Page 3 of 365

“The universe is under no obligation to ever make sense to you.”

This week has been nothing short of life changing. I still don’t think I’m ready to talk about it in it’s entirety, as there is still so much to comprehend and learn from the experience. In light of this, I’ve learned to take each day as it comes. Life certainly was not readily made to make sense.

How to not understand life and still be okay with it:

1. Wine comes from grapes and grapes come from the land. Wine is a natural healer. (((and should be a food group)))
2. Scream at the sky when you’re angry and watch the clouds when you need to think. Both will help tremendously.
3. Do things that make you nervous and let the feeling consume you until you feel scared and alive and want to throw up.
4. Don’t worry about falling in love. It shouldn’t always be the focal point of your life.
5. Pick flowers whenever you see them (just not all of them!) and give them to strangers. It will make both of you smile.
6. Kiss all of the things that make you happy and all the things that make you sad. Kiss everything that makes you feel anything.
7. Hold on to things that you don’t think you’ll want 5-10 years from now. Some you will want, some you (still) will not.
8. Never empty your pockets and try not to live out of a suitcase.
9. Light candles and watch at least two movies when you are feeling sad. Let them make you forget about life for a little.
10. Pictures of mountains and canyons will make your head spin. Look at them you’re feeling like things are going to get bad soon.
11. Charge your cellphone before it reaches 10%, but do not center 100% of your life around it.
12. The best people have electricity running through their veins and around their hearts. Let them shock you.
13. Forget how old you are. Actually, forget how old anyone is. It does not matter.
14. If a boy ever treats you like an option rather than a priority, leave him. Even if it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do. Even if you’re still convinced there is hope. I promise you, you do not need this. You don’t.
15. When the rest of the world is asleep, make the night your friend and you will become invincible.
16. Go to an unfamiliar part of town and explore. Take pictures. Don’t text.
17. Cry if you want to, but try not to drown in your tears.
18. Do not be afraid of the sight of blood or the smell of hospital beds.
19. Look at the moon and look at the stars. Write about them sometimes.
20. Never stay in one place for very long.

And if you’re ever feeling really upset or confused about life, here is a free flash version of Super Mario World. You can play it on your computer and I promise you it will make your day at least 15% better:

You’re going to be okay.


Page 2 of 365

If there’s one thing I hate more than seafood, it’s winter. The sun sets at 4pm, my lips are always chapped, everyone is perpetually sick… even the snow gets a little redundant after Christmas time. Sadly, being a Pennsylvania resident, I have no choice BUT to deal with cold weather. For roughly 4-5 months, too. I’m one of those people who, if the weather isn’t favorable, I don’t go outside unless absolutely necessary. If you don’t see the sun, you certainly won’t see me.

It’s funny how we always see ourselves wanting to be anywhere but where we are. Given, Pennsylvania is a pretty boring place to live, but think about it. When it’s 100 degrees, we want cold air. When I’m glaring at the 6 inches of snow that is currently in my backyard, I’m wishing I was on a beach in Florida.

Give me three weeks in Florida, and I’ll want to be in the mountains.

Give me three weeks in the mountains, and I’ll want to be in the city.

Give me three weeks in the city and I’ll be begging to go home to rural central PA.

We’re always wanting something more. How many times can we confidently and truthfully say we’re 100% happy with where we are? I mean this both literally and metaphorically. We always seem to have something to complain about, don’t we?

Maybe it’s my inner hippie, but I truly believe humans are, physically and mentally, innately nomadic creatures. I believe we’re happiest when we’re traveling and adventuring – exploring every possible reality.  I have this intense desire – scratch that – need to travel: I want to see different cultures. I want to see icebergs and canyons. I want to understand how other people think and live.

… And you can guarantee that I plan on seeing as much of this beautiful planet as I can during my time here. But in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy appreciate the snow (by the way, the temperature here is colder than the temperature in Alaska today). I’m going to enjoy the mountains and the one traffic light in my hometown and and the fact that I’ve peed in my best friend’s forest more times than I can count. Because even though I hate snow, have grown immune to the smell of farm, and will swear until I am blue in the face that I hate Schuylkill County, I come from a pretty cool place. I’m living where someone wishes they could live. Someone wants to be here because of what this place has to offer.

And yeah, I’d love to be in Florida or California right now, but you know what? If I was there, I wouldn’t have been able to see this incredible scene tonight.

nature invented ombre

Know why? Florida doesn’t have blankets of snow. California doesn’t have the Appalachian mountains. And guess what? Pennsylvania (unfortunately) doesn’t have sandy beaches or a constantly warm climate. Or genuine New York pizza. Or Arizona lemon trees. Each country, state, and city is special in it’s own way.

Someone once told me that the world is a book and those who do not explore it read only one page.

Explore your own backyard. Fall in love with everything around you. Then, leave it for someplace new.

You’ll thank me later.

Page 1 of 365

A lot can happen in a year. Regardless of what that “a lot” is, one thing remains transcendentally true: change occurs. Most of the time, we don’t always notice it happening until we stop to take a look around and realize that our lives are completely different.

I’m serious. What was your life like a year ago? Different, right? If your answer is no, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you’re doing something wrong.

Change – good or bad – is to be embraced. Anyone who knows me decently well can vouch for me when I say that 2013 was arguably the worst year of my life – and drunk me made sure everyone knew that on New Year’s Eve. My conversations with a few random U Penn students went something like this:

Random Drunk Guy/ Girl: “Got any New Years Resolutions?”

Random Drunk Guy/ Girl: “What’s your favorite memory from 2013?”

… I’m sure you get the picture. And although last year was pretty shitty, it taught me something about myself that undoubtedly needs to be worked on: the acceptance of change. Life goes on – and continues to change – whether we like it or not. The more you resist change, the less happy you will be. The more you embrace it, the happier you will be. See the correlation?

“You must be shapeless; formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” –Bruce Lee

I can wholeheartedly say I hated 2013 because so much change occurred in my personal life that I wasn’t necessarily prepared for. My mom was in and out of the hospital with cancer treatments, my classes began to conflict with my personal interests and frustrate me, the guy I was head over heels for graduated and moved away, my personal views began to change… the list goes on and on. I tried as hard as I could to resist ignore these changes, and in consequence, slowly began to lose my motivation and passion for life. I also overlooked all of the things that I did have going for me, like falling in love with my major, joining a THON committee, and making a ton of new friends.

The key to dealing with change is approaching it with a positive attitude and growing with it. When life throws you a curve ball, is there anything you can do about the situation? Yeah? Then why worry? In that same light, if you can’t do anything about the situation, why worry?

So as drunk me professed to 1/3 of the University of Pennsylvania on New Years eve, this year will be different. This year is going to be as amazing as I can possibly make it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life; I’m excited to see what this year has in store.