20 January 2010

You are Beautiful.

I know lately I've been talking a lot about helping others and way to do good deeds, which isn't entirely what this blog is about, but it is a big part of it and a big part of the change I've had personally the last couple weeks. It all started during training when I folded those cranes and has now spiraled into making me a better person.

Today I found something that nearly brought me to tears. I applied for an internship on a wonderful site (fitsmi.com, a site geared toward teen girls who want to make healthy and lasting choices in their lives) and I was browsing through articles in the "inspiration" section. A lot of these articles were things I either thought about or wrote about in my blog already. I then stumbled upon an article referencing Operation Beautiful, an operation started by a woman named Caitlin to post anonymous notes on mirrors or anywhere people can see them about being beautiful.

This is so inspiring. I know there is a stall in one of the bathrooms here on campus where many girls write messages to one another. There are inspiration messages, silly things, and even things like "Carpe Diem" (seize the day) or quotes from their favorite movies. I even saw a quote from A Very Potter Musical today. People love to help others. If you saw a random note on a bathroom mirror, wouldn't it make you think twice?

If you think it sounds like your kind of place (and I encourage not just young women to check it out, but adults as well), go to Fitsmi and browse around. There are style articles, snippets on inspiration, some on health. It's a great place for support.

Here's the Mission of Operation Beautiful.

So now more and more people are finding these notes and hanging their own and really making people's days or showing someone that they really are beautiful. Beauty is not a number. It's not a size. You really are beautiful.

My favorite note says, "A size or number does not define you. Now go find something that does."

I am now about to be armed with the tools for Operation Beautiful and help them in their operation. This is very important to me, especially since girls (not just teen girls) are very influenced by media, culture, and peers. I'm influenced too. I'm not going to spout off saying I don't compare myself to other girls or watch TV shows jealously. Yes, I want to be healthy. But yes, I also know I'm beautiful because I'm me.


I hope you know,

Oh, and as for Fitsmi.com, I got the interview. So cross your fingers.

18 January 2010

Fleece for the Less Fortunate

Next week a few of the RAs and I are putting together a program to make fleece blankets for the less fortunate. They're the kind made from two pieces of fleece tied together. We had a blast cutting them (however lopsided the cutting might have been) and placing different colors together. We even watched The Wedding Date while cutting so the program next Tuesday will go smoothly.

The best part, of course, is doing things for someone else. I suppose my name is on this, but it's basically another anonymous good deed, making these blankets for people I don't know, especially since I won't be delivering them. It's so cold outside. I live in Ohio--it's VERY cold. Okay, so we have nothing on North Dakota and Canada, but still--right now Hawaii is wearing hoodies in the 70s. But here it's really cold and to know there are people there that don't have blankets. Well, now they're going to have some. Even if they're Seattle Seahawks blankets with orange undersides. :) I love the feeling of doing things for other people.

I think another fabulous part of this entire experience is learning something new. I've always been excited to learn new things and those blankets have always looked so neat (I want to make an orange and brown one) and now I know how to make them!

The best idea is something I saw another friend make after she graduated. She sewed on her BGSU t-shirts and made it look amazing.

So, in conclusion to this slightly-random post, doing good deeds for other people, whether it's donating $10 to relief in Haiti or tying together blankets, makes for such a warm, wonderful heart. I'm going to keep trying to do more things, including folding more paper cranes. I need some origami paper. Donate some of your time for others. Some people aren't as fortunate as we are.

BGSU blanket. I'd love to do this.

06 January 2010

For Amy

So two posts today. Mostly because something happened that made me evaluate what I do for others.

Prequel: I write stories and post them online for others. I'd like to think they're pretty popular since one has over 1100 reviews, one has 800+, and the other is just hitting 700. It keeps me writing just about every day and it's not stressful. I also do it because people love it. Therefore, it makes me feel good.

So yesterday a new chapter was posted and today I was leafing through reviews to read favorite quotes and theories and mashing up of my protag's names. I found one review, number 698, and it rendered me speechless.

hii! i really love your story and so did my best friend Amy. she was like INLOVE with this story and sadly... she passed away a couple of days ago from cancer )': ... i was just wondering if maybe you could make up a character named amy ...? i know she would've LOVED that! but if you cant then i completely understand, but i just wanted to ask in case you were able to do it. thank you

So needless to say, I sat staring in awe at my screen. My immediate thought was--OF COURSE. It's an honor, really. And it made me realize that we touch peoples lives in ways we don't even know unless it is brought to our attention. In the past I have gotten reviews telling me about readers having close family members dying and my story getting them through that difficult time. Another reader talked about depression and how the humor helped her. Some people are just stressed from classes and need a break.

It struck me so hard because I can relate to a lot of those situations. I used to read to escape everything that was going on around me and to be able to do that for someone else is one of the biggest honors. To me, that's better than getting something published and having glory--that's changing lives. Helping people.

And if Amy loved my story, then a character will certainly be named after her. I told the reader to contact me so maybe I could find out a little more about Amy, but I already have the perfect character in mind that enters a little later into the story and doesn't yet have a name.

My thoughts are with this reader and all of Amy's family. This is the very least I could do.