You Win Some, You Lose Some

One aspect of human life that both mystifies and affects me is the controversy of winning versus losing and why each of those words holds the connotations that they do. I have won many things in my life but I have lost just as many and definitely more. What matters, to me, though is not how frequently I win or lose but what I learn from whatever I was competing or participating in.

If you know me, you will read this with the knowledge that I ran for a leadership position in my fraternity and lost. What I am writing this article for is not to spite anyone, it is not to cause distress, it is not to point fingers, and it is certainly not to boost my image. There are two reasons that I ran for the position I did 1.) it would have given me another great addition to my portfolio of social media to show future employers and 2.) I became tired of some senseless bickering and wanted to provide my positive and neutral mindset. So, the reason I am writing this is for other people who may have recently lost at something, whether it be a voted position or just having a bad day, to do exactly what I was hoping to do with the position I lost, spread positivity.

There are two steps to coming to terms with a loss, not a physical loss such as death, but a loss of a theoretical position. Step one, feel hurt. No matter what you lose at, be it even a game of scrabble, there is that tiny, or very large, feeling of defeat. It aches and where it rests in everyone may be different. Some may get a headache, others may feel a drop in their stomach, and some might just make quick fists by their sides and release them. The point is, everyone feels defeat. What is extremely important about step one is that you complete it with the phrase ‘and let it go.’
Let it go. This is a common theme among yogis and meditation. In order to feel more at ease, we must first allow our emotions to exist, we must feel them to their extent, and then we must let it go. This entire first step will give you a sense of validation and it will make you realize the impermanence of that moment. You lost one opportunity, but what did you gain? This is step number two, recognize your gains.

When one door closes another one opens. This goes for anything, there is always another option. In a matter of loss or defeat pay attention to what you gained. What I gained from losing the position I ran for was extra time. I do not have to go to meetings I would have had to go to and while I was prepared to set that time aside for the position, I no longer have to. I can choose to do whatever I want with that time be it give more to the fraternity, which if my goal really is to spread optimism then I should, or I can even use it to study more or work longer hours. The matter of the fact is, I gained time I wouldn’t have had. At this point, by feeling defeat and letting it go then recognizing your gains, you should start to feel something different. You should start to feel a little better.

I could go on about how to cope with losing but in the end, it comes down to you. I am so lucky to have such a supportive system behind me. I’ve had people tell me they are there for me, give me hugs, and tell me positives about myself. I am ever grateful for these people. While the defeat I feel about this position is minimal, I still felt it, and having that support system made it ten times easier. So, to those who don’t have people to turn to, know that you are not alone and no matter how people act they are hurt by losing what may seem like minuscule things as well. Just remember, feel the hurt and let it go, and find your gains. There is no forgiving to be done because there is no one to forgive. No one hurt you, it was only a matter of chance. Everything is about perspective and you choose how to view events that occur. I choose to look at this loss as another door opened. I am going to seek other ways to spread my positivity in the fraternity and I am thankful for the time I gained. I support the person who did win the position I was running for and I hope they will come to me if they ever need anything.

In situations of competition where you lose that means there is a winner. A third step in this situation is one that is hard for many, be supportive of the winner. Even if you lose something you are still a winner because you took a chance, you gained lessons, and you have an opportunity to improve yourself. This means support the people who get your missed opportunities. Everything happens for a reason and if you lose at something it is because you weren’t meant to hold whatever it was. However, it may mean that you have commonalities with the person who did win since the position peaked their interest as well. All in all, be kind to yourself and to your competition. It never hurts anyone to be kind.


Fall Finals

Everyone else is staying in the library until 5am and I can barely look into my books for more than 10 minutes. When I do go to the library I feel like they can smell it. My inability to focus wafts through the room and they glare at me telling me to sit at home and be inadequate there. It’s all in my mind, however, and when I do force myself to sit at one of those quiet tables I get so much work done. It’s pushing through those stares that I make up in my mind that keeps me from my studies. It’s deciding to ignore those thoughts and just go get comfortable that will get me the grade I want. Why does it have to be so difficult? Why can’t I focus?


This weeks Memory Monday is just a flash into the past looking at previous years of studying for finals. In honor of being in my second to last semester, I want to share some knowledge. In two weeks I’m taking all of my finals and stress is starting to build. I had the glory that was Thanksgiving break but now it’s back to the books. I want to start by saying mental health first, I want to next say physical health second, and third I want to say remember the grades. It sounds like a lot but look at it this way: Don’t give in to your negative thoughts, stay rested, and schedule time to study. It’s that easy. What sucks is that it is even easier to fall out of a schedule, but just push through. Tonight I went and bought all the groceries I could need for two weeks. In doing so I have prepared myself so I don’t have to get distracted during my studies for grocery shopping and I know what I get hungry for when I’m studying so I’ll have it readily available. Know what you need ahead of time and prepare. Schedule time. This is my advice.

Now off to rest and study.

 Memory Monday is a weekly a.w.e prompt dedicated to creative nonfiction and learning from the past. If you participate please tag #awritersearth or #memorymonday so we can share our experiences and grow as a writing and reading community. 



Recently, I have felt in a bit of a rut. I’m driving in a roundabout that has no exits. There’s a Ferris wheel in my mind and in each cart sits a different task, worry, or event. The only problem is that every passenger exists in the future so I have no control over what happens, but what I realized this morning while showering (because most great ideas come to people in the shower) is that I have control of when the ride stops and everybody has to exit the ride when I say.

This all emanates from the common saying live in the now. This is easy to tell people. All one has to do is lift their tongue to the top of their mouth, put their teeth down on their bottom lip and repeat while pushing out air. Simply enough that’s how speech works, but what is difficult about the saying is that the person it is being said to must then take action. What does it mean to live in the now? Funny, isn’t it, how we can say something to each other all of the time but then have no idea how one would actually go about doing it? Physically, we are all in the present moment, but how does one change their mindset from worrying about what they can’t control in another time to existing in the current space?

My first piece of advice is take a shower. The reason so many ideas flow in this space is because we have nowhere to go and nowhere to be. Our minds can wander all they want but they aren’t stopping us from doing anything. Our mindless shampooing and soaping continues without hinderence no matter what our minds may wander to. It is because of this that the shower is the best place to go from away to present. In order to live in the now you must prioritize your thoughts. What my problem has been is that I’m worrying about things way ahead in the future. I was looking beyond what I need to do tonight and my weekend plans, which is sad because I have some really exciting weekend plans, and into the unknown.

The thought that made me aware of the now was “I need to get directions to my friends house I’m visiting this weekend.” I have never visited one of my friends at her school since we went our serperate ways for college and I’m finally going this weekend. This is super exciting for me, but instead of thinking about what to pack, what we will do together, and how to get there, I was thinking about plans I have in January. Looking back at this now I just want to scold myself. What was I thinking?! Why would anyone ever look past their happiness into the deep abyss of the unknown future?! And that’s the answer to our question.

To live in the now a person must be willing to change their perspective and focus on what’s at hand whether it is good, bad, exciting, or dismal. We often ignore the present because we don’t like how things are panning out, but when we face our fears and challenges, when we open up to the present and find ways to make it relaxing and fun every chance we get, that’s when we live in the now. It’s a complete choice or, in my case, a revelation on the behalf of the host. If what’s happening in the present or near future comes to you naturally then that’s super amazing, but if you feel stuck in the way I have been recently, try adjusting your mirrors, like if you are driving. Look out the side mirrors, are they too far out looking past the road and into the unknown woods you keep passing? Adjust them. Is your rear view mirror tilted and you can’t see what might be coming up on you? Adjust it.

No matter what is happening, you can take control. Let’s stop telling people to live in the now and start helping them get back to the present. Let’s ask each other what we are doing tonight or on the weekend, not to make plans, but to actiavely engage and focus on the present. In a world that nurtures its people with progress, focus, meditation, and perspective we can all breathe a little easier in the now and let what comes come.


Noon Time Morning

You open your eyes and the first thing you see is your hands clasped together by your head resting on a white cotton pillowcase. You shudder a little as you feel the chill of the night that has settled on you while you slept. You tuck the sides of your blanket underneath of yourself rocking side to side until you’ve found the perfect morning blanket burrito. You decide that the warmth you’ve found feels nice, but you need to get up. You’ve slept in too long and the mailman has already made all his deliveries to three streets up by now. You throw off the hugs of your blankets, peel yourself off the mattress and practically fall out of bed as in your grogginess you forget that you’re short while your bed frame is not.

You look around your room and find a pair of black sweats on the floor. You slide them up your legs, angry about the chill that has taken your pants over as well, but you know in a few minutes your body will be happy with its temperature again. You straighten out your oversized tee and head to the bathroom. Pee, brush teeth, head downstairs. The sun is bright coming in the open windows. You see your one small dog resting on the back of the sofa pressed up against the window and in another corner of the room your medium sized dog is sprawled out on the carpet snoring. You step barefoot outside onto the front porch. The door squeaks as you open it in one long push and as the concrete freezes your toes you hear the screen door falling back into place behind you, whush, scurrr, slam. Down the three brick steps and along the walkway you go to the mailbox. Its black sides are still covered in the dew the morning produced. You put down the homemade wooden cardinal mail flag your dad made at your request years ago and open the metal mouth of the box. You pull out an assortment of papers- probably bills, probably ads.

You run back inside as you begin to lose feeling in your toes and toss the mail onto the long oval dining room table that sits grandly to the right of the entryway in the next room. You look back out the screen door and listen. Somewhere a cardinal is calling out and crickets line the front lawn creating a cacophony. Down the street yelling and laughter from the park bounce off the houses up the block and into your home. The sounds of ball games and parades enter your home the same way every holiday and Friday night in season.

You walk through your house and out onto the back porch. Your two pups have followed you this time. They run out into the fenced yard to do their morning business because your noon time morning is also their noon time morning.

Memory Monday is a weekly a.w.e prompt dedicated to creative nonfiction and learning from the past. If you participate please tag #awritersearth or #memorymonday so we can share our experiences and grow as a writing and reading community.

Losing It

This week has handed me some very upsetting cards. This week at my internship I had to leave early because I started to feel unwell. I figured I was just sick and thought nothing more of it than “I just need to get some rest.” This unwell feeling has persisted and still sits in me. For the past couple weeks, my grandmother had been fighting with the effects of a stroke. This weekend she passed away, just days after one of my dogs had been put down. To put it lightly, it has not been a good week.

On top of these events, I’ve had to do as much work for my internship as I could. I have had to stay on top of my five classes worth of school work. I’ve had to say goodbye to my boyfriend twice as he lives a couple hours away and can only visit for short periods of time. I’ve had to appear strong because I don’t tend to share so much information. I’ve had to be happy because that’s what I need to be for so many other people.

I’ve been losing it in a world that expects us to find our way through everything. What amazes me is that my anxiety has not spiked and I have not had a panic attack…

Here’s the good news (because you should always start with the bad). In some rush of adrenaline that must be going through my body, I am prepared to fight tooth and nail for my humanity. Greif is normal. Sadness is normal. Mental health is real. Physical health is real. People need sleep. People need time to heal. I am human. What so many people fail to realize is that, well, we are all human. We can choose to keep the bad things that happen in our lives to ourselves, but that only keeps everyone else in the dark.

Here I am laying my heart out saying that I am hurting and I need time to heal. I am visiting family this weekend to be close to those also hurting and to support each other. I am doing as much work as I can without overwhelming my already shocked, tired brain. I am trying. While I may be losing it, that means I am also finding it. I am searching for stability and hope. I will find my way back to a world where I am not mourning, but for now, I must.

I do not ask for pity or apologies because it is no one’s fault but this world’s and there is nothing to feel bad for but the cycle of life. In a world of go-go-go full of people who may never understand, I feel no need to explain myself. I will continue to tell my professors that I have had a family emergency because they do not need details. I will not feel bad for needing time to breathe. I will not let my mental and physical health fall second to the work others ask of me. I do my best and work my hardest when I am well. All I ask is that others give me space when I am not. In this time of loss, I will use it to find peace. Work can wait, life does not.

That Time My Pumpkin Had Babies

Every year for about 10 years, my family accidentally grew pumpkins in our front yard. This is not the only plant we have accidentally grown but, for the sake of specificity and in honor of fall, we will focus on pumpkins. It was a normal family gathering. My parents and I spent the evening carving a pumpkin or two with the traditional three triangles, two for eyes and one for a nose, and one long crooked smile.

I must have been six years old or so. My dad went down into the basement and got out the big plastic tub labeled ‘Halloween’. Out of it, we pulled the same items every year. A ceramic pumpkin light, a tiny pumpkin candy dish, some black and orange garland depending on what was left over from school parties, leftover mock spider web materials from previous years, black spider rings also from previous school functions, some autumnal candles, and a stuffed animal black cat dressed as a pumpkin. Also in the tub was our pumpkin carving kit. We began originally with most likely a set of 10 knives, but over the years our collection dwindled down to about two. Each knife had a different jagged blade but they shared the same bright orange flimsy, plastic handles.

Along with the cutting tools, we also had scoopers. Our fingers always proved too weak or not efficient enough to get all the seed and guts out of our pumpkins, so instead, we used mason jar lids. These scoopers were amazing and I’ve always been in awe of my parents for thinking of it. The edges of mason jar lids are just sharp enough that they cut pumpkin guts from their base and because they are flat and round the orange gooey substance is easily removed, stacked on top of the metal disks.

Once we had all the materials, I went to town on the pumpkin. My dad cut a hole in the top of it making the perfect lid and quickly my small hands were inside the cold, round body. I grabbed as many seeds as I could in that first fistful and pulled hard. I felt the tension release under my arm, I heard the many, tiny snaps of pumpkin veins and out came my elbow, then my wrist, and lastly my fingers locked tightly around a gob of slippery, cold seeds. I tossed down the mess onto the newspaper laid out on our dining room table and went in for the next handful of stubborn seeds. The entire house smelled of wet dirt and pumpkin insides.

Soon it was dark, my pumpkin was empty and I was tired. We lit a small candle, put it into the pumpkin and placed the pumpkin on our front porch. It was windy and as the candlelight flickered triangle shadows cast upon the brick walls of our home. The air was crisp and I would hold my bare feet as close as I could to the lit pumpkin to keep them warm. We would take a couple photos and admire the pumpkins up close and from across the street to get the whole view. Jumping from foot to foot I would run back inside, feeling the warmth inside embrace my body as the screen door fluttered back to shut. After I fell asleep my parents would blow out the candle, but all I knew was that through the night my pumpkin was out there protecting us from any lurking evils.

A week or so later, once my pumpkin had turned into mush and little worms had found their way into it, we tossed the pumpkin into the front yard to decompose. The grass died in that spot and many birds found it a wonderful feeding ground for quite some time. The next year, late in August, we walked out the front door to find a tiny green vine emerging from the ground right where we had thrown out the pumpkin. Apparently, my tiny hands and even the scoopers had not gotten every seed as my pumpkin had latched itself into the dirt and impregnated it with a new patch of little pumpkins. A few weeks later we found that we didn’t need to visit a farm that year, we had managed to grow our own pumpkins.

After that first year, we continued to set out any decomposing pumpkins in that same spot so that each year we would have our own homegrown pumpkins. I remember vividly the joy of opening the door one morning to see that vine sprouting. I remember pushing aside the green leaves the bigger the vine got, the more it covered the yard, and searching for the little green bulbs that would soon become bright orange pumpkins. There was some disappointment in the matter too, like when bugs would get to the pumpkins before we could or before they could even become pumpkins at all.

This year as I think about visiting a pumpkin patch, I think back to living at home, being a child, and growing my own accidental pumpkins. I think back to mom throwing the seeds into that spot in hopes of a new batch, and dad mowing around that area in the off-season, leaving the grass long but the area perfect for pumpkins to grow. I think about all the kids who only know the joy of visiting the patch and not the joy of growing one. I feel lucky.

Memory Monday is a weekly a.w.e prompt dedicated to creative nonfiction and learning from the past. If you participate please tag #awritersearth or #memorymonday so we can share our experiences and grow as a writing and reading community.

Newtons Laws of (E)motion

Stars from the underground

Newt Had Feelings Too

If you went through the public education system of the U.S., you were probably at one point taught Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion. The physical use of these laws is very sensible and after thinking about them for a while they become a sort of common knowledge. Of course, stuff doesn’t move unless it is compelled or forced to. Of course, the speed and distance an object goes will depend on its own personal dynamics. Duh, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Having even a minimal understanding of the world makes these laws truth. What’s interesting is that despite people’s seemingly extensive understanding of these theories, many of us fail to utilize them logically in our daily lives.

This semester has been testing me and pushing me to my limits mentally and emotionally. To a degree, I am being physically challenged seeing I don’t have as much time to time eat a healthy diet and go to the gym. While this is all true, this semester has also made me realize that Newton’s laws apply to more than just physics; his laws apply to working and daily activities. Since realizing this, I have felt a drop in anxiety levels and an ease on my stress. It is not gone, but the benefits have been miraculous.

The Law of Inertia

Welcome to the backstory! This semester I am taking my first of two capstones in which we are reporting for a local news television station. Our purpose is to work as political reporters. Let me tell you, this is not what I want or enjoy to do. For the first few weeks of the class, I have been attempting to just steam-roller my emotions and anxiety away. I blamed myself for not trying hard enough, I felt like less of a person compared to the people who are comfortable speaking to politicians and chasing them down when they don’t get a response for an interview. I quickly began realizing it wasn’t me, that I had been facing my fears, and that there is nothing wrong with not wanting to be a political reporter. Coming to this decision I decided to reach out to the professor.

In a four to five paragraph email, I reached out to the professor explaining my anxiety about assignments and my lack of enjoyment for what we were being asked to do. This was frightening. I normally don’t speak to professors let alone personally reach out to them for help or advice. Now, I’m glad I did. I should have realized something I was taught a long time ago, that nothing will change unless a force acts upon it. What did I think was going to happen? My nerves would one day magically disappear? Whatever I was thinking, it was wrong.

Sending that email was random and a bit out of the blue.  What matters is that it made all the difference. This one experience put Newton’s first law of motion into perspective for me. Something that stops us from viewing this rule in a way that applies to thought is that we assume the actions of others. Interestingly enough Newton did not say that objects move when they think about what others might do or think. No. Nothing happens unless we put our own effort into it.


Force equals mass times acceleration. How far we go or how fast we go is equal to the force that causes the action. The moment I had this realization that I wasn’t taking things into my own hands, a lot started to change. That email was one action. If I had never sent the email I never would have gotten a response and nothing would have ever changed because no one would have known anything was ever wrong. Before I sent the email, I was scared to do it because of what might happen. The professor might get angry, I might be told to drop the class. There were a lot of things that I thought might happen, but none of them did. Only the best came out of that action. After that email, I decided to up the force. When people upset me, I tell them and things have started getting better quicker. When people make me happy I tell them and we grow stronger. I put my force of energy into my life choices and now my work is easier and I go further quicker.

This is why being passive aggressive does not work and it really is a negative type of response to any situation. Passive aggression is a form of anger that culminates from and grows off of assumption. When a person is passive aggressive it means they have not addressed the situation and are showing unhappiness based off of a problem they believe to exist. The first problem with this is that we should never assume a problem exists. If you ever believe that there is a situation with another person, confront them and get answers immediately. Don’t let the idea that someone is talking about you or doing something you don’t like affect you. Just like a science project, make a hypothesis and then gather evidence and analyze the situation. Confront people, in a kind way if at all possible, when a problem is arising.

Equal and Opposite

However, passive aggression, assumptions, fear of what others may think or do, these are all based out of a very real and valid place in the mind. The third law of motion states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This means that when I sent that email my professor he could have either a.) not responded or b.) had a negative reaction. I could have been passive aggressive to my professor instead of emailing him, but it wasn’t his fault I don’t currently like to do political writing. I could have assumed what would happen and done nothing, but that means there would have been no force and therefore no motion. I could have had fear of what would happen, and I did, but I sent that email anyway. I’ve started confronting my problems anyways. I stopped procrastinating so bad and started dedicating time to study. It is okay to be scared, or worried or nervous. What’s not okay is to do nothing. Don’t let your anger or concerns sit in your brain bubbling, festering. Put in some action and make motion.

What Did She Just Say?

This article relates thought to motion. It puts scientific laws into play for irrational thought. It really is confusing, but it makes sense if you think about it long enough. Yet, to make a very long story short this all just goes to show that nothing will change if nothing is done. Stop wondering why you aren’t getting good grades, or getting that raise, or sitting where you should be. Ask questions because chances are you aren’t the only one wondering. Take action. Most importantly be yourself. This is the fourth law of motion but it only applies to thought (and I made it up): act in honor of yourself. Don’t fear what others might think about something you naturally want to do. It really is the cherry on top. Now, for an overview: law 1.) Take action, law 2.) Put in as much as you want to get out, 3.) Understand your fears are not without just cause, but you must face them to succeed, 4.) be yourself.