All it takes is a little inspiration

My sister - Kelli Brinker - recently wrote a little facebook note about her adventures in Canada. See, my big sister has always been a bit of a gypsy and a bit of wanderer...and I've always admired her for that because I simply am not very capable of just changing everything in my life because I'm too practical, too anxious and too Type A.

I am truly proud of her for making the choice to head down to Florida and try to become a dolphin trainer (and with this internship she seems to be well on her way if I know anything about what I'm saying). I never would have been able to do it - I would have talked her out of it-being the voice of reason that I am. I don't think it was reasonable for her to go to Florida, I think it was silly - a mere chasing of a perhaps fleeting dream, but I couldn't be more proud of her for doing it. She is chasing that dream, succeed or fail she's pursing it with reckless abandon.

This might sound harsh in some respects, but it isn't. It's truth, and she already knows it. The part about me being proud of her is maybe a little new because I have been treating it as a childish notion all along. "She just went for the beach, Mom and dad are paying for a long vacation in Florida" but I know that isn't the case...she's following something big.

And now she's in Canada - being a seal trainer - or something else as equally silly. And it is silly, but it's wonderful. It's perfectly suited for her and I'm sure it's much harder work than I might imagine. The point is - she's living out a wild fantasy and she seems so thrilled, and if she's thrilled - I'm thrilled. Congratulations Kelli - keep me updated on all you discover about Canada and about yourself because I know you have a lot to learn.

Me? I'm back home being perfectly boring. The one who was supposed to escape this place is mere minutes from her childhood home attending college at the university she used to pass on the way to the grocery store. But that's okay because for as wildly imaginative and intelligent as I've always been I was slow to start on anything that required change. It's also okay because I'm in the middle of my dream too...I've found the love of my life and she's captured my heart...she's the greatest dream fulfilled. And I know that sharing my life with her will be and has been so far the most exciting adventure out there for me. Plus considering my plans to go to law school I know I'm in for an adventure there.

I guess I'm just a romantic that way - I see the world in a grain of sand and Kelli is more a classicist - she has to go see everything and experience everything to feel like she's seen it all...and we are good friends for that reason, we can compare notes. I love you sister!

Point of this all? I'm inspired. By a few people in my life that make life important. Kelli inspired me this afternoon when I read her note and Kelly inspires me on a daily basis with her wonderful personality that is so suited to me. Jayme inspires me with her drive and her ambition to succeed. Jackie inspires me with her dedication to her schoolwork and all the while her dedication to her friends. Ashley inspires me with her big heart that never gives up on anything. Helaina inspires me with her compassion and sense of fun. Brittany inspires me with her dedication to work, how many jobs does she have now?? :) Alyssa inspires me with her ability to manage so much for such a young girl - school, work, her son, her social life. My parents inspire me with their entire lives - the life they built together, the business my dad built, the home my mom built.

So I ask you to look at the people who inspire you and use that inspiration in whatever way you see fit. You might surprise yourself...


The Election: Looking Back a Few Weeks

Election...I know I didn't write about it, but I'll explain why.

One: The reaction on both sides was less than desirable, at least in many parts of the country some of which were close to home.

Two: I didn't want to rant my own views and be scorned for doing so...I figured if I waited a bit it would die down a little. We'll see.

Three: I've been overly busy with the finishing up of my quarter here.

Now...a few words from my side of things:

We have to give him a chance; there is no other option. It is done.

I had hopes for Barack Obama when he began his campaign. I voted for him, as a registered Democrat, in the primaries. As the months progressed I found better policies in the campaign of John McCain. I will gladly say that I voted for John McCain in the general election (by way of early voting). My reasons were simple. My reasons were rational. I looked at all sides of the issues and I consider myself a moderate voter and political thinker. Considering my fiscally conservative views and in support of the small business my father runs I had to vote for McCain, especially with the potential blocking of the filibuster in the Senate. I firmly believe in checks and balances.

I also firmly believe that everyone has a chance to be president and that shouldn't be a race fight. I think the issue did turn into a race fight in several areas of the nation, not all. I also firmly believe politicians should make a conscious effort to be more true in their words. I think if they have a plan it should be clear and pursued. I think President Bush failed exponentially in his original plans. True, 9/11 was a throw off the course, but Iraq was a choice to lose sight of the goals originally in place.

My concern is that we weren't and aren't ready for this. I hope I am proved wrong. I would love to be wrong in this case, but I am wary. I am always wary when someone new takes over the biggest role in the country. Change is scary. So I do hope this is a change we can believe in...that remains to be seen.

NOTE: This was not meant to incite emotion, just to give another angle to the election, one that seems fairly stated.

If you would like to know what I mean by race fight this video explains it. Voting based on color is an improper use of your right to vote. Please stay informed. It will benefit everyone in that way. Thanks.


Art depicts life? Maybe for some

Now, back to the poem I posted before...

It in fact serves a purpose. I look at poetry and feel that it has many and any interpretations. It is written for a purpose and has a significant reading to the author, but a good poet should assume the same meaning will not be begot by all individuals who read it. That's the thing about art, it is made for any number of reasons and should be received in any number of ways for any number of people. Art is an expression and people should be able to find their own expression within it.

That aside, there is a point. The whole idea behind the poem is something I remember and something that is applicable to many people you probably know. Maybe it's applicable to many people you don't in fact know. But the poem suggests that you should know your limits, be confident, but not proud, and if you listen to those around you and heed advice now and then you might save your own life.

I think in politics you don't find this often. Politicians don't know their limits or the limits of the jurisdictions over which they preside. They often are overconfident in their procedures and ways and the pride that washes off of them in waves deters people from them. They too often, far too often, do not heed advice that is critical to saving lives. There are times you get away with this, but more often there are casualties of some proportion involved. It's just something to think about as the election (actual election, not early election) draws nearer. I don't claim to understand the early voting, but the point is that the deadline is approaching. So whether or not you vote early, do vote. Vote for someone who will not create fallen men and women through their ignorance. And vote based on whoever you think that might be. I am remaining neutral in that advice.


Be Careful What You're Sure Of

I actually am into writing a bit of poetry so I thought I would take up a blog on here to post a little snippet of my poetry.

This was written for a class my junior year of high school about a short story we were reading. I can't recall what story it was, but anyway this was the product of that assignment:

"What do you have to lose?" She asks.
"Nothing," he says, "I know I'll win."
"Everyone pays their dues," she says.
"Not me," he arrogantly whispers under the din.

But do you know what you're doing?
Have you any idea what you're pursuing?
I've seen it all done before.
Trust me; I've never been more sure.
Your confidence seems misleading,
There is no way you will end up succeeding.
Just draw your sword, and I'll draw mine,
I possess the skills, I have the tool, I'll be fine.

So they fought the fight,
And at the end of the night,
All that was left in sight,
Lay in the dirt:
The confident man's ignorant head.


Pleasing other people, why sometimes you can't

I read a book by Max Lucado called He Still Moves Stones while I was taking the weekend off in Philadelphia and New York (which, of course, is why I haven't blogged in quite a while, sorry about that), and in it Lucado mentions things regarding the expectations of others and how we are perceived by others, especially relatives. He goes on to say that you can be the best daughter a father has and he will still never treat you like he should, you could disappoint your aunt with a career and change it a million times and still never get her support or approval. He then parallels our struggles with pleasing others to that of Jesus' struggle in pleasing his own family. His family didn't fully accept him either while he was of the flesh. And the thing is, if Jesus can't please his family or friends, then maybe we expect too much in pleasing everyone in our own life.

That being said, I have some further comments. College, has always been a big dream of mine, top three things I've strived to do well in, get to, and claim victory and success over. I was excited to be going and then terrified. And now I've had change of heart in the place that I want to be. And I am not pleasing very many people, let me tell you. It is not easy to change your mind when others liked your original plan so much. But here's what I'm stuck on, these people also always told me I should follow my heart, and so I am. And in doing so I may be disappointing some, maybe many, but when they see the joy I find maybe they will feel better about my decision, and then maybe not. But people, you have to do what you need. You have to find your own path and sometimes it veers from what others imagined for you. But it doesn't veer from what God imagined. So I just challenge you to do what you feel is right for you. You will make mistakes, but they are yours to make.

It goes back, I think, to a previous blog of mine about leaving. In it I said, "It's like people expect you to always stay and sometimes you just can't. Sometimes it's just time to go. Because if you don't leave it will never be your life, it will be theirs...and then maybe...one day...you will stay because it will be your life...because you've already done all your leaving." If you change the words a bit you can come up with this, therefore creating a sort of formula for why you can't always please people: "It's like people expect you to always do what they have planned and sometimes you just can't. Sometimes it's just time to change plans. Because if you don't change plans it will never be your life, it will be theirs...and then maybe...one day...you will stick to a plan because it will be your plan...because you've already done all your path carving."


Relativity, Truth and "Being Right"

After talking on the phone with my best friend, a whirlwind of thoughts (which is pretty constant for me) became a furious wind of ideas with a serious force behind them. So, that being said, I'm going to try to put down all those winds of thought and still make some sort of sense. Fair?

Words are absolutely relative. Yes. I agree one hundred percent with this. Of course they all have specific denotations with universal definitions in most cases, but when it comes down to it every word has a different effect, different connotation, or interpretation for every single person. Unless someone is misinterpreting a word or thinking of a different word, we all can come to some sort of accord on what each word means in definition, but the impact each word has or doesn't have is a very different thing. Now, these definitions we reach an accord on...why are those correct? Because once upon a time the root of that word meant the same thing to everyone in ancient Greece or Rome and we took that root made a word in a different language based on that root and so everyone just goes along with it. Now and then there are changes and retractions made on definitions, yes that is the one thing we can expect from this world, some sort of change. People in this world are material and they make the material what they want. If it doesn't fit, they make it fit.

So these "truths" are reached because majority rules in most cases and in other cases power rules and so the rest submit accordingly. But can we ever be right about anything at all? I've never thought we could. We can't KNOW anything. Two plus two is four only because that's what we've been told and that's what everyone agrees on. Water is made of oxygen and hydrogen and not iron and sodium because it was decided that that's what those things are called. "Being right," is a learned thing. It's a majority's rule, a power's might, or a shock's unexpected-ness that tells us what we "should" know and "how" we should know it. We agree to "knowing" it based on the faith we place in this "knowledge."

By this I mean, it is all about faith. Life is. We believe and therefore things are. Belief and faith create our knowledge, but then it becomes our own personal knowledge. It becomes a knowledge unexplainable to anyone else on the planet. The only One who can see your beliefs and faith for what you "know" it to be, is God. God is what we believe, He is our faith and if the most important person in our lives is entirely based on faith, how can anything as trivial as two plus two being four, water being oxygen and hydrogen, or definitions of words be "knowledge." The faith we place in God and Christ and Christianity is the most important faith we can have, so the belief in words and numbers can't be said to be knowledge. That then is why it is relative. Full circle.

Branching a little further I just want to mention this, my belief in words may be different than yours, but in my appliance of words there is only truth. The words I say are meant with intensity, passion, and scrutiny. That doesn't make the impact any stronger for others though, because words are so relative in interpretation. They vary too much in meaning and impact. However, they aren't just used as space filler for me. So I hope that if you can't find a truth or impact in all words, that you can at least find impact and meaning and truth in my words.


Challenging Yourself and Others

I'm going to try this new thing, it could only last as long as this post, but maybe it will come up now and then. The idea is to centralize the blog on one word. And the word I'm starting with is challenge, which seems like a good jumping off point because the whole idea to use one word as a centralization to the blog is a bit of a challenge, true?

So...challenge. Challenge is something that goes hand in hand with change. Change is a challenging things, but then life itself is rather challenging and trying itself. Something that people need to maybe do more often is challenge each other. I say this because more fulfillment comes from emerging on top from a challenge. When people are challenged outside of work or school to think critically about faith, religion, relationships, government, politics, entertainment or just life in general you learn and grow so much better and in a bigger way.

Surrounding yourself with challenging people is in it of itself a challenge. A lot of people can be fun to hang out with and a friend, but it's great friends who challenge you. Those who care enough about you to question you and your thoughts are the ones that are thinking way deeper than at a surface level. Deep and thoughtful conversation is a very fulfilling thing in life.

So I challenge you to challenge others and learn and grow with great people. A concept that I discussed with my very best friend who challenges me everyday to think.