Friday, March 23, 2012

Life Is Moving Too Fast

First off, let me just say that the Hunger Games was beautiful... and by beautiful I mean incredibly intense and action packed. It was a great movie.

Moving on...

So I was watching Lord of the Rings today and if you haven't seen the ending allow me to spoil it for you. THEY DESTROY THE RING AND ALL OF THE PEOPLE FROM THE ORIGINAL FELLOWSHIP BESIDES BOROMIR LIVE... well I mean... Gandalf died but his best friend GOD was like "sure bro, you can come back to life and keep doing what you do." So he did. I'm getting off track. At the end of the third and final movie (I can't say I ever finished the third book...) Frodo leaves Middle Earth with Gandalf, Bilbo, and two elves whose names really aren't important mostly because I can't spell them. So Frodo and his friends are just sitting there and they're crying and stuff because Frodo is leaving. Heart breaking.

While I was watching this incredibly touching scene I was thinking about how here pretty soon we're all going to graduate and I got this sinking feeling that there are people I'm either A) never going to see again or B) see very infrequently. Talk about depressing, because there's some really cool people that I get to spend time with every Monday through Friday from 7:45 until 2:50.

What I'm trying to say is I think my life is moving way too fast, and I would greatly appreciate it if it could just slow down a tiny little bit. It seems like just a little while ago I was some oblivious 6th grader who had absolutely no responsibility and not a care in the world and then all of a sudden BOOM. I have my driving permit and I'm learning how to drive. BOOM I have my licence and I'm driving alone. BOOM I got a job over the summer. BOOM the stress of Junior year just punched me in the face... metaphorically. Now it's March and after this summer I'm going to be a Senior and a legal adult. Then just one short year after that I'm going to be in some college located God-knows-where studying God-knows-what and I'm not sure how I feel about it. What if I go to college and my room mate is some stranger who eats bugs or enjoys Justin Bieber or something? What if I only get to see my best friends on some holidays and the occasional weekend because I had to come home and beg my parents for money because I'm a poor college student? What if I hate college?

What I'm trying to say is, everything is changing so fast. My life is flying by and I'm barely keeping up and I am scared. I am so scared it's ridiculous. I only have two summers and a school year to try and squeeze in as much bliss and memorable moments as possible before I'm thrust into the world of adult-hood.

So for everyone that is saying they can't wait to graduate from high school and get out of this town, think about the things here you love and ask yourself if you're ready to leave them behind. I'm not.

I'm not sure how to conclude this post because the events I'm afraid of haven't even started yet, and maybe I have nothing to be afraid of, but thinking about the future and all of the possibilities is incredibly overwhelming.

Here's hoping.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A 2001 Piece Puzzle

I am convinced that one of the nicest things you can do for a person is make them feel like they belong. From experience I have learned that testing the water around a new group of people can be truly frightening because you don't know what they're going to be like and you don't know what they expect you to be like. I experienced this situation this past fall. A very good friend of mine invited me to go with his church to an event called Fall Brawl. First off, if you don't know me, you should know that throughout the majority of my seventeen-and-a-half years I have not been a religious person. At all. So when my friend asked me to hang out with his church, the sirens in my head started screaming: "WARNING, WARNING, DO NOT ENGAGE. I REPEAT, DO NOT ENGAGE." It's not because I dislike religion, actually I feel quite the opposite. I was afraid because I thought that the differences between me and this group of people would make things awkward at best.

I was wrong.

This group of kids may be one of the nicest, funniest, and most entertaining groups of people I've ever had the pleasure of getting to be around, and I'm glad to say that I still do get to spend time with them almost every week. Why? Because they made me feel like I belong. They didn't treat me like some friend of a friend that they had to tolerate. They welcomed me into the group and treated me like I felt like I belonged.

The point I'm trying to make here is that everyone should be able to feel like they belong to a group because nobody deserves to be alone. Feeling lonely sucks. Feeling like nobody cares also sucks. Feeling both at the same time royally sucks.

I want you to imagine a puzzle (you're about to see where I got this oh-so-clever title). Let's say it has... oh... I don't know... 2000 pieces (I like a challenge). But oh crap! The manufacturer made a mistake and gave you 2001 pieces. All 2001 pieces still fit together to make the same picture, though. Now are you going to A) do what the box says and only use 2000 pieces or are you going to B) make the extra effort to find the place where that 2001st piece fits? If you answered A then that's very unfortunate. You are such a conformist. Go hang your head in shame. If you answered B, however, congratulations. You are a gracious human being and if I had a gold star I would totally give it to you, because being piece number 2001 is not fun if it's only supposed to be a 2000 piece puzzle. But if the other 2000 pieces are nice and make you feel included it's one of the best feelings you could possibly imagine.

Moral of the story: Make the new kid feel welcome. Being around a group of total strangers is weird. Really weird. Weirder than Lindsey Lohan weird. Going that extra mile to include the new kid can really make their day brighter.

And to anyone from that church I mentioned earlier (you know who you are): Thank you so much. You have no idea what it means to me.

This has been your favorite non-Jew with a Jewfro (I like to think so, anyway), signing off.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's My Opinion... I Don't Care If You Like It

An honest person is a person who tells the truth consistently. Here's the problem: as a society we like to block ourselves off from things that we don't want to hear. When someone asks for an opinion (such as, "what do you think of Rick Santorum?" or "what do you think of [insert name here]" or more recently "didn't Lindsey Lohan have a s*** show of a performance on SNL?" ... ok that last one isn't up for debate) and we don't like what they tell us, we get a lil' snippy... and by a "lil' snippy" I mean a crap ton o' snippy. We call that person "mean" or "rude" or (insert another name to call someone that didn't tell you the "right" opinion here). WHY? In today's society our opinions define us. Now you might be thinking "Tyler... you couldn't have made a dumber statement." Hear me out.

Why should our opinions take a toll on what people think of us? I'm not talking about stupid stuff like your favorite color or things as extreme as... I don't know... the opinion that kicking a small puppy should be socially acceptable. There are standards. I mean obviously navy blue is the best color there is... and of course it's socially acceptable to kick a small puppy... totally kidding... about the kicking puppies part. All joking aside though, I want you to really think about how much our opinions define us in this society. Things like religion and politics are creating a huge divider between people. It is quite honestly one of the most disgusting things I think I've ever had to witness. Personally I don't care what you believe. You can be a liberal, conservative, libertarian, communist, anarchist, whatever. I don't care. You can choose to believe in Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism, or Jedism (maybe). I don't care. As long as you are a good open minded person who doesn't try to forcefully shove your political, religious, or other beliefs onto others we'll probably get along... unless you can't take a joke. Then we might have a tiny bit of a road block.

Now I know that me saying not to shove your beliefs onto other people may have shocked some of you... calm your cardiac related issues and keep reading. I am a firm believer of there being both a good way and a bad way to tell the world about your beliefs. The bad way would consist of you being a very stubborn person and flat out telling people their beliefs are wrong. Don't do that, I will personally beg of you not to do that to people because it makes me sick. The right way to tell someone about your beliefs is just to inform them. Don't tell them what they believe is right or wrong, try and reach a level of understanding with each other. When it comes to talking about beliefs I've found that it makes it a whole lot easier if you try and learn as much as you try and teach. I know this is possible because I am blessed enough to get to hang out with a lot of really cool people who have this concept down pat.

I won't sit here and pretend to understand why having an opinion is such a big deal in this generation. However I think that making an issue out of differing opinions is twelve different shades of stupid. Thinking that you can make anyone and everyone believe exactly what you believe (or even come remotely close to it) is a fool's hope and a waste of time. Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree and move on.

Thanks for reading, I hope it wasn't a ton of senseless rambling.

Stay classy,