Love Wins

Love

Two days ago on June 26th, 2015 gay marriage was legalized in America. So what is it like to be in America today?

Well, lets just say that there are a lot of positive thoughts surrounding this topic. Finally, a basic right has been met.

Now I’m not really one to put my opinion out there because I believe we live in a world where people find it so hard to coexist with others that do not share their own opinion. Agreeing to disagree or entertaining the opinions of others without believing them seems nearly impossible for some.

With that being said, her we go…

Personally, I am very happy for this change in history, because I can confidently say that on June 26th, 2015 I was on the right side of history. Two days ago millions of Americans were given the right to marriage, which in turn means that they are given the right for their love to be recognized.

This is the right side of history because instead of discriminating against people for being different, we have made one of the biggest moves towards tolerance.

But this is what confuses me. In the midst of what I believe should be a joyful moment for a minorities gain of a fundamental right, there are many people that just don’t think it’s enough.

For the ones who disagree with this Supreme Court ruling, this post isn’t for you; I understand but do not support your point of view. But I am talking to the people who think this isn’t enough.

Recently I have seen a bunch of posts, political cartoons,etc. talking about, “Now if they could just legalize being black in America…”

I get the idea of pushing the government to remember that there are other troubles in America that need to be recognized as well. Trust me when I say, as a black female living in America, I definitely understand where these posts are coming from. But my thoughts towards these posts come from a different perspective.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and when it comes to America and it’s progress in accepting minorities whether they are minorities in race, gender, sexual preference, etc. well I would say Rome wasn’t build in a millennium. With that being said, though the progress is slow, we are making progress nonetheless.

I would also say that it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. “Legalize being black in America.” Yes I get it that, though it is legal to be black in America, most of the time it doesn’t feel that way. But just as people of color encounter this the LGBTQ community will still encounter a set of their own problems.

Gay marriage is legal now, but that doesn’t take away people’s thoughts towards gay people. If someone didn’t like the ideas of gay people and gay marriage before June 26, 2015, I don’t expect them to be gay marriages biggest supporter on June 27th, 2015 or honestly any time soon after that.

Being black in America has been legal for years and we still encounter problems. Being gay in America has been legal and now being gay and married in America has been legal as of two days ago, yet there will still be people who are not in support of LGBTQ rights.

I’m sure gay people will have those days where they feel like saying, “Now only if they can legalize being LGBTQ in America.”

So while the papers are signed and a new and wonderful law has been passed, only so much has changed.

Sometimes America doesn’t fall short because of it’s government (even though they play a large part), it falls short because of it’s citizens, and if you put the two together you get what we have today.

I’m happy for the progress America made on June 26th, 2015, but I like everyone else I am not sold on it.

I am not only asking for the fair treatment of blacks but the fair treatment of every minority.

Advertisements

Gratitude

Gratitude

“You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”

Growing up that was a common saying in my house hold; thankfulness and gratitude were lessons that my parents preached over and over again. This past weekend I was able to revisit those lessons when I got a chance to visit them.

If you know me you know I’m never home, and if you know me even better you know that “home” isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.

Ever since I graduated form high school I can confidently say that I have only been home a total of 4 months in 2 and a half years. With this being said, I have realized that while my definition of home used to be Atlanta, Georgia and my immediate family, I would be homesick very often if I didn’t change that definition, so I did.

Home quickly became where my friends were, where my school was and any gym I could get too. Home was any place and time I went with people who I love and care about, and lucky for me that definition still stands today.

Often people ask me how I feel about going to college so far away from home. Honestly, it has it’s down sides, but when you feel that you’ve chosen the best school for you, distance is just an obstacle, it’s not the end all be all. But this weekend I got a chance to sit down with my parents and really talk about what I am grateful for. Outside of the home cooked meals that I got while I was visiting and the quality time with my family, I started to realize just how grateful I was to be around people I know.

I spend so much time in Charlottesville throughout the year and lets just say, by the end of the school year I’m ready for a change of scenery. But living in DC for the past month has taught me a lot. Here in DC I am the only person I know. Don’t get me wrong, I know my coworkers and of course my roommate, but I am the only person I genuinely know, and that has been a huge learning experience.

I never realized how much being around people you know can affect your experience until I got to DC. In Georgia, I’m around my parents, brother, best friends Andrea and Lauren, George, Mario and his friends… all these people I know. In Charlottesville I’m around my teammates, friends and mentors as well. But in DC I don’t have that.

To say the least, I am homesick because not only am I not at my physical home, but I am not around anyone that I would associate with home. It was not until my time in DC that I realized how much I take this small luxury for granted. I have never been more ready for another change of scenery, and I’m excited to go back to Charlottesville (CVille). This is saying a lot because after staying in CVille all last summer and through the year, I never thought I’d want to go back as much as I do now. I’m excited to see my family, friends, have my own room again, and be surrounded by people who care about me.

The truth is, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone”, even if you don’t realize you have it in the first place. Moving to DC has taught this lesson and many more. I’ve never appreciated my loved ones as much as I do now.

Quotes Redefined

Uncategorized

They say, “Many people live but few are ever really alive”. They say, “Life is too short to be anything but happy.” They say… well, they say a lot of things, and I can’t help but wonder, have these people who love to give advice lived in this day and age?

As mentioned last week, I am a lover of quotes, but nothing is like the day you re-read a quote that you have loved for years and suddenly it doesn’t make sense anymore.

It’s not like you are suddenly dumb now, or that the meaning of the quote actually changed. It’s that life might have gotten harder and the meaning might have changed for you specifically.

You realize that quotes might just be guidelines to life, and that these guidelines that they provide do not account for all of the struggles you’ll hit on your way to where ever you are going.

You realize that when they say, “Life is too short to be anything else but happy”, they forgot to mention that adversity is prominent in the lives of many, especially the ones that have dreams bigger than their peers can imagine.They forget to tell you that sometimes you have to go through a few unhappy days to get to the happy ones, and that if you want the rainbows you have to stand the rain too.

They don’t tell you that happiness is a state of mind that you must find even when you feel like you can’t, because ultimately it’s a decision.

They didn’t tell you that when they said, “Many people live but few are ever really alive”, they didn’t even know what it felt to be alive. This is partly because everyone’s definition of “being alive” is different. Outside of living, breathing, and seeing, being alive is doing the things that make you feel the most free.

For some, they are most alive when reading, for others it’s writing, and for many it’s unknown, because they are too busy doing what society says they are supposed to do instead of what they want to do.

With that being said, as much as I want to be the person to say, “Forget what society says”, it’s our reality is it not?

When it comes to being alive, it really comes down to doing what you can live with. For some suppressing emotion is as easy as breathing and for other’s it’s much harder, but how much you suppress is a window to showing you how much you can live with.

All in all, I have realized that no amount of quotes can teach me how to live my life, or explain what life should be like. That is a personal decision that everyone must make for themselves.

What I have realized is that, like many people, quotes inspire me to think deeper and it inspires the thoughtful ones to create definitions of their own. Allowing them to find ways that quotes impact their lives even when they do not directly relate to them like they once used to.

When it is all said and done, what “they” thought, said and felt doesn’t matter when it is you that has to make sense of your life and your current situation. Don’t be afraid to start defining things for yourself. After all, this is your life that you are living. No quote would know it better than you do.

Anxiety

Anxiety

Tight chest. Shallow breathing. A million thoughts.

If happiness is Cinderella than anxiety is the evil stepmother, stress and doubt the stepsisters and time is the fairy Godmother.

Let me explain farther. The evil stepmother is anxiety, which has the ability to rob you of your joy in seconds. Overthinking and sometimes thinking irrationally can cause this, which can be stressful and these thoughts can cause you to doubt yourself. This is where the stepsisters come in. While anxiety is the culprit stress and doubt, only make the load you carry heavier.

This might sound a little off base, but yes, time is the fairy Godmother. Only time passing can lessen your anxiety because according to the definition, anxiety is a feeling of worry and uneasiness about an unknown outcome. The only way to lessen anxiety is to know the outcome, and usually the only way to do that is to let time pass and let the outcome take place.

If you find yourself experiencing anxiety more times than not, just know that you are not alone. For me, nothing can rob my joy faster than anxiety and unfortunately, I get robbed a lot.

“Too blessed to stress.” We’ve all heard that quote before. But as much as I love quotes, sometimes they are like the advice you give to a friend but can’t follow yourself. Often easier said than done, and sometimes a stint of temporary motivation that lasts about as long as Bazooka Bubble Gum.

So how do you cope with anxiety? I’ve heard the best way to do it is by trying to counteract the doubtful thoughts that enter your mind. While this might leave you mentally drained at the end of the day, it is shown that people who can successfully and frequently counteract the negative thoughts that flood their minds due to anxiety, doubt and stress, are more successful.

This is true because their positive thoughts give them a mental break from the ones that might be bogging them down. By doing this, it allows them to experience other positive emotions that lead to good and productive energy.

Lastly, just know that you are not alone. One in every three people suffers from anxiety so do not be overwhelmed. Keep your head up, continue to think positive thoughts, and know that this along with many other things is what makes you, you. Learn to live with it and embrace it.

Just Do It

Just Do It

If you ever get the opportunity to do something you’ve never done before, do it.

This past week I moved to DC to start a new internship with ESPN’s Around The Horn. I’ve never lived in a city. I’ve never navigated a city by foot or metro. I’ve never really worked a day in my life. Trust me, the list goes on. But despite my inexperience I did it anyways.

Let’s just say that it has not been the easiest transition. Moving cities, navigating new streets, getting used to new people and places are all hard things, but getting out of your comfort zone might be exactly what you need to do so that you can grow as a person.

The chances of you growing while in your comfort zone are slim to none. Why would you grow? You already know everything. But once you step out you are now available and open to learning so much more.

This move to DC has taught me a lot so far. It has taught me to be even more independent than I was before, how to support and take care of myselfhow to budget and has given me a working experience that cannot be paralleled.

My challenge: If you get the opportunity to do something that you’ve never done before, do it. Yes, it will probably be scary. Yes, you might struggle, you might even fail, but I promise the outcome is worth far more than the anxiety or feelings that might be holding you back from reaching your potential or moving you forward as a person.

Nike said it best, “Just do it”!