Tag Archives: Life

Holidays Are Weird

As another July 4th ends, I can’t help but feel how strange holidays are to me. The reason being, I don’t feel any different on holidays than I do any other day. Beside the fact that a lot of people get to have the day off, making it easy to see friends and family, there isn’t much that makes holidays that much more significant to me. I’m just as happy/mad/sad/emotional as I would have been if it weren’t a holiday, but maybe that’s how my personality is, as I don’t feel an obligation to change my state of mind because a certain holiday represents a pivotal day in history.

What’s even more bizarre are the many people that determine their favorite time of year by the holidays that take place during that time, especially Christmas. What I don’t get is if you love feeling that way during that period, why not feel that way all the time? To me, saying “I’m going to be happy during this time of year because of said holiday”  is the same as saying “I’m going to be happy tomorrow.” They’re both in the future so what’s the big difference? Okay, yes, you give and get gifts on one of those days rather than the other, but wouldn’t it be more fun to give those gifts at a time when it wasn’t mandatory?

This is the dilemma for me because if you love everything about Christmas, act like there’s a Christmas every month of the year loving every month of the year. If you love to dress up in costumes or decorate your house for Halloween, then do that all the time. If you love being patriotic on the 4th or your country’s respective independence days, then act like it’s your country’s independence day everyday.  I find it interesting that we love to make certain days mean something, when everyday has the potential to be amazing no matter what date it possesses.

My point is that holidays shouldn’t dictate what we do or how we feel during our everyday life. Maybe I’m wrong, but I get the impression that a lot of people put a lot of stock into holidays thinking they will be happy once that becomes a reality, but I would argue that everyday has the potential to be amazing, so to pigeonhole certain days as “special” is pretty silly, and maybe we should view everyday as a holiday.

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Seriously I am Super Cereal

Thinking back to how I was before I started college two years ago, I have noticed that my everyday behavior and personality has changed quite a bit from how it was at the end of high school. My senior year of high school was a blast, it was a time spent with some of my best friends whom I still hang out with today. We weren’t taking life seriously and not really giving a shit since we still didn’t have any huge responsibilities at the time. It was a wonderful time and an entire year that felt like a vacation. Then college came along and even though I loved being on my own for the first time, studying the field that would fuel a career after school served as a wake up call for me to figure out where I wanted to go with my life. From then on I began to question everything in, out, and around me to make sense of my future.

This inquisition caused a drastic change to my everyday behavior and I began to take life very seriously, in terms of deciding what my future should hold for me. Granted, I do not regret this period of time, in fact I am better person from experiencing it because I grew so much as a person during that era. At first, the constant brainstorming of  a bajillion ideas and questions was a fun and fresh experience, but the more time I spent in this state of “idealand”, the more draining it became for me, so much so that I slipped into two minor depressions this past year (a problem I’ve had since my sophomore year in high school). My tragic flaw was that I was not allowing these ideas to flourish in the present. I would literally have a thought that I wanted to pursue, but for one reason or another wouldn’t take the action needed to flesh it out. This extended period of time over-planning my future and taking my life too seriously caused me to suffer in the present, a trade that I do not regret, but one I don’t wish to transact again.

Now, you may be thinking, “Well, Michael, that’s all well and dandy, but why the heck did you bring your last year of high school then?” Well, fine sir or miss, the reason I brought that up because it was the most recent time in my life where I was, for the most part, living in the moment and wasn’t taking my life too seriously. Sure, I did plan for the future and had responsibilities, but when those were never in the forefront of my mind each morning when I woke up.

No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now. –Alan Watts

For the past two years, and maybe even the majority of my living memory, I’ve been planning everything out, building up expectations for those plans, without knowing how to live in the moment. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve realized how flawed that mentality is, because it is almost impossible to find happiness when thinking too long in the future. So go ahead and stop taking life too seriously, toast to this moment, and don’t give a shit about the future because, sometimes, that is the most powerful and freeing thing you can do on the planet.

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A Proposed Mindset

toilet-men-hi

For the past two years or so I have been longing to build a new PC for myself, but I was always thinking in the future about, assuring myself that when I get all the money I needed I would get the computer. Yesterday, a thought popped into my head, what if I were to get the computer now, or at least start buying parts to start working on it? This astonished me because I never actually asked this obvious question. I always thought that I couldn’t afford it, or that it was too much money, but the more I thought about it the more I came up with ideas about how it was possible, and just this morning I put in the order for my new computer!

After reflecting on this I realized how big a deal it was for me to shift my mind from a place of longing for what comes in the future to a place of the present where, in a broad sense, I can have whatever I want now. Another of this example on a smaller scale, would be just now I decided I wanted to make a pizza for lunch, instead of thinking I can’t make this pizza until I have a certain cheese or certain ingredients, I decided to use what I had in the refrigerator, and sure enough I made a delicious pizza that I’m eating right now. It’s not my favorite pizza, but it’s better than having the same meals I normally eat. I was also happy that I made it because not only was it delicious, but I moved the negative thoughts about whether I could make a pizza aside and instead just started making it.

I know that you literally may not have the means to get what you want, and I completely understand being rationale about this concept, but my point is to never write off something that you think you can’t achieve or gain because it seems out of your grasp, and I know what this is like because a new computer was that thing for me for a long time. Although, I strongly believe once you take the time to actually analyze how, right now, you could take steps, even small ones, to get attain that thing, chances are it may be easier than you think, and who knows you may realize that you could have that thing as soon as next week, which was the case with me.

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