Confessions

I think one of the reasons I’m always so fixated on others is because how much I hate myself.

I’m often called annoying, because I ask to many questions.

I’m often called nosy, because I get in other peoples business.

I’m often told I copy others, so I need to stop trying to be like everyone else.

I’m often called jealous, because I need to be happy for others.

I’m often called a liar, so I need to stop over exaggerating and be more honest.

I’m often called conceited, so I need to stop talking about what things I have done.

I’m often called self degrading, so I need to get out of my head.

But here’s the thing…

I ask a lot of questions because I rarely trust myself and need reassurance.

I get in other peoples business because hearing other peoples’ flaws distracts me of my own.

I copy others at times because I want to fit in, be accepted, and I simply don’t fully know who I am or how to be myself yet.

I lie at times because I am ashamed or embarrassed of something I have or haven’t done.  I lie because I think I’m worthless and I don’t want others to think that too. I lie solely because I’m scared of the truth. In many aspects, I’m a failure to the too-fast, too-soon goals I have created to for myself.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

I come off as conceited because when I do something I’m proud of, I want it to be known because it is rare that I am happy about something I’ve done. My accomplishments and my talents are the few things that I truly know are a part of my identity. A lot of times, I say the things I have done well just to remind myself I’m capable of actually doing good. I have a hard time being humble because I assume people view me as worthless, the same way I view myself. Sharing my accomplishments proves that I’m actually capable of achieving good.

I come of as self-degrading because I am. I refuse to accept the fact that I can’t be the best at everything. I set goals that are beyond my reach and set myself up for failure. I punish myself for every goal I don’t achieve, resulting in my belief that loosing is the end of the world.

I know that one of the reasons I’m always so fixated on others is because how much I hate myself.

I know the reasons behind my flaws don’t make up for them, but understanding is the first step to solving them.

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Creeping it Real: High School Halloween

When I was three, my parents told me about the Halloween Pumpkin. I could keep as many pieces of candy as my age and if I put my the rest of my candy on the door step before I went to bed, the Halloween Pumpkin would come during the night and leave me a toy. They made sure to tell me that he would only come if you gave him a couple days notice and only my parents could deliver my wish to the Halloween Pumpkin. At least a week before October 31st,  I would contemplate for hours (or at least what felt like hours to a young child) about what types of candy I would keep and what amazing toy I would receive the morning after Halloween.

Last night, my friend and I went to go to a haunted house. The house was closed, so they gave us a bunch of candy. I figured, I’m really not going to eat this because of carbs, sugar, and the amount of calories. When I got home, I went up to my parents’ room.”Bey, remember the halloween pumpkin,” I asked. “If I put this on the door step, will it magically turn in to twenty bucks by tomorrow morning? Tell ya what, I won’t even keep fifteen pieces”

“Nice try,” my parents said. “But, no.”

When I was younger, I remember going trick or treating every year.  I would count down the minutes until I could knock on doors and hold out my spookily-decorated candy basket. My friends would start counting down the days until the magical holiday as soon as October 1st rolled around.

Nowadays, it seems my Halloweens consist of hours of homework with the occasional  annoying interruption of happy children knocking on the door.

Sometimes, I wish I could just put my Halloween candy on the front porch and the Halloween Pumpkin would come during the night and give me what I wished for: the chance to be kid again.

Photo Credit: foxnews.com

Is This Democracy?

In North Dakota, a voter ID law was passed that states: in order to vote one must have a street address. If the mail man does not deliver to your home, it is not considered an address. No street address=no vote.

In North Dakota, thirty-five percent of the population does not have an “acceptable” address. A large part of this thirty-five percent are the Native Americans who can trace their lineage to North Dakota dating back to the 1830’s.

Over sixty percent of the Native Americans live on reservations and use P.O. boxes to receive their mail.

Over sixty percent of the Native Americans in North Dakota are refused a right that they were born with: the right to be a part this so-called “democracy.”

In Florida, many polling places in the towns of minorities were locked and closed, despite the fact that they were supposed to be opened on voting days.

Piles of ballots were also left uncounted. In the 2000 presidential election, 179,855 ballots were “invalidated” and uncounted. 53% percent of these ballots came from black or Democratic voters.

In Alabama, a law was passed that, in order to vote, one must have a photo ID taken at the D.M.V. Alabama has closed 31 of 67 D.M.V. locations. Almost all of these of these 31 closings are in counties that are home to poor and black people.

There are 250,000 registered voters who are now unable to vote due to the ID law. The majority of these 250,000 are impoverished, African-Americans, or both.

Selma took place over fifty years ago, but it seems like some things in Alabama will never change.

These are few of the many injustices taking place in our country today. The list of minorities being targeted and denied the right to vote goes on and on…

Ask yourself: Is this democracy?

Photo from worldatlas.com

 

Don’t believe me or want to read more? Check the cold, hard facts:

https://www.aclu.org/blog/voting-rights/voting-rights-act/alabamas-dmv-shutdown-has-everything-do-race

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/07/black-voter-suppression-rights-america-trump

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/north-dakotas-native-americans-law-blocks-populations-vote/story?id=58912062

Hindsight 20/20

Photo Credit: favim.com

My parents tell me that I broke your heart… but I deny it.

Sometimes, I think about how we used to be. I remember that one night when I texted you asking if you knew any good places to get my guitar fixed. We hadn’t really ever talked that much before this so I was shocked by your answer. “I can fix it for you, what’s your address,” you replied. You drove half an hour to my house to come pick up my guitar. You didn’t just pick up my guitar; you played my piano, talked to me, made me laugh, and told me I had a beautiful voice and you would love to play music with me.

From that night we became closer. I remember how excited I got when you would text me, how nervous I was when you would come over, and how happy I would be when we played music together.

Weeks went by and, even though you lived half an hour away, we’d hang out almost every night after swim practice. I remember my best friend saying how perfect you were for me. At that moment, I agreed. You were an amazing guitarist who was looking for a singer in your band. You were funny and entertaining. You were an amazing swimmer. And, you actually paid attention to me, something I had never really experienced from a guy.

One night, I heard a knock on my door. There you were with a guitar case, my guitar case. I opened it to find my guitar clean, polished, and fixed. I thought you were just going to replace the string that I had snapped. I was shocked. I offered you money, but you wouldn’t take it.

That night, you kissed me. I had kissed people before in dares, spin the bottle, or other stupid party games, but this was my first real kiss. My heart beat a million times a minute, my cheeks were probably bright red, and I remember thinking how perfect that moment was. It’s crazy how much things have changed since then.

I remember how you would surprise me with flowers; how we would sneak into your guest house when your parents were home, so we wouldn’t get caught; the guitar lessons you gave me; and the food you would buy me. I met your whole family. We did a triathlon together. You finished way before me, but as soon as you crossed the finish line, you ran back to do the final stretch with me. When I ran my marathon, you woke up at five am to drive to the starting line and cheer for me and you were their when I crossed the finish line. Then, there was the time you told me you loved me, I said it too.

It seems like everything happened so fast. I had so many firsts with you. I had so many good memories with you. Before this, guys always ignored me, wanted nothing to do with me, and would never want to be part of any relationship with me.  I never thought I would be the one hurting you.

I was happy in the beginning, for the first couple months, but as time went on, something changed. You didn’t change though, you continued to so many nice things for me and be the amazing person you are. You wrote me a song, comforted me when I was down, wrote me letters when I went to sleep away camp, went on hikes with me, and told me I was beautiful. You didn’t change at all, but my feelings did.

I started acting weird. I became a bit distant. I don’t know why I stopped feeling the same for you, it just happened. The day I told my parents I wanted to break up with you they said not to. “He’s so perfect, stick with him,” they said. My mom would get mad when ever I asked her how I could break up with you.

I tried to feel the same way about you again, I really did, but I just couldn’t. The day I broke up with you, you cried. You said you were okay and that it wouldn’t change our friendship, but we both knew that was a lie.

I cried too. I felt like such an awful person. My mom would tell me I deserved to feel that way, because of what I did to you. My best friend would say it too.

It’s been over half a year since we dated, yet its almost like whenever you look at me, you seem sad.  We’re in the same friend group, so I see you sometimes when I’m with my friends. A couple weeks ago, I asked you what was wrong. “Whenever I see you, I just get sad. I get so jealous when I see you with other guys. I still love you,” you said.

Now, we barley talk. It’s awkward when people say your name.

Sometimes I think about how we used to be. My parents tell me that I broke your heart… I don’t deny it.

 

Stargazing

A couple days ago, on a camping trip in the Alabama Hills, we all sat in silence in the pitch-black and looked at the stars. Seeing the hundreds of shining dots of light scattered in the sky was breathtaking; yet, some part of me felt a morsel of sadness. In order to see these stars, it was a four-hour drive from the small town I live in and a seven-hour drive from the nearest large city.  In Las Vegas, LA, or even just in my backyard, I can look up and see no stars and no moon, just black.

There are 40 billion stars in the Triangular Galaxy, 100 billion stars in the Whirlpool Galaxy, 250 billion stars in the Milky Way, and 1 trillion starts in the Andromeda galaxy. In the universe, there is an estimated 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars; yet, due to human-caused factors, such as light pollution, only 5,000 stars are visible to the human eye across the world.

The average star is 109.1 times larger than Earth and the largest star is 32,730 times larger than the planet we live on. It’s also ten million times brighter than our sun.

These stars are so much larger than our earth; yet, in America alone, over 80% of the population is unable to see them.

You may wonder, so what? Why does this matter?

Here’s why it matters to me:

Every star I see reminds me of how small I am, how small you are, and how small the human population is. Nowadays, so many people view themselves as giant. Humans kill other animals, destroy the wilderness, and essentially destroy our elves with how we treat our planet (climate change, over population, the list goes on).

I should stop saying how we treat our planet; it’s how we treat the planet. Humans don’t own it; it is not something that we can claim as ours or threaten until it gives in. No, Earth is a powerful force of nature being affected by the billions of small, ant-like creatures called humans who live on it. It is not ours; it is not ours to destroy. So, humanity, please stop fucking acting like it is.

Humans are not the biggest force to be reckoned with; we aren’t gods. Our current superiority does not give us the right to kill everything in our path. One day, a meteor will hit; a black hole will swallow the earth;  countries will fire nuclear bombs and wipe out all life; the global warming we caused will result in an atmosphere unsustainable for all life; or, just like the dinosaurs, an astroid will hit. Even if all life on Earth just magically disappeared, the planets would keep spinning, the suns would keep burning, and the stars would keep shining.

Whenever you can, look at the sky and stars. Remember we are small, but, even though we are small, we have the power to protect this planet we call Earth.

Photo Credit: davemorrowphotography.com

 

 

Shortcuts

Let’s face it, they’re nice. Who am I kidding, they can be great.

Would you rather win the lottery or work your ass off everyday, struggling to get by?

Would you rather get straight A’s and not even have to try or be in a class where getting a B- minus is a HUGE accomplishment?

Would you rather do your Spanish homework or go on Quizlet and find the answers?

Would you rather tell your mom you swept the floor or would you rather actually sweep the floor?

Would you rather take an hour to fold and put away your clothes or just shove them in your closet in less than thirty seconds?

What I’m getting at here is, shot cuts can be nice. Who am I kidding, they can be great. Yet, as great as they are, most make life harder in the long run.

Cool, Quizlet got my Spanish work done in two minutes, but do I even know what the heck any of the questions are asking?

Cool, my mom thinks I swept the floor, but am I really the type of person who will throw away their integrity just to get out of a thirty second chore?

Cool, my clothes are out of the way, but, shoot, when I went to get dressed, a mountain of clothing fell on me.

Cool, I did twenty push-ups instead of twenty-five, but is getting done first even an accomplishment if you cheated?

Photo Credit: lovethispic.com

Many days, I see people taking short cuts too, so its nice to know that I’m not the only one. But, more than just self-reassurance, I find it comforting that I’m not the only one who occasionally struggles with putting short term effects over long term results.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you need to walk twenty miles to work instead of driving because you have legs. I’m nothing saying to use them, to not even think about taking the car. I’m not saying no short cuts for you. But, if work is a three minute walk from your house, don’t take a short cut and drive. Being efficient and taking a short cut are two VERY different things.

Efficiency is great. A needed skill set in the always-going world we live in. Why would you walk twenty miles to get to work when you can take a quarter of the time and drive? Why take three hours hand-writing a story when you can type it in a half hour?

A lot of the time, people mistake efficiency for cheating. The definition of efficiency is to get the most done in the shortest amount of time with the least work. So, maybe you’re thinking, that you’d rather read the Spark Notes of a book than read the full book.

Here’s the thing, when your teacher asks you what the main character’s last name is, will you have a clue?

When the Spanish test gets handed back, will you get a good grade?

When your mom asks if you did your chores, will you lie directly to her face?

When the race comes and your teammates are strong from doing all the pushups, was the satisfaction of doing less in practice worth the shame you feel now?

Recently, Ive been working on doing the right thing instead of taking the easy way out. I read my English books instead of reading the summary, so I get a good grade on the test. I worked hard in practice and I got a personal record in my race. I took the time to get what I needed to get done instead of putting it off for later or completely ignoring it at all.

I’ve realized that no matter how much you don’t want to, pushing through the little things is what makes you better, stronger, and smarter. Suffering through a hard workout will eventually result in success; thinking about what you say before you speak will result in less regretted words; and putting your all into everything you do will result in a life that you’re proud of.

Take the route that’s right, instead of the short cut. Because, as cliché as it sounds, it’s not the destination that matters, its’ the journey.

Say Yes to The Dress

Last night, my best friend came over to my house to help me pick out what dress to wear for homecoming. I tried them on and got her feedback. Here’s what she had to say:

Dress One:

“You look like a disco ball.”

Dress Two:

“You look like a grandma.”

Photo Credit: tipsyelves.com

 

Dress Three:

“Take that off now, please.”

Dress Four:

“You still look like a grandma.”

Dress Five:

“Why did you even order that?”

Dress Six:

“You look like a hooker who’s going to a funeral for your hooker friend who died hooking up.”

Homecoming is in four days. The dress hunt continues.