The Perks Of Being Ordinary

Chances are, if you are reading this post, you are an ordinary person who is currently living an average life.

Many of us, myself included, dream of being more. We dream of being free from the humdrum routine of everyday life. We dream of being scoped out by a mentor to pursue our dreams, we dream of gracing magazine covers and having people hang on our every word or social media post. We dream of being more than we currently are.

However, I believe that if we are constantly trying to be successful or striving to be the best, we often forget the life we are currently living. We are so focused on being the best, that we may not realize that what already have in front of us might be amazing as well.

As a society, we often focus on the extraordinary, whether it be a new celebrity coming up in the entertainment ranks, brutal crimes or devastating natural disasters. We are so focused on finding the next best thing that we forget about the everyday heroes, the people who make our world a better place.

We are so focused on finding the extraordinary, we forget about the ordinary. 

So I propose an exercise in finding the ordinary which we have forgotten.

Turn off your electronic devices and take a look around. Take a good long look around where you currently are. Notice the little things, like the ground beneath your feet or the lights in the ceiling. If there are other people around, take notice of them too. If you’re feeling social, maybe strike up a small conversation. Smile, make eye contact. Notice your surroundings, and take note of how you fit into them. Then when you’re done, let me know what you think.

I hope you have an average, ordinary day.

 

 

Writing In The Prison: First Experience

This past Thursday, I had got my first opportunity to go visit the correctional facility in which I am conducting my independent study. I won’t begin teaching until after I am back from Spring Break, but here are some of the things that I learned and noticed while on a tour of the facility.

  • Street clothes instead of uniforms

The inmates in the correctional facility are allowed to wear their regular clothes, as compared to jumpsuits. I found this particularly interesting, as it makes the facility feel less like a permanent place for the inmates, as their stay time is usually 18 months maximum. It also helps to add a sense of personal expression and identity, whereas in a larger prison, individuality is often taken away.

  • Lesser Crimes

As this is a correctional facility, not a prison, many of the inmates are there for smaller offenses, usually drug or alcohol related issues or crimes (i.e., DUI, DWI, drug possession, petty larceny) However, for some of the male prisoners, they may also have domestic offenses. If that is the case, they will not be placed with the female inmates in most programs or classes. At the present moment, there are about 200 people (excluding personnel) in the facility, with roughly 45 of them being women. I will be predominately teaching some of the female inmates during my time there.

  • More freedom than heavier security prisons

Many of the prisoners are part of a work track, meaning that they are able to leave the facility in order to attend job interviews or their outside jobs. They will also keep these jobs once they are released from the correctional facility.

There is also a variety of programs and classes that the inmates can attend, from alcohol and drug counseling, to GED preparation. The creative writing class that I am teaching with is also part of the list of programs, in which the inmates can either be placed in, or volunteer to attend.

However, there are still some restrictions. All food and items that are brought in must be checked by the guards for contraband, there are cameras in almost every hall or room (including the bathroom), visitors are required to sign in, and the guards are armed. While the inmates do have more freedoms as compared to the larger prison, the facility is still a secure place, and there are rules that must be followed.

Overall, my first time going in the correctional facility can be best explained by the facility’s program coordinator.

“When they leave here, we want them to be better off than when they first arrived here.”

And with that, I cannot wait to start teaching soon, and I can’t wait to tell you all about my experiences with the writing group, and in the facility in general. Until next time.

Chapter 225: Inspiration

Happy Tuesday!

I’m happy to announce that this weekend, I’ll be helping my dad set up his own blog! I’m really excited, because I can’t wait to see what he posts, and because it’s a way for us to connect while I’m away at school. Blogging has become a big part of my life these past few months, and it means a lot to know that I’ve inspired someone to start their own blog. Especially because that person is my dad, who I love and look up to. 

I’m hoping though that he won’t post embarrassing stories of me….that would be awkward. But that’s what parents do sometimes I guess! 

So, how do you inspire others? Or, how would you like to inspire them? I like to show people what I write/blog, in order to help them understand why I do it. Sometimes I share funny stories to get them interested. 

Have a great week! 

Image xxoo 

Chapter 2: Can We Do It?

It’s now Wednesday, exactly at midnight. It’s the very start of Day 2, and I’ve spent the last few hours thinking over my (very) recent decision to create this …journal (appropriate name I think).

This is my plan: To everyday write a post or upload a photograph/video/random thing, for all 365 days of this year. My current thought is, can I actually carry through with a plan for once in my life?

But enough about my thoughts on my 365 Chapter Plan.

Instead, I’d like to hear from you (even though there’s not a lot of you), about what iss your plan that you’re determined to try to carry out? It can be as simple as getting more sleep, or maybe something bigger, something that you’ve never told anyone before. 

Do you think I/We can achieve it? I guess only time (we do have a fair bit of it after all) will tell.

All my love ❤