Thursday, March 26, 2015

One Direction, Plane Crashes, and why it's okay to care about both.

Admit it, you're a tiny bit sad to see him go.
As some of you may have seen on CNN Breaking News (I don't think they actually covered it, but I wouldn't be surprised), Zayn from One Direction has decided to leave the boy band. While 13-year-old, hearts all over the world have been breaking the rest of the populace has generally been disgusted at the fact that anyone could be concerned about boy band news at a time when planes are being intentionally crashed into mountains and hundreds of woman have been taken captive. Though it makes sense to see this as an example of how loathsome the younger generation is, that is really missing a much bigger point that this shows.

Now bear with me, but sometimes we need a boy band potentially breaking up to be the worst thing to happen to us today. Every day there are upwards of 7 billion different lives playing out. Their day is sometimes boring, sad, happy, interesting, wonderful, devastating, average, a whole multitude of things that make up their individual life. Now imagine trying to care about every single of those lives, the good, the bad, the plain.

You have hopefully realized that you can't. It's impossible to care about everything and every single person around you no matter how empathic you are. In fact, it's emotionally exhausting trying to care about all of those things. Depending on your specific situation, you may be carrying around your own set of emotional baggage with that also.

While we do need to be aware of world around us and what is happening some days we need to just get by until the next one. And maybe thinking about and comprehending that day's tragedies are just not going to let you get there, so you have to place your sadness and emotions in other places that don't seem quite as important to others.

I guess the overall moral is that being upset about frivolous things does not take away from the gravity of the real tragedies, sometimes it just helps us deal with it.

So tomorrow we can mourn the loss of those 150 people that passed too soon in the Germanwings plane crash. But today if we can only handle mourning the loss of the "cute one" from One Direction, let that be enough.


*Note: While I doubt that many 13-year-olds will wake up tomorrow and care about the hard hitting news stories, I thought that this was an adept example to illustrate how I think this could apply to anyone. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Are we making ourselves lonely?

How well do you really know your friends or significant others? You probably spend a lot of time with them and talk about a huge range of topics. But does that mean you really know them?

When I was in Argentina I spent every day with the same few people. By default of not being able to distract ourselves with cell phones or really talk to anyone else, we spent a lot of time talking about everything. After three months, I felt safe in saying that I knew them all pretty well. But then one evening it somehow came up that one person's sibling had a brain tumor and other's parent had terminal cancer. I was blown away by the fact that I knew nothing at all about these people, not really. 

It's so easy to live our lives pretending to go deep and pretending to really share ourselves with others when we actually do it so rarely. I know that I personally am guilty of doing the tell you enough unimportant information that you feel like you know me, when I've really told you nothing at all. 

Our deepest conversations so often focus on our past struggles or on the silly surface level details rather than our current challenges. We fake real connections then wonder why we feel so lonely and isolated. 

I'm not suggesting that we start off all our relationships and conversations with heavy, difficult topics, but rather that we make it a point to share those at some point in time. 

I think what makes my relationship so strong with my closest friends (aka my girls) is not that I know what each of them does every day or what each of their favorite colors are, it is that I know what scares them and what motivates them and what makes them uniquely them. The other stuff is great to know, but the fact that one of my friends loves rice and the other is obsessed with Kristin Wiig does little to let me know who they really are. 

So often, we try to guard ourselves against getting hurt, when really we end up hurting ourselves much more by not creating real connections with the people around us. I challenge you to make your relationships with people more intentional whether, platonic, romantic, familial, or otherwise. 

Sometimes you are going to get hurt or rejected, but sometimes you are also going to create deeper, more meaningful relationships with people. I don't know about you, but I think that makes the risk worth it.  

Monday, March 2, 2015

Guess who's back?!

Back by popular demand... well not really, but we'll say there was a demand, I am blogging again! Unfortunately, as a few of you have noticed, Classy Abroad got a virus or something and is just unintelligible gibberish. So I have decided to return to my roots and go back to the original Classy in KC!

But never fear, you can still view of my tales and adventures here. Who doesn't want to relive the glory of the time I got robbed, ripped my pants, AND called myself a prostitute by accident all in one weekend? Or the time I got to bottle feed some tigers. But we all know that everyone's favorite story of all is how I helped transport a dead body.

While I can't promise anything to quite that caliber of excitement in the near future, I do vow to begin regularly blogging again so you all can keep up on what thrilling things happen from my cubicle!

Here's to new adventures!!