Posted by: bubblebrigade | April 3, 2014

Travels to Finland (Amsterdam, too!)

Note: This was typed up on my laptop during the second leg of my journey, from Amsterdam to Helsinki. 

 

Because typing is far easier than writing by hand whilst on an airplane, I am going to make a small record of my travels here!

So far, traveling has gone pretty smoothly. I had to walk extremely quickly through Amsterdam-Schipol airport, because my gate was so far away – and then I hadn’t realized that I would need to go through security again at Amsterdam airport! I went through airport security at Glasgow International, and all was well – but going through Amsterdam airport there was a bit of a snag. After the nice blonde (presumably Dutch) guy chatted with me, commented that I study in England, and promptly stamped the other side of my visa page with another stamp (presumably the visa-free Schengen stamp?), I got to the security line. I did the usual security line thing – take laptop out of backpack, take laptop out of its protective sleeve, throw bag into a separate bin, take off jacket and scarf… etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

What I forgot to do – and was one of several things in my backpack that they found particularly suspicious – was take my epi-pen out of my backpack. Moreover, my epi-pen (with its needle showing up on the X-ray machines as about 3-4 centimeters long) had come out of its box and nestled itself in the bottom of my bag.  

Another friendly blonde (presumably Dutch) guy was nice enough when going through my bag.  “Can you unzip the large compartment please, without putting your hands inside?” he asked.

“Yes, sure, of course I can,” I replied, feeling nervous even though I knew I didn’t have anything explosive or illegal in my bag, only worry in the back of my mind that I was going to be late for my flight.  I did so, and he poked inside.  I’m too worried about being late for my flight to be all that concerned with him seeing my black boyshorts (always keep spare undies in case your luggage gets lost, folks).  He pokes around as I say, “Just so you know, there is an epi-pen in there, if that’s what you guys saw – I also just wanted to let you know that there’s a potential sharp, even though it’s in its protective case.”

“That’s fine.” He took a look at the prescription box, then mentioned offhandedly, “It looked like you had a lot of metal – probably coins. Can you open the smaller compartment please, without putting your hands inside?” I did so (“of course,”) and he poked around in there as well. He grabbed my coin purse and opened it up, poking around inside.  There were quite a few coins in it, even though I had thrown a lot of the coppers into my spare change box this morning in my room. He seemed to have an “aha, that was it” moment, before putting it back in my bag and poking around a bit more. “Can you open the smallest front compartment for me please?” he asked. Why the hell not, I guess. I did so, and he poked in there for a few seconds.

“All right, it’s fine,” he said, smiling. “You can go. Have a nice trip!”

And then I was off! Run, run (okay, walk quick, walk quick) to gate D78! (When I started searching for D78, I was at gate D8.) Walk quick, walk quick!!

The announcements in Amsterdam-Schipol airport, by the way, are amazing. “Mr. Kevin Xiong… YOU ARE DELAYING THE FLIGHT. REPORT TO GATE D52 IMMEDIATELY, OR YOUR LUGGAGE WILL BE OFF LOADED. Thank you. :) ” There was more than one announcement like that in the remaining 10 minutes I had in that airport. I couldn’t help but start cracking up while standing on the flat people mover thing, even though I was still running on a tight schedule. Kevin Xiong, how dare you delay your flight…. (**I don’t remember the guy’s actual name, Kevin Xiong was just the first name that popped into my head, sorry if I have offended any Kevin Xiongs.)

To be honest with you, I knew for sure that I was at the proper gate D78 not only by the annuncement board (KLM 1171 TO HELSINKI), but by the appearance and behavior of the majority of the people waiting at that lovely gate D78. Reserved. Quiet. Avoiding looking at each other. Trying to keep as much personal space as possible in a confined space. Yep, here were the Finns! I was in my happy place, and made sure to make no eye contact whatsoever and stay out of any obviously uncomfortable Finn’s personal space wherever possible. Not easy, but do-able. It’s the least I can do when visiting someone’s home country!

I arrived at the gate somehow 4 minutes before beginning the official boarding time at 20:05. We were fully boarded at 20:25 and pushing off from the gate by 20:30… and were in the air by 20:35, precisely on time.  I’ve gotta say, even though I’ve only taken two KLM flights (and I’m on the second one right now), they know how to get boarded and in the air on time. Such maximum efficiency!

Or maybe all of that credit is more deserving of the Finns. :)  Looking forward to being there!

Posted by: bubblebrigade | June 15, 2013

iTunes top 10: Saddest Movie Scores (Part 2)

Well hello there, everyone! I’ve dusted off this Bubblebrigade account of mine (I’ve been blogging on a separate account for quite some time now), and I see there are lots of visitors here!

I have seen from my stats that people are still (STILL?) looking at my old post of iTunes top 10 saddest movie scores! Are people always on the search for sad music? You guys are a bunch of saps like me, aren’t you… :) Other posts have never gotten as many hits. I suppose everyone needs a good cry once in a while… okay, just kidding with you! I love sad music too; that’s why I created the original top ten sad songs list!

For those of you who just can’t seem to get enough of those top 10 sad scores, I’ve decided to give you ten more. You’re welcome! And if you’re one of those people linking to my blog just for the sad music, I urge you to please tell me why you’re looking this stuff up. I’m interested. Seriously. :D

Here we go, from #10 to #1… Get your tissues ready. Puffs, Kleenex, lotion, no lotion… take your preference of tissue and let’s get to work.

#10 – Elegy – Lisa Gerrard & Patrick Cassidy

This film is premiering this weekend  – Man of Steel, that is. This piece featured in its second trailer. Very fitting, being so uplifting and yet sorrowful. The voice work is beautiful, and there is so much emotion evoked here. Perfect setting for what will likely be a wonderful film.

#9 Valley of the Shadow – Thomas Newman

Another song that is about death… and the death of one of those really nice people. If you managed to get through life this far without watching the 1995 version of Little Women, maybe this will convince you to watch it.

#8 – Labor of Love – Michael Giacchino

Even though this score is from Star Trek (2009), I still want to include it here because it symbolizes the birth of someone (James T. Kirk) simultaneously to the death of that someone’s own flesh and blood (Jim’s father, on the U.S.S. Kelvin.) This song incorporates both sadness and joy, something which pulls at the hearts of viewers of the film a mere ten minutes in. It takes great skill to evoke emotion in viewers so early in, but this piece really helps things along. “I love you so much…”

#7 – Knowing You By Heart – Patrick Doyle

Have you ever had to say goodbye to someone, not knowing if (or when) you would be seeing them again? Someone dear? This piece plays during a moment just like that in A Little Princess, in which a soldier has to part ways with his daughter. I’ll just leave it at that, and let you discern for yourself just how sad it is.

#6 – Any Other Name – Thomas Newman

Taking a major part of the last few moments of American Beauty, this piano piece will have you reaching for them tissues. This is absolutely stunning, and makes many people sit completely still. Does it do the same for you? It sure does for me.

#5 – Adagio in D Minor (Sun Still Shine) – John Murphy

One of the fantastical film scores from sci fi film Sunshine, this is a beacon of epic awesomeness and sadness. It is hopeful, but still saddening, all at once. The chord at 1:15 tends to rip peoples’ hearts apart, so get those tissues ready.

#4 – Glasgow Love Theme – Craig Armstrong

Another piano piece… but this one’s a gentle sad song. Take it easy. It sounds like love has just managed to slip past one’s grip, here. And that can be the saddest moment of all.

#3 – Lily’s Theme – Alexandre Desplat

Did I mention before that sacrifice seems to be a general theme for most of these saddening pieces? Lily Potter is a hero of the millenial generation simply for her original sacrifice – and her unfailing kindness. This piece seems to remind everyone that some people and principles are always worth dying for.

#2 – A Promise Kept – James Horner

This song starts off sad, and only gets more sad. To me, it matches the theme of the moments in the Titanic film – that sometimes, no matter how easy it is to give up, no matter how depressing things are, or how bad it is… you sometimes have to do what’s best for you, even if you can hardly muster up the strength to do it. 1:40 on is particularly saddening, if you don’t have the patience to listen all the way through.

#1 – The Dark Side of the Moon – James Horner

Would you like to imagine something heartbreaking? Well, this movie isn’t fictitious – Apollo 13 really did have to slingshot around the moon just to return home again, without a landing. This score plays in the film when three heartbroken astronauts can only gaze out the windows and imagine what it might have been like to land on the moon. Especially Jim Lovell. If this song doesn’t break your heart… I don’t know what will.

There you have it… Do you need more? Feel free to redirect yourself back to the first edition of these lists, right here.

Posted by: bubblebrigade | November 27, 2011

VIA Character Strengths: Results and Interpretations

In university, I get wonderful opportunities to learn more about psychological testing. In my positive psychology class, there is a 240 question psychometrically sound (well, at least somewhat sound) test which measures one’s strengths.  The VIA Character Strengths Survey was created primarily by Martin Seligman for one of the newest fields of psychology, Positive Psychology.

The VIA takes about 25 minutes to complete, and it gives you 24 strengths, in order from your best strength to your lowest strength (some people refer to them as weaknesses).

My top core strength, the thing I’m supposed to be good at, was simply this:

Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence [awe, wonder, elevation]: Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

My lowest strength was “Teamwork.” For a course that stresses the fact that being social is the key to human thriving and happiness, the fact that working in groups is my weakest strength seems pretty ironic. Sweet, sweet irony…

I think they are both rather lame, but I guess I need to work with what I’ve got! That’s my interpretation.

Posted by: bubblebrigade | August 17, 2011

iTunes Top 10: Pivotal Movie Score Moments

In the past, I did a post about the saddest movie scores. Of course, this was all based on only my own opinion, but the post itself has gotten a fair number of views. People continue to look at it even though I posted it over a year ago (incidentally, the post can be found here).  In celebration of its success, mixed with an afternoon of a bit of boredom, I decided to include some of the pivotal songs in movie scores that I have heard. I thought about doing a list of the happiest songs in film scores, but I found it a bit too challenging – and by skipping that idea, I found this (far better) idea instead.

Pivotal songs in movie scores are sometimes hard to find, but they are the pieces of score which play just in time for a change in the film’s mood to occur, usually (but not always!) from bad situation to better. It plays when a hint of resolution for the protagonist’s problems is in sight, or when the storyline is coming near to its climax. In theaters, this type of music gives me chills, and is usually accompanied by marvelous acting. Why not devote an entire post to those pivotal measures of film score which often lend such strong emotions to the audience?

Good music tells a story without the use of words. It is very important for film scores to have that quality; with both music and words, audiences can feel a sweeping sense of emotion from watching such beautifully conducted films.

I will describe the films and the situations in some detail, but hopefully not enough to spoil the film if you have not seen it! I think I have done a good job, but be warned. :)

10.  Drew’s Theme – Nancy Wilson 

This score comes from Elizabethtown, starring Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom. A wayward story of death, life, love, and friendship, this song plays during an uplifting moment in the film for several characters, and describes the essence of a celebration of a person much missed.

9.  No Words – Alan Silvestri

Originally penned by Carl Sagan, Contact was transformed from book to film and was a big hit. No Words is a song which occurs at the climax of the film, a truly pivotal moment for both the main character and everyone in the audience. It is one of the most human songs I have ever heard. The scene is pretty ineffable, which makes the song title very appropriate.

8.  Father Kolbe’s Teaching – Orchestre Philharmonique National De Pologne

The Truman Show is a film that catches the attention of many people. The controversial questions it brings up (such as human privacy rights) are fascinating, and the film is simply well directed. There comes a point in the film where our protagonist realizes a larger truth, and has to make a big life change. This song encapsulates those crucial moments.

7.  It Was Me – John Powell

A story is told during this scene of P.S. I Love You, a story of love and loss. And a secret is revealed, which changes the course of the entire story, at about 1:45. Funny how such a happy tune could love so many women (like myself) crying… and perhaps even some men!

6.  Death! – Danny Elfman

Edward Scissorhands contains a score by Danny Elfman that nearly everyone can enjoy listening to. The strings by themselves stir up enough tender emotion for this film – and its thought-provoking story – all on their own. This piece plays during a flashback of another time, a little thought of Edward’s which comes to mind when he realizes he cannot truly hold and show the love he feels for the one person he ever loves.

5.  To The Architect - Mychael Danna & Rob Simonsen

The Protagonist of 500 Days Of Summer does a lot of deep thinking over the course of this film. This piece from the score depicts that deep thinking very well. It also takes place during a final conversation between the two main characters. Overall, this piece is all about longing for love and happiness – and I think those feelings are depicted very well in this piece. A feeling of resolution can be sensed from 2:55 onward.

4.  Twilight and Shadow – Howard Shore

There are so many beautiful songs in the Lord of the Rings trilogy soundtrack. In fact, there isn’t a single LOTR song I do not like. What’s so wonderful about the soundtrack of LOTR is the fact that there isn’t just a main story going on. There are so many sub-stories taking place within the grand scheme of things. This song highlights one of the main love stories of the trilogy, and once again, a pivotal moment in the life of one of the only feminine characters in the series.

3.  The Living Sculptures Of Pemberly – Jean-Yves Thibaudet

From Pride & Prejudice, this song represents a softening of hard and bitter feelings toward someone else. The main character makes a bit of a judgement call on herself, and sees the error of some of her ways. This composer crafted this piece with cunning; you can almost feel her own attitude changing as the piece moves through from beginning to end.

2.  Any Other Name – Thomas Newman

American Beauty won an Oscar for best picture, but it should have won an award for its score as well. If anyone has seen this film, they will know why this song has been classified under this post as a pivotal music moment in the film. This film is all about death; this is no spoiler. You are told about the death as soon as the movie begins, and are then given the backstory to fill in the empty spaces. This song, however, begins just as the person dies. . . and may find regret and happiness all at once in that last second of life.

1.  Mr. Banks Is Discharged – The Sherman Brothers

This is number one to me. All the tracks I have listed are great, but this is one of my ultimate favorites, and completely suits the purpose of this entire post. If you have seen Mary Poppins before, you know the changes Mr. Banks goes through from beginning to end. In fact, his attitude changes are one of the main points of the entire film! But if you have not seen the film, that’s even better; listen and try to tell the difference of mood between the beginning and end of this piece.

Well, what do you think of this review? Hopefully you have enjoyed it. I enjoy putting these little collections of music together. I find that film scores are largely under-appreciated by people these days, even though they are still very much enjoyed in films. To me, a film without music is like a rose without its petals.  If you have any suggestions of film scores I should listen to, feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you. :)

Posted by: bubblebrigade | August 13, 2011

Coffee vs Tea

Right. So, this topic may spur an engaging conversation, or it could be an impetus to war. Either way, I think it’s interesting. Coffee and tea are both famous drinks, both for breakfast and other times of the day. Americans seem to prefer coffee for breakfast, and the English appear to prefer tea. Of course, the English also seem to prefer tea at all times of the day, but we are not here only to study the tea drinking habits of the English. This is coffee versus tea. I was simply going to blog about the tea cup my mother gave me, but this topic is far more exciting. Moreover, I have heard so much bullshit about coffee lately, that I decided to give tea a chance.

Let us begin with the fact that there are four types of beverage drinkers in the world: Coffee drinkers, tea drinkers, hybrid (tea/coffee) drinkers, and non-drinkers (no, we are not referring to alcohol, simply to the fact that some people do not like tea OR coffee… what a concept.)Given this fact, it should be easy to let other people be when it comes to their opinion on coffee or tea.

Well, I find that coffee drinkers can be absolute asshats when they find out that an acquaintence, roommate, coworker, etcetera is only a tea drinker. As a hybrid drinker myself, this disgusts me. There are benefits to both coffee and tea! Let’s go through them.

 

Coffee

1. It has a very bold taste. For people who seem to have burned their taste buds off with hot chili peppers, or just love the bitter taste of coffee, coffee is the perfect breakfast drink.

2. Coffee contains a lot of caffeine. For people who need the most energy, coffee is definitely the way to go.

3. It can be made into a large variety of different kinds of drinks. Most people, when they hear the word “coffee,” automatically think of plain old brewed coffee. But there are also ways of mixing coffee with chocolate to make mochas, and then there are espressos, macchiatos, etc…

4. A moderate amount of coffee may be good for you. While some studies are still unclear, having one or two cups of coffee per day (yup, just a little!) may have health benefits (see here for more information).

 

Tea

1. It has a sweeter, more gentle taste. This sweetness can titillate taste buds in ways coffee cannot, which simply may be the reason

2. Some types of tea are simply better for you, like natural green tea.

3. Some types of tea contain caffeine in lower amounts than coffee. For people not completely addicted to coffee, the low dose of caffeine in tea is just enough to get them going.

4. Some types of tea are made to be comforting. Lavendar and chamomile teas come to my mind first. They are aromatic, and promote sleep. I know several people who drink tea for this reason alone.

I am someone who loves their coffee. When someone tells me they only drink tea, I know I look surprised – but that’s because I am already so addicted to coffee’s amounts of caffeine that I am proud of the fact that they have enough energy on their own! That and coffee seems to be such an American symbol, a big part of our culture. For people who are not coffee drinkers, it drives them mad.  But I am a tea drinker as well, I love having tea in the evening when it would not be wise to have coffee. I love the sweet taste, and chamomile tea is very relaxing after a stressful day. I can see why the English (and some Americans!) love it so.  Don’t forget all of the other countries in the world though that also drink coffee and tea. So next time you run into someone that is only a tea drinker, don’t be so rude; coffee and tea both make acceptable drinks!  We’ve all already got enough to fight over, so at least leave the drinks alone. :)

Posted by: bubblebrigade | August 10, 2011

The Boring Morning Moaning Post

The first thing I do when I wake up in the mornings nowadays is realize how much stuff I really need to get done, and how much I can realistically expect myself to be able to get done. That seems to be my biggest challenge these days. Luckily, I have heard from many wise people that it is simply impossible to get everything done; one person simply stated, “When you die, your in-bin sill won’t be empty. I found that to be a rather sobering thought.

There is never enough time for what we want to do, what we need to do, and what must get done right at that moment. The best thing we can do is budget our time, and do the best we can without killing ourselves. It’s just that adopting that mindset is going to take me some time for me to implement in my brain.

In the meanwhile, I’ll finish drinking my morning tea (no coffee for me today), have breakfast, and figure out what the hell to tackle first. I’ve got to do things in a logistical order, otherwise I’m not really going to get anything done.

I think the best thing to do is go to store… which I will do after I finish my tea and find some clothes to throw on. Then I need to come home and start laundry… and then I have to mail off a letter, with special postage. Then I need to call the pharmacy, and then… perhaps I will send an email to one of my professors. But I’ve pretty much given up on any of my school efforts for the moment; I need time to decompress, and nobody’s being very receptive. There’s no reason to put forth effort when there is no reception from others. :/

In the meantime, I’ll be productive and do what I can! I will update later, hopefully with something more interesting.

Posted by: bubblebrigade | August 10, 2011

Solitude vs. Loneliness

I’m really back, folks. I’m really, really, really back. Believe it or not, here I sit.

I got an interesting journal prompt this morning from the WWW, and I figured I would go ahead and write on it since I am just writing at this moment to relax. I took my GRE on Saturday, which involved writing two long essays, so I’m way burned out on actually writing anything productive at the moment! Anyway, the journal prompt was simply “Journal about being alone. Do you like or hate it?”

For me, this is a double-edged sword. I am not black and white about this topic, unlike what so many others I know say. There are definite good and bad points to both. Some of my points will probably be obvious, but others may not be so. Just bear with me.

I take this journal prompt in two different ways; it’s either talking about being single (not in a relationship), or it’s talking simply about being alone. My interpretation of alone involves both being single and simply being alone. There are discrepancies between the two, which makes aloneness such an interesting thing to me.

One of my mentors, Fred Rogers (yes, I consider him a mentor, he was my television neighbor for many years) once said, “Solitude is different from loneliness, and it doesn’t have to be a lonely kind of thing.”  I think this is one of my favorite quotes from Mr. Rogers. It’s completely true, solitude is different from loneliness. To look up the actual words in the dictionary, you will find that solitude refers simply to the state or situation of being alone.  Loneliness, on the other hand, refers to being sad because one has no friends or company. Solitude is simply aloneness, being by oneself. Loneliness refers to a saddened mood state because one doesn’t have any other people to be with. Solitude, for me, definitely has a positive connotation. I love my solitude. I am an introvert, so I can thrive on the aloneness, and never feel a mite lonely about it. That’s the beauty and hidden advantage of being an introvert. Extraverts usually do not understand it, because they cannot be alone for longer than a few minutes before they begin to feel saddened by their aloneness. Instead of ameliorating the situation by finding something enjoyable to do during their alone time, they turn to someone else – or multiple people – in order to feel entertained and happy again. Such is the way of things.

In all of the personality tests I have ever taken, I am almost precisely half and half – that is, half introvert and half extravert. Some days I am more introverted or extraverted than other days, but overall I like a healthy balance of social interaction along with solitude and alone time, or “me” time. As a child I was bullied, so I definitely became my own best friend – and I was my own best friend anyway. Not that it was selfish; I was kind and did play with other kind children. But I was able to simply entertain myself. It was only when I got older that I loved social interaction more and more, to the point where I seem almost extraverted at times. This makes me a sort of difficult person to interact with at times; my friends sometimes do not know if I am going to be introverted or extraverted on a given day.

Now that you know what my personlity traits are like, we can return to the prompt. Being alone. Do I like or hate it? I would say I like it far more than I hate it, and I definitely love it as far as simply being by myself. I can achieve great things by myself. I can work by myself. I can only be really creative when I’m by myself, so that counts too. Finally, I am used to being by myself. I am so used to it, I can be just as happy alone as I can be with a group of friends.

When it comes to relationshps, things get even more complicated. I think I make an all right girlfriend because of the fact that I don’t mind being by myself. I am pretty much completely low-maintenance. This put my ex boyfriend out in a way however, because he could see that I simply did not need him all the time. Funny, how sometimes being high-maintenance can actually be a good thing! I learned some major things from that rather bizarre and downright retarded relationship.  I am sometimes too independent for men; sometimes it downright drives them up the walls. However, I make my intentions known; I just need to be alone sometimes. That’s not to say that I don’t like their attention; of course I do. I am a human too, after all! I make it clear, as well, that I like being with someone. I can be very blunt when I wish to be. I just don’t require being around humanity all. the. time.

Try to be alone sometime, if you’re a major extravert. You may find that you’re more of an introvert than you ever knew!

Posted by: bubblebrigade | March 23, 2011

The End Of Something.

Whenever something suddenly vacates your life, it can leave a very strange feeling gap in your routine.  It can leave you with a strange feeling hole, something that burns in the back of your mind constantly and slowly saps your energy.  Something happened to one of my closest family members last week, and it’s going to be a major life change for that person. For now, things are okay, but the future is uncertain, and I don’t do well whenever I think about uncertain futures.  This impact on my family member has also created a sense of calamity in my own life, something I am learning to deal with.  But it’s taking me a while.

This “calamity” also occurred during the week of the school semester landing just before spring break. Now, it is Sunday night, and spring break is coming up this week – but I don’t feel too much joy about it, however. I would actually prefer to have someplace to go and something to do during this time, so that I won’t sit about and ponder things too much.  However, I am going to have to learn new ways to keep myself busy, like writing papers.  That’s a good way to keep someone busy.

 

Posted by: bubblebrigade | February 18, 2011

Past Saint Valentine’s Day

Well, the V day is over.  Yeah, Valentine’s Day.  My Valentine’s day was rather hectic this year; it was so hectic and stressful that I actually forgot, at times, that it was the day of love.

Did you all survive Valentine’s Day?  I am kind of wondering how many people wallowed in it, because I noticed that my most viewed post on February 14th was “The Top Ten Saddest Movie Scores” which can be seen here. It was the most viewed! It gets a few views once in a while, but it spiked up on Valentine’s Day.  I found this somewhat amusing, and I could relate. Who doesn’t want to wallow a bit on Valentine’s day if they are unhappy in a relationship or all on their own? It’s easy to get trapped in that sort of sadness.  I suppose listening to a list of sad movie soundtrack songs will help that along. :)  I am not saying that wallowing is a bad thing; it is actually a good thing to do so once in a while.  They key is not to wallow all the time.  We do need moments to reflect on the past, but we must make sure to remember the present; that things do not have to be so bad from the present moment onwards.

This weekend is a three day weekend! If you are still feeling the aftereffects of Valentine’s Day (such as moping, crying, gloomy faces out the window at the clouds and rain), consider using this three day weekend to replenish yourself and make yourself feel a little bit better. Treat yourself!  Perk yourself up.  Remember that you cannot be in a healthy relationship with someone else until you at least content with yourself.  Sometimes, we actually do need to learn how to be friends with ourselves.  I know that sometimes I have to sit down with myself (not literally, but just sit down in a coffee shop with a mug of java and think about things.  Learn to be your own best friend.

Have a good weekend! And remember to take care of yourself.

We can get lost so easily.  The human species can get lost in just about anything, and just about anywhere – from religion to actually trying to get to a geographical destination, or working on a simple math problem.  We can also get lost in things that should be truly important to us – things like love, compassion, empathy, and even what we want to do with our lives for a career path.  It’s just so easy for us to get lost.

I think that to be lost is to be human.  Other species do not really get so lost in their lives; it is something unique to human development across the entire lifespan.  We get lost in almost everything because we have the ability to. Our brains, the centers of information and ow we conduct ourselves, have evolved enough for us to truly think things through, plan, and develop abstract thoughts. These are things other animals are not able to do; we should be glad that we have them.  However, at the same time, a primitive part of our brains exists; this is the part which causes our anxiety, our uncertainty, our longing for stability. There are two parts to the brain which clash against one another, and the way our brain deals with it shows up in our everyday words, feelings, and actions.

If you feel lost, don’t feel bad. I get lost a lot, and I have to remind myself that I am going through a special struggle, the struggle of being human.  A few people – most people call these people ‘lucky’ – know what they want to do with their lives, and achieve it early on.  But the vast majority of people are struggling with the problem of life, what they want to do with their lives, whether they are doing the right thing, assessing whether or not they are failures – and none of this is good stuff.  It can certainly be unnerving.

Remember that you are a human. You are not made to be perfect. We are far from it. If someone tries to make you feel that they are perfect and you are not, they don’t even have a reliable argument. No person is perfect or even better than another; we are all so unique that there is no way one of us can be compared to another. Some of us utilize our lives in more effective ways or give more to life through hard work in specific areas, but that does not make them better as people.  You are a human, which means that you have a lot of opportunities ahead of you. Do not take these opportunities and turn them into stress; think of them as a unique challenge, one that many people face and succeed through.  You will make something out of your life, even if you are not successful.  So stop your worrying.

I write this as a word of assurance to everyone ,but don’t be fooled; it’s also a word of assurance to yourself.  Give yourself a hug from me, and everything will be okay!

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