• identity •

We all want to belong and feel at home with another person or group of people.

Sometimes we change ourselves to fit a certain image. For a long time, that was me. I knew that wasn’t who I was. It felt off. I was never comfortable with them or with myself. Occasionally, there were those times where I thought we were friends because we hung out. They invited me to go see The Lion King on stage with them! They must like me enough to willingly spend time with the sheltered ginger chick. But I think they were fooled too. I don’t know that they ever enjoyed my company either but I always tagged along in school so what could they do?

Sometimes we lie to ourselves to get through a situation as comfortably as possible.

Other times, some things feel right – or at least better. So we stick a label to our foreheads and say, “this is who I am” because in this identity, I feel more comfortable. And we do that because we know there are other people out there who feel the same way.

But that’s not who we are. That’s what we’re most comfortable with.

Comfort is a lie.

Most of us live in a society that says, “if you are comfortable doing this, do it” or “if you feel happy doing this, do it”. Ethics, morals, and logic fall by the wayside because they are irrelevant when we focus on feelings and comfort.

We are not here to find comfort and happiness. We are not here to “discover ourselves”.

We are here to make this world a better place by using our individual talents and abilities. “Discovering yourself” sounds like it’s the ultimate goal. It’s not. It’s a step to becoming a better person, but not the end goal. All our lives, I think, we will spend trying to discover our voices and use them to do the right thing.

In order to discover who we are, we need to place our identities in something that doesn’t change. Consistency is key. All the confusion comes when we identify and associate ourselves with something that doesn’t satisfy, doesn’t stay unchanging.

Comfort is dangerous. It prevents us from seeing where we need to grow, where we have become stagnant. We ignore the needs of others because we aren’t suffering. But when we do, we wonder where the help is.

Don’t seek comfort. Seek a better way of life. A better you.

Love,

Rana || xoxo

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• happy tag •

The lovely Maddie over at God’s Little Pencil tagged me in the Tag of Happiness (I now have the Happy song stuck in my head)! With school starting on Monday, six college courses, and the question “what have I done” running through my head, I decided this was the perfect time to not think of a post topic. Thanks a mil. to Maddie for doing that for me! Bless you!

I also think it’s perfect timing so that we can get to know each other now that I can respond to you (the ban has been lifted and took my childhood with it)! So let’s get to it:

Songs That Make Me Happy (okay, so I cheated + listed artists instead; sue me):

  • Basically anything on my Spotify playlist, creatively entitled Amasian Jam.
  • Vixx
  • BTS
  • B.A.P.
  • EXO
  • BIGBANG
  • Ailee
  • Eve Ai
  • One OK Rock
  • The GazettE
  • Alice Nine

Books That Make Me Happy:

  • Pride & Prejudice // Jane Austen
  • Love & Freindship // Jane Austen <– No, that is not my typo.
  • The Silmarillion // J.R.R. Tolkien, a.k.a. The Master
  • The Children of Hurin // J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Anything by Tolkien, really.
  • Anything by Mirriam Neal.
  • An Easy Ways to Become a Saint // Paul O’Sullivan O.P.
  • 33 Days to Morning Glory // Michael E. Gaitley <– which reminds me: I need to do my reading for today…
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court // Mark Twain
  • Huckleberry Finn // Mark Twain
  • Phantom of the Opera // Gaston Leroux
  • The Bible // God
  • Alice in Wonderland + Through the Looking Glass // Lewis Carroll

Films That Make Me Happy:

  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  • The Hobbit Trilogy
  • The Hunger Games Series (it’s sobering + is rather hopeful)
  • Little Boy
  • Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  • James Bond: Skyfall
  • Labyrinth // starring the late David Bowie, may his soul rest in peace
  • My Neighbor Totoro

Food That Makes Me Happy:

  • All.
  • Just not that weird spiky fruit whose insides taste + look like snot that I tried over a decade ago.
  • Not that.
  • Or eggplant.

Words That Make Me Happy:

  • Cripple
  • Obfuscate
  • Rhubarb
  • Cat/Kitty
  • Avocado

Scents That Make Me Happy:

  • Vanilla
  • Coconut
  • Christmas
  • Ocean
  • Lebanese kitchens
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • BLT
  • Cinnamon
  • Winter
  • Roses
  • Taylor Swift’s Wonderstruck perfume
  • Katy Perry’s Killer Queen perfume
  • Tea
  • Old books

Random Things That Make Me Happy:

  • Slicing avocados
  • Praying/Adoration
  • J-Rock + K-Pop
  • Warm + fuzzy socks // but only in winter//and not even all the time
  • Boots
  • Winter/Autumn clothes
  • Free time//at least, I think I’d like it if I knew what it was…
  • Writing
  • Books
  • Sheets fresh out of the dryer
  • Newly made beds
  • Baking
  • Grandma’s house
  • Two or three of my little cousins

Shows That Make Me Happy:

  • Kill Me, Heal Me
  • The Middle
  • LOST
  • M*A*S*H
  • I Love Lucy
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show

• Rules •

||Take the banner and put it in your post.||
||List as many things as you want in each category.||
||Come up with more categories if you wish.||

The Tagged

//Rachael//

//Liz//

//Joi//

//Mirriam//

//Annie//

//Bri//

So what about you? Answer some or all of the questions. I’m interested in getting to know you!

Love,

Rana || xoxo

How to be Successful

If you live on the planet Earth, you are going to get asked (if you haven’t been asked already), “So, what do you want to be when you grow up?” or “What’s your major?” or “What’s your career going to be when you graduate?”

No matter what the phraseology, these questions all point to one overarching question: How are you going to make yourself successful?

Write your own definition of success.Most of these people mean financially. My dad is one of those people.

And that’s not a bad thing.

We do need money. Without it, we can’t really do a lot.

But, at the same time, it’s only money. You’re going to die one day and it will mean nothing.

My philosophy is that you should earn enough to be self-supportive and self-sufficient; but, at the same time, don’t make money your first priority because it’s a means to an end. The end is to be happy, right? That’s what we all want.

So.

How to be successful:

Step #1) Define “success.”

Please don’t let other people do this for you. Let that happen and you’ll be miserable. Understand that you will let people down by choosing your own path; but if they leave you because of it, they weren’t meant to stick around. Having your own definition of success is going to help you see the people you’re meant to be with it and it’s going to help you, ultimately, be where you need to be to end up happy.

Your definition of success is going to be your end goal.

Pray for a clear path. Pray for good counsel. We’ve got a good God. He will get where you need to be (a place that will bring you more happiness than if you left it to yourself alone) if you conform your will to His.

Once you know what you consider to be success, then move on to…

Step #2) Find your means to the endIf you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Identify your end goal, then find out a way to get there.

Keep in mind that you may have to do unpleasant jobs (working at the local grocery store instead of owning a bakery) on the way; but keep your goal in mind and it won’t be so difficult. 🙂

Plan it out.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Step #3) Don’t Quit

Every failure is an opportunity to learn to do the task better in the future. You are only a failure if you decide there is nothing to learn or give up.

And if you don’t have your life figured out at 18, whatever.

Society says to x, y, and z by age w. No. You’re not a loser for not conforming to standards not meant for everyone. I feel that it’s ridiculously stupid and moronic to have one standard and hold everyone to it.

As Einstein said, “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it’s stupid.”

Be who you want whether it’s a fish, zebra, wildebeest, monkey, horse, cow, or elephant.

Be your own definition of successful.

Love,

Rana

//whimsy and wishful thinking

I want to make s’mores and spend time, under the stars and moon right now.

But not alone and not with the people I know.

I want to spend time with people who can tell me stories of times long before I was born, in the ages of dragons, magic, and castles. In times of valor and honor and in times much purer than our own.

Adventures, impossible things, and madness.

I want to wear a crown of flowers on my head, walk barefoot in a forest, and feel a cool breeze on my face.

But it’s Florida. It’s hot, humid, and the only stories I hear are from well-meaning people who tell me what they wish happythey’d done differently at my age. Or what I have that they never did. Or what they want me to do.

I just finished my junior year of high school and I want to run away from my creeping responsibilities. I don’t want to be told I’m a loser if I decide that college isn’t for me. I don’t want to be told I’m doing things wrong if I have student debt. I don’t want to be told anything.

I don’t want to be labeled a loser for decisions that go contrary to society’s definition of “success.”

I want to be happy.

I want to travel, explore, meet people I can learn from, tell stories, love, make good food, and just…

I want to be happy.

And I want to make other people happy.

I wish making people happy was a job. Because that would be great. And I would totally love it.

Have a lovely Friday, friend! ❤

Love,

Rana