will's insanity

The Ramblings of a Mad Man

11 Ways To (Sorta) Stay Sane During College Finals

Thought Catalog

_vincente_vincente

1. Breathe. But not in the deep, meditative way that people do when they’re 40 and suddenly have nothing. Simply breathe loudly and inconsistently — so that you’re just enough of a nuisance to everyone else in the quiet section.

2. Tell people about all the coffee you’ve been drinking lately. Even if you don’t receive superior grades, at least you’re a superior person.

3. Find a song that you used to love, but totally forgot about. Use the various tools at your discretion — pandora, finals playlists, and the discography of Kim Carnes — to rediscover an old classic. Remember that the grade you get on your paper will probably depend on where it’s placed in the order of other papers, and whether not he’s already given out too many A minuses.

4. There’s this popular thing called the 80/20 rule, which states “80% of effects come from 20% of causes.”…

View original post 268 more words

Advertisements

Time and Lessons

So I’m 2 decades old now, and quite a few things have been learned, thanks to the many people in life. I think these things could be helpful to someone lets write them out! However because I’m lazy, let’s bullet these, shall we?:

  • Don’t let what other people think determine how you act. Trust yourself, because you are usually right.
  • Keep moving on the road of life. Eventually, if there are things holding you down, they’ll fall off.
  • Keep God in mind in all you do.
  • Keep others in mind in all you do.
  • Allow time in the day to think.
  • Love others, and take the time to talk with them.
  • PUT DOWN YOUR DAMN CELL PHONE!
  • Love yourself before you love others.
  • 2 Timothy 2: 23
  • 2 Timothy 2: 24
  • People will piss you off. Understand and live with it.
  • Some people will take the time to hate you. Be kind to those people, there is no reason to be an asshole.
  • Bullies deserve love, forgiveness, and forgetfulness.
  • “The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair.”- Relient K
  • Movies are an amazing thing.
  • Music is more amazing.
  • Don’t trust the forecast of precipitation unless it’s over 70%, and even then.
  • If you enjoy something, unless it’s illegal, harmful, or dishonest, keep doing it.
  • Always ask “Why?”. You will never stop searching for knowledge.
  • Read. Dear God, always read!
  • Stephen Moffat is an evil, evil man. On a scale of one to Satan, he falls somewhere between Donald Trump and Prince Humperdink.
  • Time is of the essence, don’t waste it by taking forever on homework.
  • DO HOMEWORK!
  • In trouble? Ask, it’s always worth it.
  • And finally, if you don’t know the answer to a question, it is always okay to say “I don’t know.” Admit you don’t know rather than give false information.

I hope you enjoyed this variation on my usual posts (usual in the loosest sense of the word) and that maybe something helped you out. Or not. It’s all up to you. Yes You! the one sitting at the computer while you friends are hanging out. OH! Which reminds me:

  • Keep significant others close, enemies closer, friends even closer, have family by your side, and God helping you from inside your soul.

Keep up the good work guys. Don’t mess up now.

Remember

When I was young (like, really young, think first grade) I had a shirt that was dedicated to somebody from my elementary school. on the front was a small picture of the gardens that were dedicated to him, but on the back was a quote from someone. No fancy backdrop, just the quote.

It said “How do you know where you’re going, if you don’t know where you’ve been?”

And out of all the things that I can remember from that point in time, that is the clearest. Why? Why would a phrase so simple be so memorable?  Well, usually when things like that are remembered, it’s usually because of one thing. It just so happens to be true.

When you go through this insane drift called life, a lot of things come at you. Good things, Bad things, things that make you wish it would never change, and things where you just wish you could no longer exist. No matter the thing, the experience that we gain makes us who we are at the moment.

But I also think that it’s important to remember who we were. After all, nobody would be the same without themselves to help them along. it just wouldn’t work. If you forgot all of the lessons that you learned throughout your life, ignored all of the wisdom imparted to you by the idiots and geniuses alike, and tossed aside what you’ve done, you would be, for all intensive purposes, a baby. Innocent, ignorant of what is to come in life. You would never know how to tell a good influence from a bad influence, choose your friends, or stand up for yourself. You would be completely and utterly malleable.

In order to keep this from happening, reflect. Don’t immerse or linger too long, attempt to take an objective point of view on things. keep the scope of things in mind, remember that you are loved by somebody or something always, and understand that everyone makes mistakes, and no one is blameless, so just cause you’ve done something wrong, doesn’t mean others are always goody two shoes (however, people can be perfect, see my post on love for this explanation. shameless plug complete). and remember what Matt Smith said in his final moments of being the doctor; “When you think about it, we’re all different people all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear.”

Forgotten Worlds

So I’m a little late, but I started writing this on the 7th, and it’s probably already the eighth, so that is my explanation for the time difference.

So while I was messing around on the internet today, I remembered that it was Pearl Harbor day, thanks to a little reminder one of my friends had posted on Facebook. After taking a second to reflect, and having essentially a moment of silence, I began to think:

Why would I have to be reminded of this day?

I’m a history major who loves WW2, and yet I still had to be reminded multiple times throughout the day about what it was. I was shocked at myself. I would never forget 9/11 would I? Would I?

The question to that is simple yet has a fairly deep concept behind it. Time. I can’t really remember 9/11, but I was alive then. I was not alive, however, during the attack on Pearl Harbor. I can easily find people who remember what they were doing and when they heard the news about 9/11, but with PH, it’s a little bit harder. I would have to actively search for someone who was alive and was old enough to remember such a time. And finally, we are bombarded with what is essentially propaganda during the day of 9/11. You see signs such as “Never Forget” or pictures of the attacks on daily channels, news channels, popular channels. However, with PH, It has sunk so far back into our national history that we no longer hang up banners, remembering those that fought for us and died on this awful day. We don’t spend a moment in silence in remembrance of the service members that fought both in the pacific and the European theaters. The most that you will probably find on the subject would be the Smithsonian Channel, the Military History channel, and maybe, maybe, MAYBE, the History Channel (which shouldn’t be called such anymore).

I believe this is what will happen: that eventually, the world of Pearl Harbor and the world of the 9/11 attacks will eventually fade completely, remembered only in history books, a small, humble monument in the harbor, and big, flashy lights in the New York skyline.

If we don’t talk about it.

Keep in mind that the veterans of such a time are dying off. many of those who survived the attack by the Japanese are in their 90’s and 100’s. We need to record their stories as best we can, and continue to remember those who sacrificed for the sake of freedom from oppression.

Now I don’t mean to downplay 9/11. On the contrary, please, remember. But let’s put a little more effort into our older history, or even have the same amount of effort put into remembering the day that will live in infamy. Let us take a moment of personal reflection, and remember.

Love

Hello, thought I forgot about this? Well you thought WRONG!

If anybody has conversed with me recently, they’ll know I’ve been under a lot of stress. School, being an RA, being involved with my campus ministry (or attempting to), and everything else. Life has been, for lack of better terms or expressions, shitty. life has pretty much sucked. However, I continue to remember, or try to remember, the little things in life. Things mainly involved with people, such as patience, self-control, and love.

Wow, strong word love. There is a lot of meaning behind something like that, with the theological and practical descriptions spanning generations as each tries to define it in its own way. The new phrase I have encountered is “Love your neighbor as your selfie” meaning exactly what it sounds like. However, I think we need to be reminded of the fact that not only do we have to love ourselves and those we like, but those that drive us insane. The ones that hurt us and tear us down deserve just as much care and love as the next person.

“But why?” you ask, “They’ve been a terrible person! They’ve done X and Y and (sometimes) Z to me! Why should I have to love them?”

Because we all screw up. Yes, even you person asking the question, even you. While perfection is something attainable, it is not the standard definition of perfection. This perfection has to do with love (see, full circle. good job will). The LOVE that you show may not seem like it’s making a difference to those who hurt you, or disagree with you, or even just don’t know you. The fact is: if you show someone love, they could be more likely to show love to someone else. By attempting to show that everyone is worthy of some sort of legitimate affection, even if it’s just a sincerely asked “How’re you today?”, you show that you care. You may not LIKE the person you’re talking to, you may not even enjoy their company, but the main thing is you love them. You love them by putting up with the annoying. You love them by being with them. If their angry with you, take a step back and let them calm down. I you’re angry with them, take a step back and calm down. Don’t approach them with an attitude of hate.

If they’re sad, give them a hug.

If you’re sad, ask someone for a hug.

If they’re happy, share in their happiness, don’t shoot them down if you don’t care.

If you’re happy, try to share it with someone. If they shoot you down, tell someone else. Eventually, someone will be happy with you.

By learning that love, not just romantic or friendly love, but love of the unlovable, of the ones who keep you from happiness, is the way for keeping each other from complete insanity, then we can all get through the crazy, impossibly busy, “Ineedfivemorehourstodoeverythingontime” thing called life together. And hopefully, HOPEFULLY, in one piece.

 

UPDATE: The other night, I saw a pizza delivery woman walking back from a delivery, looking like she had had the worst day ever. I thought about it, and asked her how she was. She shook off my first attempt at asking, so I asked again. She said she was doing okay, and climbed in her car. I turn my back to the car, expecting it to drive off, when I hear her say. “Hey, thanks for asking! It really means a lot.”

Now I don’t share that story to brag. on the contrary, I don’t like sharing stories of that matter because I don’t want to get a big head about the little good things I do. But I thought it was a good example of how love really can help a complete stranger with something, how a simple question can mean the world to someone.

The best laid plans of mice and men……. Just might work out

As an RA, I get the privilege of listening, watching, and seeing my residents think and create. sometimes, it’s with their social lives, sometimes the psychological, and sometimes their scholarly. But sometimes, I get to be included in this development, and it always makes for an interesting time to hear what they have to say. Not 30 seconds ago, I was sitting in a residents room, discussing various sorts of things, when the idea for a program began to manifest itself. Now this program that they propose would take months of planning and prep, but they didn’t seem to mind. They talked about ideas to present to the student organizations on campus, ideas to keep the dream they had alive. While this was being discussed, I could see their faces light up and begin to get excited at 1 in the morning about this idea they had, and this caused something. 

It caused me to become truly excited for their purpose. I wanted in.

This was something they came up with, so I mostly stood back, offering the paperwork side of it and told them to get some kind of proposal together to present to my bosses, hall council, RSA (resident student association), and an assorted amount of people. But just to be associated with something that I couldn’t have thought of on my own in a million years brought me joy, and inspired me to start the cogs turning within the great bureaucracy that is college departments.

This is what I love about being an RA. Not the paperwork, not the meetings, not the planning, but the creativity that comes out of the residents on my hall. The ideas, the plans that manifest themselves in a million ways, this is what I live for: to help the others live their dream any way I can. Moral support, settling disputes, and yes, even paperwork. I love helping people come together in a community, as a FAMILY and supporting each other in any way possible. 

That is what I want out of this job. An opportunity to help others. And this is just one of the many ways I can do that. 

“Tell the truth and run.”

I am not a big calendar person. Literally, I don’t like the ginormous desk calenders that they sell at Office Depot or whatever. But in order to keep track of the date, I have this tear-away calender by the amazingly brilliant people at Despair.com. Anywho, the thing that the author does for Thursdays is called “A Thought For Thursday”. Today’s thing is the quote from a Yugoslavian Proverb, which also is being used as the title above. Convenient, isn’t it? 

Anyway, the point of the post.

I saw it and immediately a thought came to my mind: Am I afraid of the truth? My own answer; No. I will treat people the way I want to be treated, and I would much rather somebody tell me the cold, hard truth right to my face then have them try to work around it. 

So now that I had that question answered, another one popped into my head. Am I afraid of the consequences the truth brings? A little harder answer, and I think is far more important than the above question. Am I afraid of the aftermath. Honestly and truly, it depends on the nature of the truth. Is it one that is going to help someone live, or is it one that will lead to a further argument, coming out of the realm of truth and into the area of tempers and feelings? Is it one where the separate parties come away with more, or with less than they started with? 

I return to my first question for this point, because it essentially boils down to this: Tell the truth. 

No matter what, the truth is your best way out. regardless of the aftermath and the fallout or furthering of relationships. “little white lies” are still those, lies. Not half truths and it’s not twisting the facts. They are still lies. 

Now when going on about the truth it is important to remember how to present the truth. You can’t be angry when presenting it, you will allow your own emotions and feelings to be present in the oncoming storm. You must remain calm the entire time you speak with whomever, allowing instead of the guise of “cold, hard fact”, introduce it as a warm consideration. Don’t sugar coat and beat around the bush, but don’t be an ass about it. Hard to do, and I also have a hard time doing it as well, but I figure that all of this is something the human race works on together. cooperating with each other even after we know the truth. How we do it is confusing to me, but somehow we’re still around to laugh, cry, and love with one another. And that works fine by me. 

Neatness

Right now my room is a wreck. I mean, I’ve started picking up the floor and everything, but it still looks like a kind of controlled chaos. I have papers scattered everywhere, my desk is covered in things that need to get done, and my storage areas are absolutely insane. 

Just having all of that around me reminds me that I need to clean it up, get stuff done, and try to relax afterwards. But I feel like it’s just going to revert to it’s original state of craziness as soon as I get going during the week, and I sure as HELL am not cleaning every week. Right now, even as I’m typing this, I am trying to pick up the random pieces of trash that scatter the floor and throw them in the garbage can, attempting some level of sanity in this whirlwind. 

I’m actually feeling about the same way right now. The job of being an R.A., while rewarding, is filled with small pieces of work that just seem to build up around me. School is, as always, an abundance of reading and work that also piles up like leaves. And trying to have a social life at the same time as getting any amount of sleep, it’s almost laughable. As with my room, my mind is cluttered with these things, and trying to look at it stresses me out to no end. Pulling out of hair and procrastination ensue, just because I can see the whole picture, and it frustrates me to the point of not being able to get anything done. My mother at this point would probably say to me to look at it one thing at a time. Great advice, and definitely some that I would pass on if it was a third party asking me for some advice. But as for me, when I look at everything I have to do, categorizing just doesn’t seem to work very well for me. Trying to sort things and organize them into sections just doesn’t click sometimes, so I have the entire picture in my head all at once like a photograph, instead of it happening a little at a time.

The thing I do to cover up my room is really the same thing I do for my life. I close the door. it’s still there, but it’s not within visual. I can’t see it, therefore it does not have a direct impact upon me. Then and only then am I able to say to myself what I need to do. I can say i need to take care of the floor first, or organize my desk, or figure out where to put stuff in my  storage areas. Same goes with my own head. The reason I procrastinate is not because I’m lazy (okay, maybe a little…) but because I feel so overwhelmed that if I get started on anything, everything else will be in the forefront of my mind while I’m accomplishing that task. I need that time before hand to comprehend and figure out which part of the photograph of stuff I need to get finished. And little by little, my room and my mind get cleaned, and life becomes easy and simplified. 

Understanding the “monster”

Recently I’ve been listening a lot to the song “Monster” by The Almost. The chorus goes; 

“If I were a monster
Would you wince
When you looked at me?
If I were a freak would you stare?
If I were a leper
Would you say unclean?
If I was lost,
Would you help me get free?”

This is a song about the awareness of God and his constant presence, but how sometimes we doubt whether or not he’s actually there. We expect instant miracles and granted, sometimes they do come, but most of the time the signs are less subtle. Well, in the spirit of this song, I had an interesting experience recently. No, I’m not gonna go into detail. Why do you need to know? HUH?! heheh, just kidding…… sort of. Anywho, I had to make a call about myself and life got complicated. And while I was expecting a miracle from the Almighty, things of a negative nature began to arise. I began to see a swirl of chaos, and I turned into a “monster” to cope with the utter insanity of these things. I, like the author of this song, began to question where God was. Now the thought that God was always with me, yeah, that works sometimes, but most of the time, if He wasn’t doing anything for me, I brushed him off. I turned into the freak, the leper, and the lost. I became someone whom I as a person did not like. I knew I needed change, but I didn’t know where to begin. During this time, prayer became a constant part of my life. That sounds like a good thing until you realize I was doing it for the reasons of just trying to hear nothing, but that never happened, and honestly and truly, it annoyed me. Life would have been so much easier if just one night I felt nothing as I prayed. Now this wasn’t the doubt of the existence of God, just the wish that he would leave me alone for 2 seconds, which sure as hell wasn’t gonna happen.  Then one night, as I was beginning a routine, a friend called and asked to talk. Now you, dear reader, are immediately thinking “Well is this the part where he says it was no miracle, but an ordinary person who turned out to be a miracle?” I laugh at you and say no. I say that God still worked in an instant miracle. Maybe not one with a laser show and a spotlight, or one with hospital equipment and a defibrillator, but one through prayer. Before the beginning of this routine, I prayed for help. And as cliche and almost redundant as it is to say, God listens and hears, and if we do it with an honest heart, He gives us what we need. Not what we WANT, but what we NEED. God had begun that miracle as soon as I opened my mind for prayer. He immediately began putting wheels in motion to help me. He knew what I needed more than I did. Anyway, long story short, I’m not perfect. but it is a goal I strive for. The goal of UNDERSTANDING the “monster” that plagued me instead of vanquishing it. After all, the monster is me, and my job is not to vanquish myself, but to use myself for the continuation of God’s work on the earth. And sometimes we need help doing that. 

 
This brings me back to my song, and the last chorus is changed, now reflecting this revelation of mine and the author:

“When I am a monster
You never wince
When you look at me
When I am a freak, you never stare
When I am a leper
You never say unclean
And when I am lost
You come and get me free”

Kind of scatter brained, but hopefully coherent. 

There’s a first time for everything

So I’d figure I would give this blogging thing a try. I never liked writing, but the flow of blog seemed so strangely alluring that I had to give it a try. Not sure how much effort is gonna go into this, but who knows, maybe something good will come out of this. Anywho, here goes nothing.

The presentation style of this blog domain is called manifesto, which is defined as “a public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.” according to the all powerful Google. But I think it’s so much more than that. The first time manifesto appeared as a choice, I immediately went to the communist manifesto by Karl Marx (crazy guy, but that’s the history major talking). But then I kept thinking: A statement. That’s what this is. A way for people to understand whats going on in the minds of others. 

One’s eyes are no longer the gateway to the soul, it’s the way they say things. 

This does not apply to just blogs, but to the languages we speak, along with the ones we don’t. Your mouth is saying one thing, the mind another, and the body yet another. Our image says things too. Unfortunately, not just the words of rumor or praise behind our backs, but the way we present ourselves, what we do to find peace, the way we address the issues at hand, what we do on our phones, what we listen to on our I-pods, and the list goes on. 

The point is we are complex. To limit the way to for others to see us as we TRULY are, no masks, no walls, no filters, to one tiny part of our being is pointless. If we were meant for that, God would have made all expression through the eyes. By limiting ourselves to that cliche, we acquire one and only one method of thinking about a person. Maybe instead of looking at one thing, we eliminate the first impression bias and try a longer approach. Actually talking to people, verbally and non-verbally, and putting our phones down to notice such things. If we do that, our relationships with each other will grow exponentially. 

And that ladies and gentlemen, is my Manifesto. A policy, A statement. Not the summary of my beliefs, but a good chunk of one of them.