A friend of mine just asked me for advice on starting a blog, which got me thinking – like most everything does. My stream of consciousness was as follows:
- Holy canolli, I haven’t blogged in a while.
- What is a cannoli? This.
- I love blogging.
- One of the most common statements I hear is, “My life’s not exciting enough to have a blog.”
- And then I’m like seriously…I live in Ohio and spend essentially all my waking hours reading and writing. So you stahp.
I understand that blogging is not for everyone, but that’s besides the point. My point is, your life is as exciting as you make it. But seriously. Look at children…they think [nearly] ALL things are exciting. Or take cats for example, they love boxes. I’m not saying in anyway that we should be excited about boxes…but maybe we should give bubble wrap some credit. All in all, I think we’ve become so numb to the ordinary, that we fail to recognize how exciting life truly is.
I’m 100% guilty of this as well. But I think that studying abroad inspired me to critically reflect on aspects of life I never would have analyzed previously. Now that I’m writing this, I realize I wrote about this exact notion in a previous blog, my study abroad reflection:
When you have time, and when you’re lucky enough to be in a a different country, you’re appreciation goes through the roof. And so does your attentiveness. When you’re abroad, everything is novel…so you pay attention to it. But when you’re home, everything starts to become normal. And that’s when you start missing things. But I’m not sure you can ever pay attention too well…especially in a world where peoples’ smart phones distract them somewhere between 35 and 150 times a day. And while paying attention to the people around you is of primary importance, that also includes everything else. When I was traveling around Europe in April, I paid attention to everything. To the accents of people, to the colors of the metros, to the font on the tickets, to the advertisements, to the difference in food, to the difference in culture, and on and on. I noticed more about countries I was in for 3 days than I’ve noticed about the city I attend college in. Realizing that, I’m really happy I appreciated my time abroad as much as I did, but at the same time, now I’m striving to be just as (if not more) appreciative and attentive of the places I see every day. Because they’re my home.
Regardless of where you are, life can be exciting. You can find humor in small things. You can renew your appreciation for the things you take for granted. But it takes deliberate work. One of the main things I have learned since beginning graduate school is how much I appreciate challenging the status quo. Just over a year ago I wrote the following status, “Stop settling for mediocrity with passive complacency. Challenge it. The very second we begin to tolerate mediocrity is the exact moment we stop progressing toward something bigger.”
Aside from the fact that I’m embarrassingly consistent with my thoughts (basically to the exact date – one year apart), I love how indicative this is of my value for challenging the current state of affairs. First of all, because I like knowing this. Second of all, because having to understand and articulate my values is part of an assignment due in a month. 😉
I’m not implying that everyone should go out and start a blog, but please don’t tell me your life’s not exciting.
I’m pretty sure it is.
And it’s beautiful, too.