*I was inspired to write this while my two friends played their guitars and sang by the river, each of us drinking some Cruzcampo
I feel like my life is:
- 87.9% bull shit
- 0.1% agony
- 12.0% pure bliss
Which equates to two things:
- I lead a pretty awesome life
- There are a lot of things I can do to lead a more purpose driven life
I spent the last two days fixating and agonizing over a test that really in the grad scheme of life means nothing. But I guess that’s a testament to my character. It’s both a positive and a negative or a rose and a thron if you must.
- Rose: The little things matter to me. Such as picking out a t-shirt for you in your favorite color or taking the time to collage/make you the perfect birthday card.
- Thorn: At the same time because the smallest things give me abnormal amounts of anxiety. Such as if I remembered to close the garage door while on centre ave. and I don’t remember so I turn all the way around to close it only to realize that in fact I remembered to close it and that I’ve never forgotten to close it before in my life. Also, another example is that if I’m studying and I decide my eyebrows are too bushy I will proceed to pluck them until they are too thin just so I can go back to studying. (Note: this is an awful idea, and I do not recommend it.)
While I need to cut this bull shit out of my life, I don’t want to lose what makes me, well Katie. However, sitting here and writing this makes me realize that what is causing this stress is the inability to even remember my childhood dreams, and the doubt I have for my future. I don’t want to spend the rest of my adulthood at something I don’t love. And I know, I shouldn’t be focusing on this while I’m in Spain. But watching my two friends write music and talk about how they are going to pursue this dream of theirs after college, makes me worried that I’ve already given up on mine.
I don’t know when we tell kids that their dreams are impossible or silly. I feel like once you get in high school and they tell you that what you are learning will give you practical skills for your future, they just cut all of your hopes out of you. It gets even worse in college, when they start expecting you to want to make loads of money in your life time, over doing something that will give you tons of happiness.
To all the newly graduated and to all the other kids just trying to figure out our dreams, I say screw it. Just remember what makes you happy, and try to incorporate that into your career. Don’t stress on what is practical or achievable. Where is the fun in that?
- Talking about life with friends
- Listening to really good poetry
- Skyping my mom in 2 hours
- Wandering and not knowing if you’re doing the right thing
- Dream killers
Here are some of the life lessons I’ve learned in Sevilla that I want my children to know.
1. First impressions are important, but the second encounter is even more important.
- Everyone needs a firm handshake, great table manners, and the ability to small chat and network. While we stress the importance of the first impression, I think we should really stress the importance of the second impression, or the third or fourth. These are the impressions where you really get to know the content of someone’s character. First off, not everyone makes the best impression. Some of us are introverts and shy away from large groups; while others of us don’t have an opinion/ lack of information on the subject matter of the conversation so we stand on the fringe of the group looking awkward. Secondly, the person might just be having a bad day and thus in an instant you gather the wrong opinion about them. I like to say that 83.3% of the time my first impressions are correct, but I also tend to be more of an observer when it comes to first meeting someone. I gather my opinion on you, based on the way you treat and talk about others. However, I will say that I have been pleasantly surprised. I guess I want them to know to trust their gut (just like Colbert), but be willing to change their opinion.
2. Whatever you say about someone else, they are saying something even worse about you.
- Being a girl can be rough, even in college people will still gossip. People you think you can trust will tell your personal information to people who you would never share this information to. 1. I want my children to be like a girl in my program, who has never uttered a negative word about anyone. I want them to keep their opinions to themselves, and not be like their hot-headed mother. 2. I don’t want them to let gossip get to them, the way it bothers me. My friend and I discussed this last night and she said, “I think the best way to think about it though is to not take anything too seriously, it really doesn’t matter what people say anyway, and think of it as flattering that they want to pay attention to your life… it means its more interesting than theirs!” I love the optimism.
3. It’s not about being the most popular
- It’s not about being the most well liked, it about being like by everyone. It’s not about being everyone’s best friend, it’s about having everyone only think nice things about you. It’s about showing everyone respect, and getting that respect back. I struggle with the thought of people not liking me. I think everyone does. While they may not like you, they probably just don’t know you.
4. Learn to say yes more
- You miss out on so many experiences by saying no. Being cautious is good, but learning to be adventurous is even better.
5. Listen to your Mother … or should I say Grandmother
- I should let the world know that my mom is the wisest woman on the planet. Yes that is right, the planet. She has taught me not only the basics like bunny-ear tying my shoes, how to make chicken noodle soup, but she has also built the building blocks of my character. I discovered this when talking to a girl on my program about why/how I could be so disciplined with my work. Even when it wasn’t exam time, I was staying in and doing my homework. This to a lot of people here is strange because all they want to do is go out. I have a good work ethic because my mother instilled in me the phrase “Be disciplined, you must be disciplined.” This plays over and over in my head when I start slacking off. More than just my work ethic she has taught me that killing someone with kindness and good manners are always the way to go. I hope that I can one day guide my children to have a great character just like my mother.
6. Nothing is handed to you, you must work for it.
- I come from an instant gratification generation, where we feel entitled to just about everything. What I have learned about Michigan, is that you have to work for everything. Yes, there are some students whose parents have connections just about everywhere. But what feels better in a job interview saying “oh my dad’s friend helped me” or “I reached out to them on my own.” I’ve never believed in short cuts. I’ve been blessed with a mother in business, who can look over my resume and cover letter for me, and can help me practice for my interviews. But all of the footwork I do on my own. I want my children to work hard for the things they want, because it is so much more rewarding when you do it on your own.
7. Life isn’t fair, stop whining this isn’t a new revelation.
- I’ve never known life to be fair. For example, I applied for a job at my University but they were looking at work-study students first (those who get scholarship but they need to work for a university department). Even though I was very qualified for the job, I knew I wasn’t going to get it. Someone asked me if that made me upset, that someone possibly less qualified would be getting the job over me. In all honesty I didn’t mind too much. Someone less qualified than you, will always seem to get things handed to them. You can’t let this get you down, you just have to keep working your way through it.
8. YOLO (you only life once)
- Do what you love. Don’t forget about your childhood dreams. In America, anything is achievable.
- Almost finishing exams
- Cool weather
- The apartment to myself
- 14 more days of work
- The heat