Recently I went on a few hikes around Mt Ranier in Washington and wanted to share the gorgeous nature in all it’s stunning beauty with you.
*This piece has been published with permission of the referenced ex-partner. Other relationships may have been slightly altered to protect specific identities.*
The first time I was sexually assaulted I must have been 9 or 10 years old.
I was violated by two family friends who were brothers and who would have been about 14 and 15.
Or maybe that was the second time.
The first time might have been by an older female cousin around the same time. She pressured me to go into a closet and make out with her. I think we may have done more, but I don’t like to think about that.
I didn’t object to any of these interactions. I was too young for that to matter, of course, but it was difficult for me to make sense of the fact that I consented without having the agency to do so, thus I had…
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I think that all the time, people forget what’s around them. Those tall tall trees across the road- they block the sun. The leaves on the street- ugh, now they’re on my new shoes. We always forget about about the beauty around us. Everyone wants to travel, to see the world, because- everyone knows it right?- exotic places are exciting and beautiful, and here is just boring. “Your house is so pretty, mine looks like a dump.” “You’re going to Hawaii?? Ugh I never get to swim here, it’s too cold.” The grass is always greener on the other side.
So I challenge you this: Next time you walk outside, or even right now, sitting in your room or at the subway station or at your table in Starbucks- take a real hard look around you. Don’t focus on the bad things. Look for the people helping each other. Look for the beautiful trees the church planted. Look for the positive posters the barista hung up, trying to make someone’s day. Focus on those things. All those beautiful little quirks you notice when you travel, when you look at other people and their things? They are here too. In your house, in your city, in yourself. You may not be able to swim, but what about the huge beautiful evergreen old growth forests an hour away from your apartment? Remember those?
Look for the bright flowers, the smiling taxi driver, the hugging couple. Try to replicate these things, to pass on that little burst of happiness you feel when you see them to someone else. Make the world a better place by appreciating what you have, and creating more of it.
“Try to make at least one person happy each day. If you cannot do a kind deed, speak a kind word. If you cannot speak a kind word, think a kind thought. Count up, if you can, the treasure of happiness you would dispense in a week, in a year, in a lifetime!”
-Lawrence G Lovasik
You get married and you think this is the man you will spend the rest of your life with.
Then life happens.
You separate, and for the next three years you don’t see him. You don’t hear his voice. The soft lilt in his Rs. You don’t see him ruffled up in the morning before he puts on his armour to face the world. You don’t smell him in the corridor before you leave the house. You don’t see his name pop up on your phone. You don’t know what song he belts out as he drives with the window down and Bluetooth earpiece on. You don’t know what person he thinks is a complete muppet. You don’t hear the word muppet anymore. You never have to put the toilet seat down.
You begin to wonder if you dreamed the whole thing up.
The waves now wash over you once every…
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Recently, I have been writing an argumentative essay in my Language Arts class- about whatever topic I so choose. Unlike some of my fellow students, I didn’t choose to convince my peers that they should all floss, and yes, somebody actually did this. Instead, I chose a issue that is very important to me, and that I have been thinking about for quite a while. This subject, is sweatshops. Specifically, sweatshops that produce the clothing that I in turn, purchase from clothing companies.
Sunset in my backyard, sliced apart by the Big Leafed Maple tree.
About 4 or 5 months ago, my friend mentioned this to me, and I was intrigued. So, I did a minimal amount of research, found a list of accused stores, and proceeded to boycott them; not shop there anymore. This actually was quite hard in itself, because many if not most if the companies that I originally bought most of my clothing from, used sweatshops. However, another friend and I undertook the challenge, and we are proud to say that we have held up, and perhaps even convinced a few others.
A view from my rainy bedroom window.
However, when I started researching for this essay, I found that things were a little more complicated. Much to my surprise, I found myself, supported by many other opinions, wondering if perhaps, even in the best interest of the factory workers, if I really should be boycotting these stores. The fact is, even if they are unfair, inhumane, and unsafe, these factories do provide people with jobs, and are often preferable to the alternative. I am still trying to come up with a solution to this problem of sweatshops, though I am fearing that it is a much more in-depth and complex issue than I originally expected. I will post my essay on this site, and I hope that you find it interesting.
Thanks for reading! Have a great day. ♡
Another photo from my trip to Cannon Beach, driving on an overcast bridge.
Wow. Please watch the video.
Cannon Beach, where I spent some of my winter break.
So for any of you still in school- or perhaps your job- , and I know for myself, today is the first day back at school after a two week break. It is a new year, and everyone has new goals, new promises for themselves, and everyone is just delighted to be back in school. Well… Maybe the last part is a bit of a stretch. Personally, I would much rather stay at home, lounge, and do gymnastics for another two weeks. However, since I know this is impossible, I am going to try my hardest to make school a positive experience.
The first step, for me, to achieving this, is to get plenty of sleep. Because I have to get up at 6:30 AM to get to my school in time, I’m often exhausted. This means I learn less efficiently, and enjoy school less. To counter this, I have set a “bedtime” for myself, to ensure my non zombie-ness come morning. Though this may seem like a strategy for babies, it can be helpful for all of you WordPressers.
Another goal that I have for the new year is one that I think a growing number of the human population needs to think about. I, like many many others, own an iPhone. I, like almost as many, was getting a bit obsessed with it– but that was 2014. One of the resolutions I made for myself for the new year is to not let my phone do two things: The first, is not to use it to procrastinate- mainly on homework- but ultimately on anything I have to get done. The second is to try my hardest not to go on my phone when I could be having real experiences and making real memories with friends and family. To do these things, my first step was to delete my Instagram and Tumblr applications on my phone. This is because I found myself wasting hours at a time on these apps, especially Instagram. As this went against both of my phone related goals, I think this was a good step to take for me. If you realize you are spending a lot of unnecessary time on something that doesn’t really make you happy, I encourage you to push it out of your life.
I think New Years resolutions are a great thing, but remember that there is no specific time that you have to make goals for yourself. You can decide anywhere and any time to improve your life. You are the only one in your life who makes the decision to be happier.
Thanks for reading! ♡