By Max Ehrmann 

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


Mostly excellent advice, besides "gracefully surrendering the things of youth": NEVER! :)


28 Day Experiment (Part 1/?)

If I've learned one thing over the last few months, it's that I know of a list of things that, when I do them, I feel better about myself, my life, my use of time and energy. These are known things. Most of the time they are really simple: making my own coffee, walking to the metro, running, reading, having the dishes immediately done, having laundry folded instead of in a pile on my window seat, getting to inbox zero, etc., etc. These are things that make my life easier, and that translates to a happier life, also. (Which, just for the record, I most definitely have learned much more than this one thing in the last few months, but I digress.)

I used to be an early bird. I was up before 6a for most of my college career, at least during cross-country season. It's amazing what I could get done when I was up that early. Even if I didn't do anything productive, per se, it was calming to feel like the world was mine, before it was anyone else's. The non-cross-country times of my college career didn't seem nearly as organized or fluid or calm -- if it ever really was any of those things, haaa. Now, I'm...who knows. I'm not really a night owl, but I'm not an early bird, either. In fact, I don't really know what I am, at this point.

That's the thing, too. I have this idea of what I think makes my life easier and happier, but I don't stick to any sort of schedule or stay immediately on top of dishes and laundry and email or ensure I have enough time to actually walk to the metro in the morning or whatever it is. I just think, "Oh, this makes me feel best", but then I don't do it, or that may not really be the case at all. There are other activities that I want to try to incorporate, test out, and see what I really do like, what does really work for me.

So, the experiment.

This will probably be a multi-part exercise. I read a blog called raptitude.com, and sometimes the author does experiments like these, and I've been meaning to do one of my own for a while, so here I am. I want to try out multiple..."living arrangements". I'm going to start by being an early bird.

5:31 AM. Every morning but Sunday morning. Starting tomorrow morning.

I'll try a night owl experiment after.

But really, I want to find time to just be. Life moves and shakes and changes so rapidly, and I know I feel my best when I'm not rushed, when I can stop and smell the coffee while it's brewing and stop to see the fake flamingos planted into a neighbor's yard on my walk to the metro.

AND, in between that enjoyment of the small stuff, I want moments for nothing.

To do nothing.
To sit.
To be still.
To breathe.
To surrender.

I like my life the best when I can step outside the pace of the world, let it fly by me, and just watch from the outside, if only for a moment. But there are things that I need to be disciplined and self-motivated about in order to have those moments. That is perhaps my true goal here: I want to rediscover my self-discipline and self-motivation, as I'm growing in my self-awareness, so I am living the life where I am taking care of myself well. I want to be a good friend, good daughter, good sister, good human, but I must simultaneously be good to myself. I must discover and nurture the ways that allow me to grow in all of those capacities.

I am a computer scientist. Though I do not grow organic or inorganic things, nor do I blow things up, or build things up, I do still enjoy a good hypothesis and test. I'll make sure to observe and analyze what happens. Then I'll deliver some results. Gotta love the scientific method! Hahaha.

I should probably go to sleep if I'm going to start this experiment right and get up on time for my first day of it!



It takes less than a day to fly half-way around the world.
It takes about 15 hours to drive from my house to my grandparents' house in Florida.
It takes about 6 hours to fly across the country.
It takes sometimes two hours to drive from my house to my parents' house.

I love traveling, but I always feel a little unglued at the end of the transportation part of the journey.

How is it that we can move so fast? Do some of our atoms blow away as we rush head first into the wind? Are there bits of us scattered across the countryside, the country, the world from our speedy transitions? Do those missing pieces finally catch up, or are they channeled into someone else nearby to where they were blown?

How is it that we can see so much? What do we remember? Is it the traffic or the sunsets? The turbulence or the slight curvature of the earth? Are the spaces of our blown-away pieces filled up with the memories of our travel?

What, at the end of the day's journey, glues ourselves back together?


Little girl grows

Blank stare.

"Want me to hold you?
Blank stare.

"Here, come with me for a little bit."
  Picks little girl up.
    Huge eyes fill with tears.

Walk in room with crazy hat.
Crying ensues.

Time passes. Little girl grows.

"Peek-a-boo! I'm gonna get your tummy!"
Blank stare.

"Want me to hold you?"
Head shakes "no", then
  reaches up.

"Here, come with me for a little while."
  No tears.
    Snuggles into chest.

Leave crazy hat at home.
No crying upon entry to room.

Time passes.
  Little girl grows.

"I'm gonna get your tummy! Gonna get you!"
Quick smile, then
  blank stare.

"Want me to hold you?"
Reaches up immediately.

"Here, stay with me for a while."
Snuggles into chest.
  Falls asleep.
    Too cute.

Too warm for crazy hat.

Time passes.
  Little girl grows.

"Hi! I see you!"
Mischievous smile.
  Ignores me.

"I'm gonna get you!"
Chase ensues.
  Little girl caught.

  Be still my heart.

Playing with toys, "Whatcha got there?"
Whisper. "What is it?"
Ever-so-slightly louder, "A froggie."

    For me!

Time passes.
  Little girl grows.

"Can I get a hug goodbye?"
Little girl jumps into my arms.
  Soon she won't be quite a little girl anymore.

"Can I get a kiss goodbye?"
Kiss on cheek.

"I love you. Bye bye!"
  "I loooove you!"

What to do about crazy hat now...


Poem 1

Even in the time


beauty shines through
when all is laid


Photo credit: meeee :)