Peace in Understanding

We often gravitate towards a creative release when we are in pain or suffering, and that is what I do with my writing. I am not looking to sell a novel one day or make money off of my blogs; I do it so I can tell my story to the world and hopefully have a shared experience with someone else.

That being said, I find myself writing today in a time of sadness. It’s always funny how you think you have life planned out perfectly, and then something comes along to completely derail those plans. Maybe these things happen to keep us humble. Maybe they happen to help us to continue to grow. For whatever reason, they happen, and in order to accept things and move on, we must understand.

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”

It can be so disappointing when things don’t work out how you thought they would. It can be frustrating when you pour your heart and soul into something, and it just isn’t enough. How do you move forward? How do you keep going?

The most important thing to do is to try and understand why. Sometimes understanding why takes a lot of self reflection, and other times it is accepting that there are certain things beyond your control. Whatever the circumstance, after understanding, you must find a way to take at least one positive from the situation and move on. Bad things happen. Life is terribly upsetting sometimes. However, another day on earth to try again is the greatest blessing, and we can either wallow in what “could have” been, or we can secure a better chance at what “will be.”

I hope that whatever troubles, obstacles, or disappointments you face this week, you find a way to remember and understand that life’s unexpected moments often lead to something more; often, they lead to exactly where you were supposed to be.

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Time Flies

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It’s been quite awhile since my last blog post; about five months to be exact.  A new school year began, and with my first pregnancy a new season of my life began. While these things are incredibly exciting, I have found myself straying farther and farther from the things I love to do and continuously giving in to stress and deadlines instead. Although I do realize the significance and importance of life’s responsibilities and priorities, I find myself wondering; why do we think we have an unlimited amount of time?

There are many quotes about time, both how fleeting it is and how precious, but the following is my favorite: “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”- Mother Teresa.

It’s interesting how we often do not follow our own advice. I often find myself telling my students things such as “don’t grow up too fast” or “don’t wish the day away.” However, I do the same thing myself. Instead of enjoying the moment I’m in, I often worry and stress about the next moment or event. Instead of enjoying being pregnant, I’m anxious for Thomas to be here. Instead of doing more things I love, like writing, reading, and organizing, I get so overwhelmed that I do nothing or I only do the things I’m required to do.

Why aren’t the things we love to do just as valuable a use of our time as the things we need to do? Surely we are not meant to spend all of our hours working, stressing, planning, and preparing for the next thing. I’ve found that when I take the time, even 30 minutes out of the day, to do something I really enjoy, it enriches everything else I have to do as well. When I take 30 minutes to read a book I love, it makes it so much easier to work on lesson plans or balance my checkbook. When go for a walk, it makes it significantly better later when I have to do laundry and clean.  I know these things, yet I never make doing things that I love a priority.

As I prepare to welcome a child into the world, I want to be a more balanced person. I want to be able to show him that although work, responsibilities, and deadlines are important, there are other aspects of life that mean just as much. If this were my last day, I would hate to think that I spent the entirety of it worrying and running myself ragged. The following is the list of things I plan to do in order to bring myself joy.  I hope you are encouraged to make one yourself, and make sticking to it a goal. Remember, all we have is today.

  • Listen to three new podcast episodes a week.
  • Read for twenty minutes a day (Just like I tell the kids to.)
  • Write a blog post once a week.
  • Spend time outside with Chris and Riddick at LEAST once a week.

The Smallest Things Bring The Greatest Joy 

When you look back on your life, what are the moments that stick out to you as your “most happy?” To me, the small moments are the most significant. 

Thinking back now, I’ve always been a sentimental person who seems to value little moments and little things over everything else. I can remember reading Louis Lamour books with my dad, playing Yahtzee with my mama, and talking to my now husband about how our favorite actor was Bill Murray. Such small moments in the day seem to take up such a big part of my heart. 

This weeks quote is “Small things become great when done with love.” To me, that takes everything I’ve ever experienced in my life about love and happiness and puts it into eight short words. 

This applies to so many parts of my life. For example, in teaching; the little things that kids do for me every day, like give a great answer or help me straighten my room, really make a big impact on my heart. I hope as well that the “small” things I do for them impact them positively for the rest of their lives.  Often we forget that simply helping a friend, giving a smile or compliment, or even a pat on the back can change a person’s life. When small things are done with great love, anything is possible. 
Sometimes we think that we have to do huge, grand acts to change people’s lives, but it’s just not true. We change people’s lives by showing our hearts through small daily acts. We make the world a better place through tiny, purposeful words and actions. If we are lucky, we pass these things down to our kids or the young people around us who look to us for guidance. 

Small things become great when done with love; and small things can grow into something even more amazing when love is  the center of our world. 

Where Logic Ends, Faith Begins.

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It’s amazing how humans have the ability to be both incredibly logical and spiritual at the same time. We know the realities of life, we see the way the world is, and yet those of us who are lucky still have the ability to have faith and hope in things that we cannot see or cannot control.

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the entire ocean does not become dirty.” Isn’t it a magnificent thing to be able to believe in the good in people, even when you see so much bad? To truly believe things are going to be okay, even when everything is going wrong?

I myself have always had the ability to see the best in people; something that has caused me both a lot of heartache and a lot of joy. No matter how many mistakes someone makes, or times they go off path, I always believe they have the inner strength and power to pull out of it and be OKAY. Sometimes it’s not about being the best you that you can be, but sometimes it’s just about figuring out a way to be okay.

This week in the world has caused me to reflect a lot, both on myself as a person and the people I surround myself with. I’ve thought about the “bad” and “good” I’ve seen, and you know what? I really do see a lot more good than bad. I see people holding doors open for each other. Donating money to a family who needs it. Volunteering to help, even when you don’t really have the time or energy. I think about how many times my husband has stopped to help someone with a flat tire or given someone a ride home from work. I see so many people with big hearts and big actions to follow.

It’s very easy to get caught up in how evil the world can be. You see it on the news, and sometimes it feels like its suffocating you. I just want you to remember a few things.

  • For every “bad” act you see, there is a “good” act being done as well. Life balances out.
  • You can only control what you do. Be the change you want to see in the world, and do something good for those around you and yourself.
  • Sometimes good and evil isn’t an even split. There are grey areas. There are many things to be educated on. Educating yourself is the most powerful tool there is.

The day I stop having faith that the world is good and that people can always change, that’s the day to stop trying. A few angry and troubled people don’t make the world what it is. We do.

 

Brittany Bunce

The Power Of “Now”

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When I was younger, I thought quite a lot about how much “better” life would be when I was older. I seemed to believe, as many of us do, that the freedom to make your own decisions is the equivalent of being happy. It was only once I started going through life’s big milestones that I realized it is very easy to get caught up in how much better the “future’ will be, and completely lose the magnitude and joy of the “now”.

That brings me to this week’s quote. You will often here me quote people that inspire me, motivate me, or simply make me laugh. One of my favorites from Amy Poehler is “You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.

When I graduated high school, I was already looking to the next step. I wanted to go to college.When I graduated college, or really even before then, I was thinking about getting my first job. When I got my first job, in my chosen field, I was already thinking about how much more experience I needed and how I wish I could skip the first year and not be so “new” anymore. The point I’m getting at is, it is very easy to look toward the future and completely forgetting about enjoying the moment.

Now don’t get me wrong, it is vital and incredible to have goals (future blog post), but there is a difference in having goals and always believing you have to wait for the better thing around the corner to truly be happy. When you are doubting yourself, comparing yourself to others, and are just generally stressed, you build fantasies in your head about how everything will be better once everything is perfect and you’ve got everything figured out; the secret is, NO ONE ever gets to that point.

We live in a world where people are constantly posting their amazing lives on social media, but are rarely being honest about the hard work and struggles that go along with it. We make ourselves believe that we have to get to the point they are at to be successful. The truth is, every chapter of your life holds an important experience, story, and lesson. It may be a cliché to say “Stop and smell the roses”, but it really is a true sentiment. If I hadn’t stopped to enjoy the little things of the moment, like having dinner with a friend or going to the movies, I would’ve never met my husband. If I hadn’t slowed down to really take in and experience my first year of teaching, I never would have learned invaluable lessons that have made me the educator I am today.

While you’re on the way to reaching your future goals and planning ahead, please do not forget to embrace the beautiful moment that you’re in. Carry with you the realization that every single step we take, and every experience we have, leads us to exactly where we need to be. The journey is often the best part.

 

Brittany Bunce

 

The Challenges We Face

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When thinking about the weak ahead, I started to get an all too familiar feeling-worry. Worry seems to be that creeping feeling that follows us around when we are trying to be positive and face challenges head-on.

I’ve always envied those people who are able to greet challenges with a smiling face. They seem to jump into any opportunity or situation that comes their way with a great attitude and a plan of action. As I’ve gotten older, and especially through my chosen career, I’ve learned to develop skills that enable me to think less pessimistically about challenges, and more optimistically about how I can handle it. However, please understand, it is never easy.

That brings me to the quote for this week: “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all”-Helen Keller. Now to me, this means “If you aren’t being challenged, what’s the point?”

Although challenge can be scary, intimidating, and frustrating, it often has the ability to bring out the best parts of us. When I reflect on my life, every challenge that I have been most anxious about has turned out to be one of my greatest experiences and a pivotal reason why I’ve grown as a person. For example, enrolling in college, learning to drive, starting my teaching career, and even starting this blog. All of these things absolutely scared me to death when I was facing them, yet once I was on the other side they made me a better and more knowledgeable person.

As a teacher, I’m always talking to my students about growth mindset. Yet, as adults, do we display that ourselves? Are we okay with failure, disappointment, and making mistakes, or do we only feel comfortable doing things that we know we will be successful at? Here is my challenge to you this week-do something that makes you uncomfortable! Face a challenge that you may not succeed at, but will be better and wiser for the experience. Let your experiences shape you into the person you want to be. Show the people around you that challenge is a natural and healthy part of life.

I promise that when you set aside feelings of fear and self-doubt, you will reach greater heights than you could ever imagine. And if you fall, just know, I’ll be right there to pick you back up and keep on going.

 

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Brittany Bunce

 

 

 

Words are free, it’s how you use them…

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For as long as I can remember, I understood the boundless potential of words. There have never been too many things I’m certain of, but when I read words on a page or I write down my own, I can feel as though i’m part of a much bigger picture. I feel like I’m having a shared experience.

When I was younger, and still now, I never understood the phrase “Actions speak louder than words.” I understand that many actions have permanent consequences, but words can also hold that same power. I remember two distinct experiences from when I was little, both with different consequences, and both were initiated through just a few words.

When I was in middle school, I remember a neighbor of mine who was around the same age as me being bullied on the bus. One of the children told her, “You’re dirty because you live in a trailer.” She absorbed that information, and undoubtedly carried it around with her for a lifetime. However, the short term consequences were a bad day and many tears. On the other end of the spectrum, I too lived in a trailer. I was from the same neighborhood. Yet, what I can remember most is what one teacher said to me. She said, “You can be anything you want with your kind heart.” It didn’t matter where I came from, or who I was. Her positive words made me believe that I mattered, and I was capable of anything.

This brings me to the purpose of this blog, and where I am in my life. I’m in my 3rd year as a teacher, happily married, and working towards being the best version of myself that I can be. I feel like i’m in a place to share my thoughts and experiences in an effort to help others. I want to take quotes that others have crafted, and analyze those quotes to understand the human experience and emphasize that we all are much more alike than different.

If you’re interested in going on this journey with me, I’ll be making a post once a week. Feel free to share some of your favorite quotes with me, and I may choose to write about one of them. This is a place to feel included, important, and most importantly, understood. This is a big step for me and a true dream, and I want to share it with you.

As Albus Dumbledore said, “Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” I would have to say I wholeheartedly agree.

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Brittany Bunce