Hostile Comment Sections & Why They Make Me Sad

Long time, no see, folks! Here’s the sitch:

I read an article today on USMagazine.com saying that Scooter Braun and Yael Cohen welcomed a new baby boy into the world. I wanted to know more, so I read to find out more details. I made the mistake (which I often do) of reading the comment section. I tried posting a reply twice, but it was instantly deleted. Thinking it might’ve been the person to whom I was replying, I posted it as a general comment. That, too, was deleted.

I’m a bit taken aback, to be honest. What really is free speech if not the freedom to express a new perspective to an issue? Yikes. So, I’m going to post it here. Not simply to be snarky, like, “Well I’ll just post it here, then.” Rather, I want to open this up. If anyone reads this post, I truly want to know your thoughts. Not on Scooter, Yael, or Justin, though you’re welcome to engage in that discussion as well.

I want to know what you think about the deeper point I’m trying to get at. Have a look-see, then let me know in the comments:

“This comment was removed, likely by the person to which I was replying, but I hope to post it here as more of a group topic, anyway. It’s not an attack on anyone, but rather an attack on how easily we stereotype and categorize. I don’t know if anyone will read it, or if it will even matter, but I think truth is important, regardless.

People say Braun is a “dbag” or attack him because of Justin. When, actually, Braun has been heavily involved with what he calls “giving back” to communities. He works very hard to support various charities, especially that of his younger brother, Adam’s, which has built over 250 schools in places with little to no education. He is dedicated to creating a better world and pursuing dreams; he has mentioned he’s had a tough time helping Justin maneuver through his teenage years, but all-in-all, hopes to see him through as a good young man in the end of things. I would hardly call him a dbag. He’s done more for this world than any single person I know personally, whether by encouraging young people to follow their dreams, giving moms and kids free tickets to shows, or helping third-world communities cultivate a voice and self-empowerment via education. If you want to know more, you can go to PencilsofPromise.org to see the charity with which he’s most involved. He really is a great, great man who, I believe, is making history in a good way (which is hard to come by nowadays!).
I wish people could either be excited for this couple as they welcome a new life into the world, or simply not say anything. This is supposed to be a joyful time for two people, just as it should be for you or for me if either of us were welcoming a new life. It deeply saddens me to read the negative, hostile, and cruel comments (which would probably tear us apart if they were about us). I know, I just shouldn’t read them, then. I guess I simply want to check in once in a while to see where we are as an internet community; I usually hope to see improvement. I’m sad I didn’t find much of it here. Hopefully one day we’ll progress to a place in which we look down upon such negativity, even though it will still exist. Anyway, that’s just an opinion of a larger issue triggered from a small article, but I hope to see a day in which more internet pages exude integrity and even encouragement. We need more HONYs around here :)”

One Year Wordiversary

My notifications have dutifully notified me that two days ago marked my one year anniversary with WordPress. Upon reflecting, I’ve decided this blog was exactly what I needed over the past year. It was the most challenging school year I’ve faced thus far, and writing was one of the only things which secured my sanity– the other being music.

My #MotivationMondays successfully distracted me from doing what I was supposed to be doing during the school year. Though they caused more procrastination than I’d care to admit (seeing as many of my deadlines fell on Tuesdays), I don’t believe anything else could’ve, ironically, kept me more focused. In the future, I will probably drop the #MotivationMonday title, and just write about all the wonderful organizations that exist. 

So, thank you, WordPress. I had no idea what would come of aimlessly creating a blog and writing to an invisible audience, but it has been a perfect tool to help me grow. 

That being said, here’s what’s up with me in a list so I don’t ramble (let’s be real here: I probably will anyway):

1) I have become OBSESSED with slam poetry/spoken word/good rap. I’ve written a few pieces of my own, and I would absolutely love to perform them somewhere. I actually think that might be on my bucketlist from many posts ago.

2) Oh, hey, I graduated college. Woohoo! And I finished student teaching. Both were incredible experiences which tossed me into the ring without any preparation. I’ve never grown so much in my life. I am so grateful for the people who pushed and supported me.

3) I don’t really know exactly what to do from here on out. I would love to write for organizations (for example, Pencils of Promise, Charity : water, Invisible Children, DoSomething.org, etc.). I would also love to perform slam poetry. Or be an author, for that matter! I’d love to get involved with Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or a Mission House in my area. Or become a wizard. I’d like to put my degree to use and teach in other countries. I’m applying to all of these things, so hopefully I will have some good news to report in the near future. My life could take about 100 different directions at this point. Exciting and terrifying all at once!

Alright, I think that’s a decent update. Til next time, folks! Stay gold. 

 

#MotivationMonday: Failures (well that’s contradictory)

Well hi!

The past two weeks have been a toughie. Do you ever have weeks where you just make mistake after mistake after mistake?

That’s been my life. I feel like people who’ve interacted with me over the last 14 days are like:

And they have the right to be. Right down to the little things like forgetting my keys and putting my shoes on the wrong feet (not joking), my world has been a hubblejubblesnorfblatasdfghjkl;. Know what I mean?

So, usually, I take a nap. Dreaming tends to be the perfect escape from pesky failures. But after I wake up from that somber slumber, it’s Go Time. I don’t have all the time in the world to pout over the things I’ve done wrong– there are too many other things to be done.

I have this thing called an “eternal perspective.” It’s partially faith-based and partially a simple reminder. This moment– whatever you’re thinking, whatever emotional tirade or peak of happiness you may be on, wherever you are– is not the end-all. For some people, that’s the best news in the world, and for others, it’s a bit disheartening. I think that’s why we don’t think about it often and why we seem to be rendered speechless when a moment (defined as any amount of time in one’s life) ends.

An eternal perspective essentially means that I know this isn’t what matters. Each day certainly counts toward the end of our lives, but rarely do moments define it. I say “rarely” because many moments will define our work in the end, but not every moment. Truthfully, will my failure today define me at the end of my life? No. In five years, even? Probably not. Are they disappointing and demoralizing? Of course. Here’s the secret, though:

To clarify, I’m not anywhere near the “Win” trophy yet; but, I believe I’m on my way. Every single failure is a springboard to a better version of ourselves. When you fall flat on your face, nose scraping the concrete, you don’t want it to happen again. So it doesn’t. You grow. Your skin gets thicker. “Mistakes” are actually incredibly necessary if you ever want to succeed. No one has ever become successful without first failing.  They shouldn’t even be called”mistakes”or “failures”– they should be called opportunities. We shouldn’t be afraid of them. Think about it– if you never accept a failure as an end-all, arguably, you HAVE to succeed at some point.

So chin up, because we all suck sometimes. It’s the only way to get to where you want to be. Remember to keep a perspective; right now will affect later, but it likely won’t define it (unless you let it… don’t!).

If you need me, I’ll probably be making 30 copies of a 17-page project with the pages in the wrong order (also not joking).

 

I Don’t Want a Job. I Want Fire.

Well, friends, tomorrow is the day I can stop chewing my nails off.

Maybe. It’s the deadline for the DoSomething.org internship I applied for last month. Technically they have until the 18th to contact me for an interview/polite rejection letter. And basically I’m like:

From-> http://www.ryanseacrest.com/2014/03/page/11/

Even if I don’t get it, I’m happy that I’ve discovered new opportunities. Before I found this internship, I thought it was over for me after college because I couldn’t find a job or a place where I felt truly passionate. And I NEED passionate. I don’t like to go for anything (friendships, relationships, jobs, coffee) unless I’m head-over-heels for it.

Let me back that up for a second. I’ve worked in a LOT of places (especially with field experience study), and I’ve gained wonderful experiences as well as wonderful co-worker friends. To have a job at all, to me, is one of the greatest blessings I can imagine.  But, being that I do have that privilege, I don’t see why I would settle for anything less than my loftiest dream. Everywhere that I have worked has been incredible. I don’t really have any work horror stories. And yet, something has never felt right.

My brain sees pictures. Pictures for everything. When I smell something, I can picture it, too. It’s an oddity I can’t really explain, because I don’t fully understand it myself. Anyway, when I think about work and my future, I get this picture in my head. When I think of a career as, say, a doctor or secretary, I envision a gray, still picture. And I think that’s pretty self-explanatory.

But when I think of my hand holding someone else’s as I help them to their feet…when I think of singing in a chorus… when I think of executing a triple pirouette… when I think of dozens and dozens of off-white pages looking me in the eyes, waiting for my pen to alter them forever… when I think of myself inside the music and surrounded by people metaphorically on fire… the color in my mind is ubiquitous. It’s luminous. It splashes every corner of my thoughts with vibrancy.

Isn’t that how it should be? Over the past year, I’ve heard legions of people tell me they hate working. They can’t wait until they’re retired. Every day is excruciatingly painful. Mondays are awful. Can’t wait til Saturday.

We are TWENTY. If this is what the next 45 years of my life are going to be like, I might as well shut off all feeling and hope in my heart until I retire. At this age, shouldn’t we be naive and burning with passion for our careers? For the next 90,000 hours of our working lives? Someone recently said to me, “Well, it just doesn’t work like that, Mol. Work isn’t fun. Welcome to adulthood.”

I just won’t take that for an answer. I refuse. I want my career to feed kerosene to the fire in my heart. I want the flames to creep up through my throat and into my words. Into the things I see and feel.

I want to wake up every morning (okay, at least 90% of mornings… I really hate mornings) feeling only excitement. A job should be a place where everyone’s best ideas come to life. I want a job where I WANT to come to work on Saturdays if I have time… where Mondays are simply symbolic for a week full of fresh opportunities and possibilities.

I don’t want a career. I don’t want a job. What I do want is to go to a designated place each day where I want to WORK for something that matters to me and matters to others. I want fire.  I can’t wait til I’m surrounded by people who are bursting with ideas and challenge me. DoSomething.org will hopefully be the first place I discover such a miracle, but even if it isn’t, I know I won’t rest until I find a flame to add to my own.

 

From-> http://www.pinterest.com/WorldSeminars/steve-job-quotes/

Back at it!

Fact: everyone gets sad. 

Fact: much of our happiness is dependent on personal choice.

And for the past few months, I wasn’t making the right choice. It was really weird, actually, because if you know me (and if you read my blog, you definitely know) that I often like to imagine the world laced in rainbows. But November through February unveiled a part of life that was much more twisted and dark than I had ever seen.

I felt squashed. Squeezed. Suppressed. I took a hit from every side. Everything I was trying to hold on to was slipping through my fingers. Especially my hopes for the future. My dreams were quelled by– dare I say it– reality. I stepped into the role of a student teacher and realized, hey, I’m graduating college in four months.

Oh.

Graduating, to me, didn’t feel like my release into the world. It felt like a trap. Like life was prodding me into a wall, laughing and telling me what I had to do to be a responsible adult. And of course, it still partially feels that way. But for a few months, I let that get to me a whole lot. I was falling into the strings of normalcy that I have always vehemently opposed.

You know what, though? There is only so long a person can sulk before a decision has to be made. Am I going to stay solemn and passive, or am I going to toughen up and start forcing my way to where I want to be?

I’ll be honest: I chose passivity.

I’m afraid I would’ve stayed passive and average had DoSomething.org not jolted me. It slapped me across the face, actually. It said, “Seriously, Mol? You’re going to just give up? When have you ever done that?” I knew it was right.

On a day I was feeling particularly melancholy, I decided to browse Twitter. DoSomething tweeted a link to a posting of their summer internships. As I clicked it and scrolled down the page, I drew in a sharp breath. Right before my eyes was the *writing* internship of my dreams for an organization I sincerely care about. I burst into tears as I rediscovered opportunity and possibility, and more importantly– my fire.

I became obsessed with this internship. Not only was I signing up for things right and left to bolster my resume, but I was also smiling again. Really smiling. I greeted each morning with gratefulness (okay, and groggy crabbiness, but you guys know I’m a night owl). I began filtering the world and my every day experiences for possibilities again. DoSomething was a huge part in reigniting the fire inside of me I was so sure I had lost.

Remembering that my life isn’t really for me or about me– it is for serving others and for submitting to God’s plan– was so important in choosing happiness. It’s not about me or my dissatisfaction; there’s a whole world out there that could really use whatever help I can give. From-- http://indulgy.com/post/hDo9hbcqs1/be-strong

The point is, I went from very down to very up in a few months. Let me tell you something about the down: it’s not worth it. Sure, be sad for a while about something, but at some point your happiness becomes your own responsibility. We are all human, and we are all going to face challenges. But, we must face them with the knowledge that courage must trail closely behind.

The other point is, look for things that make you feel alive. Don’t settle into the trap of reality. Of course, we all have responsibilities. We all have things we have to do. My advice is this: find something that sets you on fire (not literally). Those responsibilities will feel like opportunities floating down in little boxes from the heavens. Those things you have to do will become the things you constantly think about and WANT to do.

My suffering was necessary. I realized just how important fire is in my life. How important liveliness and passion is. Having nothing forced me to create and discover what I was missing.

Thank you to everyone who lifted me up during those times. You know I will always do the same for you.

81 Days Later

I’m not really sure what to tell you guys.

As some of you (may) have noticed, I’ve been gone for several months.  Each passing Monday I think about my #MotivationMondays and how much I miss writing them. Every single Monday. That’s like 11 Mondays. But anyway, the truth is, I haven’t been feeling like I’m qualified to write them. I don’t want to be hypocritical.

I’m in an unstable place in my life. Who isn’t at some point? I’ve just needed some time to collect myself. For anyone out there who may read my posts, and for anyone who may care, I will be back. I’ve started to feel the fight in me making its way back into my heart.

I guess I’ll just share with you something I wrote somewhat recently that explains everything/nothing:

I have a thirst

to run

far and fast and free

so wildly

that even I can’t

catch myself–

.

or perhaps

that is why I’m running.

#MotivationMonday: Zach Sobiech

What’s up guys?! : )

Happy #MotivationMonday! I hope you are all feeling extra inspired today. I know I am. Let me share with you something that has been keeping me motivated over the past few days.

Biggest Inspiration on the Planet Award goes to: Zach Sobiech

I was supposed to be doing homework this past Wednesday when I came across a video a friend posted on Facebook.  Now, I usually consider myself a pretty positive person, but after learning about Zach Sobiech, I realized I had been just scratching the surface of positivity. His story is so moving. I know this video is 20 minutes long, but you NEED TO watch it. I seriously believe everyone in the world should be forced to sit in a chair and watch it. I’m not even going to say anything else until after the video.

Okay, so I know some of you guys didn’t watch that. I’m giving you a second chance.

If you still didn’t, I encourage you to keep it in the back of your mind and watch it at some point. Seriously. I am so inspired to live life like Zach. No matter what is going on, he has a smile on his face. He’s always looking for the bright side in every situation, person, and struggle. I want to fight like he does to make every day memorable and full of warmth.

The most important thing a person can do is take each situation as a learning experience, and that’s exactly what Zach and his family did; not once did the family view his situation as a setback. At least in the video, it’s easy to see that they used the situation as a way to learn to be more alive. To love more. To do more.

You can do whatever you want in this life– anything you set your mind to. (It’s a cliche concept, but I think it’s important to remember that cliches are cliches because they hold so much truth.) As Zach says it, “You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.”  The ignorance of death is just an excuse people use to stay stagnant. I don’t think we should necessarily think about death every day, but the most important thing we can do with our time on this Earth is remember that it is limited. Not only is it limited, but it is ephemeral. Our lives are momentary. Truly, in the history and future of life on this planet, our little lives are but a moment– a tick mark on an endless timeline. And yet, we have the opportunity to move the human race forward with the voice we’ve been given. We have the opportunity to change even one other person’s life, whether that is a parent, a friend, or someone in serious need. That’s incredible.

There are too many things to be done, too many people to help, too many things to learn, too many adventures to go on for you to pretend like you’re going to live forever.

Because you’re not. Zach thought he was going to go to college; he had things all planned out. Everyone has things planned out, and that’s perfectly normal. We just need to make sure they’re the right plans. If you were going to be told that you had cancer tomorrow, what would change about the way you woke up in the morning? What would change about the way you answered the phone? What would change about the dreams you haven’t chased?

Everyone needs to smile like Zach. Everyone needs to love like Zach. Everyone needs to create, inspire, and relate like Zach. People would be so much more peaceful if they took a lesson or two from his beautiful life. This all sounds a little too serious for my liking, but the message Zach’s life sent to the world is that we do need to take life seriously. If we don’t, the lost opportunities to speak, move, and listen will build up and fall away before we can grasp them.

TAKE those opportunities. Take chances. Learn to see the positive in everything. Because it’s there, and it’s waiting for you to find it.

You can donate to Zach’s Children’s Cancer fund here. You can follow the Twitter account for his cancer fund here. And you can also follow the Twitter account for Child Cancer Research Fund here. Everything you do helps!

Life is too short to wait !!!