Wish Prompt

Prompt:  If you had only one wish, what would you wish for?

My Response:

I think I would wish to win the lottery so that I no longer have to work, and could spend my time doing what I love doing. If I won the lottery and work was no longer a necessity, I would volunteer at a place like God’s love we Deliver, or at a homeless shelter, doing administrative work or helping prepare meals/organize clothing donations or supplies for those less fortunate. I would love to spend my time that way.

I would volunteer my time and not ever feel stressed by a job or a deadline ever again. I would love to write during my off/leisure time and also take time out to travel and see all the places in the world I’ve always wanted to see: Spain, Italy, Greece, Bali, Japan, etc. And write down my impressions when visiting all those places.

I would love to win the lottery and live life in a way that is more relaxed, enjoyable and fulfilling. If I did win, maybe I would go back to school and study library science like I should have back when I was in college.

Sometimes work can be fulfilling and give me a feeling of purpose. It can give me the feeling that I’m providing a valuable service to members who have the health insurance of the company I work for, and providing valuable assistance to the team I work with and my supervisor. I take pride in doing my job to the best of my ability.

But I’m not really using my mind or creative abilities in my job and most of the time it feels like time is passing and I’m not using it the way I’m supposed to. My priorities in life were totally different when I started working than now, It’s amazing what a few years of work experience will give you in terms of perspective.

I would wish to win the lottery as my only wish because it would solve the majority of my issues. I’d longer have any real excuse for holding myself back. I would have nothing very serious to worry about aside from keeping myself healthy and happy, and taking care of my family. And I would have more time to help other people who desperately need attention and assistance from able-bodied people.

I would love to do physical work for a change, whether that means standing while sorting clothes, or prepping food, or something similar. Something more engaging for the body which I think would benefit my mind as well. I think that the joy of helping others would make me feel happy and fulfilled.

October 28, 2013. Tags: , , . writing. Leave a comment.

College Prompt

Prompt: College taught me…

My Response:

College taught me, primarily, how to get a job. Although classes like Philosophy also opened my mind up to new ideas, and as an English major I gained extensive knowledge about literature. But what I remember most taking away was the many ways we were taught how to find work.

I remember learning about conducting informational interviews of people working in industries I had an interest in, different ways to network, how to write a great resume and how to handle interviews.

I even once underwent a mock interview in the career office. I was told I was poised and confident and had good eye contact. It was a little nerve-wracking but I was very prepared. I felt ready to go out and look for work, which I guess is a good thing to take away from college.

Someone once told me that when people get bachelor’s degrees in English, all that basically says about the person is that they finished college. That comment made my heart sink, but it turned out to be the truth.

Being an English major only, and not studying anything else in combination with English, led me to office jobs that I tolerated because I needed a job. They gave me a chance because I finished college I suppose. I tried getting into publishing but I had only taken one journalism course.

I thought the two internships I did (one in high school and the other in college) would help somewhat to get my foot in the door also, but they didn’t do much. I did learn while on those jobs, but maybe not as much as I would’ve liked. I didn’t have the confidence at that time to ask for more responsibility, or to try to get an internship at a more prestigious company.

I liked college and I’m glad that I went, though if I had to do it over again I would choose to major in library science. Now that I have a few years of work experience behind me, and know what the working world is like, I definitely would’ve made a different choice.

I’m just grateful that I have remained employed all these years and that my college loans are all paid in full with no help from anyone else.

October 23, 2013. Tags: , . writing. Leave a comment.

“All is the new favorite”

Prompt:

Click over to your favorite blog, and pick out the 4th and 14th words (that aren’t “the” or “an”). Drop them into this phrase:   “_____ is the new _____.”   There’s your post title. Now write!

My Response:

“All is the new favorite.” The favorite blog I clicked on for this prompt was fashiontoast.com. I guess “all is the new favorite” is a pretty profound phrase (for a found phrase). To me, it suggests having a sense of appreciation for everything in your life, because it’s their to teach you something. All of your past, all your memories, all your experiences- cherish them because they are making you become a better you.

All you have done and are doing, all the people around you, all that you are learning, all of that should be your favorite thing because every day is different and has new things to offer.

All is the new favorite means that life is a big learning process and we need to have gratitude for all that we have endured, and celebrated and created. Make today your favorite day, Make this moment special by living in it and realizing it’s importance and it’s impermanence. ‘All’ is always changing, and we can choose to embrace that and see where things lead.

All in our lives is leading us to where we are supposed to be. We all learn our lessons in our own time, in our own ways. But we can choose appreciation now, we can choose gratitude and kindness. We can make our own free will our favorite thing. There is always a choice.

There are infinite choices and ways to be in the world and enjoy it. There is always a new perspective, and a new way if we just open our eyes to notice it. All that we are going through is making us stronger people, more capable people, more resilient people.

October 22, 2013. Tags: , , . writing. Leave a comment.

Turning Depression Around

Prompt: When I’m depressed…

My Response:

When I’m depressed, I do whatever I can do to improve my mood and feel better. I’m not someone who enjoys wallowing in depression. That’s something you do as a moody teen, not a mature adult.

When I’m not in the best mood, I remind myself that all states of mind are temporary, and when you’re in one state of mind, it’s hard to remember what it’s like to be in any other state of mind. And I remember how I feel when I’m exercising, or meditating, or writing, or doing something else enjoyable.

Exercising to offset a bad mood always works. You get into your body and the present moment and out of your head where all the misery is. Cardiovascular exercise is invigorating and reminds you that you are alive, you have possibilities and capabilities for change, and that you are in control.

Meditation daily, or as often as possible is also great for relieving depression, at least for me. I get more in touch with the present moment by meditating, and I practice being an observer of my thoughts and emotions. Being an observer allows you to separate yourself, be objective, and notice you emotions and thoughts as things that come and go. This way, you don’t allow your emotions and thoughts to take you over.

When I’m depressed, I also listen to music I love, sometimes while going for a walk. I focus on the music entirely and get lost in it, and forget about whatever else I was feeling. I think about all the things I’m grateful for in my life and that always makes me feel good too. Maybe because I enjoy simple things so it doesn’t take much to make me feel happy.

I feel that there are too many good things in my life, and too many possibilities for me for me to ever wallow in sadness or thinking about things that I lack. I am employed, all my basic needs are covered, and I have support and love from my family. There isn’t much more that a person really needs.

Also, I can write and express myself and be creative. That is a wonderful blessing and something to never take for granted. The miracle of thinking, breathing, observing, having one’s own mind and opinions and impressions; it’s an amazing thing.

Meditation renews your childlike wonder about the world and everything in it. So I would recommend this above all. Meditate, have gratitude, exercise, be creative, read good books, take care of yourself and enjoy the life you’ve been given.

October 19, 2013. Tags: , , , , . writing. Leave a comment.

Your Joy

(Below is an excerpt from a journal entry that was handwritten on 8/29/13)

The other day while I was working, someone took a message for someone I was calling. I’m not sure if it was a woman or a man who answered, but as they were looking for a piece of paper to write down the message, they were singing to themselves. When they came back to the phone, after the message, the person very seriously said to me, “Listen, don’t ever let anyone steal your joy.”

And hearing that made me really smile and genuinely laugh. The person just sounded so joyful and I was so grateful for a break in the monotony of the same phone call over and over again. Their joy gave me joy. It was a message that I really needed to hear that day and at that time.

Today I went to volunteer at the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival. I was helping out setting up books at a table outside a bookstore. I had volunteered there before, and taken a yoga class there for free once, so I knew the lady (Carmen) who runs the store.

She was grateful for my help and said I could take a few books or movies/CDs for free as a thanks. I only took one, a feng shui book, because I felt bad taking anything else for free. I know that the store badly needs donations in order to stay in business.

Carmen told me and Walter (another volunteer) about a show she took her nice to. It was a one woman show that a friend of hers performed in the city. She said it was a very smart, relatable show about a woman’s search for true love only resulting in a bunch of relationships where the guys wouldn’t commit and only wanted to take advantage of her.

So she concluded that what was best for her was to love herself, to have a connection to a higher power, and a spiritual connection to comfort her. And I said, “Well, yes, that’s the truth.” Real, true love can just be a myth in some people’s lives. Not something to seriously strive for or believe in.

I found a new apartment recently and will hopefully be moving in a couple of weeks. I hope I can let go of my old things, release things that tie me to the past, so I can make room for the present and the future. There are so many things I hold onto, trying to capture and preserve the happiness of moments passed. But that is a fallacy.

Life continues to march forward and I know I need to allow myself to move with it, to grow and change as I need to and adjust to the new things in life. I need to adjust to being a new self, and go with the flow of things. I decide what I want to do and don’t want to do. And that is a gift. I can allow myself just to be who I am, and enjoy the simple things in life, the things I love.

October 16, 2013. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Routine Prompt

Prompt: Do you have a daily or weekly routine that you follow?

My Response:

My daily routine when I get up on weekday mornings is this: wake up about 7:30am, snooze until 7:50am, shower, eat breakfast, have coffee, read some blogs and my email, sign in to work at 8:30am. I work until 5pm and then usually take the 5pm hour to do something good for myself. I’ll go for a walk, or meditate, or do some exercise. Not having to commute and having that extra time is a real blessing.

I meditate every day and exercise three times a week, usually cardio. So my work out days are Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday (Zumba class) usually. Some weeks I’m inspired and motivated to work out more. I try to blog as often as I can and write in my journal in the evenings as well. I have a tendency to stick to my routines, even though it wouldn’t hurt to branch out every now and then.

Like today, I wanted to go to a yoga class in a nearby town but the train ride there is about 25 minutes and then it’s a bit of a walk and I was feeling terribly sleepy today.  It was a busy day at work.

People think that I work at home and therefore it’s not very difficult. But I can average 50-60 calls to people per day, reminding them to make their appointments for eye exams or letting them know about the other programs my company offers to help them coordinate their health care. It can be draining for someone like me,  who doesn’t enjoy talking on the phone much.

The yoga class is every Wednesday evening though, and usually ends with a nice, peaceful meditation. So I’m going to hopefully make it there again soon. I like the instructor and the fact that the class welcomes beginners. Yoga can be a bit challenging when you first try it. But sometimes it’s good to challenge yourself to try something new and uncomfortable.

It’s amazing how alive and refreshed you feel when you deviate from your routine and try something new. It’s something that I have to keep in mind. But I do enjoy new experiences and just have to make more or an effort to pursue them. Life can’t be all about work and reading and staying in alone.

The world is meant to be explored. Having new and different experiences wakes us up and makes us realize how lucky we are to be alive. We are lucky to have the opportunity to make new discoveries all the time.

October 10, 2013. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Fascination Prompt

Prompt: Name one thing that has always fascinated you.

My Response:

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that certain people stalk other people, and why they do it. I wonder what would make someone want to write letters all day and night and call someone and follow them around all the time, in order to become like them or because they are simply obsessed.

I remember reading a book about stalking once. I forgot the name of it but it didn’t really shed light on the psychological reason people become stalkers. I think it’s a creepy, frightening phenomenon. And I often wonder what the motivation is behind stalking.

I’ve been watching this show “Stalked, Someone’s Watching” which recently had its second season become available to stream on Netflix. I’ve seen almost all the episodes even though it can be a bit disturbing. I’ve never known anyone who’s been stalked.

I, myself, have been fascinated by certain people, both famous and regular people I know, but I would never consider stalking them. I think being curious about someone else’s life is normal to a certain extent, as long as you don’t take it too far.

I think stalking is strangely fascinating. I guess it occurs due to certain types of mental illness, but I’m not sure. It’s one of those topics I enjoy reading about just out of curiosity, like clearing clutter, meditation, journal writing, dumpster diving and reselling finds for profit, and minimalism.

October 9, 2013. Tags: , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Here for A Reason Prompt

Prompt: Do you believe that we are all here for a reason?  What might the reason be?

My Response:

This is a difficult question, one that I’ve wondered about often in my life. I’ve always believed that we are all spiritual beings, having a human experience for a set number of years on earth. I believe that life is a gift, and we get a chance to experience it: all the highs and lows, all the wonders and frustrations, before we return to our source.

I believe that we chose the lives we are living before we were born. We chose our relatives and friends/enemies and job situations, in order to learn and grow and evolve our souls. I may have these beliefs because of a meditation class I attended in my early twenties, where a lot of these ideas were expressed by the teacher. I never believed in reincarnation, and I still don’t. I believe after death, we return to the light, where we can be free and happy.

I think we learn everything we are here to learn during this one lifetime, and then our soul goes back to its source of creation. I believe in God and everything, but I don’t think it’s a God that any one of us can imagine since we are human beings, and not in spirit yet. I think God (and eternity) exist beyond our realm of understanding and comprehension. But I do believe there is a source that created all human beings, and all the universe.

This is a question that many struggle with, but I feel that I’m here, existing right now, in order to learn certain lessons. And my time on earth will not end until I have learned all of them. I believe in a universal consciousness, an overall awareness of humankind and a basic nature of people.

Some people are more impressionable, easily swayed by outside influences, but others are more stable and remain so all their lives. I believe certain people were born in order to enlighten the world and teach us something that we never knew before. And I also believe that all people were meant to be born into the time period they are born into. I sometimes don’t feel I belong in this era of technological distraction, but I’m here and I feel that I chose to be here now.

I think the point of life is to enjoy it, to realize it’s a gift, to call forth it’s riches and to remember our own power. Because people are creative and powerful. The mind can imagine anything, and many people create their dreams as their reality. I think we are here to experience all that we possibly can during this life, and to remain always curious, always questioning.

October 8, 2013. Tags: , , . writing. Leave a comment.

Mistake Prompt

Prompt: What was the worst mistake or decision you have ever made in life?  What could you have done differently?

My Response:

At this point in life, I think my worst mistake ever was majoring in English in college. I had no idea what the working world was really like and that I’d have to start out as an editorial assistant/secretary until it was way too late. If I could go back now, I would major in library science. I would rather work in a nice, quiet library than as someone’s harried, always busy and stressed assistant who does clerical tasks and never gets a chance to write.

So because I majored in English, I’ve drifted from office job to office job, always unfulfilling, at times very stressful, trying to find the right fit for me. It reminds me of my dad, who changed jobs several times in life. Everything gets tiring after a while, especially if it holds no interest for you. And you start to seek out anything else, just to have a change. My mother has had the same job all her life though. Maybe because it never changed and she always knew what to expect.

I tried getting into publishing several times, but only got so far as two internships and one interview for a full-time position that I did not get. I assumed publishing was the area for me since I love reading and writing and figured I’d make a good editor. I can still apply to jobs like these and sometimes I still do, but who knows if I will every actually end up in a publishing house.

If I could go back and study library science, knowing what I know now about work and all the drudgery of the daily grind, I would definitely do it. It’s too bad that these are things you realize after the fact. I was not focused on my career when I was in college.

I was consumed with the fact that I was lonely and wanted a relationship. I didn’t realize how important it was to firmly decide on a future that I could envision myself being happy in. Because love may come and go, but you always have to take care of yourself and make a good living and become independent.

I guess I assumed things would fall into place. But it hasn’t been that easy. My job now is not what I want to be doing, but I do my best at it because the pay is decent, my boss is nice and reasonable, and I get the luxury of working from home. I want to work somewhere that doesn’t require me to be on the phone all day though. Every job has its good points and bad points, and I’m grateful that I don’t have to be out commuting when the weather is lousy and I’m tired from a long day at the office.

October 6, 2013. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Junk Prompt

Prompt: Is there “junk” in your life? What kind? How do you get rid of it?

My Response:

This is an interesting prompt. There is a lot of junk in my life but letting go of it means letting go of an old version of myself. That is a good thing, but also very difficult because it means redefining myself, taking on a new identity and not remaining stuck in the past. I like the certainty of who I thought I was, but it’s time to grow and to change, and that means getting rid of old junk.

I recently viewed an apartment that I really liked and was all set to move to, but it fell through and I’m not sure why. But I guess I just wasn’t supposed to move there. It’s a shame because it seemed like a quiet, peaceful place. Lately there has been so much noise in the apartment next to mine that it’s hard to ever really relax at night and fall asleep at a decent time. Not to mention I work from home, and it would be nice to work in a quiet environment.

Anyway, when I thought (for a few days) that I was going to be moving, I started sorting through old things and throwing a lot of stuff away. It was stuff that was just sitting in closets that I wasn’t using, or things that I already had too many of, or other random bits here and there that I no longer wanted in my life.

At the new place, my parents came one day to view it with me and my mother said she would help me decorate. This had me very excited because my mother has great taste and everyone compliments her all the time on how she decorated her new house.

And I thought how refreshing it would be to have all new things, and to release the old. I want to step into a new chapter, and look forward and consider new possibilities for myself. I want to make a big change, either with my apartment or my job, but the apartment is probably easier, so I’m focusing on that.

I want to release the stuck energy that’s been lingering around here in my apartment for years by moving everything out, sorting through it all, and discarding whatever I don’t feel I need anymore. By discarding old things, you make room for new things and new opportunities to come in.

I guess a new life is gained by making small changes. I’m working towards it one step at a time. My challenge is learning how to fill my time productively with things that will be more fulfilling. So I’m reading the books I want to read, exercising regularly, meditating daily, and searching for a new place to live. I hope I can find one before it gets too cold out, because I sorely need a fresh start in my life.

October 6, 2013. Tags: , , . writing. Leave a comment.