Exhausted

Image Credit: Celestialhairgallery.com

For the girls: a few questions.

Isn’t it exhausting? Exhausting to have a standard already set for what makes a woman beautiful? Everywhere you look, you see a beautiful girl with beautiful hair, skin, and eyes, a beautiful smile and a beautiful body, a girl who looks nothing like you. She doesn’t seem to look like anyone you’ve ever met before, either, except for the hundreds of other girls you see on billboards or magazines. Those girls all look alike.

Isn’t it exhausting that from the time you are born, you are programmed to think that the basis of your worth comes from the extent of your beauty? Why is so much of your importance based on your physical appearance, when really it shouldn’t matter at all?

How long have you felt the pressures of upholding the image of a “woman”? Since as long as you’ve been able to communicate, you are told what you should and should not do or say, how to act, and even how to sit properly.

Isn’t it exhausting to feel like you’re never good enough? Isn’t it exhausting to be chastised for speaking your mind or disagreeing with someone, to feel guilty for eating a big meal? Doesn’t it frustrate you to think that you might not be paid the same amount as the man sitting in the desk next to you and who signed the same contract as you?

Do you get angry? When you have too much contact with the opposite sex- you’re flirtatious and need attention, but when you don’t engage with men- you’re a prude.

Isn’t it exhausting to always be comparing yourself to, competing with, and feeling threatened by other strong and capable women? Girls shouldn’t have to feel this way about each other; girls should want to support each other. Do you ever try so hard to make everyone else appreciate you that you forget to appreciate yourself?

Why is it okay for your brother to tell a sexual joke, but God forbid a sister should make one, for then it becomes “disappointing” and “irresponsible.” Why in third grade PE do the boys have to do twenty push-ups, but the girls can only do ten “girl” push-ups? Why do boys use the phrase “like a girl” as a way to insult one another, why should boys be warned not to “throw like a girl”?

Isn’t it exhausting to always be made so aware of how you look? To feel self conscious about even your chipped nail polish because a boy commented on it, to feel uncomfortable walking past groups of men on the street for fear of hearing how pretty you look in that little dress.

Why are skinny girls the only ones allowed to wear certain clothes, the only ones you see in advertisements? Does it make you sad to think about how strongly society correlates being thin to being beautiful?

And why is it- no matter what- everything always comes back to your physical appearance?

Being a girl myself, I think I can sum up the answer to these questions, on behalf of all girls: Yes. It does make us sad, and angry, and frustrated. It is exhausting – and we’re tired of it.

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Dark Lights

There once used to be so much brightness in my life

So much light

The kind of light that shows itself through the floaty leaves flowing in the autumn breeze

The sunlight that glistens against the piercing blue, salty ocean on a summer day

The light that’d peek through my bedroom window followed by the harmonies of birds chirping to wake me up on a spring morning

But light is just a false perception of brightness the world wants you to imagine

There’s so much darker light

The neon pink and blue luminescent lights brightening up a pitch black dance floor

Which eventually turn hazy to the human eye when one too many drinks have been consumed

The artificial light radiating off my desktop lamp

Keeping me up at inhumane hours of the night

The foggy bright city lights

Photo Credit: walldevil.com

Dimmed by pollution

But one night as I was on a journey from one blurred street light to another

Across the horizon, a car sped out of the tunnel right into my point of vision

And just as my vision was blinded by a piercing yellow light

The rest of the world faded black.

Heavydirtysoul

I can’t believe you’re still here.

I thought I chased you away

that day when everything went black and blue,

that day when the soulless bloodhounds killed for me,

crawling around my heels,

with your blood dripping from their mouths and eyes.

Turns out it was mine.

Turns out all this time I’ve been shooting at a mirror.

Turns out you’re still here

credit: @twentyonepilots on instagram

in my basement

tying ropes to my ceiling

placing spikes in my sheets

pouring paint over all my books.

But you can tie your nooses and splatter blood,

but I will never

ever

let you stay.

I will smoke you out of the basement,

I will chase you out of my home

I will let out the dogs

and they will race you

until your breath feels like rattling saws

they will race you to the cliff

where you will fall for the very last time.

 

(mood inspired by heavydirtysoul by Twenty One Pilots)

My first Thanksgiving

What is Thanksgiving? You’ll probably answer with: “It’s an American holiday and as the name suggests, it’s an occasion for people to be thankful for all the blessings in their lives.” But what’s the origin of Thanksgiving? When the Pilgrims arrived in America, they had trouble growing crops and in 1620 that lead to a famine that killed half of the Pilgrims. Fortunately for them, the Wampanoag tribe taught them how to farm on their soil and later in 1621 the Pilgrims had their first successful harvest. The Wampanoag tribe was then invited to a feast known as the “First Thanksgiving.”

As a non-US citizen, I was very curious to see how people celebrate Thanksgiving because it’s taken very seriously. Growing up, I used to love Thanksgiving specials on shows like “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Simpsons.” I knew the basics of Thanksgiving, but have never experienced it.

The food is fantastic, I never knew that turkey and cranberry sauce can go together so well. What I really appreciate about this holiday is the opportunity to reflect on your life and realize how many things we should be grateful for. I was lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving with my family and it was very sweet to have the whole day to keep saying how much we mean to each other. I’d say this experience has brought us closer in a way.

This was a very successful first Thanksgiving. Here’s to many more!

History of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving at White House

 

Photo Credit: Rose Rundown

 

Ski Season

I am overwhelmed with excitement for the ski season approaching; the visions of snowflakes float around in my mind, reminding me of the snow-filled times of last year.

While at Mammoth Mountain over the holidays last year, my dad challenged my cousin, brother, and me to ski the face of the mountain in a complete snow storm. My heart pumped with exhilaration as the word “yes” left my lips.

This run was called Cornice Bowl and is one of the longest runs on the mountain. My body was shaking with every step as I walked closer to the building housing the gondolas. My vibrant white ski boots squeezed my feet, and my blue Patagonia jacket clung to my body as if it was giving me a hug for support. Carrying my skis in my right hand and my poles in the left, I trekked up to the big cinderblock building, awaiting my next challenge to overcome in life. Slowly but surely, I walked up the metal steps and entered a big room with doors leading to numerous rooms on the left, and the rotating gondolas on the right.

We walked up to the ticket scanners and, just like clockwork, the season passes we held so dearly in our pockets dinged, leaving a slight buzzing in the air. We then walked on big black mats that covered the concrete floor up to the thin yellow and black line that kept us from crossing. Finally, the tall man dressed in the iconic bright green and black Mammoth snowsuit waved us forward. With swift pace, we walked up to the gondola entering the crowded room.

My heartbeat accelerated quickly. I could hear it in my ears, it felt like an elephant in the room. Suddenly, the man wearing the distinctive green suit directed us to enter the moving gondola.

I hurried as fast as I could, slid my skis into one of the plastic slots on the outside of the gondola, and hopped in. I slid across the fake leather seats all the way to the far right. The doors slowly started to magnetically close as the gondola slipped away from the crowded room.

The blur of white snowflakes overtook all sides of the gondola. I thought I would never know this feeling, but for once in my life, I was blind. The winter wind left ice kisses on the side of the gondola, crystallizing the windows.

The dismal weather warped us into a white wonderland, with swirling snowflakes and drafts of wind occasionally blowing by our capsule, leaving a sudden crisp chill inside. McCoy Station was seen like the light at the end of the tunnel. Our tiny world entered the big picture again as we entered McCoy Station. As we crossed the threshold into the dim cinder block building three more men boarded our gondola and then we continued on the path to the summit.

The snow became thicker; each individual snowflake doubled in size, making for utter whiteout once again. The temperature grew colder as the summit approached us. The snow had fogged up the windows, leaving us surrounded by a kingdom of white.

The gondola seemed to slow as we traveled up, finally reaching 11,053 feet. Our carrier entered the small building at the top of the mountain. The kind men helped me release my skis from the moving gondola as I waited for the rest of my family. We hustled into the closed doors that held warmth inside, just to step foot outside again into the treacherous weather.

My ski boots hit each stair with a loud clunk. The temperature was extraordinarily low, resulting in frostbitten faces or ones which were almost completely covered in masks. After posing by the nearly frozen trail sign for a few pictures, I stepped into the bindings of my skis. My dad reassured my cousin and me that this would be no harder than what we were doing previously. The only downfall would be the steepness factor and weather. Then, my dad had a short but sweet conversation with my brother that this was not the proper hill to bomb down at mock-ten speed, but to go slowly and practice his turns.

We headed down Upper Roadrunner, an easy blue run, which was short ways to the Cornice Bowl, our first Black Diamond of the season. Once we reached the edge of the drop-off, I could see dismal looks plastered on everyone’s faces. My dad told us only people with great amounts of courage would ski this run in a complete whiteout. Then, he went first to show us where to turn. My brother followed with the same energy he normally had, but at a somewhat slower pace. I followed him, or at least I tried as I couldn’t see anything but white and the hints of blue coming from my K2 skis.

I started my first turn; slowly, I placed my pole, and my skis swiveled. Soon enough I started to find a rhythm of turning. My dad stopped every once in a while to check and see how we were faring. One by one, we would emerge out of the white bliss, regroup and continue down. In my head, I listened to the rhythm of the pole turn and repeated this motion as we made our way down the precipitous slope. Then, I could make out the end of our run.

My cousin and I made it to the flat, where my dad and brother had been patiently waiting. We decided to take a sharp turn to the right and head down a piece of uneven terrain on the side of a somewhat small cliff and start powering our way down the mountain to McCoy Station. At McCoy’s, we headed back to the main lodge, where the main gondola station is located. As we slid into the crowded area of people, we all announced at once that we wanted to go again.

 

Photo Credit: pagely.netdna-ssl.com

 

A Project For Disaster

I’m no fashion designer. In fact I’ve never sewn a piece of clothing in my life, but I feel like I know what fashion is when I see it. I know fashion is supposed to be a statement of art, a piece of someone’s mind artistically constructed into something wearable, but sometimes I wonder how pieces of fabric are hideously sewn together, given a ridiculously high price because of its brand, and called fashion.

“Project Runway” is an amazing TV show which many talented and aspiring fashion designers enter in hopes of getting a spot in New York Fashion Week. I always found it incredible how people were able to construct amazing clothes under extreme pressure in, sometimes, just one day, especially in the unconventional challenges where the designers aren’t even allowed to use fabric.

“Project Runway” has always been my favorite TV show. I would go visit my aunt and curl up in the living room together and binge episode after episode, debating over who’s going to be the winner or who’s going to be out, eventually becoming a tradition during my visits. However, over the years the show has started to disappoint me. That isn’t to say that they aren’t amazing designers, but I feel like sometimes the winners are usually based off of likability versus actual raw talent.

Photo Credit: MMC News

I haven’t watched all of the most recent season, but I did see spoilers from the finale and I was not impressed… at all. The designers had weeks to come up with a fashion line, and the clothes they managed to make in one day were much more impressive than the ones they brought to the runway. The silhouettes of each piece were inexistent and bland, the color schemes were simple, and overall it just wasn’t nearly as mind blowing as the runway pieces from previous years. If I were a judge, I would’ve sent them all home, but I guess there has to be a winner, right?

If you need a good laugh, and want to see more of the most ridiculous “Project Runway” looks, click here

Winter sunsets

Winter sunsets are always the brightest.
The days are shorter, the nights are darker.

It’s November,
and even though it’s cold enough to see your breath in the air
we still eat dinner in the backyard.

Photo Credit: Reddit.com User: finnishlad

It’s cold, but who needs a fire in the living room
when there’s already one in the sky?

The sky is burning,
plumes of smoke in pink, purple, orange.
Colors brighter than you knew existed.

They fade into view, like spilled ink slowly spreading across a page.
They stay to entertain the mountains, dancing among the clouds.
They decide it’s time to leave, sinking below the horizon.

Once spectacular, then gone.
But don’t worry; an encore tomorrow.

We watch the clouds burn for as long as they will.

Dad thanks Mother Nature.
Mom says it’s the moments like these when she knows God is real.
I think it’s the moments like these, the simple things,
that make it all okay for a while.