Driving Through Life

Driving Through Life

There will always be a delay, but the reward is worth it.
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Vroom. Vroom. Zipping through the winding roads, cruising past beautiful scenery, and listening to the heart of the car fills the very moments I spend in my vehicle. I have taken many road trips with friends, with my boyfriend, and alone. Living three and half hours away from home, I have made the drive back and forth plenty of times. I pack my car the night before, and as soon as class lets out I hop in my car with my phone prepared with jams for the ride. I stick the key in the ignition and then I turn it to the right. The car starts, I pull out, and then I am off on my journey. Every car ride is a new adventure. Sometimes there are detours or traffic jams that vary from ride to ride. I can look up the map to see what might be ahead, but in driving you really have no clue of what might happen until it happens. That is so real in my own life.

The fear of the future is a very true thing to me. I absolutely hate not having everything mapped out, or being able to plan things ahead of time. With recent circumstances this has been something I have had to face time and time again, and I just cannot seem to figure it out. In driving I just dive right in, and I take it a mile at a time. I need to do the same with my life. I can only take it one day at a time. I need to attack the problems that arise head on, and approach any detours as they come. When driving, I have to strategically get through on going traffic to get to my destination. I have to circumnavigate around different vehicles and road blocks. In life, it is crucial for my well-being for me to go around all of the things that are trying to slow me down or distract me from getting to where I want to be.

When my boyfriend was granted leave before his deployment, he had asked me to come pick him up. Preparing for the trip, I packed food and clothes. I looked up any potential road problems. I changed my oil and checked my tires. I packed a tool kit and had emergency cash. I had enough music for a day’s worth of driving. I did everything in my power to be prepared for the worst. As I was driving the eleven-hour trip, I ran across a huge traffic jam that delayed me an hour. The drive to him was incredibly wavy on the mountains, and it was not what I was used to. However, I got to see some beautiful scenes I would not have seen if I did not take that route. I could not accelerate on the turn as much as I am use to, that delayed my time. Somehow on the trip, I ended up in a small town where the speed limit was 20 MPH versus being on the highway at 55 MPH. This delayed me. I felt frustration because I had gained more time than I could ever imagine. Lastly, I took a wrong turn and missed the NEX where I was supposed to meet my boyfriend. This delayed me fifth teen minutes. Why did I get so delayed when I had planned the whole thing out? Simply because in driving you have no clue what is going to happen just like in life. I eventually made it to my destination, and that was the most rewarding part of the entire drive. Of course it could have gone differently, and that is the funny thing about road trips.

Cross bridges when they come and do not fret if life takes you on a different journey than expected.

Cover Image Credit: Adrianna Roberts

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Minimalism Addresses Our Culture Of Consumption

Decluttering your life and consuming less allows you to live in the moment.

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Most of us, at some point in our lives, have become trapped by our culture of consumption. It's a disgusting display of wealth and social status that social divides us. This social divide does a great job at inhibiting our potential at building objective, meaningful relationships. Material possessions become our identity and we begin to lose a true sense of who we really are. It's entirely possible for us to exist as content, beautiful human beings without participating in the culture of consumption we have been duped into believing in.

The problem with our culture of consumption is that it has become a key aspect of every activity. We give too much value to "things," focusing less on their contribution to our overall wellbeing, passions, or happiness. We may experience temporary contentment or pleasure, but it seldom lasts forever. Minimalism eliminates the "things" from our routine, allowing us to find contentment from the simple things in life.

Minimalism is not an expensive hobby one takes up on the quest for self-discovering and happiness. There is this huge misconception that being a minimalist requires a fat wallet and that your life is now restricted by rules and limitations. This simply is not true. This misconception comes from the elitist culture which has emerged through social media outlets. This distorted perception has blurred the individualistic nature of minimalism. A lifestyle often associated as a fad is actually a lifestyle that de-clutters your physical and mental state.

Minimalists are people who…

  • Make intentional decisions; that add value to their lives.
  • Focus on personal growth and the quality of their relationships.
  • Live in the moment.
  • Discover personal potential by eliminating obstacles standing in our way.
  • Consume less and intentionally.
  • Gift experiences rather than material possessions.

There isn't anything necessarily wrong with owning material possessions. If you find importance in an object that genuinely makes you happy then, great! Minimalism doesn't have to look like white walls behind aesthetically placed black furniture. This concept focuses on the internal value system we all forget we control. Start small; declutter your thoughts. We easily get stuck in our routines that we forget to look slow down and just breathe. Living in the moment is by far the most valuable aspect of minimalism because it allows us to feel and experience every minute of our existence.

If you're someone who enjoys nature, there's more value to be found in the adventures we seek out and create than those created for us. Discover birds you've never seen before, wander down trials in your neighborhood, or uncover beaches no one else knows about. You'll find more value in the creation of your own adventure because those experiences are completely your own.

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