Repost: Is life what you make it?

Sometimes, on rare occasions, I dig through my archives and read through some of my past posts. Usually, this exercise makes me laugh because what was I thinking a writer is his/her own worst critic.

The other day, however, I read one of the first posts I ever wrote, and I actually kind of liked it. I wrote the article in more of a free form writing voice than I currently use, which is refreshing on days like today when my writer’s block is more frequent than Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes.

What do you think?

**

Originally posted: August 19, 2012

My sister left for college this week. She’s officially a buckeye. I know that those of you living outside the state of Ohio find our mascot ridiculous since it is, well… a nut, but the scarlet and gray hold a dear place in the hearts of those from the state that is at the ‘heart of it all.’

As I texted my sister on the morning of her departure, I felt sentimental. But, not in the way that you might think. I didn’t think about my first day moving into my dorm room, the two-hour drive that I endured from our hometown to the new ‘big city’ of Pittsburgh or the way that it felt to walk a college campus on the first day as a real college student. Instead, I felt old. I still feel old. Boo. These memories are not something that I easily conjured up like it was for me when my brother embarked on his first year of college four years ago.

I was, however, reminded of how I actually chose which school to attend. You see, I was an oddball. I had NO IDEA where I wanted to go to college – all I knew was that I needed to escape Ohio. I applied ALL OVER the place – New York City, South Carolina, Kentucky, Clarkson University (just google that one)… in basic words, I was a hot mess. I remember my dad, who was most likely scared shii-less of my college ADD-ness, asked how I was going to choose which school to attend when my options were all scattered. How would I decide on the criteria and decision-making factors when every school was so unique and non-comparable?

IMG_0047.JPG

Hmm… good question, dad. I remember pondering it for a while before declaring… “well, isn’t college just what you make it?!!” Sure, I could frolic around the Big Apple with the social elites, sip on moonshine in the south or freeze my bootay off in a place where hockey overrules football as the official sport, but really, when it comes down to it, I would be the one to ‘make’ my college career. I would decide how much energy to apply to school work, internships and friends within the environment that contains it all.

What I didn’t realize at the time was how mature of a statement this was to declare at the age of 18. I’m sure that I am not the only one who feels this way. There are plenty of young adults and people who have similar realizations, including my very own sister. However, I’ve been surprised by how many other people in the world do not have these similar viewpoints. The universe is full of people who blame their circumstances; coworkers who blame the company and others who blame their establishments.

What is it about life that causes people to continually explore their options? Between jobs, hobbies, significant others, even places where we work out and where we live, it is as if everyone is living their own version of Goldilocks. It’s too easy, too hard, too hot, too cold, not the right fit, etc.

I guess ultimately my point is that I’ve always lived my life with the attitude that life is what you make it. I hope that I don’t come across as egotistical or boastful. I’m just saying that this attitude has always worked for me. Whether it is my college choice, my career or the basic decisions in my life, I tend to give things my all in the hopes that the ‘all’ will make those things great. So, the next time you think about exploring all the options, perhaps try driving your energy into one thing; it finally might be the one that’s “just right.”

How To: 31 Random Acts

Last year, I started one of my favorite projects of all time – a challenge, to myself and others, to conduct 31 random acts in 31 days.  The challenge was born out of the 31 days series, hosted by The Nester, and consisting of thousands of bloggers writing about the same theme for 31 days straight.  This year, we even have our own website!

True to form, last year,  some of my random acts and posts spilled into November.  I hope that I am not alone in setting out to accomplish a goal and not always finishing on time.  You know the feeling, too?

This mentality is the driver behind the 31 random acts effort.  Below, I walk through how you can get involved in the challenge.  But, this is not the only way.  Feel free to choose your own acts, participate in as many day(s) as you want or just spread the word about 31 random acts!  We welcome all kinds of RAK love.

As I said in my original post, “If we can get even one person to join in on these efforts, we will double our impact on the world.  More importantly, let’s share our stories of spreading the good… even if it’s as simple as a hello to a stranger on the street.  These are the stories that are worth sharing.”

How To: 31 Random Acts

Step 1: Choose an act!  I will be using the list below.  I take great pleasure in crossing things off of a list! But, as I mentioned above, feel free to choose whichever acts please you – whether they are on this list, or not! If you want some other ideas, check out the list from last year.

Step 2: Perform the act.  Yay!

Sample act & tweet!

Step 3: Snap a picture of the act / write about it, and share it with social media!  Or, just share it with your family, friends, great aunt Susan?!  Don’t forget to use our hashtag #31randomacts, and tweet to @31randomacts / share the act on our Facebook page.

Erica’s posts from 2013!

 Step 4: Check out others’ random acts! Get some inspiration for your next one!

Are you joining us for 31 random acts?

**

**By the way, congratulations to our giveaway winner!! If your email begins with “Celtics,” I will be sending you an email shortly about the free entry to a Spartan sprint race!**