my narcissism.

It’s not as if my parents have fed me endless compliments and financial aid and are willing to support me forever. They realize that I’m less than a year out of college and it can be a tough and challenging adjustment. Even aside from my crippling nostalgia and desire to live in the past, they still urge me to work for the future. The other day I was on the phone with my parents (we have family phone calls, sue me) and I told them that enough was enough and I was ready to be successful.

My mom responded with: “success doesn’t come overnight,” but that doesn’t sound like anything I would ever say so it’s kind of tough to take it to heart. If success were based on passion, then sure, I’d be successful. I know what I want, and I think about it nonstop. And I am getting there, just slowly. Actually, slowly would be generous. I’m moving at a glacial pace. A glacial pace but pre global warming, back when those glaciers really stood their ground.

I hope I haven’t painted a picture of a lazy guy who lacks ambition and drive, because that is not the case. I do work hard and I do put in the effort. I got the grades . I guess what I’m saying is that I thought it would be easier. Call me naïve, call me sheltered, but I genuinely thought I’d be somewhere by now. The biggest lesson that I’ve learned since graduating from high school is that I’m expendable. Here I am thinking that someone is going to hunt me down and pick me up, because hey, I was told that I was special. The years of being told that I was smart and funny helped me to build up this elaborate story of me in my mind.

In my vision of how my future would pan out, I was going to get “discovered” and taken under the wing of some hot shot comedian or producer, and ushered into the world where I knew I belonged. And I still get lost in that vision all the time; it’s my safe haven and it’s hard to give up. Of course, I know I have to, because as long as I feel safe I know I won’t push myself to my very limits and that is what I need to do. I don’t have a damn clue what that means, obviously, but maybe I’ll figure that out on my own. The future belongs to me, and I need take ownership of it.

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Being A Senior in Campus

Being a senior in college has put a lot into perspective for me. I’m getting ready to enter the real world. I’m gaining more knowledge about life. I’m working to achieve my goals and towards a future career. I’m a responsible young adult with the whole world at my fingertips! And I am lying to myself. I just feel old and wake up everyday wishing to be a young again.

Now you may say “that’s ridiculous! You’re the ripe ‘old’ age of 21!” This is true. At this age, we are in the prime of our lives. Most people my age are in college and many are living away from home. This means they are pictured to society as adults yet can make the decision to eat rice for dinner every night because “Why not? No one is around to tell me no. I’m an adult!”

Yet there are some occurrences going on that make me realize I’m really not a kid anymore and this is a little more than unsettling. I’m not talking about credit card bills that need to be paid. I’m not talking about the fact that I’ll never be the youngest at school again (actually, this is probably a good thing.) I’m talking about the fact that I, and many other people my age, are entering adulthood and turns out, it wasn’t really what we expected. Are we ready to get hit with this thesis paper sized dose of reality? Nope.

I think this all starts out if you go away to college. You think, “Yeah, I am out of the house! I can do whatever I want! No one is here to tell me no!” Don’t be ashamed to admit you thought this, I can admit that I definitely did. This idea lasted a whole two weeks until I ate all the food in my room and was already sick .

Then I got a cold (because who in college isn’t plagued with a nasty-never-getting-rid-of-cough) and called my mom approximately 17 times a day for a week because I didn’t know what medicine to take and if I could mix cough syrup and decongestions. I’d like to think of myself as responsible, but let’s all face it, sometimes, we just don’t know how to take care of ourselves.

As college goes on and you get older, another milestone approaches. The biggest of all birthday celebrations. The one you have been waiting for. The 21st birthday. This marks the start of your real adult life. You can do anything. You can go anywhere. You can… empty out your bank account in less time than you were at the bar(HELB disbursements)

I turned 21 pretty recently and I quickly learned that as fun as it is, no one ever tells you how expensive this life will be. Maybe they don’t want to put a damper on your night. Maybe they don’t want to tell you that it, for the most part, is the end of fun birthday ages. What is there to do now? Nothing, except pretend your 22nd birthday is your 21st again. Happy year anniversary of your 21st birthday! What is there to look forward too after this? 30?!

Now, when I say “I feel old” it’s not because I actually think I’m old. 21 years of life is not a long time.

When all the freshers can go out on a Monday and you’re like “What?! How?! Don’t you people have work to do?!” you feel old. This past year I’ve realized that there is a huge difference between the age of 18 and the age of 21. And that difference is simply being an adult.

When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I couldn’t wait to be able to drive, have my own home, and get a real job. Now all I want is to be young again and have no responsibilities, no work to do, no deadlines to meet, and no worries. Even if I can’t transform back into my 10 year old self, I’ll take being a fresher and starting college again, the whole world being at my pre-fresher 15 fingertips. We are all in such a rush to be get older but once we get to that point, we are stuck being adults for the rest of our lives.

Childhood (and freshman year of college) goes fast, and getting older isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The only thing we can do is make the most of it, and work to be the best possible adult version of ourselves we can be. Even if you don’t have it all together like you thought you might at this age, at least you can realize one thing: 21 really isn’t old after all.

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Makes those ordinary moments, extraordinary – The most ordinary things can be made extraordinary, just by doing them with the right people.

Gives that extra push you need – A true friend is someone who will inspire you to be who you always knew you could be. Anyone who helps you make your half-hearted attempts more whole-hearted through kindness, commitment and teamwork, is a keeper.

Tells you the truth – Being honest might not always get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones. Too often many of us prefer gentle lies to hard truths. But in the end, it’s better to be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie. True friends always tell each other the truth.

Always talk things out with you – So many problems in the world would disappear if we talked to each other instead of about each other. That is why it is important to always communicate clearly with those close to you, even if it is uncomfortable and uneasy.

They walk the talk – Whenever you can characterize people by their actions, you never have to worry or be fooled by their words. True friends don’t just talk the talk, they walk it out.

When you stumble or fall they encourage you – And you should return the favor whenever you are able too. We all have enough critics in life. Be an encourager. Be a blessing. Be a true friend. Take time to care. Let your words heal and not wound.

Actually wants to be there for you – True friendship is never burdened. What true friends do for each other is done because they care and because they want to do them. Period!

Believes in you – How amazingly far you are willing to go when someone believes in you.

There for you in good and bad times – The people that stick by you at your worst, deserves to enjoy being with you at your best. The best thing about the toughest days of your life is that you get to see who your true friends really are. Those worthy of being a “true friend” are those that help you through hard times, and laugh with you after the hard times passes.

Makes time for you – When you are important to another person they will always find a way to make time for you – no excuses, no lies and never too busy.

They understand you – It is so much easier to judge people than to understand them; understanding takes extra kindness and patience. That “extra” is always worth it.

They never get in the way of other important parts of your life – Healthy relationships never require you to sacrifice your happiness, your other important relationships, your dreams, or your dignity.

Makes you feel comfortable in your own skin – True friends makes you and everyone they come across feel perfectly OK and comfortable with being exactly who they are.

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Ever get to the point where you’re stalking every aspect of someone’s life on social media? Craving any knowledge you can get on who the person is today and where they are now? Then suffer the same devastating pain when you realize that you don’t know them, they don’t know you and they don’t want to.

As a culture we obsess over what we can’t have. Some obsess over money, and nice cars or fancy houses while others obsess over someone, a person, a feeling they get. We obsess over the things we can’t have because it’s not fair and we don’t understand why.

We can never grasp the thing we are craving long enough to be fully satisfied. We obsess over the thing we are chasing until we aren’t who we once were. We become these unsatisfied empty people constantly in a search for something more. We aren’t happy with what is right in front of us. All the amazing things we have in our life go unnoticed. We obsess over that feeling we got when we were with that “special someone” and we don’t want to let it go. We can’t let it go because in our heads it’s exactly what we think we need.

We have this block where we don’t realize that the thing we think we need, causes most of our pain. Instead of moving on with our lives and exploring the next great adventure, we are stuck. We are fixated on something that once was, and never will be again. We begin to wonder what we are missing out on, then get pissed when we don’t have the answer.

Our minds race with all of the other possibilities.

We can’t stand the fact that someone who once served a large person in our lives, is no longer serving that purpose anymore. We don’t like to think that they could be a huge role in another person’s life. It is too much to fathom. So we do what we do best. We obsess over what was. We hold on to the feelings we used to get and the happy memories. We block out every shitty fight and every crying episode. We want to remember only the good things.

Oftentimes what we forget is that we need to let go of the things that no longer help us grow. Even if it’s hard to admit to ourselves, sometimes the best thing to do, is forget the people who forgot us. Even if it’s hard, it’s what is best at the end of the day.

Surround yourself with people who help you grow. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and help you be a better you. Remind yourself that you are right where you’re supposed to be. The universe is working on you, don’t give up.

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For the most part, life is about timing. I mean, think of how we came to be, and how our universe came to be: the billions of events that needed to happen, and needed to happen in the exact order that they did, for humans to even exist, and for us to exist in this very moment- that, to me, is damn good timing. Because how lucky am I to have been born into my loving home, to have come across so many wise, affectionate, and curious people, and to have grown up right in the midst of so many revolutionary moments?

But of course, the idea of timing can also hinder the human mind.

Since such a large portion of our lives is controlled by the unforgiving nature of time, it really becomes too easy to feel like we’re merely being pushed along as the hours and days and years press on. In moments like those, and maybe even right now – when we feel like a clock that’s just a second off, eventually falling far behind – all we want is a little more time to get a grip on our lives and catch up to the rest of the world.

And then on the other hand, too often we beat ourselves up because we were too late, or too early, or were told, “Now’s not a good time.” And so we grew up in fear of wasting the perfect moment, of being blind to it until it had already passed. For as long as we can remember, we’ve had this conditioned drive to never squander a moment, to never stop, because time sure as hell won’t.

So we’re stuck in this in-between of wanting to take a break yet not wanting to miss a beat at all. The result: frustration, fear, and the heavy realization that time is scarce. However, maybe we should all be thinking a bit differently- that there isn’t so linearly a certain time for everything, but rather the time for everything is now.

As time goes on, entropy increases. It’s how the universe works. Relate this to our individual lives, and you’re left with this: life gets messy. But rather than go against the natural disorder that comes with time, we might as well accept it, and embrace it. There’s beauty in madness, and I suspect we can all agree that some of the most memorable moments in our lives were also the most chaotic. Honestly, I think that, instead of pointlessly striving for control of every single moment of our lives, time is so much more well spent just losing ourselves in the now.

In the end, time is infinite, but ours isn’t. However, I do believe that we all have enough time, if only we spend it together the best we can.

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I refuse to settle for something that is less than I deserve. For years, I have allowed myself to believe that it was okay to deny myself the simple pleasures that I am entitled to: happiness, love, growth, and freedom. Tonight, I say no more. These beautiful privileges, the ones that I have told myself it would be selfish for me to chase after, are within my grasp and no longer will I let them slip from my fingers.

I choose to be happy. I will not catch myself the moment I feel joy, for fear that any minute, my world will come crashing down and I will feel guilty that for a brief moment, I let the corners of my lips curl into a smile. My cherophobic mindset should not keep me from experiencing such a wonderful emotion; I can and will grin and laugh to my heart’s desire, without dreading the inevitable crash that always seems to follow. I hope that my friends and loved ones will always be elated, but no longer will I put my happiness after theirs. My mental health is just as important as theirs (as selfish as it sounds) and for now, I will put mine first.

I will allow myself to love and be loved. Running from feelings because I am terrified of getting hurt or hurting someone is exhausting. I choose to allow my eyes to get caught on the eyes of someone I find attractive and if they ask to see me again, I will not make excuses. My days of making lists of why I cannot be with someone is over; I will instead create a single-bulleted list of why I should: because I want to. I will engrave over my heart the difference between lust and love and I will not chase after someone who only feels something for me in his pants. I will fall in love with someone because I want to be with them, and they will fall in love with me (I hope) because they are infatuated with my heart first, my mind second, and my body last. I elect to love, whether it be for a night, a year, or a lifetime, and give myself the opportunity to get close to someone. If I get hurt, it will only mean that I have loved and I will proudly show my scars after I nurse my broken heart. I will not seek out heartbreak by handing my affection to someone undeserving, I will be a first choice and I will not compete for the love of someone who makes me do so.

I will grow. For years, I have been a seed planted into the ground and now, I am ready to bloom. The past has happened, and I cannot change the choices I have made, but I can allow my mistakes to guide me in the future. I will walk into my unknown with open arms and the knowledge that the past does not define me. My future is the next chapter in a journal waiting to be filled, and the pencil (because I reserve the right to rewrite my plans and erase the things I do not want in my life anymore) is in my hand. I will flourish, reminding myself on each new day that impossible things are possible, but I will show my maturity by not discouraging myself anytime I realize I cannot achieve everything I set my mind to. Instead, I will allow the times I fail to encourage me; I tried, and that is all that matters.

I am free. I am blessed to live in a country where I men and women die for my freedom every day and I will not let their efforts be in vain. I will take advantage of my rights and I will profusely thank those who serve our country so that I may do so. No one will be allowed to deny me my freedom. I will run from any relationship where their controlling behavior limits me and I will not allow anyone to use abusive tactics to keep me caged in. I am liberated, and because of this, I will be spontaneous and uninhibited. I will not be burdened by rules that I do not establish myself (except for laws, because jail sounds like the opposite of being free) and give myself permission to give in to the whims of my heart.

My days, as numbered as they may be, belong to me and if I continue to deny myself these basic rights, I am not living for myself. My life quality will not be hampered because I am denying myself simple pleasures. I choose to live for me, taking advantage of each day as if it might be my last. I will not think of myself as selfish for valuing these things, instead I will thank myself for thinking about giving myself the best days I could. I choose happiness. I choose love. I choose to grow. I choose freedom. But most importantly, I choose me .

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Understanding Our Fears And Dealing With Them (At Your Own Pace)

It’s hard to not always think about fear. Nowadays, fear surrounds us. The fear of the unknown…even fear of the known. Fear tends to fuel most of our decisions. But what if we didn’t know that fear even existed? Why do we have to be scared?

Think of the first time that babies fly on an airplane. The only reason they start to cry is from discomfort, they’re so young that they don’t know all the potential dangers of flying. In this sense, they’re not being ignorant, they’re just unaware of the ways of the world. Now, fast forward to your adult years. You’re sitting on a plane praying that whatever higher power you believe in ensures that you have a safe flight. You’ve read stories, seen movies, or even experienced plane failures. You have these thoughts embedded in your brain. You are well aware that something could go wrong.

But why must we think like this? Obviously being totally ignorant is not the way to live your life, however, whoever said, “Ignorance is bliss,” was definitely on to something. We, as a society, let fear fuel every single decision we make. A man could go years without telling the love of his life how he feels because he is afraid of rejection. He knows that rejection could be a consequence of his proclamation of love. He doesn’t immediately think of the fact that the woman who he is in love with could possibly love him back. He could go on for years, never making a move, never moving on, because he is just terrified of the fact that this love of his could only ever exist in his mind.

Similar to pilots after takeoff, we need to start going about things like love in a way that makes us understand that we will get from point A to point B in one piece. We must stop thinking of the crash, and instead start thinking about the smooth landing. I know that you don’t exactly know if the love of your life loves you back, just as much as you don’t exactly know that you will get to your destination in tact. But, you also don’t know anything to the contrary!

It’s a blissful and also naïve way of going about life, but why must we always act like adults when it comes to situations like love. No matter which way you go about it, you may or may not come out on top — but dealing with the situation with the less anxiety and doubt as possible, is definitely a good way of going about it.

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