Bucket List of a 21 Year Old

So the other day I spent an hour of my life typing up an epic bucket list for this blog here. My adorable computer thought it would be a cute prank to delete the entire thing. That’s okay, Toshiba Laptop, see if I install that Virus software you’ve been suggesting tirelessly for months!

After about a minute of intense anger and then a week of thinking about other things, I decided that the article was important enough to repeat. Here is my bucket list- and no, dancing in the rain when no one’s watching, is NOT on it. I’ve already done all that cliche stuff.

Here’s one thing first, that I have actually done.

Image

And yes, it was AWESOME.

SO, I ask you this:

Image

Here is what I want to do before I die :)

Go skydiving with my first friend, Allison- My terror for heights is crippling, I honestly can’t even make it to the top of the ETSU indoor rock wall, but skydiving is just something I have to do. Good thing my friend Allison has more balls than I do. BUCKLE UP BABY WERE GONNA JUMP OUT OUT OF A PLANE!

Live in New York for a short amount of time. I don’t wanna stay too long, as it may turn me into a yankee- and that’s a risk i’m not willing to take. Southern pride runs deep, like an ocean of sweet iced tea…Mmmmm.

Write a book, and a damn good one. I want it to be a bestseller. I don’t know what exactly I want to write about yet, all I know is that it’s gotta be nonfiction. I don’t have the patience for a novel….

Work on a cruise ship. Bye bye every-day life, hello WORLD!

Be interviewed on a talk show. Preferably someone cool like Ellen or maybe even Chelsea Handler- She’s Jewish too, so i’m sure we would get along great :)

Stand up for someone who truly needs it, and who can’t do it for themselves. I got your back, whoever you are!

Get a tattoo. Eh, maybe not…

Kiss a famous person- Christian Bale preferrably, but unfortunately for me, he’s married. *cries silently*

Visit Charleston. I wanna know why everyone likes it so much. Seriously, why does everyone like it so much?!

Be able at some point to list “Activist” as my full time occupation.

Name a pet Luther- after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- my hero. I would give a kid of mine the name, but that’s too much to live up to!

Have 100 followers on this blog page, 90 more to go :)

Write an actual song, I can never finish one. I’ve written a rap, but that was just a stroke of random and unmatched inspiration.

Start and actually finish a picture of a face. I can draw faces, but I always end up getting bored and ditching the project. (Is that just me or do lots of people do that with art?)

Pet a whale. I HEART WHALES <3

Own an extremely nice camera and take extremely nice pictures.

Be someones wedding photographer :) Love is so pretty.

Be someones Maid of Honor.

Drive a motorcycle. God help me…

Own a seriously nice car. I’m thinking something red, who cares if the insurance is higher. WORTH IT.

Get a car to 100 mph. (Dad, if you’re reading this, don’t worry i’m not going to ever do it in the Hyundai, pinky promise). I’m too scared at this point to get faster than 85.

Read “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” I’ve only gotten as far as the first paragraph- but it was intriguing. Just waiting on a friend to finish the book (cough cough, Katie) :)

Grow my hair down to my waist- I wanna know what it’s like!

Just for the record, having extremely short hair is NOT on my bucket list. For those who have done it, I commend your bravery.

Write a letter to a magazing and have it published. Preferably in “Psychology Today” or even “Discover.” But hey, if they won’t publish me, maybe Cosmo will ;)

Work with an adoption agency in the U.S to promote adoption within America. All kids deserve parents!

Go to New Zealand, and stay as long as possible.

…Same goes for Ireland. Bring on the Guiness! (Actually, hold the Guiness, give me something else, no seriously, ANYTHING else!)

Go to Vegas with friends and test out the “what happens in vegas” theory…

Throw someone a kickass suprise birthday party- one for the history books.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

That’s all that i’ve got for today. If you think of something awesome that’s on YOUR bucket list, leave a comment and maybe I can add it to mine. if I get enough comments maybe i’ll make a post of a collective bucket list of anyone who reads this! I wish you all the ambition and recklessness to achieve the wildest things on your bucket list :)

By the way, the one below is simply impossible to do (if you wanna kiss RIGHT) ;)

Image

END OF POST <3

Sappy Romance- A Poem

A loose braid

draped over her  shoulder

dewey hands playfully inspecting

his scruffy cheeks

wispy bangs

blown sideways by restless lips

conversations that seem like five minutes

actually last five hours

thoughts like sap, drip into words

green eyes

gazing

brown eyes

smiling through dark lashes

or maybe they are hazel?

you can no longer tell

because both your eyes are finally closed

inseparable

Image

The Most Important Thing in LIfe

Gah, so many things are important, and then at the same time nothing is. Life is one big philosophical question after another. One question, at least for me, has always had a simple answer. That question is the title of this post- “what is the most important thing in life?” Well, happiness, of course! Happiness comes from a multitude of things, but the main thing that brings happiness is happy relationships! 

As a devout lover of psychology, I research psych every chance I get. I adore all things human and with this, comes a love for like, everyone. From my research in psychology, I have learned many times over that the quality of a persons life is directly proportional to the standing of their relationships with others. Our friends/the people in our lives are the number one source of human happiness- and emotional distress. Sometimes work gets us upset (sometimes more than just sometimes) and school can make us crazy, but what makes us even more crazy is when things aren’t right with our people. Whenever i’m dedicating time and energy to my good friends, i’m happy. 

Moral- Your friendships/relationships are of incomparable value :)

Last thought- My wonderful high school track coach told our team this quote one day. The quote stuck with me and I will always remember the quote and my coach fondly. In particular I remember exhaustively running for practice and him riding beside us on a bicycle, ironically cheering us on. He was a funny man, and he knew alot about how to be a friend. I want to share his quote about friendship.

“You know how many true friends you need?”
*silence*
“Just one.”

Image

 

Are Ghosts Real? Psychological Explanation Vs. Quantum Physics

In honor of the holiday season- aka: Halloween, I found it necessary to do a post about those shadows in the night, that ambient sound coming from only God knows where, that looming figure above your bed, Casper….Yea, this post is about ghosts. 

I was recently discussing with my roommate (girl in the top bunk, i’m talking about you) the nature of the paranormal. She is a firm believer in ghosts and I am a skeptic leaning towards i’ll believe in centaurs before i’ll believe in ghosts. So I decided to do my research. Let’s say the information was not easy to come by. You would not BELIEVE how much internet space is wasted on heinous websites on ghosts. The cheesiest and most amateur pictures and websites were the only sources I could come by for what seemed like forever. Seriously, type in ghost in Google (or Bing if you want to be a rebel), and you will be shocked at how poor the sources are. I honestly thought I would become a ghost before I found some good sources. 

But then I did, and this is what I found. I will be presenting to you two opposing views of ghosts. The first is the view that ghosts are not real, according to psychological explanation. The second is that ghosts could potentially be real, according to quantum physics. 

Let’s start with the psychological explanation. There are two theories that explain why people think they see ghosts. The first is the Terror Management Theory. This theory states that people are so afraid of not existing (death) that they have passed down stories through generations that explain an “afterlife.” The theory also delves into religion being a result of people basically “managing their terror of nonexistence.” The next psychological phenomenon is the Confirmation Bias. This is a proven bias that shows us that people see what they believe. For instance, if you think everyone’s staring at you, well you are going to notice every person who looks your way- and the truth is people are probably not looking at you more than they usually do. The only difference is your perception. This applies to ghosts in that if you believe in ghosts, then you will notice every ambient noise and begin to notice every little thing that appears “abnormal.”

Ok- so are you a nonbeliever with me? Well, there’s still another side to this. The next side is the quantum explanation of why ghosts are real (for those of you who don’t know, quantum physics is the study of the movement of particles and electrons etc.- basically the physics of the really small things). There’s this tricky little theory called the “double slit theory of particles.” What scientists did is they wanted to test how particles moved when they were shot out of a particle shooter and through a slit in a board. Naturally, when the particles went through the slit, they ended up on the wall behind the wall with the slit, in the shape of a slit. (if you can’t picture this, picture a thin board with a slit in it. Imagine bubblegum being thrown through the slit and the gum ends up in the shape of the slit on the other wall that it sticks to). Ok, so scientists wanted to see what happened when they made two slits in the thin wall. They wanted to see what the particles did. They expected the particles to go through the slits and form two lines of particles on the back wall. This is what they ended up with-

Image

 

Instead of making two lines like expected, it made a multitude of lines (much like a wave would, had it been a wave that went through the slit). The baffled physicists wanted to see how this oddity happened, so they put a camera behind the thin wall so as to observe the particles going through the two slits. 

After shooting the particles instead of seeing the multitude of lines (remember, much like a wave?) they saw…….a double line of particles aka: a double slit…..like they originally hypothesized. Physics wise this made no sense. Scientists could not figure out why when they observed the particles going through the slit that they ended up acting differently. That is something they still can not explain. But the double slit theory is now used to explain why there is no physical evidence (pictures or videos) of ghosts- because according to the double slit theory, particles act differently when observed. In a nutshell, ghosts could potentially be protected from recorded observation because the particles that make up the ghost could be protected in a quantum sense, from observation. 

BOOM, if you understood that, i’m so glad. Simplifying that was not easy (you should have seen the original article I read on it, talk about a mind bender.) Bending my mind still is that there is sound evidence for both sides of the argument. I can understand how the idea of ghosts came about, but I also understand that they could potentially be real. I guess it’s just one of those things that you either believe, or you have to see to believe. Till then, i’ll be waiting in a state of non-belief (any ghosts reading this, that’s a statement, not an invitation.) 

Happy Halloween Everyone :)

Image

Bystander Apathy- Not just a Vague Term

So a man walks into a bar. He goes to a barstool and takes a seat. It’s been a hard couple of months so he starts his afternoon off with a Scotch. The afternoon rolls on and soon he is 10 drinks in and he is blasted. He stumbles outside and takes a fall and slams his head on the sidewalk. It is apparent that he is passed out. This man lays here for hours and hours and no one even stops to see if he is okay. People step over him as they walk back from their lunch break. No one calls the police until finally someone takes notice.

This is bystander apathy. It is a proven and unfortunate psychological fact that humans typically do not act when they see someone get hurt, or when they see someone lying on the ground. It’s a form of conformity. People see others not reacting and assume that a) the person in need is okay, or b) they see it as “normal” since no one else is reacting. I know, it sounds impossible but it’s a proven fact.

I’ve actually seen it happen. I was at my college in the dining hall and this girl had passed out and was lying on the ground. No one was doing anything and people were stepping around her to get in line (granted, it was the Chic Fil A line- but come on people!) I knew about the bystander effect (thank you, intro to psychology), so I went over to her. As soon as people saw me go over to her, she had everyone’s attention. BUT, when someone doesn’t make the first move to help, then what happens? Yeah, nothing- they just lay there.

I know, this psychological fact makes humanity seem like a bunch of uncivilized barbarians. But there is good news. If someone knows about the bystander effect, then they are mentally set to help when someone is in need. I would like to think that I would have helped that girl regardless, but she was surrounded by other nursing students and no one did a thing. It doesn’t make them bad people, it just makes them normal. It’s weird to think that it’s abnormal to step in and help someone in need in a public setting. Hopefully, knowledge of bystander apathy can help eliminate the problem of people suffering alone…in public.

There are plenty of videos on youtube displaying this phenomenon- But here’s an amateur one made by some high schoolers that I found charming somehow.

 

How to Spot a Liar

When someone thinks of a “Liar” usually one of two types come to mind-

1. Pathological Liar- People who lie all the time, for no apparent reason.

2. Just “regular” liars- Basically everyone’s Ex, a current lover, or your one show-off friend, etc.

On pathological lying-

Pathological lying is complex, to say the least. My only suggestion is if you think they are, then they are. 

Now to what I can really help you with: Regular Liars- It’s all in the body language.

1. When people lie they have a tendency to overcompensate with eye contact. In many situations they will stare directly into your eyes for longer than normal. This is to convince you that they are so confident that they are telling the truth that they give you full access to the “windows of their soul.”

2. …On the contrary, some people will avoid eye contact. This is more obvious and is more typical of the people who would probably describe themselves as “bad at lying.”

3. When people lie they have a tendency to touch their faces and neck a lot (especially their noses). I actually have no idea why.

4. When people lie sometimes their pitch get’s higher than normal. “Shrill” is a good word to describe it.

5. A huge indicator of a cheating lover is one who frequently accuses their partner of cheating. (Pretty typical!)

6. It is unlikely that a liar will touch their own chest area during a lie.

7. When someone is lying they will be more stiff than usual in both their body and face.

Here’s a video of comedian Louis CK- He briefly talks about lying to his young daughter, but really i’m sharing this because this clip is hilarious

“I’m so PISSED OFF!”- What your anger says about you

Grrrrrrrrr. Whether people get angry at you or you get angry at others, rage happens. Personally, every time I show my anger I always end up looking like a goober. Whether its saying something hateful to someone, to raising my voice, I never end up looking cooler when I get angry. It makes people look weak.

The primitive-seeming emotion that is anger has a root. There is another sneaky little emotion that we are not always aware of that causes us anger. It’s that feeling that swirls in the pit of our stomachs and narrows our eyes. Just like hate is a form of love, anger is a form of………….

Jealousy.

Anger is totally just a subconscious way to express jealousy. Jealousy is such an embarrassing emotion to admit that it only makes sense that another one surfaces to hide it. We even hide our jealousy from ourselves, not detecting the difference between true rage and jealousy. Think of the people you find yourself growing angry with. I always get angry with people I know that neglect to talk to me. It’s because i’m jealous that they don’t need my social reassurance. I find myself thinking, “Ugh, what a snob. I can’t stand her/him.” Reality- I’m jealous that person won’t talk to me- simple as that. If I find myself feeling disdain for another, I realize now that i’m just jealous. In reverse, when I feel angry vibes from another I wonder if there is something that I have (whether it be physical or circumstantial) that I think they want.

People are so silly, it’s kind of adorable. We come up with all these ways to feel like we have the upper hand- as if the upper hand really matters all that much. I mean does it really even matter? No, not particularly. So, (isn’t “so” such a great transition word?) with all that said, there should be a moral of this article, right? The moral is this- If you’re angry, stop and think about how you really feel. If someone’s angry with you, do the same.

Kapesh? ;)

 

“A Walk Through the Woods.”

“A Walk through the Woods” is a fun little game to play with your friends, or with yourself. (Whispers- it’s more fun to play with your friends) 

What this is, is a series of questions. Get with a friend and have them ask you the questions. 

If you’re just way too curious, go ahead and answer the questions yourself. These questions are presented as you mentally “walk through the woods.” Be as creative with your answers as you’d like.

Begin-

So you are walking through a forest- just walking along. Suddenly you see a castle.

Describe the castle- What does it look like? What is surrounding it? Tell me everything you see. 

Is the castle old or new?

So you decide to leave the castle and before you go you spot a keychain with keys on the ground. 

How many keys are on the keychain?

You begin walking away and soon you are traveling through the forest again. Suddenly you see a vase. 

What kind of vase is it? What does it look like? What is it made of? Is there anything in it?

So you leave the vase and you come across a body of water.

What kind is it? Is the water moving or still? Do you see anything in or around the water?

So you leave the body of water and come across a bear. 

Tell me about the bear. Is it a threat? How close is it? What is it doing?

So you leave the bear and you come up to a horse. 

Tell me about the horse. What color is it? What is it doing?

So you leave the horse and you come across a bridge. 

Tell me about the bridge. 

So you leave the bridge and you come across a wall in the middle of everything, blocking off the rest of the woods.

What does it look like? What do you do about the wall blocking your path?

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

OK- Now that you are done answering the questions, the meaning can be revealed. What you just participated in is a perception/personality test. The answers to your questions relate to the way you see things. I didn’t tell you this initially because it could have biased your answers :)

Here are the meanings:

The castle represents the way you see your life as a whole. If the castle was old, it means you have an old flame still in your heart. If the castle is new, then it means you have moved on to someone new. 

The number of keys represent how many close friends you have. (3 keys, equals 3 close friends)

The vase represents the way you view marriage. For instance, when I played this game, my vase was tiny and made of fine china…meaning that at the time I didn’t find marriage to be at the top of the priority list to say the least.

The water represents your SEX DRIVE. If the water is moving that means good things for your sexual energy. If the water was murky or shallow that represents some potential fears or problems. 

The bear represents the way you view death. If the bear was a threat, that means you fear death. If it was far away….you get the idea. Make up your own interpretation!

The horse represents the way you see your crush/significant other. If it is an all white horse you find your lover to be innocent and “good.” Once again, interpret the meaning of all the small details you or your friend gave.

The bridge represents your relationship with friends. Example: an old, strong bridge means you have had lasting friendships that hold true. On the other hand, if you saw a rickety wooden bridge well that can represent weak ties/problems in a friendship.

Lastly, the wall. The wall represents the way you deal with problems! For instance, I asked a friend what he did about the wall and he claimed that “he would simply stare at it.” That means that he doesn’t deal with his problems. When I was asked this question, I told my friend who quizzed me that “this is my vision, so i’m going to imagine a hole in the wall and walk straight through it.” I guess that means I imagine my problems aren’t there. 

So if you’re ever in the mood to have a cool conversation with someone, play this game. But remember, don’t tell the person you play with that it is a personality test, otherwise it won’t really work. 

 

Have fun walking through the woods :)

Image