Perspective, Persistence

Traveling to different places always has a way of hitting my reset button… I think that’s a common thread for most people. It happened when I went to Spain and Portugal; different languages always bring out new perspectives. It happened again when moving adjusting to dorm life for my freshman year of college. But even when driving down the streets of my hometown, I can’t help but acknowledge all the different cars zooming past; each carries an array of people, and each of them are leading their own lives.

Some may find this train of thought isolating, I know I did for a while. Now I find comfort in knowing that there are so many things happening in the world. So many people going through your same dilemmas. It is much too easy to get caught up in our own struggles; sometimes we could use a call back to reality. An instructor of mine once told me:

“Don’t let a penny block your sun. When you hold a penny, such a small thing, so close and obsess over it, you give it the power to block the sun. But when you move it farther away from your eye, the sun outshines it.”

I think of these words when I need to be pulled out of a funk, but sometimes hearing the story of someone else can be even more powerful. The classmate that lost a family member, the student that serves as the head of their household, the teachers that are struggling with their own issues and push them aside to help us with ours. Sometimes it’s not even someone we know, but a total stranger that seems to have come into our lives for some divine reason.

All problems are valid, but it is important to be aware of which ones we let hold too much power. Is your latest problem worth all the strife, or is it simply a step to your future?

A friend often reminds me:

“The rear-view mirror is the smallest part of the car; the windshield is the biggest.”

Looking back on the past can prove helpful at times, but there is much more opportunity ahead. That, and the fact that someone out there understands whatever ostracizing emotion you are experiencing, always provides some level of comfort. Whether it’s in a new country, a new campus, or back home, there’s a place for everyone. All those different cars with different stories are intertwined.

Democracy Dies in Darkness; Don’t Get Caught in the Shadow.

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I am a major journalism nerd; that is not news to anyone. But with the increasing stigma around the news media, I have come to notice a rising disdain among my peers for the field I have such high regards for… and I don’t blame them. Today’s world is plagued with the repetitiveness of the 24-hour news cycle and the over usage of the term “fake-news.” The field that was intended to provide information for people to process on their own terms has morphed into a polarized world of biased networks that are driven by ratings.

But there are issues on both fronts. Sure, news networks should focus on fixing the field that has slowly turned into a sort of battlefront, but is our responsibility to stay informed and educated. I have heard variations of “News stresses me out, so I just don’t watch it,” too many times.

I understand this, truly. I, too, am tempted to shut off my phone or TV and walk around in oblivion at times. But then I am reminded of a series of words that has grown fond to my heart: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” A slogan from the Washington Post, it says it all. With limitations on journalists, information is suppressed… but what good is that information if no one is paying attention?

The people ultimately give the press the power it is known for, as they are the consumers. But if the power of the press is lost, so will the power of the people. Don’t let the “bad news” of local stations get to you. No one is asking you to sit in front of the TV for hours on end, but it is still important to understand what is going on in the world. Whether it be political (today’s fan favorite), environmental, economic or even sports related, there’s always something to immerse yourself in.

Sign up for theSkimm or turn on the notifications for your News app. Upstanding organizations are out there, and they make staying educated as easy as scrolling through your Instagram feed (see Wall Street JournalWashington Post, and The New York Times).

Ignorance is bliss, but education is power. So, which will you choose?

Self & Summer Lovin’

Mindset is everything. It really is. This is something we all know, but when the time comes to take control of our own attitudes, things can get a bit tricky. One of the most important factors in gaining control over the way you feel about both yourself and others is self-love.

self-love
ˈˌself ˈləv/
    noun
regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).

Now, that definition seems pretty straightforward. Taking care of yourself… easy enough, right? For some people, maybe, but for most, it is hard to maintain this mindset when things take a turn.

If high school has taught me anything, it is that you cannot control the people around you… the only thing you truly have control over is yourself. I have found that once you take the step to practice self-love, your attitude (one that is hopefully flooded with positive energy) has a way of influencing the people around you. Think of it like this… it’s hard to spread love and make other people happy when you are not truly content with yourself.

With all of that said, there can be a fine line between self-love and narcissism. Self-love isn’t about putting yourself on a pedestal or looking down on everyone else. It’s about loving your best qualities while being able to acknowledge the areas that could benefit from improvement. It’s about finding the good in yourself, capturing it and being able to support others as they go through the same process.

So, we can agree that self-love is pretty important… now what? I like to combine this concept with mental health days. Summer provides the perfect opportunity to put aside some time to prioritize your well-being. Whether that entails listening to your favorite music, taking yourself out on a coffee date, or watching the sunset (or sunrise if you have your life together to that degree), be sure to make time for yourself… even if life tends to make that a difficult task.

Make a list of some things you want to improve on, but acknowledge all the bad-ass stuff you’ve done. It’s easy to compare ourselves to others, especially when the tailored world of social media exists, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with admiring the good in ourselves… and others.

Continue reading “Self & Summer Lovin’”

Introducing: Like Change in Your Pocket

The concept of creating a blog is one that has been on my mind for quite some time, so this post probably doesn’t come as a surprise to those close to me. As the events of life begin to pick up, I want to make sure that I slow down and enjoy the ride, with the hope of inspiring others (that’s you) to do the same. There are many aspects of life that deserve more credit than they get. Acting as a spotlight on what I believe to be the important things in life, this blog will give credit where it is due.

My passions include journalism, photography, fashion, and now, blogging. I am beyond excited to have a little corner of the internet to myself, where I hope to expand on topics that are relevant in both my life and yours. A mix of commentary, documented travels, and photography, Like Change in Your Pocket is now LIVE!