Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Superconductivity and The Parable of Power Lines

Superconductivity is my word of the day today. It's the quality of some substances to have zero electrical resistance at temperatures close to absolute zero. In other words, deathly cold.
This got me thinking about some time ago when I saw a parable in power lines.

I see parables and stories everywhere. I can see some sort of truth I'm looking for often right in front of me. I thrive on symbolism and metaphor that seems to be all around me. It's just a gift. Everyone's got one. I figured it might be useful for helping others one day.

I was on my way to a restaurant, and I was enjoying the sprawling pastures and open, vast sky. Running through it all -- always power lines.
Held together by crosses. If you look very closely, you'll see the connectors of the lines are perfect crosses.

Yes, I am a Christian. They can take one central message: Faith should power every, every area of life. It's not a blip on the radar. It's a continuous lifestyle.
 However, even without faith, there are messages to be seen here.
1) All power requires sacrifice. All of it requires faith, in something.
2) What powers you?
I've never understood the phrase "Believe in your power. Believe in yourself" I know people do amazing things, but I've always thought humans are never the sole givers of power. We give power to others, sure. But faith or not, humans are powered by things. We all have an external power source.
3) Inspired by my word of the day today.
Power lines freeze when they get cold.
Some atoms that are superconductive, when very cold but not quite dead and freezing? Electricity courses through them.
For all my talk of power lines, don't be a power line.
Don't freeze when you get cold.

Veil

Veil

Why have I not blogged?
Well, I've got a lot on my mind.
It seems to me Soldiers are very sensitive people. In that vein, I finished off the year with a lot of feelings.
Sometimes, feelings are like a veil. They're so strong they influence almost everything you look at. You start to see the world by what you feel.
Take from me in this new year: You are not your feelings. Your worldview doesn't have to be affected by sadness, anger, anxiety, or even pride. Look beyond those veils; question them.
See the world with good and bad, acknowledge both, and focus on the good. Pain doesn't leave by ignoring it; nor does your pain mean all good is now absent.
See the world as it really is. But don't dwell on the bad in what you see.
Or, if it seems impossible, try.
It'll get easier.



Thursday, December 19, 2019

Boxing Ring

You know, it's funny. I took a Spiritual Gifts Test at school a while back? Well, mine's mercy.
Ironically, I show ZERO mercy to MYSELF.
Everyone says you're your own worst critic, right? And everyone says "Love yourself!" But it's not until recently I realized just HOW much I UTTERLY BERATE myself.
Maybe somewhere along the way I didn't allow myself to make mistakes. I was brutally gaslighted and taken advantage of. Part of this was my naivety. I can be friendly to a point it makes people uncomfortable, and I like to assume benefit of the doubt.
But let's face it. Being a scrawny, short, nerdy, somewhat awkward disabled female didn't help. I was almost begging to be targeted. I often wasn't savvy enough to know when I was being used. One time a boy pointed me, purposefully, down the wrong path at a sixth grade field trip. I walked in the rain for twenty minutes and emerged at my cabin sopping wet, cold and shoes brown with mud. I had gotten there by myself. Eventually.
I guess with this and other incidents -- minor and major -- I assumed the world was a dangerous place. If I didn't shape up, I was opening myself up for attack. I wouldn't make it unless I overcompensated, gave people a reason to not reject me.
Rejection sucks. It really, really sucks. Try to keep a brave face when a guy you confess attraction to in middle school calls you "psycho" and "dropped on the head as a child" for doing so. In his diary. Which is also his math spiral, for some strange reason.
Having suffered a stroke and a brain bleed in NICU, and that being the reason I was... me, those particular choices of insult hurt on more levels I can say.
Full disclosure, all the people referenced in this post are much different now, and at least one I know is actually pretty cool. He played the flute in band.
For all I complain, I can name just as many if not more people who supported me and didn't care about my differences at that time in my life. Lesson being, take stock of not just IF you have sky-high expectations, but what false premise they might be based on.
Life isn't a boxing ring where it's you versus the world. Not everyone will like you, but it's a mistake to tell yourself that everyone is against you. Don't be your own crazy sports parent. You know the ones.
I'm a full hypocrite in this regard, but make it a habit to correct your "I'm stupid," "I'm an idiot," and gradually, it will change. I give all this preface to show you all beliefs come from somewhere, and often you're one of many. Maybe challenge yourself and a friend to correct your self-talk for a week.
Less cool than the Rocky training montage, but with equal value.
Knock em' dead, champ.


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Failure

You know, for all people say about speaking out for what you believe, they fail to mention that NOT doing it sucks.
When you fail, because fear stops you cold, then what? Actually, when you fail to follow dreams, to be consistent, to meet goals, then what?
They say to start again. But failing is to me, a bit like grieving. To move on is scary. To move on is HARD. It's not "start again," because for a while you just... can't.
For once, I don't quite know the answer to my own question. All I can say from my experience is it's okay to grieve a failure, as long as you don't grieve so long it becomes bitterness or an excuse.

Seek out support when you fail. Support of God and of people. But seek it out. People don't know you're hurt unless you tell them. Trust me when I say that nothing good comes assuming people can read your mind.

As for God, well, He's got a thing about waiting for your first move.

In time, you'll know when you're ready. You will be ready to try again.


Friday, November 8, 2019

Control Pt. 2: We're All Idiots

So, you've realized you control things. Welcome to the club. Other people, events, or outcomes, usually by planning and overthinking, or freaking out.
What now?

Delegation, my friends. Delegation. And asking for help.

A lot of you have probably clicked off. Or you're at least thinking about it, right?
Hear me out.

I know everyone SAYS you should ask for help, but they never dig into WHY. Most think it's self explanatory. And so many (I.E, me,) began to dismiss the advice all together.

If you're like me on a typical school night, you're freaking out, right? You're stressed. There is no way you will get all your homework done tonight. You can't do it.

Realizing you can't do something alone sucks. It's a massive blow to your ego and sense of control.

There's a reason I ask my mom to help with my school projects. Or why I have a math tutor.

If I distribute work to another, or I get help, I can stop the cycle of freaking out.

It's hard to trust another person with a task that's important to you. Or ask a question or seek help when it makes you feel like an idiot.
But here's the thing: At some point, ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE will feel like an idiot, or be completely lost. Nobody can have the skill set of Julia Child, Billy Graham, Stephen Hawking, Robin Williams and James Bond simultaneously, although that would be AWESOME.

At some point, we all suck, and we all know what it feels like to suck. So no, you won't lose the love of your friends and family because trigonometry hurts your brain. In fact, they'll love you a little more, because you allowed THEM to show what THEY were good at. Heck, my brother made hash browns for me while I edited his Biology paper, and we both felt great afterwards.

Ask for help. We all love to show off. Plus, less work doesn't hurt.

Friday, November 1, 2019

World of Weird

World of Weird

I have a confession: I just yesterday started my 25th notebook.
I have filled twenty four notebooks since June of 2018. Twenty four journals, usually one hundred and fifty pages or more, in fifteen and a half months.
I think I have a problem.
It's not just me, though. It seems like everyone I know has a problem. But a problem in a good way, because no one else can do what they can and call it "fun."
My mother organizes our house on weekends, and the mere thought makes me want to hurl. My brother practices golf daily, but the girls in the family are bored silly. And my dad thinks fixing cars he bought dirt cheap online is "fun." I can't even legally drive with my vision, and he wants to dismantle the engine in a hunk of junk convertible to fix a coolant tank leak. 

And all of them only pick up a pen if they absolutely have to. So we're all a little weird. 

Part two of control comes soon, I promise. But on a whim I was inspired by one Mark Manson, and his article, 'Screw Finding Your Passion.'

I recommend the full (although profanity heavy) article. For purposes of this, here's what caught my eye:

"If you're passionate about something, it will already feel like such an ingrained part of your life that you will have to be reminded by people that it's not normal, that other people aren't like that.
It didn't occur to me that writing 2,000 word posts on forums was something nobody else considered fun. It never occurred to my friend that designing a logo is something that most people don't find easy or fun. To him, it's so natural that he can't even imagine it being otherwise. And that's why it's probably what he really should be doing."

We live in a world of weird. Weird in a good way, because we all do weird things. We just do them naturally. We find out we're weird when our friends compliment us, wish they had what we had.

But the naturally weird is still weird, right?

You might even try to hide it. Only your closest friends will see your weird.

But your weird is the key to your future. Or maybe a fun hobby where you'll meet some really cool people. Or a way to bring joy to others in your spare time.

Ask yourself: What do you do that your friends think is weird?

Be okay with the answer. And use it.
We live in a world of weird.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Control

No one likes a control freak.

But it's weird, isn't it? Control freaks never really think of themselves the way others do. Organized? Yes. Control freak? Never.

Hi, I'm Meredith. I was a control freak.
(Hi, Meredith)

I've gotten better. But now most of my control takes place in my own head. I worry constantly, and sometimes I worry about other people's lives as if they were my own. I hyperfocus on problems. Because a problem equals a loss of control.

Maybe you see yourself in this. I think everyone at least knows someone like this. Control fears manifest in a lot of ways. Maybe you organize everything. Maybe you micromanage or overthink or strive for perfect every time. They're in my experience more common among Soldiers.

I'm not going to tell you to just "let go." It's harder than that. When you feel out of control of yourself, you try to control other things, and vice versa. Being physically or mentally fighting for independence can sometimes feel you're not in control of anything. You feel powerless.

I've been there too.

Next week, I'm giving you action steps. This is a gradual process of acceptance and empowerment. But there are steps.

There is hope. I promise.
In the words of one of my childhood heroes, Winnie the Pooh, "You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."