Nothing But Nostalgia

Six years ago, I started my freshman year at BYU.

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That was me. Not one of the statues. Not the red-haired girl on the left. But the wide-eyed, innocent youth on the right–so optimistic, so eager to prove himself in the real world.

Fast-forward four years of school, two years in the Philippines, a summer in the UK, five different apartments, seven sets of roommates, nine finals weeks, three jobs, forty-six blog posts, and countless slices of pizza, I find myself at the opposite end of my college experience.

Sometimes it feels like not much has changed since I started at BYU six years ago. In many ways, I guess I’m still that same wide-eyed, innocent freshman who liked to pretend that statues were real.

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But in many more ways, that wide-eyed, innocent freshman has died, never to live again. My eyes are now narrowed into slits of distrust, wary of the world around me and the people who occupy that world.

Nah, I’m kidding. I just wanted to be dramatic. The point is that a lot has happened since that first day of college back in 2008. Now, my entire college experience nothing but a memory, I can’t help but feel sentimental.

When I first started college, BYU seemed like such a magical place–like Hogwarts, only with less booze. But when classes like Transfiguration, Charms, and Defense Against the Dark Arts were sacrificed in favor of classes like American Heritage, biology, and psychology, it didn’t take me long to realize that BYU is not such a magical place after all.

Magical or not, however, BYU has been my home away from home for four out of the past six years, though it felt like home more at certain times than it did at others. College was a time of constant change, and each new semester was like a new book of the same series, a series called Matthew Does College or something more creative that I can’t think of right now. And as is the case with all book series, some books were more well-written than others. Some books had me up all night, wanting to see what came next. Other books found me reading out of sheer obligation, dredging through each chapter and looking forward to the final pages.

My experiences at BYU spanned what I believe to be the entire spectrum of the typical college experience… again, minus the booze.

College is about taking the first baby steps into the real world, which is exactly what I have done in the past six years. So despite the advice of TLC, I did go chasing waterfalls, and I did not stick to the rivers and the lakes I was used to.

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People might assume that, just because I went to a private church college, my college experience was sheltered and uneventful. Those people would be right.

Nevertheless, my college experience, unlike the BYU population, was diverse. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I both laughed and cried, both struggled and triumphed. I reaped the benefits of hard work and suffered the consequences of procrastination. I made decisions that will shape the rest of my life, for good or for bad.

Yes, I made mistakes–mistakes that I can never take back. Mistakes that I will always regret.

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Above is photographic evidence of a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life. That poor grass. How could I have been such a monster???

And I can’t help but ask myself, why does everyone make so many mistakes in their college years? In my opinion, it’s because college is this whole awkward phase where we wanted to expand our horizons or something philosophical like that. I know such has been the case in my life. For example, I once went skydiving… off the roof of my apartment… in a dream. Not that impressive I guess.

I didn’t do everything I wanted to do during college. I never visited the hot springs down in Spanish Fork. I never walked up to a random person and greeted them like I had known them my whole life, hugging them and saying, “I haven’t seen you in forever!”

Nevertheless, I had my fair share of new experiences. I scuba dived myself into a bloody nose, ice skated my way into a broken heart, and roller skated my way into an injured leg.

And as I look back at my time in college, a number of images flash through my mind, images that remind me just how… unique… my college experience has been.

I see myself buried in a pile of leaves.

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I see myself swimming in a sea of red jello… because I’m pretty sure that jello is the official Utah state food.

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I see my vision being obscured in a cloud of colors, chalk dust that turned my shower water a nasty shade of purple.

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I see all the people I met throughout the years, people I couldn’t imagine my life without.

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I see my first set of roommates, a group of the most different personalities you could possibly imagine. And yet, somehow, we (kind of) learned how to get along.

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I see my last set of roommates, who also got along even though (or perhaps because) we hardly ever saw each other, due to our conflicting schedules. Only we were able to gather together one final time at the end of the semester, united because three of us had a 7 a.m. final, and the other one was just crazy enough to be awake at such an ungodly hour.

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I see myself becoming part of a scooter gang. . .

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Because apparently that’s a thing.

I remember making this gem of a music video.

I see everything from fake engagements. . .

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. . .to actual weddings.

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Everything from my first day. . .

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. . .to graduation day.

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Moments when I laughed so hard that I cried.

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Moments when I cried so hard that I just had to laugh.

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I traveled the world and found myself in the process.

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But I never lost touch with my roots.

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I know that all those memories are just that… memories. Nothing more, nothing less. That time of my life is over. At times that realization makes me very happy, at others a little sad. But either way, it is time to move on.

And even though I’m not quite sure where life is going to take me now. . .

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. . .I do know that life is taking me someplace new. Everything has changed. In the blink of an eye, I have gone from being a poor college student to being just plain poor. So don’t tell me I haven’t evolved!

As I begin this new phase of my life, I feel like it’s time to leave certain things behind. Preferably, I would leave behind my insecurities, my weaknesses, my emotional baggage. But since that is easier said than done, I have decided to start by leaving behind this blog. That’s right, this is the last post I am ever going to do under this blog domain. Call me dramatic if you must, but every post in this blog has been connected to my college experience. Now that my college experience is over, I feel like it is time to end this blog as well.

I realize what this means. It means that the number of people who read my blog will plummet from three to zero, a drastic change. But anyone who is interested in still following my story can direct themselves here. Granted, I haven’t written anything in my new blog yet, but new posts are forthcoming.

Thanks to all those who have taken the time to read my musings, from my most popular musings to the musings that were much less popular (there were too many to link to just one). I hope you have enjoyed this journey as much as I have.

And now, I bid you farewell in the most appropriate, dignified way I can think of:

Bye, see ya! Wouldn’t wanna be ya!

And I mean that.

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The Mystery of Me (As Explained by Daria Morgendorffer)

On more than one occasion, people have expressed interest in knowing what goes on in my mind, seeing as I am so stubbornly silent and difficult to crack. The next time somebody expresses such an interest, I will just tell them to watch all five seasons of Daria (available for instant streaming on Amazon Prime!). Therein lies the answer to the mystery that is Matthew Gilliland.

Is there a character on television more real than Daria Morgendorffer?

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Full of sass but not lacking in class, Daria has a sharp tongue that cuts more effectively than any knife.

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But she never forgets what’s really important in life.

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Her snarky remarks and cynical attitude get her through the day, even though deep down she really does care what people think.

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So she covers her emotions with her exaggerated monotone voice and relentless pessimism.

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Even though her best friend, Jane, claims that Daria is not depressed but instead “just realistic,” it is clear that Daria’s outlook on life is anything but happy-go-lucky.

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In fact, our dear Daria seems to believe that life is inherently bad, without any hope of getting better.

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And she relentlessly claims that everybody else is to blame.

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Because she feels that other people are just inherently unreliable.

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But in one episode, Daria admits that her nonchalant attitude is just a mask for her sensitivity. She is just scared of getting hurt, so she pretends that nothing matters to her.

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Though I have explored fictional alter egos in the past, what does it say about me when the character I relate to most of all is a high school girl with thick glasses and an ill-repressed inferiority complex?

Because no matter how I look at it, there’s no escaping the truth: I am Daria Morgendorffer.

If you don’t believe me, here’s a picture of me from when I was in sixth grade, alongside a picture of Miss Morgendorffer.

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Isn’t the resemblance uncanny?

Look, I know what you’re thinking. There is no way that I’m actually Daria because the glasses I’m wearing in the picture are actually made of pipe cleaners!

But it’s not just about the looks; the true resemblance lies in our attitudes. I, like Daria, react to the world with bitterness and cynicism. This strategy allows me to pretend that I hate other people, even though the problem really is that I care too much. Unfortunately, my mind likes to convince me that everybody hates me–or, at best, that everybody is indifferent to my existence. And no matter what people say or do to prove otherwise, it is never enough.

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My mind instead shines the spotlight on the tiniest, most insignificant bit of evidence that somebody doesn’t care about me. As I focus on this evidence, I am overcome with a dark, impenetrable sadness. I’m sad that a person doesn’t love me as much as I love them. And even worse is the idea that someone once had a great deal of love for me, but that love has since faded into apathy. They say it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. That may be true. But in my experience, I would rather never be loved than have to deal with the pain that comes when a person stops caring about you.

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These thoughts evolve into a crippling anxiety–which may work for Daria, but it most certainly has not worked for me.

Because as much as I say I just don’t need other people…

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The truth is that I just fear how much they can hurt me.

I don’t know what you would call these thoughts and feelings–anxiety? Depression? Just my own specialized way of dealing with the pains of this world? Whatever it is, it has made me into a person I don’t recognize, a person I don’t want to be: possessive, needy, paranoid, destructive to myself and destructive to others.

It has made me feel isolated from everyone else.

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This isolation spreads to all aspects of my life. It feels like everybody else is so much more successful in life than I am. It feels like everybody else is in fast-forward while I remain in slow motion.

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Honestly, it sometimes makes it difficult for me to get up in the morning. Because life is just so much less complicated when I stay in bed.

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I hope these feelings are not permanent. I hope these feelings are just a product of the stress and instability of college life. I hope that, if these feelings continue, I will find a way to manage them more effectively. I want to be happy, despite my brain’s constant attempts to keep me from happiness.

It’s not that I’m miserable all the time. Quite the contrary, I can find happiness every day if I just look for it. But EXCUSE ME if I’m not just bustling with energy every time you see me. And SORRY if I often come off as a bit aloof. Maybe at some point I can change that about myself, but for now, that is how I deal with life. And it is probably how I will continue to deal with life until people prove to me again that they are worth trusting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Seven Stages of Developing a TV Show Addiction

Drugs. Pornography. Either of these things can put you on the dark, dangerous path to addiction.

But there is one type of addiction that is much more subtle but equally dangerous. It can affect your brain just as drastically as drugs or pornography. And if you’re not careful, it could ruin your whole life.

Today I would like to address the very serious issue of TV show addictions.

Now, before I get started, let me just preface by saying that I don’t inherently hate television–not anymore, at least. Sure, when I got back from my church mission, there was a period of time when I would consistently refer to TV as “the devil box.”

But that’s not me anymore.

I am writing this post simply because I myself have suffered from the pains of TV show addictions.

You may scoff at the mere mention of a TV show addiction, but I urge you not to do so. Stella Dorby, president of national support group Television Addicts Anonymous (TAA), has this to say regarding frivolous attitudes toward TV show addictions:

“It’s no laughing matter. As a former TV show addict and the current president of TAA, it is my duty–no, my stewardship–to protect television addicts from those people who seek to mock and undermine the credibility of such addictions.”

As a struggling TV addict myself, I urge all of you to please heed the words of Stella Dorby. One look at her will assure you that she is an upstanding citizen of these the United States, a woman whose opinion should be taken seriously.

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Stella Dorby, President of TAA

If you don’t believe Stella Dorby (and I can’t understand why this would possibly be the case), believe me. I speak from personal experience: TV is a very real, very hazardous addiction.

Let me share what I have noticed to be the seven stages of developing a TV show addiction. If you recognize that you or somebody you know is going through these stages, I urge you to seek help before it’s too late.

Stage 1: Hearing about the show

Someone, somewhere, mentions that a show is good. You listen, but you are skeptical.

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As far as you’re concerned at this point, there’s no way a show can be as good as people make it out to be.

Stage 2: Watching the show for the first time

Despite your doubts, you decide to give the show a whirl. You watch an episode or two, and you think to myself, This isn’t bad. You might even think it’s a downright decent show.

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And you inwardly applaud the fact that the show isn’t horrible after all. Yay for life.

Stage 3: The show gets good

Either you get into the groove of the show, or the show finally gets into gear with its own groove. Before you know it, the show has become the best part of your life… which might not be saying much, but still.

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There is usually some point of the show where everything just clicks, and at this point, there’s no turning back. You may not be aware of an addiction at this point, but the seeds of addiction have definitely sprouted.

Stage 4: Binge watching

Hanging out with friends? Exercise? Meeting new people? No thanks. Just give me my stories.

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And thus the binge watching begins.

Stage 5: The secret addiction is no longer secret

Your show is definitely your top priority at this point. You spend hours isolated in your room, watching just one more episode… then another one… then another one.

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People start to notice that you’re spending a significant amount of time watching a TV show. Suspicion and mockery ensue.

Stage 6: You become too emotionally invested in the show

This particular stage calls for more examples from my personal experience with television addiction.

You have to know that, outside of the television world, I am quite the even-tempered individual. Tell me just about anything and I will almost always have the same reaction.

My reaction to a friend or family member telling me that they’re going to come visit:

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My reaction to finding out that somebody just died:

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My reaction to finding out my best friend is engaged:

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And finally, my reaction to a joke, even if I think it’s funny:

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Yes, you can say I’m a man of few emotions. Some might call me stoic, maybe even heartless.

Therefore, I can’t help but worry when TV causes me to have some irrationally extreme emotional reactions.

Like my reaction when somebody tries to talk to me while I’m watching my TV addiction:

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Or when I don’t agree with the direction the show takes:

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Some shows even make me… what’s the word? Laugh?

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And the worst reaction comes when I reach the end of a good show’s run:

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What will I watch now?

Stage 7: The most disturbing stage of all

When you have an actual dream about a TV show, you know your addiction is out of control. You might even dream about full episodes of your favorite TV shows. When you wake up and realize these dreams were not actual canonical episodes, you feel complete and utter disappointment.

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And such is the life of a television addict.

So yes, TV show addictions are real, and yes, such addictions are serious. TV is a means by which to waste away your own life in the process of becoming too invested in the lives of fictional characters.

To avoid developing a TV show addiction, please steer clear of the following shows:

Veronica Mars
Friends
The Simpsons
Scrubs
The Office
24
Lost
Parks and Recreation
30 Rock
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Arrested Development

On the other hand… more often than not, TV is a good alternative to life. Your favorite TV characters are probably more reliable than the actual people in your life. Also, when something bad happens in a TV show, you can just tell yourself it’s not real–which isn’t really the case in real life. So when I say to steer clear of the above shows, I actually mean that you should watch all of them immediately.

And to answer your question, yes, this article is a complete joke–probably in more ways than one.

G-Day

With my college graduation just over a month away,  I can’t help but have mixed feelings.

Today I would like to share those feelings, not so much in words (though I will use some of those), but with the help of some GIFs.

Part of me can barely contain the excitement

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Let’s face it, college is hard. Even though I chose the easiest major I could possibly think of (English language and linguistics), I am still ready to be done with homework, projects, and tests.

I want to be done with BYU

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As much as I love BYU on principle (mainly for its cheap tuition), spend too much time in the same place and you’re bound to harbor harsh feelings toward it eventually. I feel like it’s time for a change of scenery, even if I am technically still going to live close to BYU (but at least I won’t be a student there!)

My immediate reaction at the thought of being done:

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I know I used this exact GIF last week, but this particular GIF is just too brilliant to be under-used. In fact…

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OK, I’m done.

The point is, I get really excited about the thought of being DONE with school. The idea of just working full-time and then having the rest of the time to myself??? It’s almost too good to be true.

Too bad people rain on my parade by telling me how difficult life can be after college.

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Yet no matter what other people say, I won’t let them ruin my dreams of a peaceful post-college existence.

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But then people ask me what I plan on doing after I graduate, and I’m all…

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That’s when it hits me. I have no idea where my life is headed after this.

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And I realize that picking the easiest major might not have been the best option after all.

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No matter what I try, I will inevitably stumble and fall at one point or another.

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Then people tell me to date more, asking me when I’ll just settle down and get married. To which I only have one reaction.

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Let’s just worry about graduation for now, shall we?

Single and Proud: A Single Person’s Guide to Being Single

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Mutant and proud? Try single and proud. I wish I could walk through walls, or be a shape-shifter, or eject metallic claws out of my knuckles.

But no, I have to be single instead.

Living in a world where everyone around you is literally getting married and having babies, it is easy to feel like a mutant of sorts while you remain stubbornly single. Like there is something abnormal–maybe even repulsive–about you that keeps others at bay.

This post is for those of you drowning your sorrows in a pint of either ice cream or alcohol (or both).

This is for those of you who feel perpetually alone: Single with a capital S.

This goes out to those of you who can honestly say that this is the story of your life:

This, my friends, is my guide to making the best of being single.

Stay in shape

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Resist the temptation to let yourself go just because you’re not with someone. Regular exercise will increase confidence, reminding you of what people are missing out on by not being with you.

Develop a hobby

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Find something that you enjoy and that will keep you busy during your downtime. Reading might be a good option. Books help you escape to a world where your relationship status doesn’t matter. Find a genre that strikes your fancy. If you have a hard time finding books you like, keep trying. It’s not like you have much else to do anyway! I used to think I didn’t like reading, but then I discovered young adult literature. That’s my preference. What’s yours?

Don’t talk to other people too early in the morning

This should be a given. Early mornings are no time for talking, at least not for single people. Don’t be afraid to treat roommates like they don’t exist early in the morning. If you are not careful, your reaction to everything that everyone says, no matter how pleasant it is, could be this:

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So please, think of the children and keep morning talk to a minimum.

Find outlets for your bitterness

As a single person, you are bound to feel intense bitterness about your lack of a significant other, especially during this time of year. That’s normal. In my opinion, the best option is to channel this bitterness in a healthy way. Avoid passive aggressive Facebook statuses. That won’t get you anywhere and will most likely just solidify your position as a single person. Instead, use your bitterness to develop a cynical, snarky sense of humor. There’s no more room in this world for people who think life is just a bunch of rainbows and lollipops, so don’t feel bad if you falter in your optimism every now and then. Also, don’t be afraid to intrude on couples and ruin their romantic moments. Sit in between a couple that is in danger of turning your living room into a make-out party.

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Call couples out for being ridiculous when they say that they keep picking each other’s Apples to Apples cards because they are so “connected.” Couples have an uncanny knack for making things awkward for single people, so do what you can to turn the tables and make them feel awkward. If worse comes to worst, that couple will not want to get together around you anymore. What a loss that would be.  Not.

Travel the world

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Life is too short to miss out on seeing the world. If you’re single, now is the time to visit the places you’ve always wanted to visit, see the things you’ve always wanted to see. All of that becomes at least two times more complicated the minute you get married and have to help support a family (in that you have to pay for a minimum of two people to travel instead of just one).

Don’t let life get you down

ndoDjX8Life will sometimes kick you in the face, which can be hard to manage on your own. But no matter how hard things get, always force yourself to bounce back and keep on keeping on.

Enjoy your freedom

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Enjoy your lack of familial responsibility while you can. The only one who owns you is you! You answer to NOBODY. You are in charge of your own life and nobody else’s, and that’s something that can be enjoyed for a limited time only. Cherish it!

Comfort and rewards

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This is easily the most important one. If other people aren’t going to give you the treatment you deserve, then take matters into your own hands. When I first started college, I would always buy myself some chocolate milk after taking a test. If I did well on the test, I rewarded myself with chocolate milk. If my test score wasn’t so great, I comforted myself with chocolate milk. Since chocolate milk is basically my version of alcohol, it worked both ways. Always find simple (and preferably cheap) ways to comfort and reward yourself.

Of course, these are just a few tips for staying sane at the loneliest of times. Find a way to accept your single status, maybe even embrace it. That’s not to say you should give up on relationships altogether, but there’s no use in stressing over a situation that you can’t always control. Just remember that people are often the worst, and you are not to blame if you seem to be going unnoticed. But maintain hope that, one of these days, somebody will like you, and you will like them back. It’s a rare phenomenon, but it’s been known to happen. I think.

It’s all easier said than done, I know. I myself have been guilty of falling into the single trap, allowing my lack of a relationship to define my life. I have allowed myself to drown in a sea of bitterness and self-pity, losing hope that I would ever find a special someone. But I invite all you single people to join me in my efforts to make the best of a less-than-desirable situation.

And, just as a side note, I hope that someday even I will find love in a hopeless place: my cold, black heart. It’s what Rihanna would want, after all, and I hate to disappoint her.

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Don’t disappoint Rihanna. Find love in a hopeless place.

Happy single awareness day!

Leave Katy Alone!

Before I start today, I should preface by saying that I have gotten inspiration for this post from a number of other sources–first from my sister, a fellow blogger who recently defended Keira Knightly; and second from a psychotic androgynous person who couldn’t stand all the hate Britney Spears was receiving a few years ago.

Does everybody remember this guy?

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I was seriously shocked, frightened, and concerned after seeing this the first time because it reminded me just how much raw anger there is in this world. But that is neither here nor there.

Today I will be defending the likes of Katy Perry. If anyone doesn’t know who that is, I would be very shocked because the very fact that you have internet and can read this blog suggests to me that you should know who Katy Perry is. Anyone who doesn’t know who she is has probably been living under a rock and/or has not had internet access in the past three years.

And perhaps that is one of the reasons why she gets so much flack. I have heard a lot of mean things about my dear friend Katy.

She’s a slut!
Her songs are
annoying!
She’s overrated!

Indeed, the best way to put it is that Katy Perry gets a lot of crap.

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How dare you, sirs. Don’t you know that the whole slut issue is just a matter of perspective?

So what, she lied on a cotton candy cloud naked? We have all thought about doing that at one point or another. 

OK, maybe not…

But the truth is that we’ve all done ridiculous things. Committing a single murder might make you a murderer, but for the most part, I don’t think things we’ve done in the past should define us. So you say naked cotton candy frolicking makes Katy Perry a slut? OK. Well, I jumped out of a moving golf cart once and broke my foot… which means I did a stupid thing. And I’ve done many other stupid things in addition to that. Does that make me a stupid person?

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Wait… Don’t answer that.

Are some of her songs a tad on the risque side? Sure. But whether we’d like to admit it or not, we all have risque thoughts. Katy’s just singing what’s on her mind! And not all of her songs are about tasting a girl’s cherry chapstick or having a ménage à trois on a Friday night.

Sometimes Katy has a softer, even inspirational side. Do you remember Firework? Do you remember Wide Awake? And what about the recently released Roar? All inspirational songs, in my not-so-humble-opinion.

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You shouldn’t dismiss a singer based on a few of their songs. You are not expected to like every song, just like you are not expected to like every food, book, or movie. And if all of Katy Perry’s songs have just grated on you, perhaps you should open your heart and mind to the possibility that ONE DAY she will release a song that you enjoy. Closing yourself to an artist could prevent you from a song that you can relate to, be inspired by, or even just sing along with.

Plus, let’s not forget something of utmost importance. Katy Perry is hot! Looks aren’t everything, sure, but come on… just look at her!

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Think what you want about her music, but I will say one thing: I wouldn’t kick her out of bed! I mean… um… I’m just saying, if she needed a bed to sleep in–that wasn’t mine–I wouldn’t kick her out of it. That’s all I meant by that.

Also, if she came to my door and asked me to marry her, this would be my response:

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But, barring the possibility that Katy Perry will just randomly show up at my door to propose, I’ll just have to support her from afar.

As for her being overrated, what does that even mean? Everyone is overrated because everyone is the worst. Have any of you gotten five number one singles from a single CD? Unless you are Michael Jackson reading this from the beyond, then I am confident in saying that no, you have not done this. But Katy has!

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Some people also use the argument that Katy isn’t even a good singer because her live performances leave something to be desired. My defense to this? Try singing and dancing at the same time and still sound perfect! Try singing in front of thousands of thousands of people without missing a note or two. And if you do enough internet snooping, you will find that Katy has had good performances in addition to the bad ones. Oh no, she’s human! How dare she have bad performances?!!! Also, her most recent performances have shown massive improvements, which goes to show that she’s doing what we’d expect from any person: improving! Let the past stay in the past. There’s no need to judge someone based on where they were. It is better to judge them based on where they’re going.

And besides… Katy Perry just released a new CD, so she’s not going anywhere anytime soon. My guess is that her songs will continue to dominate the radio stations whether you like it or not! So you’d best start being nice to Katy Perry, lest you suffer her wrath!

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I kid, of course. We are all free to choose who we like and don’t like, especially when it comes to the music industry. I just thought it would be fun to post about my love for Katy Perry, and it was!

But in a last-ditch effort to convince you to give Katy a chance, I invite you to listen to this new song of hers, in which she sings about struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts:

Looks like Katy Perry has a deep, vulnerable, meaningful side. Hmmm…

Not to mention these lyrics from other songs:

You know who I, who I think will win? Are the ones that let love in…

Acceptance is the key to be, to be truly free. Will you do the same for me?

I’ll be the one defining who I’m gonna be…

These are real feelings of someone just trying to get by in life, just like the rest of us. So I ask you, please, please leave poor Katy Perry alone! Am I the only straight man who openly supports Katy Perry and admits to liking her music? Perhaps. Even so, I think there is something to be said about cutting someone a little bit of slack.

So the next time you want to judge Katy Perry, do something more productive instead. Run a mile or two. Eat a vegetable. Read a good book. Stop wasting your time on hating someone for being risque, annoying, or too popular when there are much worse things happening in the world. For crying out loud, people are dying. Children are starving. The economy is collapsing. Right this moment, someone somewhere in the world is having to wake up before the sun even rises to go do hard labor for a meager salary that barely supports their family. A couple is cuddling and expressing love to one another–this, above all things, is definitely something much more disgusting and deserving of criticism than anything Katy Perry has ever said or done.

Skeletons in My Closet

I am currently enrolled in a positive living class. It’s basically a class about how to be positive in a negative world. So far it has been quite enlightening, especially for this cynical, pessimistic blogger.

Each week in this class, we focus on a different quality that will enable us to see ourselves and the world around us in a more positive light. This week we are focusing on character strengths. For our assignment, we are supposed to pick one of our top five character strengths (which were determined by one of those annoying online surveys where you decide if different statements describe you a lot, a medium amount, or not at all) and focus on that strength for a week in an effort to improve it. The “character strength” I chose was authenticity.

To be completely honest, I was a bit surprised to find that authenticity was one of my strengths. I have been told that I am a very “real” person, but what does that even mean? Isn’t everybody a real person? Or are some of you people out there a figment of my imagination??!

I guess, in all reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

I try to be real, but the truth is that the person people see is not quite the person I actually am. I hide behind a facade of boredom and apathy toward life, but in reality I am quite strange and quirky, and I actually care a lot about people if they give me the chance to do so. BUT I have been hurt enough that I feel the need to hide a lot of my personality. It’s kind of sad, but for now, that is the way things are.

There is also that irrational but all-too-convincing fear that, if people actually got to know me, they wouldn’t be able to look past the skeletons in my closet–you know, flaws, shortcomings, past mistakes… the whole kit and/or caboodle! So yes, I hide.

Mayhaps it would be best for me to keep everything inside for now and just pull a Liz Lemon, allowing my inner demons to come pouring out of me while facing imminent death.

Or… maybe I should just start being more “real” now.

In my efforts to be more authentic, I might not be able to break down 10+ years of defenses I have built around myself, but I can take small steps to uncover those aspects of my life that I have kept hidden for so long. Therefore, I have decided to make a list of some confessions and post them here for the general public to see. In doing so, I hope to authenticate myself even just a little bit.

This, my friend, is a list of my deepest, darkest secrets.

……

……

……….

Sorry, I’m really nervous. But I have to get these things off my chest. Oh, forget it. Here we go.

I watched a whole season of Desperate Housewives on Netflix!!!!

I once went to a Twilight midnight showing. It was disturbing.

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I think clothes are the worst! If it were my choice I would never wear them!!!!!!

I’ve seen the Katy Perry documentary! Twice!!!!

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I have over 45 Nelly Furtado songs on my iTunes!!!!

I have a man crush on Brandon Flowers, lead singer of the Killers!!!!!

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A beer commercial once made me cry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I used to write Harry Potter fan fiction!!!!

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In middle school I wrote a song about having a crush on Elizabeth Smart!!!!!

I listened to the new Miley Cyrus CD and didn’t completely hate it!!!!!

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OK, so those weren’t really my deepest, darkest secrets. Did you really expect them to be? Do you honestly think I’m going to reveal all my secrets through a blog post? That would be a bit too much.

It would probably be better if I just took small steps in order to be more “real.” The real me isn’t as strong or positive as I have made myself out to be in this blog. I have weaknesses. Sometimes I have days where I feel downright hopeless. I even have a bit of an…edgy side. Of course, that last part shouldn’t come as a surprise. Everybody has a dark side, as Kelly Clarkson once sang.

So I want this blog to be less fake and more… me. No more disgustingly cheesy posts about the more serious sides of life. Those posts served a purpose during a difficult time, but I feel much stronger now and more confident about who I really am! The real me is sarcastic, cynical, and yes, even a little imperfect.

You might have even noticed that I made a slight change to the title of my blog… again. No longer is it called Musings of a Silent Guy. I don’t want to restrict myself to being silent all the time. What if one day I wake up and decide to be the life of the party? Granted, I hate large crowds of people with a fiery intensity hotter than a thousand blazing suns, so the likelihood of me becoming the life of the party is slim to none, but that’s for me to decide!!!! Instead, it’s going to be called Musings of a Sarcastic Guy. I’d rather be known as sarcastic than silent.

So here’s to the start of a more honest, authentic blog: a glimpse into the real me. That means opinions both popular and unpopular. And if I ever talk about a serious issue, you’d better believe that blog’s going to be chalk-full of sarcasm. Because I’m a sarcastic guy. Deal with it.

And if this works out well, maybe I can even start being more authentic in person, rather than just through the internet. But this will do for now.

Watch out, world. The craziness inside is about to be unleashed!!!! You have been warned.

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