Me? Sarcastic? Never.

Have you ever met that one person that just had to say a sarcastic comment about everything? Yea, I thought so. Sarcasm is one of those types of humor you either like or you don’t. As a kid, I hated sarcasm. My dad used it sparingly and always correctly, but I still hated it. Why can’t we just be straight forward with everything we say? I would ask. However, living in the irony saturated 21st century that we do, I adapted. Sarcasm was kinda fun… why not use it? 

If you asked the people in my life if I use sarcasm much, you would get very different answers. Most people would say I use it sparingly, others might say I drown every conversation with it. Why is this? What makes me want to use it more with certain people? What about in certain situations? When is it appropriate? Is sarcasm ever appropriate

Sarcasm as a term comes from the Greek word σαρκασμός (sarkasmós) which is taken from σαρκάζειν (sarkázein) meaning “to tear flesh, bite the lip in rage, sneer.” Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, “a sharp utterance designed to cut or give pain.” Oscar Wilde wrote, “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit but highest form of intelligence.” Intelligence or not, communication experts (and common sense) typically advise to stay away from this particular form of expression. If the definition doesn’t give it away, sarcasm is almost always laced with criticism. In one laboratory study, participants read scenarios in which, for instance, (1) one person did something that could be viewed negatively, such as smoking, and (2) a second person commented on the behavior to the first person, either literally (“I see you don’t have a healthy concern for your lungs”) or sarcastically (“I see you have a healthy concern for your lungs”). Participants rated sarcasm to be more condemning than literal statements.

Tell it to someone who cares.

Well, aren’t you special.

Keep rolling your eyes. Maybe you’ll find a brain back there. 

I majored in liberal arts. Will that be for here or to go?

Not the brightest crayon in the box now, are we?

I don’t mean to use sarcasm as much as I do. And when I do, very rarely is it because I’m trying to be funny and get attention. Sarcasm is a defense mechanism. When I use it, it is more often than not because the other person has caught me off guard and I try to make up for it. Whether it’s a professor or a romantic interest, I’m either trying to impress or protect. If nothing serious is ever said, can any serious hurt happen?

On the flipside of this gloomy soapbox I’ve gotten on, sarcasm is an intricate part of the English language and can actually be helpful. Scientists who have monitored the electrical activity of the brains of test subjects exposed to sarcastic statements have found that brains have to work harder to understand sarcasm. That extra work makes our brains sharper. In a recent study, College students in Israel listened to complaints to a cellphone company’s customer service line. The students were better able to solve problems creatively when the complaints were sarcastic as opposed to just plain angry. Sarcasm “appears to stimulate complex thinking and to attenuate the otherwise negative effects of anger,” according to the study authors. More interestingly, people who engage in a sarcastic conversation fare better on creativity tasks. The processes involved in initiating and delivering a sarcastic comment improves the creativity and cognitive functioning of both the commenter and the recipient.

So… sarcasm inflicts pain 90% of the time and is laced with criticism, but at the same time it can help solve problems quicker and points to a higher functioning mind – a.k.a. intelligence. What?

The bottom line is: trust. Sarcasm is fun and can spice up any conversation, but if you use it with someone you trust it will be less conflict provoking and if something is taken the wrong way or out of context – you can talk through it.

Given the negative effects of sarcasm, keep your salty comments limited to conversations with those you know well.

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Entry From A Journal

Tuesday, May 23rd 2017

People are fickle things. One minute they’re there, and the next, they’re not. That’s okay. I’m okay with it. It’s just a fact of humanity and I can’t change it. I’m not willing, however, to give up MY humanity or the beauty of my soul by not trusting people.  It doesn’t matter who it is. It could be a lover, a partner, a friend, or a family member. People will ALWAYS let you down because people suck. No one is perfect and I know that first hand.

That’s not going to stop me from falling in love, or making new friends, or getting attached, or starting new relationships. The truth is, I will get attached and always do. Why then? Why do I risk letting someone destroy me?

Because there is hope. Because I have hope.

I am not alone. Eventually, admist all the pain I experience, because I refuse to let the fire in my soul die, I will find someone. Perhaps not just one, but many.

THAT is what makes trust worth it. THAT is why I refuse to let my trust issues get in the way of my life. THAT is why there is hope.

 

Grievances Of An 18 Year Old

Inspired by her work with terminally ill patients, Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss psychiatrist, formulated the five stages of grief. More commonly known as the Kubler-Ross Model, Kubler-Ross postulated a series of emotions that terminally ill patients experience prior to death, or what others go through after losing a loved one. The five proposed emotions, or “stages,” are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

My grieving period has started and it sucks.

No, no, no. I’m not terminally ill and busy writing out my will as my last breath quickly approaches (though, I might should get started on that…). In August I’ll be moving a few hours away and things have hit me hard all of a sudden. For the past 18 years of my life, this has been my home. My life is here. My family is here. My soulmate is here. I’m not losing loved one; I’m losing a lot of loved ones.

Every turn I take there is a different memory.

That’s where my car died in traffic. 

That’s where I pulled over and bawled my eyes out. 

That’s where my mother had her wedding. 

That’s where my Nana met an attractive young fella named “Adam” that has yet to be found again. 

That’s the bench I sat on listening to someone pour their soul out to me, confused and lost. 

That’s where I made one of the hardest phone calls of my life. 

Those are the rose bushes I used to hide behind when I played hide & seek with my dad as a kid. 

That’s where I saw my first snowfall in Alabama. 

That’s where we made the stupid desicion of going to the beach in January and practically got hypothermia. 

I know new memories can be made, and they will, but it doesn’t erase the memories I have already gained. I’m turning the page and starting a new chapter in my life. It’s exciting, but also makes me fearful and sad.

Why fear? Because the unkown is a scary place.

Why sadness? Because the love I have for this place and these people is so very deep.

Nevertheless, I’ve worked my hardest and given my all to get to this point in my life. I’m ready for what life throws at me. À vaillant coeur rien d’impossible.

 

 

 

At This Place

Because of where I’m at in life, 2017 has been absolutely insane and is only going to get crazier. Things are constantly changing and I’m always on the go. Gotta get ready for this, gotta study for that, gotta perform over there, gotta work at 1:00, gotta teach at 5:00. It’s a lot of “gotta’s” – am I right?  

It’s really easy to get overwhelmed when so many things are happening at once. There’s been a lot of times when I’ve just wanted to shut down and pretend like none of it was happening. Procrastinate until the day of and deal with the repercussions later. (Procrastination is not a good defense mechanism, by the way. I would not suggest..)

Thankfully, I have some pretty good coping skills and am a very “Type A” person, so rather than delay and try to escape everything, I just stress myself out until the job is done. And then I stress myself out even more when I don’t have anything left to do because my name is Devin and I am not a logical person.

I’ve grown so much this year. I can’t even to begin to describe to you how much I’ve grown. If you know me personally, I would hope you could see the change, or at least sense the internal change. Outwardly, not much is different. I still wear yoga pants 6 out of 7 days of the week and wear my hair up in a bun like a boss

I’m not going to lie, the past few years have been a struggle. They’ve been hard. From a psychological/developmental standpoint, the things I’ve gone through might seem tame or even normal, but that didn’t make the pain any less dull. Thoughts can be very dangerous things. Someone once told me that in order to be a well-balanced person and be at a constant in life, you have to experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Well, I did. I have some great memories flooded with warm feeling emotions as I think back to the highs of these past years. I also haven’t lost sight of what it’s like to be in a low. It’s dark and lonely, and it seems like there is no possible way out.

The place where I’m at now, it’s a good one. Filled with peace and consistency. It’s not a total plateau, but more of a middle ground that I’ve learned to stay near. I still have my hard days, but admist the chaos I’m still at peace. Who knew that could even happen?

If you know anyone in life right now going through a hard time, please don’t give up on them. This is when they need you the most. No, they don’t need you to tell them “This is God’s will,” “I’m so sorry,” or “I completely understand.” You don’t understand. Even if you’ve gone through the very same thing, everyone’s circumstances and reactions are different. Simply be there. Sit there, listen to them half drown in their tears as they ramble on and on about how this could, “only be described as a nightmare.” At that point, they don’t need someone to talk to them and most definitely not preach at them. They need you to simply listen.

Be there.

 

/CHānj/

I like change. It’s a phenomenon in life that I’ve come to embrace. You can do everything in your power to make sure nothing changes, but it always will. Why not accept it? The cells in each of our bodies die and have to replace themselves as quickly as each and every day. Down to the microscopic level, we are always changing and the sooner one accepts that, the better.

I started this blog almost two years ago, and I’ve changed a lot since. I’m still “me,” but I think differently and I look at the world differently.

So… I deleted all my posts and am starting fresh, with a renewed mind and spirit. I never started this blog for other people to read. It was made for myself to have a creative outlet and try the whole “writer” thing, since I enjoy it. Along the way, however, I’ve received various comments and emails from certain individuals, sharing their own struggles and passions and it’s been a really neat thing to watch.  What? You struggle with perfectionism, too? I thought I was the only one..

People are a lot more than just what you see on the surface. There is depth, and in that depth there is turmoil and depression. Unseen anger. Desire. Struggles you could have never imagined that person dealt with. Circumstances they’ve gone through that you can only comprehend as a nightmare. Why do we make these assumptions? Why do we take one glance at someone’s Instagram page and say, “Man, I wish I could be them. They look so happy and perfect.”

Writing discards assumptions. In writing you can’t judge someone based on the clothes they wear or the way they talk. Writing is pure. It’s words straight from a persons soul.

This is my soul.