I Lived Fully

Living Life to the Full


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The Paper Bag Theory

A couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about meeting/finding/attracting the “right” guy. During the course of the conversation she said that she was going to go stick her head in a paper bag and see what would happen. Now my friend did not literally stick her head in a paper bag. What she meant by her statement is that she wasn’t going to worry about trying to find the “right” guy.
Instead she was just going to be herself and not try to be someone, that she is not just to attract a guy. My friend ended up calling her idea “The paper bag theory.” In short the paper bag theory is this. You will be yourself and not worry about attracting a member of the opposite sex.

Two types of small paper bags

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, you might be thinking to yourself that would never work. Well here’s some food for thought. Do you want someone to be attracted to the front that you put up to try to attract someone? Or do you want them to be attracted to the really you? Any kind of relationship won’t last if it’s built on false hood. It will eventually wither and die.

In a previous post I wrote about the masks we wear. In it I talked about reasons for why we wear masks and I posed the question “what would happen if we stopped wearing masks and showed each other our true self’s?” Since I wrote that post I have been trying to live without any masks. Some times I succeed and other times I fail miserably. In doing so I have found a sense of freedom and liberty that I never had before. I am not trying to please any one and I don’t have to hide behind masks and false fronts. Because I’m being myself and not who other people think I am. I’m more confidant in myself and my abilities both as a person and as a leader in my church young adult group.

If you’re stressing out and worrying about finding that “right” guy or girl. Why don’t you give the paper bag theory a shot. Who knows you might be surprised by the results. So, what happened with my friend, and did her paper bag theory work? Well, I think I’ll save the answer to that question for a future date.

-Roland K

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The Joys of… Peanut Butter?

Yes, you did read the title right. As I started writing this post I had just finished eating a spoonful of peanut butter. Skippy creamy peanut butter to be exact. Anyway as I was eating it, I was struck with the thought “Why don’t I stop enjoy the simple things in life more?” At this point you might be thinking to yourself “Peanut butter!? What does peanut butter have to do with stopping and enjoying the simple things in life?” To answer your question, it doesn’t get much simpler than peanut butter.

Peanut butter is a semi-solid and can therefor...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Still confused? Let me try and explain. I am a pretty busy guy. Between school, work, and friends I very rarely slow down and enjoy myself. I am always looking forward at the next event coming up in my life. Now there’s nothing wrong with looking forward. In fact I am of the opinion that if you don’t look forward and make a plan you won’t get to where you want to be. But as I was eating my spoonful of peanut butter I realized that I rarely stop and enjoy the simply things in life. I am always planning for the next thing or stage in my life. When I should be enjoying the present with all of the simple things that are around me.

All of us get caught up with things in our lives. Sometimes they are good things, and other times not so much. We’ve got things to do, people and places to see. However, with our busy lives it’s important to remember to stop and enjoy the simple things, like peanut butter!

-Roland K


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It’s That Feeling… The Law of Attraction

We’ve all experienced it. It’s that that felling you get when you’ve been hanging out with a girl or guy and all of a sudden you realize how attractive they are. You start noticing things that you never noticed before like the way they smile or how they hold their head when they’re thinking about something. Before you know it, you’re looking forward to next time you’ll be seeing them. As time goes by you may end day dreaming about them and about spending more time with them.

Opposites Attract

Opposites Attract (Photo credit: ragnar1984)

Now the process of attraction I have described above, may not be true of you, but it is true of me. I have noticed that when I am attracted to a girl I end going through the mental stages described above. What I listed above are the early stages of serious attraction that could lead to serious dating or courtship.

When I start going through those early stages of attraction I stop myself and ask myself if it’s worth it? I ask myself if I am ready for a different kind of relationship with this girl besides friendship? Most of the time the answer is no, I am not ready for a committed relationship. For example last fall/winter I probably could have started dating a girl I was interested in, but I decided not to peruse it because I needed to focus on school.

Now as I am finishing up my bachelors degree whenever I begin to go through the stages of attraction I am also asking myself “is this girl what I am looking for in a life partner? Does she meet the requirements that I am looking for? Could I spend the rest of my life with her?” So far the answer has been no. When I find a young lady that I can answer yes on all of my questions I know I’ve found the right gal for me.

So you might be wondering why I am posting about attraction? Part of it comes from the fact that’s it just the stage of life I find myself in. It seems like a lot of the people I know, who are close to my age, are either married, engaged, dating, or soon will be dating. Now that might seem odd to you. Considering that the average age of my friends is about 21 and the average age that people get married in the United States is about 27-28. Granted I do attend a semi conservative church which has a culture that encourages marriage at a younger age. Though thankfully it’s never preached from the pulpit.

German chocolate cake from a bakery

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently had a conversation with a mentor of mine about finding a life partner/helpmate. I mentioned to him that I tend to get impatient with wanting to find a girlfriend sooner than later. After I was done talking he used an example of a cake in the oven as a metaphor for finding a girlfriend. If I took the cake out to early it might smell and taste the same. However, the cake wouldn’t be as satisfying as if I had waited until the cake was done baking. So, moral of the story. If you rush into relationship it’ll end up like that half baked cake. However, if you’re patient and do some waiting the end result will be much more satisfying.

So why am I sharing all of the above? Well, call me a romantic but guys if you like a girl and she likes you back. Man up, take the plunge and go ask her out!!! Or if you have been dating a girl for couple years go propose to her, don’t put it off any more!!! Prove that you are a man by taking the initiative, and not just another boy pretending to be a man!!!

Now some of you might be thinking “Wait!!! Hold on!!! Time Out!!! Didn’t you just say I should wait!?!” I did just say that. However, there’s a time to wait and a time to act. I can’t tell you if you should wait or if you should act. What I can tell you is that if you wait to long the cake is going to burn.

-Roland K


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When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Waffles!


The above video is possibly one of the greatest rants ever! If you’re wondering, the rant is from the video game Portal 2. But I digress. The saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Has been around for awhile, and it seems to be ingrained into our culture. Most people have heard the saying or some variation of it.

English: Yellow lemons.

English: Yellow lemons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wikipedia says that the saying “‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade‘ is a proverbial phrase used to encourage optimism and a can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. ‘Lemons’ In this expression is used in the informal sense of the word, to indicate an unfortunate or inadequate situation, a meaning which probably stems from the sour and acidic taste of unsweetened lemon. ‘Lemonade’ on the other hand, is a sweetened form of this same acerbic fruit, and so in the context of this expression, conveys the potential for pleasure and opportunity in seemingly bad situations.”
Now the saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Is a excellent saying and a good reminder that bad situations can be turned around into good situations. However it’s not perfect, there’s a danger of sticking with something well past when it should have been dropped. With that said I want to pose the idea that “when life gives you lemons, make waffles.” What do I mean by that statement? There are some “lemons” or negative/bad situations in life that no matter how hard we persevere and try to make “lemonade” we still won’t make lemonade. So my idea of making waffles basically means that you drop the lemon and you go and do something radically different.

English: Crispy Waffles.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In other words, instead of trying to turn a bad situation into a good situation. You go and look for a different situation altogether. For example, say a girl is stuck in bad relationship with her boyfriend. If she followed the “make lemonade” idea and stuck with it, persevered, and tried to make the relationship work she would just be hurting herself in the long run. If on the other hand she realized that the relationship was bad and that there was nothing she could do to change it. She could leave the negative situation with her boyfriend and move on with her life and not get stuck trying to make “lemonade”.Now my idea “making waffles” doesn’t apply to all situations. It also doesn’t mean that you never go back to the lemon, but there will be times that you never go back. There also will be times when you will be able to turn a bad situation into good situation. Basically what I am trying to say is that when life gives you lemons take a step back go do something else and then later go back and see if you can make lemonade out of that lemon.
So the next time life gives you lemons. Be radical and go make waffles!!!

-Roland K


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What is Fear?

What is Fear? What causes it and where does it come from? The Ox-ford dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm. A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety of someone.” In some cases fear is caused by our fight or flight response. For example, being chased by an angry bear is going to induce some fear. However, fear is much more complex than just our fight or flight response. We fear things that we shouldn’t be afraid of.

A couple weeks ago I saw the movie After Earth with a friend of mine. There is a point in the movie when Cypher Raige, played by Will Smith, says to his son “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist.”

If you asked my friends if I was a fearful person. Most of them would probably say “no”. However the truth is much different, and much more complex. In general I am not a fearful person, I have almost no phobias and it takes a lot to spook me. However, I tend to over think the future and what it holds. This causes me to worry and be fearful of something that hasn’t happened yet. For example two weeks ago my dog, Jake, was in a lot of pain due to having tweaked his back. He’s doing much better now, but during the worst part of the whole ordeal I was thinking to myself “is this it? Are we going to have to put him under?” Now Jake is about twelve so he is getting up there in dog years, and hopefully he’ll be around for a couple more years. Jake is also doing much better now that he’s on a pain killer/anti-inflammatory medication.
So why do I share this story? I use it to highlight the fact that I was thinking, worrying, and stressing over a future that I had no control over. This is the type of fear that I struggle the most with. But it isn’t just minor things like my dogs health. I am fearful of things like who am I going marry or what kind of career am I going to pursue. For me fear is worrying about something that hasn’t yet happened. The cause of that kind of fear is the fact that the future is in a sense a fantasy or in other words it’s a lie! But you don’t have to take my word for it. In the video below Mike Donehey the lead singer of Tenth Avenue North does an excellent job explaining fear.

So if fear is “the consequence of every lie.” How should we respond to it? Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that if you “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” But, is that the correct response to fear?  The answer I think is yes. When we do the thing we fear, it’s hold over us lessens.

Now you may be thinking to yourself “Hold on! Timeout! What about the fear of something I have no control over?” Well there are ways to control that too. For example, say you are fearful of an unexpected financial emergence, like a family member falling sick. Well in that case start putting some money aside in a emergence fund so that you can respond to unexpected financial emergencies. Now my example is a little simplistic, but hopefully it conveys my point. If you are afraid of something happening, go and do something about it!

When we do the thing we fear, we counteract the lie that caused the fear. We see that fear is nothing more than a mist that vanishes in the light of the sun. So the question remains. What do you fear and what are you going to do it?

“avoid fear, though fear is simply the consequence of every lie.” -Fyodor Dostoyevsky
-Roland K


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How Homeschool Guys Think

About a year ago a friend of mine was trying to work through her feelings for a guy who didn’t appear to reciprocate her feelings. Now I’m friends with the guy my friend was interested in and I knew that he did reciprocate her feelings. She thought that he liked her, but she couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t doing anything about it. Over the course of about a year and a half they became really good friends. But, she became frustrated with his apparent lack of wanting to take the relationship to the next level and actually start dating. Eventually she gave him a ultimatum that if he didn’t do something she was going to move on and not wait for him to get his act together. To cut a long story short he didn’t act on the ultimatum and express his feelings.

In the middle of all that I sent her a email as a way for her to understand how home schooled guys think about relationships.

Here’s part of the original email:

“Okay, first we double guess everything. Whether its a look or something
said we’ll over think its meaning. Second, we double guess ourselves
and our feelings. “Do I like this girl or not? If so what should I do
about it?” Third, very often we don’t know how to act on our feelings
once we figure them out. Fourth, we can be scared of our parents and
what they think. And our perceived perspectives about they’re
expectations. Fifth and finally, girls intimidate us, plain and
simple.

For example, currently I’m interested in a girl who I “kinda” know. I
wouldn’t say we’re “friends” more like acquaintances. She’s not dating
anyone that I know of and I really like her parents. However, I have
no idea of how to go about asking her out. I’m also afraid of being
rejected again. I‘m also afraid of how my parents might respond.

Being in a relationship with a girl is a huge change and step for us
guys and its a scary thought.”

Now what I wrote in the above email is not true of all home schooled guys, but it is true of myself and most home schooled guys I know. One of the things that I have struggled with and also something that most home schooled guys and girls struggle with. Is the lie that there is only one person for me to marry. It’s the idea that some where out in there in the world is our perfect match, the person who we are meant for and who is meant for us. I have no idea were this idea came from. Part of it I think stems from growing up in church and hearing stories about how God brought Isaac and Rebekah together. Now I do believe that for some people God has a specific spouse in mind for them. But, that’s not the norm. When we think that God only has only one person for us to marry we limit him. In reality God has put or will bring more than one potential spouse into your life. As I am writing this I can think of about a half dozen young ladies who I could happily be married to. Now once you are married your spouse will be the only one for you.

It’s not the end of the world if you feel like you missed the only one for you. Several years ago I liked a girl and I thought that she was the one that God wanted me to marry. As I look back I can see that at that time I wasn’t ready for any kind of long term relationship. Suffice it to say that I waited to long to make a move, as it were, and the opportunity to begin a relationship with the aforementioned girl passed me by. I won’t go into my state of mind after I missed the opportunity. But in the weeks and months after I realized that it wasn’t the end of the world. It slowly dawned on me that I was limiting God by saying that there was only one person that I could marry.

Now, please take everything I have said above with a grain of salt. Everything that I wrote above are my thoughts and opinions on relationships. Thus they are biased towards my upbringing and life experience. Relationships are complex and there’s is no one right answer. What works for one person or couple may not work for another.

“The battle with the heart isn’t easily won.”- Ingrid Michaelson

-Roland K


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Losing Hope

Recently a former friend of mine got divorced. To maintain his privacy I’ll call him John Doe. I say former because the last time I saw him was about two to three years ago. Our Moms were and still are really good friends so when I was younger, John and I would hang out whenever our Moms got together. Now at this point you are probably wondering why I am bringing the fact that a former friend of mine got divorced? First let me give you some background. Both John and his ex wife were home schooled, they married about two years ago, and John was about nineteen and his ex wife is about two years older than John when they married.

So, to cut a long story short John and his ex wife got married young and without the necessary maturity level for a lasting relationship. I am not saying that their problem is because they married young, in fact my parents got married young and I think they turned out okay. Both John and his ex-wife made their mistakes in the marriage and maybe the right thing to do was to divorce, but one of the causes of the divorce I think was a lack of hope on both of their parts. They basically gave up without even trying to fix what was broken. Neither of them fought in the divorce, they just went in, signed the papers and left. Divorce is nasty and it tears apart families, and thankfully they don’t have any kids who had to go through the ordeal.

The point I am trying to make is that when you give up and lose hope you are selling yourself short and potentially missing out on something great. The Oxford dictionary defines Hope as “A feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.” Or in other words, hope means looking forward. So when all we do is look backwards at our past mistakes and failures, we are are more likely to give up and lose hope because that’s where our focus is. If on the other hand we are looking forward we will be less likely to give up! John’s story is a sad story not only for the divorce, but also because both John and his ex wife gave up hope. Both of them were looking at past hurts instead of forgiving each other and moving forward. When you find yourself in a hard situation, whether it’s a lack of work or you’re going through a rocky patch in a relationship, don’t throw in the towel stick with it and keep looking forward!

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” -Proverbs 13:12

-Roland K