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Continuing The Tradition…

It feels a little strange to be blogging right now considering that it has been months since I have done so. But, this is a tradition I didn’t want to break. I have been sitting here looking for the words and haven’t really found the right ones. So, I am just going to roll with it.

 A little over 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave one of the most well spoken, most memorable speeches of our time. Most of us know parts of the speech, especially the ” I have a Dream” part. And after doing this challenge for several years in a row , I think that the thing I remember most about this speech, is the passion that Dr. King had for freedom and civil rights. Which really for me boils down to Dr. King’s obvious PASSION.

Before I go on, I recommend you read the speech and watch it for yourself. After all, what I have to say about it, it really isn’t the point. The point is to read and listen and reflect for yourself.

You can read the whole speech HERE. Once you have done that, take the 17 minutes to watch it (it’s worth it):

Now, I could go into the details of all my reactions and reflections of Dr. King’s speech. But, this whole challenge is about self-reflection. So, this year that’s what I am going to do. It’s different, I know, but I think it’s necessary. For me.

Before I started writing this post I also read my past blogs on this challenge. And let me tell you, it kinda hit in the face (hard). In both posts, but especially last year’s, I talked a lot about feeling the urge to be better, to be more passionate. And now, a year later, I am trying to think of the moments where I was passionate. And sure, I can see days or moments or conversations where my passion for one thing or another really shined through. But, then I think about the other days and moments and conversations where I showed little to no passion. And those instances, it seems, far outweigh the others. 

That sucks, but it’s true. I am struck with the thought that it is so easy to be inspired for a day or a week. And then what happens? It goes away. It fades. Until it completely vanishes and a year later you are sitting at your computer wondering what happened. And no, this isn’t a post about me being a downer on myself. Because honestly, I can’t go back and change those conversations or moments.

The one thing I can do; however, is adjust my future. I have said it before and I will go ahead and say it again. I am passionate–maybe even to a fault. When I believe in something (or someone) I stick to my guns and I invest a lot of time and trust into it. Despite what others might say about that thing or person, I don’t easily give up on them.

So I wonder, if I don’t easily give up (usually) and I care a whole lot, where is my passion going? Why isn’t it at the forefront of my thoughts and actions? And how do I make that change?

None of these questions are easy. I will not have answers today. But, I am also reminded by my past posts that life is a journey. And my journey is really just beginning. So I have time to be passionate. Not time to wait to be passionate, but time to figure out what that looks like for me. 

So in the meantime, here is to making mistakes and just doing me. And letting that be okay.

I hope that you take time to reflect too. To really ponder what Dr. King’s speech means for you. It can be scary and hard to really reflect, trust me, I know. But at the end of the day, I think it can be so worth it.

Peace and Blessings

78 Short Hours…

That ended way too soon.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of traveling to Pittsburgh, PA for the NACURH 2013 Conference. This is an annual conference held for students involved in the Residence Hall Associations of universities across the country. Friday afternoon, 10 of us jumped in a few vans and our adventure began.

I had no idea what to expect; I had never been to the east, and I had never been to a NACURH Conference. What I found when I finally got there far exceeded my expectations.

To start, Pitt’s campus is absolutely beautiful. As in, the most beautiful college campus I have ever stepped foot on. From the historic buildings, to the landscaping, everything was pretty much perfect.

ImageA Chapel on Pitt’s Campus.

ImageThe Cathedral of Learning, which is the tallest academic building in the Western Hemisphere.

ImageA view of Pitt’s campus from the 37th floor of the Cathedral of Learning.

ImageLooks a little like Hogwarts, huh?

It was in those buildings that students and advisors (me) sat in sessions. The sessions I sat in on were about how to better my advising techniques. Sessions ranged from the pretty basic, normal presentations, to learning how to advise the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (yes…you read that correctly). I also learned about various programming ideas to bring back to campus, one of which I will be blogging about soon!

Now, don’t be fooled, it wasn’t all seriousness while I was there. I did find two dinosaurs during our little adventures…that’s right dinosaurs:

Image

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I broke a world record with the entire conference. What record, you ask? The NACURH 2013 attendees broke the record for the longest synchronized robot dance on Saturday night!

And finally, I met some pretty spectacular professionals in my field. Ranging from new to veterans in student affairs, the folks I met were encouraging, down-to-earth, and stinking hilarious. I don’t think I have ever laughed so much on a bus.

The past weekend was a complete whirlwind of adventure, learning, and fun. I had a blast, and was also reminded how much I like adventures, learning, and meeting new people. Here’s to more of all three of those things soon.

Peace and Blessings

Summer Goals…

Yea, I’ve got some. (Hank Williams, Jr. reference anyone, anyone?)

If you know me at all, or probably better put, if you have ever worked with me, you know that I am a goal oriented person. Everything I do has a goal or some kind of list attached to it.

If you look at my office desk you will find to-do lists, sticky notes, and a task list on my laptop. And, while I think goals for work and such are great, my favorite kind of goals are personal ones.

My favorite kind of goals have some deep personal meaning. It’s my opinion that these kind of goals are the most impactful and often the most fun to complete. Don’t get me wrong, finishing my work to-do list is fulfilling, just in a different way.

Over the weekend I decided I needed to make some summer goals for myself so that I didn’t waste the next few months of my life simply watching Netflix. Below are my top 5 goals for the summer:

  1. Find somewhere to volunteer. — Service is something I have always enjoyed, and something I have been missing a lot recently. I am currently in the process of finding a local organization to volunteer with on a weekly basis.
  2. Document my life better. — This is two-fold. The first step is blogging more (which I think is going quite well at this point). What’s second? Well, I have a fancy camera now, and I resolve to use it! My main goal is to start taking more pictures, after all, they do last longer right?
  3. Complete one craft every week. — I have found myself pinning lots of fun crafty projects for fun home decor and cute little gift type things. And, I as I go through them, I always stop and think, man…I should really do some of these. I love crafting, and so why not spend more time doing what I love? I already started on a fun wreath to show some support for my building’s mascot…the banana! Pictures to come soon!
  4. Cook or bake something new each week. — This was actually a goal I started in January. I am in a bit of a lull right now because all of my kitchen supplies are packed away. But, come July, it’s on!
  5. Read. — I don’t think that this really needs a lot of explanation. But, one thing I have learned is that the more I read, typically, the better I write. So, hey what’s not to like about that goal?

A wise person once told me that if you share your goals with others, you are much more likely to attempt to accomplish them (is that some peer pressure or what?). But, hey, whatever works. I want these to happen, and if writing them down publicly will help, so be it.

Now you might be saying to yourself…Megan…you should be motivating yourself too, not just counting on peer pressure. Don’t you worry; I am.

Like I mentioned earlier, I am a list maker. And when I am making a list, I typically try to make my lists cute and funny. I also on occasion will find some motivating quote and stick it on there.

Do you have any summer goals?

Peace and Blessings

Livin the Renovations Life…

All I’ve got to say is, there’s never a dull moment.

For the past year of my life, I have lived in a building that was partially under renovations. And, after a year, the newly renovated south-half of my building will be opening soon! I couldn’t be more excited.

A new apartment. A new look to the building. And plenty of new furniture. It’s a pretty exciting time in general.

But, don’t let that fool you. Renovations aren’t all fun and games. And while the end result is totally worth it, getting there has its ups and downs. Don’t get me wrong, nothing terrible has happened. But, over the past year, there has been enough noise and dust to last me for awhile.

Renovations have taught me a lot about life. For instance:

  1. ALWAYS look before you step; you never know what might be on the ground (generally a pretty good life lesson I think).
  2. Be flexible with your plans, because in the end, they will probably change.
  3. Ear plugs are a life saver (or hearing saver?…hmm).

The exciting thing is that I get to move into my brand new apartment soon.

Currently, to get to my soon-to-be apartment or office I have to walk through a construction zone. Which, of course means closed-toe shoes–sturdy ones (I’m not talking about ballet flats here people). And let me be really honest, closed toed shoes, such as tennis shoes, really don’t go well with my summer wardrobe.

Take my outfit today, for example:

ImageThat’s right, a maxi skirt and tennis shoes. I really think that this style might just catch on…what do you think?

(Bet you never thought that this would be a fashion blog, did ya?)

One of my big summer projects is to start decorating my new space. I have a lot of ideas, and a decent amount of free time; so we’ll see what happens. There will be plenty of pictures, I’m sure.

Peace and Blessings

Oh, Hey…

Long time no see.

Ok, so more like long time no write. I mean…a REALLY long time.

About a month ago, a friend of mine asked what happened to my blog. And I honestly had no answer. Sure, I had been busy. Sure, I was kind of having major writer’s block. But, honestly, I couldn’t really figure out why I actually stopped writing.

I thought about it. And even tried to write a few times, only to have my efforts thwarted by technology issues. And so, as I sat around and thought about writing, I made a decision.

I decided that once summer came around, I was going to write. THE END. No questions asked. No excuses.

So,  it’s about a week into summer vacation thus far. And I think it is finally time to start writing again.

This time, I am have decided not to put many stipulations on myself. I will try to write every day. But, I won’t make any promises that it will actually happen. And, I can almost guarantee that I will have to work my way up to every day.

My end goal, you ask? EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Before I wrote this post, I decided to go back to the beginning, all the way back to post number 1. I wrote that post in February 2011. Seems a little crazy to me that it was that long ago.

Anyways, I wanted to remember my original inspiration. Do you remember? Here is a refresher:

Change the word “show” to “blog” and there is a my general idea.

A blog about nothing. And, in essence, everything. Or at least everything pertaining to me, my life, and my daily observations.

So, here goes nothing…

Peace and Blessings

A Sad Day In Sports History…

Of course, I am about a week late. But still, a very sad day for the athletic community indeed.

Let’s be honest, sports aren’t highly discussed on my blog. And, I am generally a huge fan of the Olympics. But, this is an issue that I am pretty passionate and upset about. So here it goes:

About a week ago, the IOC (the governing body of the Olympics) cut wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games. The IOC informed the world that this was their way of “renewing and renovating” the games. And while the IOC can prove that wrestling may not have been rated and watched as highly by viewers of the London Games as gymnastics and swimming, it is still a very valid sport, and important to the culture and history of the Games. 

Did you know that wrestling was part of the first ever Summer Olympic Games? That’s right folks, wrestling has been in the Olympic games since 1896. And realistically before that even; 1896 was simply the first year the Olympics were recognized as an organized, international event. 

What the IOC has decided to do is get rid of a classic, in favor of something new, something fresh, something more “modern.” Dropping wrestling made way for The Modern Pentathlon to stay apart of the games. This event combines fencing, swimming, horse riding, shooting, and running. All events which are already events of the Summer Olympic Calendar. Which leaves these athletes multiple opportunities to compete, and wrestlers none.

Besides the fact that wrestling is a classic, the IOC is failing to realize the caliber of athletes and people that this sport produces. Not only are the men AND WOMEN who participate in this event in peak physical condition, they are also some of the most strong minded out there. 

For those of you who don’t know, wrestling requires an athlete to be disciplined, mentally tough, patient, resilient, brave, and daring (to name a few). Wrestling requires an athlete to go above and beyond normal competition. As I have heard so many times, wrestling is 90% mental and 10% physical. Wrestling is quite simply not your average sport.

The wrestlers I have known have inspired me to be a better person. To push through trials and challenges. To try even when continuing seems impossible. To not discount anyone. To not watch the clock. To never, ever give up until the metaphorical buzzer sounds. And while they may seem like big tough guys, most wrestlers are some of the best friends and most caring people I have ever met and will go out of their way to help those in need.

I would hate for future generations of young adults to not have the privilege to learn similar lessons from such a fantastic group of individuals. 

Wrestling needs to be saved. And it still can be. Wrestling will compete against 7 other sports to regain its rightful spot in the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. And it is our job to inform the IOC that it has made the wrong decision by removing wrestling. And that by doing so, they are diminishing the dreams of young wrestlers worldwide. It is our job to prove that the classics are worth keeping around. That history is more important than rejuvenation.

Don’t believe me about wrestlers? Check out this video:

I don’t know about you, but that inspires me. Not just the greats winning their matches, but the young guns. Let’s give them something to look forward to. #saveolympicwrestling

Peace and Blessings

A Challenge Turned Tradition…

One year ago today, I took my old boss (and good friend) up on challenge. And today, that challenge has become a new tradition for me.

If you were unaware, today is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. But, I am sure the majority of you knew that.

A year ago today, I was challenged to read and watch Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech and then reflect. So I did. And then I challenged you to do the same. Which I am going to do again.

So before you keep reading, you can read the speech HERE. And then, watch it:

I said this last year, and I will say it again. After reading and listening I feel nothing I have to say is of any importance. I will warn you that this blog, this blog, will not be nearly as eloquent as what you just heard. So, with that warning, feel free to continue.

This entire speech is worth quoting and pointing out. It is hard for me to pinpoint the specific things that stuck out to me this year. But, there are a few.

In the middle of his speech Dr. King discusses the “urgency of now.” He beautifully states that NOW is the time to make change. Not tomorrow. Not next year. Not even five minutes from now. Just NOW. As I think about that, I am kind of hit in the face. How often do I see something wrong with the world we live in and say, “I can deal with that later,” or “I can’t do anything right now,” or “Someone else will deal with it, right?,” ? So often we see something wrong, let it cool off, and then try to fix it. But I think Dr. King is right. If we continually push off our problems, they are never going to be solved. Ever.

I am also struck with Dr. King’s phrase, “We cannot walk alone….We cannot turn back.” I am so reminded that we can’t solve everything alone. We are so interconnected to those around us-whether be someone sitting right next to me, or someone halfway around the world. All of us are connected. And all of our fates, just like Dr. King says, are “inextricably bound” together. If we cannot all move forward together, whether we completely agree on things or not, we are going to be stuck in a never-ending stand-still. No change. No progress. No real hope for a better tomorrow. If we aren’t progressing forward, we are in a way turning back. Eventually you get so bogged down that you fall back into old habits, and progress, well it gets lost.

Dr. King’s speech reminds that I simply can’t do things alone. One person might be able to start a movement, but it takes a group to make something come of it. I am reminded that all people, we are in this together. I am reminded that you can’t be a leader if you have no followers. And, what is a movement of one person? Is that even a movement?

I am speechless. In awe. Stunned. Amazed.

As I read and watched this speech I have the extreme urge to be better. Sure, that probably sounds really silly. But it’s the truth. As I sit here, I am filled with the urge to go out and make something of my life, of current circumstances. But, more than anything, I am filled passion. I said that last year as well, but it still rings true for me.

As I watched the video, I was so drawn in by Dr. King’s obvious passion for freedom. His passion was contagious. When the camera panned the audience, you could see it in their faces. I like to consider myself a pretty passionate person. But, what am I doing with that passion? Am I using it? These are the thoughts I am left with. I am hopeful that as I continue on my journey, for it is only the beginning, that I will find ways to exude passion. Every. Single. Day.

I hope the same for you. That you will find that one (or many) thing(s) that you are passionate about. And you will live your life in a way that utilizes that pure passion for the betterment of those around you.

Peace and Blessings