If you REALLY know me and my views on life, then you know my low-key obsession with cups.
I mean yes, I love those coffee cups with their ~inspirational~ quotes and I love my $1 cherry blossom cups I recently bought from Dollar Tree…BUT my obsession doesn’t come from a tangible sense, it comes from a metaphorical sense. I believe that “cups” can be used on a daily basis to describe life and how we should live it.
We’ve all heard the classic saying “glass half-full vs. glass half-empty” when describing an optimist vs. pessimist view towards certain situations. Personal opinion here, but I truly believe if you choose to see each moment given to you with a CUP half-full mentality…each and every day is going to reveal all sorts of joys/wonders (I am a self-proclaimed optimist, can you tell?).
Are you overshadowing someone’s bliss by your negative attitude? Would your days be different if you highlighted the good and left the bad in the past? Not only is it important for you to create and maintain this positive outlook, but attitudes are contagious. You never know whose day you’re impacting by your words and actions.
“Every day might not be a good day, but there is good in every day.” I was challenged this past year to write down one positive thing I took away from each day. They varied from “wow today the weather was so AWESOME” to “I ate Taco Bell today…heck yes” to “today I had a really intentional conversation with a friend.”
This daily ritual began to alter how I viewed the entirety of the day. I started noticing all the immense gifts in each day, small or large, that made me smile. Happiness is this really cool thing where everyone has their own take on the question “what fills up your cup?” I challenge you to answer that question and start implementing those things in your daily routine.
Is it going for a long run? Catching up with a friend? Listening to a jammin’ song with the windows rolled down? (If so, let me come with). But it doesn’t matter what floats your boat, as long as you start doing these things in your daily life routine.
Obviously some days feel like they can drag on forever, but I challenge you to find the joy and soak up the days. And if you’re having a bad day, remember my favorite quote, “the days are long, but the years are short.”
One of the best things that life brings us is the opportunity to create relationships with others. In my opinion, interactions with others will FILL up your hypothetical cup the most.
Relationships create a whole new mindset behind the idea of cups. Essentially I’ve learned that everyone has their own unique, individual and beautiful type of cup. Cups differ in many ways; color, shape, size, purpose, etc.
For example, you probably aren’t going to use a wine glass for your morning coffee (but if you do, I respect you big time because you do you, homie.) Taking that in a literal sense, just like cups have purposes, you as an individual too have been placed on this earth with a purpose. And see, no two cups are alike so no two people are meant for the same purpose!
If you’ve found yourself barely staying afloat in the never ending questioning of purpose, you’re not alone. All throughout my life, especially my first two years of college, I struggled with this concept to the extreme. One night in particular I was feeling extra drained and just really down on myself. I wasn’t happy with who I was becoming or the decisions I was making. In my terminology, my personal “cup” was as empty as it could be.
I was walking back to my apartment when I was handed a water bottle from a stranger. Attached to the bottle was a note that said, “Your Life Has Purpose.”
A million thoughts raced through my mind like, “Why does this random person think that I, Darby Miller, have purpose?” or “they don’t even know me or all the mistakes I’ve made…how could they think I have a purpose?” I doubted myself completely. I doubted my worth.
Too much in society, we forget our worth, our value, our purpose to this world. We let insecurities and others tear us down from what we really are in His eyes…perfect. I know there are going to be moments in your life where life doesn’t seem to be going your way or you feel like you’re going down the wrong path BUT…I can promise you this…your life has a purpose…a MAJOR purpose!
Don’t let anyone or anything try to tell you differently because you are a special, unique, beautiful cup that has been created in His image and your capabilities are infinite.
It took a simple gesture of a water bottle to realize my worth. In DJ Khaled terms, the “key to success” isn’t always going to be right in front of you lit up in lights saying, “Hey you! This is how you’re going to do everything and then it’ll all be alright!”
Your purpose is a journey. Your purpose is constantly evolving. Your purpose will surprise you with new ideas and experiences.
Today is the day. Today I challenge you to see that each day and each person is a precious gift. I challenge you to embrace ALL the abilities you were given no matter the circumstances.
And above all else, I challenge you to remember that you have a really cool creator who loves you immensely. So may your cup be filled to the brim and may you have the ability to fill up others’ cups with His love.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be FILLED to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19
My junior year at Georgia Southern University was coming to a close and already I was coming down with the early symptoms of the massive plague that is Senioritis. For those unaware, senioritis is defined by the internet dictionary as “a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.”
As illegitimate as it seems, senioritis can be a very real thing for any student finishing up their last year of schooling. After three years of last-minute studying, panic-inducing homework, and tear-inducing grades, many students come up on their senior year feeling either worn out to the point of detachment, or anxious to the brink of depression about the future ahead.
I was feeling very much the same way as junior semester ended and I was looking into internships and post-college job opportunities with little motivation and a lot of anxiety. Something had to be done. As silly as it may sound, something clicked deep within my subconscious and the next day I remembered Jim Carrey’s 2008 movie, Yes Man. A movie based on the premise that saying “yes” to everything opens up more positive and rewarding experiences in life.
Obviously I wasn’t going to say “yes” to literally everything asked of me, but I realized that over the course of three years at the university, I had certainly learned the power of “no” a little too well. No, I do not want to go Claire’s party on a Tuesday. No, professor, I don’t have time to go to French club’s meetings on Fridays. No, I can’t volunteer on Saturday mornings.
The practice had left me feeling more drained and pessimistic about life. Moreover, I was missing out on the things that made college exciting in the first place. So I challenged myself to never be too tired for anything, and to accept nearly all the invitations that floated my way. This included giving rides to my friends who didn’t have cars and attending more school-sponsored events.
Less than a week later, I was zipping around from place to place like a chicken with its head cut off – it was exhilarating. Every day was new and exciting. I sang, poorly, in the French talent show and scored major points with my Conversational French professor.
I was a trixie in the city’s shadow cast performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and got to throw condoms out to the audience. I accepted a summer internship in Savannah for a political campaign and fell in love with the city immediately. By the time my senior semester ended, I had written for three separate organizations, corresponded with the talented poet Stephen Burt, performed and happily embarrassed myself in two big dance competitions, and cemented stronger connections with my professors and friends guaranteed to last a lifetime.
My advice to anyone catching senioritis, or anyone that finds themselves in a slump, is to challenge yourself to say yes more. Push yourself, even when you’re feeling tired, to go out and do something–anything. The momentum of energy will carry itself to all other aspects of your life and leave you feeling more motivated, more happy, and less afraid.