So, I’ve had an interesting past five or six months. In fact, so interesting that I’ve actually been fighting the urge for a while now to write a blog post about it. So here I am (my mom is SO excited right now). For my friends who never knew about this blog until now, I suppose I should explain. I started this blog while training for a half marathon my freshman year of college (2010-2011) as a way of tracking my progress. It became like a diary for me – an outlet to write stuff that I was thinking about – but at a certain point (not long after I started it) I decided that no one was reading and there was no point in going further with it. Even though I still have doubts that there is any living creature out there reading this (other than my mom), I thought I would have another go at it.
You may have asked yourself, “The Brainfunk Phenomena? That’s a really strange name for a blog.” If you asked yourself that, you must not know me very well – because I am strange (and I like it that way). Anyway, The Brainfunk Phenomena was so named because I knew that the things that I would write on my blog would be just the ramblings that usually stay in my brain. The silly things that don’t matter or mean anything to anyone else except me: funk. But since it usually stays in my brain, it’s brain funk. If you’re thinking, “Wow, she really is weird.” Well … then … you’re right, my friend. Welcome. And button your britches ‘cause it’s gonna be a weird and wild ride.
Now that we’re all caught up to speed, on that, I guess I should bring you all up to speed on my life as of late.
A year ago today, I was a junior at The University of Memphis, a council member of my sorority and living in the sorority house, and (in my opinion) a bit (really, just a bit) of a social butterfly. My life probably couldn’t be any more opposite now than it was a year ago but honestly, I’m happier now than I think I ever would have expected I would have been had I seen it coming.
One thing led to another and I ended up taking a semester off of school this fall which basically caused my whole life to change (in a good way). I worked as much as they would let me at LOFT in Germantown – I hated working retail but LOVED the women I met and became friends with at LOFT. My sweet parents welcomed me home and allowed me to come back into their previously empty nest. I was able to visit my boyfriend of nearly five years as he moved to Jonesboro, Arkansas to pursue his first “big boy” job as a police officer which made me very happy.
A lot of change happened in my life in a very short amount of time. Though I never second guessed the choices that I made, and I was never unhappy, I did a few times miss some of the things (and people … well, mostly the people) that I left behind amongst all the change. I repeat: I was never unhappy and was glad I did what I did (I’m talking to you, mom). I mean it though. I wouldn’t change the past six months if I had the opportunity. Maybe you’re saying to yourself, “But Sara Ann, you had a great social life, the best sorority in the whole world, so many friends, everything was so perfect and fun and awesome, how on earth could you be happy after leaving all of that behind?!” Well. I dunno really, I’m sure a lot of my friends wouldn’t be happy had they taken the route I decided to take, but hey, everyone’s different, right? What I’m getting at is this: the changes in my life have taught me a plethora of different things, which brings me to the purpose of this post.
Over the past six months, detached from the life I used to have, while still observing the lives of my peers, I have learned so many things. I hope that if any of my peers are reading this stupid blog (so very doubtful) that you aren’t offended by any of this or think that I’m talking about you, because I truly am not. I am merely reflecting on the things I have learned.
So, here goes.
1. We care too much about grades. This is an opinion of mine that I’m sure a handful or more of you will disagree with but that’s okay with me. I do not mean to say that we care too much about education because I do believe that education is extremely important. However, in the absence of stress and assignments and homework and grades in my life this fall, I have been much more aware of the importance that we put on our grades. Sure, you shouldn’t just sit around, twiddling your thumbs and not studying for your finals – I’m not encouraging laziness where your studies are concerned. I’m just saying that I’ve seen too many of my friends worry and study themselves into illness for ONE grade. We’ve all done it (probably). But think about what that grade means in the grand scheme of life. Think about how little that grade is. More importantly, I’ve seen my peers count their worth by their grades, which makes me really, really sad. I’m asking students to realize that their worth does not come from a 4.0 GPA (or even a 2.0). You are more.
2. We care too much about our social lives. I’ve had little to no social life since August. Many people would be annoyed, upset, bored, and disappointed by this in their own life. Naturally, some people are more social than others; to each his/her own. I wish that more of us would care less about how many parties we go to, how many friends we have, how many followers we have, how many likes we get on our Instagram pictures (I am SO guilty of this and if you’re honest with yourself you probably are too), the list goes on. Friends are important for sure. The problem is that we’re defining ourselves – and our worth – by these principles. You are more.
3. We care too much about our appearances. This one is a toughy. This one is tough for me because I struggle with this more than anything else, yet it’s something I am so passionate about. I have trouble believing what I’m trying to get other people to believe. But anyway, the thing that I am most sick of seeing on social media, and hearing from the lips of my friends and family is, “I’m such a fatty” or some other similar expression on that subject. Stop it. I’m serious. Stop. First of all, I don’t have any friends or family who are not incredibly beautiful (or handsome) in their own way. I’m so damn sick of all of us comparing ourselves to what we see in the media (P.S. it’s fake – all of it). Just because you aren’t a size 0, with long, lean legs, and washboard abs does NOT mean that you aren’t amazing just the way you are (thank you Bruno Mars). But maybe you ARE a size 0 – I probably hate you … totally kidding – maybe you are a size 0 and you still think to yourself, “If I could just be a smaller here and this could be a little tighter.” Quit it! I wish we would all just be happy with what we’ve got. Not all of us were meant to be fit little twigs. I’m also not encouraging complacency because health wise I know that’s not good either. Let’s all just be HEALTHY. How bout that? You know why? Because your worth does not come from your appearance. Skinny girls aren’t worth more than plus size girls. Let’s stop caring so much about what we look like. You are more.
Basically, I wish that we would all care a little less about the things of this world. I wish we would all stop counting our worth by our accomplishments, by our GPAs, by our social lives, by our appearances (and our bra sizes), and by everything that DOESN’T MATTER. Love yourself. Be thankful for what you’ve got: your health, your family, your friends, your pets, your books, all the little things, your education, your knowledge, ice cream (yes! be SO thankful for ice cream!); be thankful for things in your life instead wishing they were different. Stop using all your energy on making things different or “better’ when they’re already great. Be you. Be thankful for you. You are more.