A Response To Vincent Van Gogh's Drinking Toxic Yellow Paint

A Response To Vincent Van Gogh's Drinking Toxic Yellow Paint

There's a reason we hold onto these toxic things.
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Vincent Van Gogh was a famous artist who had colorful paintings as well as a colorful mind. This influential man struggled below the surface with depression. Most people probably know him as the artist cut his ear off and gave it to his girlfriend but there was so much more to him. One day, he had mentioned the idea of drinking bright yellow paint because he thought if it was bright and a color associated with happiness that he himself would be a happier human being. However, many are confused with this idea because paint is not something to be consumed — it is toxic and can even kill you, so why would someone even have the logic to intentionally allow toxic things into their bodies and their lives?

Why is this being mentioned now? Well, for me, this is the first time hearing about it I saw a little blurb about it on Twitter and I couldn't agree with the idea more, so I felt I had to dedicate more time to think about it and even expand and hope to share the idea with others. As ridiculous of an idea it is, I almost want to side with Van Gogh with this one. You see, the idea is actually crazy to ingest something so toxic that could kill you, but we need to focus on his thought process behind it. Van Gogh thought by adding something negative to his life that it may have some sort of positive aspect onto his life. For those of you who are still confused why someone might think of this, reflect on your own habits you do to make you happy.

Many things humans do today to make themselves happy are indeed toxic. people ingest things like drugs and alcohol routinely to get a buzz or a high to forget things or to relax or as something “to take the edge off.” But are they really taking your pain away? Some people like the taste, the burn of smoke on their throat or the thrill of taking a shot of alcohol and another and another. These things are being used as tools to help people forget momentarily about their troubled past or current conflict that they can’t own up to. These are real things that people are spending money on daily and abusing and cycling their life over and over experiencing the same pain and maybe even bring more toxins into their lives after the fact. That’s why there’s relapses and hangovers maybe they’re god’s little reminder that these things are indeed temporary and too much of a “good” thing will bring bad after tastes.

What about the toxic relationships people are in?

You can be so hooked on someone, you may think they’re the best person alive and that you might not be able to live without them, but what if they were really tearing you apart? It can be hard to admit someone you love is not the best person of course because you only see good in them, but what if this person wasn’t the best person for you. People can be toxic to you too. Some people are blinded by the attention they are receiving and think the good overlooks the bad in relationships but in reality, the bad really just is being forgotten and while it is, it is piling up. Why else do girls stay with their cheating boyfriends — because they love them and they are able to overlook the mistakes they have made. Why else do some people in relationships apologize for the other’s mistakes? Because they believe love is built on compromise.

What about the humiliating things we do every day to fit in?

High school is the perfect example of this. There are cliques all around us and the pressure is on to find the exact group in which we fit in with. In my opinion, there isn’t always an exact spot for everyone, there isn’t a standard set group for individuals who are completely different, unfortunately, that’s what high school is all about. We push ourselves to be like others and want to alter our own lives to fit in. This, too, is extremely toxic. It is so unhealthy to give up on our own dreams because of the fear of being judged and because these things may not “fit the norm.” We also do things what others are doing because without them we wouldn’t fit in, this could be things like drinking alcohol, gossiping, name calling, anything really that makes one uncomfortable and something they wouldn’t normally do without the help of peer pressure. So, why do people who have been humiliated by other continue to associate with these groups? Because it’s cool to fit in. Why do we conform to the norm? Because we are taught it is bad to be different.

You see all of these things are aspects of our lives that we may participate in daily and guess what? They are extremely toxic. If you read some of the questions and thought “yeah why?” to yourself or completely thought the questions were so silly did you think again when you read the answers? Or did you think how you would or how you do handle these situations in your own life? Now put this into perspective. Do you see why Van Gogh might have wanted to drink the yellow paint? Before you judge others for the toxic things they let into their lives, think of why they might be seen as not toxic to them.

Think — do you have any yellow paint in your life?

Cover Image Credit: Vincent Van Gogh

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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10 Quotes That Will Help You Realize Your Self-Worth

Sometimes you need a little pick me up and that's okay because I'm pretty sure it happens to everyone. When I need a pick me up, I tend to look over quotes that help with either giving me an ego boost or reminding me to keep working.

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These 10 quotes are from a notes page that I keep on my phone with a list of over 100 quotes. I keep quotes on my phone to give me reminders, advice, or even some motivation. I specifically chose these ten quotes to help anyone remind themselves to never give up and to know your self-worth, which is priceless.

1. "Hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself."

This quote reminds me to only focus on what I think about myself and to continue bettering myself. The part of the quote that states, "never excuse yourself" really illuminates how there is always room for improvement in every aspect of your life. Never allow yourself to fall behind and to continue growing.

2. "I am left with no choice, but to create an empire from these ruins within me."

Anyone I am depressed (or heartbroken...), this quote reminds me you can only come up from rock bottom.

3. "If you're happy in yourself, you radiate happiness and attract happiness."

Any time I'm feeling down, I like to read this quote because it helps me work to getter better. The quote pushes me to get better because everything is much better and warmer when you're happy. Emotions soak in more, laughs are genuine, and happy tears become a reality.

4. "You don't need to be better than anyone else, you just need to be better than you used to be." -Wayne W. Dyer

Dyer's quote forces me to continue improving myself. I know this is similar to the first quote, but it helps even more because it reminds me to never forget where I came from.

5. "Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens." -Louise L. Hay

When I am feeling down about myself, Hay's quote helps me get out of the funk because I will only continue to spiral if I only focus on the negative.

6. "I am the flower and the thorns. I don't need you to touch me in order to blossom." -Haley Hendrick

Hendrick's quote gives me the confidence to be a strong independent young woman. I do not need a pity party to feel better about myself. I can cope and continue growing because rain is the only way flowers bloom.

7. "Be nice to yourself. It's hard to be happy when someone is being mean to you all the time."

If you continue to criticize yourself and only focus on your "flaws," you will never be able to be happy. I know it is harsh but if you don't love yourself, you won't be able to ever fully love anyone. Being kind and allowing yourself to grow is the best self-care. Take a break from whatever you're busy with at the time if you need to. Take a breath and focus on the reasons you love yourself and what all you have accomplished.

8. "I wanna make my parents proud, my enemies jealous, and myself satisfies."

This quote points you in the direction of self-growth because it allows you to remember there are never excuses for yourself. Growing up is a part of life, so is adaptation and evolution. You have to go with the flow and keep up with the times.

9. "Your body is not a temple..."

"Your body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. Your body is a forest, thick canopies of maple trees and sweet wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. You will grow back, over and over, no matter how badly you are devastated."

Do not ever let anything keep your down, break through the ceiling if you have to. Keep pushing and working for whatever dreams you have.

10. "You don't have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life..."

"You don't ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life. It doesn't matter whether someone is s relative, romantic interest, employer, childhood friend, or a new acquaintance — you don't have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small. It's one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change. But if a person disregards your feelings, ignored your boundaries, and "continues" to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go." — Daniell Koepke

Sometimes, you had to leave behind people you thought would be in your life forever because they're holding you back. Sometimes they just always bring negativity and make you feel bad about yourself. Sometimes people make cool jokes and don't understand how it isn't funny. These people are toxic and it is okay to remove them from your life. Keep growing but always remember what could have happened if you stayed behind.

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