why not to call me a bigot

To whoever called me a bigot on instagram,

I understand where you are coming from, I must seem pretty awful to you. I am sorry you feel that way, I wish it wasn’t so. I wish I didn’t mess up too. But I really want to talk about your point because I feel like we can all benefit from thinking more deeply about what your words mean to people like me. So, I thought maybe I should propose a little thought experiment:

So, lets presume for a second that I am a bigot, that I am intolerant of other cultures, of races that arent white (although I am brown,) of gay people, of transgender folk, and of women. And I was trying to adjust my image so some college would admit me, would it be a good thing to reprimand me for trying to seem less intolerant? Presumably showing me that there is no way I can fit into a society that you live in. Maybe I would feel hurt and I would confide in communities which tell me that my bigotry is okay. Is that what you want?  Or, on the other hand, would it be better to tell me, a bigot, that I had improved and that I am a better person, to offer me acceptance and forgiveness, which would probably encourage me to continue on a path that would eventually lead me to abandon my bigoted views and instead embrace diversity and inclusion. 

Now, presume for just a moment that I am not, in fact, a bigot. That I am someone who genuinely has learned from my mistakes. I am someone who has been educated and now has an understanding of both sides of the story, I am someone who is trying to make a difference in this world, to teach other people that don’t understand the impacts of their actions the importance of forethought and understanding of other peoples. Would it be a good idea to tell this person that they are a bigot? Showing them that maybe despite their 180º that no one will ever accept them within a diverse community. Showing them that they are permanently canceled and they may never be able to rejoin your part of society. Maybe I would internalize this and come to the conclusion that no longer should I try in vain to be a good person and instead sink back into my past. Into the uneducation that led me to make my mistakes in the first place. Is this the impact you want to have with your post?

I think you intend to do good by calling me out. I really do. I think you are trying to do something to benefit communities which I hurt. To defend them in some way, by not letting me return to society easily.  But I think you need to think more deeply about the repercussions of your actions.

Luckily, I know I am not a bigot, I know that the pain I caused my peers at —— was a result of my uneducation, not of prejudice. I know I posted those things in satire. I know that the mistakes I made were not because of hatred but because of stupidity. And I also know that the people in my life who I respect and love are of the same opinion. So I won’t seep into the recesses of hatred and intolerance,  I will continue to do my best to make this world a better place. But that is luck. If I didn’t know any of that, your words could have done real harm. Real harm to communities that you think you are helping by calling me out. So, once again, in the best interest of the communities you think you are defending, don’t call me a bigot.

 I am not one. 

PC: wikimedia commons

P.S. 

I tried to frame this argument as objectively as I could, but I still feel like I need to address my feelings a little bit. You really hurt me by calling me a bigot. I feel like someone who has tried my best to not only try to learn from my mistakes but to actively try to make others not fall into the mistakes that I made. I know that the actions I have taken after ——— have done good in this world and in the communities that I am a part of. And for that to be met with your post and comment really hurts me, I know that is probably not worth much in your eyes but I still felt like my feelings needed to be acknowledged.

The Beach

I have been anticipating this day since last Friday. I was getting my hopes up and I did not want to be let down. When the campus had to switch to the stricter rules again I thought the beach trips were canceled.

We loaded up the van and started going on our way. We stopped to get burritos for dinner from Don Lalo’s Burritos, I ordered a steak burrito.

Photo Credit: californiabeaches.com

Once we got to the beach, all of us laid down our towels and started heading to the water. We played and swam in the waves until we were tired.

A couple people were playing volleyball and the rest of the group played Spike Ball. We sat out and ate some snacks before heading back in the water.

We played around a little more in the water and then came in for dinner. The whole group conversed and ate their burritos. Many people saved them since they were large.

Overall, today was a good day at the beach.

Crafting in Quarantine

It’s not often that I find the time to build something for the sake of building it. The beginning of summer left us all with hours to fill and few options for how to fill them. I took the opportunity to begin what I call my longest project ever. I spent three weeks of quarantine building a dollhouse with no plan of what I would do with it or where I would store it.

I tested my dusty geometry skills by planning an outline for the house and cutting out big shapes of foam board. The wallpaper quickly went up and I spent my afternoons creating mini furniture and decorations. With each addition to the house, I gained a new skill in a new medium. I worked with wood, cardboard, paint, clay, wire, and fabric. Having a long term project gave every day a purpose, and I have spent every week since then creating new things to fill my time.

Art Credit: NCW Libraries

Quarantined

For the past 12 days, I have been quarantined in my room at my school. About 2 weeks after school started I decided it was better for me to return back to the U.S to take my online classes, as the time-difference from Germany was too much and I always had classes at night.

Of course, with me coming from a different country and getting in contact with a lot of people, I had to take a COVID Test and I still quarantined to be safe. Being stuck in your room for 2 weeks is more exhausting than I thought. I can only leave my room to get water and to go on runs. I am a very social person, so not being able to actually be with people and hang out with them really got to me. I decided that I didn’t just want to sit around in my room not doing anything so I started doing things that I usually didn’t have much time for.

I started playing the guitar again everyday, learning new songs, I went on daily runs, did daily workouts and concentrated a lot on studying. Quarantine is what you make out of it. I though these two weeks would be endlessly long and boring but I have found new ways to keep me busy.

I was able to work a lot on my photography, I usually don’t have much time to squeeze my photography in with having school until the afternoon and then sports, dinner, study time and then bed. But now with the extra time I had, I was able to work on my pictures and continue on my journal about animal behavior and animal tracking.

I also had daily google meet meet-ups with friends every night to study together and work on homework and SAT studies. This has now become a daily thing and we meet up every night in the google meet working together. This makes studying more fun and it helps you to stay connected during these uncertain times.

I am very happy to finally be able to get out and see people again after my quarantine but these two weeks have also taught me a lot about keeping myself busy and helped me make time for the things I love.

Quarantine and lockdown - Coronavirus: Key terms explained | The Economic  Times
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/coronavirus-key-terms-explained/quarantine-and-lockdown/slideshow/74930210.cms

theres nothing like winter

when the air is crisp

when there are no leaves

when it smells like pumpkin and fire

winter is the best time of year

sipping hot chocolate and watching movies

staying cozy under the blanket

seeing the snow outside

winter is by far the best time of year

going sledding with your buddies

making snowmen with your siblings

throwing snowballs at your friends

winter is like no other

it is a time for family

it is a time to relax

winter is my favorite time of year

Anime Winter Scenery Wallpaper-1 | Winter scenery, Winter wallpaper,  Scenery wallpaper

Art Credit: Pintrest.com

Reflecting on the past

Recently I have found myself looking back and reflecting on life before March 13, 2020.

Prior to that date, i was busy being social, going out with people, even sharing drinks from friends waterbottles. But today, that all seems so bizzar.

Its crazy how much seven months can change someone.

I now can’t seem to remember how life was before we had to wear masks or make sure we obsessively washed our hands.

I am now so used to making sure I put my mask on before I enter a building or if I am around people, but why was it so easy to completely re-program the way I live my life.

I do miss the days where I did not have to think twice about approaching someone. I miss long hugs with friends and family that you haven’t seen in a long time. I miss meeting someone for the first time and shaking their hand. I miss being in a room with people all together and seeing smiling faces. I miss it all.

I miss life before March 13, 2020. It was simpler and there seemed to be less evil in the world, even if that was not the case.

Art credit: peakpx.com

Beauty is only skin deep

They say beauty is only skin deep, but what is that supposed to mean?

Many of us find ourselves examining our features in the mirror for hours on end, or catching a glance of yourself in the mirror and feeling a wave of self conscious thoughts crowd your mind.

Why as human beings do we strive to be beautiful on the outside? Why is not having a beautiful soul or personality good enough?

I often find myself wondering if people still believe that beauty is in fact skin deep. I would much rather be adored for how I treat people, rather than for how I look physically on the outside.

If people believed beauty was in fact only skin deep, I think many of us would live a happier life. We would not care so much about how we looked or if we had the perfect body to fit in a bikini because it would not matter. In the end, none of it would really matter.

Yes, beauty is on the inside and it is skin deep, but sometimes in order to find that inner beauty you must learn to love your external self too.

Art Credit: twowaymirrors.com

Runners High

I set a goal to each day to get outside somehow.

Whether it be sitting and looking around at the scenery, taking in a view somewhere, or simply walking around, I need to do something to clear my head.

But nothing gets the blood rushing and clears my mind like running.

There is nothing like hearing the rhythmic pitter patter of your feet hitting the solid ground.

The only problem with running is actually getting out and working up to the rhythmic sounds of your feet.

Now the easy part is once you get into the rhythm and you start to loose track of time and you feel you worries start to slip away.

Once you loose yourself, you drift into what some would call the “runners high”

That high you feel is numbing and freeing, yet it is full of utter exhaustion and the desire to quit, but something motivates you to push through and experience the moment and loose yourself.

Then in the blink of an eye, you’ve reached your destination, or something snaps you back into reality and you are back to focusing on the rhythmic pitter patter of your feet hitting the solid ground.

Art Credit: Salomon.com

Finding Inspiration

Inspiration has to do with pretty much anything we do. If it is writing, drawing, dancing, cooking, playing an instrument etc. But sometimes it is hard to get inspired and we feel stuck. We sit at our desks starting a sketch or a choreography for a dance over and over again and we just get frustrated because nothing seems right. I get this feeling a lot.

After school I spend a good amount of time sitting in front of my laptop, looking through photos I have taken on my travels around the world. For me, photography is something to escape to and to relax. Going through pictures is almost like you are reliving these moments. I always think it is so overwhelming how much meaning a picture can have. I pretty much only take pictures of animals and it has grown to be my biggest passion. When I look at my pictures, and I get to look an animal straight into the eyes through a picture I have taken, it almost feels like as if I had some sort of connection to it. For a moment everything is quiet and it is just me and the animal.

Photography has its many amazing sides. You get to travel the world, see the most amazing spectacles that nature has to offer, but there is also a side to it which sometimes brings you down. I follow hundreds of other photographers on social media, and sometimes I scroll through certain accounts just thinking: wow. I wish I could capture pictures like this.

I have a bad habit of comparing myself to others and being very harsh to myself when it comes to the pictures I take. I try to find inspiration through others but in the end it just makes me feel like my pictures aren’t good enough. I have spent hours and hours trying to find a style, that when people see my photos, they know that they are from me. Every time I post something I think it is just not good enough, my pictures all look the same and they all just look flat. I get frustrated and I can’t find any inspiration or whatsoever. But this is part of the progress. Nothing is ever perfect. But there are moments, when I see a picture that I like, and it just makes me so incredibly happy and proud. And these are the moments that keep me going.

People text me telling me that my pictures inspire them. That they enjoy my work. And these are the moments that make everything so worth it. I love what I do and I am so incredibly thankful for all the amazing moments I have got to experience thanks to photography. I love sharing my work with other people, bringing people closer to our wildlife and nature, showing off the beauty and diversity our planet has to offer.

Photo taken by the author.

the sound in my ears

the drop of a penny

the splash of water

the cling of a glass

noise is more than just a sense

for some it is a lifestyle

for some it is an artstlye

without noise the world we know would be bland

the world would be without the beautiful sounds

crickets chirping at night

birds singing in the morning

it would all be gone

we dont notice it very often

but noise is an eccential factor to our lives

we see it as just a function of our body

but no, it is much more than that

noise is love

noise is happiness

noise is peacfulness

Johnson - Is music a language, as Stevie Wonder sang? | Books & arts | The  Economist
Art Credit: economist.com