It’s December. Which means that amidst the glare of garland, bright lights, and incessant cheer / holiday drama, is the moment to review the past year.
Perhaps 2016 more than in others in the recent past, is closing with evidence of its struggle –– bruises, wounds, and fresh scars. Pain.
It can be easy to spend time placing the blame on whomever you think made 2016 such a raging dumpster fire.
I say, fuck that. Here’s a better idea.
This time of year, instead of pointing fingers at those around you, go inward. Use this moment to make yourself accountable for your role in 2016, and begin planning your part in 2017. We all deserve a share of the mess.
'Tis the season for… horrifying videos of people fighting over manipulated sale price items at their local Target.
Yes, the holiday season brings about some of the strangest things. (Starbucks cups, anyone?)
And given the current climate here in 2016, it can be tempting to give up on the idea of anything good happening from here until the new year.
BUT, there is one international day I like: #GivingTuesday.
Haven't heard about this hashtagged holiday of sorts yet? Here’s what you need to know.
For the hypochondriacs among us, WebMD covers a fair amount of ailments we might feasibly incur.
Culture shock didn’t make the cut.
Yet, the term gets thrown around as if it’s a common and treatable issue, like air sickness or jet lag.
I’ll be honest, before my first ever trip abroad, I did not understand what this mythical culture shock was. I envisioned myself experiencing real shock — body tensed up, a look of horror upon my face, not speaking –– the works. As if moving to a new country for a few months would cause all my functions to freeze up, rendering me nonfunctional.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I learned that culture shock isn’t any of those things. In fact, it doesn’t really resemble anything you would call your family doctor about.
Ultimately, culture shock looks different to every person, but some symptoms might look familiar to frequent travelers and nomads.
So, what is culture shock? And what is the antidote?
"You are unique and special, like an individual snowflake with an intricate design. Simply by existing, you have stunned the world with your majesty. You are a gift to the universe."
Let’s pause for a quick quiz:
Is this quote...
A. A line from a Hallmark greeting card
B. A motivational poster
C. A poem written by a teenager with a mediocre grasp of similes
D. A popular mantra perpetuated by society
If you guessed D...
Bing bing bing!
Thanks to affirmations like the one above, many people seem to believe that they are in fact beautiful and rare, like said magical snowflake.
Enter, Special Snowflake Syndrome, or in other words, the belief that you––unlike all the other zombie trolls out there––have been gifted with a magic essence that makes you different. That somehow you are, by virtue of being alive, a unicorn of a person––majestic and rare.
But what does it really take to be remarkable?
It’s 11 AM on a Sunday morning –– hangover o'clock. You could really go for some waffles. And eggs. And sausage. Covered in syrup. Not to mention bottomless coffee brought to you every five minutes.
Visions of your favorite hometown diner fill your head. It’s got a name like Ruby’s or Charlie’s or Stan’s.
You roll over in bed and peer out the window –– to see a skyline full of buildings and signs with another language written on them. You’re in a place where cutesy diners like the ones your stomach is calling out for don’t exist.
You slump back down under the covers and daydream of home.
Perpetual travelers and nomads often come to a head with the homesickness beast here and there. Sometimes it’s the yearning for a particular person or place. Other times, it’s food.
Even though you can’t make that breakfast place of childhood appear out of thin air, there are some things you can do to quell the pangs when they come a-knockin’:
Let's change the world.
Who wrote this?
Gina Edwards, Impact Explorer founder and lover of all pun jokes, making a positive change in the world, Stephen Colbert, Jif Peanut Butter, and staying inside on rainy days. Order may vary.