Mind Munches

The love child of word vomit & metaphors

Calling All Humans, I Want Your Garbage

Calling all humans, I want your garbage.

No, not your actual garbage. Not your literal, tangible, probably rank garbage. I’m talking about your figurative garbage. More specifically: your morning garbage.

(How many times do I have to say garbage before it becomes a drinking game?) 

We’ve all had bad mornings. The nuclear, should have stayed in bed, can this seriously be happening type mornings. The garbage mornings, if you will. And since we’ve all had these, I thought there should be a place to talk about them. To laugh at them. To prove they are actually a thing that happened, even if it may seem impossible.

So, I’ve started This Terrible Morning. A blog dedicated to the horrible, awful and hilarious mornings that tend to haunt us every once in a while.

This is where your garbage comes in.

I want your stories, your pictures, your sarcastic turn of phrases. All of it. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a writer or a comedian or a photographer. The only credentials you need are an honest voice, a great story, and the willingness to share it.

So if you’ve ever had one of those mornings that started with a (maybe literal) bang and ended in a (hopefully figurative) fire, please do me and the Internet the honor of sharing it! And if you’re someone who secretly enjoys reading about those fires, please do me and the people brave enough to share theirs the honor of subscribing!

You can find the blog at www.thisterriblemorning.com

You can submit your stories/pictures/etc. to thisterriblemorning@gmail.com

Music Can Still Heal, Love Can Still Prevail

In yesterday’s blog post I talked about KROQ’s Weenie Roast & Fiesta, the concert I attended over the weekend. I talked about all of the different aspects of a concert or music festival and some tips on how to maximize your experience. Then, last night, I got word of the horrific attack in Manchester at an Ariana Grande concert, which killed 22 people and injured over 50. I had no words.

This morning, as I pored over a number of news articles and blog posts responding to the attack, I couldn’t help but tear up. I had just been a concert goer. I had just spent an evening with my own favorite artists, singing and dancing and being carefree. There was an eerie air above my head. I felt almost guilty.

Then, I remembered something.

At Weenie Roast on Saturday, in the 8 o’clock hour, Imagine Dragons was onstage, performing my favorite set of the day. After about their 3rd song Dan Reynolds, the lead singer, took a few moments to speak on hate. He mentioned a problem one of his young daughters was having at school with another student. She’d been pushed down and told her pigtails were stupid and came home crying. He was heartbroken and angry that she had experienced hate for the first time, and was solemn knowing she’d only experience more as her life went on. But then, he shifted gears. He looked out at the crowd and smiled. We were all quiet and flushed from the long, hot day, and he told us we were beautiful. That we were every color and size and shape and ethnicity. And we were all there, together, letting music heal us.

“Because that’s what music does,” he said, “music heals us. It saves us from ourselves and from the world. It brings us together.”

We all applauded, but not the kind that feels obligated or appropriate, the kind that happens naturally, because we understand, because we agreed. He then bowed his head and thanked us all for being there and encouraged us to take the love and acceptance we shared in the space of music and spread it out amongst the world.

This tragedy in Manchester is unfathomable. It has harmed the world and its people in more ways than one. But one thing it didn’t do, it couldn’t do; one thing that terrorism can never accomplish, is destroying our ability to heal. To love. To persevere.

So, as we walk slowly in the wake of such darkness, we must remember that we are all carrying light, and as we continue to let it shine, we are winning. As we continue to let ourselves heal and be healed, we are winning. And if continue to fight hate with love, we will win.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of What Other People Think We Need

Like the skills required to dissect a frog, there are many lessons from my K-12 education that I’ve found a way to forget. However, there are also those I can’t help but remember: Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, the symbol for silver on the periodic table, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Often showcased in a pyramidal diagram, Maslow’s theory recognizes the 5 essential needs of the individual, starting at the bottom with the most essential: physiological (i.e. food and water), and working its way up to safety (i.e. health and home), love/belonging (i.e. friendship and intimacy), esteem (i.e. acceptance and self-respect), and self-actualization (i.e. the understanding and achieving of one’s full potential). The needs are ranked on importance, assuming an individual cannot obtain higher, more complex needs before first satisfying the most basic. For example, an individual with a consistent supply of food and water would focus on their need for health and home, and only after those needs were met would they worry about friendship and intimacy. Simply put: One only feels the need for something when they have the time and resources to realize they need it.

Learning about Maslow’s theory in high school fascinated me. It made such sense and seemed so obvious. However, I quickly came to learn how far people tend to stray from its logicality.

After I graduated college, every conversation I had was based on my future plans. Did I have a husband yet? Did I have a career path? Was I going to become successful?

There I was a well-fed, well housed, and well-loved human being, proud of myself for pursuing and completing a formal degree and beginning to consider my full potential. I was reaching the peak of Maslow’s pyramid, drowning in the plenty, and yet my peers only identified what I lacked. Granted, there is a large difference between motivation and criticism, and I know that many questions came with good intentions and genuine support. They wanted me to be hungry for more, and I was, I just didn’t know quite what I was craving.

In today’s society, with the constant presence of social media, the discovery of what one lacks is an everyday occurrence. Be it a job, a significant other, or a bikini body, individuals yearn for what they lack without realizing the wealth in what they have that allows them to do so.

We all impose our own hierarchies, both in our lives and those of others around us, setting standards for what we believe a person needs in order to be x. (x being successful, happy, of value, etc.) But who can truly determine a level of success and happiness besides the person in question? Who is a better gage of our wealth than we who live off of its riches?

Maslow’s theory works under the simple assumption that we are all humans with needs and some of us will thrive where others lack. And while time and self-growth will continue to morph our own hierarchies, it is important to look back at Maslow’s original 5, appreciating the most basic and essential needs we have met that allow us to focus on the deeper and more complex. For with a basis of gratefulness, we can create a healthy hunger for progression, not only in our own hierarchy but also in those around us.

 

Give Up Your Guilty Pleasures

When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I wanted to be liked and accepted and I thought the only way to achieve that was to like and accept the “right” things. Be it the clothes I should wear, the movies I should like, the music I should listen to. I had no idea who I was, so I hoped everyone else would tell me.

But even as I started to learn the game, I was still well aware I was cheating. I didn’t wear everything I was supposed to wear, and even when I did, I wore it a bit differently. I didn’t like all the movies I was supposed to like, and I listened to a lot of music that lie far outside the lines which were drawn. Everybody has those quirks though. Those little secrets we keep from the masses. We call them guilty pleasures.

Like most teenagers, I lived off of guilty pleasures. After a long day of playing the game, I’d come home, relieved I could finally relax. My family didn’t care what I wore or what I liked, they loved me regardless. And although it took me sometime, I grew to learn than anyone worth having in your life will hold the same opinion. As a result, guilty pleasures began to lose value.

A few years ago, I heard a quote from Foo Fighters’ front man Dave Grohl:

“I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you f*cking like something, like it. That’s what’s wrong with our generation: that residual punk rock guilt, like, “You’re not supposed to like that. That’s not f*cking cool.” Don’t f*cking think it’s not cool to like Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” It is cool to like Britney Spears’ “Toxic”! Why the f*ck not? F*ck you! That’s who I am, damn it! That whole guilty pleasure thing is full of f*cking shit.”

Sure, it featured a few more f-bombs than the average life lesson, but it sunk in all the same. When we give into the game of guilty pleasures, we essentially admit to being ashamed of a part of ourselves. In doing so, we prevent ourselves from ever truly becoming ourselves. And to quote Dave Grohl, that’s not f*cking cool.

So I say ditch the guilty pleasures. Like what you like, without shame. It’s what makes you who are. And the world needs who you are. It’s what keeps it interesting.

The Reason “13 Reasons Why” is Important

On March 31st, Netflix released Thirteen Reasons Why, a series based off of the 2007 novel of the same name by Jay Asher. It follows Clay, a high school student who finds a box of cassette tapes on his doorstep one day. The seven double-sided tapes tell the story of why, two weeks prior, his friend and classmate, Hannah Baker, took her own life. She narrates every tape and dedicates each side to one person, describing how and why they are one of the thirteen reasons she made the decision that she did.

Suicide has always and will always be a hard subject. The impact of that kind of decision always ripples out farther than one might think. What makes 13 Reasons Why special, is its ability to show those ripples. It shows the classmates, the coworkers, the families, and the friends, even the strangers. Everyone is affected. But perhaps what it showcases best are the internal ripples that take place inside an individual considering this kind of decision. It shows how those ripples become more like tidal waves that surrounding swimmers shrug off as a traditional rise in water.

It doesn’t matter who you are, or if you’ve ever known anyone involved in, affected by or related to someone who has made or considered this kind of decision, you’ve been changed by the fact that a decision like this exists. And when you hear about it, even if it’s just on the news, it takes its most familiar shape: a reminder. So that night, you hug your loved ones a little tighter, you say things you didn’t think you were brave enough to say, and you live a little harder than you did before. Because in the wake of such darkness, you want to create a little light. You want to use the reminder to make things good, which is noble, though not as noble as using it to quash some of the bad.

While watching and/or reading 13 Reasons Why, you’ll find that it asks something very specific of you. It asks you to do something you’d rather not do in the wake of something like this. It asks you to look, to listen, and to feel. It asks you to let the ripples hit you, and to recognize the “reminder” as a series, not a solo act.

13 Reasons Why reminds us that our words matter. That they can say more than you mean, for far longer than you may have intended.

It reminds us that our words can be weapons, and regardless of our intention, we have no control over whether someone recognizes that weapon as a toy.

It reminds us that sometimes there is no next time. That something we “should have done” or “will do tomorrow” always has the potential to turn into something we can never do.

It reminds us that we’re a piece of the world. That we’re a world within the world. And as such, the world needs us to remain whole.

It reminds us that a try is better than nothing, but that it’s the do’s and did’s that make a difference.

It reminds us to be loud. To say help, over and over and over, in every language we can find, because someone will hear you. Someone that can help, or someone who feels the same way.

It reminds us to be quiet. To pay attention to the whispers that are meant as screams, because you never know how much courage it took to make that sound.

It reminds us to care. Not only for who we’ll influence in the future, but who we’re influencing now, in the every day, with the most ordinary of interactions.

It reminds us to take responsibility. For our words, for our actions, for our strengths and weaknesses, for our highs and lows.

It reminds us that sometimes people need help fighting their battles. And that sometimes the best way to help is to remind them they are helping you fight yours.

It reminds us to love. In every way, in every size, because love can be louder than anything else.

So just as it is the responsibility of books and shows like 13 Reasons Why to depict a subject like this so honestly, it is our responsibility to receive it respectfully. Let the ripples hit you, if only so you can know what they feel like, and so that one day you might be better equipped to rescue someone who feels like they’re drowning.

The Dog & the Fire Hydrant

While doing some research on clichés for my Valentine’s Day post a while back, I came across one that didn’t quite sit right with me:

Sometimes you’re the dog; sometimes you’re the fire hydrant.

It’s not that I didn’t get it, I just thought it left so little to the imagination. When I Googled it to see where it came from, I found this article that tried to offer some context by comparing it to Mark Knopfler’s song, “The Bug”:

Sometimes you’re the windshield
Sometimes you’re the bug
Sometimes it all comes together
Sometimes you’re just a fool in love
Sometimes you’re the Louisville Slugger
Sometimes you’re the ball
Sometimes it all comes together
Sometimes your gonna lose it all

Listen, I get it, they’re just clichés. And trust me, I love clichés. I love that they offer a creative way to say something ordinary. Plus, in knowing my grandpa, my dad, and now my brother, I hear them all the time. But this one…it just doesn’t do it for me. It makes us all sound so two-dimensional. As if we’re only ever going to be the dog or the fire hydrant; the bug or the windshield; the bat or the ball, when the truth is, we have the potential to be an infinite number of things in between. In fact, it’s that healthy blend of the in-between that makes life so colorful.

So I say strive to be more than the obvious. Don’t box yourself into the possibilities that seem most plausible. Check “maybe” instead of “yes” or “no.” Be grey instead of black or white. Be the fire truck instead of the dog or the hydrant. Be the windshield wiper instead of the bug or the window. Be the pitcher instead of the bat or the ball. Have it all together, lose some of it, and then find more than you thought you ever could. Don’t be this or that, be you.

A Lesson in Courage from the Real Moana

My sister and I recently got around to seeing Disney’s Moana and, long story short, we’re obsessed. And while I could go on and on about pretty much every second of every minute of the entire film, quoting my favorite parts, gushing about my favorite characters and belting out every verse of my favorites songs, I can pretty much sum them up with this gif:

giphy (1)

After watching Moana for the first time, I went through my normal routine of stalking everyone (actors, directors, etc.) associated with the film. I like to get an idea of where they came from and the other work they’ve done, so I can feel a strange sense of emotional pride for people I’ve never met. “You’ve come so far!” I tell them. “I’m so proud of you!”

I like to believe that in some way they receive this message with a passing sensation of happiness, but I’m well aware that I’m probably just forming one-sided attachments to strangers. Oh well.

Amongst my findings on the Moana crew: Auli’i Cravalho, a.k.a the voice of Moana herself.

moana

Some basic info on Auli’i for you (compliments of Wikipedia):

  • She was born in Kohala, Hawaii (which is the northern tip of the big island)
  • She is of Chinese, Irish, Native Hawaiian, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican descent.

Some less basic, more impressive info for you:

  • She’s currently sixteen, but nabbed the roll of Moana at the age of fourteen
  • She recently performed destroyed at the Oscars

aulii

And finally, the piece of information that got me writing to you today:

  • She was the very last girl to audition on the very last day of casting.

In an interview with People, Auli’i said she almost didn’t audition because of all the amazing submissions she’d seen on YouTube, but was encouraged by an Oahu casting agent to change her mind. And so, she did. She auditioned in the very last slot on the very last day.

Recap on what happened next:

  • She got the part
  • She made her acting debut
  • She became immortalized as a Disney princess
  • The film got nominated for a long list of awards including two Oscars (Best Animated Feature Film & Best Original Song “How Far I’ll Go”)
  • She performed “How Far I’ll Go” at the Oscars

So you know that old saying, “it’s worth a shot”?

It really is.

So keep taking those shots. You never know where they might take you.

moana 2