When You Can’t Get Your Snickers Bar

We all have those days. Days when everything that could go wrong seems to go wrong. We wake up late, miss the bus and spill our coffee all within 10 minutes. What’s a person to do when the little things just seem to go wrong? Well, I see there being two possibilities. Either we can choose to complain and be grumpy for the entirety of the day or we can choose to go with the flow, embrace the little mishaps and choose to be grateful for the good things we do have.

Today seems like one of those days for me. Everything seemed to take a little bit more effort and be met with a little more resistance. I am feeling drained even though I went to bed early. My curly hair don’t care turned into a fro no-no. And to top it off, my afternoon craving for chocolate was not assuaged. I put in $1 in quarters for a Snickers and what happened? The Snickers got stuck and no matter how much I tried to shake the machine (I even asked for the help of someone I met in the break room) it was to no avail. I left the break room Snickerless and still hungry.

ImageStressed

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I sit here typing away, my mouth and brain are wet with the desire for a chocolatey treat. After a moment of pouting, I decided to be a big girl and take losing my Snickers to the machine in stride.  I think as a twenty something one of the most important lessons I have learned and am continually reminded of is to laugh. Laugh at life. Don’t take things so seriously. Otherwise, you will never lead a happy life.

There are so many things in this world that can get you down or stress you out. Why not take a step back and get some perspective? Instead of being easily upset or put down, why not choose to throw up your hands and laugh?

About ten minutes after I left the break room, I heard (since I sit right near the break room) someone put money in the machine. I heard about three things drop. Looks like my misfortune turned into someone else’s gain. I hope she enjoyed that Snickers as much as I would have 🙂

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I know this might sound like a lot to learn all from losing a Snickers, but in this case it is very true. Don’t worry. Be happy. Stress less. Dream more. Give as often as you can.

Stephkt

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Brick by Brick, Community is Built

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Helen Keller

As I’ve explored Minneapolis the past few weeks, I find one constant feeling accompanying me, the desire for community. I’m in a new city far away from the Friday night lights, Bible belt culture of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Leaving home is a milestone for a twenty-something. It’s like starting over again, getting the chance at a new slate with new people and new experiences, which is exciting and scary at the same time.

Independence is a funny thing. We all seem to want it but only to a certain extent.  My need for independence is ironically paired with a strong to desire to have good company. It is almost like a double-personality of sorts, desperately needing solitude but still wanting a steady flow of the faces of family and friends.

My independent nature is what gave me the courage to pack up my entire 22 years of life and move to Minneapolis after college. It is this same courage that sent me to New York and that accompanied me when my family made the big move from Detroit to Tulsa at the ripe age of 16. My independence is what drives me to want to travel to places like South Africa, Italy and Spain in the future. Sometimes I wonder though if my independence and need to wonder, explore and meet all sorts of of people will leave me alone.

Lately, I find myself strongly desiring companionship in this metropolis of more than 300,000 new faces. I’m realizing not only is this desire healthy but it is a good thing. I don’t think we were made to be alone. In fact, it is one of the first things written in the Bible. Genesis 2:18 says, “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.'” Man was not fit to be alone and wahla! Woman was created.

Whatever your beliefs may be, hopefully you can agree with me on this: Community is so important. Think about it: There is a wife for a husband. A brother for a sister. An aunt for a niece or nephew. A father for a son and so forth. We are instrinsically bound to one another. Relationships are the fabric of our lives. They are the stitch that holds us together.

The older I grow, the more aware I am of the value of family and good friends. As my friend circle has expanded and contracted over the years, it has made me want to be more aware of who I let in and out of my life. I think that this is something we should all be more aware of. I am not saying that we should hold onto to people for the sake of having a high friend count, but I believe in community. I believe in the value of connections. I believe in serving, helping, comforting, encouraging and uplifting the person next to you.

Being in a new city provides a perfect opportunity to build community. I’ve been looking for ways to volunteer in Minneapolis and for a good church home for Sunday mornings. I think in the past, I have been a bit reckless when it comes to burning bridges and letting people fall out of my life. I’d like to get better about this and learn to stay the course. Friendships and family were meant to endure stormy weather. We cannot walk away or quit when things get hard. Instead, we must learn to embrace relationships for the beautifully, imperfect things that they are. After all, we were not meant to walk through this life alone.

“We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.”
– Maya Angelou

Just Keep Swimming

Happy (late) New Year! (very late)

So looking through my blog, I realized I haven’t written in months. As a writer, journalist and self-professed wordie, this is disappointing to me. Just like with anything, the more you write, the better you become at it. So I guess I better get a kick in the rear and get my pen on the paper (or fingers on the keys in this case).

In my defense, the past few months have been super busy and filled with lots of changes. The last time I wrote, I was in the comforts of my parent’s house in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the place I have called home for the past 6 years. The exciting news is that I got a six month editorial assistant position at Delta Sky magazine in Minneapolis! Also, I bought a car (with my own hard earned money and a Jeep, my favorite car, at that)! My how things can change given a little time.

ImageGood morning Minneapolis! My walk to work in the morning 🙂

Just in August, I remember blogging about my restlessness as a 21-year old college graduate with a lot of ambition and no clear set path. Well, seven months later, here I am! Not that I have arrived or anything. I am still figuring things out, but I am pursuing my passion, which is writing. While I don’t have all the answers to my future and have all the hows, whys, whens and whats answered, I am content in the fact that I am pursuing my passion and my dream to be a journalist and screenwriter.

It’s weird! There is this exciting, yet scary feeling about not knowing. about not having a set plan. I have several friends who are off in New York and other big cities with their big boy/girl jobs. I have other friends who are at home working, saving up and applying for different positions, all in pursuit of their next dream. Then I know the people like myself, who may have temp jobs or internships, trying to work there way up through their industry.

My editorial assistant position, which is basically a 6-month post grad internship, will be over in mid-June. This fact is exhilarating and scary all at the same time. It’s thrilling to know that I will be off to something new and exciting soon, but also a little frightening having to pack up and go somewhere new and not knowing where that “new” place or job might be.

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Here’s what I have learned: IT’S OKAY NOT TO HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT! As long as you are pursuing your talents and passions, you will be okay. Everything will not always go as planned. The path to where you are going may not be straight. Truthfully, it may have so many dips, bends, turns and potholes that you may want to get off and try another route. But I encourage you not to. I encourage you to pursue your dreams persistently and recklessly. i encourage you to go after the thing that is on your heart.

I am a firm believer in the wise adage “What you sow, you will reap.” Another way of saying it is what you put out you will get back. Basically, if you are pursuing something that you are truthfully, honestly and passionately in love with, there is no way it won’t come back to you in spades. It may not be easy at first, but I encourage you to stick it out and stay the course.

There is so much beauty in the 20s. Yes, they can be scary because they are so uncertain, but they can also be crazy fun. We learn a lot as 20 somethings. We change a lot. We mess up a lot and we most certainly grow a lot. My roommate, who happens to be my childhood bff and oldest friend from Detroit, despises how much I talk about motherhood, marriage and all of my “somedays”. While I love imagining being in my 30s, married and totting babies on my arms, my roommate speaks some truth. I, as well as my peers, need to enjoy the scary, beautiful time that is the 20s. Stay the course! For me that means, write, write, write! I have to pursue my passion. Whatever your passion is, I encourage you that no matter what the setback or roadblock be, just keep swimming.

ImageMe and my roommate on my first day in Minneapolis!

Stephkt