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Writer's Block: Half full?

"I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter." -Walt Disney

This describes me 100 percent. I'm truly an optimist. I perfer to think the best of people and situations, and I believe that there is nothing that can't be made better. I'm not naive. Life has thrown me a few twists and turns. But I believe it's all about attitude and perspective. There is always a choice of whether to look for the good or look for the bad. I know that the only thing worth living for in this life is the good, and that's where I put my focus. I can't imagine living in a world where I'm consantly looking over my shoulder, trying to anticipate the next bad thing. 

When you're optimistic, you bounce back faster. Optimists are more likely to remarry after the death of a spouse, or a divorce. Statistically, they get their hearts broken more easily, but they don't stay heart broken as long as someone who's more pessimistic. I guess there's good and bad to being optimistic or pessimistic, but I think lifeis just more enjoyable and light hearted when you look on the bright side of things.

However, I am more realistic when it comes to romantic relationships. I'm still optimistic. But my perspective changes. I think about all the possibilities, the good and the bad. I still pay more attention to the good, but I'm not blinded by it. I'm definatly more gaurded in that area of my live, but I'm still positive about it, so I guess it's a weird mix.

The thing is, I think it's better to be optimistic. It feels better, and healthier. I understand there's an upside to being a pessimist, but in my personal experience, I've just found optimism a better way to go. But I don't think people should be too optimistic. I don't think anyone should blind themselves to the reality of the world, because it's irresponsible. You have to make an effort in life, and you can't always rely on good fortune, and luck and the good things of the world alone to get you to where you want to be. I mean, all that stuff helps, but you have to still be independent enough to stand alone because life really is a complex matter. It would be nice to be optimistic all the time, and look at the world through rose colored glasses, but life isn't always that simple.

Despite that last paragraph there, I stand by what I said. I'm an optmist. I believe in luck and good fortune and the good things of the world. I believe that people are good and bad, but knowing that gives me the faith that everyone have the potential to be good. I can go on about human kind forever, and maybe I will in another entry, but it's a little off topic right now. For the most part, I'm naturally an optimist, but even optmists have their bad days. When I have mine, sometimes I think negativly. I'm human, and humans aren't happy sunshine all the time. But it's easier for me to rein that in and change my perspective to be positive because I'm optimistic, and I'm really grateful to have a personality and disposition that allows me to think like that.


Mortality is Knocking...

Mortality is such a strange thing. I'm nineteen years old, and I guess it's normal at this age to start to come to grips with the fact that people don't live forever. Then again, maybe it's not normal, and I'm just a freak ranting about it. Whatever. The point is, I've come to grips with mortality.

I had surgery a few weeks ago. It wasn't life threatening, exactly. But without quick interception, I would have lost my ability to bare children. I have always wanted to have kids. I remember when my friends would gripe about how annoying kids are, I would always feel like the odd man out because I didn't agree with what they were saying. So needless to say, this surgery had a very big impact on me. Which I guess, is also normal.

I'm sure I've posted about this before, or something like it. But I am amazed by the simple life fact that one day, I will die. At some point, the person writing this, and having these thoughts, and these experiences will change. Ten years from now, the person writing this will be irrecognizable to me. What's more, at some point, this person will dissapear completly. After that, everyone who has known and loved me, will die too, and they will no longer be around to validate my existence. No one will be there to say "Do you remember Lainie? She was such a character, wasn't she!" My existence will accumulate to nothing but a name on a gravestone. Even if I write a book, or become a famous psychologist, my work will live on, but my person will not. It's like how Jane Austen's works have lived on over a hundred years, but who knows what she was like?

It doesn't matter if I've left a legacy. After I'm gone, and all the people I know are gone, I will not be real. Even if there is an afterlife of some sort, I will not be real in the way that I am now. Maybe that's depressing, And part of me is sad to come to this realiation. But I don't think it's all for nothing. I believe in a domino effect. I believe that the things I do, and the lives I touch, still make an imprint of some sort, and that gives me a little hope that even if I will stop being real at some point, it isn't all for nothing. And even if I am gone, my existence meant something.

Yes, at the end of this life, I will be nothing but a name. But I honestly don't think I will care so much that a name is the only physical evidence I'll have to say that I was once a person who lived and mattered at one point. The truth is, even if it's all you have when you die, a name is always just a name. I think that the nonphysical evidence will matter more at that point anyway. I don't care if I never leave a legacy of some sort. I think all that matters is that I try to be a good person and love people as much as I can, because I think the more people you love, the more of an imprint you'll leave on the world after you leave it.

It feels weird to have such a calm feeling about death. I want to live my life. I want to have children, and get married. I want a job that I adore, and I want to travel and see the world. I want to have as many experiences as possible. But when death eventually does come for me, I don't think I'll be sad. I'm sure there will still be a little fear of the uncertainty, but I think when it's my time to go, I will be ready to leave this place because even if I don't get to do everything I want in life, I have made my peace with death.  



I'm so thankful!

So Thanksgiving was a few days ago, and with the holiday and work and school, I couldn't type this sooner.
But I think it's always important to be aware of what you're grateful for. So here we go..
I'm very grateful for my family. Especially my mom's side. They have been highly supportive in the worst times of my life, and I don't know what I'd do without them. I'm glad to have such an artistic grandmother who has nurtured my own interest in art and music. I'm glad to have such a ferociously devoted Aunt, who always works to make everything perfect and most enjoyable for those around her. But most of all, I'm glad to have my mom. She's my best confident, and I'm so grateful for the relatinship we have.
I'm also grateful for my "adopted" families. My little family in North Carolina know how to make a kid feel welcome. My best friend's family has been my second family since I was 5, and her father has been the best father figure a girl can ask for. My mom's boyfriend's family has really taken us in, which means so much, especially when I live so far away from everyone else.
I'm grateful for my dog, because I've wanted one for a long time, and I'm just so glad to finally have one. I love that little guy, and I think we're well suited for eachother.
I'm thankful for my friends, who have been loving and supportive no matter what. Their loyalty and caring mean the world to me. I'm so glad I have so many people I feel comfortable with, and so many people who I can talk to about anything, and vice versa.
I'm happy to be in school, and to have goals in life. I'm so happy to live in a place where I feel like I can do anything. I'm grateful to have a job, because I know how hard it is to find one. I'm so happy to work with such sweet people who I get along with. They really make the work place worthwhile.
I'm grateful to be the person I am. If I were any different, I don't think I would have survived the curveballs life has thrown at me. I'm happy to have so many interests and creative outlits. I'm glad that my life has turned out the way that it has. I'm one incredibly lucky person.



Writer's Block: Red-faced and ruddy

I wouldn't call this the most embarrassing day of my life, but it was one of my more embarrassing recent moments.
At work I was taking a shopping cart to the front of the store. I was off in my own little world and I was pretending I was a NASCAR driver. So I was going pretty fast. Well, I couldn't stop in time to keep from hitting a pole. The bottom of the cart hit my shin and gave me a nasty bruise, and the handlebar of the cart hit my stomache, which knocked the air out of me and I couldn't breath for a good few seconds.
I stood up, and quickly looked around, and it seemed like I was in the clear.
Then the next day, the security guy tells me they had to watch the security cameras because of a theif that had been in the store. I didn't think much of it until everyone started referenceing my clumsiness and cart accidents and that sort of thing. At the end of my shift, my manager came up to me and said "Just so you know, anything embarrassing you do, like running a shopping cart into a pole, gets caught on the security cameras."
So I guess I was caught red handed...

Blushing Lainie

Writer's Block: The missing piece

I can't speak for other countries because I haven't lived, or even visted them for that matter. But in my country, the USA, I feel like this part of the world is missing motivation. I guess I feel like people aren't meeting their full potential. There is so much that we can be as individuals and I feel like the majority of people are settling for less. It makes me sad, because I see the potential everyone has, and they don't meet it. There's so much one can do to be better educated, and to be more well rounded and cultured. Of course we should keep realistic goals in mind.
It makes me so sad when I have friends who say that all they want from life is children. I have a hard time accepting people who don't want to go to college. Maybe that's a vice on my part.
Don't get me wrong. I want to have a family at some point. And though I'm so young, I've always known I'd want children some day. But I feel like there is so much more to the world then settling down with a family. And if you limit yourself to just having a family, I feel like you'd be missing out on so much. Parenthood and marraige are wonderful parts of life. But that's my point. They're just parts.
I just feel like in a country where there is so much to go after, why would you limit yourself? There are some challenges with this country, and it's far from perfect, but we're better off then other parts of the world. Why take it for granted and live life to a bare minimum? Why shouldn't you experience as much as possible?
I really just feel like people should be more motivated to do life justice. If not for your own material benifit, why not live for the sake of life itself?

Another One Bites the Dust

It's been over a year since I graduated from high school. This time last year, I was saying bye to all my friends as everyone headed in different directions. That time seems like a lifetime away. So much has happened this year, I can't even wrap my head around it. But all this constant change doesn't upset me as much as it used to. One of the biggest things I've learned this year is to just ride the waves. It's so much easier than struggling against them and getting knocked down every five seconds. 

I know I'm still young. (Everyone at work calls me the baby because I'm among the youngest who work there.) I don't pretend to know it all, or anything ignorant like that. Although, what I'm about to say must sound pretty ignorant considering that I am only nineteen years old and in the grand scheme of things, I have a long way to go. But all of a sudden, I feel so old. Not in a gray haired, achy, miserable sort of way. I won't call myself an adult, but I don't feel like a kid anymore. I feel completely accountable for myself. 

The thing is, I can't recall when that happened. I don't know what event lead up to it. I can't think of a singular moment where I experienced an overwhelming, conscience feeling of "I am in charge of me now. This is my life and I make the decisions for it and accept the responsibilities of it." Growing up just sneaks up on you. You don't know that it's happening, even if you've waited your whole life to grow up. You're just going along with whatever life throws at you and the next thing you know, you're right in the middle of becoming an adult. 

Everything has changed. Everyone is different now. I am too, so I'm not sad about it. It's just kind of a strange thing to think about. When things change this much, it kind of gives me a sense of being reborn again. When that happens, the memories from before all this change start to seem like something from another life. Looking back on things is like watching a movie. It's not your life in the movie, and even though you can relate to it like a favorite flick, it doesn't feel like it even belongs to you anymore. The conversations were written by some unknown writer, and even the characters stop looking so familiar. 

Having felt that way, it makes me wonder...Maybe by this time next year, my life will have changed so much again to the point where I don't even recognize myself as I am right now. This person who is writing this will eventually become nothing more than a distant memory. And you, whoever is reading this, will eventually be nothing more than a shadow of your future self. It's just a weird thing to think about. 

Lainie, the magnificent metamorphosisng human

Writer's Block: Parlez-vous francais?

What other foreign languages do you know? Which one(s) do you want to learn?

I used to have no desire whatsoever to learn another language. Maybe it was laziness. Maybe it was ignorance. Maybe it was something else altogether. Whatever the reason, my lack of desire to learn led to me quitting my Spanish class in high school after only one semester...which I failed. 

But, I have since then reconsidered my stance on foreign languages. I realized that I like to talk...a lot. And I want to travel. So, being the endearingly obnoxious chatterbox that I am, why would I put myself in a position where I'm in a strange country without the means to talk to anyone? Now I see the value of learning other languages. And now, I have decided that I want to learn as many as possible.

Not to mention, when I travel, I want to embrace the new cultures as much as possible, and a big part of that is learning the language. I think that when you travel, it should be more about learning how to blend in with a new society and really experience a new way of life. Not being able to speak the language of the place you are visiting pretty much puts a big target on your head with a sign that says "I AM AN OUTSIDER! BE WARY OF ME!" 

So, to finally answer the question after all my rambling, I only speak English, but I  would like to learn the basic foreign languages first. Like German, Spanish, French and Italian. Then I think I'd like to learn Greek and maybe Sanskrit. Not to mention, I'd love to learn American Sign Language. I've wanted to learn that since I was 9 and saw the movie "The Miracle Worker". I don't know how far I'll get with all that. My ideas tend to be a little more ambitious then my actions. But I'm starting with German this semester, so maybe my desire to learn languages isn't a lost cause after all. 

Bis zum nachsten Mal! (Till next time!)


Importance of Being Single

Everyone knows the importance of being in a relationship. We gain companionship, emotional connection, and sex. We all strive for it because humans are sociable creatures. We need to feel like we are a unit with someone to feel happy. Some can be satisfied with friendships and other platonic relationships, but the majority of people search for the "love of their life". So much so, that I don't think people really think about the importance of being single. 

I guess one of the big questions is, when are people capable of falling in love? At what point is someone mentally and emotionally prepared to experience the real deal? You see it all the time, especially with younger people. A couple thinks they are completely and infallibly in love, and then a month later, all hell breaks loose and the relationship falls apart. Relationships end because either one or both people involved are unsatisfied in some way. Sometimes it can be worked on and fixed. And other times it can't. There are just some things that can't be worked on while you're trying to make things work with someone else. 

As corny as it is, I think that people are capable of falling in love when they love and respect themselves. We've all heard it before. If you don't respect yourself, others won't respect you. If you don't love yourself, you don't feel like you're worthy of someone else's love, and it eventually turns into the other person constantly trying to convince you of their affection. And that is exhausting and creates a strain on the relationship. 

But that's the importance of being single. We really have to know ourselves and our needs before we date someone else and expect them to know everything. We have to be able to feel safe, and if you can't be safe on your own, how can you be safe with someone else? I know that I used to ignore my flaws. Not that I thought I was so amazing that I didn't have any. I didn't know how to handle them, so I just ignored them. But one of the things I've learned is that flaws are kind of like disabilities: you just have to find new ways to get around in life. And that's something that you have to learn on your own. 

I don't think people are really capable of loving others until they feel safe with themselves. Otherwise, you're just using other people to make up for what you lack. And that's not really fair to anyone. 

 Finding out who you are is one of the hardest parts about growing up. You get to a point where you have to build your own values and beliefs apart form what your family and teachers told you growing up. And what you decide to believe in and what you think is valuable defines you. Then, just when you think you've got yourself figured out, something happens and you question yourself again. That's the thing. People change constantly. I don't think we ever get to a point where we just stop growing. 

But there's a lot to the process of growing and changing. I think it starts with finding who we want to be. I think everyone has an idea of who they'd like to be based on qualities they find admirable. Then we realize that we're not completely that person. We have flaws. We're not that idealized vision of who we think we should be. Once we realize that, we can begin to realize who we actually are. Then we accept it. After we accept ourselves, we know what we deserve and what we need so we know what to expect from others. When we receive that from ourselves and those closest to us, we can be happy. 

Of course, like I said before, we constantly change. Sometimes we can adapt to that change quickly. Sometimes it feels like we're starting completely from scratch. But self awareness is key regardless. It's never a good idea to get into a relationship without knowing yourself. What ends up happening is you don't know what you want or need so you just take whatever that person has to offer you. It makes us settle for less. That uncertainty just causes problems in the long run. 

Sometimes we induce change. Sometimes we discover something that we don't like about ourselves so we attempt to change that quality. We try to "fix" ourselves to make us better people. There's nothing wrong with that as long as we can have realistic expectations of ourselves. But again, it's not smart to be in a relationship while you're trying to fix yourself in a big way.

It's not unrealistic to think that you'll reach a point where you know yourself 100% and only then should you try to be with someone else. But I think we typically get to a point where we know ourselves at least 75%. As long as you mostly know yourself, there shouldn't be any big surprises and you can settle down with someone your really compatibable with. All relationships are going to have kinks, but until you know yourself, you can't really do the relationship justice. 

Decisions, Decisions...

There are lot of things that we think about when making a decision. There's a lot of thought that goes into it. "Which shirt looks best.", "Will I actually wear these shoes more then once if I buy them?", "Soup or salad?". Then there are the more important questions like "Is this the best thing for me now.", "How will this effect the people around me?", "How will this effect my future?", and "If I go down this path, what does it say about me?". 

Decisions are apart of every day life. Sometimes the things we choose to do are so second nature that we don't even realize we're making a decision. Sometimes the decisions are hard. It been my experience that when the choices we contemplate are difficult when deciding which ones to act on, it's because we already know the answer. We just don't like it. So we stall, and ask our friends and family for their opinion. We avoid and put off as long as possible. But in the end we know what needs to be done. Sometimes we do it, and sometimes we take the easy way out and choose the wrong thing. Sometimes it's just too hard to face doing the right thing and we get scared. 

The thing is, decisions give us power. We are free to decide. It can be overwhelming and nerve racking. Especially when you're considering major things that will have a long term effect on your life. But there's a peace of mind that comes with making a choice; even if it's the wrong one. When we make a choice and stick by it, it makes us feel like our lives have direction. It makes us feel productive; like we're actually doing something rather then waiting around playing with ideas in our heads. People need direction in their lives. We're not happy just sitting on the sidelines. Life isn't a spectator sport. And the first step in finding direction is making decisions. That's why it's important to make the best choices possible. It'll give you the most out of life. I know it's unrealistic to do right every time. But it's not unrealistic to try to do the best you can do.



Yellow Flowers

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