There is a quote I recently rediscovered, and it may be my new favorite quote!
“We are the sum total of our experiences. Those experiences – be they positive or negative – make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives. And, like a flowing river, those same experiences, and those yet to come, continue to influence and reshape the person we are, and the person we become. None of us are the same as we were yesterday, nor will be tomorrow.” - B. J. Neblett
Do you want to know what is really appreciated? When people are real and true to who they are. When people don’t pretend to be something they are not, but are fine with the little quirks of what makes them, them! That seems to be the theme of not only tonight, but also the last few weeks for me.
I feel like recently I’ve become very focused on myself. In this crazy world where we live to find something create to say on Twitter, sometimes our priorities get a little rearranged. We spend so much time trying to make our lives look perfect online, that we stop noticing the people around us. I know that’s true for me sometimes.
I used to have a flip phone. In fact I had it until May of this year. I’d always get so annoyed when people around me were glued to their phones. I had a flip phone, so there were no games/apps to play on it. In order to get my friends attention I’d have to text them from the across the room to “look up.” I was slightly embarrassed of my old phone and would try to keep it in my pocket as often as possible so people couldn’t see it. However, in May I got my new Iphone. I was finally like all of my friends. I could take pictures and take my Instagram account to a whole new level! However all of the sudden I didn’t want to look people in the eye any more. If I went to a restaurant and was getting take out, I’d go stand in the corner and look at my phone until my name was called, instead of striking up a conversation with the person next to me. Talking to people I don’t know can be awkward, and what if they don’t look up from their phone, I’d look like an idiot!
I watched the movie “Beyond the Lights” tonight. I remember when my roommates and I saw the preview for it in theaters. It looked pretty cheesy. I don’t think it even made it to the cheap theater when I live. My roommate got it on Redbox a few months ago, but didn’t give it glowing reviews. When I saw it tonight at first I was wondering if it was going to be like all those other shows that have terrible sad endings like “Sparkle” and “Country Strong.” It didn’t. It was actually quite inspiring, plus the music and more over the lyrics were moving. It was definitely a chick flick. Both of the main actors in the movie were both trying to be something that they weren't, and were becoming something that they didn't want to be. The way they got through that? They were honest with each other and told each other "I see you." As in "I see you for who you are, not what is portrayed on TV."
It reminded me a lot of a few years ago when Demi Lovato was in the public’s eye for cutting and her bipolar disorder. It’s got to be hard to be in the lime light with everyone watching your every move. However she bounced back, and didn’t hide the fact that she was struggling and overcoming things. She decided to use it for good, and to try to be a role model for others who were struggling as well.
Another artist I’ve enjoyed listening to is Pink. She is about as real as they come. She’s never cared what anyone thought about her. She sings the truth. Sometimes that’s hard to hear, but she doesn’t back down.
Where does that leave us? We are not perfect. My cousin who is serving an LDS mission right now sent me an email today. She said something very applicable to this and sent a link to a really great article in a magazine. This is what she said:
“In my personal study this week I came across an article in the Ensign of November 2013. I would really encourage you to read it! it is called Upon the Top of the Waters. I loved it because It talks about how "Calm seas don't take us to the promise land, Stormy seas do." We go through hard times in life in order to grow. READ IT! It is only like a page long. I'll even help you out with a link. https://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/10/upon-the-top-of-the-waters?lang=eng
You will love it.
I know that we are not here to just live an easy perfect life. We are here to learn and grow and become Like God! We cannot become like him if we are not constantly growing, and we don't grow without experience. If you are going through a hard time, remember that.”
Also, there is a book that I had to read for a class my senior year of college. It’s called, “What Do You Care What Other People Think?” by Richard P. Feynman. Mr. Feynman is a Physicist and won the Nobel Peace Prize in Physics in 1965. The theme that flows through out this book is what he and his wife continually ask each other, “What do you care what other people think?” They remind each other of this question, and she even goes so far as to order a bunch of pencils and send them to Mr. Feynman at work, so that every day he is reminded of this question, and to remember to be who he truly is.
So next time your boss asks you what you think of a new project, your friend asks for advice, a guy you’re not particularly fond of asks you out for the third or fourth time, tell them the truth. Tell them as kindly as possible what you really think. It’s amazing what a little honesty can do. We need a more truth and light in this world.