Talk to Me

I love conversations.

Contrary to popular belief, I have my moments where the I in my ISFJ-ness is imminent. But, this post isn’t about Meyers-Briggs test results. It’s about holding better conversations.

I kinda sorta really believe that social media is a horrible excuse for etiquette…just saying.

Talk to Me
Photography from CSUBlogs.com

Two signs of passivity:

1. Inserting “just saying” at the end of  a sentence. Sometimes, we  say things, but we don’t have the courage to be confident in what we say so somehow we think the phrase makes everything better.

2. Ellipses. I’m surprised at how many people don’t know this term so I suppose I should explain. And ellipses is three periods in a row. In a text have you ever had a lapse in the conversation where someone responds to something you’ve written says, well texts,something like this: “OK…..” or “Oh….” or “yeah…” and then the conversation just sort of ends there? And you feel kinda bad about yourself? Maybe it’s just me, but I kinda start to freak and out and typically assume I’ve said something to hurt his or her feelings? Either that or I feel frustrated because they are hinting that they have something to say but aren’t saying it.

3. “Don’t hate me cuz I’m beautiful.” Still trying to figure this one out.

Not clarifying comes in the form of:

1. Awkward silences.

2. Not addressing the awkwardness.

3. Not signaling the end of a conversation, once again it’s easy to not do over social media, but it’s still courteous. Especially over Facebook and texting.

4. Not following up. I see this a lot in friendships and deeper relationships. This is different from not signaling the end. “How?” You ask? You completely end the conversation without discussing when you’re going to talk again. Or you end by saying something such as “we should hang out soon.” This in and of itself is not bad, but it’s important to act upon these words.

Talk to me! What are your thoughts on conversing? What are some issues you see that I didn’t touch on How do you think we could improve our conversations?

-Kayla

An Open Letter to Humans: “Oh the Drama!”

“Can we all just get along?” Rodney King asked that question in 1991 and it embodies the sentiments of many people still today.

Actually, yes we can. The real question is “will we?”

Some people are under the impression that drama and gossip only ever occur in high school. This could not be farther from the truth. Graduation is more like an opportunity to act mature and all grown up.  You see, there is this myth out there that the day after you graduate high school, you wake up a sage old soul full of wisdom “beyond their years.”

Now, just to be clear, this open letter isn’t meant to be a passive message. In fact, passivity is something I’d like to address in this post. I never intend to use any of my blog posts as a form of vengeance. So. That being said, think what you will. Much drama that I’ve witnessed first hand or second-hand is worsened because of passivity. I think the best definition of passive in this case is this  2. not involving visible reaction or active participation. It’s often “subtly” or “indirectly” hinting that so-and-so (supposedly) said or did something.

1. Don’t be a passive. Especially on social media. Save yourself the heartache of blowing up something that’s already a problem. I believe venting can be healthy. However, it requires the right place, time, and if you’re not writing it down in a journal, as I often do, the right person. When I say the “right person” it’s usually someone who has gone through the same thing, but with different people. Otherwise you’re just throwing a gossip party–not something that’s typically healthy or constructive.

2. To keep it simple, if you hear something about someone, don’t be naive and believe everything you hear. Go to the person who is the subject of all the controversy. I’m no statistician, but I can almost guarantee that most of what you’ve heard is either completely a lie, or blown out of proportions.

3. Remember: you can’t take back what you say or don’t say for that matter. You could be a positive. Also remember that social media is a whole new level of bad. Social Media is  another post in itself.

4. It doesn’t matter if a rumor is true or not. It isn’t your business.

5. Another myth. Just because you aren’t the one talking, doesn’t mean you aren’t  partaking in the gossip.

6. On that note, it does matter that you find it in you to say “Hey, you know what guys? I don’t want to be a part of this conversation. There are better things to talk about.” The decision to be the person in your friend circle is hard. But it’s totally worth it.

7. Saying, “ugh. I’m so tired of drama” is  kind of claiming superiority over those who are dramatic. Ironically, you more often than not come off as dramatic as well.

As I like to say, “if it bothers you, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.” It’s much more effective than writing a Facebook status or Tweeting your feelings of frustrated.

Facebook-Like-Button

I’ve noticed a recent influx of articles from various venues such as Relevant Magazine and USA Today College telling me I should give up or attempt weaning off of the internet.

For example, I watched a 10 minute long video promoting #nointernetweek (see video No Internet Week). And yes, it was worth my time. Believe me, I have a short attention span and am convinced I’m slightly ADD when left alone to be “productive” or at least appear productive.

Did I mention I had seven tabs on Google Chrome, Outlook, and Microsoft Word open? Twitter, Facebook, and just to balance things out a bit Wordle and Dictionary.com were among a few things I was reading/skimming over.

But, come on, I had Microsoft Word open. I was being productive! In fact, I was multitasking A.K.A. being “multitastic” as my little brother enjoys calling it.

OK, point taken. I’ve been using the dumb phone excuse for two long now. New Year’s resolutions: evaluate my face-to-Facebook ratio, write more, read more, experience more. I’m pretty sure people could survive without me posting a daily status or changing my profile picture. Everyone knows it there was snow on the ground in Washington yesterday.

Absent From the Replay

The following work is adapted from an in-class essay  I wrote based on The Vacation, a poem written by Wendell Berry.

The Vacation

by Wendell Berry

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.
The Vacation, written by Wendell Berry, is an interesting poem. This piece  introduces a whole new perspective about vacations. It is not your typical piece describing warm, sandy beaches and clear blue seas.”Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.” This introductory sentence stands out in a strange way. Most poems don’t start out like a story book. Instead of slowly revealing his purpose, the author lays it all out in the first sentence telling the reader everything he or she needs to know. The main subjects in this poem are the man’s camera and his vacation. This video camera captures the sights he catches glimpses of while on vacation: the river, the trees, the sky, the light, and the bow of his boat. The man was always behind the camera. He was never able to experience his vacation firsthand.
The poem gradually becomes more and more impersonal. The man who filmed his own vacation referred to his vacation as “it,” nine times. He talks as if “it” were someone else’s vacation and he was just an outside viewer with the privilege of a sneak peek.
The man becomes melancholy when he comes to the realization that with a click of a button, his vacation would appear right before his eyes. However, he would forever be absent. Never would he have the privilege of watching himself enjoy his vacation.
In Front of the Lens
I thought this would be appropriate  to post on the #Fourth #of #July<–see what I did there?! Summertime. It’s when so many of us struggle to capture those “perfect” pictures of those “perfect” moments via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and whatnot. While I have nothing against beautiful pictures and other memorabilia, I do believe that some occasions are meant to savor in the moment. Don’t constantly be “the man who filmed his vacation.” As I sit here writing this, there appeared in the sky, a single floating lantern. Nothing, I repeat NOTHING, dared to perturb its glorious conquest. The floating lantern, resembles enviable boldness and bravery. This majestic vessel leaves in the dust a spray of fireworks, which we often interpret as the bigger and better show. The lantern however, slowly and silently,  swims upstream. Leaving behind the noisy explosions which are soon over in a matter of minutes. For its is quest longer lasting. This thing of beauty is also meant for observation. Undergo a few strokes upstream, and move behind the lens. I understand that this action is a scary one; we live in an age of “follow the leader.” Every one of us wishes to be a leader and not a follower.  Look at the lantern’s example and Don’t be Absent From the Replay!

Living> Surviving Part 2: In This Moment

blimeycow
From Left: Jordan, Kelli (Josh’s wife), and Josh Taylor.

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Josh Taylor from YouTube’s one and only Blimey Cow.  I have been so excited for this post! Here were his thoughts on “Living>Surviving “:

Me: Josh, tell us a little bit about Blimey Cow’s history, for those who aren’t familiar with your popular YouTube channel.

Josh: Blimey Cow is a YouTube channel started by myself and my brother Jordan in 2005. We produce a new video every Monday and Friday.

Me: Have you ever met someone ( or multiple people) who you could relate too, but also look up to as a role model and be inspired by? Who is that person ( or group of people) and in what way did they inspire you?

Josh: My family inspires me. We are all best friends. I’ve really had only one other best friend that wasn’t a part of my family, so I married her. I am seriously so blessed with the family in which I was placed. I am inspired by how they love me, by how they relate to others, by how they relate to God- and how all of those things are somehow interconnected.

Me: In light of 1st Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” What are some little things young people could do in their everyday school and work lives that could potentially make a difference in their own lives and/or someone else’s?

Josh: There is an optimism and idealism that the youth have that is invariable lost as time goes by. I think a lot of times when Scripture makes these kinds of references to “youth,” this is the idea. So, I guess I would say… dream big, ask uncomfortable questions, and don’t let mistakes slow you down.

Me:  In your own personal life, what is the importance of making obtainable goals, as well as big ones? (As opposed to cliché bucket list items?)

Josh: In my experience, “big goals” I set for myself change by the time I’m in a position to fulfill them. I think there is a difference between dreams and goals. All of the things I’ve always dreamed of doing, I’m getting to do. But usually when I decide on a“goal for the year” or some such thing, my priorities change. I would say… do the best with what is in front of you. The only thing predictable about the future is that it will take care of itself.

Me: To you, what is the difference between living and just simply surviving?

Josh: I am reminded of the quote by Soren Kierkegaard: “To be loved, is to be helped by another person to love God.” To me, that is living.

On that note, check out Blimey Cow’s hilarious take on YOLO here:

 

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