Change with the leaves

inspiration, life, motivational, random

015So autumn is here, which means a lot of things. The leaves have changed to rustic browns, tangy oranges, and mellow yellows. They’ve transformed the landscape into a passionate and fiery transition to winter.

Every year around this time, I like to reflect. I like to take a look back at what I’ve accomplished this year, what I’m proud of, and what I want to change. With the year coming to a close, I always want to take the opportunity to see where I’m at.

I like to take a look at my lifestyle. Have I made the changes I wanted to make? Have I achieved the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year? Have I treated myself well?

Then I reflect on my academic progress. I know the struggles I’ve won, the obstacles I’ve overcome, and though things got difficult at times, I remember that I made it through. I praise myself because I need to remember I have the strength to make it through.

What about my relationships? I take a look at the relationships in my life. Are the friends I have healthy? Do they add positivity to my life? Do they create the kind of atmosphere I want to be around? Do they make me better? I consider if there are any people I should cut loose.

Finally, I take a look back at the things I did to push myself out of my comfort zone. What things did I do the test myself? Did the outcome of taking those chances make me grow? Were they positive or negative experiences?

I often feel a weight lifted off my shoulders when I can break down everything and analyze it. I can pinpoint where I have excelled and where I have fallen short. It’s a chance to re-evaluate how life is progressing and remind yourself that you are doing a good job, doing the best you can, and growing. You can change your colors with the leaves.

-Collins

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A spook-tacular Holiday!

fun, halloween, life, random, writing

treeSo Halloween is definitely my favourite holiday of the year. There’s just something so awesome about everyone dressing up as someone else for a while. For one night the atmosphere in the world seems happy, mysterious, and creepy. Anything seems possible. Plus you can scare the crap out of people and not get yelled at!

The kids trick-or-treating is what really does it. It’s just pure glee and fun. I love handing out candy and seeing their costumes. My favourite was from the early 2000s. This little girl was dressed up as a bunch of grapes. She was wearing purple and covered in purple balloons, with a little green hat. Beyond cute.

How can anyone not like horror movies? There’s just something about cheesy horror movies from the ’70s and ’80s that add to the holiday. The terrified screams and obvious plots coupled with really gory scenes are fantastic. (On a side note, why does it seem so many Halloween movies take place during Christmas? Gremlins? The Nightmare Before Christmas?) Besides the Halloween Town movies, there was this one movie I love to watch every year called The Halloween Tree. If you haven’t seen it, you should look it up.

If you really think about it, how strange is it that we chose the pumpkin to carve out, cut a face into, and then stick a candle inside. You know a holiday is awesome when you commit mass gourd murder!

And finally, do I need to say it? Chocolate. Candy. Yum. Every year I buy one box of candy for the kids and one for me.

Happy Halloween everyone!

-Collins

A photograph can speak a thousand words

inspiration, life, motivational, photography, random, thoughts

97

“97”

This is a photo I took after a very important event in my life. I won’t say too much about it. But when I look at it, it is a reminder of the dangers of things that we may over look sometimes. That we need to remain vigilant in our lives, keep our eyes open.

-Turner

The “You” Effect

advice, inspiration, life, motivational, random

I’ve come to realise something recently. I’ve been living my life blissfully unaware of how my presence can affect others. And I’m not talking about being a negative person or the way that I treat others, but the way that others react to me. Now we all know that we are different versions of ourselves with different people, but that is not because we are two-faced or fake, it is because different people bring out different things in us. And in turn, you bring out different things in that person. It’s pretty cool actually.

I recall once in a junior high class I made female classmate, known for being “bitchy” and stone-faced, laugh. I had just said some funny remark in passing, and that joke somehow broke through her hard exterior. Had I intended to do that? No. But the effect was interesting. My best friend seat beside me marveled how she’d never seen that girl laugh before. I felt a sort of surprised joy at this. My friend had always hailed me as the funniest person she knows, so her observations of the situation were of the praising kind. I also felt a small pang of jealously from her because she was friends with the other girl and talked to her frequently in passing. It almost seemed that I had won some sort of race without even entering it.

Although I am not an extremely outgoing person, I find I don’t have a problem taking charge when put into group situations. This surprises me frequently because I am always reserved and quiet in public, but when I need to step up, I do. But strangely enough, if someone requires a volunteer for a magic trick, or someone needs to go first, I won’t do it. I don’t like the attention, everyone watching me. The only exception to this though, is if I am with someone else who is too scared to go first. It seems that their reluctance gives me the courage and the feeling of necessity to lead. This could have something to do with having a young sister and needing to go first to show her that, say, the dentist wasn’t that scary. My sister is soft-spoken too, and I find that this brings out the rambunctious side of me. I talk louder and more animated with her, which she regards with annoyance, always ordering me to not talk so loud.

Despite my aversion to being the center of attention, I’ve always regarded acting and dancing as things I’d want to do. Stepping out into the afternoon light after exiting a theater I would feel myself becoming a character, I’d adopt their mannerisms and speech for about an hour afterwards. I would look around me at the world, as if it were the set of a scene. The feeling of playing a character thrilled me. I would think to myself, I could do this, but not as a main character in a movie, maybe a guest star on a television series. Dancing also intrigued me. I could never see myself as a professional dancer, but just dancing around my house would make me feel so alive. And though dancing is an art, that doesn’t mean you have to be a master to dance. Classic dances like jives and tangos would fill my head and I wanted to learn them all. I would see dancers in my head as I imagined choreographing dances, but could never replicate the steps.

On the topic of emotions and expressing them, I seldom cross the line of tears or releasing anger. I rarely get worked up to the point of anger and refuse to cry in the company of another. But I will be the shoulder you can cry on or express your upset to. I make it a priority to make anyone being this raw in my presence to feel comfortable. Countless times I will sit and listen and understand. And as much I would like someone to be like that for me, I just couldn’t let myself get that way. I’m not sure why.

Basically, if you review your interactions, your thoughts, and how you react in certain situations, you will start to understand how your presence affects yourself and those around you. This is something that took me a long time to notice. But I’m glad I did. Because once you understand you can shape the world you are creating through steadier hands.

-Collins

The “I Have a Complaint” Generation

inspiration, life, motivational, random, thoughts, writing

Nowhere in history has there ever been so many people complaining. We do it without even thinking about it. In traffic, in line at a store, at the post office. We seem to have begun to believe that we are the most important thing out there and that we deserve everything. Well everyone is important, but not in that way. We do have a right to free speech, but I think that right should have come with a disclaimer: *Do not use if you are going to say something hurtful, unnecessary, or just plain stupid.

Social media has created a platform for unhappy people to post complaints about experiences. Often they write long winded statements that make little to no sense due to grammatical errors, or just jumbled thoughts being haphazardly typed. They demand that the company does something to fix the problem. But the problem seems to actually be that these people don’t realize that, say, a company’s Facebook page is not run by the VP of communications or the CEO (shocker!) There are often staffed by off shore workers, who do their best to reply to complaints. Due to the sheer amount of complaints though, it is impossible to reply to them all. That is when I see the same person posting later complaints about their previous complaint being “ignored” or “deleted.”

Honestly, if someone had a genuine complaint, don’t turn to your computer to make it heard. Your first step should be talking to a real person. Ask to speak to a manager at the time of the issue, not a few days later when the issue is past. If need be, use your phone and call a customer service line.

It seems that things that should be voiced as serious complaints and things that are simply an inconvenience or an accident are being splattered against companies unfairly. I recall seeing a post on a major retailer from a customer who was outraged that she bought some produce there, and then discovered that a competitor had the same produce for .03 cents cheaper… .03 cents. Needless to say, I don’t think that deserved a long post with many exclamation points.

The “Me” generation has become synonymous with complaining. We need to take a step back and re-evaluate the things we are experiencing. If the experience is not life-threatening, or dangerous, or extremely offensive, chances are that it doesn’t warrant complaining. A good example of this would be customers who complain about a major retailer saying they never have enough registers open and the lines are super long. Fair enough. But if you know this, why do you make the decision to keep going back there at the peak busy hours of the day. You have the option of shopping somewhere else. The world does not revolve around you. I get that sometimes shopping can be a little annoying or something might be out of stock, but that’s just life. I also find it funny when a customer declares to social media that they will no longer be shopping at the retailer and they are going to tell everyone they know not to as well. Do you really think you are going to boycott this company and that your shopping there really matters to them? For every person that refuses to shop at a retailer, a thousand more ARE shopping there.

Another interesting thing seems to happen when the technology we depend on doesn’t work. Most people tend to flip out. But if you go with the flow, you know that’s just the nature of things. There is no point on getting upset over something out of your control and you should expect things like that to happen. Your online shopping is going badly? The shopping cart won’t work or the site isn’t working? Do not get outraged at a customer service rep, because technology isn’t perfect and that’s just the way it is sometimes.

Basically the moral of this story is that people have become very selfish and self-centered. Complaints are warranted sometimes, absolutely, but the amount of complaints I see about silly things, it’s absurd. Everyone just needs to take a step back and just roll with the punches. If everyone tried to do that more often, the shopping experience would be much less hostile.

-Collins

Ever have a random thought?

inspiration, life, random, writing

Hey guys. Sorry I have been MIA, life gets in the way it seems! But I thought I’d share something with you that I thought of randomly a few nights ago.

I am merely the coalition of what I know. No more, no less. I am comprised of my experiences, my lessons and my knowledge. They make up my morals, my ways, my mannerism. Everything I am, I have learned. And the greatest part of it all, is I have the ability to continue to learn. Who I am will never merely be. I will continue to grow, to transpire, to cultivate, and when I am gone, the knowledge I have attained will be passed down to the people my life has touched, crossed paths with, it will continue on with those who have aged and weathered with me. And because of that? I will never end. I will never cease to exist.

– Turner