Friday, September 13, 2013

In Spite of Everything

"It's a wonder I haven't abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them, because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. I simply can't build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery, and death . . . 

I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that this cruelty too shall end, and that peace and tranquility will return once again." -Anne Frank

The news channels never seem to get better. Every time I turn on the news, or read the paper, there's more destruction going on in our world. War. Hatred. Death. Despair. It feels as though it never ends.

Observations I make as I go about my daily routine help me restore my faith in humanity. A young man helps an elderly lady by holding the door open for her. A teenager soothes the cries of a child who appears to be lost. A simple smile exchanged with a stranger. Like Anne states, I think if we try hard enough, we can all believe "that people are truly good at heart."

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Believe in Your Values

"I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity and her flaming self respect and it's these things I'd believe in even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn't all that she should be . . . 

I love her and that's the beginning and end of everything." -F. Scott Fitzgerald

Oftentimes I'm criticized for my "old-fashioned ideals." Sometimes, I have had my friends and family laugh at my values and scoff at the things I hold dear.

I'm a girl with old-fashioned values in a very modern world.

In a society that is constantly telling us who we should be, it's hard to keep our own individual values from slipping away. It takes a certain kind of courage to continue to believe in things that are seemingly lost in a sea of characteristics that the world tells us we ought to have.

Some people sacrifice too many of their values for the things the world tells us we "need": money, prosperity, beauty, success, intimacy... the list is never-ending. Rather than take a step back and ask ourselves, do I really need this? so many of us simply jump on the bandwagon of what everyone else is doing. Humanity justifies itself in so many things simply because there are others who have already done it.

What has happened to our ideals?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Rainmakers

"As long as the Great Circle remains unbroken, there are those who know that there will be a home for the children of Fear, and a place for the Rainmakers to play." 
- from The Rainmakers, a Native American story

I'm sure we've all seen children playing ecstatically in the rain. They put on their little red rain boots, a bright, slick yellow coat, and run squealing up and down the driveway as they jump gleefully in water puddles. Soon it becomes a competition to see who can make the biggest splash, or find the biggest puddle, or make the biggest mess. When I was younger, this was always a contest between me and my cousins.

Maybe you too were one of those children, once upon a time.

There's something freeing about the rain. The rain washes away everything, bringing with it a new beginning. As we grow older, we lose that simplicity of playing in the rain. The simplicity is replaced by the dread that we're going to get wet, or it's going to mess up "our good hair day", or that we'll be caught in a torrential downpour with no umbrella. Been there, done that, right?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It is time for another book review post! I recently finished Lauren Oliver's remarkable Delirium trilogy. The trilogy is a dystopian series that revolves around the life of Lena Holoway. Lena lives in a society in which love - or deliria - is viewed as a terrible disease and one that must be prevented. Scientists are able to cure the disease and keep it from contaminating others. The government makes certain that all citizens receive the cure at the time of their 18th birthday. Before her procedure, Lena encounters the unthinkable disaster: she falls in love.

Delirium is the first in the trilogy, followed by Pandemonium and Requiem, respectfully. Obviously, I won't go too in-depth about the plotline because I know you don't want spoilers! This trilogy is a riveting portrayal of the powerful advantages and shortcomings of love in a dangerous world. Oliver weaves a complex picture of what it means to be in love when all others are against the idea of something so uncertain. I found her writing style to be refreshing and incredibly in-depth. She has a unique way of perceiving the emotions of people. Lena is a character who grows stronger throughout the course of the trilogy and ultimately discovers her own beliefs on life. Many of Lena's thought-provoking passages stood out to me over the duration of the novel:

"It's so strange how life works: you want something and you wait and wait and feel like it's taking forever to come. Then it happens and it's over and all you want to do is curl back up in that moment before things changed" (Oliver 38).

Monday, May 20, 2013

C'est la vie

C'est la vie - a French saying meaning "such is life." 

Hello fellow internet users and bloggers,

I apologize for the delay since my last post. Life has been busy for me - as a teacher, I've been wrapping up the end of the school year and all that comes with it. I'm moving on now, to a new place and soon, a new position. It's strange sometimes to think of change and how it affects our lives. It is the choices we make as people that affect us. Sometimes it's hard to know if our choices will be for the better, but we can only hope that everything will turn out right in the end.

I struggle with making decisions. I think in some ways, we all do. Someone once said, "The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live." It's true. But oftentimes we don't know where those new doors will lead us.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Snail mail? What's that?

Snail mail? What's that?
The 21st century and the technologies available to us is amazing. We can communicate so quickly with one another through so many means - calling, texting, emailing, instant messaging, etc. And just think, we have so many devices that can help us with this quick communication - computers, tablets, Blackberries, iPhones... the list goes on and on.

Mary, one of the characters in the all-star film He's Just Not That Into You, sums up this use of technology. She makes a really good point about how the constant use of technology is something that affects our relationships with all people. She says:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Of Sardines

I've been doing a lot of reflecting and thinking regarding my purpose in life. Some days I miss my carefree childhood when my biggest ambition was to make a huge blanket fort in my living room so that I could watch Disney's Beauty and the Beast in peace.

Life's not so simple, is it?

So why "sardines" you ask? I'm getting around to that. Now, the sardines I'm talking about here does not relate to the fish. It's a game, a cross between hide-and-go-seek and tag. For those of you not familiar with the rules, here's the general idea:
  1. Sardines is a group game (I personally think 5 people is a decent number).
  2. To begin, one person is selected to go hide.
  3. The rest of the group has to count to a given number, then they each go their separate ways to find the individual who is hiding.
  4. When a group member finds the hider, he/she joins them. The last person to find the initial hider is the one to hide next.
The big picture is that you want to find the hider and not be the last one to do so. It's a fun game that is filled with lots of laughter. It's always a good ice-breaker activity.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An Abundance of Katherines

John Green
Yes, yes, I know, a good chunk of the literature world is raving about John Green - and for good reason, I tell you. John Green has a remarkable way of capturing humanity in a way that many other authors can't. An Abundance of Katherines is literature at its best: I laughed, I sympathized, and when the story ended, I was blown away by the complexity of the characters.

An Abundance of Katherines focuses on the life of Colin Singleton. Colin has been the "dumpee" for as long as he can remember. He's been dumped 19 times, to be exact - all by girls with the name Katherine. Colin embarks on a roadtrip with his friend Hassan, bent upon finding a mathematical formula to prove that relationships are predictable. He insists that this formula will always prove who will be the "dumpee" and the "dumper" in a relationship.

As Colin and Hassan develop relationships with the individuals in Gunshot, Tennessee, they quickly learn that there's more to life than finding formulas and making predictions.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Follow the Locals

I'll admit it. I drool over travel magazines. The glossy pictures seem so realistic, begging me to jump within their pages while I'm half-hoping I'll end up in Ireland.

My monthly subscription to National Geographic Traveler came a few days ago, but in keeping busy with work, I was only able to open it just today. And my-oh-my, I was not disappointed. Entitled "Tours of a Lifetime," I knew this edition was one I would enjoy.

Margaret Loftus, a contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler, paints a picturesque view of many sought-after adventures for the wandering traveler. Broken into divisions, there are tours in Africa, Asia, South and Central America, Europe, North America, and the Pacific Islands and Oceania.

Personally, I'd like to go on the "Wild Irish Rover" guided tour. It is a road trip around Ireland, hosted by Vagabond Adventure Tours of Ireland. For eight days, I'd get to explore the Irish countryside and since I have Irish ancestry, I'd be able to track down my roots. Neat, right? Plus, all good travelers know that if you want the ultimate experience, you'll talk with the locals about the sights to see and places to go. Follow the locals!

I guess I'll add it to my growing list of tours and places to see, but for now, I'll just hope I don't wrinkle the pages in my favorite magazine.

Want to read about it yourself? Take a look here:

The furthest I've ever been - Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska


Alright, what's Certainly Candid? It's a collection of things, really. This blog will cover many topics and I hope that you, my faithful readers, will suggest new topics for me as well!

While I've done some blogging in the past, this will be my new location. I'm excited to have my own page and I'll have new posts ASAP!

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