Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day Reminder

Do you have strong feelings about who wins the presidential election? Are you vocal about it on social media? Have you created riffs between yourself and the people around you because you have demented their opinions in order to make your own look better?

. . . Trust me, we all know. 

This entire year and then some has been a whirlwind of political conjecture and arguing over social media. I told myself I wouldn't get involved, but I think it's about time I allow myself to chime in on this particularly dramatic Election Day.

As a citizen of the United States of America, you're allowed to express yourself and to vote for whichever candidate you please. What I don't see in the Constitution is the constant judgement and adversity that too many people have been dishing out onto those who (God forbid) have a differing opinion on who they want to vote for. 

In fact, this election has been all too reminiscent of a professional football game to me. Screaming and shouting on behalf of fans who are cheering for opposing sides while slinging slews of vulgarities at each other  for no concrete reason other than to get their point across. What will these actions do to impact the outcome of the game? Short answer: nothing.

Sure, we all have different opinions and there's nothing wrong with that! If we didn't, we wouldn't be much of a functional country. I'm stressing the importance of being respectful of the opinions of others, because we're all just trying to vote for who we think can represent this country that we all love and cherish. 

We all want to do what we think is best for America. While you're entering the booths to cast your vote today, remember that you're all Americans practicing your rights. Whether you're for Hillary, Trump, Stein or whomever —you're all people who make up our country. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Matthew Shepard: The Memory That Lives On

Sixteen years ago on a freezing night in 1998, Matthew Shepard was on his way home in Laramie, Wyoming when he decided to accept a ride from two men. Unbeknownst to Shepard, he accepted a ride from his killers. He was beaten, tied to a fence and left for dead until a cyclist found him eighteen-hours later and alerted the police.

Shepard was in a coma when the police arrived -- the only places that his face wasn't covered in blood were the small trails running down his face, created by his tears. He remained in a coma upon arrival to the hospital, where doctors learned that he had suffered severe trauma to his brain stem which left his body unable to regulate many functions and that it was too risky to operate.

At 12:53 a.m. on October 12, 1998, Shepard died in the hospital.

For those of you who aren't familiar with this story, I'm sure that you're left with one lingering question above all: why would these two men seek out to kill Shepard?

The answer? Because he was gay.

The tragedy surrounding Shepard's death was induced because of his sexuality and because he chose to live his life freely. While the death of such a bright soul like Shepard's is devastating, it's even more disheartening to know that this kind of disturbing behavior still happens in the world today.

Take what happened with the shooting in the Orlando night club this summer, for instance. 49 people lost their lives while 53 others were injured by one man filled with so much hatred that he chose to murder people who were living freely - as they should be - in a gay night club.

Yesterday was National Coming Out Day, but there are still so many hearts in the world who choose not to come out any day because they feel that they won't feel safe or accepted if they choose to do so. My own heart goes out to Shepard's family and friends on this mournful anniversary, and also to those who are feel that they cannot unveil their true selves in today's world.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Error in Trying to Make Everyone Happy


I actually had a completely different mindset for what I was going to write about today, but I found this ominously titled blank post in my drafts. Irony has a funny way of sneaking up on me most days, but this is one topic that I probably relate the most to right now. In some ways, I feel like I'm about to write this all out more so for myself than for others. Regardless, I'm sure that I'm not the only one who can take a lesson out of this.

It's an impossible feat to set your sight on making each and every person happy. You're in control of your life and what you want to do, no matter how much good you want to do unto others. You have a brain, believe it or not, and it's about damn time you get to think for yourself. If you realize that you're trying to impress someone more than taking care of yourself, it might be time to check your priorities.

It. Is. Okay. To. Say. NO. Becoming wrapped up in trying to please anyone is probably near the top of a long list of my biggest faults. I've dealt with a lot (and I'm still dealing with some, sigh) very manipulative people who will make me feel like shit if I don't get dinner with them or text them back right away. It's more than okay to have different agendas and to hang out with different people. If you've been dealing with someone who has been a toxic influence in your life, it might be time to cut the cord.

It's your life -- point blank. Stay focused on keeping yourself happy before you invest all of your time and effort into those around you. No matter how important someone is to you, you're only human. There's only so much you can do for others, and it's your right to be able to make your own decisions.

Friday, August 12, 2016

August 2016's "Summer Set"

If you took the time to read my last post, then you might recall that I mentioned creating a "Summer Set" with some of my favorite gems in life at the moment. As promised, here's a little list that I've compiled. Be sure to be on the lookout for some more blog posts, including a set for every month!

1. Starbucks' Purple Drink

Okay. I already know how "basic" this sounds from the title of the item alone, but HEAR ME OUT. This is probably one of the greatest things that I have ever ordered from Starbucks, and it's the perfect refresher on any hot day. Simply order an Iced Passion Tango Tea and ask for soy milk instead of water, a few pumps of vanilla syrup, and blackberries. You definitely won't regret it.

2. Stephen King's It

I'm obviously behind on the trends here, but this read falls under the category of "oldie, but a goodie." I bought this book a while ago, never got around to reading it, and rediscovered it when I was cleaning my disaster of a room one day. If you're into thrillers, mysteries, and anything to do with Stephen King, I highly recommend this for you. (If you have a fear of clowns though, maybe don't read it.) There's a remake of the 1990 film coming out in 2017 too, in case you needed another reason to read it.

3. Post Malone

Ordinarily, I've been more of an indie/chillout type of music person. My best friend got Justin Bieber tickets for her birthday and chose to take me as her plus one, and Post Malone was one of the opening acts at the concert. He was honestly probably the realest act of the night and actually acted like he wanted to be there (unlike Moxie Raia or even Justin Bieber himself). If you've heard his single "White Iverson" and enjoyed it, check out some of his other songs, like "Go Flex" and "Too Young."

4. Lilly Pulitzer

I'm a huge sucker for organization when it comes to planning out my life. This year's Lilly Pulitzer planners have everything that you need for the Type A side to your personality. It even includes two of the cutest sheets of stickers filled with potential events, like "long weekend" and "date night," to stick on days and to make your week a look little more fun. The whole planner is filled with popping watercolor-like images, so even if you opt not to use the stickers, it's still super chic. (Side note: They have a planner with little gold elephants all over it, which is obviously the one that I bought with my elephant obsession and all. Seriously. Give them your money ASAP.)

5. NYX Lip Lingerie
This is probably my favorite lip product of all time. NYX Lingerie is a silky and rich color available in 12 different nude shades. It stays on for a lot longer than most products, and it's super lightweight with a matte finish. My personal go-to shades are Corset and Push-Up, but make sure to buy them according to what you love the most!

Keep on the lookout for my fall set, and many more frequent posts to come. Until next time!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Curse of Abandoned Blog Syndrome

It's often inevitable -- life catapults us into chaos and busyness, leaving us to fend for ourselves. Unfortunately, might also result in the abandonment of the smaller things that occupy our time. In my case, my wonderful blog has been one of the unfortunate fallen victim to the dreadful curse.

With summer approaching August already, look out for my "Summer Set" post within the next day or two! I'll have my personal selection of books, music, movies and more for you to incorporate into your last few weeks of relaxation. Who knows? Maybe you'll find that perfect read or Netflix binge that you've been looking for!

Besides that, be on the lookout for some of my ramblings. Things are crazy in the world right now (thus the necessity to bold, underline, and italicize that word), and I think that's time for me to vice my opinion on this platform. Until next time!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Let It Be

Sometimes, the inevitable comes knocking at our door when we least expect it. We are catapulted into the unknown before we have even a moment's notice to brace ourselves for the impending impact. Life happens, and there isn't always something that we can do about it.

Whether we choose to accept it or not, the path to happiness and success isn't always straight and narrow road. As people, we are guaranteed to experience failure, heartbreak, and uncertainty at some point in time. It's the way that we choose to deal with it that determines the strength of our true character.

As hard as we try to understand why some things happen or how they could possibly alter our lives for the better, we can't. We don't always have the answers and might not be able to find them, no matter how many years we spend studying for every possible class in our undergrad careers. Things might fall apart so that you can put yourself back together in the most important part of your life.

Life is a painful, mad, curious, beautiful thing to experience. Opportunities are everywhere -- it's just up to you to throw yourself out there, into the dark of the unknown and discover what lies ahead. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Gender Equality in the Global Educational System

Today, I woke up as I do every other day: In my dorm room at my university, where I am able to take classes and study for my degree with the rest of my friends. What is the catch? I am a girl.
It is difficult knowing that there are countries all over the world where women are discouraged from earning an education and are unable to learn in a school environment. Where women are looked down upon, beaten, and murdered for wanting to obtain a fundamental right that I often take for granted in the United States.

If you are not familiar with Malala Yousafzai, she is an eighteen-year old Pakistani who was shot in the head on a school bus one day because she wanted to go to school. To learn. To practice a right that should be available to both boys and girls.

One of my greatest passions is speaking out on behalf of women and gender equality. In lieu of this, I figured that now would be the perfect time to share some of my feminist views here.

Today, I woke up as I do every other day: in my dorm room at my university, where I am able to take classes and study for my degree with the rest of my friends. What’s the catch? I’m a girl.

It’s difficult knowing that there are countries all over the world where women are discouraged from earning an education and are unable to learn in a school environment. Looked down upon, beaten, and murdered for wanting to obtain a fundamental right that I often take for granted in the United States.

 Despite being critically injured, she survived and speaks on behalf of women all over the world today who struggle with not being allowed to attend school or who are looked down upon for being a female. Malala is not only a survivor - she is a warrior. She fights on behalf of women all over the world, including me, when she advocates for equal rights.

I find it heartbreaking that a young girl had to nearly die in order to learn about different subjects, simply because she was not a boy.

In America, one of the biggest issues that women have to worry about in high schools is their dress code. I find this topic to be an important issue as well, with administration claiming that showing too much shoulder is “distracting to the boys,” in some situations. I am an advocate for girls to be able to feel comfortable in their clothing, and not have to go and change their clothes in the middle of an important class so that the boys are able to learn.

 Regardless, there is no gender discrimination about who gets to learn. Both boys and girls of all ages have an equal opportunity to receive an education in the subjects they are passionate about and want to study.

Women aren’t allowed to learn in many places besides Pakistan, including Nepal, Afghanistan. Guatemala, Egypt, Haiti, and Papa New Guinea.

Suppression of basic rights is something that is easily taken for granted in a privileged society like America. We complain about having to wake up early for class, writing a long essay, or studying for tests when we’d much rather be doing something else.

I can be just as guilty when it comes to not wanting to do certain things, until I remember how fortunate I am. I don’t have to fear about earning an education, or even walking down the street simply because of my gender.

I am nineteen-years old. I am a woman. And I am thankful everyday that I am able to go to school and learn.