chapter twenty

I’ve tried to be really observant lately.

The beginning of this year was a lot of personal rediscovery. Where do I stand? What are my priorities? Are my actions in line with what I want in life? Do I believe in the actions that I am portraying?

If I don’t…why do I keep doing them?

And if I’m not doing something that will propel me towards my goals…why not? My own worst enemy is me. Saying it’s a situation or anyone else is an excuse. I’ve made quite a few of those.

Yet, this year has been ground-breaking in multiple ways. My career with Pentatonix has skyrocketed to opportunities I never would have dreamed of. It’s still hard to open my eyes from the strange dream…to actually believe they are real!

I feel like through all the covering up and trying to be someone I was not, I’ve found my voice. I found me. My great qualities. My poor qualities.

I’ve found acceptance in many ways. For myself. For some people around me. And I’ve tidied up my life to reflect my feelings.

And I felt centered in all this. I felt balanced with a better understanding of who I really am and what gets me!

But do you ever think…after moments of self-reflection…do you ever wonder if you’re a bit wrong or jaded in your own biases? Who’s to self-check your self-check? Who has the power to make sure those good decisions you made are what actually should be?

The people that have ever wronged you. The people that have ever made you sad. They did it because they found a reason just enough to do something. They made their choices logical in their head. It was right for them. Not for you perhaps. But for them, it seemed right.

People turn to different things I think. They turn to God. They turn to people they trust. But bottom line…YOU matter. You make your choices. You are the only one in control of you.

This always kills me. People are so fascinating!!! If I think about it too much I feel all existential and strange, so I feel like I’m just thinking out loud but bear with me here.

I’ve been watching a ton of (slightly creepy) videos on Facebook about surgeries, births, humans in general. You know, the little videos that pop up on your home feed that distract you when you can’t fall asleep at night? Or is that still just me? Phh, boo you, insomnia.

And I am floored by how little I know about the world. About the miracle and the painful-holy-crap-not-looking-forward-to-that phenomenon of having a child. Of different cultures and why they practice their beliefs the way they do.

I look at my life. I look at others’. And I think, how will I ever comprehend a life I have no relation to? How could I assume what it would be like?

Nothing is always as it seems.


The second you think you know something…someone…the second you assume is the second you hit ignorance. People are more faceted than what a third party can concur from whatever evidence they say they have.

I feel like I’m being vague. And I feel like I sound angsty. Maybe I am. Maybe I’m angsty because any time I have ever assumed something about someone, they have sometimes pleasantly exceeded my expectations. And maybe I’m jaded because sometimes they’ve let me down.

But you never know! C’est la vie! There’s a beauty to that, I guess! It depends on how you view it.

I think my biggest pet peeve is people that jump to conclusions. People that think they know everything. Because it is not possible for you to know all the beauty and understand all the hate in this world.

You can be the most empathetic psychologist in the world. You can be the smartest scientist in the universe. But your mind will never comprehend what everyone in the world has gone through.

Your reality is yours. Their reality is theirs.

I always have a strange admiration for extremists in any area. Religion, for example.

I saw a video on Facebook of a beautiful young woman talking about how the only man she fancied in her life was Jesus. That she didn’t need anyone beside her but His strength and His Word. Many ridiculed her. Many condemned her words. But she was saying all her words with such dedication and truth that I couldn’t help but admire her. Her steadfast belief in something. Her loyalty.

Loyalty seems to be far and in between nowadays. So even when it may be extreme, I can’t help but be fascinated by it.

Can you imagine believing in something so much that you would do anything in the world for it?

People have been making very extreme decisions nowadays. Decisions I definitely don’t agree with, that I personally can’t fathom any logic to.

But to think that that is someone else’s reality…would I have been that? Is there a moral code? Is it how and in what surroundings they grew up?

Is it the person? At their roots, their heart?

I don’t know. I really don’t.

I only hope in a time with so much chaos, we can all eventually find a common ground of peace. We will all never think the same. It’s hard to even make the people around you understand and get on board with you, much less millions of people that have completely different outlooks and priorities on life.

But next time I’m quick to condemn…next time I say this person is being dramatic, or how could this person think like that, I hope I stop.

I hope I stop and stay observant before any hasty judgment.

And I hope I never let anyone else’s hasty judgments and petty hate affect me, my dreams and where I want to go.

I’ve improved this year at that…not letting everyone’s opinions drown me. I grow stronger every day with every blessing and every hardship.

I just always wonder what you guys think. How you guys think. What is actually real in comparison to what it seems.

Something to think about in a time where it seems everyone is attacking each other. Don’t be the first person to attack with words. Don’t be the next person attacking with words.

Think before you fuel the fire to any more hate, especially this beautiful holiday season.

We don’t need any more.



P.S. I’ve been such a tease about merch, don’t hate me! Starting next week I’ll have a limited number of items for pre-sale just in time for Christmas! You’ll get a notification via email to buy AND I’ll be doing a giveaway for the 12 days leading up to Christmas, so make sure you subscribe!!!!

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