Tag Archives: opinion

A Test of Some Kind

Life is interspersed with unexpected calamities that test one’s resolve.

Diamonds are made under pressure, so says that random person on Instagram who posts grainy pictures of inspirational text that was originally stolen from someone who had found it on Tumblr or Facebook. We don’t like dealing with pressure, obviously, but rarely has anything good come from not dealing with pressure.

Pressure tests you. Pressure challenges you. Pressure forces you to think on your toes, take risks, and reach new heights never imagined. Nothing was ever accomplished without some iota of risk.

There is always the light at the end of the tunnel. Giving up is the easy way out and the biggest mistake you could possibly make. Are you going to turn around, because you can’t see the light, or are you going to keep moving forward, knowing you’re going to get closer with each step?

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Just Pause and Notice

A view of the backyard along with the trees and sky

A view of the backyard along with the trees and sky

Beautiful, isn’t it?

I was in the middle of some things when I looked out the screen door to the backyard and saw this.  I stopped what I was doing and watched.

Other than a random bird who flew in, there was nothing else.  Just the trees and the sky.

I felt the calm, brisk spring breeze after I opened the door to the backyard.  A calm breeze that immediately indicated how different it felt outside compared to the indoors.

The blossoms on the tree to the left look great, don’t they?  That is the apple tree in my neighbor’s yard—an apple tree that suffered some damage from Superstorm Sandy and a nor’easter.  Most of its branches either blew off or collapsed under the weight of snow.  A few other splintered branches were later cut off by our neighbor.  They thought the tree was dead; the tree (figuratively) did a Dikembe Mutombo finger wag.

There is the bigger tree to the right of the picture that is in another neighbor’s yard.  I don’t know much about that tree.  I just know it’s consistently been there since I moved into this area and it’s a tree I see prominently from my bedroom window.  Its green leaves are proof the tree is healthy and I hope it stays for a while; it’d be a pity if the tree ever had to come down.

You can’t really see it in the foreground but there’s the green grass of our lawn and our small garden of flowers.  Right now there are more random plants but it’s better than seeing dead plants or barren, dry soil.  Occasionally, birds will fly around the lawn or land and take a walk around.  Squirrels like to visit once in a while.

Now look up.  Look at that blue sky!  I almost feel spoiled by the clear skies this weekend (and week).  I can’t recall a time in recent memory when the weather was this consistently pleasant and enjoyable.

It’s amazing how just the sight of nature can make me stop and take notice of it.  It brings a feeling of tranquility and it makes me forget about the more unpleasant aspects of life.  The time you spend worrying about things like whether you should buy that new wallet, or whether you should buy that fancy sun dress to impress that guy who may not be interested in you, or whether you need to purchase more birth control pills unfortunately cheats us out of being able to sit back and enjoy what nature has to offer.  Calm sights like the one pictured above actually make me happy because I’m able to enjoy a moment of brief peace while I feel the warmth from the sun and the breeze from the wind.  Nature’s fine in these circumstances—not so much during inclement weather.

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Those Who Think Differently: Are They Ostracized?

A long time ago, I once said this:

It just seems society punishes those who do not want to adhere to social norms—as if those who think outside of the box are to be thrown inside a cage.

Is this true?  I know most of you would say it’s not but I beg to differ.

I’ve usually taken on viewpoints that generally contradicted those of “everyone” else or lived a little differently from others; I never spent too much money on myself, never really drank or smoked when I was 12, nor have I ever had those rebellious outbursts that are supposed to be examples of a rite of passage.

And yet, I feel like I’m on the outside staring in a lot of the time all because of how differently I thought about things.

You bring up some obscure rocker, singer, musical act and it will go over my head.  Same thing with a lot of TV shows.  Ask me if I’ve ever heard of “this song” (whatever it is) and I will say no.

This will be a bit of a “did you know” kind of thing.  I don’t know how to start conversations.  I don’t know  how to interrupt conversations.  I always wait to speak.  If there is something I don’t know anything about (read: most pop culture), I’m not going to talk about it in conversation.  This apparently makes me look weird but I’d take that instead of coming off as being completely ignorant about a topic.  Bah, who am I kidding?

Some people would welcome the opportunity to be “weird” rather than “normal.”  Why would you ever do that to yourself?  Why run the risk of always being that person who is lost at sea in conversation because you’ve never heard of the cool band that played with Fisher Price keyboards in their parents’ basements?  Why would you always have to contend with the difficulty of fitting in?

Perhaps some people just want to experience it because they’re tired of being normal?  Whatever, guys, just be careful what you wish for…

But perhaps there are benefits to going against the grain that I am missing?

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