The Power of a Changed Mind: Pt. 2

If you haven’t read part one, I’d recommend reading it before this one, but it’s not essential.

This entry will talk about indecisiveness and ambiguity of opinion. Spoiler alert: they are different, and there’s nothing wrong with either.

https://unsplash.com/photos/0Hvh69RZjXs:

I am going to write more specifically from my personal experience in this entry. I am at the age where many others around me seem to view me as in need of some personal advice to guide my life decisions, solicited or otherwise.

One thing which I have noticed to bother others, exceedingly, is when my personal life choices are not what they think they should be, or worse yet, I do not have a definite opinion formed one way or the other.

For example: to have or not have children. I am quite sure that I want a Master’s degree before I have children, but I am not sure if I want them at all. I do have two step-children already, who are close to being adults, and I am not sure if, and I am not sure if my spouse wishes, to begin the process again so we can have a biological child together.

However, my apparent childless state seems to confuse others. My best friend from middle school is pregnant with her third child. One of my best friends from high school has two. Almost everyone around me is having children, or dreaming of the day when they can, while I sit here peacefully sipping my tea in a nice little coffee shop, at the age of 2x, still trying to decide if I want one, some, or none. And for some reason, other people are bothered by this. The answer which I typically give, shortened, is “Maybe, but later.” Sometimes this is sufficient but not always. Which brings me to the main point of this blog:

Later is an acceptable answer. No is an acceptable answer. Yes is an acceptable answer. And yes, even “not right now” and “I’m not sure” are acceptable answers.

This applies to more than just the issue of whether or not to have children. It seems that after porn and cats, the internet is mostly comprised of opinions. All the opinions, every opinion, for everyone has one, and many are willing to share them, publicly. See fig. 1, “Totally official and accurate pie chart of the internet.”

internet content

Fig. 1, “Totally official and accurate pie chart of the internet.”

There is nothing wrong with with not knowing whether or not you want something. Likewise, and on a different topic, it is perfectly acceptable to be unsure of where exactly you stand on issue.

Too many times I have seen online arguments and debates where the apparent offender had done nothing other than have an ambiguous, undecided, or middle-of-the-road opinion on an issue. However, many are not satisfied with this and, whether it be a political opinion or life choice, want to know exactly where the other person stands so they know how to feel about the situation and that person.  As a result of their conflicted state they get angry, and take it out on the person.

Personally, I feel sorry for those who can only be friends with others who think exactly like they do. I enjoy having friends with a variety of backgrounds and opinions because it keeps me humble, open-minded, enlightens me, and occasionally reminds me of why I do hold a particular belief.

There is nothing wrong either, with choosing a neutral stance on an issue until you have properly educated yourself. And the education process never ends, which is why it is acceptable to modify your beliefs. Every election cycle in America, we get to see numerous asshats on TV displaying their ignorance while the masses suck it up. Folks form opinions on candidates, and then tend to blindly defend every single choice or decision that candidate makes when really, one should be making that very important decision based on the issues, not the personalities.

And now, in the interest of preserving the accuracy of my pie chart, a cat:

∆∆∆ PIΠTΣRΣST : @paigespooner295 ∆∆∆:

What I hope you take away from this is that you should not feel guilty or bad for changing your mind, remaining neutral, or simply waiting to form an opinion on something. There is nothing wrong with any of that. To reiterate the point made in part one of this, when you stop growing, mentally, you cease in some degree to stop living.  One should be open to new information and new opportunities. Growth allows you to become a better person. The person you want to be, a person you and others can be proud of.  Maybe your life is not what you thought it would be, but you have all of your future ahead of you to learn, and do exciting things, some of which at least will be better and more exciting than you could have ever imagined.

Thanks to DreamJumbler, who inspired this two part blog post.

The Power of a Changed Mind: Pt. 1

Aleksey Bedny    From Conceptual Photography By Aleksey Bedny:

The concept which I am about to dissect applies to many different aspects and situations in life. I am going to use just a few examples, but I believe that as you read this, dear mysterious readers, you’ll understand what the core issue is and how it fits into your own life. Although this applies to everyone, I think that young people especially need this message.

Let’s start off with a statement that, although it should not be controversial, perhaps is: there is nothing wrong with changing your mind.

What am I talking about? Let’s start with an example.

Some folks, from an early age, have their lives entirely planned out. Beach wedding. Four kids.White picket fence, etc. While the vision may differ, it seems that the resoluteness with which each individual adheres to their vision does not wavier much.

Then life happens. Something changes, for either better or worse, or maybe something happens which simply pushes the plan out of alignment. Maybe it happens before even one piece of the puzzle is in place, or maybe part way through. Either way, maybe you don’t feel the same way about all of it that you did before. This set vision of perfection may not be plausible anymore, or…

…maybe you’ve simply been introduced to new information. Maybe, you’ve realized that kids are a huge responsibility. Could you handle four? You’re older now, and have come to realize that your dream job and a house in the ‘burbs aren’t exactly compatible, unless you want to spend hours a day commuting. What now?

Maybe, you’re midway through college and have realized that your major does not interest you nearly as much as you thought it would, or as it did when you first started out. What now? Everyone knows you as a literature  major, and changing that would set you back, cost money, and change the dynamics of your social circle.

Perhaps, you experienced an epiphany on a political or social issue. You thought you knew where you stood. You had a strong opinion, which others knew, until…

…you learned something new. You met more people. You experienced life more.

What I am talking about is actually personal growth. Unfortunately, some people are so set in their ways that they are not able to properly absorb and analyze new information. Some folks see the world through a set lens. Or, become frightened by the possibility that any new information may show a belief they hold to be erroneous or require them to change, and so they close themselves off from it.

And, there’s also a sort of social stigma. Folks who change their minds on major issues may be looked upon as flaky, indecisive, or capricious.

“I thought you wanted”

“I thought you were”

“You said you’d never do”

“But you worked so hard for”

backspaceforward: Marnie Harris @ Models1:

When one stops accepting new information, they are closing themselves off to new possibilities, new adventures, and narrowing their future and mind.

There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind. You are a living, breathing creature, as is your mind. If you’re not growing, there’s a solid chance that it’s because you’re dead. The same applies to your opinions, thoughts, and views of the world. Sometimes, making a change does not show outwardly. Perhaps it is only reflected in your interactions with others, or even how you see yourself. Or, it may require to make a practical life change in the way you live or how you do something.

And that’s perfectly fine.

From what I have seen, which is a good deal more than some may credit me, the people who are most afraid to change their views, learn, or even let their friend, or significant other experience growth are so afraid because they are uncomfortable in their own beliefs and so cling to them blindly, avidly, because popular opinion or tradition determined that view to be the correct choice. Those afraid of change are where they are because someone else made a choice for them, at some point, and they’ve never properly determined where they wanted to be or what they wanted to believe. They are afraid to examine new information with an open mind, because they do not have confidence in the foundation of their current beliefs. Their beliefs were presented to them by an institution: family, school, religion, politics, or the economy.

As long as what you are doing does not hurt yourself or others — and no, someone simply disliking your opinion does not count — then you should allow yourself to explore the new information or experience.

Life means growth, comfortable or not.

If you enjoyed part one, please read part two, which will talk about a different side of the same issue.

All the Randomness

Courtesy of my brain. Gifs courtesy of the internet.

1. Never trust someone who can eat ice cream straight out of the freezer without letting it thaw a little first

2. Someone who has an excessive amount of high heeled shoes, but can’t walk in them properly, doesn’t walk in them

3. The Hemsworth brothers’ looks are over-rated

4. Nickelback receives far too much undeserved scorn. They’re not that bad

5. Why, when we could do almost literally anything, or go virtually anywhere, do we spend the majority of our internet time on Facebook

6. I’m far more entertained by the clever folks on YouTube, vines, and random internet posts than the majority of what’s on TV

7. Seagulls are sea-rats

8. People who complain about how different girls who wear a lot of make-up look, without make-up, clearly don’t understand what exactly make-up is. It changes the way people look

9. It’s gif, with a g, not jif, with an unearned pretentiousness 

10. Hipsters are self-defeating in their quest to be hipster. Think about it

11. Not every one can do every thing. We shouldn’t degrade the integrity of words to accommodate this. There’s nothing wrong with having a particular look or skill set, or not having a particular look or skill set

12. It’s better to ask how to do something and look stupid once, than always stand on the sidelines and look like a boring arse

13. The internet needs more Shaq

14. Back to make-up. Saying someone is wearing too much make-up is like saying someone drove the car too far. Kind of. Basically. Maybe

15. At one time, the idea of giving your actual name on the internet was horrifying and doing so meant you would definitely die all the violent deaths in a van in the woods while your parents forever mourned your foolishness because how could you actually be so stupid as to tell people your name without getting kidnapped that’s not how they raised you

16. Coming up with these points are difficult, have a gif

Silly Randomness: Bad at the “Baby Thing”

It’s silly randomness/ honest confession time:

I am bad at the baby thing. Let’s break this down.

  1. Not all babies are cute
    Sorry? I understand it’s biology to think your own children are thee most adorable EVER, however, I may not think so. Of course, I would never tell someone that their baby looks like a senior citizen, or looks just alright. I think most babies are just alright in looks, not adorable.
  2. I do not know, nor do I really care
    I’m not sure how exactly to explain this. The thought of having children does not create in me the thrills that many people, especially many females around my age, seem to experience. I’m not sure why this is.  I’m not totally against the idea but neither am I excited by it.  I don’t have a Pinterest board full of nursery stuff. I don’t really seek out stuff about childbearing or rearing. I might click on something if it pops up somewhere, but I’m not looking for it.  While other females are hoarding the information like it’s going out of stock, my gut reaction is one of polite, intellectual disinterest.  A great example of this is when an acquaintance was discussing how, apparently, women are now not supposed to have children past (I think) like 34.  She knew this information because she had sought it out, because it was important to her. I had no idea until she divulged the information, unsolicited. I had never attempted to, or really even thought about, finding out the latest timeline from doctors. Moderately interesting, but…I would have likely never looked for that info. And most of the interest is from a scientific perspective of wondering what changes occur after that age.
  3. What about You?
    It’s totally fine to talk about someone’s child’s achievement, or breakthrough. I don’t mind seeing cute pictures or funny videos. Some of my friends have absolutely adorable children and I like and watch the stuff they post. However…when someone just wants to talk about children or their child, all day or all the time, I tend to lose interest. I get it, your child pooped where you wanted him to, and if I were you, I’d probably be ecstatic about it, too. But, and I know there are some parents who do agree with me, oversharing is a real thing. I also like hearing about and talking with you about more intellectual topics than poop.  I find it difficult to “gush” over these topics for an extended period of time or a frequent basis.
  4. “Aw”
    I feel like I react, and feel excited when someone tells me they are going to have a baby, until I see someone else react. Follow? I feel like my excitement is, in comparison, at a much lower level than others. I do genuinely feel happy for people who get pregnant, and are excited about it. That’s awesome. But I’ve never had the urge to jump up and down or cry about it.  It’s an odd feeling, because I am usually a very intense person, emotionally.
  5. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business to start asking me about possible future children.
    Like most things, if I didn’t bring it up it’s because for whatever reason, I don’t want to talk about it. Saying “I don’t really care” sounds awful, but it’s also annoying to have someone tell you, with deep conviction, that one day I will deeply want to have kids, when they brought the topic up to start with.  Maybe, but that day is not today, and regardless of what my feelings could be in the future, it does not make my current feelings or decisions less legitimate. I also don’t appreciate being treated like I am somehow not an adult because I do not have biological children.

I think I’ll end this here with a sort of disclaimer: I am in no way diminishing the awesomeness of children, or their parents. I’m simply making an observation about my own feelings on all of it, which seem to me to be drastically different from many people around me.  Hopefully this amused, even if slightly, the mysterious readers of this blog. 😉

The only thing worse than Monday right is the preceding 24 hours.

Because why not have a long, ridiculous title to this random blog post?

I’m using this to procrastinate doing homework.  I wanted some wine instead.

Yeah, that’s good.  Lots of logic there.  What could go wrong when combining those two things?  Nothing, I say, in vehement denial.  NOTHING.

I only have about a month left, but it feels like all of eternity, and then I’m waiting for something to pop up at the end going “surprise motherfucker, you’re not actually done yet.  You have another four and half years to go.”

Sobs.  I think I am mentally and emotionally scared from college.  I learn much better  when I’m not ridiculously stressed.  The last time that happened was…not sure.  Maybe never.

Probably never.  I have no idea where this post is going.  Have a gif.

I feel like it’ll never be over. In the past, people would tell me they just graduated high school and didn’t go to college, and I would think (to myself) “oh…they’ll have trouble getting a job.  And they’re really missing out.”  Now I think, must be freaking delightful.  Sounds like living the dream, actually.

But I’m glad I did all this.  I am.  *Nods aggressively*

Time to end this nonsense.

7 Ways College Actually Leaves You Ill-Equipped to Deal with Life

I actually like college.  But that doesn’t change the truth that in some ways, you’re probably a little less prepared to deal with life.

Que dramatic chipmunk.

  1. You have to come to terms with the fact that even though you spent tens of thousands, or maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars on knowledge, there are still important life things of which you know nothing. 

    Lol, taxes. Lol, healthcare. Lol, renter’s insurance. At least I can sing about the quadratic formula and know Caligula made his horse a Roman emperor.
    That will get me through life just fine.

  2. Your family and pre-college friends have no idea what you’re talking about. 

    At least one relative or pre-college friend will assume that you are purposely trying to make them feel stupid when talking about something, anything.  And the thing is, what you’re trying to talk about doesn’t have to be something you learned in college. The fact is, YOU have changed.  The way you approach problems, the world, and the way you reason things out is likely drastically different from pre-college you.  College changes you, and now you have less in common with less educated people.  AKA, the masses: the people you encounter in day-to-day life.  And it’s mostly okay, because there are lots of other things you can relate to people on that aren’t knowledge-based.  But, if you spent four or more years learning about American Literature, it might be nice to talk about it with someone once in a while.

  3. People make ridiculous assumptions about you. 

    Especially on social issues, politics, or economic things.  People tend to lump “college students” into a giant heap (like I’m doing right now, *cough cough*) and expect them all to behave in a certain way, and expect them to think certain things.  And the phrases I hear frequently are whiny, liberal, dependent on their parents, amassing debt, blah blah blah…Excuse you, I am only some of those things.

  4. You have high expectations, because you know how things could be. 

    You spend years learning about “best practices.” These “best practices” are presented as the way in which people normally conduct business.  “The manual.” Then, you graduate, enter the workforce, and find yourself wondering if your professors considered “the manual” proprietary knowledge, because no one else seems to know anything about it.
    And this doesn’t just apply to complicated things.  In fact, it’s almost worse when it’s very basic things.  You’ve probably taken a speech course and some written communication-type courses. You were probably told “this is how to do it,” yet your colleagues seem to have missed the memo (even some of the ones who went to college) because you’re still subjected to “Death by PowerPoint” and emails with no punctuation.And it’s a tiny bit frustrating.  You know how things could be, yet they are not so.  This also applies to social issues and political affairs.

  5. You might be a little less patient when discussing social issues with people.  Just a little.
    Because at some point, if you learned anything in the past years, it’s that if you have an opinion, you should be able to back it up with some kind of concrete information.  I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.  I usually assume the opposite.  But, when someone says something to the effect of “well, I don’t think we should worry about the environment” and  you ask, after a bewildered pause, “why?” and they respond with something to the effect of “idk, it was pretty cold yesterday”…

    I’m not saying folks who haven’t gone to college don’t care about the environment.  I’m simply saying that for me, I have a greater expectation of people being able to provide facts in arguments instead of just feelings, and I have less patience for people who can’t provide facts, yet claim that their argument is factual.#factsaregood #facts2016 #factsforpresident

  6. People relate to you weirdly.  Or is that you? 

    This is pretty similar to number 3, but there are some key differences.Mostly, the fact that some people (if you’re in Smalltown, USA, like I am) are afraid that you will actually judge them for not knowing something, or not being able to talk about a “complicated” topic.But, I’m actually not.  I might want to be able to talk about something, but if I can’t talk about it with you, I’m not holding that against you.  We’ve gone down different paths in life, and mine happened to include college.  It took some good fortune and support from other people for me to get there and I don’t take that for granted, and I understand not everyone has had those opportunities.Or maybe you don’t even care, and this is my perception?

    Since starting college, the vague feeling of being misplaced in the world (which I have always had) has become amplified.

  7. You feel like you should be doing more than you’re doing, no matter how much you’re doing. 

    Now that I know I can write a complete nineteen page research paper in 17 hours, non-stop, I will definitely feel like an underachiever doing anything less.  Now that I know I can calculate how to balance a stock portfolio to match my risk factor, I will feel like I’m not taking advantage of opportunities to invest.  Now that I know about the textile industry, I will forever have some guilt when purchasing clothing from a third-world “emerging market” country.And once I graduate, I will forever be an under-achiever.Which might just propel me into grad school.Thanks, College.

To All Anxious and Young People: Why you’ll actually be OK

I’m going to start this post off with a sort of disclaimer: I have never been diagnosed with anxiety.  So I am not going to pretend that I have been.  I have only been “evaluated” for my mental health one time and that was at least ten years ago.  What ever observations were made were not really communicated to me, but I do not believe I was officially “diagnosed” with anything, even though I most likely could have been.

I am an INFJ and I have been told by the people closest to me that I am anxious.  Very anxious, actually, and most of the time.  I think anxiety is an inseparable part of my personality.

This blog post “came to me” last night as I was showering, and it’s been a mental itch in the hours since, and so therefore I know I need to say it.

So, without a lot more rambling, let’s get to the point:

To All Anxious and, or, Young People: You’ll actually be OK.

Growing up is scary.  Going through life is scary.  There are a lot of things to be worried about.  Real, legitimate worries.  I do not intend for one minute to pretend that the things which scare us all are not scary things: they are.  Getting a job, going to college, making use of a degree, having enough money for bills, having friends, finding and keeping a worthy significant other are all major life things.

In fact, part of my inspiration for this blog post is that, at least most of the things I read online about being anxious, suggest that the person doing the worrying is worrying about something that will probably not happen.

I’m going to take a radically different approach.  I’m going to suggest that the thing you’re worrying about could happen.  It might even be likely.

But, you will actually be okay, anyway.  And I am suggesting this to you because things that truly terrified me have actually happened.

And I am still here, still ok.  I have faith that you’ll make it, too.

As I’ve mentioned, I am a generally anxious person.  Many people at one point or another worry that they’ve left the door unlocked or the oven on.  I feel like that probably about 85% of my waking life.  There is something in the atmosphere around me, or in my own mind, causing me to feel like somewhere, I’ve left some oven on or some door unlocked.  So I worry no matter what.  But when the thing I worry about is quantifiable, ouch.  Ouch, my poor brain and heart.  But, I will tell you: I have survived 100% of all it.  I’m betting that you can, too, even if it’s very difficult at times.

So now about those scary things happening, I can give some instances and I think most of you reading will agree that they’re pretty sucky.  Maybe they’re similar to the things you worry about, or maybe they’re totally different.  But either way, a legitimate worry is a legitimate worry not matter how significant it is to other people.  My fears are legitimate.  Your fears are legitimate.

My parents getting divorced.

When I was nine, this thought was so, so, SO terrifying and seemed so likely that it was petrifying to nine year old me.  They fought intensely every day.  My brother told me they were probably going to get divorced.  I’m fairly certain I had a panic attack at nine.  At that time, I loved them both and could not imagine them splitting up.

Well, the thing I was terrified of did happen.  Nine years later, when I was eighteen and had already moved out with my mother.  My feelings in those nine years about their relationship and divorce changed completely, and when it actually happened, I saw it as a good thing.  Still a legitimate fear.

Not being able to drive.

As a teenager, neither parent had any interest in teaching me to drive.  No one did.  Absolutely no one.  One day, when I was around 16, my father let me drive our Chrysler 300 about ten feet down the road.  Now, I was totally, completely ignorant about cars and how they work.  I had no idea that cars, when put in drive, would go forward by themselves (albeit very slowly).  I was confused, and it freaked me out, and that’s why I only got to drive the car about ten feet.  I can’t remember if I said I was done, or if it was decided for me.

After that, I had a series of nightmares about Not Being Able to Drive that lasted for years.  Years. Being in a car, and not being able to control it, not understanding it, being unable to take someone to the hospital, getting into car accidents. These were vivid, horrifying dreams.  I also experienced some weird social shame because I couldn’t drive as a teenager and didn’t even have a permit.

I did not get my license until I was twenty-two.  Twenty. Two. By this time, my fears about driving were pretty deeply ingrained.

Of course, therefore, just about three hours after I got my driver’s license, I would get into a car accident from running a stop-sign (in my weak defense, the sign was not visible because of over-grown trees).  Of course, there were three other people in the car  with me that I cared about and of course, my step-daughter would have to go the hospital to get checked out and of course, all of my in-laws would know about it, as well as my step-daughter’s mother.

Of course, the car that I helped pick out (technically my husband’s) would be totaled, and the other individual that I hit also had to go to the hospital.

Of course.  Let me tell you, it’s still hard to write about even though that was a few years ago.  My heart rate just increased a little and my eyes are a little wetter than they should be.  It was a completely horrible experience.

But, somehow, the sun still rose the next day.  I still have my license, and have never had another incident since then, not even a ticket.  We found another car.  No one was seriously injured.  It could have been worse, but in my mind and especially at that time, I was mentally devastated.  To me, my failure was magnificent, spectacular, and public.

I lost my job.

When I was eighteen, I got my first job working as a teacher’s aide.  There were some things I really enjoyed about it.  There were other things I didn’t like so much (I felt like I had basically no training or direction), but I liked having a job.  I lived with my mother and younger sisters.  She was unemployed and my significant other’s self-employment brought in money very irregularly.  My having a job was a pretty big deal because it not only gave me money, but provided stability for everyone else.

And then I lost my job.  At the end of winter break, my bosses’ boss called and told my mother (which he should have never done, he should have told me) that I didn’t need to come in anymore.  He didn’t like me, and used the excuse of reduced enrollment at the school to get rid of me.  That was a pretty awful time.

So where I am going with all this? What I am trying to say, is that we experience a lot of fears.  They are legitimate fears.  Anxious people, and young people, seem to worry a lot about things or about being able to make it in life.

And we’ll actually all be okay.  I can tell you that today, because some of the things which terrified me more than anything else have happened.  Things that were in my nightmares actually happened in real life.  Of course, there are more that I won’t go into just because this could quickly turn into a book, but I think I’ve made my point.  I hope I have.  I’d like to tell you that these experiences have made me stop worrying, but that wouldn’t be the truth.  I still get freaked out about stuff, but it has changed my perspective.

Things happen.  Life is hard, confusing, scary, and uncertain.  But, it’s not all bad and you should never give up.  Giving up means things end on a bad note, and none of the good stuff that’s down the road will be able to happen.  So don’t give up.

Shit happens.  You won’t get into that school.  Your career won’t take off when you want it to.  They’ll say no.  They’ll laugh at you.  You’ll lose your job.  Your friend or significant other will just seemingly give up on what you thought was a good relationship. And then life continues to happen afterward; and you’ll have more opportunities, more chances, meet more awesome people, do more awesome things.  Do things better, and more awesomely than you thought possible.

And you’ll actually be perfectly ok.

Loveeeee: