Love Vs. Lust

Love Vs. Lust

Because there is a difference.
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Last week I was on my way to NYC for an Odyssey convention and platform release when I befriend an older man on the bus named Joe. Believe it or not, it was my very first time in New York even though I was born and raised right in Atlantic City, only a couple of hours away. I was minimally nervous about going somewhere I had never been before, all by myself, while having to navigate through basically the busiest city in America, but was excited to take on the adventure as well. Joe, my newfound bus friend, helped me figure out where to go, how to get there, and the safest and cheapest routes possible…he was my hero of the day, but oh so much more than I even realized at the time.

New York was amazing and I had an extraordinary time seeing new places, meeting new people, and eating some of the best food I've ever had to this day. I made it through the city on my own with little complications and when the day was over I was ready to get back to my bed and pass out immediately. While sitting on the bus for the trip back to Atlantic City, coincidentally, Joe sat down right next to me and was beyond anxious to hear about my day. I told him everything and heard his day as well and, before I even knew it, we were basically exchanging life stories with each other. I discovered that Joe was 67 years old and had four kids and a wife he loved dearly and was married to for 36 years. He was retired and used to move around America working for an environmental firm that he was extremely passionate about. Joe was full of all sorts of life advice that he was willing and eager to share with me like to live it up in college and to never bet too much money gambling. The one piece of advice that stuck with me though, was about his life long love and marriage.

I am a 21-year-old girl in college and, trust me, I have my fair share of fun, but I can't help but to think about my future, especially future relationships that will come about, alter, or go away with time. Joe told me that the most important attributes any successful relationship can have is communication, honesty, and, to my surprise, friendship. Obviously we have all heard that prosperous relationships require honesty and communication, but when he mentioned friendship I asked him to explain what he meant:

“Imagine being with someone for the rest of your life who compliments everything you have to offer…. who you can be your complete and total self around every day, all day, day after day without the fear of them not loving you anymore. Being with someone who makes you smile and fills your day with laughter. Clearly there will be bad days and there will be days where you slightly want to murder them, but that’s what makes a relationship grow. When you marry your best friend you aren’t ‘making a commitment to them,’ you are simply choosing to be with someone every day for the rest of your life that ultimately becomes a part of you. And the best part is that when they become a part of you, odds are it will be the best, and your most favorite, part of yourself.”

When he finished his explanation I was slapped in the face with an epiphany it took me 21 years to become conscious of. You can love a person, in fact, you can love a lot of people, but there is a distinct difference between loving someone and lusting someone; a difference that is so discrete that I think sometimes we forget that love and lust are not nearly the same thing. Of course the confusing part of it all is that, although different, they both have a lot in common too. In order to feel love or lust there needs to be a level of attraction and magnetism toward the other person. They both require levels of commitment and they both (usually) end in attachment. When I say the word “lust” I am not strictly referring to sexual desire or attraction- to lust is to crave and you can crave any and all different parts of a human. You can crave their presence in any way shape or form that it comes in. You can crave their thoughts and their mind and their words. You can crave their scent, their warmth, the sound of their voice, and the overwhelming exuberance they bring to you. Yes, to lust someone is gratifying, thrilling, and wonderful in whatever way it may happen, but to love someone is dangerously magnificent and beautifully everlasting.

Loving someone entails all the characteristics that lusting someone has, but offers so much more that I was unable to realize until a stranger on a bus made me open my eyes. First and foremost, love is a process that does not come quickly and grows with time…as people say: some of the best relationships come from years and years of friendship. Love requires a compassion and understanding that defeats all odds and overcomes all obstacles. A patience is necessary, but easily achieved when you do, in fact, love someone. A patience that remains calm and humble when all else is chaotic and is fierce and passionate when all else seems to go awry. Love enables the best parts of ourselves to be passed on to the other person, and in return we obtain their cherished qualities back into our being. Love diminishes wrongs and flaws to allow for unknown and different perspectives to be seen, felt, and understood…something lusting someone usually fails to do.

All in all, do not rush love. Be in the moment, take advantage of your lust, and in the end maybe it will turn into your lifelong journey with another person. If not, there is no wrong in that and there is no shame in that either. One day, maybe even tomorrow, you will stumble upon a person who makes you feel like no other and when that happens, fall in love with being in love.

Cover Image Credit: http://kickofjoy.com/falling-love-best-friend/

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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