4 Ways To Learn About You And The World Around You

4 Ways To Learn About You And The World Around You

Tips From Experience
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This summer for me is all about figuring out who I am and what it is that I want for myself in life. If I put that into deeper perspective, I realize that it's going to take longer than one summer to figure these things for myself. For all I know it could take from a few years to a full lifetime to figure out who I am. But, I do have some suggestions for people who want get started like I have.

1. Go to the Movies by yourself

Everybody says that going to the movies by yourself is a bad thing or it just looks depressing. But why is that? It's not like you're TALKING during the movie, you're simply watching a movie on the big screen as opposed to watching it Netflix on your laptop. It's a nice experience because you're taking the risk of spending money on a movie that you may or may not like. You get to chose you're own movie and don't have to compromise for the sake of the group and you can stay to the end of the credits if you're that type of person. But go to the movies by yourself. Enjoy the movie by yourself and savor the movie knowing that only you saw it.

2. Go to a restaurant by yourself

I've seen several articles online talking about this and this is genuinely a really good thing to do. You learn, just as Marilyn said, to enjoy your own company. While you wait for food, instead of being on your phone, read a book, draw something, or possibly write. And when your food comes, just enjoy eating your food. No talking, no texting, just eating. And don't worry about what others thing of you, if they aren't paying for your food then that don't matter. The wait staff will have immense respect for you as you will for yourself.

3. Get a little lost

Whether your walking around the city or riding the bus, it's okay to get a little lost and confused while trying to figure out where you're going. One night when I was coming home, I got on the wrong bus and I ended up riding it all the way to the end of the line and then waited for it start the ride over to take me home. It took my about an hour and a half longer to get home, but I saw some parts of Houston I didn't even knew existed. Actually by getting lost in Houston I'm learning how big it actually is. But by getting a little lost, or very lost like I get most of the time, it forces you to come up with a strategy on how to get where you're going. And plus by learning all the different ways to get to a destination, you become more familiar with where you're at. And I believe that you can apply that to yourself. If you ever feel lost or down, you'll have to figure out how to pull yourself out and by doing so, you'll learn about yourself.

4. Have conversations with strangers and never know their name

Yup that's right. Have a conversation, but don't introduce yourself. DON'T DO IT. Some people are in your life for a season and maybe that season is only 20 minutes long. What I like about these types of conversations is that it reminds you that there are other people in the world who are living life and you just don't know who they are. It's different when you see people in a public place, they're just people. But when you talk to a person you don't know and keep it as a two strangers having a conversation, their life becomes real and they become a person. They just become the person you had a conversation with. And you'd be surprised how often these conversations can happen and where they can happen. Just be open to them.

And those are my suggestions! These are the things that I've been doing for the past couple of weeks and I feel like a different person. I feel free-er. I feel more connected with the world around me as I learn about myself and the world itself. And I believe by passing on this knowledge, all of us can grow as individuals.

Cover Image Credit: Collective-Evolution

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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Doing Nothing All Summer Is Okay Too

It's okay to have no plans this summer.

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Summer seems to roll around faster and faster every year and the question that's always asked is"what are you doing this summer?" Some people love to answer this question, maybe they have a trip planned to backpack across Europe or have a 2-week vacation in the Bahamas. My point is, everyone seems to have these big summer plans. Some people spend the whole summer traveling and are never even home, but there are always gonna be some people who, like me, have absolutely no plans this summer.

Do I wish I was traveling across Europe or spending a few weeks in the Bahamas? Sure. But in reality, my summer plans include working 5 or 6 days a week. I'm not ashamed of this and I wouldn't say I'm jealous of those traveling because I'm still determined to make the best of my summer.

There is so much pressure everywhere on Instagram and Snapchat to post all the fun things you're doing and to capture the moment. This creates the pressure that you always have to be doing something fun or spontaneous.

Summer should be whatever you want it to be. If you want to spend every day at the beach, do it. If you want to spend every day in bed or at home, that's good too. We all have different definitions of fun.

Summer has just started and everyone should make the most of their summer in their own way. My friends and I always make a bucket list of all the things we want to do by the end of the summer. None of it involves traveling or much planning, it's just little things we can do when we get bored.

Don't feel jealous when you see other people traveling this summer. Make your own fun plans, make a bucket list, and make the most of every day this summer.

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