If You Stand For Nothing…

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If you stand for nothing, what will you fall for?

Football was quite interesting today.

On Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the sport of Football reigns supreme. Whether it is college, high school, or professional, people are glued to their television screens to watch their favorite teams win whatever game they are playing. Normally, the only thing you have to worry about as a football team is whether or not they win or lose the game they are playing today, You worry for the offensive and defensive lines of your favorite teams, and that is the only thing that stresses you out on a normal Sunday afternoon and evening. Unfortunately, given a certain political figure’s social media posts, the focus and purpose of today’s athletic events changed.

Today, football got political.

In the past forty-eight hours, Donald Trump has tweeted his opinions regarding a quarterback’s refusal to stand during the United State’s National Anthem that plays prior. I won’t get into my own opinions regarding his stance on their stance during the national anthem and whether I agree with their refusal to stand during the national anthem, but I am impressed by the protest nonetheless.

The response from the football community has been overwhelming.

At the start of every single American football game across the country today, players of various race, creeds, and beliefs stood together in protest. The Pittsburgh Steelers and other teams remained in the locker room  in solidarity for the political climate of the country. Other members of various teams kneeled instead of normally standing, while others locked arms with their teammates to show support for the injustices that seem so common in this country. No angry words were spoken, and no violence was performed. People just acted in silent, peaceful protest.

It was heartwarming.

This world is an absolute mess nowadays. Everyone is angry at the angry world around us.  Today, protest against the world’s ills was made, and it was made correctly for once because no one got violent.

I get so sad with the way the world is sometimes.

The statement made by so many professional football players today gave me so much hope.

At the start of each professional NFL football game, as the national anthem of the united states played or was sung, most players either linked arms with their fellow players or took a knee.

No violence, no words.

I was moved by how impactful such a quiet act of defiance was.

It was my kind of protest.

Violent acts and hateful words, no matter what side of the argument you may find yourself on, are so easy to find these days, As an anti-political party citizen of the United States of America, I try to see both sides, and I hate how angry the world has become.

Today, the NFL gave me hope.

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Can I Age Down Twenty Years?

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This year I will be twenty-eight years old.

Dear God, I am almost thirty years old.

I am almost a real adult.

Remember when we were all little? We would sit up in our bedrooms or in the classrooms and dream about when we would become adults of the world.  We would speculate regarding our future occupations, like becoming doctors or rock stars. We dreamt about living on our own apart from our parents. We wondered about the loves we would experience in our future.

We wanted nothing more than to grow old.

When you are eight years old, the world seems like this big scary place of possibilities.  There is so much to do and experience in the future, and you have all of the time in the world to do it in. Then, you live life for a while. Suddenly, you are eighteen years old and technically an adult. Still, you are a child in the world of adults and still see the world as full of untapped potential. You are likely starting a career or college, and you think that the world is yours for the taking. You cannot wait to get a little older.

Ten years later, you want nothing more than to be that young eight year old with the world of opportunity ahead of them.

It is a little sad how young we start asking kids about the future. What do you want to be when you grow up, little five year old? Sure, it is fun to dream about the future every now and again, but what about enjoying being young? Can we let kids just play with crayons and dolls before they start to think about joining the ranks of the companies that make those items? Let them be happy and young so they do not grow up to be old and bitter.

I would give anything to be eight again.

Life seemed so much more than it does now. When I was eight, I was an outgoing drama queen who wore her heart on her sleeve. I wanted to be a famous singer. The only things that caught my attention and focus were Barbies and Sailor Moon.  All I had to worry about was completing my homework and cleaning my room. There weren’t bills, car payments, or job interviews to worry about. You just had to worry about kid stuff.

I miss being young.

Outgrowing Our Dreams

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What do you do when the things your dream of remain mental fantasies inside your head?

It cannot be said enough; want to make God/or whatever higher power you may believe in laugh? Tell ’em you have a plan.

I really do not want to get into detail because the wound is a little too fresh that I do not think I would be able to accurately tell the tale without getting a bit emotional, but I had a plan fall through today. I knew this plan was not exactly a guarantee, and I was proud I even made an attempt at this plan. Plus, nothing was really lost by trying to follow this little dream. Still, there is such a feeling of failure that I am experiencing right now. Seeing this opportunity filled me with so much hope that maybe my dreams were actually within range of my reach.

Basically, I hoped and dreamed, but it did not work out unfortunately.

It is hard to be a dreamer in this world. I am not always the happiest of people, so I often retreat into the world of my dreams where I can craft the world as I see fit. Occasionally, I will see some of the details of this mental fantasy world bleed into my waking world. This gives me hope that I will enjoy the joy I feel in my dreams. I can find the success I grave, fall in love with my dream guy, and just live the life I have always wanted. Unfortunately, I do not have the control I possess in my dreams in the waking world, and sometimes my dreams and plans do not work out.

So what do I do when my dreams turn out to be just dreams?

I cry. Even if the plan is a long shot, I still hold out hope that it will work out somehow in the end. I get upset, feel like a failure, take a hot bath, crawl into bed, and wake up feeling lousy. Then, I get out of bed. After that, each day gets easier. I see the dream I dreamed crack and break away. Once the dust settles, I try to keep myself afloat until another dream decides to venture out of the confines of my brain and into the waking world I live in.

I outgrow my dreams, then I dream new ones.

Roads Look Bad; Time to Work Out!

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We’ve had two whole days of snowy conditions, and the roads are barely clear enough to see the lines on the road.

Time to go to the gym for a workout.

For the past two days, I have not set foot in my car. The roads to get to work and to the gym have been so snow covered and slick that I have had to be driven to work by my father who has a better car for snowy conditions and have made attempts to work out at home. Finally, the sky stopped dumping all of the white stuff onto the roads and surrounding environment. The town I live in finally remembered what a plow was and began to clear up the roads so the schools and businesses would not have to be closed for another day. Feeling a little brave, I decided to resume my normal workout routine of thirty minutes of cardio a night and drove to the gym, assuming no one else would be there due to the snowy conditions. Well, I apparently underestimated the reverence towards physical fitness that my fellow residents posses.

The gym was packed.

As a I drove up to the shopping complex where the gym I work out in was located, I had to do a double take to be sure I was seeing what I was seeing. The complex’s parking lot was completely empty and snow covered except in front of the gym where the parking lot was covered in cars, not snow.  I was barely able to find a spot. As I walked in, the majority of the gym equipment was taken. People were lifting, running, talking, and just having their normal workout time at the gym, regardless of the conditions of the outside world.

You cannot stop just because of a little snow.

Living in the northern half of the world, you learn this lesson quickly. Whether you have to walk to the bus for school or drive a few miles to work, your life will still have to go on. Sure, the snowy conditions may hinder the speed of your progress, but you cannot let them stop your progression. If it snows, they may cancel school, but that will eventually melt to a delay, and then you are back going to school normal time.  Work may not even cancel at all. You just eventually learn to deal with the snow.

Good lesson to life by.

The world should not stop just because it seems bad outside or it got a little harder to progress as quickly as you would want it to. Snow, if you live in the north, happens. You will have to eventually go to school and work in it.

Snow happens.

Unplowed Roads

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I could have driven to work on this snowy Tuesday in January, but I did not start my car.

Instead, like a middle school kid, I got a ride from my dad.

As we got closer to the building, I noticed that the roads were just wet instead of snow covered and icy. Sure, the sides of the roads showed the evidence of the various storms that have blanketed the east coast, but the roads themselves were fine for my little Honda Civic to drive on. Yes, the roads near my office building were clear enough to drive, and I could have easily driven them without any real issue.

That is, I could have driven them had I been able to get to them.

I live really close to the school district in my hometown, and the local college is literally behind my backyard. One would assume that the roads to safely allow buses and cars to drive to the buildings where they will earn or give another an education would be priories for clearing. These are roads that should only see evidence of snow on the grassy lawns around them.

I could have driven to work, but I would have had to pick up my car and carry it about five or six miles to get to where the roads were actually clear.

They never plow the roads well near my house. It is always a sloppy, slushy mess whenever the winter weather decides to pay us a visit. I live near the mountains so we always have a fair amount of the fluffy white stuff during snow storms, and I live in there northeast. Preparing and clearing snow should be skills that leave our roads fairly clear, but they always seem to be sloppy and slushy.

How do we drive when the roads are unplowed?

Good metaphor for life, I suppose. We want the roads to be free and clear; it’s easier to drive when they are. When we can see the lines on the pavement and the road ahead, life seems a bit easier. However, life’s storms happen. Sometimes, it rains so hard that visibility is horrifically bad and the roads flood. Sometimes, the snow and ice cause our cars to slip and slide back and forth . Sometimes, the sun shines so brightly that we cannot see the road ahead.

Still, we drive.

School Closes

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So I just had one of those moments where I felt like too much of an adult.

You know the moments. When you are in your twenties, it can some feel like you are in some sort of age grey area. Some of your peers have gotten married and have had multiple kids already while others are still working a part time job and living with their parents. If you are the second type of person, it can often feel like you have not really grown up since you were a teenager.

Then, something like a school closing for a local school district pops up on the radio or on television.

When you live in an area where the air hurts your face and white fluffy stuff falls from the sky during the months of late October to early April, school closings are just a regular thing. During the nineties and early 2000s when I was going to school in northeastern PA, snowy days were so common that the schools would only send the kids home or keep the kids from coming in when there was about six inches or more on the ground. As I got a little older, schools would occasionally delay for frigid temperatures that were below freezing, and that was really due to getting the buses to start. Nowadays, the snow has not even fallen, and they are cancelling school. I do not understand it. School would normally only cancel for damn near blizzard conditions when I was younger.

This is the millennial equivalent of “when I was your age…”

I am twenty-seven years old. I am still under the age of thirty. I should not be having these kind of moments.

I wish we could have snow days as adults with full-time jobs. It is not any safer for employees to drive to work than it is for parents and bus drivers to drive kids to school.  I hate driving in the snow as it is. Unfortunately, the rest of the world is not experiencing snowy conditions, so I do not get the luxury of a nice snow day off from work. I work for an insurance carrier that handles polices for companies across the country so we have to be at work to service their policies and other issues.  I understand why I have to go to work, and that makes me feel old.

I feel really old.

Looking Ahead

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Here we are, my friends, at the start of yet another week in the new year.

Anyone out there excited about what the next seven days will bring?

Today was an average weekend day, I woke up late and remained snuggled in my bed under my multiple layers of blankets for a good hour before actually leaving my comfortable resting place. I sipped on a soda and nibbled on a bowl of chips as my breakfast before I made a week attempt to get some cleaning done around my house as well as some laundry. Then, I went out shopping and gathered more random items that I do not need in my house or in my bedroom. After that, the rest of my day was spent doing laundry, sorting out clothes I no longer wear to donate, and working out. I realize this series of mundane tasks is telling of something.

It’s going to be a boring week.

Do not get me wrong; I enjoy my job, and it is likely that something in our daily processes will come up that will offer an exciting objective that I and my team will need to overcome. My prediction for this boring week stems from the idea of spending eight or so hours a day for five days in a row in front of my computer with only a half-hour break in the day. I cannot predict the details, but I know the overall structure of my professional narrative for the week. The only new thing that will arise for me this week is an eye doctor appointment after work on Thursday.

I do not have a lot to look forward to this week.

Sometimes, life can be hard to get through when there is nothing you have to work towards or look forward to in your day to day existence. Even if it is something negative that you need to overcome, you have something that can motivate you in your life. It is the grey area when nothing is up or down when everything starts to feel static and boring.

So what do we do?

For me, it can be a few things. If I have the monetary means to do so, I will buy a little something online so I have a package to wait for at home. At work, I venture outside to grab a yummy lunch.

It gives me something to look forward to.

Retail Therapy

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It has been a long week.

It has been a long, long week, but it is finally Saturday.

Today, I had no obligation to wake up early, get dressed in office approbate clothes, paint up my face with makeup that made me look somewhat human and presentable, and drive off into the cold winter weather of Pennsylvania to spend eight hours sitting at a desk doing various office tasks. Saturday was a day that allowed me the freedom to do whatever my mood felt up to doing. It was supposed to be a relaxing and productive day for me to do whatever I wanted to do.

Still, the weight of the world and the long week prior rested heavily on my shoulders.

Once I get into my car at four-thirty in the afternoon on a Friday, I should leave any of the stresses in the office building. For the next two days, I do not have to think about work. I do any overtime I need to pull during the week so I am able to leave all of the stresses of the week on my computer and at my desk at work. Unfortunately, I am most definitely not able to forget anything negative about my work week or any obligations that will eventually need to be completed.

It sits with me.

I am not someone who cannot forget a lot. Even when I try to take the weekend to relax and unwind, I will sit up at night and lament on the stresses of the day and the week ahead.

So I decided to do a little shopping.

Retail therapy is not the most healthy way to deal with the various stresses of the whatever you may be going through at the time. It is something I discovered makes me feel a little better when I was a sophomore in college.  Having a bad day? I treat myself to a new t-shirt. Sure it isn’t the most health in the world, but at least I feel a little better.

Weekend saved.