Thursday, April 29, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Everytime that I work, I am delighted to be able to serve one of the sweetest, kindest ladies that I have ever met in my life; her name is Shirley. I don't think I can think of one time in the 2 years that I have been working there that Shirley hasn't greated me with a smile, asked about my day, and told me that I was her "Million Dollar Girl." (This nickname origionally started because of my ear to ear smile that she adores, but recently, Shirley has made it clear that my Million Dollar Girl nickname has evlovled into much more.)
Thursday, I made a quick stop at work to take care of a few things. After doing what I needed to, I scanned the dining room and noticed Shirley sitting alone at her usual table an hour before dinner started. Without thinking, I went over to say hi and switched out an old container that she had been using for who knows what for a new, clean one. As I handed her her new container, she looked at me with the most genuine smile and said "Thanks baby, you really are my Million Dollar Girl. I hope you know I love you and that you are OK in my book". Taken back, I replied "Aw, Shirley, Thank you! I hope you know that I love you too."
Million Dollar Girl? Do I really live up to that nickname? As I walked out of work, this was all that was on my mind.
Impressions really are key. Do something nice for someone and they will thank you. Continue to do something nice for someone and they will think the world of you.
Shirley knows nothing about me outside of work, but that really doesn't matter to her. The simpliest things that I do for her, like getting her a new container while I'm not working or serving her dinner, have lead her to think so highly of me that she can say that she loves me, and in her own way, that who I am and what I do mean a lot to her. What an amazing feeling it is to be thought so highly of by an elder.
Shirley's nickname for me lead me to want to push myself harder to show my Million Dollar self outside of work. Lately I've realized that the little things that you do for people are what shape their impression of you. How hard is it to pick up a dropped pencil for someone, help someone mow their lawn, or return a lost wallet to its owner?
Remember: the little things add up into big ordeals. I challenge you to watch for little opportunities to make someone smile. Making a lasting impression on someone not only changes you, but it changes whoever you are helping because they know that they can count on you. Long lasting impressions never fade, they only grow into meaningful relationships.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I'm not asking because I'm nosey, I'm asking because I genuinely care. The only way that the world is going to become a better place is through human interactions. Communication is key. So, communicate with me :)
It's only fair that I communicate back, so here it goes.
-I want to fly.
-I want to be a fashionista.
-I want to make it rich.
-I want to make it poor.
-I want to live in NYC, London, and Memphis.
-I want to help people professionally.
-I want to make a difference in someone's life everyday.
-I often picture myself as a successful bussiness woman in a buzzing city with black, pointed toe stilettos, and a big Prada bag [which I would also use as a briefcase].
-Waking up knowing that it's going to be a lazy day and all I have to do is breath makes me happy.
-It makes me smile when I know that someone is thinking about me, when someone is proud of me, or when someone compliments me.
-I abide by this quote: "You will never remember what people do, but you will always remember how they make you feel."
-I'm scared of change, success, failure, windmills, and ghosts.
-I honestly believe that if I won the lottery, I would be afraid of spending all of my money, so I'd save it and work just as hard as if the money never existed.
-Anything about weddings gives me butterflies; often I dream about my own.
-I day dream about world peace and saving all of the little Ethiopean orphans.
-I save quotes that I hear and like because I never know when I'm going to need them to inspire me.
-Sunflowers brighten my mood, no matter where I am or what I am doing when I see them.
-People make me mad, they make me laugh, they scare me and they enlighten me. I could never live life alone.
-Trusting people scares me. I only trust 1 person outside of my family.
-I secretly want to be a superhero. I want to save the world.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
"Wrong baby, wrong baby, wrong, it ain't the end of the world don't you
worry pretty girl Cause now that he's gone baby gone baby gone you got nothing to lose, count the minutes if you want to. It won't be long til you find somebody new.
Come on now, everyone falls down, everyone crawls now and then, then they
get up again. You can cry if you want to, that's what we all do. But if you
think you'll never move on, you're wrong baby wrong.
Cry baby, cry baby, cry. Go on and let it all out, I ain't leavin' you now,
and we can fly baby, fly baby, fly. Let's share a bottle of wine, we can laugh
about the good times. And you'll know why baby, why baby, why it's gonna be all
Come on now, everyone falls down, everyone crawls now and then, they they
get up again. You can cry if you want to, that's what we all do. But if you
think you'll never move on, you're wrong baby wrong."
-Martina McBride, Wrong Baby, Wrong Baby Wrong
To me, country music speaks volumes. But that's really besides the point...
I've heard this song multiple times, but today, instead of being another break up song, I gave these lyrics another meaning. A special meaning. Perhaps it was because I was on my way home from Ashland University where I had just scheduled my classes for the Fall 2010 semester while driving behind a car with a New York license plate? (For those of you who don't know, I spent the Fall 2009 semester at Buffalo State College in Buffalo, NY and then transfered home for the spring semester.) Coincidences happen, but this one made me think.
I guess you could say that everything that went wrong in Buffalo trapped me into a "funk". I don't think you need details, but let's leave it at this: it wasn't a pretty time in my life. [Shout out to Christy, my amazing room mate, who did the best to keep me sane. I love you, best friend]When you hit rock bottom, it's safe to say that most people can not see the bright light at the end of the tunnel [thanks, Mom, for that analogy ;) ]. But guess what, I promise that bright light exists, you just have to allow yourself to see it.
Once you've realized that you're capable of overcoming life's tricky obstacles, tackle them. Start your expedition through the tunnel by enjoying the little things in life. Smile at a stranger, read a book outside on your deck, take your dog for a walk, pick a bouquet of wildflowers, clear your mind. Next, realize your progression. Without progression, peace will not exist. After that, where you end up is your desitny, and the only person in control of your destiny is yourself.
Examine the bigger picture: Life isn't perfect, honey. You're going to face conflicts. But it isn't the end of the world. Everyone falls down, but the strong stand back up and continue to live. It's okay to cry. In fact, let it out now because once you realize that you're going to be okay, all there is to do is laugh. If you can enjoy the laughter, small things, you'll be on your way.
I can proudly say that I am a long way from being the most content person on the planet. I'm still unsure of my destiny. I'm nervous about transfering again. I question my decisions daily. Sometimes, I still cry. But what I do notice is my progression. Four months ago I wouldn't have even wanted to committ to another four year college let alone see a New York license plate traveling in slow motion in front of me.
But today was different. Today I sang along to a meaningful country song blasting at full volume on my radio, driving through the countryside, wearing big sunglasses, and probably dancing embarrassingly alone in my car--but I was smiling the whole time, and genuinely happy. Four months ago, I would have thought all of the above sounded like a fantasy scene from a chick flick [the part where the girl leaves the guy after meeting him for the first time, or after a first date, and goes a little crazy by herself in her car...].
Don't allow "rock-bottom" to define you. The cool thing about life is that you are in control of it. The only way to go is up. Make it happen.
Monday, April 12, 2010
And why is it always that the victims of this hurt feel obligated to transform into the people that their abusers want them to be? Everyday, thousands of men, women, and children take harsh words and physical inflictions to heart-- believing whole heartedly that if they change, the abuse will stop. Have you ever been in a situation like this? Unfortunately, I think we all have, or will, at some point in our lives. If you don't, consider yourself very, very lucky.
Be the best you that you can be. Cliche as it sounds, it's true. There is only one you in the world, so find yourself. Don't let someone else mold you into the person that they want you to be. Our days are numbered, there is not use living in a world of "what ifs".
Abuse and cruelty are happening all around the world. Domestically, internationally, everywhere. To stop it, you must report it. Don't be ashamed, in a world like ours, the only person that you can trust is yourself. You are the only one who can create a safer environment for YOU. Don't think twice, act.
Peace, Love, Freedom. That's all you need.
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one."
-John Lennon, Imagine.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
It's funny that as you're going through these changes, you sort of expect the people in your life to stay the same. You rely on the the people that you confide in to believe in you, to grow and change with you, to stay a part of you. Yet, realizing that most of those people aren't willing to be patient with your changes ends up being the biggest change of all.
I still have a lot of growing up to do (unfortunately that doesn't end at 19...) and I anticipate that losing and losing touch with friends who were at one point so much a part of my life will continue to happen as the years go on. In a weird way, I almost look forward to it. With change comes adventure, comes hardships, comes living life.
Until college, I spent a lot of my precious time trying to act "cool" to gain friends. I truly believed that it was okay if people walked all over me, as long as I had "friends" to hang out with after school or on the weekends. Yet, it wasn't until I began to lose those "friends" that I started to realize who I am as a woman, and who I could contiune to grow to be.
There are friends for a reason, friends for a season, and friends for life. Let people into your life. Those who are there for a reason will teach you life lessons. Those who are there for a season will bring you memories that you wouldn't trade for the world. And those who are there for life will become your family.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Recently, I visited a resident from the retirement home that I work at in the hospital. Pat, an eighty-some woman with more life in her than I could ever imagine in myself, suffers from dementia.
Seeing this woman, this amazing, lively, incredible woman strapped down to a hospital bed really opened my eyes to what life is about. I couldn't help but to imagine the life that Pat once lived; I can't imagine that she, nor her husband of 50+ years, would ever have dreamed that she would end up in this state of mind. Yet, all I could think about was what incredibly beautiful human beings the Stewart's are. Despite Pat's dementia, this couple works together everyday to continue to express their undying love for eachother.
For every person, beauty has its own definition. You can find beauty in a book, in a tree, in a baby (or in this case, in elderly love), or in a song. Beauty shines through in words, in feelings, and in imagination. I challenge you to open your eyes to what beauty really is. It's more than the dictionary definition, it's a part of everyday earthly existence.
Though the days become harder and harder, the Stewart's never think about giving up. True love exists through everlasting beauty.
Find Beauty. Live in Beauty. Believe in Beauty.