Ten Things Tuesday – January 13

13 Jan

Last week in Counseling and Psychotherapy, we talked about the things that give meaning to our lives. It really got me thinking about the things that are most important to me, and the things that really fulfill me. The things I can’t really live without. So today, I bring you ten things that give meaning to my life.

1. Culture. I think if I coud sum this up in one word, culture would describe this entire list. I’m just so fascinated by things that are very different than what I’ve known. I’ve always had the desire to travel and see new things, to learn new languages, and experience everything. This has only increased the last few years. I love to experience the good stuff: food, wine and drinks, movies, music. These things, both in American “culture” and foreign cultures, truly fascinate me.

2. Adventure. I don’t like to sit around and do the same thing all the time (though, being in school has made me do this much more than I woud like). I don’t like to be cooped up, and I don’t like monotony and boredom. I want to do new stuff, learn new things, and have great adventures.

3. Travel. I’ve been lucky in my life to have been on many trips. My parents and grandparents took us to see new things around the country, and lately I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to several foreign countries. All before the age of 25, I’ve lived in Tennessee and South Carolina, been to several places in North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Ohio, and New York, Washington DC, Hawaii, Madrid, London, Barcelona, and Paris twice. I have a long list of places I want to go, which is pretty much everywhere.

4. Art. I love making art, studying art, and looking at art. Art galleries and museums are some of my favorite places in the world. There’s just something about that kind of human creativity, the audacity to see things in a different light, and to challenge conventional views, and dare to dream that life can be something more. Whether it’s recording historical events or dreaming in vivid colors, I can’t get enough art.

5. Education, reading,  and learning new things. I love reading. I read for pleasure all the time, and I get to experience untold worlds of new imagination because of it. There’s almost nothing better than curling up with a good book. I love the creativity and the heart of it. I also love learning new things, too. Reading school books isn’t as interesting as reading for fun, but the things that I really love in life are the things I like learning more about. Sometimes (but not always), I wish I could be a student forever.

6. Giving back to others. This is something that has always been encouraged in my life but has only recently become important. This past year has taught me just how truly fortunate I am to have the kind of life I do. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t have any major problems in my life, and the ones I do have can be solved through my own actions. I feel that I’m obligated to give back to those less fortunate than me. I’ve been so truly blessed, and now it’s my turn to bless the life of another.

7. Relationships. Sometimes I take my family and friends for granted, and I don’t always treat them the way I should. I know I can be a bad friend sometimes, and I don’t always communicate with my family like I should. But I still love them, no matter what. And I think they love me, too, in return. I cannot imagine my life without them. As we grow, relationships come and go, and those that stay with you will still change. Growing up is hard, and having a good support system is so helpful and essential in every situation.

8. Animals. I love animals. I’ve always had pets, and I appreciate the unconditional love they give. There’s almost nothing more satisfying or stress-relieving than scratching behind a dog or cat’s ears. It makes me so mad to see neglected and abused animals, because they’ve done nothing to deserve that treatment, and they rely on people to provide for them. I wish I could adopt and care for hundreds of abandoned animals, because I love them. I watch Animal Planet all the time. Really about the only animals I don’t like are insects, spiders, and snakes. I think I pretty much love all the rest.

9. Peace. Something that doesn’t always come naturally. I don’t like conflicts, and I just want to have peace and tranquility in my life. I mean, I love adventures and trying new things, but really I just want a leisurely, fun, low-stress life. I don’t think I can get enough of this.

10. Creativity. I live for making things. There’s hardly ever a time when I don’t have some sort of creative project going on. My hands have to constantly be working on something. I can tell a big difference in my levels of stress, irritability, and happiness when I don’t have something to do. I love to knit and make jewelry, as well as painting, ceramics, and book-making. I have a hard time selling or giving up anything I make; it’s so hard to part with something so personal.

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