Never underestimate others’ past relationship experiences — The ones who you didn’t think would leave you, will. And the ones you did think would leave you… will.
Something I struggle with daily.
Reflecting on this past weekend in Seattle
This weekend I visited Seattle, WA for the primary purpose of a reptile expo, which was cool, but I had a lot of other neat experiences along the way.
First, the people I stayed with were very hospitable — I didn’t know them at all, but someone I know through my church hooked me up with a place to stay, which was just awesome! I love the people in my fellowship.
Saturday morning I went on a little bike ride through Clark’s Creek Park in Puyallup, WA (which actually was only a few blocks from the fairgrounds where the expo as at). However, the trails were a muddy mess resulting in me becoming a muddy mess. I don’t even mind getting muddy, but it was the wet roots, logs and rocks that made it difficult to get any traction, even with my aggressive tread. Also, that was the only opportunity I got to go riding, so I will definitely be visiting western Washington more to explore the many trails in the area.
After riding I hung out with a couple friends, who I actually barely knew, at the expo. This was actually one of the primary reasons of going to the expo. If they hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t have had too much reason to go by myself — I just don’t think I would have enjoyed it the same. They were boyfriend and girlfriend — the girl I worked with for a short time at the Omaha Zoo until she moved out to western Washington. I moved out to Idaho shortly after and it was at that time that we began planning the idea of going to an expo together. She was really only one of the two interns at the Omaha Zoo that I “clicked” with — everyone else was lame (e.g. not funny, didn’t get sarcasm, didn’t have much creativity or vision). Of course, I hadn’t met her boyfriend yet, and he sounded awesome, so I was looking forward to that.
At the expo we saw some truly awesome stuff. Note that this was my very first expo. Why I have never gone before? I have no idea. I guess I just never knew about them, nor pursued the idea of how to find one. There were hundreds of booths with breeders from near-beginning to quite experienced. Of course, I have my eye on two kinds of snakes: the Kenyan Sand Boa and Western Hognose. It was so tempting to get a sand boa — they were only $25, but so many of the guys that I live with hate snakes (stupid), so I decided to honor their request reluctantly.
Side note: to anyone who “hates snakes” hold a corn snake, just a little corn snake — you’ll fall in love.
Hopefully, I will have some pictures to post soon! I relied on someone else to take photos and will be getting them soon.
After the expo we went out and got some Chinese food and talked for hours — probably one of the best conversations I’ve had with people all year. We talked about everything from career goals to passions and interests to spirituality to well, just about everything… even some potentially touchy subjects. But that just goes to show that even if you don’t completely see eye to eye with people if you seek to truly understand their viewpoints and why they believe and feel the way they do, you gain an appreciation, thus improving the quality of both the relationship and the immediate conversation.
The trip there and back was actually pretty great too. I connected with a couple people through a rideshare group on Facebook and they helped out with gas. Before I left Sunday afternoon, I ventured up to downtown Seattle to pick up one of the passengers wanting to head back east. This was my first time driving through Seattle, and it was actually really awesome! I definitely want to spend more time there. There really wasn’t a dull moment for the whole trip, so that made it even better!
Overall, it was a great decision to spend this past weekend in a new place. I am looking forward to doing a lot more traveling in the near future.
My Trip To McCall, Idaho — Finally Posting Pictures
A few weeks ago I visited McCall to interview for a couple of jobs and one of my roommates came along to check out the area and do some mountain biking with me. I ended up loving it and getting both jobs, but unfortunately, I just don’t feel like the move is right at this time. That said, I’m most definitely staying in touch with the wildlife sanctuary down there for any future endeavors.
This is the first sight we saw coming into McCall — talk about beautiful.
However, if you continued to go south of McCall, you came across vast amounts of flat ranch land surrounded by mountains — that wasn’t really something I was expecting to see.
The sanctuary was about 7 miles out of McCall and we took this tree-and-rock-lined road the whole way. Surprisingly, it was mostly paved.
At times while driving down the road, there would be the occasional clearing, where you could look out and see for miles. You could tell that this is where the river had flooded and cleared out likely thousands of trees.
Once we arrived at the sanctuary, we saw some of the most beautiful scenery that I’ve ever seen. While crossing the bridge…
We looked to our right…
And then to our left…
Wow! I was already itching to travel upstream jumping from rock to rock — I couldn’t wait to do so… and eventually that’s what we did.
We found several schools of red Saki Salmon along the way.
Each jump from rock to rock was quite exhilarating actually — something I haven’t done in quite a long time.
There’s something magical about water rushing around rocks, isn’t there?
That ledge was actually kind of high up there.
How high? This high!
Then we found a pretty neat little cave on a sand embankment in the middle of the river.
I had the whole thing envisioned. If I were to move down there, I would definitely spend a night under this rock and build myself a little fire in the sand.
I then of course climbed inside.
But looking out into the canyon from the cave was even more amazing — I couldn’t help but wonder how incredible it would be to wake up from a great night’s rest and step out into the warm sun beating on the sand.
Again… water crashing through, around and over rocks is so magical.
But then again, the water in it’s simplest form is also very beautiful.
Then I found a gigantic rock in the middle of the river, and of course I had to get on it. Although, it didn’t seem quite possible at first… but I did figure out a way.
Looking back towards the bridge, we realized how far we had gone — see how small the bridge is? And isn’t that scene beautiful?
All three days while we were there, we did mountain biking. The first day we went to Bear Basin, which had tons of trails, many of which we never got to ride, although we got through quite a few.
The second day we explored some of Jug Ranch… and went waaayyyy too far out of the way, but we had fun and once we found the trails, there was a lot to ride. And the third day we returned to Bear Basin and explored some more trails for the most adventurous and fun ride yet!
The trails were awesome and we saw some incredible scenery.
I wish I could say that I climbed up this rock on my bike, but honestly, I’m far from being that good.
The landscape is just phenomenal here.
I really can’t wait to go back to visit McCall again. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to before the snow hits (they get a lot there), but it would be great if I could. I most certainly haven’t put it out of my mind about eventually moving down there, but at this time, I just don’t feel it’s the right move. That said, it’s got “Aaron” written all over it.
What do you do? Are you in school or working? If you’re in school, what do you hope to do with that education? Are you doing any career-related activities? And if you’re working, what do you for a career? Are you where you want to be? If not, where do you hope to go?
These are all questions you should know the answers to. Why? So you can have a plan? Not really — although, that should be the obvious. The real reason is so that when given an opportunity, you can quickly share who you are and what you’re about. Why is this important, you might ask? Well, we always hear “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Sounds nice, but how do you get to the point of meeting and getting to know people? Remember those questions? That’s how.
Reach Out And Engage
Whether you’re out in public, or on the Internet, there are opportunities to meet people. Personally, I always appreciate in-person conversations the most. Next, you need to take advantage of these opportunities. Now this depends on your personality — some find it easier than others to engage in conversations with strangers, but just try. I think you’ll be surprised — it might feel weird at first, or you might not get the results you want, but it will pay off.
Be Curious… Genuinely Curious
It’s not just about talking about yourself — ask questions… and lots of them. The more you genuinely care about others, the more you’ll appeal to and intrigue them. Emphasis on “genuinely” — don’t be fake about this. If you struggle with genuinely caring about others, well… that’s a whole different post.
So, what inspired this post?
Today I visited a coffee shop that I hadn’t been in before — I love checking out new places, and since it was just across the street from the bike shop I was picking up my bike from being repaired at, I decided to hang out there for a bit.
The owner was super friendly and asked me if I was going to school — I get this question nearly every time I meet someone new… and it’s not surprising given that there are two major universities in the area I live. I explain that I’m actually working as a freelance writer and do some computer repair and web design on the side. A guy behind me perked up and asked “Do you have a card?” Not hearing him (TIP: always be alert), I walked over to a table and set my stuff down. Thankfully, he was persistent and came over and asked me again. For sake of his privacy, we’ll name him “Craig”. I promptly gave him my card, which I highly recommend everyone having… yes, everyone. Need reasons? Read point number three of this article on College Info Geek. We talked for a bit — I mainly listened to what he does, and he said he’d email me later. Now, will he? I don’t know. “Craig” actually talked to another web designer at this same coffee shop, so he’s certainly keeping his options open.
That leads me to what happened next, I overheard a little bit of the conversation between “Craig” and another guy, who was also a web designer and writer. So after they parted ways, I introduced myself to this other guy, who I’ll name “Trevor” for his privacy (which was also what I actually thought he introduced himself as at first), and we struck up a great conversation. Turns out “Trevor” is around my age and is also an entrepreneur. Now, I could see him as competition — he talked to a potential client, and far longer than I had — but I don’t. In fact, it doesn’t really matter to me who “Craig” would go with, him, me, or someone else. What I do care about is that “Craig” works with who he jives with the best. So instead of being “competitive”, I’d rather build connections — that approach has proven much more useful for me time and time again.
Where do you go from here?
Be patient. Be consistent. And be focused. Keep your professional goals in mind. This applies to you whether you’re a student or if you just graduated and are trying to build your career, or potentially if you have even been in a specific line of work for a while — fresh connections are always beneficial.
I firmly believe that students especially should be actively connecting with people in their field of interest. Twitter is an awesome place for this, but so is meeting random people — you never know who they will know (which is what LinkedIn is built around, if you were wondering what the point of it is). Examples of this would be to find businesses or organizations to work at or even volunteer at while in school — don’t wait for graduation or your internship to come to start looking for opportunities — build them now. Even if you make less than you would working at that coffee shop down the street, it’s about experience right? And with that another thought on “experience” just came to me, but I’ll save that for another article to keep this one on topic.
So now the ball is in your hands — and I’d love to hear back from you on this! What are you doing now to kickstart your professional goals? If you’re not doing anything now, what do you plan to do?
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt awkward? Of course you have — we all have. What about feeling like you don’t belong? Perhaps not everyone has felt that… truly felt that. I’m not referring to “out of place”, such as a country boy in a big city. I’m referring to the situation of being socially inapt — the inability to communicate with your peers and others around you. But it’s not just about communicating with others, but how you’re treated by others. Why do people show little interest in getting to know you better? Or worse, why do you they make you feel dumb and inferior, especially in front of others?
There are various reasons why you might experience this. You could be going through a difficult situation or experience — often times this is just temporary (although it can have a lasting effect) and you’re just not “yourself”, no matter how much you try to be. Those who are close to you can see it and may offer help, and you may even be more “yourself” around them. But if you’re not around people who know you well, no one will likely pick up on your odd social insecurity — which… I feel we should have an eye out for, whether we know someone well or not, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
Another reason is you lack confidence in yourself — this is a big one. This one isn’t as temporary. This one can affect you your entire life, if you let it. But even if you try to not let it affect you… if you try to increase your confidence, why do you still feel on the “outside”? Why do you still have difficulty connecting with people? Why do you still feel like they’re not genuinely interested in you? Honestly, I don’t have the answers — these are still questions that I wonder myself.
You’re stuck in a rut and can’t get out — this one is similar to the confidence part, but I feel it’s one level worse. You find yourself saying stupid things… things that make people laugh at you, not with you. We all say dumb things from time to time, but somehow you’ve become “that guy” or “that girl” (although, I feel this happens to guys more — girls, correct me if I’m wrong on that) who is known for their stupid comments; who is “annoying” to be around; who follows people; who awkwardly eaves drops on a conversation and then blurts out something; who stands in a group of people, wanting to feel included, wanting to be a part of a conversation, but gets “unnoticeably” interrupted or cut off when you try to participate. The list could go on, but I’ll stop there — I think you get the picture.
So why do these things happen to people? Now, I want to clarify something here — I realize that this happens to a lot of kids in elementary, junior high, high school, and even college, all over. But I would like to take the focus off of that, and put it on people who should be more accountable (not that kids in school shouldn’t be, but that’s a less controlled environment). So what people (not just kids) am I referring to? People who should be a support — church groups, sports teams, extracurricular clubs, etc. You get the idea, right? Why do people in these settings still make some others feel like outsiders? I’ve experienced this for myself, and seen it happen to others. And when I see it happen to others, I can relate, but don’t know what to do. It’s not really “bullying”, so there’s no reason to stand up against someone. And often times, it’s just small comments that are made, or like I said earlier, just not made at all, that make people feel left out, ignored and embarrassed.
I’ll share an example — this past weekend I was at a gathering in Oregon. Now, I’m very new to the Pacific Northwest, so I don’t know as many people out in these parts. I went out there with some friends, but I really don’t even know them very well. While I was there, I wanted to get around and meet a lot of people, but much to my dismay, I had a very difficult time doing so. I’m a fairly outgoing person and can, most of the time, strike up and continue a conversation with someone who’s interested, but I failed in almost every attempt. There were actually times, when I would approach a group (even of just two people) and was never given the opportunity to introduce myself to them. So where do I fit in in the reasons above? Well, I most certainly think that my current emotional state of overcoming a bad breakup plays a roll, also, I’ve never had a lot of self-confidence — you combine the two and it becomes pretty easy to see how that could happen. But you’d think more people would want to meet you, right? What did I do that deterred so many people in being interested in talking to me and getting to know me? I’m not referring to the “Hey, what’s your name? Where are you from? What do you do?”, then end of conversation — I’m referring to people wanting to genuinely see who someone is, perhaps start a new relationship (non-dating). One thing I’m conscious about is not talking about myself so much, but rather asking the questions — in which if they give vague answers, the conversation quickly drops, or they get distracted and even start talking to someone else. This has nothing to do with where I was at, and everything to do with how people are these days — why?
But it gets worse — not for me, but for people I know or see this happen to. Over time, and even recently there have been some who’ve “confided” in me, asking me for social advice — they’re lack of confidence was extremely evident. It made me wonder what caused them to have such a doubt in themselves? And then there are the people who just seem all-out awkward in everything they say and do. Why? It could be due to a difficult home-life, a lack of experience with people in their age group, or other things.
I’d like to clarify something here — I’m not criticizing these personalities — If anything, I feel I’m partial to them. But here’s the big question. The question that I don’t know the answer to. And the one that applies to everything I’ve said so far in this post. And that is why do people not act kindly when they see this? When they see someone who’s socially awkward, why don’t they offer help? When they see someone walk up to their group, why don’t they take initiative to stop their (likely boring) conversation and greet them? Why don’t they find someone sitting or standing alone, and meet them, then introduce them to others? Why are people drawn away from these personalities instead of drawn towards them with compassion and care?
Like I said, I don’t have the answers. These are just things that I’ve noticed others go through, by reading people’s personalities, and have gone through some myself as well. Do you have any additional thoughts, input or experiences to share on this matter? Do you feel the same? Do you know someone, perhaps even yourself, who feels this way?
Where does this trail go? No clue — let’s find out!
If you are much of a mountain biker, trail runner or hiker, you can relate to the feeling when you come upon another trail. You’re curious, but uncertain. You’re up for a new experience, but like knowing where you’re going. You would, but you’re short on daylight. It’s a gamble — the trail could be a blast, or it could be a dud.
The past few times at the Headwaters Trail just outside of Moscow, I’ve faced this exact situation (of course, I’ve ran into it other times as well). The “main trail” is about a 5.5 mile loop, which consists of a lot of variety, equaling a lot of fun. However, each time I’ve gone I’ve crossed an intersecting trail going up further. And last time I rode the trail (the time I ran into the mamma moose and her two calves), I talked to a girl who told me about a whole other trail system up above there. If I hadn’t wanted to check it out before then, I certainly wanted to after! Ever since that day, I’ve been itching to explore those trails — so yesterday evening, my roommate, Brandon, and I did.
The Headwaters Trail up to this intersection was
mostly ALL climbing, so when we got to the crossing, we were hoping that although we have to climb up, that it wouldn’t be that much more climbing. Oh how we couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only was it still mostly climbing, but we were starting to get the feeling that it was clearly made to be ridden down — of course, most mountain trails are, but there were some parts of the trail that were impossible to ride up at all. Our hope was that we’d eventually find the “beginning” of this trail since we were clearly riding it backwards, so that next time we would know where to go and ride the trail down instead.
We saw the sun get lower and lower and it then occurred to us that we didn’t bring our lights — it was time to make a decision. We could turn around, but then this ride would be somewhat for not — we wouldn’t know how to get to this point, other than climbing up. Or we could keep going, because we could be close to the end… but then again, we could have a long way to go, and if we spend even 20 more minutes of climbing, that’s 20 less minutes of precious daylight that is very much needed through the thick parts of the woods. After debating back and forth, we finally decided to turn around.
The ride back was a blast for sure! Downhill most of the way and the “uphill” section wasn’t tough at all. There were definitely some things I wish I had gotten on video, just because of the awesome or comical aspect of them. Such as deciding to just cut off a section of trail and fly down a partly maintained one… one with two large trees fallen over it, but with logs and boulders next to them allowing you to jump over. Or when we went way too far on the trail, passing the main one, and had to hike back. There were a few jumps that were pretty awesome and an interesting ballsy decent down a very rocky and rooty hill that was a ton of fun. I didn’t really think about it at the time, but my roommate said I bombed down it — makes me wish I could have seen a video of it.
Oh. Did I say that I have a wobbly back tire and a slightly bent derailleur? Probably not the best… and it needs to get fixed, so that adds an extra spice of excitement… er… perhaps just fatigue.
The ride back went much quicker — it’s funny how going downhill is faster isn’t it? And we actually made it back in time before it got too dark. Overall, I’d say the ride was fun. It was a bit confusing and frustrating because we kept hoping to find the end, but next time I’d like to explore with more daylight to spare.
What’s the most interesting/awesome ride you’ve experienced?
You put everything in, and people think because it is easy for you that it doesn’t mean everything it does.
Then you get angry at yourself for making it too easy. Swear that next time will be different. Next time, you’ll be aloof. Next time, you’ll be patient.
Then someone new gets stuck in the back of your head. You see them when you close your eyes. Not because you’re obsessed, but because you don’t deprive yourself of the things that make you happy.
That happiness bleeds into everything and, suddenly, your resolutions for this next time make absolutely no bloody sense. Why would anyone ever try to hold that back?
Then, again, as always, you find out why.
I can relate to this, but it has also inspired another thought of mine:
I sometimes feel like I should change who I am (not self-improvement things, just personality things — I’m all for self-improvement). And when I try, I definitely notice I don’t feel happy. But then I often still feel like there are parts of my personality that I need to change.
For instance, being too outgoing. So I try to not be, but then I don’t feel myself, so I revert back to being “myself” and I feel like I’m annoying again. I can’t figure out if it’s just me or if that really is something I should work on. There are other things I wonder about too, but that’s probably the biggest one.
I’m curious, what are your thoughts on this? Have you had similar feelings? Do you have any insight?
"Be proud of who you are. Respect who you have been & be grateful for who you have yet to become.This journey is yours to learn from & grow through."
Due to my recent situation, I really feel like I need this. All too often I’m frustrated with where I’m at in life. Being more grateful is definitely something I need more of. Will it change immediately after this post? No. It’s something I’ve honestly striven for my whole life. But I hope I can make changes in the right direction soon.
I spent a night out in the Idaho wilderness with my bike, a deer and a slobery dog… OH and my roommate too.
Despite my love for technology, I love being outdoors — the more, the better. So last night, my friend/roommate, Brandon, and I drove out to Elk Creek Falls and camped there. To say the least, it was a blast and given the circumstances, went surprisingly smoothly.
We brought Brandon’s dog, Sophie, along too, who gave my car a nice cleaning on the inside.
We got off to a late start yesterday and arrived around 6:45-7 P.M. When we arrived at a very specific campsite that we hoped wasn’t going to be taken, there were two four wheelers parked there. They happened to be out picking Huckleberries (which are delicious), and before they left, we chatted a bit. They told us they had seen a couple black bears right in the area not long ago. Both Brandon and I looked at each other and said “Shoulda brought our guns.”
Behind our campsite, there was another area with several downed trees covered in moss that was a lot more secluded by the forest canopy. We thought about camping there, since it also had a fire pit, but we figured it’d be best to be more out in the “open” (even though in comparison to how most people camp, we were anything but in the open) and closer to our car in case we had any unwanted visitors.
After we talked to them, we still had enough time to get a little one-hour ride around some of the Elk Creek Falls Trails (which I have mapped out below) before it got dark.
The ride was awesome! You could get some serious speed downhill and although the jumps weren’t huge, you’d still get some decent air off them as well — it was enough for an amateur like me.
It took a little while to get completely dark, but once it did, it was pitch black. We could hardly see what was in front of us just a few feet away, and that was with a fire going. It didn’t help that I forgot my flashlight and headlamps, leaving our only other option to be our cell phones.
There’s a sense of accomplishment when you get a fire going and are able to keep it going, but also in control (which is crucial in a place like where we were). We sat around talking by the campfire and throwing a ball to Sophie, Brandon’s dog, then *CRACK*
I turned to Brandon, “Did you hear that?”
"Dude. Don’t mess with me."
"I’m not messing. I swear I hear something. Listen!"
It was still slightly light at the time, which was nice because all it was, was a deer. Had it been dark, it would have been a little bit more difficult to make out, thus making us even a little bit more on edge. The deer actually stuck around for a while, eventually walking the full parameter around our campsite, but keeping a safe distance in the trees. Not safe enough though — we could have easily shot it. It looked fairly young by its size and curiosity.
We honestly weren’t too hungry due to our nerves and awareness being pretty high already, so all we had for dinner was a can of refried beans (which I forgot a can opener for — DOH!) and chips.
Before we headed for bed in the security of our tent, we had to fix one slight breach — the tent door wouldn’t zip shut. We tried everything. Finally I thought of duct taping it shut once we were in, which worked quite well actually!
I’ll be honest, lying there in utter silence was kind of spooky. You heard every sound around you, but never really know what was making it. It could be a harmless animal, or it could be a cougar, wolf or bear. And we’ll never really know, but all I know is I laid there for quite a while, and when I finally fell asleep, I dreamed about being awake and hearing sounds, so I really have no idea what was real and what wasn’t. But I know for a fact there were at least two very loud sounds close to our camp. That kept me on alert for quite some time. At one point at night, I remember waking up at 2:30 and feeling like I had already slept all night. I was really just wanting morning to come as soon as possible so we could get going on our next adventure — another bike ride.
We finally got up and going around 7-ish, ate some peanut butter and honey sandwiches for breakfast and got onto the trails, which were only a few minutes bike ride away, at 8 A.M.
First we hit the Elk Creek Falls Trails again, but explored some off-shoots as well — one very unmaintained trail and one trail that was super rocky, technical and on the edge of a ridge.
…But the views were magnificent!
But we didn’t stop there. We went back to the trailhead and went the other way, which was marked as the trail towards the Elk Creek Reservoir.
This trail to the Elk Creek Reservoir was awesome. There weren’t any big jumps, but you could get going fast and really slide around corners. Of course the thrill of biking through bear country is fun in itself. Unfortunately and fortunately the only wildelife we saw on the trail was a Whitetailed Buck and… squirrels. Yay squirrels. We really had no idea were we’d come out at and how long the trail was. But we finally made it to the Reservoir, and it was a pretty neat sight. Not as neat as the technicality of the trail though.
Then we had to bike back, but we took some different trails, more like gravel roads, than the one we took on the way. Unfortunately, due to my poor navigation, we ended up having to trudge through a creek with our bikes. Oops.
But all in all, the ride this morning was a blast. Below is the route of the entire ride.
Why We Sleep In And How To Stop
- We sleep indoors.
- We stare into bright screens before trying to sleep.
- We stay up too late.
- We even cover our windows.
- We assume we’ll hit the snooze.
All of those combined make it pretty darn hard to wake up in the morning. However, by doing this first one, you can actually keep almost all of them from happening.
We Sleep Indoors
Last night I slept outside in just a sleeping bag. It was great! I got to sleep early (for me) and woke up without an alarm. For one, I didn’t have my laptop or phone, so I couldn’t get distracted by staying up to late or be kept awake by a bright screen.
Secondly, when you’re laying there, either by yourself or with others, you fall asleep faster outside in the cool air staring into the stars.
Lastly, you wake up when the sun comes up. Maybe not right when the sun comes up, but early enough to get a good start to the day.
Solution: Try sleeping outside a few nice nights a week.
We Stare At Bright Screens Before Trying To Sleep
There’s been studies done that show how bright computer and cell phone screens actually keep us awake longer due to the light stimulation, and it makes sense. Plus, we’re preoccupied by doing other things on those devices too — texting, playing games, etc.
Solution: Leave the electronic devices alone for a whole hour before bed and try reading a book instead
We Stay Up Too Late
Now this could be caused by a variety of other things, such as sleeping indoors and using electronic devices before going to bed. I just bet that if you tried ditching the electronics, you’ll go to be sooner.
If you’re like me and have to set your own hours and schedule, be sure to get your work doneduring the day so you don’t have stare into a screen while finishing it up before you go to bed.
Solution: First, try sleeping outside. But while sleeping inside, stay away from the electronics and get to bed early enough to give you the sleep you need to wake up with enough energy at the time you want the next day.
We Cover Our Windows
Unless you work the night shift, you have no reason to cover your windows. I know… I used to do it too in college, but don’t — sunlight is great for us and it’s natures very own alarm clock if you’re sensitive to it.
We Assume We’ll Hit The Snooze
Do you ever set multiple alarm clocks so that when you hit the snooze on one, you don’t accidentally sleep through it? Maybe not, but I have. I’ve actually built up an immunity to the sound of an annoying alarm clock — that’s right, I can sleep through one and not even register that it’s going off — terrible habit that I’m working on breaking now.
Solution: Don’t assume that you’re going to sleep in. The night before, put urgency on the need to wake up early to have a good start to your morning instead of rushing around.
Just some thoughts that I had from last night’s sleeping outside.
Thought of the Day: Being Valued Versus Mattering
You have probably heard people say they don’t feel like they matter. Of course, feeling and actually being are two different things, but that’s not what I want to talk about. As you may have gathered from the title, the thoughts on my mind today are the differences between being valued versus mattering.
Let’s break it down.
Mattering is typically referring to whatever you are doing or you are and the impact that has on those around you. We ALL matter. We ALL have an impact on those around us and hopefully, that impact is good.
Being valued, however, is different. It typically is defined by those around you; where mattering is a direct result of you, being valued is an indirect result of how you’re treated by those around you. For example, if you do a good deed that impacted a lot of people, you made a difference in a good way and that mattered. If those people appreciated it and expressed their gratitude towards you, you felt like that deed, no matter what you did, was valued and therefore you felt valued.
I’d like to share with you now what actually inspired me to write this because I feel it’s important.
Today at my college there was an open house and there where lots of prospective students touring campus. Lots of the students already attending college here, including myself, had “jobs” to help make everything go smoothly as people walked through different areas and experienced a little bit of what college is like here. My job was to take photos. Now, I deliberately made an effort to help today — I didn’t have to. Many students received extra credit in class or maybe were even required to help, I’m not sure how individual instructors went about things, but all I know is that no one asked me to help. I enjoy helping and although I was hoping to give tours, I got the job of taking photos, which still was an enjoyable job as there was lots of flexibility and I pretty much could go anywhere and do anything I wanted. That part was really cool — and I still was able to interact with a lot of the tour guides, prospective students as well as faculty and staff.
I feel I worked hard to get a camera for this job. I couldn’t get access to either of the two journalism cameras here at the school. One is a Nikon D200 with an external flash and two lenses and the other is a Canon HD video camera. Both were absent and although I have an idea where they might be, I honestly don’t know. I tried getting in contact with the faculty instructor for the journalism team, which I’m in charge of, and never did hear from him. So that pretty much rules out any top notch and high quality media. After I decided that I couldn’t do any more to change that, I went to my next option, which was a Canon point and shoot — nothing fancy.
Here’s the part that bothers me. Throughout the day today, I worked hard to get around the chaos, get as good of pictures that I could and try to get everywhere on campus. Sure our campus isn’t huge, but walking everywhere and just trying to track people down in the right areas at the right times was still really difficult… especially for one person. It would have been nice to have some scouts out telling me where to be and what’s happening where.
Despite all the effort though, from getting a good camera to going all over campus getting photos, I honestly don’t feel like that was valued or that I was valued. I wasn’t compensated for lunch today. I wasn’t really told “thank you for what you’re doing Aaron.” I wasn’t asked if there was anything I could be helped with. And after the open house was done and I was kind of just standing around… I didn’t really feel like I made a difference.
This is what brings me to the difference between being valued and mattering. Did I make a difference and matter today? Yes absolutely. This school doesn’t have a lot of photos and it’s something that they need more of… it’s also something that I’m planning to continue to do. However, did I feel like I was valued today? Not at all!
And, honestly, I wonder how many students feel the same. Maybe some were compensated more than I was, but that brings me to my next point. I often feel like because I’m not the “traditional” student, meaning one who gets awesome grades, is in the “two years here then graduate and get away” program, and went about their time here the “planned” way, I’m often not considered in the same caliber. To me it makes no sense. I have been an RA (and I feel a good one as I don’t drink or party and I was the ONLY RA in the residence hall at that time). I have been a Student Ambassador and many of my recruits did/are doing very well here. I’m Parliamentarian on Student Senate and take leadership roles throughout campus. I am also the head editor and president of the journalism club… oh and did I mention I’m the only student that puts the publications together and the “team” is just me and one other faculty member who is the adviser? Well I’m that too. I also am getting one minor and my major includes two emphases.
So why wasn’t I chosen to be an RA when I applied two separate times? Why am I not chosen to give tours through campus as I have so many other times? Why haven’t I been able to find any work study available to make money with the numerous things I do throughout campus. I am constantly offering to help, yet seldom compensated for my efforts here at this college. This I feel is a huge downfall. I’ve built up relationships with the Associate Dean, Residence Hall Manager, Recruiting Officer and several other high positions on campus and usually give them feedback about what’s working and what doesn’t, or ideas about things that could be done to improve campus, but often I don’t feel like those really matter.
I would think a college would want every student to be that involved, and I’m not saying I’m the only one, but there are very few of us who are. Why am I not getting anywhere with my efforts? Is it me or is it the college not valuing what I do? Is a combination? Am I just expecting too much? I am quite honest with myself and don’t mind assessing my faults. If I, or someone else, sees a fault in me then I try to make the appropriate adjustments for a positive change.
Those are my thoughts and feelings for today and I know it was long, but if you read this whole thing, I greatly appreciate and value that. I hope you, as a friend and follower, feel valued. That has always been my goal: to make those around me feel valued. I do value my education, instructors and this college here, but I don’t necessarily feel I am valued in return. I don’t think any dean of any college would want to hear those words from any student, so if this does happen to cross the dean of this college’s path, hopefully it will make a difference.
Thanks for reading and have the best day of your life today!