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. Or why I sometimes ask if my mom can make me breakfast when I've accidentally sleep in.

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, Steven 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."

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Telling A Story

Telling A Story


You may be wondering why I skipped a few weeks. A month.
Yeah, I've been wondering that myself.
Why is it when people create things, they feel the need to be wisdom incarnate? Is it because we're afraid to be drowned out in all the other people trying to be wisdom incarnate?
Part of it is my focus on wanting to promote. Put myself out there. There's no use creating something if you don't share it. Of course, for some reason, I haven't gotten far.
Here's my lessons for today: Please don't try to be wise and sagacious. The point of creating is to be real, and to be authentic, to tell a good story. And that will look different for different people.
Once you make something real, your differences don't mean you can't put yourself out there. In fact, many people are drawn to understand what they don't know. The trouble is, they don't know what they don't know. So, tell them!
Be real. And share it.
Easier said than done, but once you start, it gets easier.
That being said, unlike me, you have to start.
So if you excuse me, I'm going to get on that.
Wish me luck!




Friday, September 13, 2019

Stress Glorifying

Hard work is a virtue.

Yep, right up there with your Sunday offering and not talking in the movie theater, there's working your butt off.

Except when it's not.

I talk a lot about not working yourself to exhaustion. Heck, last week I talked about not overriding limitations that you'd rather not have, when you risk killing yourself in the process.

The weird thing? It seems like people REWARD becoming a human corpse.

Think about it:

"I'm so busy."

"I never have any time!"

"I'm so stressed."

"I haven't slept in three days!"

To which we all reply, "I understand! Keep going! You can do it! You work so hard! You're so inspiring!"

Guys, what the heck?!

 Since when is exhaustion and NOT SLEEPING inspiring? The answer is it's not.
People validate imbalance. Yeah, you're inspiring for neglecting happiness to move up in work. And I'm Jessica Alba.

Sneakiness, aside, don't fall into that trap. Especially Soldiers, because (myself included,) we work ourselves to the bone just to prove ourselves worthy of respect.

You don't need to prove yourself or validate yourself to anyone. Soldier or not.

The truth is, people stay in the busy cycle because they don't know what will happen if they get out. Will people reject them? What about their salary? And they become embittered when they see how much fun their friends are having on the weekends.

Don't find validation in what will cause you harm. Don't let false jealousy eat you alive.
Besides, you know while you're reading this you have that show or movie you want to watch this weekend.

Go watch it.

Yes, really.

Don't fall into the trap.

Your work will still be there.

Friday, September 6, 2019

You

Ever tried to do more than you knew you could?
Yeah, I'm right there with you. Guilty as charged. Sometimes any limitation I have feels like something to just ignore. It's like when you were a kid, and the definition of "cleaning your room" was taking all of your possessions and shoving them under the bed.
A recent observation of mine is that I as a Soldier am very prone to the thing I like to call I-wish-I-were-normal-itis. Seventh grade track, learning theater choreography, or even wearing glasses, I wished I was normal.
Sorry to burst your normal bubble, but I've got a newsflash. Exhibit A, who said normal existed anyway? My parents may not be traditionally disabled, and yet my mom takes thyroid medication and my dad complains of a herniated disc. Even outside physical health this is apparent. To be normal is to have a few quirks. Heck, I rock out to Shania Twain in my bedroom, and I still have my stuffed teddy bear I received back in the ICU. Out. Clearly visible in my room. Not shoved in the corner of my closet.
See? We're all weird.
Exhibit B: I don't think when you say "normal," you mean normal. What you actually mean is "I wish I had what they had."
Full disclosure, this is not putting down feelings of being different. Not being able to go out for sports in the traditional sense because you're wheelchair-bound sucks. Period.
But sometimes in my experience I would say I wished I were normal when I was missing the value in my own talents. The cool gymnastics girl, people more advanced than me in equestrian sports, people with really nice handwriting, those are all examples.
Sometimes you just have to accept you for you. My life coach calls it "radical acceptance." You accept the reality you're in, and that's the way it is. You adapt instead of getting caught up in your own musings.
Yes, I wish I could get my math homework done in fifteen minutes, but let's face it, my ADD means it'll take me an hour. So I prepare for that, I make allotments in my schedule, and life goes on. And what everyone else can do in math, well, that's not my strength. But I can CRUSH in debate.
Remember your strengths when you're out of your element. Adapt to your weaknesses, and your strong points will show all the more.
The first step is acceptance over wishing and comparison.
To be a little more frank: You are you. Deal with it.


Friday, August 30, 2019

Hamster Wheel Pt. 2: Goals

So, you've made progress with making life more interesting. Maybe you've got a Scrabble Tournament going on your coffee break, or you've joined a pottery class, or just tried a new type of apple today. Hurrah! But your life still doesn't feel quite right.
Well, when was the last time you decided to do something and did it?
In other words, when was the last time you set a goal and just TRIED? Success is not always an attribute of a good goal. And having something to work toward can spice up your life immensely.
An example: I'm terrified of acting. I enjoy singing and I was in my school's musical last year. Acting? Nah. I go for singing solos.
Lo and behold, I decided to try out for the Fall Play yesterday. It's The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. If I'm cast as Owl Number 180, what could go wrong, right?
It helps to have goal supporters. Maybe even have someone do the goal with you. Start small, build up. But Soldiers, don't disqualify yourselves. See my past post on that. It's important. You get disqualified even without your input — that's not your fault or bad. It's just something to work with. You need to be empowering yourself. Not limiting yourself.
Most importantly, make it fun! Don't start art classes if you hate art. You'd be surprised how many people ignore this. Yes, you could run or lift weights if you want to exercise, but don't do it just because other people do it that way. Try running with the dog or playing tennis or rock climbing.
Get creative and make some small goals. You'll go from a hamster wheel to hamster ball, stagnant and stuck to progressing and free