22 Things I’ve Learned in College That Weren’t From a Textbook

Eye of the Tiger

You learn a lot in college. But not everything is from a textbook.

  1. People change. Some people are only meant to make an brief appearance in your life. Others will have a starring role.
  2. Drink water. It’s good for you.
  3. Take out your anger or anxiety through exercise. Never underestimate the healing power of a good run.
  4. However, ice cream is always an acceptable alternative. And I’m really just referring to boy drama.
  5. Timing will never be perfect. Don’t wait. Just go for it.
  6. Life is beautiful. Treat it that way.
  7. Get a job. It’ll help you learn to manage your money and give you pride when you pick up that first paycheck.
  8. Make your bed every once and a while. Sometimes it’s nice to crawl under the covers of a freshly made bed. Even better if you actually wash your sheets.
  9. Sometimes your parents do know best. You’re welcome…

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Homemade Hell

Hey Homemade

“Coddled.”

It’s the word we millenials have heard used to describe us hundreds of times before.  Our parents have done everything from calling AAA for us when the car mysteriously broke down to specially making Kraft macaroni and cheese when we were feeling picky.  Some parents even do their adult children’s laundry in order to aid in the stressful business of their lives.  Hell, there are parents out there who fully support children in their thirties up to the point where they do their banking. 

This isn’t a rarity.  We all know a recipient of parental coddling and may even be one of them.

There’s one major problem in this coddling business: We don’t know how to do anything.

I’m all for the kindness, but life doesn’t offer trophies for being clueless.  Personally, I only learned how to do my laundry during my freshman year of college, and even then…

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Today, I Forgive.

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One day after school in eighth grade, I was pursued by a group of my most persistent abusers. They cornered me by a fence and began harassing me. I kept my face blank, but I was being destroyed on the inside.
When the harassment had escalated considerably, a girl stepped forward and tried to kick me. My poker face turned quickly into a snarl and I downed three of them, with two that left before they could know what the ground tasted like.
I ran home crying after that, but not because my classmates had hurt my feelings. That day, I had seen a part of me that could hurt people and that scared me more than anything.
My father had been a violent man, a fact which would make me question my own being for many years to come.
The violence I had seen in myself made me stay away from social situations and it made me look inside myself until I could answer one question: am I like my father?
When I got into the teen years I started self-harming as a stress reliever. Through the process of quitting this bad habit, I re-examined myself as a way to address what exactly was stressing me out so badly that I couldn’t stop doing something so obviously stupid.
I went around and asked my family and others how they would describe me to someone who has never met me.
To my bewilderment, nobody mentioned all the negative things I thought they would.
I realized that nobody cares what I look like or that I had an abusive father or that I like to eat muffins with a spoon.
I found out that anything someone says that is purposefully hurtful, is a reflection of that own persons hurt or a side effect of peer pressure.
I am stronger now and I could not have become this strong without the obstacles that I had to overcome.

So today, I forgive.
I forgive all the people who have hurt me through the years.
I forgive my father for who he couldn’t be.
And I forgive myself.
Because even though my father was a violent man, I am not him.

Is it worth it?

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How would you feel if there was an apocalyptic event and you had just graduated college?
Personally, I’d be irate. Furious.
If it happened to be a zombie apocalypse, I’d probably channel that rage into killing all the zombies I could get my hands on.
For example, a zombie would be limping toward me and I would respond by stabbing it in the eye screaming “I even filled out the f@$&ing FAFSA form!!! EVERY YEAR I FILLED THAT THING OUT!!”
The next zombie would get an earful of how many lines I had to stand in – and an earful of my knife, of course.
If I saw any of my old zombified college peers, I’d tell them about every single instance of annoyance they put me through. Being noisy on nights when I had to sleep for a test. Popping chewing gum in the library. Getting the teacher off topic.
Honestly, what would you do if you completed a huge milestone like that, just to have the world where a college degree matters for survival turn into a world where getting your face eaten by the living dead is a common cause of death?

Look Well to This Day | Anonymous, 50 B.C.

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Look well to this day,
For it and it alone is life.
In its brief course
Lie all the essence of your existence:

The Glory of Growth
The Satisfaction of Achievement
The Splendor of Beauty

For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is but a vision.
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Dear Bangalore

Epiphany in the Cacophony

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We are now descending into Bangalore International Airport, temperature 20 degrees, clear skies.

Music to my ears. I step out of the plane and watch as the crowd rushes to claim their baggage. Each one trying to catch up with the person ahead of them. I join them in their little race. l look at the transparent door ahead of me, the only thing separating you and me now. Miles and miles now reduced to a few metres and a transparent door. I realise how much I’ve missed you. That I crave you like a bird craves the sky, like the morning craves the sun, like the taxi drivers outside crave a confused tourist.

I get my bags and step out of the door. You hug me, the familiar, cool breeze gathering me in its arms instantly. I can tell you’ve been waiting for me. It has been too long.

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Letting go of a Dream

in case i'm gone

There’s a letter on my dining room table. A single page form letter that has arrived in January for the past six years. It’s sitting there, innocuously tucked amoung the bills, waiting for a response. Every year I reply in the same way, with a check and a groan and a dream. This year will be different.

The letter, so innocently sitting there, is a letter from a storage facility. A Reproductive Storage Facility that holds what we one day hoped, would allow us to have another child. We knew it wouldn’t be easy. That it would require multiple medical procedures, lots of luck and plenty of money – not to mention a surrogate – but paying that bill every year allowed us to hold onto our dream. The dream of being the family we envisioned. The dream of being parents to more than one. The dream of a time when…

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THE BRIDGE BUILDER | Will Allen Dromgoole

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An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
Through which was flowing a sullen tide
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”

Quote

Solitude

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Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,—
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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Spring ~ Camille Gotera

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When the cold, harsh winter has given its last breath,
When the sky above shows life instead of death,
When the claws, reaching to the frozen sky becomes decorated with
leaves,
When the animals-long in hiding- scurry from trees,
We know winter has ended.

When the frost on grass is replaced with sweet dew,
When the fields become dotted with flowers, reminding me of you,
When the lonely silence becomes filled with melodies,
When you feel warm air, erasing bad memories
We know winter has ended.

When the hard, bare ground becomes painted with green,
When the frost-bitten air becomes fresh and clean,
When the coats and boots are all stored away,
When the playgrounds become occupied again with child’s play,
We know winter has ended.

When you hear the pleasant sound of children’s laughter,
When the air is filled with joy- long sought after,
When the world is filled with sunlight, brighter and longer,
When the song of Mother Nature becomes stronger and stranger,
Spring has begun.