On the Borderline

On the Borderline

For me, neutrality is the best, but what if it's prohibiting me?
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Recently, I’ve been listening to Billy Joel’s song, “Vienna”. I highly enjoy it and feel like it encapsulates not only my life in high school and college, but also those all around me. One lyric stood out in particular:

“Slow down, you’re doing fine/You can’t be everything you want to be before your time, although it’s so romantic on the borderline tonight…”

It was a beautiful lyric in that it gave me images of what it would be like thinking about one’s life while strolling on a beautiful street in the snow. At the same time, it harkens to what I’ve been noticing in my life, through which I’m about to choose my major, to what I want to do in my future, and what I ultimately want to stand for in my life.

***

I pride myself in objectivity, or at least on what is as close as objectivity as I can. I want to listen to other perspectives and leave them as good ideas, rather than imprinting my judgement on everyone. I read a lot of books and articles and so I think I’m able to accurately judge everything. And therefore, I stood onto my neutrality.

However, I remember multiple times in which somebody pushed me to take a stand or support a sports club all throughout high school. There was even one time in which I had to translate a quote from Herodotus’ The Histories and say if I agreed with it or not. I said I agreed with it, in which somebody should go out and suffer pain instead of hiding out because somebody should go out and do what they’re passionate about.

On the one hand, I’ve decided in my mind what I stood for politically, and what field I was going to study for the rest of my life. So I have took a risk in what I wanted, and in many things that were more trivial, but were also prominent in developing who I was, such as my decision to learn Chinese and Fencing.

On the other hand, I had a hard time affirming my beliefs and defending them. Especially considering how polarized people are on the internet, armed with information which might be just as biased as it is false, I’m worried I might be wrong. On the other hand, when it comes to my educational choices, I get questions about if it is profitable in today’s marketplace.

***

So I want to do something significant with my life, yes, but I want to be on the right side of history in the end. I admire those who courageously go out into battle, whether on literal killing fields, or on the streets to protest stolen rights, or to argue eloquently through speeches or essays.

As I look forward to the new year, I realize that I am scattered all around. I have options, yes, but I want to find something I believe in. And, clichéd as it seems, risk it all for it. But how?

Cover Image Credit: Chuck Anderson/NoPattern

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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