This blog post was written by Beatrice Rivera, our Campus Ambassador from Rutgers University.
Last semester in the Lauren Berger Book Club, we read Kelly Cutrone’s “Normal Gets You Nowhere.” If you haven’t taken part of Lauren Berger’s Career Center on www.thecopia.com yet, you should do so as soon as possible -- I have found great inspiration through the books she has chosen for the group to read. While reading “Normal Gets You Nowhere,” I found myself highlighting notes in every passage, growing through everything Cutrone wrote. As I finished the book, everything sunk in and I found myself in awe of how real Cutrone is, and how nothing was sugar-coated. Her words prompted me to change a few things in my life, and I hope these things are able to motivate you, too. I encourage you to pick up the book and see for yourself!
1.“What matters to you, and what do you celebrate?” – Kelly Cutrone
Cutrone has inspired me to create my own holidays that I can share with my family and friends. Why not celebrate the things we love and cherish the most?
Just last month, our family got together for our very own Tie-Dye Day. We each created our own tie-dyed t-shirts, something we’ve never done. While everyone fought for various colors, I sat back and enjoyed watching my mother bring out the kid in her, and how excited my friends and cousins were about designing their shirts. Everyone was happy, everyone was together -- mission accomplished! Celebrate things that matter to you and create your own holidays with your friends and families. Once you’ve started, who knows who might feel inspired to spread the positivity and create a holiday of his or her own!
2.”We’ve been desensitized by the thousands of choices capitalism presents us on a daily basis.” –Kelly Cutrone
It is so easy to get sucked into what the media portrays as newsworthy. It’s something I am guilty of, too. I was always so accepting of whatever a news outlet said, never seeking their sources or finding out the truth. Now I’ve learned to become unspun from the media or what I feel has been filtered. I am making efforts to become more aware of what is going on around the world, and not just in the US. I question and research everything that is being told to me by the media because I want the entire truth; I want to hear both sides of a story. Most importantly, I have learned to develop my own point-of-view after doing my share of research. Cutrone has reminded me that our voices matter and how it is okay if our opinions aren’t like everyone else’s because it “probably means you’re on the right track.”
3.”I now believe that in order to have a balanced life, you have to do something every week for other people or your community- that making a difference should be on par with making love or making money.” –Kelly Cutrone
This quote struck a chord in my heart, waking me up and alerting me to take action. Thanks to Cutrone, I’m now searching for volunteer opportunities at my town’s animal shelter and donating to nonprofit organizations that help animals and shelters in need -- it’s something I’m very passionate about.
I have always been passionate about helping others but it was heightened when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer. I was a wreck but my main focus was: “How can I help my mother?” “What can I do to make her happy?” “What can I do to let her know that she is not alone in this battle?” I registered for the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure in Central Park, New York City with a group, but I wasn’t satisfied enough. So I surprised her with her very own surprise benefit dinner at our home. Our house was decorated in pink ribbon decorations -- from the tablecloths, banners, plates, napkins, even her cake was in the shape of a pink ribbon with “we love you” written in white icing. As soon as she stepped through the door, I placed a “survivor” sash around her and we all enjoyed the night.
4.”What we can do on our own is important, but what we can achieve by working together is even greater and absolutely necessary.” –Kelly Cutrone
This goes hand in hand with #3. Cutrone has motivated me to work as a team rather than doing things alone when it comes to great causes. When getting people you know involved with something you’re passionate about, you might open their eyes and make a difference. It may even inspire them to make a change in something they believe in. When I registered for the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure in New York City, my goal was to fundraise $1000. Mind you, I registered in late July and the walk was scheduled the first week of September -- yikes! Luckily, two of my co-workers were touched by my mother’s story and decided to help me fundraise. By the end of August, we had reached $1,200, all thanks to their help!
5.”The truth is, if we keep running away from everyone who hurts us or betrays us, we will ultimately end up alone.” –Kelly Cutrone
Cutrone has inspired me to let go of any grudges I’ve had. The negative energy isn’t worth it and no one benefits from it! I’ve learned to connect on deeper levels with my closest friends because I want them to know they are important to me just as I am to them -- even if we are busy with school, internships, and part-time jobs. As Cutrone says, “We need to tend seriously to our friendships on all levels -- physical, social, emotional, psychic, and spiritual.”