Sleeping in = late posts

For the past week I was able to get up at 7 o’clock or before.

And boy did I get a lot done.

Then I went to a school picnic, ran around for too long, and stayed up late last night. Suffice it to say, I slept in this morning. It was a bad idea and my day was all backed-up.

Note to self: don’t do that again.

Note to others: getting up early is awesome and has numerous benefits.

Perhaps I’ll talk about those benefits tomorrow.

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Words

“Words bring the life out of nothing, Ranger.” The elderly man chuckled. “Just look at that rock over there; what do you see?”

My eyes followed the man’s gaze to a marble-sized rock a few feet in front of us.

“It looks like a rock.”

Old Henry laughed.

“Of course it’s not just a ‘rock,’ Ranger! Think further than that! This rock has a story—-a whole life—-that can be smothered in words, smothered into anything you can think of.” He leaned forward and picked up the rock. By the look in his eyes, you’d think he was picking up a rare gem. “No, you see, the importance of this rock dates back thousands of years. Some famous person loved this invaluable rock. Do you remember his name?”

I didn’t.

“Was it Jim?” I joked.

“Why yes it was! Good memory!” Henry fiddled with the rock in his hand, dancing it to some silent rhythm. “You see, I’m just making stuff up right now. I could do it all day. That’s what we did here at the news station; we made stuff up. Obviously people fell for it for a while, but they eventually caught on. So we thought of a better plan… ” Henry cracked the rock open to reveal a small piece of gold.

I gasped.

“Well would you look at that! What are the chances that I would find this? There are no chances, of course, because I put this here earlier. I planted a story. I planted a lesson.” Henry laughed and tossed me the rock, catching me off guard and causing me to awkwardly drop it.

“That’s what we do here now, Ranger. We put the life into nothing. We create stories, we make stories. If they cry out for evidence, we give it to them. Everyone’s happy, and we get to go home with peace knowing we can provide for our families.”

It was suddenly very quiet. I looked at Henry and realized he was waiting for my response. My joyful response? It looked like he was happy. Did he want me to be happy? Because I wasn’t. Deep down my stomach turned at the thought of them creating scenarios just to make money off of telling stories. Maybe he only meant the good stories about ordinary men saving children at just the right moment. Sure, it’s fake, there’s no hero and only a cast of paid actors, but that’s probably the only thing they do, right?

“That’s interesting,” I found myself saying. “You only do this for some of our stories,” I stuttered. “It’s not like we’d organize a robbery or… ” My mind went blank and I said the first thing that popped into my head. “…murder someone.”

There was long pause.

Old Henry starting laughing again. That cackling roar echoed through the air. He patted me on the back and turned toward the office door. “Loosen up, Ranger.” The door shut uneasily behind him.

I sighed and looked down upon the open rock at my feet. What had I gotten myself into?

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.