I got to thinking about the difference between living and existing. What is this difference? Do we live to exist? Or exist to live? I’ve always found myself pondering this question. I find it to be like this: existing is going to that 9 to 5 job everyday that you don’t enjoy. It may bring in money, but it doesn’t satisfy you, it doesn’t make you want to be better, learn more, or ensure happiness. Living is doing what you love. Maybe this doesn’t produce much money, but at least you can say at the end of the day that you’re doing what you love, that you’re happy, that you’re following your dream. I’ve always found this to be a writer’s existence. We write because it makes us happy, that is really all we can ask for. I feel alive when I write; I can express myself in ways that I never knew were possible. This is my dream. And I will always follow it. So be brave, follow your dream. You won’t regret living.
I got to thinking about flexibility. Not the kind you learn in gymnastics class as a child, but the kind you learn in everyday life when things change, when you have to adapt. I was supposed to see my beloved band, Snow Patrol, in 2006. But timing changed all of that. The liquid bombings in London derailed Snow Patrol’s travel plans, forcing them to cancel their appearance at the concert. I was devastated. This was my band. My exuberant smile turned to a frown the moment I found out Snow Patrol wasn’t coming.
So I had to be flexible; I had to adapt. Let me tell you: that was no easy feat. And I’ve been waiting and waiting for them to come back to the United States. A great person in my life found Snow Patrol’s tour schedule a month ago and discovered they’d be in the United States in May. We immediately bought tickets. All it took was five years of patience. To follow up my previous post, patience granted me my wish. And it was certainly worth the wait. In the words of Gary Lightbody: “Light up, light up. As if you have a choice. Even if you cannot hear my voice. I’ll be right beside you, dear.”
I got to thinking about patience. Why is this world so impatient? Why must we all seek instant gratification? Isn’t anticipation worth the wait for something spectacular? Impatience is all around us. And we accept that. But we shouldn’t. Patience is a virtue for a reason. Patience won’t necessarily get you what you want, but it definitely will ease your mind. I’ve learned that waiting for something is the best option for many reasons. I have a clear mind, and I know that something great out there is waiting for me. If you’re patient, great things will come. Maybe not tomorrow or the next day, but eventually. And that’s certainly worth the wait.
I got to thinking about distance. There’s this saying I heard recently: “Sometimes you just need to distance yourself from people. If they care, they’ll notice. If they don’t, you know where you stand.” I’m guilty of pulling away from people when they disappoint me. But I’ve come to understand that distance isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes space will give us answers, and solve our dilemmas. We can deal with these dilemmas in an easier fashion if we have time to think it over. But I’ve always discovered that we must give those who keep crawling back into our lives a chance. These are the people who seek our friendship, who want to be forgiven. And these are the people we must forgive. So give yourself distance. See who comes back. It isn’t a mind game. It’s merely figuring out what you want in a friend after a betrayal.
I got to thinking about fear. Everyone is afraid of something. I’m afraid of driving. Not so much being a passenger, but being the person in control of the car itself. That’s a scary thing. But does our fear help us? Make us stronger? Force us to work harder? I know that my fear of driving forces me to be the safest driver possible. I drive as slow as a ninety-year-old woman. But you know what? That works for me. It helps me overcome this fear I have of driving. So do this: whatever it is that you fear, do one thing that makes you feel more comfortable to overcome it. For me, that’s driving safely. It may not be ideal for the person behind me, but at least I feel confident that I’ll get from point A to point B. We’ll all learn to conquer our fears if we do it our way.
I got to thinking about grammar. I’m a writer; we think about these things. It’s interesting to me that some of my peers are still contemplating how to use you’re versus your. Shouldn’t we have learned this in second grade? How can these students get into college without understanding basic grammar principles? I’m outraged by this. This outrage could spark from the mere fact that I believe in grammar, or it may simply be because all grammar really takes is a couple minutes of editing, a couple minutes of thinking over what you just wrote. And why don’t some people do that? They’re lazy. Get over the laziness. Proper grammar should be mandatory. Recognizing this and ranting about this, well, that’s a writer thing.
I got to thinking about popularity. There are those days when we all wish we were “cool.” Those days in high school or college, when the hottest parties are going on and we want an invitation. But what does it mean to be popular? Does is mean selling out? Do we have to change who we are, just to fit in? Popularity is overrated. Always has been; always will be. So why do we seek popularity? I’ve come to learn that popularity is merely about acceptance. We want anyone to think we’re worthy of their group. But you know what? Of course we’re worthy. We don’t need the approval of anyone else to fit in. Make your own group. You don’t want to be friends with people who only accept you after you do something “cool.” Know that popularity comes and goes. But being true to oneself doesn’t ever fade. And that’s what’s ultimately important.
I got to thinking about love triangles. I adore love triangles. I am fascinated by them. I love to write them; I love to read them; I love to watch them. This is not to say that I would want to be involved in a love triangle. However, my fascination for love triangles is reflected in my stories. The novel I’m currently writing, tentatively titled, The Sophie Shelton Chronicles
, tells a story of a college coed conflicted between her feelings for two different guys. And it’s been amazing to write. There’s a sense of understanding when it comes to love triangles. We choose a side. We have to root for someone. And that’s exciting. But the most exciting part is writing the character that chooses, explaining why she chooses this person. We cannot always explain what our heart says. But love triangles can explain this common question.
I found this article on Yahoo! the other day. Apparently I’m not the only one fascinated with love triangles…
I got to thinking about pity. Why do we feel sorry for ourselves? Why do we insist others grieve with us? And if they don’t, we think the world is against us. But it isn’t. How can we overcome this? Will we overcome this?
I won’t lead you on; I’m one of these people. When my beloved grandfather died two years ago, I was grieving alone. The friends around me at the time didn’t ask about it, they didn’t show me that they were there for me. And that broke my heart. I wanted them to grieve with me; I wanted them to feel sorry for my loss. But you know what? I shouldn’t have asked for so much. Yes, they should’ve been there more; but how could they possibly grieve over something foreign to them? Once I learned this, I realized that grief is personal. However, being a good friend means dropping everything; it means doing everything to help the process of grief.
I got to thinking about chivalry. Why doesn’t the male youth of America know this? Were they simply not taught this? It baffles me that males my age talk about derogatory things in front of women, don’t open doors, don’t stand up when a woman comes to a table, and don’t pull chairs out. I’m not saying I’m a feminist—far from it—but there’s a certain expectation boys should learn from an early age. Chivalry hasn’t died, but it certainly is on a break. Let’s bring it back. To every young male in America: be chivalrous, respectful. This will impress any woman. Plus, you’ll get points in my book.