Tag Archives: confidence

An Open Letter to My Body

Good morning, I hope your day is going well. God, I never know how to start these things. My day was nice, I got to visit some friends and I showed my Granny how to use her ipad. And I went to the gym. Now I’m tired. Anyway.

I know we haven’t really been friends recently, In fact, I’d say we’ve been avoiding each other pretty well. I only look at you right after I get out of the shower, before I throw on a towel and shuffle the hell out, and you only look at me when I’m in the gym trying not to look at you reflected in the wall-to-wall mirrors.

Despite all this, I want to try and rebuild the bridges we burned so long ago, me rejecting your attempts to keep me healthy and you refusing to fit into my skinny jeans. Think of it as a clean slate, a new beginning, a blank space, if you will.

Now, don’t panic, I’m not talking about swearing off chocolate or ditching carbs or only eating cheese cubes.

What I propose might seem impossible, but it’s really very simple: I will love you better.

Dear body, I promise to love you better.

What does that look like? Hell if I know. Maybe that means in the split second I see you after a shower I will not grimace. Maybe that means going to the gym because it makes us both feel good. Maybe that means just eating the goddamn chocolate.

I want us to be friends again. Good friends, the kind that support each other with butt slaps and the kind that can get into a huge fight only to come back and hug later. I want to be hugging friends. I actually like hugs, I don’t know if you knew that about me.

I want to get to know you too. It’s been a while, what have you been up to? Still allergic to raw fruit? I know this great smoothie blend that I think you’d love, I promise. Maybe we could hang out sometime and I’ll make it for you. I hope that’s not weird.

Let me know what you think of all this, I know it’s a lot to take in. If you’re hurt that it took me so long to get here, I’m sorry. Love is never something that should be given in small servings.

Dear body, I promise to love you like too much whip cream on my pumpkin pie, like every kiss that made my foot pop, like every bad day made better with red wine. Dear body, I hope we can be friends again. I miss you.

With love,

Me

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Taking the Ring to Mordor

Frodo: I know what I must do, it’s just that… I’m afraid to do it.

Galadriel: Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.

Courage. The choice to face the scary, the sad, the painful. To overcome the worries and fears that nibble on your sleep at night, leaving you tossing and turning between the sheets. Strength in the face of pain or grief.

Courage isn’t always big or showy, it can be, but sometimes the smallest choices we make show more courage than any knight in shining armour ever could. Courage is found when we make those hard decisions, and handle the consequences with grace and dignity.

Facing anxiety. Having depression and going to class. Being emotionally vulnerable with others. Standing up for yourself.

You might not be carrying the One Ring to Mordor, but we all have circumstances that require the same courage. And we all have the capacity to face these things in our lives with strength.

Arwen: Why do you fear the past? You are Isildur’s heir, not Isildur himself. You are not bound to his fate.

Aragorn: The same blood flows in my veins. The same weakness.

Arwen: Your time will come. You will face the same evil and you will defeat it.

Whenever you have the option of facing your fear, do it. Talk to that girl in your class, let your friends know how you’re feeling, don’t let others tell you how to live your life. Eventually, it will get better and soon you will have something else to face. Fear will never be gone from your life, but the things you are afraid of don’t have to stay the same.

Go grab your armour and your sword, and this weekend, do something different, something that makes you uncomfortable. Because it’s only outside of your comfort zone that true growth happens.

Good luck, and godspeed!

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When She Had You

The wind was never strong enough

to knock her down,

like thunder in a storm

She balanced between the precipice,

the moment before the rain,

when she had you.

The night rolled in with the cold,

crisp and dark, a good bottle of red.

She let the evening take her in its arms

and spin and spin and spin

until she couldn’t remember if she was a star

or the milky way;

either way she knew she wasn’t lonely

anymore—her body drifting and warm,

the smell after it rains. And it wasn’t raining,

just dark and different,

the stars still there, the moon still up.

The same as when she had you.

Motivation ft. T Swift

I’ve been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift this week, for a multitude of reasons, but my current favorite song of hers is Fearless. Instead of writing papers and studying for midterms I’ve been thinking about being fearless.

For me, being fearless means putting myself out into the world and saying, This is me and I’m happy about it. Of course there is an element of fear to it as well, but I think there is also an overwhelming sense of contentment. Like, even if you don’t respond the way I’d like you to, it’s okay. Because I’m good with who I am and how I feel.

I don’t want to be afraid of taking risks or putting myself out there, I want to own my choices and be proud of the way I respond to life–I want to get excited about new things! I want to be fearless. And maybe the right word is courageous, but still I think Taylor says it best:

You take my hand and drag me head first/Fearless/And I don’t know why but with you I’d dance in a storm in my best dress/Fearless

No matter how you’re feeling today, I encourage you to take a moment to look at yourself and for once, don’t say anything. You are a precious human being who has worked hard to get where you are, treasure yourself, recognize that you have the potential to do great things, regardless of what you’re doing right now. Give life your all today, and if that means taking a 4 hour nap, go for it. But no matter what you do, do it with confidence, because yes, you are that awesome.

Be fearless!

Book is the New Work

Click over to your favorite blog, and pick out the 4th and 14th words (that aren’t “the” or “an”). Drop them into this phrase:
“_____ is the new _____.”

My family never had cable and by time I was in 8th grade we didn’t even have a tv anymore. So I grew up on books and I loved them. I had read every fantasy, sci-fi and interesting young adult book at the small library near my house a million times when I went off to college.

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But once I got to university, I stopped reading. I don’t like to admit it, but I haven’t read a book all the way through in a long time. It’s hard mixing pleasure reading with academic reading. It might have to do with the fact that I don’t like a lot of academic readings–big words and haughty tones aren’t really my thing and in order to succeed in my classes, I don’t have to read these texts all the way through, I just skim them.

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We watched a TED Talk in my education class called Changing Education Paradigms, which was based on the talk by Ken Robinson, which discussed problems with our education system. One of these is the distinguishing between academic people and non-academic people, the former considered smart and the latter non-smart.

One of the reasons I think reading for class is such a burden is because the texts we read are often written by academics who insist on showing off their “smartness” through word choice and confusing sentence structure. Now, I’m an English major and I’ve made it to my junior year of college so according to society I am smart. But these texts we read make me feel like I’m back in fifth grade struggling to understand the basics of math! There should not be such a decisive divide between different types of “smartness”–those who excel at math and science are just as smart as those who excel at drama and art. I do not want the things I’m reading for school, that are supposed to help me learn, to make me feel stupid instead.

Students do need to be challenged, but confidence in one’s abilities is just as important. I don’t want to approach learning with the attitude that because I don’t know something I’m not as smart as my peers or that not understanding “academic works” makes me somehow lesser. I want to get excited when I learn new things because learning is enjoyable and I want to be respected for the things I do know, be it art, poetry, or any of the liberal arts.

Do you think there is a real divide between “academics” and “non-academics”? If there is, should there be?

I highly advise watching Robinson’s talk, it makes some great points about the American school system and offers some interesting ideas for future changes.

What do you think about divergent thinking? Could we incorporate that into our school system today, or is divergent thinking too different from the intellectual model of the mind on which we currently base our school system?

I want to know what you think–leave your ideas in the comment section!