POWER

Hey guys!

[storytime] So on Monday, I was driving to get lunch and there was this highway patrol car in front of me and it was a red light so I stopped behind this car. The light was taking a while since there was a lot of traffic (it was lunchtime) and the patrol car ran the red light. Now, I know that there are exceptions to traffic laws for police and law enforcement when there’s an emergency; but, there was no visible reason-from what I could see- to run the light other than impatience. There was no one speeding because of the high traffic, no car crash, no fire, etc. So, it was a really mind-boggling experience.

Now, I don’t know if it was legal of the person to run that light. I don’t know traffic laws in regards to law enforcement but, it didn’t seem that legal to me. Does anyone know?

So that story was a precursor to the main topic of this post.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Nearly all men can withstand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

We all know that once given power, people change. Some become arrogant. Some make rash decisions. It’s in our nature. I am a huge bibliophile, I love books, I love stories. I love reading about people. An author is good when they are able to fully capture the vulnerability and rawness of being human. A lot of books I read are in the fantasy/mystery genres and its in those books where I’ve learned half of what I know about people. People who are given any kind of power often misuse it-that’s a fact (misuse is subjective I agree). But, the actions they take, are often not ‘good.’

Power corrupts, but how it corrupts is different for everybody. Someone who is in law enforcement-they are given power to make sure that the law is obeyed. This given power has them believing they are the law-and that’s corruption of their character. But this is a generalized example, obviously there are exceptions. Not everyone realizes their own power, and some who do-they realize the danger and their potential. Fame and influence is a power, some don’t realize the potential of that and those that do, they recognize the potential profit and future success that is possible or they choose to use that influence to help others. Any young person in this day and age will recognize the power of media and technology. It’s all about perspective-how you see the world.

(I had this whole post planned but it all went out of the window as soon as I started typing-I get lost in my own head sometimes.)

DAY4

Hey guys! it’s officially day 4 of my a-post-a-day challenge!

So, today’s topic is body image and my advice for loving your body no matter what.

Let’s paint a picture.

Imagine a Taiwanese and Vietnamese mix, 4’11 girl.

She has short hair a little past her shoulders and wears glasses too big for her baby face (but that’s how she likes it).

She’s got so-called ‘small bones,’ with a 23 ½ inch waist, 31 ½ inch hips, and 31 inch bust.

She’s got an arch in her foot because she wore heels at too young an age and that arch is not natural but she looks like she has dancers’ feet now.

She has no thigh gap, she’s got hip dips and belly rolls (just like everybody else) and jiggly upper arms.

I’ve always been told that I was short and much too skinny.

People would always ask me if I was anorexic or bulimic-but I swear I’m not.

My sister calls me fat all the time (not in a malicious way-she just means I have to get up from the couch and go exercise).

I’ve never felt uncomfortable with how I look because I’m confident in myself and that while appearances are important-its how I present myself to others that detract from how I look and put more emphasis on my personality.

I’ve been ‘skinny-shamed,’ and I’ve been called ‘vertically challenged,’ but I’ve never really cared because I’m content with the way I am. You know, its easy to overlook these comments if you’re truly confident in yourself. I make jokes about my height all the time-its easier to win hide and seek by the way.

You can learn to love yourself by: standing in front of a mirror and just say one positive thing about yourself every day; wear the right clothes, ones that make you feel ready to take on the world (I didn’t win best dressed senior by wearing sweats every day ya know); focus on being a good person to those around you-your friends can build up your confidence better than you can alone; there’s plenty of other ways other bloggers have discovered that I haven’t thought of.

The plus-size community is a pretty powerful group of people sharing self-love and image positivity. The reason that this group in particular is so successful, is because they have icons and activists who are confident in themselves and their identity and their fans share that confidence (because we all want to imitate our idols).

If you don’t feel comfortable with the way you are now-then change to be better. If you don’t love your rolls or your love handles, exercise and work for the body you want. It’s all about mindset, you have to believe that you can do it-because in the end if its something that you really want, then you just do it. You can complain and whine as much as you want-as long as you get the job done. There are a lot of people who wallow in self-pity because they’re not happy with the way they are-and what I say to them is this:

“Don’t hate on society for shaming you when you shame yourself. It’s a different story if you accept and love yourself just the way you are. But if you wish that you had the body of a model from that magazine you like, if you wish to look different from the way you are now-then you have to change your attitude. Work hard to obtain the changes you want-because there will always be body-shamers out there and it’s easy to blame them. Don’t take the easy way out.”

I’m not saying its easy. I’m not saying that it’ll be instant results. I’m not saying that you should change to conform to society’s expectations of beautiful (because that is always changing)-but if its your own personal goal-if the reason you want to change is to better yourself-then you have to work hard.

DAY3

It is day 3 of my a-post-a-day challenge!

My topic of the day is privilege.

I can safely say that I’ve led a privileged life so far. In my 17 (almost 18) years of living, I have never been left wanting. I grew up in a three-level house with both parents who loved me. I went to private school for a number of years and my parents have saved up enough money for me and my sisters to go to college and not have debts after. So, I’m blessed to have the advantages that I’ve had in life.

They say that it isn’t the underprivileged people that should be pitied-it should be those who have never known hardship and what its like to start from nothing-that should be pitied. The ones that start with nothing can only go up, and they know much better what its like to work hard-to work harder than the privileged person.

I like to think that I don’t act as spoiled as I am-but I know that the amount of money my parents have means nothing if the advantages that they’ve provided me with are wasted.

I know that in the end, their sheltering and coddling of me and my sisters only put us at a disadvantage.

But never let it be said that I’m ungrateful, because I am grateful for all they’ve done for me.

I’ve never really considered until now how much I’ve lost and I’ve gained from being borne in the station that I am in now.

I’ve never felt a true desire to work hard in my life.

I’ve never had the same motivation to be part of everything in school that my friends had.

I’ve never been the smartest or the prettiest or the most popular. I adored being completely average in every way.

I’ve always had the comfort of knowing that if I messed up-it was okay because my parents would be able to help me.

I’ve never worried too much about college and future careers because my parents always had me believe that things will always work out in the end.

I know that all of this makes me sound like an incredibly lazy, and unmotivated person- and I would say that its not inaccurate-but at the same time I feel like I’m happy that I didn’t end up way worse than I did. Because I know myself and I know my flaws quite well-so I know that I have the potential to be really awful and I know I have the potential to work as hard as everyone else.

I like to think that I was raised to be a good, law-abiding person, but we’re all flawed.

DAY1

Hey guys!

So, my volunteering came to an end and so I have literally nothing to do. So, I’m putting forward a challenge for myself: Write a post everyday for the next week. That means that starting from this post, I have six more to go.

Okay so I was asked to expand on my post on belief systems. What it means to be agnostic and not atheist, and my past encounters with religion.

[personal story time] When I was younger, toddler years to fourth grade, I was enrolled in a private Lutheran school, Lutheran as a sect of Christianity. I sang Christian songs, read the bible, went to church, believed in God. I was fully invested (as invested as a child could possibly be), I took all the lessons to heart-I still remember a lot of the bible stories. But when I switched to a local public school for fifth grade, I stopped putting in as much faith into Christianity. It wasn’t because all the other kids didn’t believe-it was because at the time there was nothing to keep reinforcing that faith. Nothing to keep the belief alive. As I moved through middle school and high school, science and literature firmly stoppered any possible fully-fledged belief I could have fostered for religion. I remember being asked if I was Christian in 7th grade and I remember replying that no, I’m atheist. But I was wrong. At the time I had no idea agnostic was even a thing. But I’ve always had a belief in a possible higher power and I’ve always fancied the idea that maybe some aspects of the supernatural exists-like magic.

While atheism is basically believing that there are no deities, gods, or higher powers. Agnosticism is believing that while its possible that a god or higher power exists, its unknown/rather its untestable and unknowable. So, that’s how I came to identify as agnostic.

So, the only time when I was exposed to anything relating to religion was when I was at school. My parents never really talk about religion all that much-they allow me and my sisters to be free to believe in whatever we want-so long as we are good people (by society’s standards) and we’re informed (not ignorant, not blindly walking in).

I remember wondering how diehard atheists and Christians could ever get a long with such contrasting beliefs. But, I’ve noticed that people just avoid the topic of religion and beliefs in general-unless they’re with someone who’s beliefs are known to them already.

I’ve wondered how so many people with contrasting opinions in the same areas could still call themselves Christian when some of their core beliefs are completely different. So, we have to assume perception of the same reading, the same religion has to be different but similar enough that people form sects. But that seems so exclusive-especially when they’re all worshiping the same deity.

There will be some that will say that I have no right to judge when I’m for lack of a better word-an outsider. But I will say this, the core beliefs of religions like Christianity, Judaism, and Islam-and all the other polytheistic religions-all promote a system of morals that contribute to our societies. This contribution provides a baseline for what is good and for what is bad.

PROUD

My sister, prior to me writing this (obviously LOL), asked me for a friend of hers, if I believed if cheaters can change- and I said,

-that he wouldn’t have cheated in the first place if he cared for her.

-he shouldn’t have cheated on her if he even respected her, even just a little bit.

This lack of respect reminds me of the relationship my best friend had with this guy (yes, I did get permission to tell this story).

I think that while he genuinely liked her for quite a while, he was also burdened by expectations from his friends and people that only knew of him.

I remember when we were kids-fifth graders, everyone knew he had a crush on her and they both had been teased about it for quite a while. Flash forward to the summer before senior year-they go on their first date. It’s all roses and sunshine, I went on a couple double dates with them, etc. Then comes time for college application month, NaNoWriMo to some, etc. Basically, November-the month of craziness. They have their first fight over not going out on enough dates. She’s busy with college stuff so she can’t go out and so they argue. He isn’t happy and basically ignores her for the next four months and the most talking they do is small talk over text. OVER TEXT, guys. Its silent. She finally was able to get a chance to break up with him late May. So, what this tells me is that there were a lot of issues that were never addressed and still have not been addressed. Both had issues and I’m not blind to her problems just because she’s my best friend.

A lack of communication. When the only method of communication that a couple is comfortable using is text-well that’s a big no-no isn’t it.

Too much pressure. Like I mentioned previously, a lot of people had played matchmaker with them and I think one of the reasons they got together was because so many people were indirectly pressuring them to be together.

Both acted cowardly (in my opinion, sorry bestie!). Anyways, they never really confronted each other in person-which ties back to the communication portion. They ignored their problems until it blew up in their faces.

She could have made time for him-the whole argument they had-could have been avoided had she made time for him. Relationships are all about give-and-take, compromise.

At the same time, it was a busy time for her and he could have been more understanding.

Ultimately none of these things that are kind of important to a successful relationship existed.

I side with her because she’s my best friend, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that she wasn’t also in the wrong ya know?

She doesn’t play victim and she knows she has issues-I don’t fake sympathizing with her because she doesn’t need it. I’m proud that she respects herself and him enough to not play victim, to not point fingers.

Final advice?

Find someone who will respect you first as a person, then pursue a relationship if that’s what you wish.

 

CONFIDENCE

I’ve always believed confidence in oneself was one of the most admirable and desirable traits one could have. But at the same time there is a borderline between confidence and arrogance which I feel should never be crossed-duh! But how do we know when we cross the line?

Here’s some examples that are not as obvious:

  • If you show up late to outings frequently-it shows that you feel like your time is more valuable than others. And, it is one of the most understated signs of arrogance because most people don’t think that deeply about something like being late.
  • If you go out of your way to prove that you’re right or to prove that you’re never wrong- it a lack of acceptance on your part that shows arrogance and if you end up being right about it and you can’t be gracious about it, then well, its arrogance.

But confidence is not just about being proud of how you look or being comfortable in your own skin. Its also about being able to respect yourself in a way no one else can. You respect yourself by not doubting your ability and skills. You respect yourself when you push yourself to do better in every aspect of your life. Because this kind of respect-the kind that stems from self-love- is all the more impactful.

They say that when you have less confidence, it prevents you from seizing opportunities and taking risks for yourself that could ultimately help you succeed. I’ve struggled with that for a long time. I was confident in who I was and I was comfortable in who I was as a person. But, I was never confident in my abilities and I never took risks. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t change the decisions I’ve made because I’m able to talk about it now whereas if I did have the confidence to do things I ordinarily wouldn’t do, I probably couldn’t relate to this on such a personal level.

BEGINNING

I’d like to write one of those ‘how I got started’ kinds of posts. I want to tell my beginning. I would tell the rest of the story but it hasn’t happened yet, so here we go.

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I decided to start a blog because I was feeling stifled-I had no creative outlet where I could just talk about my opinions or anything like that. So, I decided that instead of music, dance, sport or whatever everyone else was doing-I would make a blog where I could talk about pretty much anything I wanted. I created a platform so that people could read what I had to say and react to it. I started the conversation. Its electrifying to read messages that I get-I get excited to talk about requested topics because in the end we all want to feel useful and that’s how being asked to talk about something makes me feel.

Oh also, another reason I started this blog-rather found the courage to make it after months of self-doubt, was one of my good friends who has a blog of her own, and she inspired me to create something like this-so she definitely has my thanks for that.

I wanted this blog to be a forum for discussion and a lot of these messages aren’t going to public because some people are private so they’ll contact me through that handy button up top and that’s their preference (haha shameless plug). It’s easy to make assumptions that people will always have polarized ideas about certain things and most of the time we fall into those shades of grey. I am one of those people and I wanted to make it clear because a lot of people believe that you can only believe in something or against it and not in between-and I wanted readers to know that its okay to not be fully for or against certain things.

A lot of my posts have stories about my experiences and I wouldn’t have it any other way-it’s a way to feel more connected to readers. I like to think that I’m an open book but I might be wrong-there is no shame in admitting mistakes and so I pass that message on when I talk about mistakes I’ve made. If I’ve done something that I was so proud of, I would share it. Embarrassing stories, cheesy, romantic, awkward-all of it, I would share if asked.

I talk about things that I get asked pretty often-most of it is relationship advice, but not all of it. I think that there is more to life than finding a partner-and so I try not to overwhelm my blog with that topic. I think in webs, I’m always going off on tangents and it shows in my writing-I’m not all that focused, I have a sort of ‘stream of consciousness’ style writing where I write whatever comes to my mind to write-and I think that it adds genuity and authenticity. I am still a teenager and I don’t think anyone expects me to be a professional writer so I don’t put in effort to a point where I freak out, but just enough. No expectations, no promises.