The Tip Of The Iceberg

The Tip Of The Iceberg

Living to be more than the 10% people see.

People are like icebergs.

People are indeed like icebergs not just because a part of them is hidden but more so of just how much of them is hidden.

When you look at icebergs (or in my case at least pictures of them) you only see 10% because the ice has 90% of the water’s density. Beneath the surface, there's a buttload of ice chilling and undiscovered.

Think about how that applies to us, humans.

Let’s be upfront with the fact that not everyone shows their full 100% self to others. I know for a fact I don’t. I don’t show my full 100 because that means not only am I showing who I am during the times I feel the most pretty and strong but when I am feeling ugly and vulnerable.

I didn’t typically share those moments because that is not how I wanted to portray myself. I didn’t want people to see someone who is painfully shy and insecure. Even in college, I didn't want people to see a girl who sometimes wished she could just hop in the car and drive home when life got tough.

I didn't want people to see the girl I felt like I was.

At least before I started writing, I didn’t. Before I started writing and revealing different pieces of who I am, I wanted to be perfect. I still do. I want to be well-liked, to make little mistakes, and to feel flawless. The more I write the more I start to reveal myself and the less scared I am to do it in person.

I know I am not alone when it comes to displaying the very best side of myself. Come on, don’t we all? I mean look at social media posts like on Instagram.

The typical photo supposed to show off our best side whether that be a nice thing we did for someone or how hot we look on the beach. Either way like to show people that our lives are #GOALS worthy. We filter, we tweak, and we retake pictures to give off an air of perfection.

Personally, I know people from back home who felt like their freshman year was hard and it was a rough time for them. Until I asked, I would have never been able to tell.

Now, you don't have to post how miserable you are if life sucks at the moment. If anything maybe staying off social media could help unless you need to reach out to someone then do it to get help.

I can't help but think that seeing people live the "perfect" life does more damage than good to someone struggling. When I'm having a bad day I stay far away from social media because it only makes me feel like I'm doing things wrong thus worsening my day.

Part of what I am trying to get across is don't assume that just because someone's Instagram is aesthetic or their pics are bomb AF that they don't have struggles. That's not really fair to them because you're assuming they don't have their own problems. And for the sake of being real, we all have our own things we carry with us. That's okay, it makes you human.

If you don't have a single care in the world then keep on keepin' on, girl.

The other point I want to get across is to make sure you're taking time to get to know those people around you. Whether it be a classmate, a sorority sister, or someone you volunteer with. Put in some work. I challenge you to engage in more self-disclosure and less selfie exposure.

Self-disclosure is when we open up to each other about ourselves, share information and slowly get to know each other for who we really are. Thus building relationships on a foundation of trust. We get relationships that can last because it's more than just a shallow "Hey, how are ya" in passing or likes and "yas queens" on photos.

When we engage in self-disclosure we begin to push the rest of our iceberg out of the water.

Cover Image Credit: Becca Steele

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A Different Kind Of Normal

Should you try to fit in if you're eccentric? What about the other way around?

Any of my friends who know me on an intimate personal level will understand that I have made choices in the past and attempted to comport myself in a manner that would suggest a normal personality and temperament. Not necessarily an attempt to be one of the beautiful people, but, I would exert an unreasonable amount of effort into conveying a person that can be singularized to a particular identity, whether that be goth, nerd, Southern (which absolutely no one took seriously), grungy, and, even preppy.

One day, I would make the decision to wear khaki pants, a button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and a pair of Sperry’s. Then, I’d suddenly want to wear brown cargo pants, converse with Harley Quinn and the Joker, a black shirt and a grungy-looking coat. One can’t forget my brief and comedic attempt at wearing a synthetic muscle shirt, tight jeans, black cowboy boots, and, shamelessly try-hard sunglasses. I refused to be who I am, which is a genuine eccentric. Even when I attempted to wear one of these costumes that I designed with the attempt at portraying a typical role, I’d still meet new people, and, once they somewhat knew me after hanging out a single time, they’d refer to me as “strange,” and, whether they use that term in a positive or disrespectful manner (more often than not, it was in a positive manner), it caused me to feel very insecure and uncomfortable.

The classic “cognitive dissonance” theory states that cognitive dissonance occurs when you realize, either by your own recognition of a actions and characteristics or other people’s reactions and judgments, that the self-image you’ve programmed yourself to be pleased with contradicts your personality, social role, character, or, even morals, and you suddenly feel uniquely uncomfortable.

I remember my uncle, a person that I share generally eccentric quirks with, would sometimes remark, “Strange boy,” when I would state or do something strange or uncharacteristic of a normal person with a familiar personality. I can remember my professor telling me that I’d love her class because all of the movies are weird like me. I remember classmates in high school who desperately wanted to fit in with a clique would dislike me because of my eccentric nature. And, I would see my peers try so desperately to be unique or strange by awkwardly conveying a fake nature just as I did. I would think to myself that I was well-aware of my own eccentric nature, and, I didn’t understand why a normal person would want to be that way.

Being eccentric is why I say the things I say, do the things I do, and think the things that I think. It’s why I’m walking through campus, look at my watch which doesn’t tell the date, and wonder whether it could be two days too fast since it doesn’t tell me the date. It’s why I express random colloquialisms or use strange wording that I’ve never heard anyone use as if they’re typical phrases, like, “That is immensely exciting” or, “This is a very abstruse conversation.” Or I’ll restructure obscure quotes and say things like, “Hey, if you’re the chaos, then I’m the dancing star!” Or, maybe, “I wouldn’t stare into that abyss for too long!” Of course, both of these examples are Nietzsche quotes, but, it’s the only ones I could recall.

Being eccentric is why I sometimes walk without swaying my arms, and, it’s why I like music like Marilyn Manson and PJ Harvey. It’s why I sometimes wear black button-up shirts with black jogging pants and a pair of converse for the sake of feeling comfortable and slick. It’s why I sometimes initiate conversations with people asking them about their favorite movies or school subjects, or, maybe just asking, “Do you like anime?” And, it’s why, in an informal conversation, if you ask me a simple question, I’ll go on a long tangent that may or may not arrive at a point that relates to what you just asked me.

Being an eccentric isn’t an attempt at being “special” or “precious.” There are eccentrics the whole world ‘round. The importance of recognizing that you’re a genuine eccentric is not only recognizing that you’re different from the majority of people but, also, that we’re all the same. After beginning the process of coming to terms with my eccentric nature, I found myself becoming friends with people from drastically different backgrounds. Conservative and liberal. Straight and gay. Preppy and alternative. Warm and cold. Religious and non-religious.

Once again quoting my uncle, everyone’s unique like everyone else. Many fit in with the typical crowd, and many don’t. There are those that fit in that don’t mind, and there are those that fit in and thrive on it, but, there are also those who naturally fit in but wish they could be different or unique. Then, there are those who don’t fit in. There are those that are fine with that, there are those that thrive on it, and there are those, like I have been in the past, that desperately want to fit in.

I’ll spare myself the cliche of saying, “Be yourself.” I think it’s fairly clear that someone like me encourages staunch individuality. But, all I’ll suggest is that the only people who are truly unique are the people who desperately try to be anyone that they aren’t. Reconciling my eccentric nature and accepting my awkward social role is how I make friends, meet new people, constantly evaluate my principles and concepts, and slowly make progress towards a fulfilling life.

I’m eccentric. Maybe, you’re normal, or, maybe you’re not. We’re all alternative. And, that’s an eccentric way of conveying that thought.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Why you should speak your mind when nobody's listening

If you’re reading this, I probably know your name.

We’ve probably met in person anywhere from a few to a thousand times, and I would consider you a friend. You’ll likely continue to read the rest of this article out of either curiosity or an uncomfortable sense of obligation.

And if not, you’re probably an Odyssey editor who’s checking this article over to make sure that I’m not corrupting the public with Satanist propaganda or posting 46 pages of biology notes online because I think it’s funny.

The reason I feel so comfortable making all these claims is because I think most people are pretty lazy, and it goes without saying that I am no exception.

That’s why I’m writing this article about something so abstract and vague, simply because it’s easy to ramble about. Anyway, my idea here is this: because the general public is lazy (allow me this assumption for the sake of discussion), a vast majority of possible viewers of this article, or any other one, can’t be bothered to read it. Why should they be? To them, I’m an irrelevant name attached to another Odyssey article, which are generally pretty annoying to scroll through on Facebook, so most people opt out of it altogether.

What the hell is the point then? Even if you are a total stranger who’s legitimately interested in my opinion on opinions, I’m apparently so convinced that you aren’t that I’ve already dedicated half the article to explaining why I think you aren’t. So why didn’t I delete this article halfway through and quit the Odyssey? I considered it, but the answer is because I like talking to myself. And I think you should too.

The worst possible quality a human being can have is a lack of conviction. Personally, I find it to be a colossal turn-off. If you don’t think and believe of your own accord, you truly have nothing. In the face of the most severe misfortune and tragedy, all that remains is what exists within our minds, which can never be taken away.

Our opinions drive the way we live: the way we act, speak, treat others, and are perceived by others is dictated by our views. Without them, is not an individual, but a drifting sack of water and blood that can be swept up in the turmoil of the outside world without resistance.

Thusly, the constant formation and presence of opinions in our thoughts is an essential part of being alive. One of the best ways to foster this development is writing.

Because you’re my friend, a well-meaning editor, or a stranger who’s heard me out for this long already, I know you’ll believe me when I say that I honestly had no earthly idea what this article was going to be about until I started writing it.

To be frank, I wasn’t entirely aware that I had such strong opinions about opinions until the moment I wrote this sentence.

We assume that we know the ins and outs of our brains without question. This idea makes sense, but I don’t believe it to be true whatsoever. Scouring through one’s own mind through the act of writing, forces deeper, substantive thought to occur. Addressing a hypothetical audience makes the author work to fully expound upon his own ideas. The rationale behind this process is that the reader has to be able to understand the author’s writing- but doing so allows the author to get an even clearer perception of their own thoughts.

This is not to say that we need to write in order to “really” access the cryptic, foggy clutter of the mind. However, articulating your own thoughts, be it through text, speech, or any other medium, is an excellent way to flesh out concepts in an effective and fairly easy way.

Because you’re my dear friend/editor/unlikely reader, I want to tell you this: I don’t care if you write, I just want you to think. Writing helps me think, but it doesn’t help everybody- nothing helps everybody do anything.

Read a book, listen to a song, take 82,000 micrograms of pure LSD (maybe not). Whatever gives you the fullest command over your own thoughts, do that. I’m of the opinion that you should want to do it.

Because if you don’t think for yourself, what makes you “yourself?” Award-winning author Flannery O’Connor once said, “I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say.” So if you think I’m a pretentious jerk, maybe you should write about it.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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