A New Sun Rises

Lately, I have been consumed with self-destructive thoughts. I used to be depressed, for two years it was severe, but then it seemed as if I overcame my devils. But, within the past couple of months I have been falling into the same thought processes that left me hopeless and distraught.

I tell myself I am fat and ugly( horrible thoughts and far from true, but I am just painting the whole picture here, honestly as I can) and that I am not where I need to be. Not where I need to be spiritually, emotionally, or physically. I tell myself that I can’t do it anymore, when I know that I can. I tell myself people don’t like me and that they never will. I tell myself my parents don’t care so why would others.

The most ludicrous yet consuming battle with myself is all in my head. All a figment of my imagination and for the life of me I can’t figure out where it all derives from. I am not worried about why I have this problem, I am more worried about fixing it. I do not like being made the victim, let alone being made one by myself. I feel betrayed. I feel like someone who was told they overcame cancer and then gets a telephone call one day saying it came back again. It is frustrating, foolish, and maddening.

However, I have also been reminded more than ever that every day is a new day and every sun rise is a new one. It is the same sun, but a different day. I am like the sun, and even when it is dark out I know that I can shine beautifully. Just like the sun, I will continue to live life and rise above. And every day I am reminded that a new sun rises.

– xoxo, Sar

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How Do You Take Criticism?

I feel insane, and probably with due cause. But then again, maybe not. I just worked from 4-11p.m. with no break and no time for food. Constant motion, little personal thoughts…mostly just focused on what the task at hand is. Now, though $124 richer….I feel poorer in spirit.

Comparing tonight to my papers is easy for me. Because similarly to working my ass off on the floor at work, I worked my ass off for the research paper. And yeah, I felt drained. It hurts your brain when you really dig into some research and writing without taking breaks. But, just because something is hard does not mean you should not do it. I wanted better, so I got better.

I wanted to make a stronger effort at breaking out of my comfort zones. I decided to try the Rogerian approach and it was interesting – consciously writing an argumentative research paper – to try a middle ground with a common reader.

It was also to take my learning outside of the classroom and do some research into the Rogerian approach itself…and it is incredible. I love perspective and I have to say this one has me won over. It is lovely to think of a world where an argument is actually people reaching a consensus.

I felt like instead of promoting an adversial “winner or loser” relationship, I tried finding a common ground with my audience on the problem. So that we could reach a consensus on the solution.

The last paper I wrote was not so consciously aware of the divide between reader and writer that comes from a thesis that demands agreement. I think it is growth, even if small.

“It is not about being the best, it is about being better than you were yesterday.”

I am happy to know that I have made progress and can’t wait to always keep growing and learning. Grateful for progress.

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A little beach sunset for ya.

-xoxo, Sar

Sprinkles are for Winners

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I am in school for business and that is how I see the world. So it is no surprise to me that Unilever uses sex to sell its brand AXE in it’s marketing campaigns. Anyways…

This advertisement holds the ethical appeal of a five year old talking about driving a Maserati….there is none. Honestly they don’t have any real authority on how there product affects the sexual behavior or attraction of woman who smell it. But hey, men don’t exactly think with their brains. Which is exactly what I imagine the advertisement marketers bring up in every meeting when brainstorming.

It does hold clarity in it’s claim…..I think it is safe to say that they are claiming that women will have sexual relations/desires for you once they smell you in the AXE product. However, the logic of it’s reasoning just is not present. Just like ethos, logos isn’t there. Typical.

Which brings me to the emotional appeal and quite frankly the only appeal. The appeal of the advertisement pathetically (aka pathos) brings out the imagination of the audience. It draws the target market in by making them associate AXE with seductive beautiful women.

The argument of the commercial is that “The cleaner you get, the dirtier you get” This is a fallacious argument because it begs the question. It makes me wonder where the evidence of that is. This could also be considered post hoc.

The weak analogy of the commercial is what also makes it a weak argument. The process of being cleaner by this product is not comparable to women getting dirty with you.

There is no effective evidence in this advertisement but there is effective marketing. AXE made it big in sixty countries with annual sales of nearly $600 million dollars in the early years of the 21st century….$600 million.

Here Comes Heartache

Growing up, many people that knew my family would comment how cute I was. They stated how “I was gonna be a heart breaker one day” while I squeamishly hid behind my mother or fathers leg.

It is ridiculous to think how uncomfortable all of that used to make me. All my life I have hated compliments and attention. When I was younger (let’s say pre-high school) it led to me acting like a total tomboy and then when I was in high school I acted like a total hard ass.

Always…I have listened and thanked people on their compliments, but more importantly I am now not afraid of them. Learning to face hard circumstances makes you grow up. And learning how to handle acts that require a strong attitude in the face of discomfort is an important thing to know.

Writing papers was the same way for me if I am being honest. I hated writing papers. That all changed in 2009 when I met my ninth grade teacher, Ms.Hughes. Wonderful excitement mixed with unbelievably fast paced learning was her style. She even had the same first name as me.

The only teacher I ever had that cared about you learning to love English, not just learn English. She got to know her students and each one she invested in. She helped you grow. It is honest to god inspiring to think about all she did for me, and let alone countless others.

She taught me what I am about to teach you:

English is transformative, it is beautifully unique, and a form of media that you can mold into whatever piece of literature you very well please. English is Shakespearean text, poetry, narrative, essays, diary entries, slang…but it is also spoken. She had us read a variety of excerpts (with varying diction and syntax) out loud weekly. I thought,

 “O M G .       S H E          I S       O N          T O           S O M E T H I N G”,

We learned to face the discomfort of writing papers.

It helped us become stronger writers by listening to spoken word. It helped us be able to read aloud what we had written and pin point what was grammatically incorrect. She was not so concerned that we knew the grammar rules, just that we knew how grammar affected not only how something being read is understood but also how it is incorporated into spoken word.

Since learning grammar in a unique way, I know the best process for myself is to talk aloud about what I want to say until it sounds correct, noting the pauses and tone. Then I write those thoughts verbatim on paper and go back and re-work them later.

This was the process that I used for both of the papers essentially. I did however have to do extensive research for the second paper which is ditto.

But, when changing genres in writing your style is almost always going to be altered somehow. For the last paper it was more about influencing someone to believe a stance based on emotional appeal and this one is more about proving an argument through concrete evidence. Thus, the writing style followed what needed to be done.

I have improved on my writing process by taking the time to create an outline for the research paper and following it. I need to work on not using the same word at the beginning of a sentence, which I think I am only half bad at. I also need to work on patience with writing, because I am very quickly frustrated and it shouldn’t cause me so much anxiety.

B U T ,

I have to go into work now so till next time,

– xoxo, Sar

 

Perfection vs. Good-enough

My biggest pet peeve is when I am venting to someone about my feelings, emotions, failures, successes….or papers and the response is “Well, it’s good-enough so stop worrying”. Not once has that ever calmed my nerves.

In fact, it shows a lack of caring in my opinion. I do not want good-enough. I have always strived for better and I don’t see anything remotely wrong with that. Why settle? If you feel like you can make something better and you desire to do so then, by all means, do so.

Yes, I am an overly-anxious person and have had one too many panic attacks over small things ( I can also never escape hearing “Don’t sweat the small stuff”).  But that doesn’t make it a cause-and-effect relationship, it’s merely correlation.

While I am on the topic of correlation and making something better, I can talk about my most recent English paper. I put a lot of work into it, I re-wrote it actually. I started off with this one thought process and ended up with a completely different one. And as I was almost done, I made the decision to start over. Two hours wasted and maybe more if I cared to think about it, but for some reason that didn’t bother me.

It was more important to me to follow my own advice and gut. My favorite saying when needing motivation is “Priorities over Conveniences”. I could have easily threw my hands up and made excuses about time and how it was “good-enough” but I knew I could do better.

So I did, and it came out to be something way more worthy of the hours put in. It became an intellectual and better written Analytical Essay and a stronger representation of my ability and creativity. It was better organized and thought-out, it flowed smoother and also analyzed the advertisement(that I had chosen to analyze) in a deeper way rather than surface level. I took the time to re-work my introduction and conclusion, which is not something I do often. (we discussed this in class and it was a great reminder)

Yes, I did choose to go with a positive argument. Some might argue that decision but, it is hard for me to get creative when all I can think about is negativity and the same old things ( this ad is racist, sexist, etc.). I start to worry I am unoriginal or even worse…mediocre.

All-in-all I have always followed through with giving my best effort in everything I do and it has been an efficient, but also rewarding way of living life. Don’t get me wrong, perfection isn’t unattainable and good-enough isn’t a bad thing…but pushing a little harder is the main attitude I want others to take away from this. So remember,

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“If you’re gonna do something, do it right.”

-xoxo, Sar

Sometimes I’m Peachy, and Sometimes I’m Vulgar

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Agnes lives in the house diagonal from the Beasley’s Lake House. On my way back home from my run yesterday night she stopped me to ask how far I went. I smiled and said “not very far, I was just to the front of the neighborhood and back for fresh air”, then I asked her why.

She revealed that she runs in the mornings and naturally I said I’d love to meet up with her the following morning (this morning). She said that would work out great and to meet her outside in the street, between the two houses, at 8 a.m. But, she also said it was going to be four miles.

That night I was thinking about the way she was behaving and realized with a sense of astonishment that she was making it competitive.  Why does everyone do that?, I wondered. I don’t think I mind, but i’ll never know why she felt the need to come off like that. But back to the story– So, this morning I ran those four miles with her in the dewy air. Strangely, as our run progressed so did the conversation.

Agnes is from Poland. She has a husband, Derrick, and two sons, Patrick and Dominick. She doesn’t regret not having any daughters. She says that one day she hopes to gain two daughters anyway, when her sons marry.

Agnes is an interesting woman, and like most people, she holds some contradicting values. She believes that the recent legislation on marriage equality nationwide is overdue, but she also says “Keep it behind your god**** doors for fu**s sake”(in her strong polish accent it sounds harsher).

It doesn’t surprise me that she has dissonance in her words. That is just reality. Everyone is a hypocrite, that is undeniable and maybe what makes us so quick to follow our heart over our mind.

Here is my point…..ready?

I like when writers have contradictions. Whether a “combination of statements, ideas or features of a situation that oppose one another” or ” a person, thing, or situation in which inconsistent elements are present”. I think the main reason I favor this is because it resembles genuine life and people. Real people aren’t one way or another, they are a combination of many things especially opposing things.

And the closer you get to reality, the more believable and accessible the writing is. Fiction writers are who have to pay attention to this the most. My favorite example is the author Harper Lee in her novel To Kill A Mockingbird. This is still one of my idolized pieces of literature to this day. It is so real, yet only loosely based on Lee’s neighbors and family. Basically, without the contradictions in that book it would mean nothing to me because it would be dry and much less entertaining. Haven’t read that book yet? Take a look, you might just enjoy the contradictions as much as I did.

Comparably, I love to have contradictions in my personal and creative writing. I work with them to make things more lively and to actually just say it how it is. Speaking of which, I am way over the word count and need to go catch some outdoor time before it’s dark.

Till next time,

-xoxo, Sar

The Short Happy Journey of My Favorite Chair

Ernest Hemingway is the ultimate example of a writer who can say exactly what they want to say in few words, but with full impact and elaborate meaning. Reading one of his short stories, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” , I realized just how much I adore his writing style and his adventures. He tells stories in such a way that you are part of the journey and every picture is vivid and enticing. But, on a different level, perhaps all my own, I felt inspired to actually go on an adventure.

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Thus, the short happy journey of my favorite chair happened this weekend. I hauled this beauty all the way to an open field in my little Jeep Cherokee Classic. At the time, I had an idea of what I wanted to convey through my image…just wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to compose it. I wanted to tell a story of finding solitude.

Eventually, I realized it was not so much about me finding the perfect shot right away but more so taking the time to enjoy the process and feel the image from the audience’s view. Then nature took its course and a beautiful thing was born.

Similarly, I feel the need to not only write but to paint a picture for my audience. To make it simultaneously fun, meaningful, articulate, and maybe just a little ambiguous (concerning the language). If my last post wasn’t allusive to that last part than let me just clear the air; I love living life knowing that it is open to more than one interpretation. 

As far as my first paper, it also isn’t about being perfect starting off. It is about taking the writing journey and enjoying fitting the pieces to the puzzle. I love the art of words because everyone has the ability to choose which ones they use,  the order, etc. And it is always different. It is beautiful. I personally am strong at writing, because I used to write every single day in a journal and likewise with reading.

I may not be the best writer, but I know how to show emotions through words and I know how to create images through detail. I think I may struggle the most solely when it is an typically emotionally void piece of writing, such as research papers. Regardless of strengths and weaknesses, I am always improving in my writing and every change comes with a change in who I am as well.

However, in the word’s of Hemingway,

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”

-xoxo, Sar