I’ve been stuck in a bubble slash rut for way too long. Why? Simply put, I stay in my comfort zone (as I wrote about already). I’ve been okay with the status quo in terms of friends and not meeting many new people. Sure, it’s all about quality, not quantity, but I could do better in both departments. Plus, I’m done with just being “okay” with how things are. I’m ready for extraordinary, not just mediocre.
I’m not a partier really and don’t go out to those to meet new people usually. But, if you really think about it, people that go to parties to meet new people, especially if it’s the opposite sex, really have a skewed perspective on things. Parties are not “meet and greets.” People are just there to get drunk, do things they regret, and then complain about them to other people the next day. I’m on the receiving end of this all the time, so the silver lining to this is that I know what it’s all about.
Either way, it will be nice to meet some new friends. I have a good core group, but there’s always room for improvement. I’m gonna put myself out there more, in more situations and instances. I’ve also weeded out a lot of friends over the past couple of months who either kept dragging me down with negativity and such, or didn’t line up with what I’m trying to make my life. Sure, it was hard at fi
I’ve always considered myself a relatively outgoing person. It could be said about my late grandfather that he “never met a stranger,” meaning he always talked to people when out and about and whatnot, and that trait has been passed on to me. However, we all get into ruts. I’ve developed a bad habit of sticking to what, or who, I know. For far too long, I’ve missed opportunities to meet new people and develop new friendships. Who knows where I could be in my life right now if I had seized those opportunities.
Here’s what I’m gonna do about it. First off, I’m going to start conversations with random people I encounter on a daily basis (haven’t in a while) and see where it goes. I’ve actually made a friend or two in this way in the past. It sounds crazy, but it’s true.
Second, I’m going to conquer my fear of public speaking. I plan to join the Innsbrook chapter of Toastmasters International, an organization that helps you with public speaking in an encouraging, uplifting environment. As I gain confidence through this and conquer my fear, I’ll in turn be better positioned to get out there and tackle other issues I’m writing about this week.
One year: With certain things, it seems like an eternity, and with others, it seems the blink of an eye. A year ago this month, I was finishing out my last days of high school. It seems like forever ago. I’ve changed and grown so much in so many different ways over the past year since I left Deep Run. More than anything, I’ve gained a true sense of identity for the first time in my life. I know who I am and am on the fast track to determining my purpose in life.
One of the biggest things I’ve discovered is what defines a true friend. Looking back on my high school days, I had many people in my life who kept me around simply because I was always there and someone to use as a backup plan for everything. I was always someone who was at everyone’s beckon call. I was way too available and never too busy to give anyone some time. I guess I’ve just always been a nice guy. Too nice. I was played like a fiddle.
I was always the one who someone would call when there was nothing better to do, and I was always fun to be around until someone better came along. I was the victim of one-sided friendships in which I put in all the effort and made all the plans. Now that’s not to say I didn’t have a group of real friends, because I always have. However, there were many people in my life who completely took advantage of me.
In recent months, I’ve kind of segued into a new core group of friends. They’re some of the most caring, compassionate, genuine, and sincere group of people I’ve ever met. It seems a lot of the people I put myself around in the past, and even some who are still friends to this very day, are just complete downers, are negative, or just hold me back in general. I find more and more after being around this positive, spiritual, forward thinking group I have now that some of the other people in my life are just dragging me down.
A true friend is someone who is genuinely interested in what’s on your mind and in your heart. They’re excited for you when you’re excited. They’re there for you when you’re down. They support your endeavors and dreams and build you up. That’s what I’ve found in this amazing group.
However, this has also given me great hindsight to see all the things true friends aren’t and to see all the negative influences that I’ve had in my life. They’re not just someone who sits impatiently as you’re speaking, thinking about what they’re going to say as you talk. They’re not someone who cares only about themselves or what you can do for them when they do nothing for you (oh I could write a book of stories on this one). They don’t get mad over things that don’t make sense and then choose not to talk to you when you make a genuine effort to resolve the so-called problem and even understand what silly thing they’re upset over in the first place (that’s immaturity if I’ve ever seen it). They don’t just expect you to be around at times of their choosing and then aren’t ever available themselves when you want to hang out. They don’t belittle you, constantly mock you, or talk behind your back. These are actual examples of some of the people who have been pulling me down in recent days. This post is just the beginning, too. I have some stories, going back to fifth grade, that I’d like to share with you in the near future that will really give you some insight into what happened that year that shaped me into the person I am today. Simply put, it was moving to Wyndham that year. Oh, the stories I have to share.
I have big dreams, goals, and plans for my life that I’m actually coming to the realization of. One long-time dream of mine is already coming true. It’s amazing to see it in reality. I guess you could say I’ve just started to realize what matters (and what really doesn’t) in life. It started a few months ago and I really feel I’ve entered a new chapter in my life. I’m so happy to have found friends who fit the new productive, goal-oriented lifestyle I’ve chosen to live and who build me up, not tear me down like so many people have in the past.
I’d say it’s time to weed out the garden, so to speak, in terms of who matches up with what I want my life to be and who just drags me through the mud. Sorry, those of you who I’m speaking to have done it long enough, and I refuse to live my life that way and be such a blatant fool any longer. I’m finally truely happy with where and what I am in life, and man it feels good to be in that place for once, after being beat down and defeated so many times in the past.
I went to see Made Of Honor the other night. The plot of this movie is pretty simple.
Tom (Patrick Dempsey) and Hannah (Michelle Monaghan) became best friends in college. Almost ten years later, after becoming absolutely inseparable, the two part ways when Hannah goes to Scotland for a six week period.
While she’s gone, Tom realizes how much she means to him and wants to tell her when she gets home. However, he’s horrified to find out she’s met a man on her trip and plans on marrying him. She subsequently asks him to be her maid of honor in the wedding. The plot unfolds around Tom’s plans to convince Hannah he’s the more worthy man.
This was a lighthearted comedy that was filled with smart humor and a great storyline. The character development is somewhat stagnant, but this was overall a great film.
I went to the Lifehouse concert downtown at The National with my friends Monica, Sarah, and Katelin Monday night. Genius here forgot to charge his camera. I realized it was completely dead when I got there, but this is me we’re talking about. I’m not at all surprised. It’s a daily occurrence. Either way, I snapped a few decent pictures with the iPhone.
The concert was incredible. Matt Nathanson and Honey Honey opened up for them. Honey Honey was pretty good, but Matt Nathanson was awesome. I had only heard one song of his before the show (“Car Crash”) and expected him to be pretty low-key and rather acoustic. That was definitely not the case. He rocked out. I’m talking hardcore. Lifehouse was terrific of course. Even more so than I expected, though. Here’s a few very vibrant (they put on a pretty cool light show, too) pictures from the concert:
Me and Jen hung out after dinner at Monroe Park and played frisbee for a while. We had a squirrel friend, too. Nothing more to say, just a fun, chilled out Spring evening with my best friend. What could be better? Here’s a few pictures uploaded from the iPhone:
I’ve pretty much been up since 7:00 AM Friday and have been at the 27 hour Deep Run Marathon Dance up until now. That makes for a grand total of 40 hours awake, moreless. I don’t feel a thing… yet. I bet tomorrow it’ll hit me like a ton of bricks. I will post the opening and closing videos I made for the dance tomorrow once I figure out how to squish 3 GB files into a 100 MB maximum YouTube upload. Anyway, it was an incredible experience and I’ll write much, much more about it tomorrow!
Pastor Rick gave what I thought to be one of his most inspiring messages ever today. It was all about time management. He’s done some great messages in the past and is probably the most impacting and inspirational speaker I’ve ever heard, but today his message really hit home.
In the service today, Pastor Rick gave a lot of great advice and wisdom about how to manage your time:
Evaluate your time priorities. This can be done (as I’m going to do) by keeping track of how you spend your time over the course of two weeks.
Busyness does not equal productivity. I am always busy with something or another. The whole week it seems I’m never free. But I’m finding that a lot of the time I’m not doing much of anything of any real worth or significance.
Establish time systems. This could mean many things. One example Pastor Rick gave was his own schedule. Every day, he gets up early in the morning and spends time in solitude praying and having study/research time to plan his messages. He’s also at home every night at 6:00 PM for dinner with his family. These two recurring events are set in stone in his weekly schedule, and are obviously very important to him. I need to figure out which things are the most important for me to do, and plan everything else around them on a recurring basis like he has done. Having set things to do at set times and days also makes it easier to say no to people when they ask you to do something, and that’s a big thing for me. I find it hard to tell people no when they ask me to help with or commit to doing something.
Eliminate time wasters. As you’ll read below, I’ve already gotten rid of a lot of my time wasters, but this is something I really need to work on more. Pastor Rick spoke about how you should delegate what’s important and find new ways to use wasted time, such as reading or catching up on something that needs completing when you’re waiting (for example at a doctor’s office).
I have some of the worst skills when it comes to time management out of anyone I know. I always have really good intentions of getting lots done, being productive, and accomplishing everything I need to do. In fact, despite my lack of priority-based planning, I have one of the most immaculately-organized iCal calendars ever (that picture is a screenshot of how my iCal looks on a weekly basis). It’s broken up into sub-calendars, the main ones being home, school, and church. I have everything from my classes at VCU to my weekly breakfast with Tori and dinner with Jen. From the looks of it, you’d think I was one of the most organized people ever, right? Not so much.
So why doesn’t it all work out in the nice, structured way it seems to by looking at my iCal? There are a couple of reasons. First off, I don’t seem to be able to stick to what should be my top priorities. It’s sometimes out of stress, lack of will power, tiredness, or sheer laziness. Other times it’s because something fun comes up and I end up going out with friends. All I know is I need to increase the amount of time I spend doing some things, reduce others, and maybe even completely eliminate a few. Most things are fine in moderation, I just need to find the right balance.
Sometimes the time I allot to certain tasks ends up getting wasted because I’m multitasking while I should be focused on a singular goal. I also get distracted (and spend too much time on) my Mac and iPhone. The biggest distraction involving both devices? Facebook. Up until today, I had a ridiculous connection to Facebook. On my computer, there’s a desktop program that flashes a little box in the upper right hand corner of my screen notifying me when someone writes on my wall or does some other action on my profile, I get an email with the same information, and then a text on my phone. Sometimes the Facebook email also goes to my phone. Now before you send out the “whitecoats” to haul me off to the nut farm, please understand that some of these notifications were in place from the time I first registered my Facebook account (almost two years ago), for example the emails. I just added one thing at a time and now I’m at this ludicrous level. I’m happy to say that as of today, I’ve completely eliminated all of my Facebook notifications on both my Mac and iPhone, turned off incoming email to my phone, and turned off the new mail notification sound on my computer so I don’t automatically open my email client and read it as it comes in.
In summary, here’s what I plan on changing with my schedule starting this week:
Allot more time to studying, working productively at church, and exercising
Spend less time on the computer, doing less-than-productive things, eating out, and not necessarily hang out with friends every night
Come up with the best balance of school, work, volunteering, and fun
I’m excited about finally getting a handle on my life and make time for the things I need to do and be able to accomplish so much more.