Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm thankful.

First of all, happy Thanksgiving! I hope that everyone is eating good today, because I sure did.

Although I don't reflect on the things I'm thankful for super often, I think it should be known that I am absolutely aware of all that I've been blessed with, and I'm forever thankful. When I sit down and really think about it, I honestly couldn't ask for better. It's crazy how good I have it... some people just don't understand when they're this privileged, but I do. It would be impossible to condense all that I'm grateful for into a single list, because it's so much, especially since I'm one for the small things. I think that I could sum up a few, though. I'm thankful for...

  • My wonderful family. I honestly think that I was blessed with the most amazing family in the world... words can't describe how much they mean to me. Of course, we all have our differences every once in a while, but at the end of the day we all love each other and are there for each other 100%, no matter what.
  • My absolutely amazing friends -- the ones I've known for years and the ones I've known for months. They have all impacted my life in some way, and I'm grateful to know such extraordinary people. The people who make me laugh and smile and be the best I can be make me happy. That's love.
  • The simple things in life. Admiring the beautiful fall colors, receiving a hand-written letter, snuggling up with popcorn to watch a movie -- things like this are what gives me such a great appreciation for life. The little things are what make life big.
  • The fact that I'm blessed and privileged. When things don't go my way, I try to remember that there are people out there who have it way worse than I do. Really, I can't complain at all. I have it great. And for that, I'm grateful.
  • Art and music. Without it, the earth would be so bland. Music speaks to my soul when my mind can't find the proper words, and art allows for so much creative outlet, no matter what form of art it is. They are both true gifts.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Life's Little Roadblocks: School

I was thinking about school and the extremely large role it plays in my life and it started to become clear to me how much bullshit school is. We sit in a building for 7 hours a day, then come home to 3 hours of homework, then wake up the next day and do it all again. If you asked me to explain what I've learned in school for the past 12 years of my life, my answer probably wouldn't be all that impressive. I can understand needing to learn the basics, but there comes a point where school just becomes extra. When will I ever use geometry in my life? Why do I care about British literature?

Every day as I sit in school, and each time I go to start some homework, I get frustrated thinking about how I could be doing more productive things with my life. I could be out doing and learning things that I actually care about, things that I'll actually find useful for what I want to do with my life. I feel as though the value of knowledge is masked behind fixed grading scales and generic, standardized tests that measure everyone's education by the same principles. We aren't robots. We aren't all the same, so we shouldn't have to learn like we are.

And yet, here we all are, wandering astray from the true essence of education because all that matters is doing what you have to do, most likely cheating, to get the right grades on that fixed grading scale and bubble the right answers on those standardized tests. To me, it's all just busy work. I'm not getting anything truly enriching out of it. Yeah, there are those few classes that teach me things I'll find useful for what I plan on doing with my life, but what about all that other bullshit? I feel my brain frying, getting overloaded with irrelevant material that I'll forget after I scribble it down on the next test--hell, maybe even before then.

Life's most valuable lessons aren't taught in a classroom--that's a fact. So why are we forced to spend so much time in them?

Monday, November 7, 2011

On conformity.

Take a look at the picture, and tell me it doesn't speak volumes.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the whole "non-conformist" thing. I've been meaning to write this post for a minute now, and I think that after the pretty interesting conversation a couple friends and I had earlier in the car concerning conformity, now is a pretty good time to do so.

This generation seems to be all about non-conformity, bashing those who "follow" and every once in a while, trying too hard to be something they're not in order to be "different." Personally, I think that it's all another fucked up way to mess with people's heads and confuse a group of people that are already struggling to truly find themselves. It's all a paradox -- what with everyone stressing the fact that they're different, doesn't that make them all the same? Everyone thinks that they're so much different than the next guy, when in reality, the simple fact that they're trying so hard to stand out is what's making them blend right in -- right with the conforming non-conformists.

My opinion? Don't try so hard. Just do you. Figure out what truly makes you happy, and go for it. Don't try so hard to fit in, and don't try so hard to stand out. Don't be afraid to do something because no one else is doing it. At the same time, don't do something just because everyone else is doing it. With all the influences that come with being a teenager and from the media, it can be hard to form your own opinions and ideas, and it's only natural that it influences you to some extent. Everyone gets their ideas from somewhere, whether they're ideas that everyone seems to have, or ideas that seem to be different than everyone else's. Just make sure that the decisions you make are for you, not to prove a point to other people -- whether it's that you're completely different than everyone else, or that you're completely the same.

Growing up and finding yourself can be frustrating. It's confusing, I know. People are so quick to judge you for the simplest things, and everyone is way more concerned with what other people are doing than they should be. I may be different, or I may not -- I'm not really trying too hard to establish that. I just wanna be me. That, I know I can be.