Life’s A Zoo

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So, I went to a zoo about two weeks ago. Why does that matter? Because I seem to have arrived at a rather delayed reaction type of realization or thought or some other related word that you feel like inserting back there instead. What if that was us? What if that is us? Metaphorically of course, but think about it.

Sometimes we feel like we are caged. Just go with the flow and nobody will try to put you down. That’s the thinking, right? You’re just doing the same thing day in and day out. Everybody’s watching you, so why even attempt something that might disappoint them? I think I’ve talked about this before, but maybe it only sounds familiar because that’s what life’s like. It’s a zoo. Sort of.

Now, I’m not trying to say we’re all a bunch of animals. That’s not where I’m going with this. I’m just simply making a comparison that may have made more sense in my head. In the wild, animals adapt and roam and aren’t limited, but that’s different in captivity. Not to sound like too much of an animal rights activist (although I used to be a vegetarian and I am very much against animal cruelty), but exhibits are nowhere close to being the equivalent of what the wild offers. I think that in today’s society, we tend to get stuck in ruts and then complain about getting bored. That could have been avoided if you didn’t let your peers pressure you into doing what ‘everyone else was doing’. Be yourself. I can’t stress that enough and I’ll keep on saying it. Stand out and express yourself without fear of what others might think.

Then there’s the ‘everyone is always watching you’ factor combined with the ‘don’t mess up or your life is over’ way of thinking. True, it’s important to always do your best and get things right the first time, but we are all humans. Humans make mistakes and that’s never going to go away, so instead of dwelling on it, choose instead to learn from those mistakes.

And now here’s a quote, because I add one every time and this one seems to fit in quite well with this post in both content and author:

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
― Dr. Seuss

If you’re failing to see my zoo-society analogy and make the connection, don’t even worry about it. It sounded better in my head, but I thought I would share it anyway. Also, I think we’re kind of like zebras. We may look the same at first glance, but we’re all unique.

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We Can’t Have It All

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Those five words are something that life has repeatedly thrown in my face and they’re true. We can’t have everything. We can’t always get what we want. Don’t let it bring you down though because despite what the world hands you, or doesn’t hand you, you can choose to be happy with what you have right now. It has a lot to do with how you look at things, so always try to look at the bright side.

And even though we can’t have it all, we don’t have to sit around doing nothing except dwelling on that fact. We shouldn’t. We can and should work towards the things that we want to achieve. You’re never going to get anything done if you don’t try. Sitting and wallowing in self pity is a very unproductive way to go about life. It’s not really healthy for anyone either. Keep yourself busy with aspirations and doing what makes you happy, what makes you smile.

When life throws a curve ball at you, don’t freak out. Take life as it is and as it come. If you spend too much time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future you’ll miss the greatest gift of all. You’ll miss the present. Even though you can’t change what has already happened, you can learn from it, so do so with enthusiasm.

 “Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
― Margaret Mitchell

Make the best of every situation. I know it’s going to be hard sometimes, but one thing we will always have is hope.

Dear Words, I’m Still Waiting

It’s almost like watching grass grow in a way. When it rains the grass grows faster. When life knocks us down we seem to learn more than when we’re standing up. Okay, so that wasn’t my best analogy, but what I’m trying to say is that when we’re down on the ground, seeing things from a different point of view, we can really learn a lot about ourselves. I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past year, which hasn’t been the best, but I have plenty to be thankful for.

Finding the right words to express my thoughts isn’t always easy. I’m sure plenty of you know what it’s like to see something so beautiful or so amazing that anything you say or write about it hardly seems to do it justice. I mean, breathtaking seems to be a bit of an overused word for those types of situations to me. And what about the other side of life? I know for a fact it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. How do you describe those dark days when you feel like you can’t get any lower?

When you’re frustrated or angry or lonely, things can get very confusing for yourself as well as others. You can overcomplicate things. You can say things you don’t really mean. You can hide and pretend everything’s okay when all you really need is someone to talk to, to listen to you, and to offer comfort. As much as venting is sometimes necessary, I don’t like dumping my feelings on my friends even when they tell me that they’re there for me no matter what. It makes me feel bad, especially when I don’t know how to explain myself and it comes out wrong. Maybe the simple fact is just that there isn’t a word for everything.

I’m sorry if I seem to be skipping from one topic to another, but I feel like all of this is related in one way or another. Sometimes what we take for granted are the things that we need the most and a lot of us seem to realize that only once those things are gone. When those things that we rely on are missing we learn what lies within ourselves. We can find our strength just when all the light seems to have faded away and then there is hope again.

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”
― Anonymous

Believe in yourself because you are stronger than you think you are. Believe in those who believe in you, who give you hope, the ones who keep you going and the ones who help push you forward into whatever tomorrow has to offer. This is to the ones who pick us up when we fall down and to the ones that give us courage. You are the light in the dark.

Faces I Will Never Forget

I’ll be the first one to admit I can be a bit antisocial when I meet new people, although I have been working on trying to be more outgoing. That being said, I don’t usually go beyond tolerance if I know I’ll be moving on in the near future and if there’s a good chance I’ll probably never see those people again. I think everyone has met people they can’t stand, kudos to you if you find the good in everyone, and people that they just get along with, but nothing more.

However, every now and then you come across people who you want to stay in contact with beyond the short time period you’ve begun to get to know them. Sometimes you find people that have so much in common with you, from music preferences to your usual order at Panda Express, that it’s kind of freaky but in a good way. Sometimes something just clicks and you find the time and space to let someone new into your circle and, after a while, you’re glad you did.

But just like everything else, there are usually two sides. The good and the bad if you will. Maybe appreciation and disappointment are somewhat better words. Have you ever experienced a moment when a complete stranger says or does something that really changes you or offers a simple, friendly gesture that turns your whole day around? Something that makes you arrive, sometimes quite suddenly, at some sort of realization that teaches you about yourself or life in general. Then, in a blink of an eye they’re gone. You probably didn’t get a chance to say goodbye or even thank them. The only trace they left behind is the impact they made on you. An abstract idea. A memory.

“You don’t know who is important to you until you actually lose them.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

People will come and go throughout our entire lives. Sometimes we control this, but most of the time we don’t. That’s the way things are. Appreciate those you have right now before it’s too late and never forget the ones you have made a difference in your life.

Thank You For The Love

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Nobody likes to be alone. Some people would say that the more friends you have the better. I might have to agree with the statement in some cases, but when your friend circle has a radius of over one thousand miles things can get kind of difficult. I think a lot of us take our friends for granted because we’re so used to having them around almost every single day. Sure it’s easy to pick up your phone and call them or turn on your computer and message them, but it’s not the same as talking to them face to face.

I just want to say thank you to all of my friends, both close and far away. So, here it goes. You all mean the world to me and I miss you more than words can say. Each and every one of you is special to me. You make me smile when I’m having a bad day, laugh when I feel like crying, and you have always listened when I needed someone to talk to. You made me feel accepted because you loved me just as much when things got ugly as when life was beautiful. I think it’s great that you can laugh at my sometimes really terrible sense of humor even when I know what I said wasn’t the least bit humorous. You helped pick me back up when I fell even when I refused help. You are like the light at the end of the tunnel for me. I can never thank you enough for that. I want you to know that no matter what happens I will never ever forget you. I will treasure the memories that we’ve made and all of the good times we’ve shared.

So here’s a quote to show you what a real friend should be and to encompass what I mean:

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
― Elbert Hubbard

I’ve learned that sometimes it’s not necessarily have to be the years you’ve lived that teach you the most, but rather the many miles that you’ve traveled. I understand now that it’s true what they say about not realizing what you have until it’s gone. Share some appreciation with the people who have made and/or are making differences in your life. Take the time to tell your friends how much they mean to you before it’s too late.

It’s A Matter Of Perspective

Here in America, it’s considered common knowledge by many people that black cats represent bad luck, but there’s always that other end of the spectrum. For example, did you know that in Great Britain and Ireland a black cat is considered good luck? People’s interpretation of and viewpoints on things vary based on location as well many other factors and, of course, the individual in question.

The classic glass of water example is another type of perspective problem in regard to the whole half full or half empty dilemma. If you look at the situation literally, are you filling the glass up or are you pouring it out? Maybe society’s tendency to overreact to things has simply made the glass twice as big as it needs to be. Ever think of that? And just like the light that hits that water, we’re bent on trying to convince others that we’re right. It’s time that we start doing instead of telling. It’s time that people turned off their televisions, got off of their couches, and went out to go make a difference in this world. I have a feeling it could use it.

And now here’s a quote to make you think about your own perspective on life:

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”
― Alphonse Karr

Do What Makes You Happy

Between social networking, mass media, and the ever-present peer pressure, you can be easily distracted from the right choices. On the inside, everyone wants to be their own person. Some of us succeed and some of us succumb to going with the flow because it’s easier. But in doing that we sometimes do stupid things because we’re afraid. Afraid of letting down the people in our circles or having those same people make fun of and laugh at us. You shouldn’t be scared to stand out and do things that go against the norm once in a while. Plus, you never really know what other people are going to think of something until it actually happens.

Yet at the same time, if we never did what other people do we would never try out new things. Many of us are firmly stuck in our ways. We don’t like change, some of us fear it and others may loathe it. For example, let’s consider music. I have never liked any of the current music I have been exposed to and when a friend and I decided to swap a short list of songs by our favorite artists, I went into it with an already marred attitude towards the band she recommended to me. A misconception at it’s best because that same group I was reluctant to listen to has now earned a spot among my top favorite bands.

What I’m attempting to say is that you should be your own person who is not afraid to make conscious decisions on their own, but you should also try some new things once in a while. Maybe this quote will help get my message across:

“If you must say yes, say it with an open heart. If you must say no, say it without fear.”
― Paulo Coelho

Don’t do something just to make someone else happy if what you are doing doesn’t seem right to you. In other words, follow you heart. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do anything for anyone else, you should give sometimes, but make sure it gives you that good feeling and be fearless when you say no.