I HOPE YOU CHOOSE KINDNESS

Dear Reader,

This subject has been on my mind a lot recently. It all started with a quote I found a while back that has since sort of shaped my life.

Were-all-going-to-die

“We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.” – Charles Bukowski

I then saw a vine of a guy who was talking about how the world we live in sees positivity and kindness and spreading love as weak.

Finally, Carrie Hope Fletcher came out with a video the other day:

And on that same day, my friend followed me on twitter. His bio: everyone has light and dark inside of them…what matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.

I get it, universe. You obviously want me to write a blog post on this subject.

In all seriousness, though, I think this is something that never really gets talked about. Kind people are often taken advantage of, and people who are brutally honest are often praised. “Good for them, not being afraid to speak their mind,” we think. And “about time someone said what we were all thinking.”

But there’s a difference between being outspoken and being downright mean. Like Carrie mentioned, I’m not sure why we sometimes think the only way to give someone the truth is to hit them with it hard. I think this probably happened because people saw two choices in front of them: brutal honesty or sugar coating. But we have another choice: kindness. We can always choose kindness.

My friend’s bio really stood out to me because I had/have a bit of a mean streak. And it’s clear when you look at the differences between my sister (a true saint I kid you not) and myself when we were children. Sarah was constantly helping others, especially those who couldn’t help her in return. Even in elementary school, she would get paired up with kids who had special needs because the teachers knew she would treat them with the most kindness. She just emitted happiness and warmth. I mean, she was a hugger. I couldn’t have been more different.

BhMSwOQIgAAeNVq

Now, I like to think that I’m a fairly nice person. I’m certainly capable (we all are), but I don’t think I always choose kindness. I can think of too many situations where I chose to be brutally honest and I regret it. Maybe I thought I knew better, and I thought brutal honesty would be the best way to help someone see their faults, or learn a lesson. I don’t know, but the excuse isn’t important. What’s important is that I chose to act on the darkness, and that was the wrong choice. It’s always the wrong choice.

I’m realizing that more and more now, and I see people like Sarah not as fragile or weak, but as admirable. To choose kindness is to be strong–and mindful. In a world where it sometimes seems like everyone is just using everyone else and trying to tear each other down, it’s inspiring to see those who pick people up, just by second nature. It takes an incredible amount of strength to push aside feelings of hurt or anger or frustration and choose kindness. That’s what I’m going to really try to focus on doing from now on, and I urge everyone else to do the same.

Choose kindness, because why would you choose the opposite?

Sincerely,

Sammy

50 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME (again)

Dear Reader,

Something that a lot of YouTubers do is the “50 Random Facts Tag,” where they just list random things that their audience probably doesn’t know about them. And because I’m very new to YouTube and don’t have an audience yet, I figured this would be the best time to do it!

If this sounds familiar, you’re awesome. I posted a lyrical-type-essay back in January titled: 50 Facts About Me That You Didn’t Ask For. And don’t get me wrong, I’m really proud of it! But I just want it to be clear that these were made for very different purposes and, therefore, are very different. I wrote the essay for a class last year and spent a lot of time on it. And the video… well I just turned the camera on and went for it.

Which was not the best idea and I will hopefully never do again because editing that was awful. But this is the product and if you want to check it out, feel free!

I’m hoping the next thing I do has a bit more substance.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS: ALSO, I changed the thumbnail today but for some reason it won’t change from the random one YouTube picked, so I apologize for the really embarrassing still image. But mostly to me. I’m apologizing to myself because I’m really embarrassed.

Have a great day everyone!

IT’S MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY Y’ALL

Dear Reader,

I’ve got my GEO homework on my left, my white chocolate mocha on my right, and I’m feeling good. Stressed, but good. And ready to get my life back on track.

99a6ea51bfca25db9288586d3d8bb2e0

I have a lot planned for this week. I have two papers due but one is about Kanye and the other is about Avatar: The Last Airbender so I really can’t complain. I also have my first project due soon and one is being introduced for another class, but this all gives me more reason to reach out to my professors. That’s honestly one of my favorite things about college, because my professors are not only distinguished and knowledgeable and really helpful, but they’re all pretty goofy and weird. Honestly I wish I could just follow my English professor around all day and see his perception of the world because he comes up with the strangest things. I can’t wait to talk about Kanye with him.

I’m also running my first philanthropy event (making tye-dye blankets for kids yooo) on Tuesday and we have our first corridor event on Wednesday with Insomnia Cookies catering. And on Thursday I’m going to a lecture called “Cupcakes, Pinterest & Ladyporn” for extra credit. As if I needed an incentive to go.

I also plan to make a blog post about my cramazing (crazy and amazing. I went for it and I don’t know how I feel about it but I’m a bit sleep deprived so I’m leaving it in. Feeling good.) weekend and film two videos this week so next week I can rest easy. I know one is going to be a September favorites but I have no clue what the other will be so if you have any ideas (or favorites you want to share), please leave a comment and let me know!!

That’s the other thing I want to do this week. I’m going to take full advantage of any downtime I have and actually connect with people on here and YouTube. I constantly find myself just putting stuff out there and then only interacting with the people who come to me first, but I find that to be pretty ineffective and rather narcissistic. So I want to stop it! I feel like I haven’t read another blog post in weeks and I certainly haven’t found anyone new, which is one of my favorite things to do on this website. So I’m going to explore some more this week and reach out. Also–to whoever’s still reading–if you have any suggestions of people I should check out, leave them below. Yay WordPress community!

Alright, I really need to go now. Enough talking, I’m actually going to do something. Before this motivational buzz (or maybe that’s just the coffee) wears off.

Okay. Back to the aforementioned geography homework.

Sincerely,

Sammy

I DID ANOTHER THING

Dear Reader,

I realized today that I never really linked to the video I posted yesterday so here it is:

If you want to see the first time I did a thing, you can click here (or watch there vvv)

And, of course, if you want to see a better explanation/introduction, you can read my post from yesterday here.

Well, that’s it! I hope everyone has a beautiful Saturday.

Smile–it’s the weekend.

Sincerely,

Sammy

WHY I’M STARTING A YOUTUBE CHANNEL (also, SURPRISE! I’m starting a YouTube channel!!!)

Dear Reader,

That’s right! In just a little bit, I will be uploading my first ever YouTube video.

What will that video be, you ask?

An introduction of course!

That being said, it’s the worst video I’ve ever made. It’s also the best video I’ve ever made because I’ve never made a video before, but it’s very all over the place. I had to cut out a lot because I would lose my train of thought in the middle of a sentence and would never end up finishing it. And, well, basically I realized why I’ve stuck to writing all these years.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop making videos just because this one was awful. Because that would kind of defeat the purpose. I’m making videos because I want to get better. I want to be a great filmmaker one day. I want to be like JacksGap and Chase vs Everything in the sense that what I make is creative and beautiful and inspiring. I want to travel the world like FunforLouis. I want to be as insightful and altruistic as Carrie Hope Fletcher. I also want to have her singing voice and amazing family and awesome hair. I actually just wish I was Carrie Hope Fletcher but I don’t quite have that power, do I?

4c2653ee843b4138aa079a903ca8332c

So that’s why I’m starting to make videos. The first ones are going to be crap, and it’s really hard for me to just understand that and put myself out there anyway. And that’s because I’m terrified.

In fact, out of everything I said in this video, I think that’s the point that I get across the most. Because this is all terrifying, and I really don’t think I can stress that enough. Talking to a camera. Editing it–having to constantly listen to my voice and stare at my appearance. Then uploading it for the world to see… that’s scary.

But, like I said in the video, I’m done letting my fears hold me back. YouTube is an adventure I’ve wanted to embark on for a long (long) time, and I’ve always been too scared.

BUT NO MORE, I say.

Tomorrow (and every foreseeable Friday afterward) I am uploading a video of myself onto the internet. I want to share my ideas and connect with people and learn from them and grow. Just like I’ve done on WordPress. Because YouTube is just another way that I can express myself, so why let my fears keep me from taking advantage of that?

So hopefully this post clarifies why I’ve decided to start this channel. I’m not really sure of what exactly I’m going to be putting on it yet, but I’m excited.

I’m really, really excited.

Sincerely,

Sammy

WHY GENERATION Y IS UNHAPPY

Dear Reader,

I read a really good article yesterday called “Why Generation Y is unhappy.” I encourage everyone (especially people around my age) to check it out, but I’ll just summarize it for now.

Basically, the new adults are finding themselves to be really unhappy and they can’t quite figure out why. But when we analyze how we’ve been raised and the kind of environment we’ve all grown up in, it makes perfect sense.

As Tim Urban (the author of this article) brings up, we’ve been raised to believe that we are special. That we all are special. Unlike our parents, we went through school being overly encouraged that we can achieve anything. “Anyone can be president” is a phrase I heard a lot throughout elementary school–which, upon reflection, is kind of weird because why is president the best job we can think of anyway? I think there are much more ambitious dreams we could have and, honestly, no one I know even really dreams of being president.

Anyway, that not only results in outrageously big dreams and unrealistic goals, but it sets the foundation for a lot of entitlement issues. Everyone goes through school thinking that they’re special. But that literally cannot be true. It is impossible for everyone to be special.

And then Tim says: “Even right now, the GYPSYs reading this are thinking, ‘Good point…but I actually am one of the few special ones’–and this is the problem.”

I actually laughed out loud in my student center, because I couldn’t stop that thought from crossing my own mind as well.

Another quote that struck me directly was when he explained his term for all of us in this category: GYPSYs.

“A GYPSY is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story.”

…….

I don’t know how long you’ve been reading my blog, but that’s how all of this began. I thought of myself as the protagonist in a rather unfulfilling story, and I wanted to change that. I wanted my story to be great.

So I was kind of taken aback (and embarrassed) that Tim had me pegged from the fourth sentence.

And that’s the thing–reading this post was weird. I mean, he was calling us GYPSYs delusional, and then proving it! And I knew all of this to some extent, but I didn’t really want to face it. And I was reading it thinking, so what? I should give up my dreams and realize how average I am and then I’ll be happy? That doesn’t make any sense.

But then I got to the end, where he gave three very important pieces of advice.

  1. Stay wildly ambitious. Good, because I don’t think I’d be able to give up my dreams if I wanted to. (And I don’t want to.)
  2. Stop thinking that you’re special. I especially like what he said to clarify: “You’re another completely inexperienced young person who doesn’t have all that much to offer yet. You can become special by working really hard for a long time.” So, I may not be special now, but it doesn’t mean I won’t ever be.  
  3. Ignore everyone else. This might be the hardest advice to take, just because it’s so difficult when you see your peers (and people much younger) going off and living lives that you wish could be yours. But by ignoring others, I can truly focus on myself and what I want to accomplish.

So that’s my take on this article. Definitely still check it out if you haven’t already! And, if you’re in generation Y, I urge you to stop trying to write a story that will rival that of your peers, but just write one that will make you happy.

That’s what I’m going to try to do.

Sincerely,

Sammy

500x334xhappiness.jpg.pagespeed.ic_.wQkD8qg3vU

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE [9/1/2015]

Dear Reader,

If we were having coffee, we’d probably be in King Cafe, because that’s where I always seem to be these days. Also, I’m a broke college student again, so I wouldn’t want to go Uptown to a real coffee shop and spend “real people money.”

So we’d sit down at a table in the back of the cafe and we might start by asking the obligatory questions. “How was your summer? Did you do anything fun? How much do you love being back in Oxford?” And I’d probably give you the same answers I’ve been giving everyone else. Summer was alright. I went to Hilton Head, which was kind of cool. And then I just nannied for the last little bit, which was nice because the boys were great and the money was prime. But yeah, I really missed being in Oxford. I’m glad I’m back.

And of course I would ask you about your summer as well, which was probably a lot better than mine.

Once we got past the small talk, we’d probably seamlessly transition into talking about school, but I wouldn’t mind that at all. I’d tell you, with probably too much enthusiasm, how excited I am for my classes this year. How I’m reading Shakespeare and studying rhetoric and learning about ways to promote literacy in my future classroom. And my teachers are awesome–the kind that I can learn not only material from, but actual teaching methods as well.

At this point, I’d ask you about your classes, and I promise that the enthusiasm I’d have for this conversation is genuine. Because every year at the same time I get really excited about learning. Really passionate. To the point where I’ll re-memorize the state capitals and try to teach myself Spanish. It’s why September is my favorite month of the year. It’s why every year seems to start so strong, and why every year I have a renewed sense of hope. I probably wouldn’t admit this to you, but I’d be thinking in the back of my mind how badly I hope that this year, the passion doesn’t fade. That this year will be different.

If we were having coffee, I’d have to tell you about my recent obsessions. Like my “Spotify & Chill” playlist, which is basically just a ton of songs that remind me of being in a coffee shop. And I’d obviously have to bring up Avatar: The Last Airbender, because I just finished the series yesterday. I wouldn’t mention my obsession for this show with just everyone, but you wouldn’t think that it’s weird. Or maybe you would, but you would at least tolerate me as I chatter on about how this show can make me laugh out loud, but also break my heart–and then repair it again. And then I’d probably have to tell you that I’m pretty sure I’ve decided I would want to be a waterbender, but airbending is still very much in the running. And you might be a bit concerned at how often I think about what I would do with certain airbending skills, but you would sit there and entertain the idea with me.

It’s at this point in the conversation that I realize how much more I have to tell you, but I’m going to hold onto it for another day. There are some things that I want to tell you–that I want to tell the world–but I’m going to wait. Maybe because I’m “not ready,” but I don’t think it’s that dramatic. I think that sometimes it’s just good to wait.

Still, I’ll have finished my iced caramel latte, and my mind will revert back from thinking about Avatar to thinking about the mile-long “to do” list waiting for me in my dorm–and I’m sure you’re incredible busy, too. So we’d say our goodbyes and recycle our cups, because good company and planet Earth are equally great.

Sincerely,

Sammy

d1fd0bf0adb3ebbace98262734b0aac5