Archive 2012 June

Electronic Difficulties

I broke my phone…again.

I don’t mean to repeat a topic that I’ve already covered, but I also didn’t mean to break my 5th (give or take) phone yesterday either.

There I was relaxing on the beach, the lakeshore kind of beach for those select people who remind me I’m over a 1000 miles away from the closest “real” beach, when my friend and I decided we were sweating enough to take a quick swim. We returned within five minutes because the water was freezing – even on a ninety degree day this is still Minnesota – and what do I find but my water bottle dripping away in my beach bag on to my cell phone. I grabbed it out of there as fast as I could but the flashing, twitching lights of the screen had basically sealed it’s fate.

I took the battery out, dried it off with my sundress, laid it into the sun, carefully brought it all the way home, put it in a bowl of rice, waited until the next morning, and finally turned it back on to find that yes – the phone was still broken.

This is the point where I should probably explain that I have issues with electronics. Serious issues. The phone before this? Oh, even better. It’s December 24th and I’m headed up north with my boyfriend for family Christmas. We decided to stop at a gas station to get some rations for the two hour drive, no big deal. We get back into the car and find a little over a half hour later that my phone is missing. Gone. Not in the vehicle. I can see the eye roll from the seat next to me and before I know it he’s turning the car around and heading straight back to the convenience store. We get there and what do you know! There’s my phone, in about 12 pieces, after being ran over because I dropped it getting back into the car -.-

The one before that? Shattered when it hit a tile floor while doing my hair and texting.

Before that? Dropped from a lofted bed in my dorm.

Before that? Toilet.

Before that? Toilet again.

You can’t make this stuff up. Oh and the list goes on. I vaguely recall at least one other incident with water in some form (okay we’re past five now) and possibly another occasion where the floor won; these are back in early high school though and I’ve blocked most of that out.

Don’t even get me started on cameras. I went through 5, yes 5 cameras in a period of about 18 months. My ability to wreck, lose, damage, and virtually destroy every electronic item I own is amazing. Seriously impressive. There has got to be some sort of award for this.

The only thing I can be thankful for is the trusty Samsung flip phone my parents have had to borrow the last four times. It has 9 keys for dialing, a Send and End button, a camera that makes everything look like a giant blob, and the ability to text. The phone is a champ and thankfully has not suffered any damage between transitions. Knock on wood.

I’ve learned not to fret about all the saved text messages I lose, the contacts that so often disappear, and all the fancy tricks my other phones can do. All I truly need is this ancient Samsung. It calls and sends texts to all the people who are important enough that I keep their numbers memorized. It’s simplistic, but enough. It reminds me to be thankful I have any sort of phone at all.

Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned from my incessant electronic issues after all.

Commitment is Incredibly Under-Appreciated

There I was, just like every other morning, scrolling through Thought Catalog reading the latest pieces of wisdom and advice from other 20-somethings when I came across my favorite article thus far: Commitment Is Sexy, Even In Your 20’s.

It was as if someone had taken the words right out of my mouth. Commitment is sexy, and it’s sad that we’re currently in a culture and generation of people who try to make it seem other wise. I’ve read Thought Catalog articles that encourage you to break up with significant others so you can truly embrace being single or else informing you on the number of people you should fall in love with in your lifetime. Some people in my own life seem appalled at the fact that I choose to have a boyfriend in college or that I’m a liberal who doesn’t flaunt the feminism flag by remaining single til I’m 40.

Thanks, but uh, no thanks.

I value my relationship, a lot. I value my boyfriend and the commitment we have to each other.  I think the author puts it best when he says:

“To me, there’s nothing in the world sexier than someone who loves you so much that they are willing to stay with you, even though they really hate you sometimes, even though they could easily pack up their stuff and move on. There’s nothing hotter than someone who knows what a total jerk you can be and won’t give up on you anyway.”

Damn right.

I get that the heartbreak we’ve all experienced and the growing divorce rates make it seem like commitment is overrated, but there are real love stories every time you turn around. My parents marriage of 30 years this next December is proof of that. If you’re perfectly content being single, then all the power to you. But if you’re only embracing it because being free and uncommitted seems like the newest, hippest trend…I might rethink how trendy you want to be.

I’m perfectly content with being in an “uncool” committed, long term relationship. Just don’t think for one second that they can’t be sexy, because that’s a fallacy. Someone who loves you is the most attractive thing on earth.

10 reasons you should not get out of bed this morning

I have been reading a lot of Thought Catalog lately, and it is quickly becoming my favorite thing to do with down time at work. Save for some of the particularly explicit articles that I usually try to scroll over as quickly as possible. Their thoughts with lists are my favorite, and tend to leave me in a state of painful laughter that can’t escape because I have a co-worker sitting behind me…actually working. But in honor of my new found past time, I decided to try out one of my own.

1) It’s raining. You can’t “enjoy the day” as my mother would say when throwing open my door and pulling up my shades all through junior high and high school. You also can’t get to work mowing the lawn, or doing any practical yard work as my father would insist. It is the perfect kind of morning to open your window just a bit and listen to the rain while you lay back down.

2) You were skyping your boyfriend until 5 in the morning. Long distance relationships across time zones require mornings not getting out of bed. It’s the perfect excuse to be a bum, and it means a great night was had reconnecting with the boyfriend after a busy week.

3) The above does not apply, you were actually getting drunk last night. If your story doesn’t quite line up with mine and you were instead downing drinks all night at a party or a bar, than you definitely have an excuse to throw a blanket over your head (maybe after you grab water and a tylenol?) and not get up.

4) Prime time to Facecreep. Self explanatory, and if you’re judging me – stop. We all know you do it to. You’ve been busy with working and friends all week so why not take a little time out of your busy schedule to scroll the Facebook feed and see what that-one-girl-from-high-school is doing this weekend or how many baby bump photos were added this week.

5) You need to finish that movie you fell asleep to Wednesday night. You know the one that you were all excited about watching for the first time in a long time but then you didn’t even have the energy to stay up long enough to finish it? The highly underrated Family Stone was my pick. I, of course, conked out mid that extremely awkward dinner involving Sarah Jessica Parker. If you’re clueless to what I’m referring to, then you should probably just go find it on Netflix and watch.

6) Time to break out the book. It’s still at the same chapter you left it at last Saturday morning and it’s begging to be read. Books need love to.

7) You should call your mom, or your sister, or your grandma. It’s a feel good task that doesn’t require changing out of pajamas or going anywhere. You know it’s been too long since you talked to any of them and they’re probably enjoying their Saturday mornings in similar fashions. Plus, they’re more likely to pick up the phone when you actually need them (work crisis requiring some serious venting anyone?) if you call to chat.

8) You timeYou should throw on your favorite tunes – I’m partial to my Mat Kearney playlist on Spotify or Mat Kearney station on Pandora – and take some time to think. Think about the past week. Think about the next. Pretend you’re in the shower, without the actually having to move part, and think about deep things, life goals, the next step. A calm, rainy morning without plans is the perfect setting for some serious reflection

9) More sleepYeah, yeah you already got your required seven to eight hours but who cares? How often do you get to look at the clock and not have a mini heart attack over how late you are. Stretch back, close those eyes and soak in another hour or two.

10) Because you can. It’s the first morning, in you can’t even remember how long, that you have no previous responsibilities and nothing to get ready for before noon. So go ahead, lay back down and relax. You deserve it.

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

Why public relations bothers me…occasionally

Drafting this blog post is probably a bit of a shot in the foot since I  created this blog to expand my academic and professional writing skills in the field of public relations…but once it became apparent to me that neither my writing nor blogging was flourishing, I had to re-examine things. I had to be a bit more honest with myself and with my writing.

For starters, I can’t write about things I don’t believe in or don’t care about. I genuinely struggle when assigned something I have complete contempt or disregard for. This doesn’t often happen because I’m some what of a nerd in the way that I find interest in most papers and reports I have to write. But when it comes to this blog, writing solely to help my professional life became…wrong. I never wrote for others. Not since I began writing exuberant stories as a kid. I always did it because I wanted to. Telling myself that I need to blog a certain way just to help my professional life, because someone else told me it would make me look like more of a potential candidate for job positions, I can’t agree with.

Yes, in the field of public relations showcasing your writing is important. But you should showcase what you’re proud of writing. I’m not proud of writing topics I feel forced to write, or withholding myself from writing things I shouldn’t. My third blog post on this blog blatantly demonstrates my inability to remain unbiased. Because I’m not. I have opinions, beliefs and topics I write about because they move me. My writing block for the past couple months has only made me question why I started this blog and if I continued it, the approach I should take.

There are parts of PR that really bother me. There, I said it. I’ll add as a discretionary measure that maybe this list can apply to many professional fields and not just public relations. But this is how I see it.

1) People pleasing. The amount of sucking up some of my peers do to professors, professionals, and people in positions they want makes me cringe. There is a vast difference between being a genuine nice person and showing people the real you, and just being so ridiculously agreeable and overly charming that people can see through you. I get that this field is about getting the public to see your company/organization/person favorably but maybe the whole reason PR has the reputation it does (deceiving, manipulative, etc) is probably because the public can see how transparently fake some are.

2) Online image. We had a guest speaker at one of our PRSSA meetings who outwardly asked us if we weren’t using Twitter to better ourselves professionally, why did we even have one? Well ma’am, I like posting quotes and witty comments and pictures with friends. Is that really so wrong? I understand this is the generation of over sharing on the internet but having to change all our social media to professional orient ourselves into the next job just seems…horrifically boring. Everyone becomes a replica of the next posting about the newest PR meetings, or tips, or tricks, or whatever else. Why do we have to be so focused on the next career move? I’m sorry, but there’s so much more to my life than my job.

3) Writing. I can’t write about PR. I can’t. I have so much more to say. My passion for writing will never become evident in talking about how I did at an interview or the best internship I had. I mean, maybe? But I’m tired of limiting myself. If I’m going to blog, I’ll blog about what I choose to.

The quote today speaks volumes to the direction my blog will go from this point forward:

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”

– John Jakes

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