Callie

Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

The Best Creative Advice

In Thoughts on August 31, 2014 at 4:33 pm

…that I’ve stumbled upon yet. Am I really qualified to tell you which advice is good and which is crap when pursuing your creativity? Hell no. I haven’t done anything creatively great in my life. So, what I’m here to say is that this guy has a great idea that we should listen to simply because it is laid out in a way that hasn’t been done before. He expands upon how to “cultivate” your passion and, what I found to be most important, how to recognize opportunity that may lead to a new, more fulfilling passion. Read:
‘FOLLOW YOUR PASSION’ IS CRAPPY ADVICE: AN INTERVIEW

How many “passions” have you had in your life? When you were 8, what was it? Working on your boy/girlscout badges? What about 15, a specific sport? What about when you were 18… did it change? Mine did. All of my areas of interest have generally stayed in similar categories but my “passion” has changed. My focus when I was 18 was to become a makeup artist. I’ve always been great at it, and I loved learning about products and colors and techniques. Fast forward three years and I can’t learn enough about great works of literature and the emotions and histories that inspired them. I still enjoy doing makeup, but it’s no longer my passion. Why? Because I pursued it with room for growth. I built an expensive makeup kit, accompanied my friend who, at the time, was an aspiring (now successful) model to each of her photoshoots and did hours worth of work for free. I teamed up with photographers and began doing other models’ faces – actually for decent money. I researched cosmetology schools to go to, what type of makeup field to pursue (film and fashion are two VERY different things), and all the while I was focusing on how to better my craft.

See, I worked wholeheartedly on pursuing my passion, but something changed. I took a British Literature class and it sparked a new passion for me. I realized that I enjoyed reading poetry more than I enjoyed being a makeup artist. This didn’t happen overnight. As I read for the class, I realized how much poetry could influence my life; how it could help me make sense of things and find new ways to view life. I continued doing makeup for a while, but semesters after that class I was still going back to my textbook and finding new poems. I finally changed my major to English Literature, and as time went on, my interest in makeup artistry burnt out. I still enjoy doing it but I feel that now I’ve found something that makes life worth living. Maybe that sounds extreme, but it’s how I view great writing. Had I not taken the opportunity to learn more about this new interest, I wouldn’t have found my new passion. Likewise, had Steve Jobs not seen the opportunity to make money by selling Apple computers to everyday people, he would not have recognized his passion for being a technological innovator. Computers would have remained only an interest in his life, second to his passion of eastern mysticism. Jobs combined his former passion with his new interest, which shaped his inventive ideas and allowed his new interest to cultivate into a lifelong passion.
The point here is: You can have multiple passions throughout your life. Life isn’t black and white, it’s neutral warm, mauve, and brownish black. So do not allow your current passion to cloud your view of opportunity in new interests. Passion makes life worth living; do not hinder your opportunities to cultivate new passions.

xx
-C

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I’m Not Here to be Your Role Model

In Thoughts on August 8, 2014 at 1:48 pm

I’ve always thought that it must be awful to be famous. I truly do mean that. The paparazzi constantly shoving cameras in your face and crowding in on you so you can barely walk three feet, the obligation to give, and choose “the most worthy” cause you can find, but worst of all? The expectations of how you should act and the inevitable criticism regardless of what you do or say. It’s terrible that people feel they can write incredibly mean things about someone just because they are famous, or worse yet, post it as comments on their Instagram or other sites. Would you say that to their face? I doubt it. Would you comment those things on pictures of people you knew? No. You wouldn’t, I guarantee. So what makes you think you can say hurtful things to someone simply because of their job description, or the money in their bank account, or the number of followers they have?

Famous people who, *gasp* are people, too, are not here to be your (or your kids’) role models. Imagine if all of the sudden one day you woke up and everything you did or said had to be appropriate for all ages and had to essentially teach society what to think of themselves or others. You would fail miserably, wouldn’t you? People are people. We all have different views on EVERYTHING. We think differently, and we think different things. To judge whether someone’s thoughts are “acceptable” is NOT up to you, or a group of you, or society in general.

Humans are not on this planet to be “role models.” We are not here to show you how to act, what to say, or what to think. We are all different and can learn from each other. This does not mean in any way that anyone should be held up high on a pedestal of exactly how to act, nor does it mean condemning one down to be shown as a mockery, or an example of what not to do. Lay off the judging of famous people. I bet they would never hold YOU to such high standards of any one person’s individual version of morality.

xx
-C

Quick Thought from Study Abroad

In Thoughts on May 19, 2014 at 6:08 am

“Religious people crave meaning; all people are religious. Everyone needs symbolic order to their life.”
-Turner, Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture

People crave meaning. Do they know the meaning? No. Do they continue to search for it? Absolutely.
To me, life’s meaning is to give God something to be proud to watch; to live striving for the best in everything, not in a hyper-competitive way, but in a challenging way. It shouldn’t be easy. It will always be easier to cheat on a test or to duck under the turnstile bars at the Metro. I believe God is proud of those that work hard to earn an honest living, those that go out of their way to help someone, and those that strive for the betterment of themselves and therefore the world.

Purpose

In Thoughts on May 6, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Life’s purpose is different for each of us. It also evolves with each of us over time, as situations change, as opportunities arise, as our eyes are opened wider. When someone asks you the sole question “What major goal gives your life meaning right now?” What do you say? We each have different goals for our lives, some more pressing than others with time limits that may be self-imposed. I know I do. I believe our best creativity comes from our early twenties, while our minds are still changing, and our brains are having their final growth spurt. This belief is driving me to work on my first life goal, something I want to contribute to the world to give my life some meaning, to justify why I’m here. I want my writing to touch people the way great authors have touched me. It isn’t just some frivolous art but rather life or death. Had I not read some of the poems I did in the year after my father’s passing, I’m not sure if I’d still be here right now. That sounds so harsh, I know, but those connections are what made me feel alive when nothing in the outside world could. It sure makes you feel much less lonely when you can connect with a poet from the eighteenth century, knowing there was someone out there that felt exactly what you feel at one time. The authors conveyed these messages to me that helped me with what I was going through more than a therapist ever could. The poems said exactly what I wanted to say when I couldn’t form the words myself. They helped me grieve. They taught me that it is okay to live, and to live with such purpose that others will benefit from your life too.

This is why I want to write. I want to produce something that will connect with the lonely ones, the ones going through such rough times that a book is all they could count on. So, writing may seem like a meaningless career to some, but to me it is therapy. It is helping others through depression and issues that are so deep no human could ever help- only words. Words and their meanings, their mysteries, their truths- that is what will help others. I hope that my writing could stop others from harmful actions. I hope that my writing can help others make peace in their lives. I hope that my writing can make such a difference that people can say that their lives were saved by my words.

That is my goal and that’s all the purpose I need in life.

 

xx

-C

Hippie at Heart

In Thoughts on April 25, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I have been meditating and doing yoga much more lately to prepare my mind for my upcoming trips. Sunday I leave for Chicago with my mom and sister and two weeks after that I leave for Study Abroad with my best friend which will begin in Paris. I have so many emotions running through me lately: excitement, anticipation, terror, wonder- really everything you could imagine that could plague your brain before your first real out of the country experience. Also, I am absolutely terrified to fly over water, but with a little help from Ativan and a lot of help from meditation, I am feeling so ready to do this.

 

The more I think about the effects of prescription drugs lately, the more I realize I want to be, for lack of a better word, clean. My goal has been to focus on raw organic foods, and with that I think comes the insight into everything else you are putting your body through. I’ve been focusing on switching all of my beauty products and makeup over to good-for-you organic products alongside my vegan focus. That I plan to post about soon because you couldn’t imagine the things I’ve learned about organic beauty products in such a short amount of time- and the horrors of chemical “normal” products as well.

 

BUT back to what I was saying. I feel very centered when I do more yoga and more at peace with my present self (Cliché I know but SO TRUE). I noticed that I have more confidence lately and I truly believe it is because I have been trying to rid my life of toxins. The toxicity of fear, of temptation to overeat and eat poor foods, the toxicity of cynicism. When you try to really become “clean,” you work wonders for not just your body, but for your mind too.

 

I hope with the renewal of life this spring (you may take that in a nature sense or religious- it is indeed planned to cover both) you also find a rebirth in yourself. I hope you are able to capture the exquisite feeling of a new beginning, one in which you need not carry with you the burdens of your former pains. I hope you learn to find a way to get to a clearer thinking point, one in which you can legitimately enjoy and appreciate life in the present moment in all its abstract ways.

 

xx

-C

Coming Back with an Edge

In Thoughts on April 19, 2014 at 6:46 pm

My “Gossip Girl” obsession has gotten the best of me lately. Free time? Watch episode after episode of GG in a row. I’m reliving the first season because I love to see how the characters started out. Each character had changed so much towards the end of the series that it’s intriguing to go back to where it all began and remember how they all started. One in particular that has held my attention is Blair Waldorf. I think it’s safe to say that with Dan’s Inside later in the series, the show had a turning point from being all about Serena to all about Blair.

Season one is saturated with Serena scenes, but we forget to notice that Blair started out as innocent and mild-mannered in the very beginning. Ashleigh from On the Hunt reminded me with her  post “5 Life Lessons You Never Expected to Learn from Gossip Girl” this morning that Blair had a low point in this season when she lost her boyfriend, her friends, and all of her carefully pieced together plans for her life fell apart (for the first time). She was so close to running away from her problems when her biggest support system stepped in- Serena, of course.

Blair (in response to wanting to run away): Everything’s horrible. My whole life’s falling apart.

Serena: So rebuild it. You’re a Waldorf remember? People don’t tell you who you are, you tell them. Stay and fight. I’ll fight with you.

Blair: I’m so embarrassed. I’m so…

Serena: So what? Start over. It can be done. I should know. We’ll get through this together.

Blair: You promise?

Serena: Promise.

Sometimes when you feel alone, you need that one person to come forward and affirm that they will see to it that you will get to a better point in your life, no matter what. After a long talk with my sister about how depressed I’ve been last night, I can assure you that it is essential that someone comes forth to be there by your side while you rebuild your life.

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After this, Blair took a minimal amount of time to “mourn her former life” as she says, and then jumps quickly back into action. She comes back with risky plans to take down Jenny and regain her old friendships, and she does something else that slips by us as the audience; She opens her mind. She begins to speak to Dan as if he is an actual person. She accepts humiliation when it comes her way and then comes back brighter than ever. It’s so easy to get down on yourself when faced with defeat, so Blair’s determination should be a lesson to all of us.

If you want to rebuild your life, you will have to expand your ways of thinking. Scratch the old plans of what your life should be like and make some new ones. Try new things and get creative. If one thing doesn’t pan out the way you think it will, get up, move on, and try something new. Stop looking back and start looking forward. The best is yet to come.

 

xx

-C

Travel & Overcoming Fears

In Lifestyle, Thoughts on April 15, 2014 at 3:57 pm

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“Greatness is measured by your gifts, not your possessions.”

Who else feels like everything is falling into place when your tea gives you the perfect quote to reflect your day?

In less than one month, I will be in Paris for a short Study Abroad trip with my best friend! It will be my first time traveling out of the country (you really can’t count the Bahamas on an American cruise line as going out of the U.S.) and I can’t even contain my excitement! All I can think is “what will I wear, what will I see, who will I meet?!” OH and what will I eat? Because DUH- Parisian macarons are on the to-do list! My mom brought me this mug back from when her flight had a layover in Paris- so no, she didn’t really see anything that she could tell me about. I feel like I’m venturing so far into unknown territory for me! The trip will bring us to Paris, Lourdes, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Iona (a tiny little island 3 miles by 1.5 off the coast of Scotland).

 

I’ve always been afraid to travel far because of my anxiety. Sure, I’ve wanted to go places but I couldn’t (and still am having trouble) imagining myself flying over a massive body of water. Not to mention the missing Malaysian flight 370 has certainly added to my fears. What I decided, however, when I chose to go forward with these plans last fall was that I will not allow my fears to control me. I know 100% that the rewards will outweigh the risk and all I can do is chose to be strong. Anxiety has a way of being pushed forward as the biggest priority and I get so sick of it. I choose to not let my anxiety control me on this trip. I will continue to enjoy the moment and be as fearless as I can be. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and if I don’t take it now because of my stupid fears, when will I ever? The more prepared I am, the less scared I feel when adventuring into anything new. So I have been preparing with my psychiatrist for months to find the perfect dose of Lexapro and to also find the perfect drug to knock me the fuck out for the 8 hour flight. Pills are not at all the only answer, though. I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the social norms (apparently shorts in Paris is a HUGE no) because hello I do not want to be seen as a tourist that will be an easy target.

 

I know the ins and outs of Atlanta; I know where to avoid, what to do when homeless people approach you talking nonsense (I act deaf) and what to do when homeless people approach you just wanting to simply tell their story (I always listen- and usually learn a lot). I know my city. I’ve lived in or around Atlanta my entire life and worked in the heart of downtown for almost 6 years. I’ve seen and heard the horror stories of women walking alone at night (why would you ever…) and have done my best to placate the crazies who threaten you for no reason. I understand how to be safe. I don’t know any of that about any of these cities we are going to which scares me- but I know I will be as smart as I can, and I will never leave my friend’s side. Anxiety doesn’t have to take control of your mind if you make smart decisions when trying new things.

 

So, back to my tea fortune. Common sense, intellect, and a keen instinct to always be cautious will help me enjoy the trip without allowing full-fledged anxiety to take over. Intelligence is one of my greatest gifts. I hope to achieve the level of greatness I want one day because I have this opportunity to expand my knowledge even more. Material possessions will never amount to any level of personal greatness, but your God-given gifts will and you must maximize that potential in order to become the person you wish to be.

 

xx

-C

 

Anxiety in Teenagers and Young Adults: You’re Not Alone

In Lifestyle, Thoughts on April 8, 2014 at 12:54 pm

“Roughly 40 million people have an anxiety disorder in the United States, and the disorder usually manifests by the age of 22. People with anxiety disorders frequently suffer from depression as well.”

Sane Magazine

That’s (approximately) 12.6% of the population, which is a pretty decent amount of people. To the teenagers and young 20-somethings out there suffering: you are not alone. Don’t forget that. Anxiety can be so difficult to talk about because talking about having a mental illness is an added stressor in itself. Mental illness is rampant. You are not a freak, and it is okay to talk openly about your struggles. Please take that to heart.

 

I can still vividly remember my first panic attack. I was 14 and it was the second week of high school, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling sick and all around terrified that I was going to die. My mom helped me through it telling me to envision “green meadows” which surprisingly helped. After what seemed like a lifetime of panic I fell back asleep. Needless to say I woke up the next morning rattled and decided to skip school that day. One of my teachers took me aside the next day and told me that I shouldn’t be missing school so early on in the school year, which only added to my growing anxiety because I loathed falling behind in school. From there it slowly spiraled out of control. At age 17 I was dealing with an eating disorder that only one friend knew the depths of and to say that caused anxiety would be an understatement. I had gotten to a point where I was constantly on edge and was having panic attacks almost once a day. I luckily was able to gain back control over my life and my food without any professional help but I am still scarred by the terror I had over eating 30 calories too many in a day and the panic I felt after getting full from a few bites of lima beans.

 

I could go on, but I’ll stop here. My high school years were plagued with anxiety for every situation you could think of: speaking in front of the class, eating at the lunch table, learning new skills at practice. To say anxiety controlled my everyday life would be an understatement; it controlled my every thought, every second. But things got better. Age (even just 3 years) gives you wisdom about situations that you never knew you could have. Experience opens your mind, allows you to realize that it is okay to be open about having anxiety without feeling vulnerable. So open up, talk about your struggles to good friends and family, remember it is okay, and you are hardly the weirdest person out there- hell, you belong to 12% of the population.

 

It is a mature thing to be honest about your problems. Always remember this when opening up:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

I hope to help others that have dealt with the issues I have dealt with for over 6 years now. I plan to post much more on this matter but please comment below if you have anything to add or share.

xx

-C

An Open Letter to Interrogative Adults

In Thoughts on March 31, 2014 at 1:57 pm

I feel that I can speak on behalf of most 20 year olds when I say STOP ASKING ME WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE! I get it, you want to give me some valuable advice that you wish you had at my age, but I don’t fucking know what I want to do and my answer is going to be delivered with a shoulder shrug and an annoyed grimace every time. Honestly your advice probably sucks because regardless of what you think I will have to learn it through experience on my own, without you, BY MYSELF. Get it now?

 

I don’t know what I want to do because I haven’t even cracked the surface of exploring my options yet. I refuse to set my sights now on one sole career that I have yet to experience in its actual setting. I have many interests that I am considering pursuing and guess what? I’ll probably discover many more in these next few years.

 

Our generation is stuck. We’ve been told to find careers that we are passionate about and to never settle for anything less. Do you know how stressful that is? Following your heart has got to be the most difficult thing to do in your young adulthood. You want to be responsible, yet you want to have fun. It’s a fucking roller coaster trying to decide what you even enjoy. One day I love event planning, the next day it stresses me out to no end and my new plan is become a writer, then a week later I decide I love advertising. I understand that whatever I choose I will have to stick with it enough to make a career of it but right now my mind is looking at a million possibilities, and I don’t want to fuck this up.

 

So while I pop my daily Lexapro let me remind you that this whole “world at your feet” notion is TERRIFYING for those of us with perfection complexes, and your constant questioning is only making it worse. If you’re wondering why my generation of 20-somethings are either A) depressed or B) going off the deep end, you have your answer. IT’S YOU and your questions. How about instead of asking us what we want to do with our piece of paper we receive after 4 (or more likely 5) years of soul-searching you ask us what we are up to now. We can make a much better conversation of it, receive your praises (or disapproval if you want to be a bitch that has forgotten the uncertainty of young adulthood), and I will no longer have to listen to your ineffectual advice while silently wishing for the topic to change.

 

I’m doing great right now, so spare me your unwelcome counseling and let’s have a normal conversation, shall we?

 

Yin-Yang

In Thoughts on January 11, 2014 at 5:22 pm

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I have been craving a yin-yang tattoo lately. I’ll wait a while for this one – I waited 1.5 years for my first and 6 months for my second. I like giving myself enough time to be sure that whatever I’m choosing is something I will enjoy for life. Anyways, that’s not what this post is about. I wanted to address the idea of choosing to find the “good” in the “bad.”

Your happiness is solely based on your own state of mind. I think that’s fair to say. There’s always going to be a silver lining. You just have to find it, and accept it. I watched the movie Silver Linings Playbook last night and it brought this idea to my attention. There is so much messiness and “crazy sad shit” about mental illness. I consider my anxiety disorder to be such an obstacle for my life, but that doesn’t mean I’m ever going to quit trying to fight through it. When I beat my anxiety, whether it be calming myself from a panic attack or simply not allowing myself to stress over the past, I feel so great. Granted, I’m not doing this alone. I have medicine to aid me. But I still feel responsible for the little victories that I would have never been able to have before. Anxiety is controlling and stifling and suffocating, but if you can figure out how to control your own thoughts, you can control your happiness. Period.

I’ve always been an optimist. I’ve always tried to see the “good” in the “bad.” One thing though, is that I didn’t fully embrace it. See, you can point out the good all you want but if you are dwelling on the “could have/should have’s” and regretting, you aren’t allowing yourself that happiness. You are allowing the bad to take over again. And when that happens, you lose control of your own happiness. Allowing yourself to accept and embrace the good, without regard to the bad, is what makes you truly free. You can free yourself from negativity if you move on. If you stop focusing on the bad, and remember that life is balanced. Life is one large yin-yang symbol, and you control your happiness.