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“You’re not really an adult at all. You’re just a tall child holding a beer, having a conversation you don’t understand.” — Dylan Moran

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“I often wonder what it’s like to be someone who can act impulsively. Is stress even in your vocabulary? Do you act first think later, or is it that you think faster than me? How many times have you regretted something you’ve done off the cuff? Do you regret anything at all?”

(Thought Catalog) http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/we-should-all-be-holly-golightly/

 

Thought Catalog is one of my favorite blogs out there. It is humorous and all too truthful and it always makes me think. This particular post drew my complete attention because I absolutely love Breakfast at Tiffany’s (the book and the movie, however the movie version is too Hollywood at the end… of course they will end up together, duh.) Holly Golightly is such a relatable character in so many ways. Like so many of us, she is confused and a little frightened. The future is pretty daunting in a lot of ways, probably because of it’s complete uncertainty. We can plan out our lives the best that we can but which one of us can say that our lives have followed our exact plans, we’ve all been sidetracked at one time or another. For some of us that sidetrack can be like getting on the freeway East and you need to go West and the next exit isn’t for 70 miles, we hope eventually we will be able to get back in the right direction but we really aren’t sure how long that will take and if your car won’t run out of gas before it gets there. 

As someone who lived impulsively in waves for years I can tell you, stress is the main reason for impulsivity. For many people immediately slapping your credit card down in store after store is what we do after a break-up or when we are experiencing some form of low self-esteem. We decide “ok, I will have one more shot…” when you know you have to be up at 5 am to catch a plane and it’s 1 am and you know one shot leads to more shots and inevitably you end up missing your flight out of sheer stupidity. 

The problem with these impulsive acts is that usually at the time we feel great, then a sinking feeling sets in and all of a sudden you realize what you’ve just done to yourself. Years later you still get angry with yourself for putting yourself thousands of dollars into debt spent on material items, nothing of real importance, except that second round trip ticket you purchased because you were a drunken idiot. 

I don’t think impulsive people necessarily “think faster” but they decide faster and instantaneously to feel something. We all know this feeling fades away, quickly. Instead of rejecting this chance you take it and run with it full force, in a dead sprint, until you stop and realize how negatively those flighty decisions affected the rest of your life. 

Holly Golightly, as much as I love her, isn’t some kind of “free spirit”, she is a scared little girl who has an emptiness she’s desperate to fill but she can’t, because she’s unwilling to stop running away from it. We run from things because we can’t face the truth of the situation, but most of all our part in it.

Her passion and enthusiasm for life makes me think we should all have a little Holly Golightly in us though, in the meantime think before you act, face the consequences of your decisions and live your life.

Every single day we pass judgments on other people. Every human being does it and we aren’t really able to control these thoughts when they come into our head. Competition is human nature, we all understand this fact. Competition can be healthy and motivating, but competition can also pull you down and crush you under it’s weight.

We judge because we are competitive, and we judge because we have an innate need to feel that what we think and know is right. How much does any one of us truly know? We all live completely separate lives with separate paths and obstacles. I can’t know how one person lives from one day to the next; I can see and listen but I will never actually know what someone is thinking or feeling. Who am I to say that their behavior is right or wrong? 

Yes, we have codes of behavior that we as a society have deemed “acceptable” and “unacceptable”. These codes of behavior are important and there is an unspoken understanding and usual compliance. We can say that someone “should” be doing things differently, and since we would like to think in the person’s best interest, we get upset or bothered by their behavior (usually because we care). There are very few people in this world, and it is a learned skill that needs to be practiced and maintained, who are able to truly put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Whether or not you agree with a person’s behavior doesn’t make them a bad person. We need to understand we all have challenges that we face daily.

I hope that we can come to understand that compassion and empathy are important traits that contribute to one’s happiness and overall sense of purpose. Supporting someone when they are having a difficult time is definitely stressful, but that doesn’t mean we should shy away from it. Instead we should feel important because a person has taken their pain and emotion and trusted us enough to reach out and open up. Friendship is essential in this life.

via Pintrest

Hello 2013. I am ready to meet this year with a new attitude and a new re-awakened passion for living. The last two years of my life were a struggle, to say the least. I found myself in places I never thought I’d go, to the darkest depths within myself and my mind and I found myself making choices and compromises that I never thought I would. As each day goes by I am attempting to be a student of my life. In this way I want to be able to view my choices, analyze my feelings and emotions and be able to understand all sides of a situation with a more rational and wiser perspective. Within the last year I came to understand that I must be concerned with myself, my needs and I need to be my own person, figure out who I am and who it is I want to become.

I spent a great deal of time in the past two years completely immersed in someone else’s life. I put so many of my own needs aside in order to try to fix a situation I wasn’t equipped to fix. I realized I can’t cater to someone else’s needs and feelings without first focusing on my own. You can’t help someone else if you haven’t helped yourself, otherwise it becomes a downward spiral for everyone involved and that is exactly what happened. I programmed myself to cope in unhealthy ways in order to live the life I was living, in a situation where I felt completely helpless and trapped. I woke up one day realizing I had control. I was making a choice to stay in an environment and be around people who only brought negativity and destruction into my life and theirs. 

When I moved across the country, I know I had high expectations for the possibilities I was hoping to have. In so many ways the move helped me become more motivated and positive but I still felt myself slipping back into the negative thoughts. You try to leave certain aspects of yourself behind without realizing they are still a part of you and maybe you are just hiding them for a time until they reach out one day and grab you again. When this first began happening I was disappointed and felt that I would never be able to feel certain feelings again, or have the outlook that I wanted to have, but instead of worrying, lately I have forced myself to rationalize and to also put boundaries up to protect myself in situations I know will only bring strain.

As cliche as it sounds, the difficulties in life do bring extremely valuable lessons, even though looking back there are many things that I wish had turned out differently. Mistakes made and focus lost, but now I am choosing to do what is best for me and my happiness and peace of mind.

My New Year’s Eve was one of the best New Year’s I have ever had. I felt passion that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I couldn’t be more thankful. 2013 will be a better year because I am choosing to make it better, by becoming more positive, making better decisions and becoming more focused and motivated. We should all resolve to take control over our lives and drive ourselves into genuine happiness this year.

In the April 2011 issue of Self, there is an article called Who is Checking Your Status? (written by Jessica Girdwain). The article tells the story of a girl named Nathalie Blanchard, a 30-year-old who was on disability for depression. Her doctor (as would other doctors treating a patient with depression) encouraged socializing to help her combat her depression. However, Manulife, her insurance company at the time, checked Nathalie’s Facebook page to make sure she was still in need of her disability payments. What they saw in her photo albums and on her status updates made them question whether Nathalie was being truthful about her depression, and they felt the need to hire a private investigator to follow her. After all of the evidence came back to Manulife regarding Nathalie’s socialization and her nights out with friends, they refused her disability and told her it was time to go back to work because she seemed healthy enough. Nathalie has since sued Manulife, and the article quotes a health care lawyer David Harlow who says, “after all, depressed people smile.” Her trial is currently pending.

So what does this mean for the rest of us? It means that we need to be much more careful with our Facebook pages. Even though Nathalie was technically doing what the doctor ordered, her insurance company did not see it that way. Legally, an insurance company has the right to search your Facebook page because you have shared this information with others online.

Not only are insurance companies stalking our Facebook pages but so are employers. They use Facebook as a way to screen candidates for jobs and an employee can be fired for any reason the company deems unsuitable. The article cites posts about drinking or “missing too much work for migraines or in vitro fertilization” as reasons why companies have fired employees. The shocking news is this: all of it is legal because YOU are putting this information online where the public has access to it. Insurers and employers feel it would be negligent of them not to check your social media sites because they must protect themselves financially and cruising social media sites is part of their research.

How do you keep yourself safe from insurance companies and employers? Look to your privacy and application settings. The article suggests:

1. Adjust your privacy settings to find out what “Everyone,” “Friends of Friends,” and “Friends Only” can see and change those settings so that no one but “Friends Only” can view your full profile. That way if someone is not your friend they can only see your basic information.

2. Google yourself to find out if your Facebook profile appears on the search. If it does, go to the Apps and Websites page within Privacy Settings and hide your page from search engines.

3. Set up alerts for strange activity on your account. To do this go to Account Settings and then Account Security.

 

All in all, having your Facebook profile completely public is probably not the smartest idea. When applying for jobs or when you are insured you should be more careful about what you post and also what the general public has access to. You’ve been warned!

Today my sister actually took my advice and decided to re-arrange her room. We moved her bed, took out her TV, and organized her storage spaces to make for a more appealing and simplistic look and also to create more space in her room so she wasn’t feeling so cramped. The outcome was amazing (her room looks much bigger) and she said that she definitely felt better after making these changes; her room is more spacious and she now feels she has room to breathe and move around, and she got rid of unnecessary items that were taking up space and adding clutter. (Unfortunately that means that we have more trash to put out tomorrow night.) As I’m writing this she keeps walking by saying, “It’s so much better, it really is…” Here are a few pictures taken with my horrible camera just to show a few examples of what I was posting about a few days ago:

 

We decided to re-arrange after we spent an incredibly relaxing three-day weekend at home. We spent time with family and friends and got outside for a long hike in the woods (yes, even though there was snow on the ground). There is nothing like fresh air.