What Brings You Joy?

What Brings You Joy?

Do what makes you happy.
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As humans, we have things that bring us pure joy; things that leave us feeling good and happy. For me, it's babies, Jesus, the High School Musical trilogy, and chips & queso. Put any of those things in front of me and I'll be set for at least a few hours, if not more. I'm not quite sure how to describe it or how they came to be, but these are some of my favorite things and I'm proud of them because they help to make who I am. There are also some complex things that aren't necessarily tangible that fill us with joy, too, such as sports, music, prayer, and many others. But first, some of those things must motivate us, drive us, inspire us, and eventually, in the end bring us true joy.

Recently, I had a conversation with someone that didn't sit well with me. They were verbally discussing with me the flaws of something that brings me joy. I didn't really know what to say at the time, but I knew that I didn't agree with what they were saying. It hurt pretty bad. A lot of my time has been dedicated to this specific thing and to listen to someone ridicule it made me extremely sad. This was the first time something like this had happened to me, and I didn't know what to do or how to respond.

But later that day, I realized that I shouldn't let it bother me. Why should it matter if someone else doesn't agree with what I believe in or what I do in my free time? I don't like Halloween, but that doesn't mean people who love Halloween should be offended by me not liking Halloween. Therefore, if someone shares their different opinion with me about something I love, I shouldn't be offended by it. Being offended won't get me anywhere or allow me to gain anything. I'm not entitled to be offended, as Brant Hansen says throughout his book, Unoffendable (I recommend reading it). I'm not going to dive into the arguments of this book, except for the fact that we're not entitled to any anger; "righteous anger" is a flawed term. It's not true. I shouldn't be offended by anything, let alone something so tiny.

In the end, I remembered this quote that I heard 100 times growing up:

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

The moral of this quote and what I'm getting at is to be who you are to do what makes you happy. If you love playing the violin, cool. If you love being the manager of the basketball team, awesome. If if you love skipping, fantastic! Keep skipping if that's what makes you happy. Find something that makes you happy and don't be embarrassed by it. Flaunt it.

Cover Image Credit: Guillaume Poulin

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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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You're Doing Yourself An Injustice If You Don't Watch This Show

Designated Survivor is a must watch.

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The Netflix show that was released in 2016 and deserves to be added to the queue of every American is Designated Survivor. In my opinion, this show has not gotten the attention that it deserves. The plot line of this Madam Secretary esque show is the aftermath of the attack on the State of the Union address in which every cabinet member is present, except for one: the designated survivor. In the event of a fatal attack, the designated survivor would be sworn into office as the acting president of the U.S. Therefore, this is a fairly important concept to grasp. The show does a great job of merging accurate information that may not be commonly held among the American people with drama that we love to see on screen.

Designated Survivor currently has three seasons on Netflix, all following the journey of Tom Kirkman, former Secretary of Urban Development. It sheds light on important issues and past events in American history and politics from an unbiased perspective, which is hard to come by in these politically charged current times. The presentation of facts in a subtle and unbiased way keeps viewers engaged and informed.

The newest season is particularly remarkable due to its inclusion of live footage from American people talking about REAL problems. Each episode, the White House is faced with addressing a new problem that is currently facing society and they use footage from real people to inform their decisions. The White House of the show, depicts and encourages a bipartisan approach to politics as both sides of the issue are addressed and reasonable compromises are reached.

Not only does this show entertain, but it also informs and sets an example of what politics could be like if we took a more bipartisan approach. I think this show is important for everyone to watch because it presents new perspectives without being overbearing and it has plenty of funny moments, romance, and drama!

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