You seem pretty rad, bruh

Have you ever thought of the perfect response to a comment by someone but only right after they left? Like when you’re in an argument, and later that night at 4 AM you think, “AH! I SHOULD HAVE SAID MONKEYS DO HAVE TAILS! THEN I WOULD HAVE WON.”

Well, that happened to me today.

I was working and happened to meet someone, who, after two minutes of talking, pulled out their phone and said, “yo homie, put your digits in mah phonie. You seem pretty rad, bruh.”

They didn’t actually say it like that, but hey, it’s my blog, and I have the liberty to expand upon someone’s vocabulary.

Either way, I promptly replied to this invitation by chuckling and declining the offer, stating that I’d see them around and could talk to them later verbally and not through text. Harsh, right? (That last sentence was sarcastic, by the way.) I don’t know about you, but I don’t just give out my number to strangers who think I’m rad.

HOWEVER.

HOW-EV-ER.

What I should have done was chuckle and say, “nah, I’m not going to give out my number. But hey, I write a DAILY BLOG about my life, so if you want to learn more about me, here’s the link.”

Boom. Why didn’t I think of this before? No longer can stalkers stalk me through texting! No more! Now they can completely stalk me through my blog, and I’ll never know! Wonderful, right?

Seriously, though, if you were this person, would you be thrilled to read my blog or crushed that I refused to give you my number?

Dear Culture: Personality vs Character

Dear Culture,

I think you’ve been so beaten up by horrible expectations and rules in the past that you now despise perfection. You’ve been told to be perfect and flawless, which is impossible. I get it.

But now your whole goal is to be yourselfIt’s all about who you are now, and not what you could be. You cries out, “listen to no one’s advice, trust only yourself, and make yourself and others happy. You are who you are.” Sounds familiar? Sounds good, right?

Not really.

You see, I would agree that you shouldn’t listen to everyone. But no one? Not even the wise, caring people who can see your blind spots and help you get over them? Trust only yourself? Once again, what about your blind spots that could shadow your judgement?

And this last part, about being happy and making others happy. What’s happiness? It’s a very loose, opinionated word. Writing makes me happy, but some people can’t stand it. Being first in line makes me happy, but does that mean I should cut in front of others? Should I do the opposite—-make others happy but threaten my well-being?

I am who I am. Or am I? Does my personality truly define me, the one with plenty of weaknesses and a few strong points, or is it possible to develop character that surpasses my personality?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say things like, “I don’t like doing (insert a good habit or deed here). I’m just not wired like that.”

Of course you’re not. You’re wired to believe that your wiring can’t be re-wired.

The truth, though, is that you can change how you act and how you look at life: it’s called building character. I learned this fact this past semester when I took a study of personalities class. It said that while you begin at an early age to have a distinct personality, you should eventually grow into displaying each area of all the different types of personalities.

So for example, if you’re primarily an introvert and think before you act, you’ll sometimes need to act without thinking when the need arises to make a choice quickly. If you’re shy and “talking” to others just isn’t your thing, get over yourself. Just talk to people and do it afraid. The fact is this:

Building character doesn’t limit you to yourself. 

When you build your character, you go beyond who you think you are and set yourself to a higher standard. And let’s be clear: building character doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. It means you have to grow. It means you become better every day.

So even though you’re bruised and wounded, Culture, pick yourself up and stop settling for less. Your wounds will heal. God doesn’t want perfection. He only wants a willingness and effort to grow and live for more than yourself.

Manifesto

If you want to be a writer, you have to read. You have to become what you want to be. If you want to be a preacher, you have to do what you preach. You have to learn if you want to teach.

To perform, you need to practice. Watch the best movies to film the next big ones. Abide by the law if you want to enforce it. Follow if you want to lead.

You have to go through the flames if you want to be a fireman.

Too often people wander in life pointing at billboards, saying, “that’s what I want to be!”

Then they pass it. Miss the exit. Follow the same road.

Match your words with your actions.

Plant a seed if you want some fruit.

Be different if you want to make a difference.

Welcome

You’re brave. You are incredibly brave for following this blog. Or reading it, for that matter.

I try to stay organized with this hobby of mine, making posts rhyme and somehow fit together, but it’s hard. You see, my blog is about life, and life is grand and vast. It’s not limited to one area or another. Now, I know, that’s probably daunting and makes this adventure seem less appealing.

Or does it?

I promise I won’t be too confusing. Most of my posts nowadays fit into two or three categories, anyway. You’ll find posts about God, what’s happening in my life, and maybe a post about penguins. (I think I actually wrote about them one time.)

If you’re new to this blog, welcome. If you’re old to the blog, welcome again.

I’ve been writing almost everyday since February 1, 2015, and I’d like to continue until who knows when. You can read my old posts here, and continue to follow my journey on this website.

It’s gonna be awesome.

How to make a blog in 4.5 easy steps

I love steps and blogs, so I thought this would be the perfect post for today. If you have a knack for writing, this is for you. Or if you have a knack for reading about things you won’t do, you can enjoy this, too.

Anyway, onward to step uno!

Step 1: Sign up on a blogging website like blogspot or WordPress

This is by far the easiest step in the process because all you need to do is go to wordpress.com or blogspot.com and sign up using you email address. I’ve used both websites to blog and they each have pros and cons.

For instance, blogspot is great for beginners; it’s user-friendly and simple. Its simplicity sort of leads to its downfall, as you can’t do much with it. On the flip-side, though, WordPress is a little bit more complicated, which can get confusing, but there are so many amazing features.

The choice is yours to make, but once you have an account, you can then move on to step 2, which doesn’t need much explanation.

Step 2: Create a blog

See? It’s not that hard.

Step 3: Name your blog

This. Is. Important. Your blog name is crucial, as it conveys everything that your blog is about to your readers. Along with the name for your blog, you need to choose a URL. My old URL was unconventionalspeculations.blogspot.com. This was the worst decision I ever made because it’s incredibly long and hard to remember.

NOTE: Your blog name and URL do not have to be the same. For example, my new URL is benbyler.wordpress.com, but my blog name is still “Unconventional Speculations.” If you have a short blog name, then make it the URL, but if not, don’t make it the same.

When choosing your blog name, jot down three words that you want to describe your blog, and see if they spark any inspiring names.

Step 4: Write on your blog

This sounds easier than it is. Trust me, I know. Some days I’m like, “Great Gatsby! I have the perfect blog idea!” And boom, 500 words later a piece of heaven is published on the internet. Then I wake up and realize it was a dream.

If you want to keep a blog, know that it will take some planning. I like to keep a list of blog ideas on my phone so that if an idea pops into my head randomly, I can write it down instantly. If you’re old fashioned, you can keep a handy-dandy notebook with you and be like Steve himself.

Step 4.5: Write like no one’s reading

This is perhaps not a complete step, but a very important half step. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s sooooo easy to write with a vast audience in mind and think the whole world’s watching you. Guess what, though? They’re not. And until they do, you can simply be yourself and write what’s on your mind. Say something random if you want to say something random. Whatever it is, be real. Be authentic. The internet is chalk-full of fake entertainers. The world is full of fake people acting real instead of being real.

Some posts are going to be really bad, and some will be good. The point of blogging is not to be perfect, which is something I personally learned over the last few months, but rather to be genuine and grow as a writer. Never lose sight of that. If you hold on to that foundation, you’re bound for success in your blog.

Just stop

So I was watching a live concert online (first and probably last time I’ll do that) and saw at least 2 out of the 3 band members pull out their smart phones and film while they were playing.

What?

Like seriously, why?

I get it, I really do. We love to share our lives with others on social media. But why then? Whatever happened to storytelling? Whatever happened to reminiscing?

I believe there’s a time and place for everything. And I don’t think smart phones are evil; I actually think they’re beneficial.

But when we use them at the wrong moments or for the wrong reasons, I’ll say two simple words:

Just stop.

Seriously, the drummer was playing and filming at the same time.

Maybe I’m just jealous, but I find that ridiculous.

Knowing the truth

Sometimes it’s easy to read words without understanding them. You’re almost just looking at them, a simple observer observing something that is observed. You’re hearing noises instead of listening to a specific sound. Talking about nothing like it’s something.

But sometimes when you read something, it sinks in. It grabs a hold of you, turns you upside down for a moment, and gives you a new perspective. It touches your very soul, which is connected somewhere between the heart and mind.

When I read the Bible, it comes to life. It’s more than just some advice, and it sinks in. For instance, I read that God rewards those who sincerely seek him (Heb 11:6), and something clicked. I think too many Christians look at spending time with God as an obligation, and I myself lapse into this mentality sometimes. But when I look back to the days that I really did run after God, with no obligations nor reasons, I get an overwhelming sense of his presence and joy that accompanies spending time with him.  When I seek him, I get that beautiful reward of peace and joy, knowing who I am and who he is. Knowing that’s he’s made wonderful promises, and he’s kept every single one of them.

Once you experience this, there’s no turning back. Because in the end, why would you want to return to the swamps after living in the Kingdom?