Category Archives: Opinion

Find pride in your story: Leaving a Legacy.

I have lived abroad for almost a year now, and in that time I have learned and discovered much about myself and about the world around me. I have seen, watched, and read so much, but out of all the great lessons I have learned in this past year, the greatest would be that, no matter what, you must be proud of who you are and where you come from. Whether you are from high society, or you are from hardships and poverty. Whether you have never had the opportunity to go to grade school, or you have a college degree. Whether you come from a dysfunctional family, or everything has been picture perfect. No matter what your story is, I have come to find that the worst thing you can do to yourself and to your image is to apologize for who you are and where you come from. Because I have discovered that you must first love and respect yourself, before you can ever expect the same from someone who grew up in a different culture, social circle, or continent than you.

When I first traveled to Europe, I remember feeling something I had never felt before: I was embarrassed of where I come from and the culture I grew up in. I was thrown into a country where Americans are not number one, cultures are different, and the opinions of who Americans are is very low. I would see American girls and boys making a fool of themselves, ignorantly talking to everyone in English, acting superior in a foreign country, and running the streets at night getting drunk and giving Americans a sexually easy reputation. I have found that Europeans think Americans are uneducated in literature, music, visual arts, and language, and this fact made all of my years of going to school and hours of studying feel so insignificant as I compared myself to the cultured Europeans. And as I learned what the stereotypes of Americans are, and specifically Texans, and I found myself ashamed because of these stereotypes. I began to walk the streets in silence just so no one would hear my English, I stopped wearing the bright colored clothes I love so much and instead reverted to wearing only blacks and neutrals so I could seem “more Italian”. I stopped smiling so much, stopped taking photos for in fear of looking like a tourist, ordered coffee how Italians order coffee, found myself taking up things that I do not enjoy, denying who I am, and all for the sake of not getting labeled as a stupid American.

Yet, as time has pasted, and as I have experienced more abroad, something has changed within me. I finally got fed up with hiding who I really am and being ashamed of where I come from just because some Americans choose to taint the American reputation. So I pulled out the bright colors, slapped on a smile and decided my goal for being abroad would not be to blend in with the Europeans and the Italians, but to own up to who I really am and where I come from. My goal is, even if it was only to changed the opinion of one person, to change someone’s ideas and mindsets of who Americans are, shatter stereotypes, surprise people in a good way, and leave a positive legacy abroad.

I have found that the most important thing to do is to be proud of yourself and where you are from. Because no matter where you go in this world, you will find people who judge you because of where you come from, your skin color, and the language you speak. But if you first respect yourself and find pride and beauty from your story and your situation, it is surprising the respect that comes to follow.

This issue of leaving a positive legacy and being proud of who you are and your background is very near to my heart. I believe that if more people acted on this instead of accepting the preconceived stereotypes given to them and their culture, the world, and all its people, would become that much more united, because everything great always starts with little actions.

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Celebrating yourself: Valentine’s Season.

So as most of you have probably already noticed, it is that time of year again… Valentine’s Season.

Everything seems to be glazed over in pink and red, the engagement ring commercials are non-stop, the Victoria Secret (for some odd reason) is making you feel like you need some red lingerie, drugstores are being transformed by candied hearts, teddy bears and roses, and just as they say, love seems to be is in the air. It is that time of year again… that holiday that seems to have no middle ground, no grey area… it is either a wonderful or a tragic time… it’s Valentine’s Season!

It happens every year: the ‘I hate Valentine’s Day’ parties, the ‘bashing of exes and people-who-are-in-love’ fests, and the eating chocolate and drinking wine till it’s better remedy that never seems to quite work. And I am first to admit it… I have done ALL of these! I have even been on the opposite spectrum: I have been THAT obnoxious, lovey-dovey couple who can’t get enough of each other (which is equally as annoying as the bashers I might add). I have made the season all about the person I love. Made sure to find them that perfect gift, buying them cards and candies, taking the time to write a love letter to tell them how wonderful they are, and really making the day about them (which is in no means a bad thing). But as I sit here and think on myself, I find that there really isn’t that many times I have done all that for myself… I never tell myself how wonderful I am, or point out the positives I find in me. When do I celebrate myself? I mean, how many times in a day do you find your inner-voice saying: ‘WORKOUT!”, “Your hair looks like shit! @&$^@*”, “Put the cookie down fat-ass!”, “I’ll never be good enough”, “He hates me… I wish I wasn’t this way”, “I can’t do that”, “I wish I looked like her”, “I need to change”, “He told me he no longer loves me, I feel so empty now…”? Cause I do it.

I find myself apologize for the way I am, beating myself up, and judging myself based on what other people think of me, on a daily basis. I too often times define myself around people, and I do not take the time out to define myself, my interests, my hope and dreams, and why I am a great person on my own. And really… that’s a damn shame.

My challenge to myself, and to everyone else reading this, is to, despite whether you have a significant other or not, to make this Valentine’s Day a little less about someone else, and a little bit more about you. And maybe even make this challenge not just for Valentine’s Day, but for everyday. To make everyday a little bit more about defining who you are and finding your own happiness, and a little less about beating yourself up. I honestly think we should all stop depending on others for our happiness so much (myself included)!

Being able to be happy alone, proud of your accomplishments, defining who you are, not focusing on your shortcoming, and being able to celebrate and love yourself, in my opinion, is sexy and beautiful!

So, to wrap it up (hehe, romantic pun much?), take a little more time this season to focus of who you are, why you are wonderful, and how no one has the power to define who you are unless you let them.

Happy Valentine’s Season you sexy things!! 😉

“Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”
– Veronica A. Shoffstall

More wonderful, loving yourself quotes 🙂

XOXO.

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Remedial math: Life’s little equations.

Your life is made up of your own equation, and your happiness, health and situation are its outcome. The food you eat, the things you read, and the people you add into your life, all effect that equation. Life is about balancing and eventually finding your own perfect equilibrium.

But, there are factors out there making this balancing act a tough one. Factors such as emotions, passions, wants, and preconceived needs, that make this addition and subtraction of the good and the bad a real bitch. And then there are also those tricky factors. Those ones that deceive you. The ones that feel so positive, but are really just so negative. They are the things that add the bad ‘ju-ju’ in your life, the things that only result in the hurt, low self-esteem, and heartbreak. It’s these hidden evils, like a pieces of double-fudge chocolate cake, that seem so good, but in reality they are just bad.

Recently in my life negatives have been effecting my equation and unfortunately been turning my positive energy southwards.

The kicker is, this negative force in my life blinds me. It blinds me with its sugarey-coated wonderfulness, my feelings of needing it, and it has only left me with a killer case of food poisoning…

It’s the dangerous energies like these that I find myself losing sleep for, lying awake crying for, and making me feel heartbreak. It’s the mental baggage that wont go away- it’s that five pounds on your ass you just can’t seem to get rid of. And it’s so easy to just say, well, hello… subtract the negatives and add the positives! But the reality is, it’s not that easy. Yet the only way to ever be happy and balanced is to toughen up, and force the negatives out of your life.

 

Finding the positives…

-She is gives me hope, she is my role model.

-We have such wonderful, thought-provoking conversations.

-He makes me smile. 

This book changed my perspective on stereotyping and judging others and their cultures.

She made me think twice.

Traveling gives me the greatest sense of independence.

Helping him helped me

He gives me honest love.

Finding those positives are important, and once you find them make sure and not to forget to add them into your life daily.

 

Finding the negatives…

She makes me feel so self-conscious about my lifestyle. 

He degrades me and pushes me down, destroying my self-esteem.

That magazine told me I’m not beautiful.

Why does that movie represent women as objects? Why does that song make women hoes, sluts and bitches?

Smoking has made climbing the stairs harder.

You make me so angry I could explode.

I am so jealous of her.

Yet the thing about subtracting the negatives is, is that you usually have forces making it feel impossible to do so. So we don’t ever subtract them, we hold onto them, and then throw the blame of why they are in our lives onto to something other than ourselves:

I’m addicted.

The media is pushed on me.

I love him.

All my friends invited me to go see that movie, I couldn’t say no.

There is always junk food in my house.

I don’t have time.

Nothing ever goes my way.

I’m not strong enough to change it.

 

And its hard. You have to make yourself strong. You have to be stronger than your negatives, and push them out. It’s only practice and experience that can make achieving balance easier- and it is this beautiful challenge, the finding of the things you love, the things that help you grow, and being able to let go of the rest, the negatives, that makes life the greatest equation.

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Mornings in a city: Wednesday

I’ve always been a city girl trapped in the body of a small town gal.

I love hearing a city slowly waking up- the rumbling of trucks, the zooming of passing Vespas and the sleepy-silence shared with the inhabitants who are roaming the streets.

I love the warm glow that a cafe can only have at eight in the morning, and the desperate sipping of caffeine and the sucking of cigarettes to help start the day.

Mornings in a city is the bustle to get into the rhyme of the day and the perfect way to wipe the sleep from your eyes. –Florence, Italy.

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Face it: Facebook.

What if Facebook just shut down? If one day it just deleted all its memory and all our profiles were just magically… gone. I mean, think about it, that would really produce a lot of freak outs. I could imagine it would make the front page of newspapers, be top story on the 9 o’clock news, and seriously cause an instant social crutch in our society.

I have been thinking about Facebook a lot lately, and the effects it has had on me as a person. I am loyal to Facebook. I wake up in the morning and it’s the first thing I do (even before my first cup of coffee!!!). I get on Facebook when I’m bored. I waste HOURS on Facebook. And you better believe I Facebook stalk.

I have just been thinking and I have come to the conclusion that Facebook is seriously fucking us up (and it’s getting increasingly creepy if you ask me).

I have 875 friends on Facebook… and I have maybe spoken to half of them in person, and maybe I have ever actually hung out with less than half of that, and I rest assured you I only have the phone numbers of about 80 of those 875 people, and I only really only care to talk to about 10 or so of these people. So here marks my first problem I have with Facebook,

Reason 1: Anyone can see anything you post.

Raise your hand if you have put up a status close to the following: Fuck this shit. My heart has been ripped out, shredded to pieces and you don’t give a damn. Fuck you @HenryRob!!!@&($&$.

Henry Rob might not be your culprit’s name, but I would like you now to raise your hand if right after you posted that, a church leader, a grandparent, or a friend of your mom’s left an encouraging message on your wall which was very nice (but it was blatantly OBVIOUS that they just read your status about Henry Rob!).

I mean…I can definitely raise my hand to both. And that’s just awkward.

Reason 2: Facebook can make you feel socially awkward

Facebook really is the only website I can think of that has the capacity to make you feel socially awkward. You could be alone in a room on the computer and there could be some serious uncomfortable feelings going on.

Example: You just logged onto Facebook after a rough night. You are just waking up and you are planning on chilling out today. But you see that Ronny (the guy you drunkenly hooked up with last night) is on… awkward. He Facebook chats you cause he want to “talk”. You act like your not there… you don’t even touch the keyboard cause Facebook conveniently lets the other person know your typing or not (creepy!). Ronny IMs you again asking if your there or not (while you are no doubtably thinking, Eww, no. Go away fugly!). You hit the button that hides you on Facebook chat (awkward and obvious!). And thanks to Facebook updating people second by second on what you are doing, you can’t ‘like’, comment, or post anything on your Wall, cause Ronny will know your on and will realize you are avoiding him. So thanks Facebook, thanks for that socially awkward situation….

Reason 3: Facebook subjects us to the tortures of Internet PDA

Couples out there that abuse this and fill my wall with lovey-dovey shit, I hate you. That is all.

Reason 4: Facebook can be cruel.

Sometimes the truth does not set you free. Sometimes ignorance is the bliss people really want, and as a single gal I see how Facebook can make ignorance a very hard thing to obtain when the truth is posted all over your wall. You get a daily update on the life of your ex and what they are doing… and that sucks.

Yesterday I saw that two of my friends just ended their relationship. It becomes public news that both of their relationship status’ were now ‘single’. Break ups are hard, and I thought it was seriously messed up when I saw guys and girls ‘liking’ their break up and hollarin’ at them right then and there where their ex will OBVIOUSLY see it. I mean people can be cruel… and thanks for making it easier Facebook. Thanks. You asshole.

Reason 5: Facebook is creepy.

Yes, I see the positives in, ‘getting connected’ via the Internet, but Facebook leans a little towards the creepy side if you ask me.

I am friends with people I NEVER talk to, yet I know everything that is going on in their lives. I know where they live, who they are dating, where they are working, and what they are doing/feeling at any given moment of the day. I don’t mean to be creepy people, but Facebook made me do it…

And my biggest concern is that, I will now post this fun little blog about Facebook on Facebook, and all my creepy Facebook stalkers will read this (hehe, gotcha!).

But I can’t blame anyone, because I am definitely in a majority here, and you won’t see me deleting my Facebook after this. We just have to face it: Facebook isn’t going anywhere… Yay to being creepy and awkward!

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