Monday, April 23, 2012

Choose joy.

Have you ever had someone tell you that happiness is a choice? That all of those things that make you feel sad, or angry, or hurt only have as much bearing on your life as you let them?

I have. Plenty of times. When things have been good, and when things have been not so good. And I really do believe it. Things can get you down and you can be bummin' all the time, or you can choose to see the good things around you and be happy.

I just finished "Cold Tangerines," a book about celebrating life by Shauna Niequist. In the last chapter of the book, she describes this choice so well. And it's our motivation this  Monday.

"It's rebellious, in a way, to choose joy, to choose to dance, to choose to love your life. It's much easier and much more common to be miserable. But I choose to do what I can do to create hope, to celebrate life, and the act of celebrating connects me back to that life I love."

Inspiring, no? Get out there and create hope. Choose to dance. Celebrate!

(image via)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You and your friends are on different pages.

"At 25, you will feel drastically more mature than some people you know, embarrassingly less put-together than others, and acutely aware of these imbalances in lifestyle, career, and consciousness between you and the friends you used to feel absolutely in sync with. This can be isolating. Out of nowhere, you can go from feeling buoyantly held aloft on the tumultuous sea of life by friends who totally get you, to feeling… you know, whatever the opposite equivalent of that analogy is. Desert Island or whatever. Don’t fret. Your 20s is supposed to be a time of rapid growth and development in every area of your everything, but we don’t always — in fact, rarely ever — evolve along the same timeline. And so we lose pace with each other.

Maybe in the next few years, you and your former soulmates will end up in the same place again and be BFFs. Or maybe you won’t. Maybe your path will take you to a whole new group of friends who are more suited to this stage of your life, and hopefully your old friends find that, too. Regardless, don’t let the fact that you and your pals have less in common than ever become grounds for resentment, anger, self-doubt or any of that nasty sh-t. It sucks, it’s sad sometimes (social limbo is a lonely land, yo), but the best you can do is stand behind your own choices, stay focused on continuing to become the happiest, healthiest, most successful version of yourself possible, and try to retain a certain sense of social zen — people come in and out of your life, and that’s okay."

While I'm still a year from the quarter-century mark, this Thought Catalog piece about the 6 Things You Learn at 25 had a lot of interesting things to say. Things that resonated with me. Especially these two paragraphs (otherwise known as thing #5 on the list).

As I look around at my friends (the people with whom I've shared relatively similar lives up to this point), I realize that we are all in very, very different places. Some of us are married. Some of us have children! Some of us are buying houses, or cars. Some of us are searching for jobs. 

It's easy to compare myself to my friends who, in one way or another, seem way more "put together" or "grown up" than me. It's hard feeling in "social limbo," as this writer puts it. Everyone is in different stages and it just feels like we're no longer the people we used to be.

And we aren't. But that doesn't mean any of us is doing the wrong thing. It means that we're growing! Maybe in different directions, but we're growing. And that's not wrong or bad. That's great. As long as we're following this advice: "...stand behind your own choices, stay focused on continuing to become the happiest, healthiest, most successful version of yourself possible." 


Monday, April 9, 2012

Keep this in mind.

Short and sweet today. Keep a small goal and it will be accomplished!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Let go of the life you have planned.

Are you a planner? I am. I can't tell you how many times I've made a plan for what was going to come next. In high school, I had a plan for college. In college, I had a plan for what came next. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that those plans all changed. Multiple times.

Thank goodness those plans changed! I wouldn't be where I am if I'd followed through with what I thought was best. I have no doubt that the life I could be leading would be blessed, fun and fulfilling. But where I am right now? This place that wasn't even on the back burner? It's much better than anything I could have planned. 

Here's to letting go!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What are you doing April 4?

It's been awhile since I posted anything but a bit of motivation for your Monday. But today, I want to tell you about a great event happening two weeks from today--Wednesday, April 4 at Carlow University.

The event is the Pittsburgh Service Summit, from Get Involved!, Inc. Get Involved! is a nonprofit dedicated to engaging, energizing, educating and empowering students and young professionals. AKA, the next generation of folks that are going to do something great for Pittsburgh.

Interested in getting involved in your community? Believe that service can make a difference in the lives of others (and in your own life)? Come to the Service Summit and hear from some like-minded folks.

The Service Summit features 3 key note speakers: John Stahl-Wert (Serving Leaders/Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation), Benjamin Wagner (Senior VP at MTV News) and Luke Skurman (CEO of College Prowler). There will also be ten breakout sessions, on topics ranging from teamwork to developing personal goals to the importance of community service. The night will wrap up at 7 p.m. with the awarding of the Get Involved! and Rising Stars awards.

I'm honored to say that I have been selected as one of Western Pennsylvania's Rising Stars! I can only attribute this designation to being connected to some of the coolest people in Pittsburgh. The other winners are doing some really incredible things for our City and for the world. It's truly an honor to be recognized with such amazing people.

So, I'd love to see you April 4! We'll start hanging out for keynotes and breakouts at 4 p.m. Awards begin at 7. See you there?

For more information or to see the entire list of winners, visit Get Involved! Inc's website.