The Perpetual Struggle Of The Introvert

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     [In my sophomore creative writing class, I wrote a comedic speech about being an introvert in a primarily extroverted society. It was written for a pop culture oriented, teen to millennial audience. Though this is not necessarily the kind of writing I ordinarily associate myself with, I was rather pleased with the final product.
     Disclaimer: The following is not necessarily entirely my view, nor does it represent or reflect the feelings of any group of introverts. The jokes may be slightly more uncensored than other content on Savvyge.]
     Let me start off by warning you, I’m a social vegan. I avoid MEET. But, before I get ahead of myself, allow me to, oh my God, introduce myself. I’m your friendly neighborhood introvert, here from the depths of my alone time. Though it took every last drop of my daily dose of motivation and coffee to drag myself up onto this platform, I’m here to speak to you today about the perpetual struggle of the typical introvert. And, as it is my nature to have calculated at least eleven possible escape routes by now, I doubt I could physically overpower any of you, which leaves me here to enlighten you. You’re welcome. On the topic of escape routes, in the event of our fiery demise, I advise you to exit from there, there, there, there, or there. Concerning introversion, today I will begin by explaining what an introvert is and isn’t; secondarily I’ll discuss the social and romantic sphere from an introverted perspective, and finally, I’ll drop the proverbial bomb on introverts in education. With this in mind, let’s remember a quote by one particularly well know introvert, Rosa Parks. 
     “No.” -Rosa Parks
     First, let’s define the term “introvert.” According to the Myers and Briggs Foundation, an introvert is one who is energized by inner ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions. Often seen as “reflective” or “reserved,” introverts feel comfortable in solitude and prefer individual activities to group work. We, that’s right, WE- prefer to just know a few people well, and sometimes forget to check with the outside world to see if our ideas really fit the experience. Now that we have a basic definition of “introvert,” add another bullet to your mental list. An introvert is- holy smokes, Batman!- a person. Your friendly neighborhood introvert is exactly like you, only more attractive, and if he or she does hate you, it’s not because of his or her personality type, it’s because- guess what? You just might be a terrible neighbor. Or maybe he or she still hasn’t gotten over anti-semitism. Either way, I present to you a definitive list of what introverts are not. One: introverts are NOT socially awkward.
[   l o n g.    p a u s e.   w o w.  ]
     Who am I kidding, yes we are! Even those of us who claim to be socially adept are awkward as all get-out. Consider nature’s favorite introvert, the monk seal. It is graceful in its own environment, but awkward around others. I will highlight the “others” aspect versus the “element” aspect. In my following speech, I’ll be outlining the reasons why a monk seal is the perfect spouse! But, let’s focus on the now. Introverts do NOT hate people any more than extroverts do. My extroverted roommate is just as likely to commit homicide as I, but I am more likely to get away with it, because I was the one watching Dr. Who from a blanket fort on the night in question. Next, introverts are NOT shy. They simply see that small talk is meaningless and, more importantly, uncomfortable for everyone. Therefore, because the weather in Cancun is utterly irrelevant to us, we choose to save our breath for meaningful topics. This, however, does not imply that extroverts are airheads, nor that introverts are by any means intellectually superior, or more well read, which leads to my next point. Introverts are not book nerds. They are not even necessarily intellectual or well read, but don’t read too far into this yet. I personally thrive in the intellectual community, and I’m horribly bookish, but this is not at all due to my introversion. This is because I simply enjoy reading. All I imply is that one is not wholly defined by introversion or extroversion. Books do not discriminate. With this in mind, introverts are NOT too serious.
     What did one introverted lawyer say to the other?
      “We’re both lawyers!”
      Pshhh, no he did not- he didn’t say anything! Although, I assure you that had he told a joke, it would have been the best joke that you’ve heard, because we somber folk have one question for you.
     How do you find Will Smith in the snow?
     Just look for the Fresh Prints!
     Anywho, now that we’ve set a foundation upon which to build this introverted “culture,” we can come to the conclusion that the term “introvert” is a broad term referring to a diverse group of individuals energized by alone time. However, our society is built upon the belief that success is primarily social. How does an introvert survive?
     Next, kids, I think it’s high time we had the relationship talk. How do I put this lightly? Introverts are people. This means they have hearts. And genitalia. We poor unfortunate souls want so much more than Netflix and chill. We want Imax and climax. [Did I really just say that out loud? Wow… Highlight and delete.] What I’m really trying to say is that an introvert wants someone to share his or her life with who will leave him or her alone most of the time. This can be quite a frustrating undertaking, because at times, it seems far easier to date oneself. I strongly recommend this, until you find that person. Take yourself out to eat. Go to the movies. Don’t share your popcorn with anyone. Even when you do meet that special someone, don’t share your popcorn. If they don’t know that you deserve your own popcorn, send them packing. You don’t need that negativity in your life. Anywho, the true issue with introverted relationships is the societal expectation that couples must flow a certain way. In our society, your sexuality doesn’t matter anymore as long as you have chemistry with your partner. This is a beautiful thing, but relationships are not always automatically smooth and effortless. Awkward silences occur. Besides, it’s not as though we have great media influences. Planning a first date? Take Whovian inspiration! Perhaps, take her to witness the destruction of her planet. Kill 20,000 people together. Knock him out and chain him to a wall. Wear poisoned lipstick. Or perhaps, take it from John Green. Take your love interest to Amsterdam. Allow her to remove your leg. Die. Break into Sea World. Avenge your enemies. Go missing. You’re sure to leave an impression.
     Finally (and by finally, I mean finally I won’t have to talk anymore, THANK GOD), let’s consider introverts in education. Primarily, consider your high school years. Now consider hell. Regardless of your personality, high school is a bad time. For some reason, though, someone loved the idea of cramming thousands of horrible hormonal demon monsters into the same building from 8-3 on Monday through Friday enough to fund it. In this individual’s defense, perhaps they intended to protect society from the grotesque infestations known as teenagers, but one HUGE detail was ignored. Teenagers and young adults make up a large portion of society. They also turn into adults and flood our universities and businesses. It’s bleak, it truly is, this human infestation, but there is nothing we can do about it. As for the educational sphere, it too was designed for extroverts. Primarily, consider what school is. It’s forced social immersion. It is saturation in this environment in which one is taught that “popularity matters,” that it is important to sit with people at lunch, and that you have to raise your hand in class. If it weren’t for the weekends, I’m sure a third to a half of the population (introverts) would simply drop dead. People feel obligated on Mondays to inquire about one another’s weekend, and when I am met with this question, I’m simply like, “My weekend? It was great! I didn’t see anyone for two whole days!” Next, consider the crowning jewel of educational strategies- group projects. There is literally nothing worse in life than a group project. Except maybe ketchup juice. But that’s IT. It pulls an introvert not only out of their comfort zone, but out of their even remotely chill zone. There are so many things that aren’t quite right about group work. The biggest flaw is people. Haven’t you realized? People are the source of all an introverts problems. It is estimated that anything between a third and a half of people are introverts. This must logically include the students we teach at university. However, “active learning” has become a modern mantra, being the expectation that a “good student” is one who talks to peers when acceptable and asks questions regularly. This is undoubtedly erroneous, because each individual possesses a diverse cognitive style, and though introverts are typically gifted, they may not already to be “active learners.” It is as if there is simply no place anymore for the introvert. Student talk is equated with evidence of learning, and this worldwide phenomenon must stop. The academic world must continue to value thinking as an activity rather than a passivity, because thinking, though quiet, leads to human progress. We simply cannot give up on human progress. A goal in education should be to create more well rounded individuals, and this can only be done by teaching students to think and embracing diversity. Though we boast that we’ve made leaps and bounds in these areas, what with common core and gay rights, we still discourage artistic integrity and intellectual progress by emphasizing the importance of one learning style and refusing to acknowledge the others.
     Now, I’d love to keep talking, but I need to be alone today. If I have much more social interaction in the next 24 hours, someone will die. So, to conclude, one must always remember that introverts are, above all, people. They are unique, they love and learn differently than others, and they are just as tired of Obama Adminstration as everyone else. Introverts are everywhere, and they make up a half to a third of the population. Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Emma Watson are some notable introverts. With all of this in mind, remember most importantly that one is not defined by any label, be it introvert, extrovert, of ambivert. You are the one who decides your place in this world, and you ought to have the same chance as anyone else. Choose wisely.

Snowy Streets & Misplaced Magic

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     There comes a time in life when the things that made childhood magical begin to die. Your dearest friend draws away from you, and this time it’s certainly permanent. The actors from your favorite childhood films begin to pass on, and suddenly, the magic really does die. Not only do you see that the wise influences of your youth were right, when they said that adults made mistakes too, but you realize that you’re slowly becoming one of the mistaken adults of the masses. If you’re like me, you’re quite fine with growing old, and somewhat growing up, but not with giving up on the magic. According to Ursula K. Le Guinn, “The creative adult is the child who has survived.” Did you survive? As a child, I never compromised my values. I hope with all of my heart that I still do not. Never as a child was I fake. Am I now?
     The winter especially forces me to reflect upon who I was in years past, as the loud silence of the snow screams its nostalgia at me. There is a certain enchantment in the snow that never melts, returning each year for those of us with hopes higher than our altitudes.

Perfect Weather

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    •5:02 a.m. From deep within my nest of blankets, I heard a distance voice attempting to reach me, as if to share good news. Slowly but surely I floated to the surface, pulling myself away from my cocoon of darkness, only to find myself alone and disoriented. I was sure I had heard my mother, though I could not discern whether it was a dream or a legitimate memory. Stumbling out of bed, I wandered through my house, already missing the luxury of sleep. Once I found my mother, I couldn’t remember exactly why I was searching for her. Finally, I urged my lips to say, “Are schools on a regular schedule today?”
     7:45 a.m. School has been cancelled today due to lack of interest (or maybe it’s the snow). After seizing a prime opportunity to sleep in, I rose to forage for breakfast.
    10:23 a.m. Having completed my short list of chores, I now mixed myself a tall mug of Horchata. Though it is traditionally a summer drink, I always have a hankering for it during the winter months. Today’s variety consisted of a powder mix, which was rather new to me. Ordinarily, I prepare my own, mixing Tazo Chai, vanilla, ground cinnamon, and butter rum flavoring. I typically serve it hot, though nearly all serving suggestions recommend it cold (to quote the German proverb, “Love and coffee are best when hot.”). Today I took mine cold, though, and was pleasantly surprised. Saccharine and spicy, this variety left a balmy tingling on my lips. It was absolutely perfect for a snowy day. This is the Horchata that Vampire Weekend wrote about.
     •11:04 a.m. The school closing announcement for tomorrow has arrived. I love the beauty and tranquility of snow. I love being home. Indeed, I love that I don’t have to brave the crowded hallways of my school. However, I’ve become quite accustomed to this introverted exhaustion that comes from high school. At the end of each day, I’m usually drained, simply from having to deal with crowds and classrooms. But when I spend extended periods at home, I gain this energy with which I don’t quite know what to do. I end up baking, blogging, writing, and reading more profusely than ever. I suppose sometimes I wish I could just phone a random number and ramble on and on about everything that comes to mind.
     11:18 a.m. I have set out to produce the perfect batch of chocolate chip cookies.
     2:26 p.m.  Due to the blistering cold, Mia had not been out all day. It was gelid outside. All wrapped up in her bijou winter poodle ensemble, tripping over her paws in her makeshift doggy socks, I ventured outside with Adventure Dog. She was a joyous little rat, nearly engulfed by the snow, going about her business in a manner far perkier than I ever imagined possible.
     I, however, was lost in my mind, surveying the snow. This winter landscape was numinous.
     Lately it seems that more and more things are numinous to me, and I suppose it is because I am spending far less time talking, and far more time thinking. Today the beauty of the snow monopolized my thoughts.
     [Brief interruption: Dearest reader,
     This is the very moment in this article where I simply succumbed to my lack of ambition. I could no longer bear to bullet point my day. It was growing tiresome. The remainder of this commentary will preview an upcoming BEDIF, but I strongly recommend reading it, simply because it relates to the former of the article.] Continue reading “Perfect Weather”

BEDIF & Positivity

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Upon binge watching one of my favorite YouTubers, Dodie Clark, I discovered the concept of VEDA. VEDA, or Vlog Every Day in August, is a vlogging challenge to encourage creativity, honesty, and accountability in the youth and millennial vlogging community. Captivated by this idea, I simply had to try it for myself. However, by no means am I a vlogger. I certainly have the face for journalism. After a few weeks of contemplation, I’ve decided to launch a BEDIF Challenge, that is, Blog Every Day In February. I invite fellow bloggers to join me, and notify me of your participation. The purpose of BEDIF is to write in a raw, uncensored manner in order to create journalism for you, rather than for your intended audience. Not only do you strengthen your creative voice and artistic integrity, but you deepen and widen the variety of your blog, thus increasing its quality (that is, if you take it seriously).
Until BEDIF, however, I intend to update as often as possible. Today, the gloom of the season is on my mind, and I suppose it must be burdening others as well.
I personally love winter the very most of all. According to Andy Goldsworthy, “Snow provokes responses that reach right back into childhood.” The cold fills me with a hope unparalleled by any other time. My anatomy instructor today, though, educated my class in regards to seasonal affective disorder, which affects nearly 3 million people in the States alone. Most commonly cited as a vitamin D deficiency, this condition manifests as symptoms of depression, fatigue, and mood swings. It can be treated with vitamin D supplements, phototherapy, psychotherapy, and medications.
Though I certainly cannot set out to cure SAD, I began to think this afternoon.
The general populace is far more glum from roughly January to late March. We do not necessarily have to simply get over it, though. We do have to hike up our chinos and take on the winter months with the same ambition that is applied to the other months.
It takes serious dedication to be an optimist. I can only partially vouch for this, because my optimism is not exactly durable. However, to maintain positivity, it is absolutely necessary to remember three concepts.
1.Hedonism is not necessarily a bad thing. Often in the intellectual community we look down on the hedonistic, pleasure seeking society that America is becoming. Hear me when I say that hedonism is not the problem. We ought to at times prioritize joy. The limit is when the prioritization of joy overshadows productivity. Rather, we ought to find joy in our daily productivities. To simplify this, find joy in the little things. 
2.Always believe that something groundbreaking and wonderful is about to occur. Though this has potential to be taken far out of context, I believe that it is one of the most important philosophies that a) a journalist and b) a young adult can maintain.
3.Be realistic. This life is going to be mediocre at times. We are not living in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is not even a Turtles song. People are capable of despicable things. You are capable of despicable things. Favorite actors die, instructors teach fallacies, and often it feels that there is nothing for which to show optimism. However, to quote Ok Go, “This Too Shall Pass.”

For those of you that passionately despise winter, it will pass. Regardless of your relationship with the seasons, though, I challenge you to seize them. Create or produce every day.
Savvyge

A Charming Word Delivery

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     Good evening, readers! Condolences to those of you who actually anticipate my publications; it has been a while. My intentions and promises to write daily obviously fell apart, as I have been horribly distracted by exotic recipes and numinous books. The pesky little writer that lives within me, however, keeps tugging at all of my strings, urging and begging me to put pen to paper. It’s become such an issue, these issues my inner writer cares about, that she’s taken to recruiting my entire heart and mind to the aforementioned tugging cause. These issues must be discussed; otherwise I will surely explode. I cannot explode, dear readers, for I have an upcoming anatomy quiz.
     I haven’t any articulate manner in which to organize this article, as it hasn’t any specific topic or agenda. So take this as a warning: the quality of this arrangement will be horrendously low. Just let it happen.
     1. In the past few weeks, I’ve done quite a few brave things. I cannot elaborate entirely upon my adventures, but believe me when I say that the feats were numinous. Keep in mind, readers, that I am not always brave enough to order my own food at restaurants, so bravery is certainly relative. However, each time I step out of my comfort zone, I live the plot of the books I’d love to read. When I re-enter my comfort zone, I long insatiably for the adrenaline rush. I urge you to do brave things.
     2. Alan Rickman has passed away, and I am inconsolable. I was in my living room, drinking vanilla rooibos and working on algebra when I received the news of Alan Rickman, Professor Snape’s, passing. Shamelessly I admit that I cried numerous times on the 14th and 15th. I’m not typically one to shed a tear for the death of a celebrity (I know, sue me), but hear me when I say that I was shattered. Being the only Potterhead in my house, I sought solace in baking and produced a surfeit of coffee cookies. It’s a wonder that those didn’t taste like tears. I suppose the reason that Rickman’s death struck me so drastically is because every aspect of the Harry Potter series (books and movies) is a huge part of me. I do not hesitate to say that I owe a great deal of my academic success to J. K. Rowling. How? It is my sincerest belief that the love of reading is a catalyst for success in academia. Harry Potter instilled in me a fiery, passionate love of reading that I’ll never lose. The characters, the storylines, the setting, it all has a root in my heart. I am currently experiencing the strangest form of heartbreak.
     3. I purchased six mugs for $1.50 yesterday. I’m not joking. The entire set was only $1.50. I was triumphant. Often on social media people joke about their obsession with dogs or cats. The jest is the hypothetical situation in which they adopt an absurd number of dogs because they simply cannot control the love. Well, that’s me with tea, books, and mugs. I currently have no more box space for tea, reading room for books, or shelf space for mugs. My hypothetical situation is more likely to begin with a simple trip to the store and end with a heaping hatchback of ceramics, literature, and loose leaves. I simply cannot control the love.
     4. The culinary arts are extremely important. I’ve been raised by a family of foodies, and for that I’m eternally grateful. The family cookbook is thicker than my thighs. Each meticulously alphabetized and categorized recipe has a story connected to it. For the majority of my childhood, I took minimal interest in the kitchen festivities. Indeed, being the only child, I was the taste tester, but I never genuinely desired to bake.
     When I battled anorexia, I developed a rather dysfunctional relationship with food. For the past few years, I’ve been terrified of eating in front of people. Though I now display typical eating habits, until recently the texture of food wreaked havoc on my nerves. Dirty dishes caused major panic, and I hyperventilated at the very thought of food residue. Hear me when I say that I wish I was exaggerating.
     A few weeks ago, however, I stumbled across a recipe for Danish butter cookies, from scratch. I was enchanted by the idea of making something from scratch, and I immediately turned to Pinterest. I resolved to slay those cookies, producing a plethora and washing my own dishes. Peace like bubbly dish soap washed over me as I spent hours expanding my comfort zone. I was hooked.
     Being the tea addict that I so proudly am, my next ambition was tea flavored cookies. Pinterest hastened to arm me with an Earl Grey icebox cookie recipe. It yielded approximately sixty cookies! I felt such a sense of accomplishment.
     Anywho, the reason that I believe in the culinary arts is because cooking/baking is intensely calming. I’d dare to say it’s aggressively calming.
     5. Music. I recently heard a lovely rendition of Vampire Weekend’s “Diane Young.” It was a live rendition, performed at Bonnaroo 2013, and it emulated everything that VW is. The most influential band I cite, they take inspiration from a melting pot of genres to create what I’d only describe as liquid joy for the heart and ears. When I heard this song recently, it reminded me just why I love music. It made me feel okay; it made me feel stellar. I simply had to tell someone about it. If your music doesn’t make you feel this way, reader, perhaps you ought to listen to something new.
     Without further adieu, I’ve prepared a small blogroll of songs that have inspired me lately, in the typical Savvyge manner.
     •“Show Up” by Catey Shaw
     •“Only Fools Rush In” by Savannah Brown
     •“A Poem Just For Me” by Savannah Brown
     •“Dissolve Me” by alt-J
     •“Hudson” by Vampire Weekend
     •“Diane Young” by Vampire Weekend
     •“Barcelona” by George Ezra
     •“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by George Ezra
     •“Spectacular Rival” by George Ezra
          Happy Listening!

January’s Joyful 9

I pose a question, albeit a rhetorical question, of utmost importance: “What better way to inaugurate the new year than with a Neil Gaiman quote?”

     “May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art (write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can) and somewhere in the next year, I hope you surprise yourself.” –Neil Gaiman

Though I do sincerely wish Gaiman’s blessing upon all of you, dear readers, I chiefly included that quote to remind myself of it (I know, I’m a selfish fiend) and to segue into my first literary endeavor of 2016. I have begrudgingly committed to a thirty day writing challenge in an attempt to make some form of art. This commitment is based on 30 mini prompts I’ve hand-selected from the most superior source (Pinterest, obviously) and if I do not procrastinate, I will be done by February.

DISCLAIMER: I WILL PROCRASTINATE.

Anywho, the primary prompt is the tall order of listing 9 things that make me happy. Initially, I positively despised this prompt, brushing it off with this simple query: “Why does anyone care what makes me happy this month?”

Though I may care profusely about my preferences, I initially doubted — and continue to doubt — the benefit of blogrolling them on Savvyge. My decision to adhere to this prompt was influenced by the concept of mutual interests. Fandoms. Though I doubt I can start a Tea Fandom, I have found that there is great joy in discovering a common interest. In The Four Loves, C. S. Lewis wrote, “Friendship is born at the moment when one man says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…'” The following list lifts my spirits ever so slightly, and if there is the minutest chance of another encountering joy within this article, then by all means, I suppose I’ll click the publish button.

The Joyful 9

  1. Earl Grey Tea. Though choosing a favorite piping hot beverage is as difficult as choosing a favorite Harry Potter book, I am adamant about my black tea favoritism.
  2. The smell of books. Initially I intended to focus this point entirely upon the joy found in the spine of a book; instead I feel compelled to share one of my favorite Erin Hansen poems:

“She smelled of books and stories,

Of all the worlds she’d lived within,

As if the ink had somehow left the pages,

To find a new home in her skin,

She didn’t quite belong here,

Lived a life within her head,

Like she’d slipped out from the covers,

Of a paperback instead,

And you’d see it in her eyes,

That they were deeper than a well,

She was a whole library of stories,

That we’d beg her to tell,

When she spoke the world would listen,

To the adventures of her mind,

For if there’s such a thing as magic,

Then it was something she could find,

And her heart had traveled much further,

Than her eyes had ever seen,

She’d walked on words to places,

Her two feet had never been,

It’s been years now since she moved,

And we all failed to keep in touch,

So her memory’s all faded,

Like a book you’ve read too much,

But if she hoped to leave us ink-stained,

She should know she did succeed,

For even now we all still look for her,

In every book we read.”  –Erin Hansen

3. Libraries. If it’s not abundantly clear that by now that I’m a rabid bibliophile, number three ought to add to the superfluity of evidence. Need I elaborate further?

4. Wearing dresses. There is an odd, unexplainable joy that derives from dressing up for even the most mundane occasions. When I wear a dress, though, I do it solely for my own joy. The idea that women dress up for other humans must be exterminated.

5. F. Scott Fitzgerald. This author is excellent. I’ve read The Great Gatsby three times, and now I venture into Fitzgerald’s other works, such as The Last Tycoon and The Beautiful And Damned. Fitzgerald’s writing style keeps my attention more efficiently than any other. His sense of humor captivates the intellectual mind, drawing the reader into a candid look at the jazz age. I can compare reading Fitzgerald to nothing other than chatting with an old friend.

6. Green Tea Baths. This infamous Korean beauty regimen boasts a plethora of health benefits, but my sole motivation is the aroma of green tea (that’s right, I’m a tea sniffer).

7. Iron & Wine. Singer-songwriter Sam Beam has pulled inspiration from Stephen Foster (1854), Bob Dylan, African and Arabic percussion; and speaking of pulling, his lyrics have pulled at my heartstrings for years now. Along with a surfeit of original songs, the band has also done covers, such as an impressive take on The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights.” Iron & Wine is perfect for winter, as its music has a warm quality to it that mimics the strange emotions evoked by changing seasons.

8. Emma by Jane Austen. Austen is yet another author that relates like a lifelong friend. I am currently experiencing this literary masterpiece for the first time, but it has skyrocketed its way to the top of my favorites list in a mere three days.

9. Robert Burns (25 Jan, 1759-21 July, 1796). The Bard of Ayrshire, Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist, known for “Auld Lang Syne,” “To A Mouse,” and “Halloween.” He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and his life is celebrated on January 25, also known as Burns Night. My Burnsing-hot research is dedicated to an upcoming prompt, but for now I’ll conclude with a quote I especially treasure. As Burns wrote, “If there’s another world, he lives in bliss; if there is none, he made the best of this.”

-Savvyge

 

 

 

A Cliche Article About New Year’s Resolutions

     In November of my junior year, I sat in a creative writing class, not quite paying attention, piecing together my college applications as a rather eccentric instructor covered a unit on fairy tales. Mildly irritated, I gathered the minimal amount of information required to aid me in composing my own fairy tale. Hear me, though, when I say I had no interest whatsoever in catering to a target audience of children or childlike hearts. My only memories of the aforementioned fairy tale unit are as follows:
     • I wrote an Acadian tale of a damsel who, despite her grotesquely underdeveloped character, possessed the inane ability to speak to mountains (the brisk November air had me yearning with every fiber of my being to go hiking, to reconnoiter the mountains — but alas! I was ensnared by my educational obligations).
     • Oftentimes in fairy tales, key events or items occur in trilogies. According to page 490 of The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales, “All good things come in threes, and by rights I should have this one as well.”
     So, let’s touch on this latter observation. All good things come in threes? Is there any practical application to this archaic literary principle? Of course not. However, as I pride myself in being horribly pretentious, allow me one feeble attempt to apply the Triad Principle to life. Here goes nothing.
     As 2015 bats its winged eyeliner clad eyes for the last time, a bittersweet ambition overtakes me. The hot topic de jour each late December is, and will always be, New Year’s resolutions. According to a 2013 Forbes survey, just 8% of people will legitimately achieve their resolution(s). The University of Scranton polled in 2014, and statistics showed that 45% of Americans typically make New Year’s resolutions. Though 49% experience infrequent success, Scranton U observed that individuals who “explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” Though the odds are clearly not in my favor, nor yours, I believe I’ve provided sufficient evidence to encourage anyone to at least form a resolution.
     As I set out to compose a blogroll of ambitions for 2016, I first struggled to determine just how many goals were necessary. This is where I applied the Triad Principle. When in doubt, simply set yourself a triad of goals. This is achievable, yet enterprising.
     Therefore, I elected to make three resolutions.
     1. In 2016, I will be more adventurous. F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.” If you are not living your life to the fullest, you have no one to blame but yourself (I only mean this in a slightly hedonistic context). In my life, I’ve experienced many situations that I now look back upon, wistfully wishing I would have taken a chance despite the small, menacing voice of fear. Of course, this isn’t quite regret, because I do not allow regret in my temple.
     Anywho, recently I’ve resolved to take the wildest chances, even when that means, God forbid, facing my fears. The fear that absolutely paralyzed me from 2012-2015 was that of failure in conjunction with embarrassment. I simply couldn’t attempt anything at which I might not slay, lest I taint my image. This is by no means an acceptable way to live. It hinders all progress. Life on the high horse is neither admirable, nor memorable. As an author, scholar, and athlete, it is imperative for me to venture outside my comfort zone.
     With this in mind, I intend to enter the new year taking new chances and trying new things. I recently tried my hand at ice skating for the first time since I was six. Though my anxiety had calculated at least 478 instances in which Savvyge on Ice: The Real Freak Show could go horrendously haywire, I felt a sense of optimistic urgency. It became manifest to me that if I did not seize the opportunity to ice skate at that time, I would continue to chicken out in the future. So, with all worries aside, I put on my big girl chinos and strapped up my skates.
     Hear me when I say I was a mess. I never once let go of the rail. It was fantastic! I returned to the ice again yesterday and managed to pull myself around the rink five times! I intend to return for a slippery sequel soon, and perhaps I’ll even let go of the rail.
     2. In 2016, I will write it down. Junot Diaz said, “A writer is not a writer because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, or because everything she does is golden. A writer is a writer because, even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.” I am perpetually lazy. Often I wake up in the morning intending to clean out my closet, conquer the world, and run three miles, but six hours later I’ve watched six hours of Grey’s Anatomy and decide I’ve accomplished quite enough. I don’t regret those days, but I certainly would like to see less of those days in my future. I consider myself to be ambitious, and in 2016 that must manifest. I cannot promise that I will run x+2x miles each day, nor can I promise any dedication whatsoever to morning yoga, but I simply cannot deny myself the opportunity to further my writing career. All aspects of the human experience ought to be documented, because, for lack of better wording, we are making art, people! According to Oscar Wilde, “Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” Every experience holds the potential to be numinous, and in my opinion, all numinous moments ought to be captured.
     3. In 2016, I will be a pal. I have a list of about 30 feminism related topics to write about, and I prepare to write more *cringe* motivational essays in 2016. It is my hope that thus far, I’ve been a good little advocate and activist for the causes I support. But what the individuals in our society need is not another retweet or share. Though signing petitions and spreading ideas via social media are both very useful means by which we can initiate change, all hashtags and projects will be in vain if we do not liberally apply radical kindness. A majority of our daily interactions are one on one, and they are prime opportunities for activism. The most efficient and valuable form of activism is simple, genuine kindness. We ought to utilize our kindness muscles as often as possible.
     Though 2015 was an adventure, 2016 has even more in store, as I greet it with an open heart and mind, and a pen in hand. I dare not say that this will be my year, but I certainly expect it to be ground breaking. Perhaps this is the year we’ll achieve our resolutions (or perhaps we’ll just achieve yet another recession).

     The following songs influenced my writing greatly during this draft. I strongly recommend them to any reader with ears:
     •Bet My Life by Imagine Dragons
     •Renegades by X Ambassadors
     •Land of Opportunity by A Great Big World
     •This is the New Year by A Great Big World
     •Different Colors by Walk The Moon
     •Good To Be Alive by Andy Grammer
     •Luscious Life by Patrick Watson