"Be the Change you wish to see in the world" -Gandhi "I will be a Hummingbird, I will do the best that I can." -Wangari Maathai "Where stereotypes begin with a grain of truth, cliches begin with a boulder" - George Watsky "And she's gonna learn, that this life will hit you - hard - in the face - wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach, but getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs, how much they like the taste of air." - Sarah Kay "Do not fear what has blown up. If you must, fear the unexploded." -Suheir Hammad

Houston Zoo Lights!

Oh Christmas, how ye are filled with so many memories. You accommodate so many of your celebrators.

Tonight at the Houston Zoo's "Zoo Lights" my family and I enjoyed the zoo (surprisingly with very few animals) and an amazing arrangement of lights throughout the park. People there were from everywhere! You saw the old and young, the tourist and veteran, the couple and family, the rich and poor, and the angels and the sinners. But one common thing among all who were in attendance, was the spirit of happiness. Even if some in the park were feeling overwhelmed by children, or maybe not as healthy as always, you could feel that they had a good time being there to celebrate such a beautiful holiday.

So once again, as I set off to write one thing a night until Christmas, I have the spirit of community and love to report on.

So Merry Christmas to y'all, and to y'all a goodnight!

Christmas time is here.

Ah, the first day after Thanksgiving, and the official start of Christmas season for most. The nights become most important. Settings that we are all used to become are now bathed in fake pine leaves, strands of lights, and a feeling of love and generosity. We bundle, we lounge, and we reflect on the year and who is most important.

My Christmas season used to be routine, when I was a kid, but every year since has been different. Now I don't have an exact script to look back on and think Christmas, but I have a feeling of love to cherish, and that is most important.

One exact event that could be labelled as my favorite Christmas memory was when my family went to Santa's Wonderland in College Station. It was spontaneous from my perspective, which is a rare thing for my family. I was surfing the computer, as usual, when my parents told me their plan. I was stoked. My siblings and I got our yearly Christmas pajamas that night (complete with slippers) and quickly changed into our snuggly uniforms. We were each given a variety of snacks, including popcorn, chocolates, Reese's Pieces, and our own drinks. (mine was hot chocolate, a personal favorite of the season) We grabbed our blankets and rushed to the car after taking a very Christmasy photo. Once we had climbed in, instead of watching a movie like usual, we read the story of Jesus's birth from Luke. Since the story was longer than the drive, the rest of the way we talked and enjoyed each other as a family. Because it was so late that night, the kids dozed off until our arrival. I remember there being traffic, but it wasn't significant in the memory. I do however remember the lights. Thousands of lights. Possibly even millions. Making rivers, houses, forests, skies, art, and memories for other families like ours. No need to get out of the car, we cruised through all snuggled in warmth of blankets, pajamas, and love. The night was perfect, and the air around it was the exact feeling I look for every Christmas. So thank you Chris and Maren Eberhard for giving me that feeling last year. (If you plan on it again, make sure it's spontaneous like last time(: )

And that's what I hope for every person during the holiday season. Not Black Friday deals, or the best lights in town, or even unplanned light surprises. I hope for the feeling that I gained from a loving family.


Common misconception

A common misconception in all relationships, is assuming that this new relationship is like one you had before because of random similarities. We use this action as a learning technique. When we see something, we immediately compare it to something else in order to learn. But this only works when things stay constant. As humans we are CONSTANTLY changing. We may be able to categorize someone in our brain by comparing them to someone we once knew, but their placement must be made temporary, or else we are only setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Let me give an example for those who may not be following. Sally just got a new job at McDonald's. This is the second job she has ever had. Before she worked at Burger King. She was fired from Burger King because she was rude with customers, didn't do what was required of her, and showed little interest in her work. She adapted this behavior because the manager was rude, belittled her efforts, and assumed she should know how to do things that she didn't know how to do. When she started at McDonald's, she worked the same way she did at Burger King because she assumed all fast food managers are the same. The McDonald's manager soon became frustrated with her lack of work ethic, and was very rude to her. She soon quit and vowed never to work at another fast food restaurant because "all the managers are the same".

If you are thinking self-fulfilling prophecy right now, you have grasped a key point in my semi-lecture. Assumption is vital for defense mechanisms, but unnecessary when learning about someone. If you are starting a new friendship, or a new relationship, assuming that because they do similar mannerisms in comparison to someone else is unfair to your new relationship. You've set expectations, most likely, without the intent of allowing them to move. And yet as humans, we are constantly moving and growing.

In terms of math, x+y=z. But x+w doesn't equal z. "w" and "y" are different. They may have certain similarities. They may both represent a prime number, or they both represent an even 4 digit number, but they cannot be equal because they are not the same. Assuming "w" and "y" are the same, would therefore make no sense and be ignorant of the idea that x+w=q. (And what if q cures cancer...think about it.)

Let's recap shall we? Comparing people with no room for change is setting yourself up for disappointment. Assumptions are ignorant of new discoveries. You will never learn, if you don't take a chance.

Second Day Update

2 days ago I made an announcement. In an attempt to portray the negativity that I am currently trying to rid my life of, I may have skewed what exactly my new found confidence entails. Here is the gist of it.

I will be me. Cliche, yes, but I will no longer be the lovable shapeshifter. I will not try to please every living soul around me, in fear that I won't be loved. I am loved. Im loved by a wide range of people, so if one person doesn't like me, why should I change myself to obtain their approval?

But with this, I will also allow myself to say and do things that I feared before. Things I thought would make people run in the other direction, I will now embrace because they are me. I am me. Awkward is me. Loving is me. Scared is me. Vulnerable is me. Curious is me. Belting in the car is me. Rolling down fields is me. Meditating in my bedroom is me. Daydreaming of world peace is me. Observing plants is me. Del-Mex Taquitos is me. Sweat pants is me. Music is me. Late night snacks is me. I am me. I will not change me any longer. I will embrace these things, and with that embrace a new positive outlook. I will be confident. I will be happy. I will be helpful, I will be loving. If you do not like me, or what makes up me, I will no longer delete items of my life in an effort to morph into you.

I will not try. I will do.

No more filters

When I was a little girl, my dad used to tell me, "think before you speak". It was a common lesson that was retold and retold to me before it actually sunk in. When I was little it was a precaution so I didn't share things that were going on in my parents lives with their family and friends. Soon, it became a survival instinct as I grew into my preteen years and finally my "adult" life. But this filter that I've had to install needs to be changed. Instead of letting ideas flow through my mouth and into the world, it's become clogged and more of a barricade than a filter. But if I lift off my old filter off the process to change it requires that there is a moment with no filter. A moment where what I think comes out in full force. This full force could ultimately hurt someone around me, while relieving the pressure off of me. I don't want that. I don't want a filter. I want a continuous stream of me. One that is steady and comforting. The more filters I replaced the more I morph into what society wants me to be. I don't want society. I don't want to fit in. I want to be me. I want to be accepted for me.
I've become a part of America's workforce at age 18. I don't go out with friends, except for the occasional overnight movie session, because I don't have money and I'm just too tired. My life consists of working! so that I can have an education, so that I can work more, so that I can make money, so that I can have nice things, so that I can have friends. Friends that wint exist if I continualky work and neglect those relationships. Since when is that superficial lifestyle mine? When did I turn into a robot?
As I replace filters, and robotically work for a living, I have deteriorated friendships and an almost nonexistent relationship with my family. I don't listen to music as an experience anymore, but just as a comfort of what once was. I watch tv for entertainment, because I can't afford anything else. If I try reading, I fall asleep. I haven't traveled since last year, and I don't have any plans anytime soon. I am a robot, trapped in the cycle of the workforce.
I want to break free. I want to be the invincible teenager that everyone teases, but why would they tease, let alone notice, if everyone wasn't just jealous of when the too thought nothing could touch them.
So, starting today at 1:18 p.m. on July, 14, 2012, I will be me. I will be happy. I will do the things that bring positivity to my life and to the lives of those around me. I will no longer be a cog in the machine of America. I will be the sore thumb that sticks out. I will be the yellow fish in a sea of black fish. I will be the patch of sunlight in a storm. Because how can you enjoy this world, if you are trying to constantly fit in with those who don't know what they're doing either?

"One tiny moment in time
For life to shine, to shine
Burn away the darkness
You've got one tiny moment in time
For life to shine
To burn away the darkness"

Please?

I really just need some reassurance that everything will be ok. That after chaos in life there truly is a blessing. That Newton was right when he said for everything there is an equal and opposite reaction. That there truly is a light at the end of a dark sporadically twisted tunnel. That the light will be blinding in comparison to the dark endured for years.
I need reassurance that everyone has a tunnel like this. That everyone has that one hurdle in their life that no matter how prepared they THINK they are, they continue to stumble over. And when they take a break, practice, and come back to the hurdle, the still get their back foot caught on the pole. The same hurdle that requires months, maybe years, of hard training. Of getting not only their body ready physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Finally when the day comes, the hurdle may be small to spectators, but the true witness, the person themselves, compares their victory with the great victories in time.
I need reassurance that the trial period is the same for everyone in the measurement of tears and pain.
I need reassurance that this is normal. I need reassurance. I just need it.

Quicksand

My whole life I've felt like I've had to mature before others;
Now I feel as if they're not only catching up, but passing by.

Imagine human lifespans could be measured by geographical soil.
As we grow mentally we are running on dirt.
At phases in life where it is most crucial, we hit traps of quicksand.
Personally I always felt like I jumped over my last trap, running into a mature state.
I watched as other trudged through the thick mess behind me,
only hoping that they wouldn't be sucked in; stuck forever.
I've stopped looking back at them though.
They're now catching up, and there is no need to risk the whiplash.
Some of my dearest friends,
those who I felt ran closest to me,
those who I waited for,
are now passing me by.
I waited for their steady pace to become parallel with mine.
Instead they increased past my own acceleration.
Now I have no need to look back because the very people I worried about falling in
are ahead of me, and won't look back.

Friendzone

I posted my rant on Facebook with pure emotion. Here is my more calmed down version:

Boys. I have recently heard a lot of complaining about "The Friendzone". To some of you this is your version of hell on earth. To some of you this is the most crushing thing you've ever heard. Here's my advice to you. Tell her you like her.

First let's start off with why you're in the friendzone. You have not told her you like her, have you? Most likely you're answer will be no. This is your problem right there. Just like you complain about not being able to read girl's real motives, we can't read yours either. I understand you're scared of telling her because you're scared she will say, "Sorry Derp. We're just friends. I want it to stay that way", and this is a valid fear.
I'm not ruling out this option, but I can speak for most girls when I say that this will not happen. We've seen to many chick flicks. We know the drill. While we're crushing on Hottie McHotpants, our friend back here is the one who's listening to us and cares about us. I can name three chick flicks off the top of my head where this happens (Made of Honor, He's Just Not That Into You, Princess Diaries). We want that guy. We just want a GENUINE guy who wants to listen to our problems and will be honest. (oh and cuddling! We like that too)

This is where it gets good for you. I've just given you the secret formula to winning the girl.
First: BE GENUINE! Don't fake liking her for some odd reason. Just be the real you so the girl knows what she's getting in to. This is much healthier.
Second: LISTEN TO US!. If you really don't want to listen right now, then tell us. If the games on, tell us. **Warning! We will get upset** but we'd much rather you tell us you're not going to give us your full undivided attention until later, than fake it and not listen to us.
Third: JUST BE HONEST! If you like us, we'd much rather you tell us, than us guess if you do. (Girls this goes for you as well) We'll be honest back. If we say no. It's not going to work. You can be friends, but you can't complain. It's just not going to work. You will find another girl. This is not the end of the world.

So please, for the love of all that is good in the world, kill this viral phrase called "The Friendzone". It doesn't exist. What you're talking about is relationship limbo. No one knows what you are, but most likely it'll work out.

This is for Lindsey.

“He who knows not and knows not he knows not: he is a fool - shun him. He who knows not and knows he knows not: he is simple - teach him. He who knows and knows not he knows: he is asleep - wake him. He who knows and knows he knows: he is wise - follow him.” -Chinese Proverb


If only it were simple enough to group people into 4 groups. But that would take away from the diversity that makes our race so unique. In fact, by not being able to group, we've all fallen into a giant group known as homo sapiens. We get angered frequently when we try to "understand" other's logic. Especially in the opposite sex. It's impossible. No one is everyone and everyone is someone. Plain, simple, and easy. While the above chinese proverb does bring immense truth, it is not entirely true. Think of your unique quality, that most don't have. Make that quality flourish, because that is the quality that will attract other to you. That's the one "catch" that will bring others who appreciate and love to you. And it's not a part of you that you can change, nor should you, so why would you try to hide it in order to appease those who despise your unique quality? We are human as a race, and we are unique as a whole.

No one is everyone.
Everyone is someone.