Is It Too Early for a Cover Reveal?

   In times when I cannot devote all of my attention to writing, my mind still likes to dream and wander through my creations. Recently I have attempted to take some of these visuals out of my mind and make them real.

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   This painting is the image that will be on the cover of my work. Of course, when it is ready to be brought into the public, someone who is much more capable will create the image and format it, but I couldn’t ignore the urge to try and extract it from my mind and bring it to life. This painting illustrates the idea of souls condensing and gathering like a cloud, and its natural tendency to precipitate back into life, back into the various experiences among the cosmos. As the story shows, the cycle continues, as does the ascension of the soul in this process.

   I’ve also recently created a Facebook page, which I am grateful for having, as I’ve been able to take a more spiritual approach to it that I felt I could not do on WordPress given the audience, and the kind of posts I wanted to write here. If this is something you might be interested in, please like and share: https://www.facebook.com/Metanoiasouls/  

The Freedom to Choose

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

  Hello to all my loyal followers, and hello to any newcomers.

   Now that the spring semester has begun, most of my time and energy will be funneled into school, especially since I am trying to secure my graduation for May. This unfortunately means less  posts, and allotting any free time I have to writing my novel, so I apologize for the lack of posts over the next few months.

   I’m finding that this is a very unnerving time in my life where there is much uncertainty for the future, and fear of this unknown. It is not so much the typical scenario for all youth where there is a dilemma in not knowing ones purpose or passion. Its more of an anxiety brought on by the apparent lack of opportunity after a life of trying to produce just the opposite. This discomfort brings me to what I wish to talk about today.

   I see it in others and I see it in myself. Very often we believe that we are stuck in life. We don’t think we can get out of our career choice, our job, our relationship, our geography, our finances, or anything at all. Perhaps the mindset comes from knowing that these situations were completely circumstantial, which often is the main factor controlling where we end up in life at some point, despite our best efforts, and despite what we’re told about things like hard work and perseverance. But recently I was reminded of something, and it prompted me to take my own advice.

 

   I’ve seen horrific things that people must endure on this plane of existence, things I will not go into detail. I’ve been fortunate enough, and thankful for having a life in which I did not have to go through these things, and yet still be able to learn something from being a bystander. What I’ve learned from these people is that there always is a choice, no matter what. There really are no excuses.

   I must convey what making a choice actually entails here. When you are depressed for example, you do not simply decide to start feeling better and make it so the day after. This is what many people mistakenly say to others, especially those who have never been through great hardship (or for those who have and see this as a way to avoid their baggage rather than working with it and truly moving on). Change doesn’t work like that here. For some, it takes an entire lifetime to bring forth some manifestation, or a change in destiny. For these people, it was between that and never breaking free, and they chose freedom. With this, you are presented with the option to let life happen to you, or to gather up some courage for the long haul. I suppose everyone is different, but I  would rather have a life trying to get somewhere. I would not want to give my power over to circumstance. I do not believe thats what I, or any of us were meant to do. As the saying goes, “After all, none of us are getting out alive anyway”. In the end it didn’t matter what occurred for the people who took control of their destiny. What mattered was that they acknowledged their position, had a conversation with themselves, and started looking for a way to make a change. They evaluated what was worth taking and what was worth leaving behind.

   I have no idea if this will strike a chord with any of you at this time. Perhaps it does for some time in your past, or perhaps it will somewhere down the line in your future. Either way, I felt compelled to say something about this.

   For me personally, there is this feeling of being lost, but not in life, in another way entirely. I recently heard someone present the question “Where is my Joy?”. Yes, where is my joy? Where is that old friend? For me, it is misplaced in the distractions and the checklists and the obligations. I warn myself not to disconnect from the path that leads me to my bliss, because when I do, I could temporarily lose my way back to that. This is where I find myself now. Overcoming this may be the way to dislodge myself from the clingy sap of self doubt, mistrust, and disappointment.

   Perhaps getting back to oneself in this way is not as complicated as it feels. There’s a song by my favorite artist Aurora I wish to share that resonates with this.

   In her song, it is extremely frank, and yet so eloquently put.

   “I know I can. Thats why I do it.”

 

Featured image credited to Folkert Gorter

Embracing the Intellect of the Heart

   In our society, there is an enigmatic taboo that leads many to distrust what they’re instincts tell them to do, where to look, how to be, etc. Sometimes for good reason, but sometimes in excess. From a very young age, all we want is to be accepted, or perhaps to at least be considered “acceptable” in some way if you were not someone who cared what others thought. Either way, we have all struggled to meet a standard at some point in our lives. This is how we’re guided to follow the grain from square one, until we come to a point in our maturity where we completely forget we are following something external at all and are tricked into thinking everything we want and strive for is related to our authentic selves, or true purpose. It is because of this that we sometimes stray away from what we are intuitively pulled towards by the heart, and replace it with our mental constructs and external ideas.

Over time, I’ve been lead to the idea that the heart has an intellect that either no one knows or no one acknowledges. To many, this statement might be very confusing because we’ve made the very definition of the word ‘heart’ to serve as an antonym for the word ‘intellect’. Perhaps this is a symptom of living in separation of the two: “Use your head” or “Follow your heart” we say. We seem to use one or the other depending on the situation. But what if we merged these two concepts together, and used them at the same time? What happens then?

   Personally, I have found that I’ve used my heart to figure out where my mind is supposed to go, upon which my mind takes over and synthesizes what its given. Then, it would be my heart’s duty to feel out the conclusions I’ve drawn, and so on. It goes back and forth in an ebb and flow continuously. In rare instances, I find the two coalesce, like two bodies in space that circle around one another until gravity finally leads them to join in an epic blaze of light and color. They become the same thing essentially, that is what I meant by there being “an intellect to the heart”, which opposes the separation the two concepts.

Two white dwarf stars orbiting each other every 5 minutes.

Photograph courtesy NASA/Tod Strohmayer (GSFC)/Dana Berry (Chandra X-Ray Observatory)

 

The result of this has always been interesting. I’ve come up with my best ideas and produced my best work in these states. But for whatever reason, I see many people not trusting the way they feel, and rely on what they see, or vice versa. I can’t help but notice that we as a society live in a sort of disconnect that keeps us from reaching our full potential, truthfully in many ways apart from what I’ve even discussed so far.

But allow me to diverge for a moment, because I have something I wish to convey.

   I truly believe that certain instances call for you to act on your instinct rather than what is customary. The right thing to do just might be the opposite of what your mind advises. For example, life-changing inventions and problem solving skills generally require an “out of the box” method of approach, as we like to call it. Well, what is this vague “out of the box” thing people speak of? I am no expert but logic would lead me to believe that it involves avoiding the perception that is no longer providing any solutions to the problem, and what most likely lead to the problem in the first place (a rewording of the well known quote by Albert Einstein “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”).

   Sometimes we seem to think that something needs a lot of thought and intellectualization, which is likely a product of our education. However, you may inadvertently think yourself into a box that will not lead you anywhere beyond what you can see. A problem may call for a solution that requires a completely different angle of approach. I have found a method that works for me to avoid this trap. It is one simple statement: ‘I know that I don’t know’. It is known as the Socratic Paradox, where one knows that they know nothing. It is possible to have conclusions come out of this approach that are not entirely accurate, but at least it comes from an honest place that lacks any bias that may steer me away from the truth. It’s a good start is all I’m saying. And truth is so subjective that I really can’t ever say anything with complete certainty as we all have our own truth, with threads of validity woven through it all. But when I am listening to someone preach something or share their opinion, I now always ask myself this:  “Where did they begin with the creation of that belief?”

In starting with “I know that I don’t know”, I’m choosing to be careful about contaminating my own understanding with someone or something else’s (which is probably already riddled with mistruths because I’ve never known anyone to approach life in such a clean-slate way).

I can hear everyone’s thoughts right not at this point. They say “But Kerry, what does this even have to do with what you were saying in the beginning with the heart nonsense?”

Calm down, I’m bringing it home.

   Perhaps for some of history’s game changers, the “out of the box” notion is disguised as this moment where the idea of the head and the heart connects, creating the capacity to reach conclusions that could not be made otherwise. Its a sort of reaching out of the five senses, with knowledge previously gained guiding the way, and the willingness connect to something greater than yourself or what you already know.

   If we are to be guided by a true purpose, or wish to live a life of authenticity, we must challenge preconceived notions, understand where it is that they come from, and in doing so, open up to the intellect of the heart.

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Featured image credited to Jacob Jugashvili 

“The Science Delusion”

 

   As I promised in my previous post The Hidden Dogma in Science, I am dedicating this post towards sharing The Science Delusion, by Rupert Sheldrake. This video is known as a “banned” TED Talk that identifies and addresses ten dogmas in science, with the intention of questioning their validity rather than blindly accepting them as fact like much of the science community currently does.

   Overall, it is apparent that Sheldrake is simply calling for an honest exploration of what we call life, the universe, and everything (a subtle science fiction reference there, if anyone catches it). Dogma doesn’t belong in science, as it is the very foundation, or “life blood” of science itself to be open and question what we automatically assume is the truth.

I hope you enjoy this witty exposition. The incongruity that he chooses to expose is surprisingly humorous.

The Hidden Dogma in Science

   I was an extremely good student in high school. I did everything I was supposed to, taking on as many extracurriculars as I possibly could, while still getting good grades and taking charge of all my responsibilities. I played the flute and made it into our school’s wind ensemble. I was a girl scout and a member of the national honor society, as well as other honor societies. I took on literary clubs and was extremely involved with the community. I also took a great liking to science, particularly biology, and english (depending on my teacher, shout out to Ms. Stern). I like to forget that high school happened sometimes, but I was coerced into thinking about everything despite this when I ran into my 11th grade AP bio teacher as I was writing Metanoia in a nearby Starbucks.

   What can I say about the difference between then and now? Well, I’ve learned that I’m actually a terrible student. But how (after I just explained everything) you might ask? Five years ago, and to this day, I took an interest in science because there wasn’t dogma, and a type of thinking that was open to many possibilities. I liked it because it was a way to test the unknown, and come up with explanations that lacked bias and opinion, unlike  many areas of society (I could name quite a few). After I worked so hard at trying to secure my future and bring myself to a place where I had several options for college, my financial status and life circumstance eventually brought me right into my own backyard at a local SUNY school. This is where my perception changed.

   More and more, I began to see several things that people rarely acknowledge about the academic world, one of which is how biased science could actually be. Everything in this world is driven by money, including the types of studies and experiments that are performed by experts in the field. Thankfully, there can be important discoveries made that are unrelated to the question at hand despite the reason behind funding. However, it can still be very biased.

   The second thing I noticed can be explained through something that I heard from a youtube channel I subscribe to called Ascension Pioneers. The woman said something I have come to find on my own. She said “It doesn’t have to be religious to be dogmatic”. Dogmatic meaning not being able to see the light of a new opening, not being able to accept any other possibility other than the idea, or way of thinking, that you currently have. I’ve seen this methodology leak into every facet of society. It is just so ironic in this case, as science claims itself to be different from religion in that its separated from opinion, from the interests, motives, and beliefs, in an attempt reach an honest conclusion. But even now, it has fallen victim to these human idiosyncrasies. (On a side note, I really do believe scientists have good intentions when entering their field, but like most they get sucked into beliefs and ways of thinking that act as a hindrance to our development).

    I am not a good student because my natural tendencies goes against this. The current system favors obedience. I go about my studies very differently. I ask questions that aren’t deemed important, and my process has too much sentiment (Its also because I’m terrible at multiple choice questions that have two right answers, but thats besides the point). Later on, I am going to write another blog post relating to this, but lets stay on topic for now. School no longer feels like learning to me, it feels like a task that earns a right of passage. It feels like something I have to complete so that I have time later to do my own tests and address my own questions.

   So ironically, while I went into a science field because it is proclaimed to be an honest quest for truth, I have seen little of this. Instead, I’ve seen people who are happily pigeonholed in their career, biased from all the papers they’ve read and specialists they’ve interacted with, who are no longer able to approach an issue (say and environmental one for example, since that is my major) from a different perspective. I think that very often, if a problem still exists after a long period of time of trying to come up with solutions, it is because the people involved with it are not looking at it correctly. The truth in this lies in a quote from Albert Einstein that states “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”.  And yet not many people dare to try things differently. In fact, depending on the environment you’re in, many scientists are criticized, and their work attacked if they stray too far away from the norm. This is an environment that works against innovation, and puts the ultimate development of our civilization at risk.

    It seems now that almost anywhere I turn, there are people who are so set in their ways and will not budge. It inhibits development and growth in both their personal lives, and advancements in our society. “The only constant is change”. That is how our world operates, we are meant to have an ever evolving view of what we believe to be true. The discoveries of the future are meant to show us something completely different from the way we look at life now. That is human, that is part of the reason why we are here.

Perhaps one possible explanation as to why it has gotten to this point is that the current strict system was designed so that we could have reliable information in the first place. In a way, I am happy that things are the way they are right now. It is definitely an improvement from the distant past, when information was largely hearsay and invalid. Im glad that I can at least say a few things with certainty as a result of this academic standard. But something tells me that Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, and the Wright Brothers didn’t spend a lot of time making sure their knowledge was up to par with academic/scholarly standards. 

These are strange times we’re living in. Beautiful and unique and momentous, but strange times nonetheless.

   In upcoming posts, I will be discussing things very similar to this topic. Some of which include the role that the heart may play in the midst of our intellectualization. Also, I want to share a TED Talk called “The Science Delusion” by Rupert Sheldrake. It goes further into the truth about our process in science, and how human nature can tamper with the accuracy of our conclusions. Until next time, shoot me a message, comment below, let me know what you think! 

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Featured image credited to Kevin Bourland

The Concept of Iridescence

People often ask me where the name of my website “iridescent souls” comes from. It is not something that I chose simply because I like the way it sounded or for the unique ring it has. It is actually an intrinsic part of Metanoia, the novel I have been writing.

Something drew me to the concept of iridescence long before I began writing Metanoia in 2013. For reasons unknown, I found the word strolling through my mind without cause. I suppose some writers have a fondness for certain words as a result of their love for the craft, but this didn’t provide a full explanation for me. I felt close to it. Something about it resonated with an unseeable chord. Perhaps it was because I thought it was beautiful, or intriguing, or maybe both. Recently, I had tried to put it into words in the journal I use for novel/blog synthesis:

“It’s this scattered, multifaceted energy that I experience in moments of clarity (ironically). One day I feel as though I could collaborate with graphic artists to make some of my ideas for illustrations and music videos a reality. Another day, something at school inspires me, and I want to apply for a grant to investigate environmentally friendly bottom paint for boats. Another day I am daydreaming about Metanoia, or numerology, or quantum physics and the holographic universe. But as I go from one moment to the next, it is not just the thoughts that shift and flicker, but also a state of being that transitions. It’s almost as if I tapped into some sort of frequency that has several different hats, all of which lead to a creation. Each phase resonates a different wavelength, but comes from the same source, like a rock that is fragmented and cleaved to sparkle with several different colors, depending on how you look at it.”

 

Is this a personality disorder, or a symptom of the path I’ve taken in 2013, which is open to a limitless potential, pursuing the goal of a personal ascension?

When the story came to me in a huge rush from beginning to end, with the intricate overlying concept weaved through it all, iridescence found a place in the scheme. In Metanoia, iridescence has its own unique place in a  categorical system of souls. It is described as the medium that exists between two worlds: that of the angelic realm, and what I call the ‘soul collective’, which includes nearly everyone. This space is an area where the soul has no specific role, and sort of drifts through existence in an uncharacterized way. When the soul incarnates, they can’t help but find themselves outside of the norm, either by choice or physical circumstance. They float around in this in-between reality in which theres no true label to cling to, or no one designation to belong in. They simply be. As a result of this, their perspective exceeds that of the interpersonal, day-to-day existence. They’re pushed into a standpoint that encompasses the bigger picture, becoming a bystander that watches from the outside, and experiences a completely different truth as a result. It is no better or worse really, just different.

I suppose this creation of mine is a projection of how I understand the concept of iridescence. It’s a word that doesn’t get a lot of attention despite its potential to invoke interesting imagery and feelings.

This all may sound confusing to some of you out there. I still feel as though there is a part to all of this that is uncommunicable. However, I did the best I could. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to pin it down more into something easier to understand.

As always, thank you for reading and joining me through all of this. If this was interesting to you, or you have something you’d like to share, don’t refrain from doing so. I wish everyone a lovely week, and don’t forget to embrace your own unique iridescence.

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MBTI Blog Challenge: How to Write the INTJ

  I’d like to start with thanking Hanna Heath for creating this awesome challenge, and including me in it! The idea is to write an article explaining your own MBTI type, and sharing it so that there is more character development material for writers  (which is brilliant). When the article is written, tag another writer to participate. Not only is this very useful for writers, but you also have the opportunity to add something unique to your personality type, which aren’t always discussed in great detail elsewhere.

While this post is about the INTJ, you can also read about the INFJ on Hannah’s blog here: MBTI Challenge: How to Write INFJ 

INTJ is one of the rarest Myers Briggs types, with the female INTJ consisting of just 0.8% of the population, and I am one of them (thats right character-seeking writers, you just hit the jackpot)!

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I don’t know if my perspective will be completely accurate for all INTJ personalities, as there seems to be a spectrum, but there are some insights that I have to offer.
 If I had to sum up this personality in one sentence, I’d say this: 
While the INTJ has a sort of “cut-throat” mentality, it comes from a high place.
    As you will see when you research this type, the most common misconception is that they’re removed, callous, and cold hearted. What’s hard for an INTJ is that people make these observations and accusations without asking or thinking about how or why this is.
    The perfect example of this, and one of the famous character examples for INTJ, is Professor Snape from Harry Potter. Admit it, we were all wary of him, and quite confused with his character, wondering exactly what side he was on and where he was coming from. Our minds turned against him when he was portrayed as something that always interfered with Harry’s position. But then our hearts lightened when we saw him transform into a source of protection (Im specifically thinking about the scene where Lupin turns into a werewolf, and Snape advises the children to get behind him, such a small act that speaks volumes).
      Professor Snape was not always the warmest character, and yet it seems he had the highest capacity of love out of everyone else in the story. This is the pinnacle of the INTJ.
   The INTJ is a strategist. They naturally see all variables and outcomes in any given situation. They always see the entire picture, no matter what. Its not something they have control over, its an integral part of their being.  Because of this, they know what has to be done, whether its easy or hard, to reach the desired outcome. That is where the “cut-throat” mentality comes from. They understand what it truly takes to produce what their world, and perhaps what the whole world (If they are also a humanitarian) truly needs. Nikola Tesla is another INTJ example, which speaks for itself.
The INTJ is the ultimate paradox in that they strive for the ideal using realism.
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Other character traits worth noting:
1. Loyalty: Depending on the person, trust for an INTJ is a thin veil that is frequently harmed, sometimes unknowingly, by the people in their life. Their judgement of character is precise and unerring, and if you are lucky enough to be in their life, that speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. It is rare for the INTJ to be severely mistreated in the first place, as their perspective allows them to see where a relationship is likely to go from the start. However, life is neither black or white, and hurt is bound to happen at some point, and the INTJ does not take it lightly. It simply isn’t tolerated. They know themselves, and they know where they want to go in life, and anything that creates resistance to their life’s journey will no longer be included.
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2. Depth:  Small talk is sandpaper to their psyche. It is joked that the INTJ starts out every day with a certain threshold for standard social interactions, and then must retreat within themselves or their environment after they’ve used up that allotted energy.
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They crave meaning in everything they do in life. So when its time to converse, they would much rather discuss larger ideas, or go in depth with how someone feels about their life, their hobbies, what keeps them up at night, etc. If they are surrounded by drama, they will retreat to the extent that you will not even know they are there anymore. If the drama is coming from a person, you can bet they will be dropped out of their life so quickly, it will leave the other person’s head spinning.

3. Growth: They always want to be a better version of themselves, although what constitutes as better will obviously vary person to person. However, because they are a bit of a brainiac, knowledge will definitely have something to do with it. There is an insatiable desire to know, but not just facts and current events. There is a desire to know and practice reasoning, whether it be moral, philosophical, logical, or sometimes even spiritually based.

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4. Independence: You will never see an INTJ altering their beliefs or behaviors to gain approval or to be liked by others. They will not only get by on their own, but thrive in solitary circumstances.

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Now to tag someone…

I challenge Jonathon D. Macgregor at Macgregor’s Pen for the next article.
I also challenge anyone reading this who are interested in participating, just make sure to link my blog in your post so that I can follow you. Also, don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment saying what personality type you’ll be doing. Be sure to title your post  “MBTI Blog Challenge: How to Write an <Insert Personality Type>”. This will make it easy for writers to find your post, and navigate through the personalities.
If you have any other questions about the INTJ, don’t hesitate to ask.
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If you like my work and would like to see my creative projects come to fruition, please support me on Patreon.

Blogger Integrity: Writing for Yourself and Not for Attention

We hear about journalistic integrity, but what is blogger, or blogging integrity? Does it have a place in the online community?

In the age of internet and technology, everyone is fighting to be seen.

   I’m still new to the blogging arena. I’ve only been posting since January, still going strong with a few breaks every now and then, and in that time I’ve noticed something that goes completely unacknowledged by most. I’m talking about how often the success of a blog is defined, and exclusively defined, by the amount of viewers and followers it pulls in.

It’s possible that I’m not the only one, but I appear to go about my definition of success very differently. Yes, views and followers is ultimately the main goal, as it is for everyone. But I seem to have naturally avoided this common idea of success that pushes everyone to write more, and do more, for the approval of others and the goal to reach a wide audience. Instead, here is a list of things, a rubric of sorts, that I’ve caught myself judging success by:

1. Integrity. This is the biggest factor. I will not write something to get attention, or to get more followers. I only post something if I feel it is important, and if it resonates with a core truth. I state in my About Page that the goal of my blog is to be a pillar of authenticity amidst the shallowness portrayed by the media, and our every day lives. And that is what I’ll do. With this particular goal, I am very stubborn. I will die without admiration, or without a pile of worthless money, if it means I still have my integrity.

2. Commitment. Sure, every post is not perfect, or as good as the other, but I made an effort and have stuck with it for almost a year now. I think thats a good indication that I will in the foreseeable future as well.

3. Self improvement.  I’m not just talking about my writing. I’m talking about my confidence, and my creativity, which are unknowingly linked. I don’t often share what’s in my head. To most, my thoughts are foreign. They’re strange ideas that have no relation to a typical life. I go on philosophical rants, and have bouts of spiritual truths on a daily basis, probably more in one day than the standard person goes through for an entire year. For some, an entire lifetime. I can’t help it. Its who I am, and its my reality. Ive always kept these things inside trying to avoid being that person who thinks too deeply into things.

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 In a way, blogging has freed me. I don’t care about what others think anymore. If someone doesn’t like what I share, thats fine. They click onto the next thing, and thats the end of it. I’ve realized that even if someone were to attack me for my thoughts, its not worth placing limitations on myself, limitations that could severely sabotage my next idea or my next beautiful creation. Its not worth the risk, and I urge you, whoever is reading, to see it this way as well.

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 Even though I feel bombarded with blogs and other internet paraphernalia that is clearly meant for attention and appreciation alone, I still find many blogs with amazing insights, positive messages, and unique depth. There are blogs and media outlets that I follow with topics that I’m not even interested in, but because they are different and create what they want without caring how it looks, I am motivated and inspired by them.

Please let me know what you think! I am eager to hear what others have to say on this topic.

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Misguided Advice: An Experience With Undergraduate Advising

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are”

-EE Cummings

I’ve recently read the novel The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Although it is a little long for my taste, it’s extremely well written, with several brilliant take away messages. There is only one brief observation Tartt made in her work that I wish to focus on. It is how she describes college from a young Theo Decker, who applies to the University early due to circumstance.

Tartt chose to write about Theo’s perspective of his college professors. All of a sudden, you see that every adult in his life is certain about his interests, and think they know him and what he needs. The Philosophy teacher sees that he is obviously a philosopher who should get involved in their events outside of class. The English professor sees a paper he has written, and believes he must be dedicated to the topic he wrote about, as does all his other professors, who urge him to come to their club meetings and be involved with their pursuits. It reminds me of the expression “If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”.

These people take what they know best, and project it onto youth as if it should be their truth as well, the only truth, rather than taking themselves out of their limited perspective and placing it in other positions. With good intentions, its all they know how to do, as that is how they became the people they are in the first place, seeing it as the best method.

   Ive experienced this as well. Everyone thinks they know what you need, and who you are. So much so that they are comfortable with defining you without close inspection, asking broad questions that, at best, link your identity to how you want to make money rather than your character or integrity. It is a fad carried by a world that doesn’t think for themselves, and believes whatever they are told growing up and into adulthood from people in seemingly (and I stress the word seemingly) higher positions than their own. They follow blindly without really asking any questions and assuming their given role indifferently. There are little opportunities, all which mask individuality and demand that you look like everyone else.

At my University, I learned that advisors don’t like it when they ask you what your goals are, and you inform them that there is nothing quite specific in mind, but rather a desire to be involved in something that has a positive impact. That is the answer I gave my undergraduate advisor, that I wasn’t certain exactly where I wanted to end up after this last year of college and beyond that. As long as it felt constructive and that I was doing something meaningful, it didn’t matter to me.

This answer went over her head, and she supplied a response that completely missed the point, blatantly ignoring my expressed desires, with the simple advice to research what employers want, take actions to become exactly what that is (like I couldn’t come up with this obvious plan on my own at this point in my life), and that perhaps I should look into sales (mind you, I have an Environmental Studies major).

I have to admit this pained me quite a bit. I patiently listened to her rant, politely nodding my head in between sentences and quietly giving her a restrained approval at each point made. “Your help is not helpful” I wanted to say. I shook her hand, and left her office feeling alone with my thoughts, sadly without much surprise either, filled with the helplessness of not knowing if there was anyone in this world I could approach who saw things differently. I knew in my core that what she said was so inconsequential to myself and my purpose, so useless that it hurt to think I was expected to adhere to people like her. Certainly I was not the only person who felt this way, (although I don’t know where to find these kindred souls), but was there even any other options to begin with? Did she give this response because there really is no way to make a difference and support oneself simultaneously? Are there no openings for improving the environment despite everything thats wrong with the world?

Many thoughts came to me as I left south campus and drove home. How she was just doing her job, and her advice is a product of the corporate world that we live in, which wasn’t wrong, but not necessarily right either. Where people, as I just explained, only have what they’ve pursued. They’ve followed what they were told to do out of fear of not being able to have the success others defined for them, not driven by integrity, but by what everyone else is doing. It seems that anyone who strays slightly from this line will either be excluded, or take on the allegedly difficult task of creating a place for themselves out of nothing.

“What am I going to do when I know I don’t belong in this world?”, I thought.

I didn’t know, still don’t know a week deep into my last year of college, and probably never will until everything is said in done in the next chapter of my life.

Unlike most of my posts, I didn’t write about this to prove something or produce some kind of conclusion, but rather draw attention to this. The lack of integrity. The scorn for being unconventional. Schools that aren’t focused on preparing youth for our broken world, but rather for the promise of a paycheck. No one asking the true state of things, or challenging what they’re given. Has anyone else noticed?

Thanks University, and thanks society, but I think I’ll be much better off without your ill-advised guidance.

Sweet Potato Egg Boat: A Review

Here at Metanoia headquarters, we discuss many heavy topics (by “we” I mean a pale girl working in her basement and a scruffy terrier at her feet). It is because of this I decided it was time to take a short break from the intensity, and let loose with something less serious. However, we still like to keep it genuine here, and nothing in my opinion is more authentic than a delectable sweet potato housing a baked egg, covered in creamy avocado sauce.

— Click here for the recipe —

I found this recipe on Pinterest, from a blog called The Healthy Maven.  For an overall rating, I’d give this creation four stars. Its simple, affordable, easy to prepare, and even has an interesting story behind it (someone only had these ingredients in her fridge and figured out that she could just combine them all with the help of her friend).

What you need:

 sweet potatoes, cumin, egg, avocado, lime, garlic, salt and bacon (not shown here):

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If you’re trying to go vegetarian like me, it tastes just as good without the bacon, but I’m sure it adds a heavenly dimension to you meat lovers out there, so have at it.

A few suggestions:

1. Hold off on the lime juice. The directions call for one whole lime, but I think it would make due with just half, as I found the citrus masked the avocado a little too heavily for my liking.

2. I may be the only person who has this issue, but when I cook potatoes in foil, it takes them nearly two hours at 425º to be done. If you also have this problem, try baking the potatoes without the foil, or only slightly covered so they come out nice and fluffy.

3. This tastes great with beer (but what doesn’t?)

Voila!

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(Please excuse my amateur presentation and insufficient cream dribbling)

Well, that’ll be it for a while as far as casual blog posts go. I’ll be on the look out for more ideas like this one for the future. If you tried this, let me know what you thought about it.

From headquarters: we thank you!

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