Let go

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“If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness. And if you let go completely, you will be free.”

– Achaan Chah

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What students really needs to hear

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It’s 4 a.m.  I’ve struggled for the last hour to go to sleep.  But, I can’t.  Yet again, I am tossing and turning, unable to shut down my brain.  Why?  Because I am stressed about my students.  Really stressed.  I’m so stressed that I can only think to write down what I really want to say — the real truth I’ve been needing to say — and vow to myself that I will let my students hear what I really think tomorrow.

This is what students really need to hear:

First, you need to know right now that I care about you. In fact, I care about you more than you may care about yourself.  And I care not just about your grades or your test scores, but about you as a person. And, because I care, I need to be honest with you. Do I have permission to be honest with you — both in what I say and how I say it?

Here’s the thing: I lose sleep because of you.  Every week.

Before I tell you why, you should understand the truth about school. You see, the main event of school is not academic learning. It never has been. It never will be. And, if you find someone who is passionate in claiming that it is about academics, that person is lying to himself or herself and may genuinely believe that lie. Yes, algebra, essay writing, Spanish, the judicial process —  all are important and worth knowing. But they are not the MAIN event.

The main event is learning how to deal with the harshness of life when it gets difficult — how to overcome problems as simple as a forgotten locker combination, to obnoxious peers, to gossip, to people doubting you, to asking for help in the face of self-doubt, to pushing yourself to concentrate when a million other thoughts and temptations are fingertips away.

It is your resilience in conquering the main event — adversity — that truly prepares you for life after school. Because, mark my words, school is not the most challenging time you will have in life. You will face far greater challenges than these. Sure, you will have times more amazing than you can imagine, but you will also confront incomparable tragedy, frustration, and fear in the years to come.

But, you shouldn’t be worried about the fact that you will face great adversities. You should be worried because you’re setting yourself up to fail at overcoming them. Here’s the real reason I lose hours of sleep worrying about you: You are failing the main event of school. You are quitting.  You may not think you are quitting, but you are because quitting wears many masks.

For some, you quit by throwing the day away and not even trying to write a sentence or a fraction because you think it doesn’t matter or you can’t or there’s no point. But it does. What you write is not the main event. The fact that you do take charge of your own fear and doubt in order to write when you are challenged — THAT is the main event.

Some of you quit by skipping class on your free education. Being punctual to fit the mold of the classroom is not the main event of showing up. The main event is delaying your temptation and investing in your own intelligence — understanding that sometimes short-term pain creates long-term gain and that great people make sacrifices for a greater good.

For others, you quit by being rude and disrespectful to adults in the hallway who ask you to come to class. Bowing to authority is not the main event. The main event is learning how to problem solve maturely, not letting your judgement be tainted by the stains of emotion.

I see some of you quit by choosing not to take opportunities to work harder and pass a class, no matter how far down you are. The main event is not getting a number to tell you you are worthy. The main event is pulling your crap together and making hard choices and sacrifices when things seem impossible.  It is finding hope in the hopeless, courage in the chasm, guts in the grave.

What you need to see is that every time you take the easy way out, you are building a habit of quitting. And it will destroy your future and it will annihilate your happiness if you let it.   Our society cares nothing for quitters.  Life will let you die alone, depressed, and poor if you can’t man or woman up enough to deal with hardship.  You are either the muscle or the dirt.  You either take resistance and grow stronger or blow in the wind and erode.

As long as you are in my life, I am not going to let quitting be easy for you.  I am going to challenge you, confront you, push you, and coach you.  You can whine.  You can throw a tantrum.  You can shout and swear and stomp and cry.  And the next day, guess what?  I will be here waiting — smiling and patient — to give you a fresh start.  Because you are worth it.

So, do yourself a favor: Step up.  No more excuses.  No more justifications.  No blaming.  No quitting.  Just pick your head up.  Rip the cords out of your ears.  Grab the frickin’ pencil and let’s do this.

— C. Mielke

Happily ever after

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“If the goal is to find the truth in love, to search for love that is real and enduring, then love cannot be left to fate.”

– Ty Tashiro

 

Dance

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” ..The way I want to love you
Well it could be against the law
I’ve seen you in a thousand minds
You’ve made the angels fall.. ”

– Nouvelle Vague

Don’t date a girl who travels

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She’s the one with the messy, unkempt hair colored by the sun. Her skin is now far from fair like it once was. Not even sun kissed. It’s burnt with multiple tan lines, wounds and bites here and there. But for every flaw on her skin, she has an interesting story to tell.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures. She will be unimpressed with your new car and your expensive watch. She would rather climb a rock or jump out of an airplane than hear you brag about it.

Don’t date a girl who travels because she will bug you to book a flight every time there’s an airline seat sale. She won’t party at Republiq. And she will never pay over $100 for Avicii because she knows that one weekend of clubbing is equivalent to one week somewhere far more exciting.

Chances are, she can’t hold a steady job. Or she’s probably daydreaming about quitting. She doesn’t want to keep working her ass off for someone else’s dream. She has her own and is working towards it. She is a freelancer. She makes money from designing, writing, photography or something that requires creativity and imagination. Don’t waste her time complaining about your boring job.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She might have wasted her college degree and switched careers entirely. She is now a dive instructor or a yoga teacher. She’s not sure when the next paycheck is coming. But she doesn’t work like a robot all day, she goes out and takes what life has to offer and challenges you to do the same.

Don’t date a girl who travels for she has chosen a life of uncertainty. She doesn’t have a plan or a permanent address. She goes with the flow and follows her heart. She dances to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t wear a watch. Her days are ruled by the sun and the moon. When the waves are calling, life stops and she will be oblivious to everything else for a moment. But she has learned that the most important thing in life isn’t surfing.

Don’t date a girl who travels as she tends to speak her mind.
 She will never try to impress your parents or friends. She knows respect, but isn’t afraid to hold a debate about global issues or social responsibility.

She will never need you. She knows how to pitch a tent and screw her own fins without your help. She cooks well and doesn’t need you to pay for her meals. She is too independent and wont care whether you travel with her or not. She will forget to check in with you when she arrives at her destination. She’s busy living in the present. She talks to strangers. She will meet many interesting, like-minded people from around the world who share her passion and dreams. She will be bored with you.

So never date a girl who travels unless you can keep up with her. And if you unintentionally fall in love with one, don’t you dare keep her. Let her go.

– Adi Zarsadias 

How do you know when you love someone?

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I used to believe that love was a light switch. Something flicks on. You get an overwhelming sensation. It hits you like a bag of bricks. Or a strong arrow. When you know, you know. Right? Not so much. After 38 years and an expired marriage, I don’t see love that way anymore.  I’ve placed Cupid right next to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Love is a series of choices.  The first choice is based on many many factors, including chemistry, principle, logic, humor, intelligence, body type, where we are in our lives, what we want / need… the list goes on and on, and the weight of each factor varies depending on the individual.  Based on these factors, we either choose to begin the process to love or not. If we decide to enter this process, the action of loving can bring “light switch” moments. The way he looks at you. How hard she make you laugh. The notes he hides in your purse. The way she makes you feel when you don’t feel anything. But like an airplane flight, there is turbulence. The fights. The disagreements. The little things that bother you. His socks. Her shopping. You start wondering if you’ve made the right choice. Once you are in doubt, you have to make another choice. To continue to fly with this person or jump out of the plane. This choice is based on a thousand other factors, again depending on the individual and where they are in their journey.

If you decide to jump, the scary free fall will either make you stronger (grow) or miserable (depressed). But sooner or later, you’ll find yourself back at the airport waiting to board another plane. Then you hit turbulence. Or maybe there is no turbulence. Maybe you’ve changed your mind about the destination.  Either way, another choice. Fly or jump?

Love is making a choice every single day, to either love or not love.  That’s it.  It’s that simple.  Either to continue the process or not. We fall in and out of love.  Even in relationships, especially in relationships.  This doesn’t mean we don’t love the person.  It means we are left with a choice.  There is a difference between feeling love for someone (caring about a person), and loving someone (choosing to love that person).  You may have love for someone forever.  But that doesn’t mean you choose to love that person forever.  The choice to love is not a feeling, it is an action.  That is why it is so difficult.  It requires you to do something and I’m not just talking about buying flowers.  It might mean putting your wants aside.  Also, like chemistry, the ability to love is not a constant. It is a variable. It fluctuates, depending on where you’re at in your life and what you’re struggling with. Sometimes it is easy to love. Sometimes it is extremely difficult. But at the end of the day, it’s always a choice.

Although love varies, it also deepens. This means the longer you stay on that flight and embark on the journey together, the more fruit the process will bare. Your investment pays off. Your choices become easier. You not only become stronger as a couple, but also as individuals, assuming the love process is healthy – which means you guys are both doing work. The choice to love creates opportunity to hit notes in life that you could never hit alone and THIS is what makes your choice worth it.

So how do you know if it’s love? That is not the question to ask. The question is do you choose to love this person or not? Right now. Not tomorrow. Today. Make a choice. Yes or no. If the answer is yes, love as hard as you can. Love with everything you’ve got (your capacity right now at this point in your life). If the answer is no, promise me one thing.

Let the fall make you stronger.

– John Kim

… my question is: what if you are not ready to make a choice?

The questions

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What do you want out of life?

How much are you willing to pay for it?

How are you willing to suffer?

What pain do you want to sustain?

– Mark Manson

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