Endless Stream

They race through my mind, keeping me up at night and clouding my mind during the day.

I can’t shut off my brain, no matter how hard I try to find the “off switch” I can’t. It’s like searching for a face in a crowded subway station or an insomniac trying to fall asleep.

I lay in bed at night, with a constant stream of thoughts flowing through my mind, understanding some, but confused by most. Sometimes it is a memory, thought or emotion; but often times I can’t identify it. My thoughts are all muddled together, keeping me from the things that I need to focus on.

I feel like I am being sucked into this dark tunnel with no way out. My mind is always alive and buzzing. It doesn’t matter how tired I am or how much I try to just not think, the constant and endless stream of thoughts never stop.

Bucket List: Travel

I love traveling, experiencing new cultures, and sightseeing. So, of course, I have a Pinterest board filled with places I want to go, and things I want to see (and, of course, food I want to try). Without further ado, here are the five most amazing places I want to visit before I die.

Bali

Photo Credit: matadornetwork.com

Bali was introduced into my Pinterest board after I read Eat, Pray, Love. And I fell in love with Bali through Elizabeth Gilbert’s recounting of it.

Prague

Photo Credit: Bloglovin’

The dark, gothic architecture set against the bright golden street lights during the evening and night are enough to make me want to go there. But they also have amazing libraries, food, and other attractions.

The Orient Express

Photo Credit: Flickr

Technically, this isn’t a destination I want to go to, but a vessel that will take me to an amazing destination. The Orient Express is so reminiscent of old glamour and it’s gorgeous.

The French Alps

Photo Credit: Architectural Digest

This place could come straight out of a Christmas movie it’s that amazing looking. The snow-covered trees, the lodges, and mountains all seem so perfect, almost artificial. But the best part is, it’s not.

Vienna

Photo Credit: Flickr

Vienna is absolutely gorgeous. The food looks amazing, the buildings are beautiful, and (usually) what’s inside the buildings are even better.

Broken Wings

When I was nine, my mom died. The battle with cancer was a short one, as doctors discover the terminal illness infecting her brain when it was already too late. Stage 4 when they found that wretched disease.

At the time, I didn’t know a lot about cancer. I knew it killed you and I knew my mom had it. After moving in with my aunt and uncle, I almost forgot about the situation.

Soon after she died, all these memories of our time together started flowing in my brain like a tsunami. Times of happiness and sadness, and some still pop up when I think of her.

One example is her favorite Disney character: Tinkerbell. When I was little, my mom would drive me to Disneyland every Friday. It was our tradition. I would always talk about how much I loved Cinderella, as she was my favorite princess, and she would tell me about Tinkerbell. How she was sassy and sometimes grumpy. “Just like me,” she’d say. I would always burst out in laughter when she said that.

After she died, I didn’t go to Disneyland until this year. Four years later and it virtually hasn’t changed. No new rides, the same atmosphere.

It was hard going back there, especially with my friends. All I wanted was to have fun and not miss her too much. The day went alright, I missed her and it put a damper on my mood, but I decided to honor her.

I went to the Disney store, originally to get a present for my friend, and then I saw it. A Tinkerbell key chain. Almost seconds after I saw it, I bought it.

When I got back to school, I put it on my backpack so she’d be with me all the time. Whenever I see it, I smile. It reminds me of my mom and how much I loved her. Since Disneyland, one of the wings broke.

But I like it.

To me, it shows that my mother was flawed. She wasn’t some goddess, she made mistakes and sometimes it’s hard to realize that when you miss someone. You glorify the memory of them, and not see the true person.

So, as much as I miss my mom, I know she’s somewhere watching over me, with a broken wing.

 

 

Slam Poetry

One of my favorite things to do is watch slam poems.

Some may ask, “What are slam poems?”

By definition, slam poetry is a competition where individuals recite self-made poems and are judged 1-10, the winner being whomever the judges prefer. However, I see slam poetry a little differently.

Slam poetry is like painting. If someone were to talk about their puppy or butterflies, their words will be a finger painting done by a kindergartener. But if the words flow off the tongue, each syllable packed with power and meaning, then those words look a lot like a Van Gough.

This past weekend, a friend and I sat on her bed and watched slam poetry for hours. After watching so many beautiful soliloquies, I felt free (however cliché that may sound). Slam poetry is someone’s deepest inner thoughts somehow assembled into speech. There’s almost something sacred about it.

People are free to critique society’s shackles that have been unjustly pinned on them or tell the story of gut-wrenching heartbreak. However, the cleverest ones are the ones told in a new way.

Everyone’s seen a poem where heartbreak is told in a rainy scene; the clouds heavy with water like the speaker’s eyes that are filled with tears. Or, a new love seen like a thousand roses gently blowing in a spring’s breeze.

But have you ever seen someone talk about anxiety like a haunted house, or a 101 guide to survive everyday life? Chances are you haven’t.

That’s what slam poetry is. The tales of everyday toils told in some exciting way, but without prop, costume, or scenery. The words and emotions brought with them decide how the poem reads, not the words. Even celebrities, like Kanye West, attempt slam poetry (usually before the peak of their careers).

I made a playlist of my favorite slam poems in case you’re interested (it’s linked at the bottom). So in a way, I’m kind of like my own slam poetry judge, and each person who watches slam poetry is, as you decide what poems you enjoy.

A Lost Meaning

It’s sad to me how the concept of the holidays have gone from doing nice things for people, to spending copious amounts of money on trying to impress someone. The misconception that the more expensive a gift is, the happier a person will be, has been ingrained so deeply in today’s society that people have no recollection of what the holiday spirit of giving used to mean.

Time and time again I hear people stressing over whether a person will like the gift and when they finally give up, defeated at trying to figure out what to get they say, ” oh well, it’s the thought that counts”. This phrase wasn’t meant to be a cop-out.

Unaware that I had fallen guilt of this, I found myself stressing over what to get, what they will like and how much I want to spend for the “special” people in my life. I didn’t realize how much the holiday season had become so much about buying gifts and pleasing people until I was strolling through the halls, looking for my secret santa present, with my hands full of gifts, simultaneously counting how much the total would be and if the person I was shopping for would like the presents they were about to receive.

We are all guilty of getting swept up in the glam and glitz of gift giving,it’s inevitable. When it comes down to it, we all want to please the people we care about. However, just because we want to please them, it doesn’t mean that we have to forget about the real meaning of the holiday season.

 

jeffreyapplegate.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Prefect-Christmas-Gift.jpg

( link for photo… it wont let me up lead the picture)

A New Age For Women

The Pirelli Calendar was released early last month and with it may come a much-needed culture shift. 

The calendar, known for hosting nude pictures of supermodels has changed it’s image.  So long to the days of women posing exposed for the “art” and the pleasure of others, and while we say goodbye to that, we welcome an age of smart and achieved women. 

Featured in the calendar are some of my personal heroes such as Patti Smith, Amy Schumer and Tavi Gevinson, along with many other highly respected women.  This is the first time that the models featured in the calendar were chosen for their exploits, not their measurements. 

The band of fully dressed women, with the exception of Amy Schumer and Serena Williams (Schumer’s joke being she didn’t get the  fully dressed message) are all apart of a much-needed cultural movement with the goal of empowering women.   Right now, the world is in the midst of an era of women empowerment, with the first plausible female presidential candidate to the rise of the female super hero such as ‘Jessica Jones’ or ‘Scandal’. 

This calendar was created to stand for something more than naked women since, as Jennifer Zimmerman, the global chief strategy officer for the McGarryBowen advertisement agency said, “Who uses a calendar anymore?”  

 One of the models for the calendar, Tavi Gevinson, the 19-year-old creator of Rookie Magazine, believes this calendar symbolizing a turning point in the media’s view of women.  She stated, “ A white, able-bodied, cis-gendered woman being naked  isn’t revolutionary anymore.  I don’t think anyone’s going to be like, ‘Damn, I wanted those naked chicks’”

Credit to Annie Leibovitz