To Reach Others, You Must Reach Out

Almost a year after reaching my 100 follower goal, I just got the notification that I hit 200!  Neato, team!  I love to think that a community has gathered over the past five years to share in my mental wanderings through the ups and downs of pursuing this wacky career.

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Blogging has taught me something way more valuable over the years though.  I meet many actors and writers alike, including myself, who say that they want to pursue this career to affect people–to challenge their thinking, to touch them emotionally, to support them through a life change.  When I was 13, I was in a show at The Growing Stage, an incredible theatre for young audiences in North Jersey.  The show was about an orphan searching for a place to feel at home without a family.  It was one of the most beautifully written shows I’ve ever been a part of.  After one of the performances, an older woman approached me, probably in her 80s, and said that she grew up as an orphan in a similar time and part of the country and really appreciated the show and how it made her feel less alone.  This has never left me, and I use it as an example of why I stay in theatre each time I get disheartened.

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Why Do We Blog?

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Last night, my husband and I stood waiting and chatting in Penn Station after a reading of one of his new plays.  He got a lot of fantastic feedback- compliments as well as excellent constructive criticism.  Eventually, the conversation turned toward my very odd experience on Monday with a trolling blog commenter.  What could have been a constructive note, was expressed as a nasty, personal (and may I say, poorly written) attack on my motives for blogging.

There is no doubt that I have given this woman way too much of my energy and time.  But since this was my first –and I am sure not my last– experience with this type of negativity, I have been analyzing my reaction to the whole experience.

Anyway, I told Ben that I have never particularly received constructive criticism about my blog–the way you would with a play.  I have received tons of wonderful constructive compliments over the years (which is one of the major driving forces of my writing, please don’t get me wrong) but as far as “you can do this better”– not all that much.  Ben had a great point though. He said, “But is there an exact way to blog?  What type of advice would you even get?”

And that’s when I realized why the troller got so deeply under my skin.  She was insulting a particularly vague form of writing.  There are many reasons why people write, I think we learned about this in middle school:

  1. To teach or inform
  2. To call people to action
  3. To inspire or create a community/connection
  4. And others I didn’t catch because I was watching a bird fly by the classroom window

My point is that quite often, blogging in particular is about telling your story in order to invite a community to share your experience.  If not, you would just write it all in a  journal.  Now, things get tricky when the writer hopes or expects a certain reaction, OR, in this recent case, the reader misinterprets the writer’s intentions.  This, I believe at least, is why we often get the, “Who cares?” or, “Why is this even published?” trolling comments on so many places online.  The confused reader believes each article is written for them personally, and forgets that they may not be the community included in the target audience.

As a writer, do I hope to reach people outside my assumed audience?  Of course!  But I never expect it.  I am certain I have friends and family members that are probably not super into emotional posts about hiking and acting.  That doesn’t insult me.  But they wouldn’t go out of their way to tell me my work is not up their alley, because they realize that there are plenty of things online not written for them.

But I still haven’t answered the question: why do we blog?  Or rather, why do I blog?  When I began in 2010, I wanted to simply talk about living in NYC as a broke actor.  Nothing more.  I was amazed that anyone read it.  It was an exercise in building my confidence.  As the years went on, people began to tell me they related with some of my stories, and that meant more to me than the world.  And so my writing evolved into something more than an occasional hobby.  It became a way to connect with other artists.

The tricky part is that when you branch off of your personal blog and share your ideas with a larger audience, your purpose slightly changes depending on each site.  Having my posts suddenly featured around the internet was mind-boggling.  I didn’t realize I could reach an audience that large so quickly, even if, in the scheme of the internet, it isn’t super impressive. To me, it was very exciting.  So I’ve been hopping on every idea that comes to mind, and it’s been wonderful for my creativity all around.

The issue is that you remove your blogging context.  An article about why I blog makes more sense on Maybe There Will Be Cupcakes amidst my other writing throughout this site.  This is not really a standalone article.  Whether you’re a personal friend of mine or are brand new to the site, you are surrounded by context about my life and general vibe. On someone else’s site, that disappears.  I can understand how that can be confusing to a reader that assumes all articles are geared toward them.

I believe my point is this- as bloggers, I don’t feel we need to change our purpose for writing while branching out into the internet.  If our article is accepted, it meant that the editors felt it had a place within their brand.  However, we need to remember that negative comments may be due to a reader’s inability to connect the person to the message.  Without context (or knowing the writer personally) a reader may project their own tone of voice on your writing, and then madness ensues. This is not to excuse it, but just to provide a possible explanation.

As a reader, we all need to remind ourselves that a human being, with a different personality than our own, has written this article.  It is outside of their zone, and therefore, we cannot assume who they are as people.  We can only read the story or the message.  Yes, it is a public forum, and the writer is opening a door to opinions by submitting the article, but this does not mean we are welcome to project our personal issues onto the writer.  The writer doesn’t know you, and if you scream at them, they probably won’t be all that excited to remedy that.

So as both parties, before commenting (or responding to a comment), I encourage everyone to think, “What is the purpose of this writing?”  Is it really to tell me how I have to live my life?  Does this harm anyone?  If so, or if you have something constructive to add to the topic itself, then by all means comment, that’s the point of putting these articles online opposed to in a magazine.  But if it doesn’t, spend your energy considering the other person’s point of view, or read something you enjoy somewhere else on the internet.

We’ll never be able to stop trolls who troll for the sake of trolling, but we can step back when our emotions take hold, and try to see the bigger picture.

trolls

Blogher Publication and a Post about Tigers!

What Peeple Totally Got Wrong About the Internet

Blogher is the best!  They have featured my recent post that railed against the upcoming app Peeple.  I’m very happy to play a part in getting the word out there, especially to an audience for a website I deeply respect.  Feel free to check out the article above.

 

And then the part about the tigers…

Creative Commons Photo via Paula Borowska

Creative Commons Photo via Paula Borowska

Last night I had a super funky dream.  My husband and I were driving through the woods on a piano (apparently a motorized piano) with all of our belongings strapped to it.  Here’s the kicker- the woods were filled with escaped zoo animals.  Like, large angry ones, especially Tigers.  I kept yelling, “Hey look, another tiger!” as I tried to get the piano-car to speed up.  Seriously, brain?

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Blogging with Artistic Integrity

Fair warning, this is a bit of a rant…

For the past several weeks I have been throwing my energies into incorporating this blog into my career.  It’s always brought me joy, and as I’ve said many times, it’s helped me grow as an artist overall.  And yet, I completely accept that I know diddly squat about becoming a paid writer.  It’s as if someone was to approach me to randomly say, “Hey, I just found out I love acting!  How can I make any money doing it?” I would look at them with pity, tell them to pull up a chair and a beer (a tall beer) and then deliver the news.

One major issue is the stigma that an arts career is a luxury.  It is not always seen as a necessity to society, when ironically, I can assure that many temp jobs I’ve had that pay me way more than acting, are very unnecessary to society.  The other unfortunate stigma is that it requires little to no “real work.”  Also false, more on that below.

Luckily, this isn’t my first rodeo for building a creative career.  For absolute beginners, I could imagine getting sucked into the scams.  If you Google “How to Be An Actor” you get a long general lists talking about finding an agent and “getting into the actors unions.”  And yet, for an outsider, this does nothing.  The day-to-day work required to essentially build a product (yourself), a brand (your promotional materials), and financial stability (your “flexible” super understanding well paying job to maintain auditioning in NYC) is much trickier to find.  This is why people train and work in the business for years before knowing any of this.  I was very lucky to have parents that grew up in the field and told me everything I needed to know to get started, including that it was probably going to suck for a while, a long while.

Either way, I feel a little bit like one of those “I just wanna be a STAR!” girls this week, googling how to become a paid blogger.  Here is what I have learned so far, in my basic “I have no idea what I’m doing” journey through Google:

no idea

Most websites listed as “paid blogging” sites no longer pay with money, but instead with links to your blog.  

This I understand to a point.  If your website is set up with paid advertisements, arranging more traffic for your page is essentially like paying you.  Fair enough.  Exposure is also a wonderful thing.

No one can seem to clearly explain what SEO really is.

Is it just me?  I understand that key words in your post and headings increase your chances of being found on Google, but am I missing something?   If I literally just name my blog something that people search a lot, it will be rated higher?  And how do you write a personalized unique post and name it something that is trending?  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of creating an original idea?  Maybe I’m thinking too much about this.  If I write, football, wanderlust, sangria!  Does that mean google will try to find me based on those things now?  Or is there a back-end situation I’m missing?

Supply and demand does not line up

I know this is beating a dead horse, but I am a firm believer that artists are not recognized for amount of training and hours they put into honing their craft and career.  I, for example, would be a terrible stock broker.  I’m an introvert that’s bad with numbers, and I have no training in the field.  I would not asked to be paid for that.  And yet, I find that the amount of money offered to trained artists is not in balance with the scarcity of their particular skill.  Yes, there are a lot of people out there trying to be actors and writers.  But there are a lot of people in every industry, each with its own respective skill set.  Why are the arts considered a luxury that shouldn’t be appropriately compensated?  Rawwwr!!

People LOOOVE lists

I have learned to accept, as I did in my acting, that not every job or opportunity is going to be for me.  The same way I did not want to be a lifelong background actor, even though the job paid the bills and was easier to break into, I do not want to apply to any site that is looking for content of any time.  If I can adapt my style and philosophy into a list of some sort (like this one) then that’s great.  If it’s “10 ways chocolate cake is better than getting married” or “18 ways to take selfies with your cats” I’m not as interested.  Just as background acting started to make me hate acting, these will not make me want to keep blogging.  I’ve seen job posting that pay $8 a post, and ask you to write two posts an hour.  Sweet Jesus!  How on earth would the writing be of any quality?  Again, perhaps I sound like an amateur because I am new to this, but is this standard?  Do people make that work?

 On a happy note, there is a fantastic blogging community, and many talented writers

It’s really pretty incredible to wander around WordPress and see the amazing diversity in writing styles.  I feel like I started this adventure in a bubble, and all I was really hoping for were a few readers.  Yet it took me years to be a blog reader myself.  In the long run, I am only going to learn from my fellow bloggers, just as you would in any artistic field.

So I have been flocking towards the sites I connect with personally, whether they pay or not, because supporting messages are important enough.  And yet, at first glance, I am seeing that “creating content meaningful to you” is far from the only factor, and I guess I could have seen that coming.

And advice is welcome and thank you as always for reading!

 

I was published again! Yahoo!

Good morning!  It’s been a great week for elephants!

This month I have been breaking out of my comfort zone and submitting to websites that I find inspiring.  I recently wrote to the Elephant Journal, and what do you know, they are a very encouraging group of people!  Of course they are, they’re whole site exudes positivity.

I am happy to report that my pork tenderloin recipe (if you told me 5 years ago that I would be writing recipes I would call BS), and it was featured last night!

You can find it here!

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Why has is also been a great week for elephants?  Why, I bought Elephant Pants of course.  The Elephant Pants Company donates to the African Wildlife Foundation with each purchase.  And also, the pants look like the most comfortable things in the world.  I’ll let you know how they turn out.  Just a note that I am never paid to write about any products or books, I am just a little deliriously tired and excited at the same time.  So, go elephants!

 

Happy Wednesday everyone!

The Benefits of Being a Multi-Artist

Feeling artistically stagnant and starved is something I didn’t understand when I was little.  If I was in a grouchy mood for days at a time, I was often told, “You just need a show!”  But I didn’t truly understand the validity of this until my twenties.  I did legitimately need to do something artistic, to create, ANYTHING.  And since theatre was my thing, I would riffle through the local newspapers and Backstage every Thursday, hoping to solve the theatrical dry spell.  Usually it worked.  As I got older, it worked less.

Kindertransport in 2001.  Photo credit: Barntheatre.org.

Kindertransport in 2001. Photo credit: Barntheatre.org.

Turns out, I am not the only female brunette 20-something aspiring to be an actor.  So back in 2010, my husband very wisely suggested I take up writing as an outlet for this all-too-familiar theatrical dry spell.   As he always says, “No one needs to hire you to write!”  It was a definitely a breakthrough for me.  With theatre,  I could perform my monologues to the cats all I wanted but at the end of the day, unless I took a class, was cast in a show, or produced the whole thing myself from the ground up, I wasn’t creating.  Writing was my savior during those days.

“So are you a writer now?”

One of the unfortunate negativities I have come across in my career is the “throwing in the towel check-in.”  Even if they don’t realize it, there are a group of artists out there that like to ask the questions, “Oh so are you like, not an actor anymore?”  Will you cool it please?  I realize that this is just a projection of your own instability as an actor, but working on another art form or career does not mean you are giving up your passion.  If life was as easy as waking up one day and following your dream, then would no one would write about it!

The truth is that writing has put me more in touch with my acting and acting as put my more in touch with my writing.  I currently work in the Curriculum Office of an Independent School and I am reminded every day of the importance of interdisciplinary education.  If you think back to middle school, you’ll remember it.  “Huck Finn rafted down the Mississippi.  How many miles did he float down the river if the speed of the current was….” and then there would be a lot of math and I would go to la-la land.  But you get the idea.  We make these connections with different parts of our minds to better understand them.

Put on your writer pants

Sweatpants are great!

Sweatpants are great!

Discovering my love for writing was like finding out that I could wear my pajamas to work.  I have always considered myself an introvert.  When you’re little, they just call this shy, and you assume it’s a phase when you hide behind your parent’s knees when a stranger tries to talk to you.  And yet the feeling to hide behind things on some days never quite went away.  And then suddenly, the creation of Buzzfeed and the internet’s obsession with lists taught me that there are other introverts out there that ALSO want to hide behind things!  And apparently that’s cool now!

Being an introverted actor is often difficult.  A good deal of the business is networking and building your community.  Performing is actually one of the most personal and introverted portions of the field.  Standing in line with 30 people that look just like you who are talking about going on their 5th world tour of Midsummer, while practicing scales in between each sentence, is not as bearable.  There are days when I just don’t want to put on my actor pants.  I don’t want to wear makeup or curl my hair, or bring a change of heels.  I don’t feel like maintaining my “I could take this or leave it” persona while being graceful and welcoming, all the while remembering the words to my monologue.  Sometimes, I just want to throw my hair into a pony tail, find some flip flips, throw on my college hoody, drag myself to the nearest back corner of a coffee shop, and write.  The only person who has to deal with me sounding/looking like a recluse is the barista, and I know from experience that she has seen worse.

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And by cafe, sometimes I mean my couch.

No one needs to give you permission

The most wonderful thing about writing?  When you sit down and create something, you are a writer.  Congratulations!  Some days, you just need this freedom.  No outside force is telling you yes or no.  And the best part?  When I do return to auditioning, I am not so artistically starved that getting the role is the only salvation from insanity.  Because as I’ve heard before, desperation is always louder than your audition.

An actor friend of mine relayed this idea from a teacher to me once, “Theatre is like a healthy romantic relationship.  You need other passions in your life other than just that person, otherwise you’re not growing, and all of you happiness is dependent on things working out.”

So, Theatre, to keep myself from being a needy girlfriend, I will be over here writing in my metaphorical sweatpants.  When I’m ready to put a dress on again, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps next month, I will be back.

I strongly encourage the opportunity to explore other art forms without permission.  The difference between someone who is judging what you created, and you, is that at least you created something.  So if you are worried about judgment due to lack of experience, training, or a relevant career, throw that aside.  Creating art is never for the critics, so you might as well give it a go.

Call for Advice: To WP.org or Not to WP.org?

flowers-edited

Hello fellow bloggers!  I am getting close to my five year mark here and I am very interested in making this a much bigger part of my professional life.  Overall, I am trying to write more frequently, create a rhythm with weekly topics, etc. In a magical world, I would be able to focus on this full-time.  Though it will never be about making money for me (because when that’s the goal, nothing ever really works), but more about allowing myself the time to develop this further.

So I have been looking into transferring my site to WordPress.org and hosting through Bluehost.  I am however, in the very beginning stages of researching how to do this and if it is even worth switching.  So I have a few questions for the group:

1.  Do any of my readers receive income from blogging, even if it is a small amount?  If so, what were your first steps?

2. With the understanding that it requires more hands-on management, have you had a good experience with WordPress.org and/or Blue Host?

3.  Am I better off staying on .com and applying for Adwords?

3. Have you felt in danger of losing the integrity of your blog and writing by using an SEO program?

4.  Do I have no idea what I’m talking about/do you know of any good starter websites or classes I can take to be less clueless?

Thank you so much in advance for all your thoughts!  This is a slow but fun process and I’m hoping to just keep growing in the next year.  As always, thank you to all my very encouraging readers and please never hesitate to alert me of posts you are particularly proud of below, and I always happy to read.

For your troubles, here’s a picture of me looking like Maggie Smith.

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Exciting News! I was featured on Blogher!

Photo by Kim Craven

Photo by Kim Craven

Hello all! My recent post, The War Against Office Snacks, will be featured tomorrow on Blogher!  Blogher is a wonderfully insightful and inspiring site that promotes women bloggers.  I was floored by their offer to feature my post and am so thrilled to be a part of their blogging community.  Check them out here!!  My post is up now, but will be featured on their Facebook and Twitter tomorrow: Blogher Post!

And as always, thank you for all your support!  I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week and when Ben and I return from Cape May, hopefully I will have some lofty posts about the ocean, childhood vacation spots, and getting drunk on the beach.

Woohoo!!!

MaybeThereWillBeCupcakes.com Lives!!!

It’s official!  After nearly 5 years, I have purchased perhaps one of the longest URL’s in history: Maybetherewillbecupcakes.com.  If you are willing to type that baby out, then you are a true dedicated reader, and I love you.

Five years ago I started this blog on an angsty afternoon in my Astoria apartment after a job interview asked me to submit a personal experience writing sample.  I wrote some rambling story about my adventure on the subway once, and I did not get the job.  The GOOD that came out of that was that the interviewer wrote back a very caring rejection email, mentioning that though I didn’t fit the position, he really enjoyed my writing voice and it got him thinking.  That to me, was all that mattered.

A few months before that, my friend Christina has mentioned starting a blog for a class assignment and after seeing how cool hers was, I took a leap and started this little site.  Now Christina and I still write, and I am very thankful for it.  Each time I find myself slipping into the pits of theatrical despair, I come back to my writing and start fresh.

But most importantly, it was the overwhelmingly kind responses from all of you that kept this going.  As much as  we all hope to move ahead in life independently, it is truly our communities that give us the swift shove in the right direction when we need it.  I cannot express my appreciation enough for helping me find my writing voice.

Just for nostalgia’s sake, here are a few posts I’ve been particular proud of over the past several years:

A Perfectly Imperfect Wedding

Unity ceremony, the only potted plant we really needed.

 

Rephrasing the Fall Back Question

It's possible.

It’s possible.

 

Camino Writing: Take One

us with pepe

 

The Secret Life of Background Actors

Play "Find the Ginny"

Play “Find the Ginny”

 

My Real Resume

PLOTTING

 

First post ever!!

toys r us

 

 

 

A poll for you!  Let me know what you think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get off the Floor

I fell over a lot as a kid.  I think it’s pretty common when you’re little – sometimes your top half moves more quickly than your bottom half, you seem to slip on everything, or you just simply tip over all the time.  It’s as if you haven’t quite figured out the whole “leg” thing yet.  Here is what went through my mind when I fell over:

1. I am walking, enjoying being five, gee this is great!

2.  Woh, that’s slippery, I think I will flail in all directions to keep this from happening.

3.  I am suddenly on the ground and I do not like this!  I have no idea if anything is broken or god forbid, my knee is scraped.

4.  I think I’ll cry now.  Someone else should asses the situation.

Me as a kid...staying low to the ground

Me as a kid…staying low to the ground

This was pretty standard. But one day in the school hallway, I want to say in about 1st grade, I was walking to the bathroom by myself when I slipped on some water.   I totally wiped out and landed on my back on the linoleum floor, leaving me laying there by myself.  I remember revving up to cry, but then realizing that because no one was around, it wouldn’t make a difference if I cried or not.  So I took a big-girl-deep-breath, got up, and carried on with my day.  From then on, tipping over was not the end of world.

The image of staring at the empty hallway as I sat on the floor, terribly confused, has been popping into my head a lot recently.  Across the board, I have been trying to reassess the way I react to things.  I’ve never enjoyed the phrase, “Choose to have a good day.”  I think it’s crap, unrealistic, and clearly whoever made it up never dealt with anxiety.  But about a month ago, I happened to come across a book called The Diamond Cutter, which delves into one of the oldest-known printed texts on Earth (which I think is pretty nifty), the Diamond Sutra.  The text outlines a Buddhist approach to business and living your life as a generous, compassionate person.  My biggest takeaway from the book is the concept of “mental imprints”, or essentially, the way we choose to code our view of the world.

diamond cutter

Think about a rainstorm.  My parents had an outdoor theatre company when I was in high school, and each summer we would obsessively stare at the radar to track any possible storms before the show.  My teenage happiness was often contingent on being a part of these productions, and to me, a rainstorm was a complete tragedy.  I was also 16, so things were very serious ALL THE TIME.  I loved having all the feelings.  I once sobbed to my dad when he cancelled the final performance of a show as a monsoon-strength storm rolled in over the stage.  I still felt like was doing it to spite me.

Midsummer in 2003. Maybe Eric just told me it was going to rain.

On the other hand, the storm we got here last night practically sent me out dancing into the streets.  The whole town was waiting for this storm to break the heat.

The point is, that at the end of the day, a rainstorm is just a rainstorm.  It isn’t good or bad.  It is really…just a damn rainstorm.  An event is only colored by an emotion when someone assigns it one.  Now this is not saying that either reaction, or an extreme emotion is wrong.  There seems to be a lot of confusion about this when people are trying to understand the cause and effect portions of Buddhism.  If someone is getting hurt in the process, the emotions we project on this happening are very real, and very important.  The idea of imprints is not that our emotions are wrong, but more about how the coloring of an experience does indeed come from us.  The event itself is neutral to begin with.  Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and that whole thing.  It’s just figuring out with coloring will do the most good.

storm

An example:

Lousy Imprint:  Offices are bad, theatre is awesome 

Office:  I put a lot of energy into hating check requisitions. And why?  I literally write a number on them, put the number in a spreadsheet, and put then in a mailbox.  Then I never see them again.  That is it.  And yet every time one comes across my desk it’s as if someone has just dumped days of work on my plate, trapping me for all eternity in my office!  No.  It’s anxiety that I’m going to do it wrong and someone won’t get paid.  Somewhere down the line, probably when I first got here, I was nervous about messing one up, and then never changed my mind about it.

Theatre:  I always walk into an audition or rehearsal full of hope.  Maybe a little too much hope.  Even if I am absolutely thrilled to be there, which I am, I tend to forget that there are parts theatre that get under my skin.  I am very shy person most of the time, I have just trained myself to open my mouth to say something more than I’d prefer.  A lot of the time in theatre, you are either surrounded by extroverts or people like me, who are desperately trying not be too much of an introvert.  So when I leave rehearsal, I tend to feel completely exhausted, and terrified that I said something doofy.  But again, why?  Of all places for me to be doofy, it might as well be in a business full of proud oddballs.  And also, just because #soblessed girl talks an hour about her 15th chance to play Juliet or how she privately meets with the ghost of Uta Hagen, it does not mean I need to buy into or be effected by that culture.

#bffwithuta

#bffswithuta

The point is that my brain has become pre-wired to like or hate certain experiences.  Before I know it, I am unable to enjoy really lovely days in my office or feel frustrated when I don’t have a rehearsal full of sunshine.  Somewhere in there is reality.

Hashtag Hashbrown

Let’s stop hating Mondays

I would like to challenge everyone here to try something out.  The next time there is a wave of commiserating online about how much Monday sucks (because heaven forbid we like going to work), let’s stop and try to figure out what is bad about the experience.  Would an “I love Mondays” hashtag be too obnoxious or sarcastic?  This won’t only help getting up in the morning, but it will also significantly help with the Sunday night blues.  Unless you have a root canal Monday morning, maybe we can reassess how much we dread leaving our weekend behind.   If you’re upset, you’re upset.  But what about?  Might as well ask.  Mondays may be the shared enemy we bond over, but what is this doing to us?

Let’s stop hating each other

I know that sounds harsh.  But I catch myself glaring at almost every post on Facebook these days with a grumpy cat face.  Someone gets in a show and I think they’re bragging, someone has a bad day and I think they’re whining, someone is a Republican, and I think they’re a moron.  I have unfollowed so many people that my newsfeed is basically just cat pictures now.

taco cat

Ben and I talked about this and how the process of blocking out the negativity has made us more negative.  So instead of having the knee-jerk reaction to judge everyone’s post, Ben has suggested the hashtag #ibelieveinyou or something similar.  So instead of flipping a table when someone books another broadway show, or instead of rolling our eyes when someone is screaming about another first world problem, maybe we send support instead.    It makes the “likes” more personal, and Facebook more about celebrating each than comparing who is eating a prettier brunch.

 

 

 

Don’t just sit in the hallway 

So I’m suggesting to just give this all a try.  The next time you find yourself seeing something as a major problem (and you or someone else’s life or rights are not being threatened) consider when this became such  negative aspect of your life.  This way, instead of suppressing negative thoughts and slowly building up tension like a pressure cooker, you are simply trying to see reality more clearly.  You may actually be able to get off your butt and walk to class.