Be Truthful, Gentle, and Fearless

The title of this post is a quote from Gandhi. It’s a quote I saw on Pinterest at some point not too long ago, and it instantly inspired me. As most quotes do, this left me feeling introspective about what exactly these words meant to me. My interpretation and meaning may not be the same as yours, but that’s fine. That’s how these things work.

Truthfulness, to me, has a lot to do with vulnerability. I’m not always good at that. Acting and theatre were a huge part of my childhood and growing up. It’s no coincidence that I am comfortable with using acting as a safety net. Throughout my life, I’ve made it through social situations and meeting new people and surviving group projects by being a person that I knew would do well in the situation at hand. This has always left me feeling disconnected and distant from a lot of people I’ve met in my life. I still pick up on times that I’m doing it. It’s just this past year that I’ve really been feeling progress towards being myself regardless of what situations I find myself in. It’s made a big difference, and I’m really proud of myself for learning how to be truthful to myself. This may not have made much sense, but that’s okay.

Gentleness is often construed as an unhelpful quality, and we are told that we have to be tough to “make it” or that we need to pretend like nothing gets under our skin. Not caring has become regarded as being so  “cool” and nonchalant. Not caring has been praised, preached, and pretended. While there is certainly  something to be said about being resilient, I think there is an aversion or maybe even a stigma to caring too much about anything these days. In reality, what I really admire is people caring a whole darn lot. It’s brave. It’s inspiring. It’s passionate.

And, fearlessness? Where can that even fall into my normal life – I’m not a soldier or a missionary or a cutthroat journalist or a revolutionary.

I’m not used to thinking that fearlessness has ever really been a concept that I can play into my own life, especially not day-to-day. Sure, there may be plenty of things I’m scared of (disappointing people I love, intimidating professors, and the classic show-up-to-class-and-there’s-an-exam-I-knew-nothing-about nightmare), but what am I really fearful of? I think, at least at this point in my life, the things I really feel fearful about seem to be more abstract and unknown and undefined (maybe the abstract and unknown is scary itself).

My life is on the edge of, well, a lot. 2014 is one big, challenging, and momentous year for me. This year, I will be (somehow) making it through a semester with four 4-credit, writing-intensive courses; I will be graduating; I will be getting married (and planning the whole thing); I will be moving out of my parents’ place; I will be getting a new job (or two?); I will be apartment hunting in the fall for a second place for me to move to this year. The list can go on as long as I let it. There’s a lot that’s coming at me, whether I feel ready for it or not.

This past year, I’ve tried to become more open to being uncomfortable and being outside of my comfort zone. Looking at what I’ve been through in college, and the year ahead of me, I’m starting to think that life is just one big challenge of our comfort zones and limitations. In 2015, I’m sure there will be a whole slew of new decisions for me to make and things for me to adjust to. And the same in 2016. It’ll probably never end. Knowing this, accepting it, and standing up tall to face the challenge (even if I don’t “feel ready”) is what fearlessness means to me.

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Haters Gonna Hate

I got a new job about six months ago at a very nice restaurant and I actually enjoy it sometimes. I consider a couple of my coworkers friends and I mostly dig my management staff. One thing I’ve appreciated is that the servers have all been pretty drama-free.

Silly me.

It’s never that awesome. Of course, one of my actual friends filled me in on some things people have been saying about me. And this totally bummed me out. As much as anyone can claim they don’t care what other people think, I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t feel a little hurt or sad upon hearing that there are rumors going around about them. This especially bothered me because I make a huge effort to be very nice to absolutely everyone even if I don’t feel like it or even like them, and to not talk anything about anybody to anyone. I feel like I should totally have some positive karma built up, at least in this category. It’s just too bad we can’t all be adults.

Anyways, there are some important things to remember in situations like this.

  • The people who know me/matter to me aren’t the people who are talking crap about me
  • We are not defined by the opinions of others.
  • Haters gonna hate. There are people who either don’t have anything better to do with their time than gossip, or who don’t really know how to interact with other people in interesting or meaningful ways so they start rumors, or who don’t know how to feel good about themselves and build themselves up without tearing others down. Feel sorry for these people. They must be really sad and bored. Poor them.
  • Other people can’t control you. Just because you know these people are saying something about you doesn’t mean you have to subtly alter your behavior so that they change their minds or start liking you or thinking differently about you. Nope nope nope. First of all, they’re sooooooo not worth the effort it would take to consciously make these efforts and changes. Secondly, You’re wonderful the way you are. Don’t change in any way you wouldn’t like to.
  • Tagging along from the last point, there’s no version or alteration of yourself everyone is going to like or respect or want to be friends with. See #3 again. And you don’t need everyone to like you. Do you want to know what happens when people don’t like you?: nothing. Nothing actually happens.
  • In the words of Kid Cudi, “I’ll be up, up, and away ’cause they gon’ hate me anyway. So, whatever.”
  • So, whatever.
  • There’s a  really cool saying I love that says “Harboring anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” I love love love that. And the same concept can be applied to situations like this. A little bit. In as much as the fact that your reaction to a situation like this – be it anger, embarrassment, or insecurity – isn’t going to hurt or effect anyone but yourself.
  • To refer to another quote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So don’t consent to letting others make you feel any way you don’t want to feel.
  • The energy you are spending worrying about what people are saying about you the second you leave the room could be spent writing something, creating something, lifting some one else up, thinking, reading, imagining, wondering, or – in my case involving my workplace – making more money.

The Thought Catalog has a piece that is just awesome and also a great supplementary read on this topic. Click here to check it out.

The best days I’ve had in a long while.

I have had the best last few days.

Thursday night was my choir concert. We were called to show up way earlier than we needed to be there (four-o-clock call and the concert was at seven-thirty), but I was able to get to know the people in my show choir a lot better. Justin said I look like Doris Day, so that’s what he calls me now. =]

The all-girl show choir went before the senior show choir, the one that I’m in.   My group was hanging backstage manically dancing to the other group’s music.  Oh, it was so much fun! Even though I’m in show choir, I’m not one to just… dance.  But back stage, everyone just let loose and I think I might have actually been doing it right.

I will admit, I made more mistakes this concert than usual, but it was still fun.

I had some great people come see me, so that was pretty much amazing. A lot of alumni choir friends came to the concert, too, and that was really great to see them.

Friday night, I had dinner with my family and my sister’s boyfriend. That was pretty cool because I was able to geektalk with my nerdy dad and sister. 

After that was my show choir’s Christmas party.  My hair was great and I had a great outfit.   ;]  Near the end of things, we went caroling.   When we approached a house and rang the doorbell, everyone had a great idea to Continue reading

Second-Hand Fail.

 

I have a picture of one of my friends “smoking” a candle up on my Facebook. The caption reads: “Smoking fail.”

His response?:  “Which means Haley has been poisoned with second-hand fail.”

 

 

 

Thing to smile about #12:  Laughing so hard your sides hurt. You’ve all had those times. You know it. 

 

=D

Toni Morrison – “Strangers”

“The concept of what it is to be human has altered, and the word ‘truth’ needs quotation marks around it so that its absence (its elusiveness) is stronger than its presence.”

 

If you haven’t read Toni Morrison’s narration, “Strangers,” I highly recommend it. It’s brilliant. And don’t read it – or any of her writing – right before bed or in a rush or something. Take time and digest it. Get involved with it.