Saturday, February 28, 2009

I think i'll eat a worm

Nobody loves me,
Everybody hates me,
I think i'll eat a worm...

I know you've heard this song before... It's like the pity party theme song when you're eight years old. It's what we sing when we're feeling left out, unloved, talked about or just plain ignored. I know it's the selfish tendency of us all to want to be the center of attention sometimes, to speak out about ourselves, our personalities; to be known. It's within all of us to want to be loved and acknowledged as special and important. Heck, that's really all we know until we leave the stronghold of our ever forgiving, ever nourishing, ever loving mothers.

But then we're pushed into the real world, and in the real world, well, some of us are loved, and some of us have the freak flag. Some of us go through phases: little patches in life in which we carry the freak flag, and little patches in which we're popular, and loved.

Generally, if you're one of the more normal people in this world, your freak patches were in sync with your peers. Unfortunately, some of us were considered more freakish than others, and in the fortunate category are those of you that seemed to have an easier or smoother life, while all the rest of us faced our insecurities. Now, when all of you thought that your freak patch fell in times only of adolescence and all that comes with it, then you are sorely mistaken. These phases, I have decided, continue on for just a little longer.

I say all of this because, even though I thought I had finally established a solid foundation of self that could not be swayed in every which way by the comments of my peers, I was indeed mistaken.

Remember that phrase? Sticks and stones may break my bones... yadda yadda...

lies

See, no matter how much you build a solid, confident self, the words of the people you respect, love and admire, no matter how false and hurtful, will cut to the core. Maybe it was something someone said that you know you shouldn't take personally. You know that they don't mean it the way you take it, or perhaps they do mean it, but you should just toss what they said into the garbage anyways... Whatever it is, it hurts.

Unfortunately... I have found this has happened a lot lately. But it's not even stuff I feel I should toss. No, this is stuff that is absolutely, 100% true. But it still hurts.

This being said, I have found myself singing that above, immature, eight-year-old-pity-party song a whole lot lately. I don't mean to sulk and get grumpy about those things, but in all honesty, I think it's just enough to have to deal with those things on your own, knowing that you struggle with those problems, then having someone expose your flaws and have everyone else ridicule them.

Ever heard of the song high school by Superchick? No? Well, the premise is quite profound actually. Ready for it?

High school never ends.

People will always talk behind your back, people will always compete in a popularity contest, people will always create drama. I'm sorry, but I choose a more abundant, significant life. One in which my identity is not founded on what others say about me, no matter how truthful. This life is not based on how successful you are, how much money you have or how secure you are in the things of this world. This is not the end. People may call you socially awkward, call you skinny or fat, obnoxiously loud or super shy. The truth is, God made you the way you are, and he has placed this intricate map into your hand that will direct you through a rough, saddening and messed up world. You can listen to those people who will tell you the truth to your face, but just because it's the truth, doesn't mean it's something that you have to change. You may be super shy, or obnoxiously loud, but you're not here to please them. You don't have to bow down to them, you don't even have to listen.

Just breathe. It's your life. Not theirs.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Roll With The Punches

I'm not really a deep thinker... I know that's really hard to believe, but really, i'm not. I attribute the personality characteristic of "deep thinker" to people who have the educational credentials to back it up. Deep thinkers are people like C.S. Lewis, a man who could get some of the most difficult apologetic concepts into layman's terms. Philosophers and theologians are great examples of deep thinkers. I mean, look at their profession. They never have a definite answer, and yet they continue to search and logically work things through in their minds. I mean, I had to push myself to scrape by with a B in phiosophy, and that was after I did every extra credit opportunity presented to me.
Deep thinkers are people who publish book upon book about subjects that only phenomenally intelligent people can understand.

Fortunately for us "shallow" thinkers, our future professions are not based on how deeply we think, but how deeply we apply ourselves to the task at hand. Sure, there are some who just seem to stumble upon fame, fortune or their dream vocation, but in the end, we actually do have to work.

See, Americans expect everything to be easy, and carefree, as if any time soon, their perfect life will fall into their lap. The result is, well, fad diets, debt, bad relationships, and a horrible work ethic. We have become so accustomed to the easy accessibility of, well, everything. We shortcut so much that in the end, we don't even know what the heck it is we were doing in the first place.

Example: Sparknotes. Yes, I am guilty of utilizing this tool to brush up on my Shelley and Bronte, but do I really know Frankenstein or Wuthering Heights? Nope. Not at all. When I used sparknotes in order to make the A on that paper, I crammed tiny bits of information into my head and kind of fudged my way through the rest of the project. In exchange for the high grade, I recieved horrible study habits, and it has become a struggle for me to get through three chapters of a text book.

To Be Continued...