My good friend Brianna sent me multiple texts over Christmas because every time she heard or saw this song it reminded her of me because I love Glee and I love Africa and I love this song. But before you start thinking I'm a better person than I am, let me qualify that by saying I am very interested in Africa, as in I love to watch movies about Africa, read books, I love learning about 21st/20th Century Africa and the history and the politics and the stories about the people. But I've never been to Africa, and it's not even in my top 5 places I would go to if given the chance (not that i would turn down a trip, I just have my sights set on Europe). I have a humanist interest, but not a human interest. Does that make sense?
I think there are two colleges at BYU that are primarily concerned with people: Social Sciences and Humanities. The Social Sciences are about action: learning about what has gone on, what is going on, and what you can do to be apart of it and contribute in some way. The Humanities are a little different as they study people in a more passive sense; they look at what people have done, what ideas and principles lay at the core of these actions, and they look at trends. Their accomplishments lay in knowing things, Social Sciences lay in doing things. I'm not saying that this is universally true, or a bad thing, I am naturally inclined to the Humanities faction and I love it and can see it spill over into many different aspects of my life. After last semester I now understand and value the modernist/post-modernist movements in the arts and have a love for Virginia Woolf and her insane writing. How many of you can say that, huh? But as I watched that video I got a little choked up because I always get a little choked up over just about anything and I thought to myself, this song doesn't represent me, because I don't do things, and that song is about doing and thinking differently. I know things and I appreciate things and that's about it. Okay, I'm going to come back to this in a minute.
So, I will be the first to admit that I have been a Debbie Downer these past few weeks (hilarious SNL clip). It has a little to do with life changing around me while I sit still, and a lot to do with turning 24. I don't know why but this birthday hit me like a wrecking ball. And it's not so much getting old, but what I haven't accomplished at this point. I have not finished school, or even gotten into the practical curriculum of my major (graduating April 2013, fingers crossed!) I am not married nor do I have prospects on the horizon. I'm just as broke and tired and frustrated as I have been the last few years, but at 24 it doesn't feel okay to be that way anymore. Which I think is the core of my problem. The way I'm feeling about everything.
I was talking with a friend a couple nights ago and it has really stuck in my mind. I do not know this friend very well, we've only known each other a couple of months. But I love hearing him talk because everything he says, no matter what the situation and without fail, has a positive spin on it. I've heard him tell stories that range from serious trials to lighthearted annoyances and every time he adds, "but they are a really good person" or "but it could have been worse," etc. Not only that, it is a genuine statement, not just a tacked on, cover-your-bases-with-a-"nice"-blanket statement. I don't know that he even realizes he does it. Regardless, it has made an impression on me. And as we chatted the other night and he said really positive things about just about everything, and I (realized in retrospect) whined about all the not-that-hard things in my life that have me down, I thought, "How amazing to see life like that." and then while I was watching Glee I thought "Why don't I try harder to make my life awesome?" Really, my life is not bad. I sleep on a Glee pillow case (a gift!), and some people sleep outside because they don't have homes. My walls are covered in black and white posters of Paris and while I haven't been there yet, I know about it because I have had a top notch education and if I made it my top priority, I would have a 100% chance of visiting in the near future. These are good odds! The fact that I have so much time to sit around and stew over better uses of my time is a good indicator that my life is pretty cushy.
SO. What's the point? The point is, I want to take a human interest in things. I want to be doing. What is my plan? Well, I will need your help for this, because I have always been a sucker for peer pressure. Every day I want to do something I've never done before. It can be small, such as saying hi to someone who looks like they could use a hi (for reals, never done it) or it can be big. It can make a difference for others, or it can be a slight convenience for myself. Hopefully it will be a mix of everything. As long as it is something new. I won't plan it, but just go with what I'm brought that day.
BUT. There's more. I'm going to be setting weekly and monthly goals to make it interesting. Par example:
This week: Be in a good mood for 7 days. It doesn't have to be an organic good mood, it can be forced as long as it is there. Cut back on negative comments. Give more compliments. Think about the people around me.
This month: Follow through. I am SUCH a flake and I quit when things get hard/uncomfortable. And I hate this about myself. So? My first order of business is to keep this project going for at least 30 days (overall goal 1 year) in order to improve my ability to follow through on my commitments.
AND. And I will be blogging. It may be short, I will likely be busy, but I want to keep track of this and blog more. Who knows, maybe I will get a book/movie option out of it ;) jk
WELL. Well, what is my ultimate goal? My goal is to have the best year of my life. It is to get uncomfortable, to get organized, to get interesting. So, enough thinking, and feeling, and writing. It's time to get a life!
Today: Today I washed my roommate's hair in the kitchen sink with water we boiled on the stove (no natural gas, remember?). I can honestly say I've never done that before. Pictures to follow (someday).
A poem I wrote for my creative writing class that I think sums up my sentiments exactly:
I went to write about love,
but it wasn’t wooing me
I went to write about injustice,
but it wasn’t wronging me
I went to write about art,
but it wasn’t wowing me
I went to write about pain,
but it wasn’t wounding me
I went to write about joy,
but it wasn't welcoming me
I went to write about triumph
but it wasn’t winning me
I went to write about religion,
but it wasn’t wracking me
I went to write about awareness,
but it wasn’t wakening me
I went to write about life
but it wasn’t waiting on me
See you tomorrow!
Also, my hair is growing out quite nicely!