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Do It For Yourself

Everyone hears this every once in a while. Heck, I’ve given this advice myself before. Usually it’s given when someone wants or needs to change something; about themselves or their life. I believe in making changes for yourself, of course, but there are a thousand more things you do every day for yourself besides.

When it comes to motivation, there isn’t anything a lot more motivating than selfishness. When you’re heading to lunch and you know there’s going to be a huge line, nothing is motivating you more than your selfish need to eat food sooner rather than later. And don’t go arguing that it’s a matter of survival, because you aren’t going to starve if one person gets their food before you do. Traffic doesn’t bother people because it means that everyone has to stay on the road a little longer than expected, it’s because the individual believes that he or she has the right to have things go the way expected.

Unfortunately, I’ve always been the backwards child. I was sitting in my Chemistry 1210 class of a hundred people this morning, listening to my group talk about the assignment when I realized that they don’t think I’m very good at chemistry. I’ve gotten so used to being in classes with people who automatically think I’m smart that I didn’t really know how to react to this.

My motivation in school has always been selfish, of course. I like it when people think I’m naturally smart and good at everything; I especially like it when my teachers think I’m competent. I liked it that I got better grades than all my siblings while I was in high school. This motivation was easily put to work in AP Chemistry last year because there were only four of us and I had a lot more individual attention. Even though I was, by far, the least competent kid in the class, I had a reputation of persistence and hard work that I couldn’t let slip. This selfishness was easily kept in check because there was ample opportunity for me to feed the beast.

Now, however, there are a hundred students in my Chemistry class and I have almost no individual attention. I have no reputation to uphold and, as I discovered this morning, I lack my main source motivation. I don’t have anyone to impress. Thus, I am left with the old “do it for yourself.”

Now, not all of my motivation is recognition. I’m a very curious person. I love to learn and enjoy doing so on my own without recognition. I’ve just never had to use it as my primary source of motivation. I’m not sure if I have enough natural curiosity and general nerdiness to sustain me through college. I definitely won’t be motivated by a desire to better my future. For some reason, the future has never really interested me. I mean, I have a four year plan type thing for college and a general idea of what I’m going to do, but I figure I don’t care whether it works out that way or not.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you should do productive, good things for whatever reason you can find, selfish or not, and if you’re going to do it for yourself, make sure you’re worth it or else you’ll never make it.

AP Chemistry Score

I’m not sure I talked about this already… which is funny because I spent a whole school year obsessing over it.

I got a 3. Not spectacular, but it’s a pass.

It’s funny because I totally flipped out for this test and when I saw my score, I barely remembered to Facebook message my little sister so she could tell my mom.

We did do a little text-circle thing with the other kids who were in my AP Chemistry class along with my teacher. Not all of us had each others numbers, so we did a lot of texting to figure everything out. It was really nice to talk to my peeps again and we all ended up passing the test, which is impressive for the half of us who might not have made it.

Two weeks from now (or something like that) I’m starting my degree in Chemistry… I’ve been given a summer to think about it and I’m not backing out, but I am beginning to lose my confidence… hopefully I’ll actually be good at it, though… somewhat.

The Classic Crappy Job

Do you have a crappy job? Do you get paid barely above minimum wage? Do you dread waking up every morning because you have to go to work?

Well, from what I’ve learned, so does pretty much everyone else.

This summer, I’ve been working my first ever (non-freelance) job. It’s been interesting for me on a couple of levels. The first level was that I got to people watch CONSTANTLY. I couldn’t really pay attention to my people-watching all that hard core, I had a job to do, but it still showed me a lot about who people are. I also got to see the behind the scenes element of a corporation. I didn’t get to see a lot of it, but I did get to see enough to infer a lot.

The second level was being able to understand other people more. I’ve always responded to people complaining about their jobs with the reminder that at least they had a job and were getting paid for it. I thought that this was the only thing that mattered when it came to jobs that weren’t intended to be careers.

I will never say anything of the sort to people ever again. I finally understand what it was like for my classmates who hated going to school every day. Having a crappy job can bury you deep in the dark and barely let you up for air a few times.

The last reason this crappy job was enlightening for me was that it finally taught me something about myself. I’ve always told people that I would do pretty much anything for money (within reason), including marry any rich dude I happened to come across. I’ve always been determined to be financially comfortable and thought I wouldn’t ever be happy until I got my money thing sorted out for life. I now realize that money isn’t actually all that important to me. Of course I want to be in a place where finances won’t give me any unnecessary anxiety (I’ve got enough of that), but marrying someone rich for their money isn’t really my goal any more. I want to marry someone rich for their intelligence and sense of responsibility.

Fortunately, I have no qualms about quitting something that doesn’t make me happy, giving up incredible gains. I have one shift left at this crappy job and then I’m going to try my hand at freelancing for a living at least until my education actually starts to count for something.

Cheers.

I’ve been tweeting about my job a lot recently (mostly because that’s all there is to do when I’m on break) and I was reading back through the tweets and remembering how I was feeling when I tweeted them. I’m not going to lie, though my tweets are supposed to be sarcastic, I was feeling pretty horrible at the time of each and every one of them.

I hate being the person who hates her job, but I’m just not used to the environment. The biggest difference is that people rarely forgive you if you make a mistake and even if you don’t make one, if something goes wrong, they’re all too willing to blame you. They’ve really taken that whole “the customer is always right” crap to heart. If you even try to suggest that they actually have no idea what they’re talking about, they either yell or start talking to you like you’re five years old.

I know what it must look like to them, though. I’m by far the youngest employee there and most of them are adults who are used to having everything their way. Then, I start to tell them that I’ve been told that things work a certain way and it must look like a misinformed little kid trying to tell them something different than what they know to be right.

The problem is that it isn’t okay. It’s okay that they have their own opinions and that they’re a little put out when they find out that their opinions may not be… right. It isn’t okay that they get to put down a person who can’t defend herself. I’m not allowed to tell a customer that it isn’t my fault, because that would be blame-shifting, which is frowned upon. They stand there and make me feel like I’m an absolute idiot and then expect me to cater to their every wish because that’s the real lesson we’re teaching our children; it isn’t kindness and understanding that’s going to get you favors in this world, it’s just being angry enough that people will do what you want through sheer intimidation.

It makes me absolutely sick that people get what they want by whining and being loud. I see moms come through my line every day who spank their kids and tell them off when they start crying because they want something and then they turn around and complain and gripe until everything happens their way. I’ve heard that my generation is the generation of entitlement, but teenagers and young people are among the most polite and considerate people who come through my line. It’s the adults that I see acting like everything should be served to them on a silver platter.

Not all adults do this, but the people who do are always adults.

I don’t want to turn this into Emily talking about how disgusted people make her, so I’ll just wrap this up.

Be polite to people. All of them. All of the people. Just because something doesn’t go your way or because your 50 cents off coupon doesn’t work, you don’t have to freak out. Figure out what really matters to you and if it’s bread that’s 30 cents cheaper, then you need some serious self-reflection time. Remember, you may have the right to getting things that you’re promised, but you don’t have the right to make the middle man (girl) feel like she isn’t good at anything just because you’re put out.

 

Knowledge is Power

Or it at least leads to advantages.

Today, my work shift seemed to last longer than usually, simply because it’s a Sunday and no one goes to Walmart on Sunday (except for ten minutes before my shift ends at 10pm… and then everyone panics). Only a few hours in, I was moved across the front end to step in for someone who was just about to end her shift (which I didn’t end up doing, but that’s not the point). This lady was doing price matches for one of the customers, which you have to type in manually and they take forever, especially if there are a lot of the same items, which there was, in this case. The lady had just finished typing in all the numbers when one of the managers came over and told her that the price and yet another store was lower than the price at Walmart AND the price they’d already been matched to. Of course I felt terrible for this lady, but she’s new and I was feeling good about not being the new girl any more.

A little later, I was doing price matches for another customer and she came to an item and wanted me to type the price in for twenty of the items at just a penny less than the price at Walmart. Fortunately for her, I knew that other people had been price matching it at much lower. If I was going to have to type them all in, I wasn’t going to do it for a penny. Needless to say, the lady was very pleased that I knew this.

Throughout the rest of the day, I couldn’t help but notice that people were just buying items at the Walmart price when I knew there was a lower price somewhere else. I wasn’t going to tell them that, though. I can barely stand to speak to them when I have to, but I thought that it was interesting that they had the ability to price match if they wanted to, but they didn’t care enough to do a little work to find out the lower prices.

These people who price match everything may be annoying and they may look really stupid to people who don’t care about what things cost, but this knowledge they have gives them an advantage. Maybe not so much an advantage as it rewards them. They’re buying their thousand grocery items for less than other people.

The same can be said about scholarly people. They may seem really weird and stupid to people who don’t care, but they’re being rewarded in ways that people who don’t care about learning things aren’t even aware of. Of course, most people without knowledge don’t even notice that they’re living at higher cost than others. They’re perfectly happy. They don’t want to do the extra work that it takes to gain knowledge and that’s fine. I’d rather people not price match every single one of their items. It sucks for me, but it most definitely doesn’t suck for them.

So, learn stuff.

In other news, some of my coworkers have started greeting me by name… This is a problem because I don’t know their names and now I’m going to have to learn them. I don’t even know most of the names of my managers. I know two of the costumer service managers… plus the shift manager and the zone manager. That’s it.

Value

Working as a cashier at Walmart doesn’t really give me a lot of satisfaction, but it does give me a lot of time to think. One thing I think a lot about is the value that people place on objects.

Story time. Today, a lady came through my line with a hundred grocery items and about thirty coupons. After probably forty dollars worth of savings, I reached the final two coupons. This is an extraordinary feat because, for some reason, there’s a huge lag after you scan the coupon before the reduction is applied. Unfortunately, for some reason, these coupons would not apply to the items purchased. Sometimes this happens because people don’t realize that they actually have to buy two or three of the item or something like that. Anyway, for whatever reason, these two coupons didn’t work. So, I handed the coupons back to the lady and explained what was going down. In the end, she gave back those objects because she wasn’t able to save three dollars for those items… items that were only three or four dollars in the first place.

I see this a lot and I guess it makes sense if you think of things in terms of percentages, but is two or three dollars really going to change your financial standing? I understand if you’re paying a dollar more for a hundred items, but it never is more than, like, three. I know the economy is “bad”, but is it really that bad? Maybe I’m the wrong person to talk to about numbers (there’s no maybe about it). When I see a number that’s over, like, ten I’m kind of lost as to what it means. Let me explain.

My whole life I’ve been hearing adults complain about gas prices. Yeah, it kind of sucks to have to pay $40 to fill up my car, but to be honest, I don’t see the money, I just see before and after numbers on my bank statement. That’s the basis for one of the biggest arguments against using debit and credit cards, checks, and whatnot. When I see that the gas price is, say, $3.39, I don’t think anything positive or negative about it. I see a number that really means nothing to me.

This is one of the biggest reasons that I struggled in high school math so much. I could never make the connection in my head as to what the heck was going on. Adding and subtracting was fine, multiplication, fractions, anything that could be taught using pencils or pie or something I could see was fine. Algebra makes sense to me because…. I don’t really know why, but it does. Calculus meant nothing to me (pre-calc, I should say). The other problem with me and math was that I didn’t care and when you don’t care about something, your success in it… declines.

To be honest, I’m not really sure I’ll do well in Chemistry. I’m just sort of taking a bit of a plunge by going into it. I can’t memorize a lot of the equations and I don’t really do well with measurements either (just a bunch more meaningless numbers). The one thing that I’ve got going for me when it comes to science is my ability to visualize. My AP Chem teacher could draw a picture on the board and take us into the lab and show us something and as soon as I understood what was moving and where things were, I could understand the concept. After that, it was just a matter of knowing what to plug in where and I could do the math part as well. There was some of the theory that I struggled with because you had to judge things based on how big or small they were.

There were a lot of times where I wouldn’t understand how to begin a problem and one of the other (brilliant) kids in the class would be like, “Oh, I get it. You have to start by assuming this because such and such number is REALLY small.” It would usually make sense to me after that, but it took a lot of studying for me to be able to assume things by the set of numbers we were given.

Maybe two or three dollars actually do matter that much, in the long run. I’m a really unstructured person when it comes to important (non-quark specific to me) things, so this may be a problem, but people could at least chill the crap out at grocery stores. You know what my mom does when shoes that are supposed to be $11, ring up to be $17? She does nothing. She just lets it slide.

To be fair, I always buy shoes that are $10 and my little brother and sister buy shoes that are three times that expensive, so either way, I’m still the least expensive child she as, but seriously. She doesn’t flip out over $6. She doesn’t watch the list of items as the cashier scans them to make sure that they’re exactly the same price she wants them to be. She doesn’t come through the line and ad-match EVERY ITEM IN HER CART. Of course, my dad does have a pretty sophisticated budgeting system that accounts for how much my mom spends when she’s shopping and it isn’t like we’re poor or anything.

The point is, please chill out when you go through my line and stop yelling at me when you aren’t pleased, because I will just smile and call my manger over to tell you the same thing I tried to say in the first place. Then, I will be in a horrible mood for the rest of the day and I won’t be able to enjoy my lunch because the seething mass of nausea in my stomach won’t let me eat anything at all.

Now, an amusing tale for those of you who read all the way through. So, I have my badge hooked to a lanyard that I wear around my neck. Hooked onto the lanyard just above my badge is a black pen that I was told to have with me at all times. So, I started my shift, just puttering along gloomily. I looked down about fifteen minutes later to discover that my clicky, black pen was clicked and I’d been writing little, black lines all over my forearms. Three hours later when I got my first break, there were a ton of people in the bathroom, so I just didn’t wash it off because I don’t like public bathrooms when they’re empty, let alone full.

Also, I think I’m mildly allergic to scented soap, because it irritates that crap out of my hands when I use it. So, when I go into a public bathroom and there’s no one there, I just wash my hands with hot water and a lot of friction (which is apparently the most important part of washing your hands anyway, so…), no soap. When there are people in there, I force myself to use the soap because I don’t want to get weird looks. So, I sure as heck wasn’t going to wash my arms with the soap and have them itching all day.

Also hand sanitizer. They have bottles of it at each cash register and I use it sometimes because people bring leaky bags of raw chicken to me all the time and after my hands get nice and soaked in it, I don’t want to get salmonella poisoning, so I use the hand sanitizer. They dry out and itch like none other after that. I should take lotion or something, but I don’t like the way lotion feels afterwards and it always smells weird, even when you have unscented stuff…

Crazy guy first.

I’ll be the first one to admit that this morning I was in a pretty black mood. A week and a half ago, I requested half a day off from work because I had a physical therapy appointment out of town at 9:30 am and was scheduled for work at 10:30 am. Unfortunately, the request was never processed, so I had to wake up at 8 after only 6 hours of sleep, drive thirty minutes away (without breakfast, mind you) for my appointment and then try to make a twenty minuted drive to work in ten minutes.

So, I was fifteen or twenty minutes late for work today and I yawned about a thousand times. Most of the people I normally work with have Wednesdays and Thursdays off, but I had taken yesterday off for another doctor’s appointment (that was rescheduled…. grrr), so I wasn’t working with any of my normal homies. Plus, people were being pretty unresponsive to my jokes, so… bad day. At lunch, I found two separate hairs in my salad, so I was feeling pretty nauseated.

Fortunately, about half an hour after I finished my lunch break, a guy came through my line who talked just about as fast as the major general off of Pirates of Penzance.

We had a brief conversation during which I just handed him his groceries and he bagged them the way he wanted them to be bagged. He then typed his debit card info into the swipe-y thing very dramatically and yelled a thanks over his shoulder at me as he rode his shopping cart like a scooter away into the crowd of people.

I swear, this guy was, like, forty-five with a mustache. Anyway, it put me in a pretty good mood for the rest of the day.

As for multitasking women, something a lot of people say is that women are actually capable of thinking about two different things at the same time whereas guys aren’t. I’m not sure to what extent this is true, but it has been connected with something I blogged about last week.

So, I was having an argument about religion with a dude on a dating website (I still can’t get over that a guy picked a fight with me on a dating website… like, why are you on there? I’m the least romantic person ever, but I don’t pick fights with people because I disagree with them….).

According to this guy, I needed to hand in my intelligence claim because I am religious. I DEFINITELY can’t be intelligent if I conform to an actual religious sect. SERIOUSLY. Who am I to make such OUTRAGEOUS claims?

I was almost tempted to be offended, but I just find the idea so hilarious. I just bet that this sort of thinking happens between other types of people, not just religious people versus nonreligious people. I’m talking elephants versus donkeys, etc.

Sometimes I see people on television who are science majors in college make fun of the humanities and say “she can’t be smart, she’s an English major.”

Anyway, someone I know from high school (female) was a little bit angry that I didn’t engage in the argument. She believes I could have told the guy off in some lasting way. She said that I could tell the guy off because he’s a guy.

To further her gender-based argument, she made a statement that I very nicely paraphrased, “It’s possible for me to be religious AND smart because I’m a girl and we can MULTITASK.”

I find this even more funny than the thought that I can’t be intelligent and believe in a higher power. This guy was arguing that “radical religious activity and belief” was responsible for the holocaust and 9/11. This is true, but the guy took it so far as to say that if we didn’t eradicate ALL religious notions and belief, then everyone was bound to become just as radical.

This, of course, is also ridiculous. The guy is saying that all religious people are inherently evil, never mind all the charity work that countless religious communities participate in with great cost to themselves… That’s not the point. The point is that my friend reminded me that those horrible things mentioned above were all instigated by men. Of course men think that intelligence and religious affiliation can’t coexist, they can’t entertain two ideas at once. Only a woman can be truly intelligent and religious at the same time.

Now, I don’t believe this. Not one bit. It was meant as a joke and I still find it funny. So should you, dear reader. The most brilliant men I’ve ever known were my religion teachers in high school… or else they were religious men all the same.

The two can coexist. I believe it wholeheartedly. I really hope that people don’t take religious prejudice so far as to think that anyone with a particular set of religious views is stupid. I have so many intelligent friends who have opposite beliefs to mine. I love them to death and I still think they’re smarter than I am.

I just wanted to say this again. I’ve blogged a lot about equality and acceptance. People need to say this more often. They need to hear it too. Those crazy old people who hate everyone based on differences that shouldn’t matter; I don’t want to say that they’re wrong, but they are.

It’s okay for them to hate actions and the things people do, but they should never keep digging to hate the beliefs that may have spurred on the action.

I really hate that Hitler hated so many people because they weren’t the same as he was. I don’t, however, hate that he believed in God very strongly. It may have been that belief that made him do the stuff he did, but that belief is not inherently bad.

I know that people are going to start hating on me for saying that, but think about it. If Hitler had been super lazy and not done all the stuff, no one would hate him so badly, no matter what he believed.

Hating what people believe in is stupid and pointless. It isn’t hurting you in any way shape or form. What does affect you is the actions of the person. Hate the actions.

I hate that this dude on the internet confronted me about my religion and said some VERY unkind things about me personally, everyone I associate with, and everyone that has beliefs remotely related to mine. I hate that he threw insults at me and tried to put a limit on my potential because of what I believe.

I don’t hate that he believes those things. I have best friends who believe some of the same things. They don’t believe in God or a god. They don’t believe in universal morals or consequences, as I do. I know a SUPER nice guy who doesn’t believe in organized religion.

None of that stuff matters to our friendships. It doesn’t physically or emotionally pain me that these guys don’t believe the things I do. The key is that they are nice to me. They’re polite, they don’t step on my beliefs, they don’t push their own beliefs at me and tell me that I have to accept them or else I’m not smart. I like being friends with them and I like that they are decent people.

I don’t want to say that what you believe doesn’t make you who you are, because it does. I’m just saying that what you believe doesn’t dictate (see what I did there?) how you affect people or what you do. You decide that on your own and what you choose to do is a HUGE part of who you are.

Stop judging people on what they believe. I’m not saying you can judge them by what they do either. Don’t judge people. Try to understand where they’re coming from. Sometimes their actions are connected to what they believe. Be careful to realize when this is the case. Try to understand where they’re coming from and forgive them if they aren’t perfect people. People aren’t jerks because of their religion, political views, profession, or interests. They’re jerks because they choose to be.

Choose NOT to be a jerk. Choose to affect people positively. Choose not to judge people by what they believe. Choose to understand. Choose to find the notion of the way people see each other and the world as humorous without judging them.

It’s your choice. No one else’s.

One of the less well-known, uncommonly used definitions of the word “affection” is actually the one that I think makes the most sense.  If you’re a grammar nerd (much nicer than saying grammar nazi…), you’re aware of the difference between “effect” and “affect”. Most people have a hard time with this commonly confused pair of words, but pretty much all you need to keep in mind is that “affect” is a verb, something you do, and “effect” is a noun, it’s something left over.

The definition of “affection” is simply: the act of affecting someone.

Now, keep that in mind as I change gears a little.

If you’ve ever spent any time on the internet, then you’ve probably seen or played this game.

life

If you haven’t, I’ll explain it briefly.

This game has a lot of different names because there are a lot of different versions by a lot of different companies.

The premise of the game is that you start with only the circles of colors and a block of grey squares. You’re supposed to link the two circles of the same color by creating a line of color between the two, connecting all of the circles and using all of the squares.

Pretty simple, as long as you keep one thing in mind. No single line can be created if it prevents another dot from connecting with it’s partner.

Think about that just a little bit. The circles exist together, yet totally independent of each other. They all have individual goals that are both the same and different from the other individuals around them. The game isn’t considered a success unless ALL circles reach their goals.

However, let’s look at this game from an individual’s point of view. In fact, let’s look at a common view of life by individuals.

From the very beginning, children are pressured socially to have a dream job already thought up of. One of the most common things I was asked by principals, teachers, or school counselors was “What do you want to be when you grow up?” To be honest, I don’t even remember what I answered most of the time. I didn’t know what I wanted to be and I didn’t know why I needed to know, so I would answer with a profession that I’d heard other kids say before. For a long time after I got into the higher grades, I said I wanted to be a writer, but somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that I didn’t really want to do it for a living. Writing is actually really hard and I didn’t ever have the dedication to succeed much with it. I’ve always had it as a sort of backup plan, however. While I was casting my net around, trying to find something I wanted to do,  I would always think, in the back of my mind, “Hey, if nothing falls into place by the time I’m an adult, then I could always do something with my writing.”

Maybe writing will still take some place in my professional life, now that I’m actually and adult, but who knows?

Anyway, by the time you’re ready to start high school, the adults in charge of such things have already got you planning for college. They ask you what you’re going to be and then they have you make a plan of all the classes you need to take to graduate high school and start to gather experience in the field you want. Everything is centered around what your goals are, even thought there isn’t a single kid that I knew in high school that stuck with their original plan. Not even me and I stuck with my plan until only a month or so before I graduated.

As adults, every part of your life is steered toward your goals. The jobs you take, the education you get, even when/if you get married and if/when you have children depends on what you want to do with your life. I’m not sure if other ladies get this or not, but there is even pressure on women to make their career choices carefully so as not to be influenced incorrectly by men on our paths to becoming successful people. I’ve heard women complaining that their plans for a career were ruined because their male counterpart put his needs before hers.

What about co-workers? If you watch television at all (especially crime-drama shows), you’ll constantly see someone doing something underhanded or dishonest to put him or herself ahead of everyone else. Something that may ruin someone else’s chance to achieve their goals.

But what if we were those colored dots? You may want to take the shortest or most direct path so that you can connect with your goal, but the most direct path might not be the right path. The path you need to take may be long and round-about in order for it to fit nicely in place with your comrades goals.

What I’m trying to say is that not everyone has the same goals as you are and aren’t going to be taking the same path to reach those goals, but it is vital that you are aware of those goals and be willing to make little sacrifices so that you don’t cut someone’s journey short. What other people are trying to achieve may not seem all that important to you, but remember that it is of the utmost importance to them. It’s giving them a reason to get up every morning. Some day you may be faced with an opportunity that brings you closer to your goal, but you have to be careful that it isn’t putting someone else in a difficult or impossible situation.

General success and happiness don’t depend on how quickly YOU get to your goal, it depends on you not to mess it up for the other people trying to gain the same success that you want. Be considerate to those people and make sure you affect them positively.

Dear Internet Trolls,

Specifically, trolls that frequent a certain dating website that I occasionally frequent. You know, I’m usually a pretty tolerant person. In fact, I like to think that I can hold a conversation with any type of person you throw at me… except for you. You infuriate me to no end, which is rather the point, I suppose. I have pretty darn good self control. I once carried a candy bar around in my coat pocket for years just to prove that I could do it. However, you have no idea how hard it is for me not to engage in the mud flinging.

Can you seriously see how negatively your words affect other people and ENJOY it? I mean, if I watch a movie where someone yells something rude at someone else, I get uncomfortable and want to hide. I am the least confrontational person ever… When a teacher yelled at my class, I tiptoed around them for months and made sure to never do what they got upset about EVER. I wouldn’t ever be able to cause someone pain with my words and like it.

Now, I know that everyone is different and you guys have the right to all your opinions. I admire that you feel so strongly about your opinions. You have the right to voice and defend them. You do NOT have the right to attack ANYONE…. Everyone knows about you guys and everyone knows what I’m talking about, so I suppose that’s it.

Emily

Side note to the rest of the world (who aren’t reading this, more than likely):

Just a little something about belief. Everyone believes something, even the neutral people. Everyone has the right to believe whatever they want. Everyone has the right to share what they believe with others. Everyone has the right to defend their beliefs. Everyone has the right to understand and know the facts about what other people believe without falling prey to half-truths and myths.

Seriously, people. It doesn’t matter enough what other people think to call names and poke fun. Don’t be stupid about beliefs. EVEN IF YOU BELIEVE THAT YOUR BELIEF IS RIGHT, you don’t need to be rude and you can accept that other people believe different things.

YOU DON’T NEED TO ACCEPT THAT WHAT THEY BELIEVE IS TRUE. You do need to accept that people are different; they think differently, they were raised differently, they see things differently. People can have decent conversations with each other and not be obnoxious. I believe that’s possible with all my heart.

Another point: It doesn’t matter whether or not someone came to their belief through intellect or emotion. It’s just as legitimate. I know there’s this thing about science versus religion/logic versus feeling and I’m definitely not going into it. Stop using the method of reaching a conclusion as an indicator of legitimacy. When I was doing Forensics for my high school Science Olympiad team, I was charged with identifying powders based on a couple of different basic properties of the compounds. There were a couple of different flow charts I could use in order to deduce what an unknown powder was.

Using the flow charts and basic property was the… shall we say “sanctioned” method of finding the identity of the powders. However, when I asked for the advice of one of the Chemistry teachers, he told me that I could determine the identity by tasting the powders. This was against the rules, but he said that he could identify almost any compound by its taste. Apparently, his college professors didn’t like this method at all, but he could reach the same conclusions (and faster, I might add) as his classmates using the “right” method.

All I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter how you come to a conclusion, you’re entitled to that conclusion. No more squabbling about how it was reached or why or when or how long it took. That stuff doesn’t matter. What matters is that you believe it and no one can take that away from you.

I’m not just talking about organized religion or theism or the usual stuff. Any opinions. Anything. Politics, favorites, strategy, morals. Anything and everything. Go ahead and believe what you want to. You can do it without reference to what everyone else is doing. Let’s be chivalrous and courteous. Go on, I DARE YOU.

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but at my high school, there were two kinds of boys: boys that didn’t mind girls who wore makeup and boys who prefer girls who don’t wear makeup and thought that wearing makeup meant that girls were ashamed of themselves or didn’t have very high self-esteem.

Well, that’s likely to help their self-esteem, obviously. As a girl who doesn’t wear makeup, has perfectly fine self-esteem, and a really horrible complexion; I would like to address guys of the second type.

First of all, I agree with you in one aspect, girls who don’t wear a ton of makeup AND are confident tend to look perfectly fine, but it isn’t like there are only the girls who wear tons of makeup and those who wear none at all. A lot of girls wear a minimal amount of makeup and look almost like they aren’t wearing any at all, which means, guys, when you’re insulting girls who wear makeup, you may end up insulting the girls you’re trying to compliment.

It may be a mystery to you, but there is a good reason why girls wear makeup. Most of them just want to look nice. Yeah, makeup extremes can be off-putting, but it isn’t like they’re doing it to make you hate them. They’re trying just as desperately to impress you as you probably are to impress them.

You probably wake up every morning and put on some clean clothes that you think look good on you. You put on shoes, brush your teeth (please, please, please brush your teeth every morning), put on deodorant (hopefully), and comb your hair. Are you doing this because it makes you feel more comfortable? The answer to that is yes. Yes, it feels better to be clean and to smell good, but it also feels better when you know there are less things for other people to hate you for.

You gain social comfort. No matter how much you claim you don’t care about what people think of you, you do care and you should be making it easier for people to think well of you. I tell people all the time that I don’t care what people think of me and I like to think that I don’t care, however, I brush my teeth and shower regularly anyway. It isn’t because I want to gain social stature, it’s because life is more comfortable when you have social acceptance. I don’t mean all that crap about changing yourself to fit what society thinks you should be, I mean making yourself presentable so that people don’t decide who you are by how you groom yourself.

If people are going to hate you, let them hate you because they don’t like the person you are, not because they don’t like what you look like. I would prefer that over anything.

So, guys, instead of applying your personal preference to the world to decide who you will like and who you will hate, look at individuals. This isn’t a search engine; you don’t need sort through your options mechanically, throwing out everyone who has one characteristic or habit and only choosing those who fit your perfect idea of a person. I guarantee that when you meet your special someone, they’re going to have a feature that you never thought you could live with, but you will (or at least, you should) accept them for who they are and you’ll hopefully be really happy together.

Quit looking at these things so specifically and let everything happen naturally. You can’t decide to fall in love with someone just because they meet all the right criteria, it’s going to happen without your conscious help.

And yes, I admit that you can tell a lot about a person by how much they try to fit into society and be accepted by the people around them, but remember that everyone is an individual and they all have different reasons for doing things.

I have to go to work now. Bye, bye.