I’ve been embarrassed of my height for a while. I wear platformed shoes, I sit up as straight as I can, and I do exercises that supposedly help me grow. But, no matter what I try, I’m not going to get any taller.
I’m short and I don’t like it, but I can’t do anything about it, so why not own it?
I’m short, I have a lower risk of cancer.
I’m short, I can wear children’s sizes and save a bunch of money.
I’m short, I can wear heels without towering over my date.
I’m short, I don’t have to worry about hitting my head on doors.
I’m short, blankets will cover my body and my feet, so no cold toes for me.
I’m short, I can fit in small places.
I’m short, I can fit in my dog’s bed and cuddle with her.
I’m short, I can beat just about anyone in a limbo competition.
I’m short, I have a higher life expectancy than taller people.
I could go on and on about the pros of being vertically “challenged,”
I saw this tweet a few days ago and I think it is something we all need to be more concerned with.
And, it’s not just about climate change, it’s about everything involving the environment. We’ve done a lot of damage. When it comes to bettering our environment, it’s too late for preventative measures. We’re just playing catch up now.
Sometimes it’s hard to do the right thing. We’re so used to living the way that we do, it’s not always easy to put the planet first.
If you want to reduce your impact or help the planet but don’t know how, here are a few things you can try implementing into your routine:
Say no to plastic. The next time you eat out, tell your server you don’t need straws. Especially, if it’s fast food. There is no reason for you to take a lid and a straw for your drink. Buy glass bottles instead of plastic ones – they’re easier to recycle. If you’re planning on eating out, bring reusable containers to take left overs home.
Be mindful of product packaging. For example, buy bar soap instead of liquid soap. This can include shampoos and conditioners; there are plenty of eco-friendly options that don’t use plastic packaging. Don’t buy anything with excessive packaging. Cardboard or paper packages are the best options. Buy in bulk as much as you can.
Buy second hand. I understand that, from time to time, it’s nice to treat yourself to a new item and that’s fine. But, for the most part, you can find everything you need at thrift stores and you’ll save money too. There are also plenty of websites where you can buy used items (for those of you who like online shopping).
Keep it local. Shop at farmer’s markets and support local businesses. Buy produce that is in season. This reduces the distances that items need to be transported and causes less fuel emissions.
Don’t waste food. Shop for groceries using a list and only buy what you need. Don’t cook more food than you can eat. It is better to have no leftovers at all, but, if you do, try to actually eat them later.
If you’re looking for more ways to reduce your impact, do some research. There is so much information out there that can help us be better.
I’m not perfect. I try my best to be conscious of everything I do and the impact it will have, but I still have a lot of ways in which I could be better.
To some people, conservation might seem like a hopeless cause. But as long as we’re trying, if each day we do one more thing that reduces our impact, then, there is still hope.
Their entire philosophy is based on the premise that when we start to say yes to things, we open ourselves to experiences that would never have been possible if we had said no. It encourages its followers to be spontaneous and preaches the idea that strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet.
To live out this philosophy, the main people involved are three 20-something, friendly, and fit guys who travel around the world and complete challenges based on the spontaneity and kindness of strangers.
In their latest video, one of the guys is abandoned alone in Slovakia with no money and no phone, where he must attempt to return to his friends in Budapest.
I love everything about this channel and I hope someday I can live my life in a similar fashion.
But, I know this isn’t as realistic for me. Simply, because I’m a woman.
The thought of being dropped off in and exploring a random country sounds like a dream. The thought of being dropped off alone in a random country sounds terrifying.
I hate that just by being female, doing anything becomes more dangerous. I am a strong believer that a woman can do anything a man can. While that is true, it’s also true that women have to take a lot more precautions than men do.
I read a study that asked groups of men and women about the things they do in their everyday life to avoid being assaulted. The responses from women went on for pages. For men, there was one answer: “Nothing. I don’t think about it.”
Words cannot express how much I wish this weren’t the case, how much I wish men and women were really, truly equal when it comes to things like this.
I wish that my mom didn’t have to worry about me going to the beach with my girl friends at 5 PM, even though she is fine with my older brother going to the same place with his guy friends at one in the morning.
I wish that women weren’t twice as likely as men to experience sexual assault or violent crimes.
I wish it weren’t like this, but it is. And let me tell you, it sucks.
To any men who are reading this, appreciate the fact that you don’t have to make sure you have your keys in your hand when you’re walking to your car at night. Be grateful that when you’re running by yourself and a truck drives behind you, you don’t have to stop to let it pass so that you can see what it is doing. Remember that there is a reason why girls always go to the bathroom in groups.
Tell this to your sons. Make them understand what it’s like. Teach them how to make women feel safer.
Maybe someday we’ll live in a world where a young woman can walk through a city alone, the only thing on her mind being how grateful she is to be there, and her biggest concern being what she will eat for dinner.
I suppose there’s something sort of compelling about them, being a glorified, rebellious accessory of sorts.
I used to love the smell of smoke. It reminded me of when I was younger.
Now I never trust anyone who likes cigarettes. Cigarettes kill people.
They do it slowly, squeezing the air out of your lungs little by little, until one day, you can’t breathe at all. They burn holes in your throat and melt your skin, but, at that point, you’ve grown so used to the feeling that you’re convinced it makes you feel better.
In the beginning, before it becomes a problem, you can still decide when you want to smoke. You know it’s addicting, but you tell yourself you’d never let it go that far.
But, after a while, when your first urge after you wake up is to go outside and smoke or when a meal never feels complete until you’ve finished a cigarette- that’s when you really have no control at all.
Cigarettes kill and if you still smoke that either means you just don’t care or you live under the false pretense that young people are invincible. Either way, you’re foolish.
Maybe I’m wrong. I probably shouldn’t be so judgmental.
But, there are plenty of other ways to be fascinating.
You’d be surprised how often I write letters to people I can’t send them to. I write them to mom, dad, past friends, future friends, animals, and now I’m writing one to you, my younger self.
I could just see your face reading this. You’d scoff, then toss it aside not wanting to read it. You were never a fan of reading; now you read all the time.
You’d be surprised how much has changed.
I no longer want to be a movie star, nor is UCLA my top choice. In fact, I want to be a lawyer, and I want to go all the way to the other side of the country and pursue law in New York City.
Hannah Montana isn’t my favorite artist anymore, and Wizards of Waverly Place is shockingly not my favorite TV show anymore.
Instead, you went through the embarrassing seventh grade emo phase you shamed Rachel for going through.
If I’m honest with you, younger self, I’m so much different than I thought I’d be.
Some things stayed the same. Logan is still alive, I still love horses, and I still love to sing- though the older I get the worse I seem to become.
But, oh boy, I am definitely not the person I thought I’d become.
I no longer have hair that goes down to my hips, instead it’s right below my shoulders.
I dont have beach blonde hair or sun-kissed, clear skin. I have glasses, and I have freckles, and I have scars.
I don’t go to a big public school where I’m the most popular girl. I don’t go to beach parties on the weekends or sneak out of my bedroom window at night time. Instead, I go to a small boarding school. Instead, I spend weekends going to the movies and riding horses.
I haven’t had a boyfriend yet, but I really could care less. It was something I dreamed of, but now all I dream about is getting into college or passing my math test.
This may not sound appealing to you. You always dreamed of the crazy nights, city lights, and the “celebrity” life, and maybe a glimpse of that dream will come true in NYC, but trust me when I say what’s happened after mom and dad is quite possibly the best thing that could’ve ever happened to us.
Life has gotten so much better. I’m writing this letter contently from the warmth of my bed, music through my headphones. Summer begins in five days, and I’ll be going to Disneyland, one of your favorite places, a week from today. You used to be obsessed with Maroon 5, and I finally see them next Tuesday.
Though you had all these dreams when you were younger, none of them seemed possible due to our circumstances. They were all just dreams in arms reach, yet they seemed so far away.
Well, I’m glad to say that I’ll be a senior in just a few days. That while my dreams weren’t the same as they were when I was younger, they’re coming true, and I hope you’re proud of me.
Actually, I probably give some of the worst advice I’ve ever heard.
But, one thing that I’m probably even worse at is managing stress, and, more importantly, giving people advice about it. Because, in all actuality, I have no idea how to manage it and I don’t think anyone really does.
Stress comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be as little as that paper you know you should have enough time to write for your English class, yet you psych yourself out because, after all, it is a big chunk of your grade. And stress can be as big as….. well anything. It can take over your life and control you if you let it.
For me, one of my larger stresses I refer to as competition stress. This comes with all sports competitions, no matter the magnitude of it. It’s the pressure and the anxiety sitting on your shoulders like a bird watching its pray from way above so the pray can’t see them.
Lastly, the big stress, the whole shebang, is what I call the stalker stress; this is the type that even if you kick, scream, run, and hide it’ll find you somehow. It is the type of stress that resembles a person you don’t want to get to know, and one that you hope doesn’t know you. It is the boogie man hiding under you bed when you’re little and the clown hiding behind your door. It’s the reason that you hate walking alone in the dark because you don’t exactly know what you’re scared of at this point, you just know you’re scared.
But, I’ve learned one thing, and if people do ask me about stress this is the only true piece of advice I can give: it’s hard to manage stress, but it’s even harder not to be scared of it. So once you manage how to not be scared of the inevitable, life becomes easier, I don’t exactly know how, it just does.
P.S. I don’t want you to go on thinking that I have it all figured out, because I don’t. I’m so far away from it, but I’m managing, and will continue to until I can stop stressing about the little things and go on living life. But that will be a while, because it’s difficult and stressful.