Virtual Reality

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This semester I took one of my favorite classes so far in my schooling career–online journalism. It was also one of the most stressful classes. Ever. The workload was incredible, the amount of media sites I had to make accounts for was overwhelming and the technological issues made me want to destroy my precious MacBook–who isn’t to blame for anything.

With all the times I have wanted to skip class, give up and just scream…I have to admit that this is one of the only classes I’ve ever had that I can actually say I have learned something I will use for the rest of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I have found many classes beneficial, but this one was different.

So, what did I learn you ask? Well, where do I start?

At the Beginning

The first day of class, Jill, the professor, said I was required to open a Gmail account. But why? I mean I had Earthlink so why can’t she just email me from there. It’s just email so there’s no difference, right? WRONG. Number 1: The Importance of Google…everything. That is the first thing I leaned. How I have gone so long without it, I will never know. But now that I have it, I will never go back and I cannot see myself using something else. Google has something for everything and will connect people to one another in every way possible. Kudos, Google.

One of the other things I learned is important to every journalist and I felt silly not taking it this seriously before this class. Number Two: Read Up. I never really took the time to read up on other journalists work because I thought what I had to say mattered enough. Selfish, I know. But I’m not like that anymore. Now, all I do is sit down and read other articles and blogs, and that has made me a better writer by far.

Something else I learned is the importance in trying new things. Number 3: Prezi Prez.What even is Prezi? I don’t know. PowerPoint was my weapon of choice. But Prezi was the requirement for a presentation I had to do. But now I’m a master and I find PowerPoint far too boring.

Stuck in the Middle

Throughout the duration of this class, the students were required to write a number of blogs. Although time consuming, I loved it. Number 4: Blogging Fool. As a journalist, I have to learn to write consistently and always in a creative way. So I became blog obsessed and when I don’t write at least once a day, my day isn’t complete.

Here is a video about how to start up your first blog!

I hate social media. I hate Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. I think there’s a sense of arrogance about it and I never really enjoyed taking part in it. I thought it was irrelevant. Boy was I wrong. Number 5: Swamped by Social Networks. I had to get and Instagram and I had to reactivate my Twitter. At first I was annoyed because I thought it was a waste of time. Until Jill gave the class a multitude of news sites to follow. And now I have joined the rest of society and I’m addicted. But unlike most people who just consume unimportant information. I consume and create information that effects me and my life.

Every week we were required to read a chapter; but one in particular stood out to me. Number 6: Stay Involved. I can’t remember the actual title of the chapter and the book is somewhere in the house and I’m too comfortable to look for it. Anyway, this chapter detailed reasons why journalists not only need to read other people’s work, but to get involved in it. Read, comment, discuss. Build a community and eventually, my own work will become more popular.

Almost There

This class mandated a multitude of components in the stories I wrote. From photos and infographics, to videos and audio interviews. Although confusing at first, I underestimated the importance of them. Number 7: Spice Up Your Life. Or, ‘Media Up Your Blog.’ Online journalism allows me to do so much more with my stories than print does. I can make them mIMGP0015ore interactive and interesting, and I cannot fathom posting a story without at least one of those components. To prove my point, here’s a pretty picture I took when I was in Italy for the summer. I could show you a picture of the Colosseum or some recognizable Italian structure…but this carousel was one of my favorite parts of Florence:

One of the most important lessons I learned occurred near the end of the semester, when I was just about done and yearning for summer vay-cay. Number 8: The importance of a Creativity Enhancer. I was done. My head needed a break and I didn’t want to do any more school work. Every student knows that feeling of seriously contemplating dropping out of school. So during this time, my creativity was shot and I had a never-ending streak of writer’s block. Therefore, I needed to find a away to get those creative juices flowing. Thank you online journalism and the overwhelming workload. Because of you I have formed a writing routine: laptop, home-cooked meal, wine and John Mayer. Hallelujah.

One of the final things I learned is probably one of the toughest adjustments for an aspiring journalists. Number 9: Get In..or Out… of the Zone. Get out of your comfort zone. Better yet, don’t have one. As a journalist we have to be comfortable confronting all types of people at any time of the day.

Back to the Beginning

I love to write. Most importantly, I love writing what I want and when I want to write it. I hate being told what’s expected of me because I’ve always believed that as long as I exceed my own expectations, then I am doing alright. So with this mentality, I have never been a fan of being told what I need to write about and when it needs to be done. Though I do all my assignments, I don’t always enjoy them.

Because of this, I have been writing this blog just waiting for it to be the end so I can say I’m done. But…as a really do reach the end, I realize that this is my last lesson. Number 10: Journalism never ends. This class doesn’t end with this blog and expectations don’t end with this class. I need to remind myself that just because something comes to a close, does not mean it ends; because those lessons follow me wherever I go.

So, as I embark on my last summer as a college student and the final year before I enter the real world, I’m going to go back to the beginning. 

“I gotta have roots before branches; to know who I am before I know who I wanna be.” – Room for Two

 

Feature photo credit: soundcloud.com

Take a Hike

Weldon Springs Hiking Trails

Located down South HWY 94, about 20 minutes from Lindenwood campus, lies 385 acres of vast woods, rugged riverbanks, croplands, fishable lakes and hiking trails.

The trail splits into two directions. After 3 miles of hiking, one can either follow the Lewis Trail, which is a total of 8.2 miles until the end, or the Clark Trail, which is a total of 5.3 miles. Other trails include the Lost Vally Trail, which is 11 miles, and the Hamburg Trail, which is 6 miles.

Sam Hofheins, a first-time hiker, said that his experience at the Weldon Springs Clark Trail in one to remember.

“I have never really been hiking before,” Hofheins said. “But I really enjoyed it. It’s not just walking around in the woods; it’s really cool to be able to hear all the sounds around me and not hear cars are sirens or people talking.”

Hofheins said that he is definitely willing to go back.

“I am going to be at Lindenwood all summer taking classes so I’ve been trying to find things to fill my time. Hiking is definitely on my list now and I can see myself spending a lot of time there this summer.”

The Weldon Springs Conservation Area offers other various activities as well.

Other than hiking, people can fish, hunt, camp, bird watch and even go boating.

After hearing about all of the exciting and different activities offered at the Weldon Springs Conservation Area, Jennifer Nickerson is eager to take part.

Nickerson says she believes this is a different and rewarding pastime.

“I would much rather be outside exploring than sitting around the house all day,” Nickerson said. “The coolest part? It’s free! It won’t cost you a thing to go hiking and you get so much more out of it than just lounging around. It would be so much fun with a group of friends.”

Throughout the past few years, the amount of hiking participants has been steadily increasing. Below there is chart that shows that increase from year-to-year.

How to Stay Safe

Kara Mayer Robinson, a writer for WebMD, shares hiking tips to stay safe while our doors.

“Start slow. A short, local hike is best for beginners. Gradually work up to trails with hills or uneven terrain.

Bring a buddy. It’s best not to hike alone at first, especially on unfamiliar or remote trails. A partner or group can help you navigate and assist if you get hurt. As your skill level improves, you’ll feel more comfortable going solo.

Know before you go. Familiarize yourself with the trail map. Check the weather and dress and pack accordingly. If storms are a possibility, rethink your plan.

Use common sense. Follow marked paths and trails. Avoid contact with questionable plants and animals.

Get into a groove. On the days you can’t make it to the trails, power-walk on a hilly terrain while carrying various degrees of weight in a backpack — it will keep your hiking skills and fitness level on track.”

For more information on the Weldon Springs Conservation Area and the activities it offers visit, visit http://mdc4.mdc.mo.gov/applications/moatlas/AreaSummaryPage.aspx?txtAreaID=7404

Selfie-Obsessed

The Act of the Selfie

Selfies have been taking the world over by storm. For those of you who do  not know, Urban Dictionary says “selfie” means, “A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. A picture that is usually accompanied by a duckface or any other kind of unnatural expression; usually involves looking in another direction than the camera.”

According to Jessica Merkt, Instagram in always the “go-to” when you’re feeling the need make yourself look good.

“Choosing the right filter is a serious job,” Merkt says. “But I think most people can tell when a photo is real or when there’s a filter involved. Filters make everyone look better, that’s why they use them. You can’t take photos like that too seriously, but it’s always nice when a filter makes you feel pretty.”

How Selfies Can Result in Catastrophe

For obvious reasons, people do not advertise their negative traits on social media and they will not post unflattering photos on Instagram. Because we are in need to control how we are viewed by others, we are strict about what is found about us on social media.

However, we are often fooled by others who post photos, specifically selfies, that many times invoke feelings of envy.

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Sarah Boofer taking a selfie while enjoying a cookie

“Almost every time I go on Instagram I am in awe of some of the stunning photos my friends and celebrities post,” said Sarah Boofer, an avid consumer of social media. “It takes me a while to realize that they are using a filter and that what I am seeing has been altered.”

Like many others, Boofer realizes that her sense of time has been altered as well.

“I continue looking at others and I lose my sense of time even though I know most of what I see is not entirely real. I don’t really post selfies unless I want to show a new hair color or something like that. I think there’s something cocky about selfies, not everyone want to look at your face as bad as you think they do.”

Consumers like Boofer  and Merkt have a difficult time remembering to differentiate between what is “the perfect tan” and what is the X-Pro II effect.

“Everyday I say ‘she looks amazing!’ but then I have to remind myself and say ‘she looks amazing…with that filter!'” Merkt said.

According to the Chicago Tribune, even the amount of followers plays a role in the importance of the consumer.

Social networker Mohammed Gol says, “If someone has more friends than you do, then you think that he’s more popular or that people like him more.”

While selfies are important in the social media world, the amount of people consuming them is what really matters. Because of the need to consume and view these photos, and the desire to have others consume yours, depression linked to Instagram is on the rise due to the fact that people comparing themselves to one another is constantly increasing.


 

How To Prevent Possible Depression

According to Kelsey Sunstrum, a writer for Psych Central, there are three main ways a consumer can work on treating and preventing depression caused by social media:

  • Take the time to unplug from technology and social media accounts everyday.
  • When faced with social media-induced self-loathing, confront your negative thoughts and question their origin and validity.
  • If you’re drawn to social media during times of boredom, ensure you have something to distract yourself, such as a book or fun phone app.
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    photo credit cnet.com

The Code of the Selfie: Reality vs. Filter

Boofer offers advice for people who have a hard time telling the difference between reality and filters. “I always have to remind myself that what I am seeing is not real. I can say ‘wow look how gorgeous he/she looks in this picture!’ and I’ll mean that because they do. But I can’t take it seriously. Instagram is for entertainment most of the time and selfies are no different. It’s really important for people not to trust everything they see to be real or else it will break them.

“You need to get rid of that source of negativity or else you will be consumed with wondering why you don’t look like them or you’ll become obsessed with trying to.”

The Selfie Code:

Spend however long you want taking the perfect selfie and use your favorite filter that gives you that flawless glow.If it makes you happy, do it. And do it again until your entire profile is filled with photos enhanced by the Mayfair filter. Just remember, everyone else is doing the same thing. 

 

feature image photo credit: www.digitalinformationworld.com

“Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” stirs response

What is this about?

Jefferson Bethke is most well known for his YouTube video Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus.

Most of his videos, if not all, revolve around God and his teachings in the Bible. Most importantly, he is adapting those teachings and applying them to the modern world.

These videos have created an immense amount of controversy as they have been circulating around the Internet; but non-more than the video mentioned above.

This video is a poem Bethke wrote that suggests that religion has the teachings of Jesus all wrong.

The most popular quote in this video is, “the church should not be a museum for good people, it should be a hospital for the broken.”

While some people agree with his ideas…

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…Others find his beliefs to be offensive and ignorant.

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Praise for Bethke

However, Caitlin O’ Toole, a young adult who was born and raised Catholic,  seems to side with the group that agrees Bethke is modernizing the Bible in the right way.

She says that she agrees with nearly everything that Bethke said.

“I used to describe myself as religious growing up. As I grew older, I became more aware that I truly do not agree with many of the things that my religion preached. Homosexuals and divorcees are looked down upon. Religion preaches to love our brothers and sisters, but there seem to be restrictions on the ones that do and don’t deserve our love. Why do there have to be so many rules? God still loves everyone even though they sin, so why is the focus on the hate?

O’ Toole offers many questions that no one can really seem to answer; they are only able to speculate. She also agrees with Bethke and believes that the church has, in a way, become corrupt; and has become more of a business rather than a temple for worship.

“[Organized religion] has to get by somehow, and that is through donations. But why do they need to constantly grow and receive more and more amenities? Jesus taught us to live modestly. There are people who do not have amenities at all, or even the basic needs for any man. They are the ones that are in need of the donations.”

Backlash

On the other hand, some Christians have not taken the popularity of Bethke’s video very well.

Father Claude Burns made a response to the video by creating his very own, and by using the same aesthetics and tone that Bethke used.

He writes below the video, “The purpose of this video is to do a response from a Catholic perspective, in a spirit of love, but also with a spirit of passion to defend our Mother the Church. The things that are said are not meant to offend, but we do have to be direct about what we believe and what we stand for.”

This video has resulted in some controversial  discussions as well.

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Regardless of one’s belief and own ideas on this topic, not one person can deny the fact that religious dissension will never subside.

 

Eyes Wide Open

 

Deborah Horan

Horan is a renowned journalist who spent the majority of her career overseas covering occurrences in the Middle East.

She returned back to the states in 2001 where she soon joined forces with the Chicago Tribune. However, she continued to report on the on-goings in the Middle East. More specifically, the Muslim immigrant community and the war in Iraq.

Since 2002, she has been a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, as well as a teacher about the Middle East and journalism at small liberal arts colleges through that program.

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This is just a very short summary of the extraordinary life that Deborah Horan has lived.

When she came to Lindenwood to speak to journalism students about her career, I was completely ignorant as to what to expect. Admittedly, I did not do my homework and research her before she came to my class.

And honestly, I’m glad I didn’t because it would have ruined the surprise. I’m not sure what I was thinking before the speech but I sure as hell wasn’t prepared to be as affected as I was. But maybe not for obvious reasons.

However, Deborah mentioned many aspects of becoming successful journalists. One main point was that you have to take risks. You have to be willing to put yourself out into the world and be willing to fail before you succeed.

Another point is that to be a journalist, you cannot be afraid. In order for Deborah to get her hard-hitting stories in the Middle East, she had to face an incredible amount of danger, and she had to take proper precautions. Most importantly, blending in.

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However, if you don’t want to be a journalist who reports on life in the Middle East then Deborah had some advice for that as well. As journalists, we need to find our niche.

Anyone can be a journalist, but if we want a successful career then we need to find something we are passionate about and become experts on it. Whether it’s cars, food, fashion, beauty, politics or music, journalists need to be able to offer something new and exciting in order to be respected.

 

Aftershock

Once Deborah took her leave, I was consumed with thoughts and impressions.

One of her ending comments was, “you need to decide what’s important, and go for it.”

This women has had a commendable life. A life filled with adventure and danger. Not to mention, an immense amount of satisfaction.

She traveled all around the world and met a countless number of people. She learned about diverse cultures and even learned how to speak Arabic.

Deborah made a difference in the world as a result of the life she has chosen to live.

Watching her speak and detail her story made me think I want to make a difference, I want to have an impact on someone’s life. But whose life shall I impact?

This is the question that has kept me sleepless at night.

Deborah has had an extraordinary life. But in order for her to have such a successful career she had to give up so much. She left her friends and family for 8+ years.

I cannot help but think, what is more important? Your dream job? Or your dream life? And can they coexist? And if they can’t… how do you choose?

I have known forever that I want to travel; and after spending an unforgettable summer in Italy I know that there is so much more I want to see. I would love a career that could take me there.

However, what if the love of my life can’t come with me.

What if my family begs me to stay.

What if I miss out on adventures calling my name from across the world.

How do I decide on what’s most important.

I have been thinking about this so much that I have a permanent migraine. I am graduating in a year so it is about that time I need to start figuring my life out.

After much thought, I cannot imagine a life without love and family. If I can have both my dream career and a loving and happy personal life, then I would say I hit the jack-pot.

But a life without love would not be living to me. And I am far too selfish to not want that love immediately. My career can follow after; I have no doubt in my mind that I will someday get there.

After all, when I’m on my death bed I want to have someone I love holding my hand; when that time comes, I won’t want or care to hold the pages documenting my career.

So yes, I want to make a difference. I want to have an impact. But before I target the universe, I think I’ll stick with my own little world.

 

header photo credit: www.executive-communication.com

 

Hell on Earth

 

Rolling Stone is a magazine widely known for their articles on movies, television, politics and music. Each article offers insight to the topic and, to me, is always beneficial.

However, one article in particular had an extreme effect on me. In the Belly of the Beast by Paul Solotaroff is a chilling article giving insight into the horrendous lives of both the workers and animals at a processing farm. Solotaroff tells the tale of animal rights activists who went under cover in order to infiltrate the meat farm and reveal the ungoings behind closed doors.

|Imagine|

Imagine a farm with wide open spaces, green grass, a blue sky and sun shining in every direction.

Imagine a piglet waking up in the morning and stumbling over with his wobbly legs to greet his mother who is soaking in the sun and mud.

Imagine that little guy being able to grow up big and healthy with his parents and siblings by his side and being fed every day with all natural and organic foods.

Imagine him running around on a farm and greeting humans with happy and loving nudges on their leg with his snout.

Imagine that pig reaching a mature age and being humanely, and painlessly put down in order to provide the human population with healthy and natural meat.

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This is not the world we live in…this world is filled with torturous and horrendous means of producing processed meats just for the human population to be able to have the luxury of digesting McDonald’s Big Macs while in the midst of their drunken munchies.

“In the Belly of the Beast” uncovers the blood-stained veil and reveals the reality of exactly how meat goes from the animal, through the processor and into our everyday lives.

|Reality|

The animals who are giving up their lives in order to satisfy are carnivorous needs are treated as if they are parasites. They are beaten and neglected to the point of death.

They are forced to live for years in cages that are too small for them to even lie down and their facilities are never cleaned so they have to endure a lifetime being covered in their own fecal matter.

The cows are made to produce nearly 22,000 gallons of milk a year, that’s over 120x more than the requirement in 1972. The article states that the cows can handle around 4 years of this abuse before they tire-out and their legs break beneath them. When that happens, the workers kick the cow or shove a fire hose down their throat until they stand up. And when that does not work the cows are electrocuted; if that doesn’t get the job done then they are hung upside down and their throats are slashed. In just one slaughter house in Nebraska, nearly 2,500 cows are killed a day using this method.

But that is not the most alarming part of this procedure. Congress has approved this means of slaughter, as it is stated in the Humane Means of Slaughter Act.

Humane? Yeah, okay. Maybe that should be the process used to put pets asleep too. Since it’s “humane.”

This does not even cover half of what animals in slaughter houses are put through every day. Piglets are ripped away from their mother the moment they are born and then their tail and genitals are immediately cut off while the piglets are screaming to be reunited with their mom.

However, this is not meant to stop people from eating meat. It is meant to make people understand that there is a right way to go about getting it.

“You say you want a revolution…”

This article written by Solotaroff proves just how influential and powerful the voice of a journalist can be.

I did not visit a slaughter house, I did not witness a piglet being torn away from it’s mother and I did not see a cow being hung from his ankles and watch as his throat was slit and his body chopped into pieces.

I could not bare to watch more than 10 seconds of the videos and I attempted to scroll past the photos as quickly as I could. Why? Because I did not need to look at them. The words alone were enough.

This article shows how revolutionary journalism can be. After reading, I never want to eat meat again. Unless I do in-depth research on where this meat is coming from. This article CHANGED MY MIND and OPENED MY EYES.

This article made me angry and brought me to tears. Tears from rage and tears from sadness. How dare anyone say that words and telling a story is not as influential as taking action, that writing your thoughts down won’t bring about change. If not for “In the Belly of the Beast” I would not have known that action needed to be taken and change needed to occur.

For the most part, people know that animals in slaughter houses are mistreated. But no one cares to look into it. They prefer to stay ignorant because that way they cannot be held at fault.

But when the problem is right in front of you, on a screen accompanied by photos and videos, then it is a crime to ignore it.

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click here for an additional video of the grotesque lives of the animals in slaughter houses.

“If slaughter houses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” -Paul McCartney

 

Above Photo Courteys: www.animal-rights-action.com

‘Yonce

 

­Now that all the hype (for the most part) has come to an end, I want to take a hot-minute to discuss a hot topic: Beyonce’s visual album.

The comments on this production are all over the place, from “I love it” to “I hate it” to “she’s a goddess” to “what the hell is Queen B thinkin’!”

For starters, I don’t care who you are, the fact the Beyonce released an album without any promotions and still managed to outsell almost every other album released in 2014 is phenomenal. There is no way someone could argue against that.  There were over 617,000 downloads from iTunes in 3 days, which broke the record set by Taylor Swift’s RED album.

But it raises the question, why did she find it necessary to neglect promotions? That’s not like B’s normal strategy is it? Clearly she didn’t do it just to prove she doesn’t have to. So why?

Simple, she made this album specifically for the purpose of creating art. All too many times, artists make the promoting of the album the most important aspect of their career. It’s all about releasing singles and getting your fans talking about your soon-to-be-released album.

Beyonce made her album for the art, and the music.

Another remark I’ve been constantly hearing is the whiny complaints of those who can’t grasp the concept of her visual works. All I hear is how people just don’t understand what she is trying to say. “Why can’t she just have a straightforward story like all of her other videos?”

Come ON people, you need to learn to think deeper.

This is art. Beyonce is an artist. Just like painters and sculptures and architects and writers…music is art. For the most part it is not meant to be straightforward and the meaning behind the art will not be offered up on a silver platter so the viewers won’t have to think.

In my opinion, this is not the point of art. It’s supposed to entice others to look deeper and think harder to figure out the meaning. The obscurity of Beyonce’s visual album is what makes it so unique and alluring.

Those of you who don’t like it because you “don’t get it,” then I encourage you to remove your floaties, step out of the shallow waters, and dive into the deep-end.

 

Above photo courtesy: www.policymic.com

 

I don’t “I Do.” Do I?

Marriage. In short, I never believed in it. I thought it was a pointless and unnecessary idea because who really wants to spend thousands of dollars to show that you’re committed to someone? Isn’t a verbal commitment enough? Are you really that insecure that you need to make a huge show of your relationship just to get a signed document stating that your significant other “belongs” to you? By now, all those people you would want at your wedding and witness your removal from the single life probably know you’re in love…at least I would hope so.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve always thought. But for some reason about a year ago (okay there is a reason, but that’s a story for another time), the idea of marriage stopped seeming so purposeless and started to have some meaning to it. As a girl, if a guy loves you, you want him to show it, right? You want to have a symbolic meaning behind your relationship. You want a title that stands for something more; rather than just telling people, “Yeah, he’s my boyfriend.” What’s so wrong with that?

Since birth, girls are brainwashed with the idea of a Prince Charming and a perfect ending. We watched (and most likely still continue to watch) countless numbers of Disney movies that portray a romantic love story. Yet, we tend to ignore all the obstacles that stand in the way of that love. We happily overlook the malevolent queens, the fire-breathing dragons, the evil sorcerers and even the wicked stepmothers who take up over half the movie. No, we only notice the man that sweeps the woman off her feet; and we only remember the happy ending. Therefore, as we grow up we prepare ourselves for our Prince Charming and use Pinterest to plan that special day. However, we neglect reality and forget to prepare ourselves for the heartache and trying moments that test our strength. When those moments occur, we all too often complain about why the guy can’t be ‘like this’ or be ‘like that,’ or why couldn’t he just say ‘this’ instead of saying ‘that.’ We expect our man to be like Prince Charming; tall, dark, handsome and with zero faults. It’s an extreme wake-up call once we realize that could never happen.

In my opinion, before one starts dreaming up their fairytale wedding, they first need to step out of their dreamland and face reality. It is essential to understand that just because a person isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean a relationship can’t be. Take the faults as they come and have faith, and come to terms with the fact that no one could ever be perfect; but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be your own flawless Prince Charming.

So, in the midst of my hypocrisy, I started to understand why the idea of marriage seemed so appealing. If you can make it to the point of marriage in a healthy and loving relationship despite all the ups and downs, it really is a happily ever after, isn’t it?

 

Above photo Courtesy: www.bubblews.com

simplify what should already be simple…

 

 

Relationships have their ups and downs. But in my opinion, a relationship should never be work. It is not that difficult to show the person that you are with that you care. And if it is, then you are most likely in the wrong relationship and need to get the hell out.

In my experience, there are 5 main things both men and women should do in order to be in a healthy and happy relationship.

 5 rules to keeping your man:

1. give him his space

2. communicate and trust him

3. love him

4. do not cheat

5. don’t ask for too much

 5 rules to keeping you girl:

1. treat her like a princess

2. compliment her

3. never ignore her

4. return her calls and texts

5. protect and respect her

 In my humble opinion, this is the only way a relationship can thrive. Both sides need to do their parts, and when only one side is working at it, then only that one side will end up getting hurt. And if you happen to be on that one side that is giving up their heart and soul for the one they love, but it is not being returned… then you have two options: bring it up and talk it out, or end it before you get pulled in deeper.

It is NOT complicated people. 

 

above photo courtesy: manifestmylove.com

This I believe (Published in The-Leading Edge January 28, 2014)

No day but today… Everyone has their own reaction to this statement. Some might believe that this means they must live for the moment, the here and now. Others like me, might think there is a little more to it than that.

We all live for those moments that “take our breath away”, right? A moment like Judd Nelson at the end of The Breakfast Club when he throws his fist up in the air in triumph. In a movie like that, the misfits, outcasts, jocks, and popular kids toss out their titles and accept each other for the person they actually are despite the prejudices of their so called “friends”.  Living for the day is living a life being able to do exactly what one wants in the moment they are in disregarding past influences and heartbreaks. Moments like that are always worth the sacrifice even when they might be wrong.

Moments that cause the heart to stop are the ones that are worth the risk. Like John Cusack standing outside his love’s window with a boom box in Say Anything. Most would drive by him thinking “what a fool.” But those people never stuck around to catch the end of the story, did they? What about Drew Barrymore or Michael Vartan in Never Been Kissed? Or Julia Roberts and Adam Storke in Mystic Pizza? Every character was surrounded by people telling them it could never work. So what do they do?
They did it anyway. And in doing so, they proved all the doubters wrong. They knew that it would all be worth it; the tears and the pain would be worth experiencing the love and happiness. No matter how much time they had in front of them, or little time they had left, they planned on taking full advantage of it. Because let’s face it, opportunities like that do not come every day. Take any Nicholas Sparks novel; stories like A Walk to Remember prove that living in the moment and following your heart can lead down a road of complete bliss and satisfaction, no matter how broken the journey is.

Any girl is dying to say “just take me away” to the man of her dreams. But when that time comes, would you be ready to actually do it? Would you be willing to take that risk? Most would undoubtedly scream “yes!” without hesitation. But I dare you to actually go through with it. I dare you to forget your fears and to stop questioning yourself. Wipe out the logic in your head screaming at you to think things through, and for once, obey the whispers by your heart begging you to go for it.

No day but today. There is much more to it than just the words. Living without regrets and living for the moment is probably the most difficult, yet most rewarding way of life. A life like that is filled with love outnumbered by heartbreaks, and smiles outnumbered by tears. However, the regrets are outnumbered by lessons that will never be forgotten.

Maybe you’re in a relationship and it’s brand new. Maybe it’s not serious yet, but maybe it could be. Maybe it could be love. Real love. And in knowing that, you will be able to live your life the way it has always been meant to, by simply just living… and loving. Love until there’s nothing left. There is no greater way to live.

 

above photo courtesy: Quotation-Jonathan-Larson-regret-life-day-today-forget-Meetville-Quotes-189317