The Hook-Up Culture

Hey guys! This week has been a busy, between working events and working in the office, it’s been super productive and fun. The events that I get to work are great and the moments shared with my co-workers are never dull!

so…

Lately, I’ve been reflecting on the four days I spent on tinder and the thing about the app is that it perpetuates a thing, known as the hook-up culture. Otherwise called ‘friends with benefits’, hook up culture is basically that. Two people who match on tinder (or any means of communication) and they meet up, have sex, do whatever and that’s it.

In fact, let’s consult with only the best dictionary for this word, shall we?

hook up urb

Again, since urban dictionary is a user-contributed website, this is the best definition its users have voted on… There was another definition for hook up, but that has nothing to do with the subject.

Okay, so I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of Hook-up culture. I don’t even understand how that would even work, what these bullshit ‘rules’ are, or why anyone would want to be involved in one, in the first place, if no relationship can come out of it?

Hypothetically speaking, if I were in a friends with benefits kind of relationship, I don’t think I could do it. With the way that I’m wired, I’m too into my feelings

But in all seriousness, knowing me and the way my mind processes things, I don’t think it’d be as easy to detach my emotions from the whole experience.

If you’re in one or have been in one in a while, let me know your point of view on the matter, in the comments below!

With that being said, I’m not looking down on people who have that kind of relationship going on with one person or even multiple people. In fact, it’s more like a thing I don’t really understand. What do you call you and the other person? your fuck buddy? How do you know that the feelings aren’t anything more than just that?

I don’t understand why people start off being fuck buddies and then later on realize that they develop actual feelings for each other.

Or how sometimes a girl will engage in a hook-up because she’s head over heels in love with a guy who only views her as the side piece and nothing else. What happens then when the guy is literally using a girl for his own sexual needs, but not for emotional companionship.

I get it, hooking up with people is just an easier way of saying “YEAH I JUST GOT WITH x AMOUNT OF PEOPLE”, and it’s all the craze, especially after a break-up because-let’s face it- you’d rather have your tongue down someone’s throat than take a step back and figure out what it is you want out of the next relationship.

Hooking up seems like the better option if you aren’t ready for another relationship. Coming out of a relationship (more on that here),especially a long one, makes you feel like you aren’t ready to give someone your all. It’s not a heart broken feeling, but it’s akin to more of an open space.

I remember that’s how I felt when I came out of mine, I’m down to meet new people, but I can’t really bring myself to hook up or engage in anything with anyone, because I know how I’d feel. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, I’d rather focus on my own damn self than on someone else, for the time being of course.

However, I don’t think hooking up with people is the “cure all” for breakups and heartbreak. If anything, I think using people, just to fill a void-that may take time (and only time itself) to heal-is just wrong and self-deprecating. I would never advise anyone to go out and have a grand old time with just anyone. If you’re my friend, I will tell you that you will find the person that you are looking for.

It may not be now. It may not even be tomorrow, but rest on the hope that there is someone out there for everyone. Life has a way of bringing in some of the most interesting people into your twenties, so learn from them and embrace the experiences with these new people.  Live your life and focus on yourself for a bit and see where that goes!

Call me old fashioned, but I’d rather wait for a long-lasting relationship, than be in a temporary fling that only lasts ten seconds minutes.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to you deciding whether or not you want the real thing or something close to it.

Sending a ton of Love and Light your way,

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The ‘I Told You So’ Phenomenon

Hey y’all! So this past week, it’s been primarily rainy and gloomy in my area. However, yesterday was pretty great and I finally felt that spring feel. The feel where it’s not too cold, not too warm, but just right? That’s always the best feeling. Now that we’re entering April, it’s the start of gloomy weather. While it is great and all, I think I’d much rather have some 60 degree weather, right about now. But as the saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers”

Haha! Anyway, I’ve been noticing how we are so quick to point out other people’s shortcomings/red flags.

We, as a society, seem to actively look out for any ‘imperfection’ that we find out about someone. It’s like we wait for it, we stalk instagram, facebook, and any text or conversation about said person.

and when we find said imperfection…

We’re literally ITCHING to tell our best friend. Whenever you tell them this, it starts off a little like this: “So lemme tell you about this bitch…” Like when we see something that is out of our own experiences or out of our own beliefs, it’s automatically something worth talking about.

Hell, that’s how magazines make sensations, they report on things that are either divorces, marriages and even the occasional “what the fuck?” type stories ALL AMONG STARS. Just like magazine reporters and paparazzi, we’re actively making mental notes and pasting it to our personal weekly or even daily magazines. We are always up-to-date with what our favorite celebrities say or do on their social media platforms and interviews, that we kinda leave them with no room for error.

So when they step out of line or do something uncanny…

We scowl and laugh at their shortcomings.

On top of living to be able to point out and even call people out on the things they’re doing, when it all fails, we live to say ‘I told you so’ as if we were damn fortune tellers

Has it ever occurred to you that if said situation actually did work out for the person as they thought it would, where are we? I mean, we practically live to see the shortcomings of other people, but what does that say about us, if we were so sure, it was going to fail?

Why are we so quick to point out other people’s imperfections, when we already have some of our own? The moment that someone tells us about something we’re doing wrong or is a massive red flag, we get on the defensive. Depending on how each person reacts completely varies, but for the most part, we tend to be defensive and we try to justify why we do certain things.

and then we go so far as to reciprocate the same sentiment back to the person. Now shots have really fired, haven’t they?

So what do you do in a situation like this?

Realize that it’s coming from a good place

We all know how family members are quick to say something because believe it or not, we value their opinions. Even though they “grew up in a different time”, the same philosophies they have learned when they were our age, still apply to today. They’re honest because they know you (unless you’ve been estranged from your family for quite sometime) and want you to see yourself as a great individual.

However, Friends won’t tell it like it is… unless you have a serious problem. I have only a few good friends who are literally willing to give me and all out honest response. If a friend is willing to actually ROAST you on how you’re handling things, then you know you have a good friend. The good ones always bitch because they care.

Don’t Brush it off

On top of realizing people are coming from a good place (yes, even if they roast you, lol), take their criticisms into consideration. We aren’t perfect people and this part doesn’t imply any sort of perfectionism. What I am saying is we can work to become better people, in whatever way we can.

The important thing is that you listen to them. Have a positive outlook on it. Work towards becoming a better you and don’t read too much into what people are trying to say.

If your support system tells it like it is, points out what you’re doing wrong and how you can be better, I’d say that this is out of love. The people around you want to you to get to a point where you can be comfortable with making mistakes and learning from those mistakes, so that you can be better equipped to handle things head on. Your support system can be entirely friends, entirely your family, or both!

Definitely make it an effort to surround yourself with people who care about you and are willing to go the distance for you.

If you’re constantly withdrawing from your support system all because you can’t accept one little criticism, then who is really at fault? People won’t want to go the distance for you, if you don’t let them.

If you’re gonna blame everyone around you for the behaviors that you have, the mistakes that you continually make, that doesn’t serve you any good and it isn’t fair to the people who love you. You aren’t growing as a person in this way.

I read somewhere that the more we assume what other people think about us, the more we limit ourselves and our perspective of the world. 

Don’t beat yourself up

With whatever they tell you, just know that there is always room for improvement. Beating yourself up about something that you need work on, doesn’t help you grow either. It’s time to move on and see to it that you will take the steps needed to be better.

Step up. Learn about yourself and quit whining. That was me, roasting you.

You are a person full of worth and value, and the thing is: I see it in you. I don’t know everyone who reads my blog, but I do know this: each person in this world has worth. Each person is worthy of love, guidance, and all that is good in the world. I see your worth, but in order to make a difference in your life, you have to be able see it in yourself as well.

The bottom line is, it’s so easy to point out other people’s shortcomings, but we must not be so quick to point out theirs, if we know that we may do the same thing. We are not perfect.

Always stay mindful of the fact that you can always become a better person and can learn from the constructive criticism of other people. We’re works in progress and we learn each day something new about ourselves.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Losing Weight: The Part No One Talks About

Hey guys so this past week, I had a doctor’s appointment. It was just a check up and to see if I still needed to get a vaccine.

So I get my height, weight, and eye sight checked by the nurse. The usual. Then I was redirected to an examination room where I could wait for the doctor. So I sit there waiting for the doctor, and since I was the only one in the office, the doctor came by pretty quick.

They look at my chart on their laptop and notices that I gained 5 pounds.

*GASP* “Karen, you gained FIVE pounds?!”

and without missing a beat I said, “it’s probably just muscle because I’ve noticed my legs have gotten more toned.”

To which the doctor responds, “Yeah, but your BMI is a ____. You’re ‘overweight’ for your height”

Simply put, I was called fat. When CLEARLY I am not.

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Family vacation in Bermuda (December 2017)

They brought up the literal Body Mass Index chart. In my opinion, that chart is a messed up construct used to classify people by how fat/overweight they are. No one uses that when they’re talking about their weight, like I don’t go around saying ” I’m a *insert bullshit BMI chart number here*”. In fact, no one really knows what those standards are and if I were to ask someone what their BMI is, do you think they would know? NO.

We live in not just a body sensitive world, but also a body positive one.

Body sensitive, in that now, what you communicate to a patient or anyone can have profound effects on their mental/emotional mindset as well as their own perception of themselves. There are some people who cannot have their weight be said out loud or who refuse to have their weight being done for a doctors check up because of this.

This is all in reference to a psychological theory called Social Comparison Theory(SCT). SCT is when you see where you stack up in a group and how there are certain attributes that you latch onto. So say someone says “you’re very gorgeous and you would make a man very happy”, you tend to latch onto this attribute of being very gorgeous. You find yourself in a group with other gorgeous people and you see where you stack up from “gorgeous” to “not gorgeous”. When you see that you don’t even stack up in said group, then you leave the group and see where you stack up in another.

This happens a lot more on social media. So you are still latched onto the “gorgeous” attribute, so when you go on sites like Instagram and Facebook, you actively start searching for gorgeous looking people and therefore seeing if you even compare to these Instagram models.

When we focus too much on that and we don’t see that we can compete with this standard of beauty, what happens is we internalize an awful load of negativity about ourselves, causing depression, cutting, and eating disorders.

But… We also live in a body positive world where there is now, more than ever, a light being shone on mental health illnesses and eating disorders. There are CELEBRITIES who struggle with mental health illnesses and are verbal about their ongoing struggles. There are communities that you can join that are centered around positivity and spreading awareness of these things. Which is amazing.

Losing weight isn’t something that should be taken lightly. While it is easy to say, it’s very hard to do, because it’s all part of the emotional and mental process of being consistent with diet and exercise.When that doctor basically told me I was “overweight” for my height, I thought HOW?

I…

  • Go to the gym about 3 or 4 days a week, as my schedule permits
  •  do loads of cardio followed by lifting weights
  • When I eat out, I try to eat healthier alternatives
  • But at the same time, I don’t deprive myself of some good chocolate chip cookies, fraps, or other delightful snacks.
  • I try not to eat too much bread in one day

In my eyes, I think I am healthy. I don’t really pay attention too much to my weight because it does INCREASE and FLUCTUATE.

I am healthy and have come a long way from where I was since my freshman year of college.

I was dorming and I was at a school that was out-of-state. It was maybe my first time being away from home for a long period of time. Prior to me living on campus, I was taking medication that opened up my appetite and helped me get on a good sleeping pattern. The only problem was, it was my freshman year and the freshman 15 was in full swing. Only I didn’t gain the freshman 15, I GAINED THE FRESHMAN 45!

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here I am with a public speaker that was at my school (March 2016).

Where I went to school, they practically fried anything AND everything they could get their hands on. Hey, it’s not their fault, they were trying to appeal to the mainstream college student.

But I would soon realize that losing weight was a hard and grueling thing for me to overcome. I realized that it wasn’t as easy as it was back in high school, where I could scarf down fries for lunch and then head to my gym class to burn it off.

I found out that I had an anxiety to eat, whenever,  wherever. In order to combat it, I had to internalize 3 questions…

  • Was I actually hungry?
  • Was I bored?
  • What is a healthier alternative to what I’m craving?

Once I got that under control and was able to rationalize my eating habits, I was able to schedule and work going to the gym AROUND my schedule.

To up my self-esteem a bit, I learned some yoga/meditation and booked a photo shoot with really good photographer and friend. (I’ll put the link to her work at the bottom of the post!)

Granted, I am not a perfect person. I fell victim to wanting to drop in weight every week, but sometimes my weight loss journey came with a lot of setbacks, which I learned is okay. Those setbacks were designed to motivate me further towards a healthier lifestyle, without constantly depriving myself of ice cream and cookies.

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here I am at a place called the Gorge in New Hampshire (September 2016).

Losing weight is more than just the appearance. It’s more about how you feel. If you don’t feel okay, then do something to change it. Work towards a healthier and happier you, without taking drastic measures to see where you fit. Working towards a healthier and happier you doesn’t necessarily mean lose or gain weight, it could just mean that you are working towards a better version of yourself, starting from what’s inside and being able to project how you feel about yourself, outwards.

You are enough.

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Fancy Dinner with some of my friends (January 2018)

For more of Lin’s work, check out her wix site Here!

Living Life With Arms Wide Open

Happy New Year, guys! I am so excited for what 2018 will bring, I really hope that this year brings a ton of positive energy, lots of love, and light in all of your lives. may you accomplish the goals you have set out for yourself this year.

So, I recently got back from vacation with my family. One day, while we were out to eat, we were talking about a ton of interesting things, mainly things that we were thankful for, opportunities we never had, people in our family that we admire and the like. In the midst of the conversation, I thought about a song I had heard earlier that day called “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield, more specifically I thought about the lyrics, in one part:

Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

The part that I put in bold was something that was bouncing around in my head. Living your life with arms wide open. The wording and meaning is pretty self-explanatory, but on that day it meant so much more to me for some reason. Maybe it was the topic that we were on. Maybe it was the fact that my younger sibling and I are two different people with different approaches to life. Now, I’m not saying there is a so-called right approach to life, because the way one person goes about their life isn’t the way another person would go about their own.  The way I see it, there is no right or wrong way to approach life.

My approach to life is taking advantage of opportunities and making the best of these opportunities. I’m someone who doesn’t let anything steer me away from the things that I want to do. In some respects, I’m fearless and try to live in the moment, I might even want to try to document the moment, because that’s the kind of person I am. I’m always down for an adventure with just about anyone, immersing myself in new and exciting experiences that aren’t really seen everyday. I’m loud. I’m crazy. Like I said before, there are no rules when it comes to how you’re enjoying your life.

I get this approach to life from my mom. One of the things that I love about my mom is how she lives her life with arms wide open. When I thought about those lyrics on that day, I didn’t just think about the literal term of living with your arms wide open, I thought about it a different way. To me, it means how you are able to live your life with an immense amount of love in your heart. How you can just open yourself up to feeling something real. How you can live everyday knowing it could be your last. More importantly, it brings into perspective of freeing yourself from all doubts and your insecurities.  You should be able to walk through life confidently, not letting anyone tell you how you should be living your life. Be thankful for yourself, for being present with yourself (gosh, I’m starting to sound like a yoga instructor).

Make every opportunity to be there for yourself the same way that you’re there for the amazing people in your life. Believe in yourself.

Make goals towards being a better you. Do things that you really love. Do what makes you happy. If you have trouble finding what makes you happy, then make it your goal this year to find what it is that makes your heart beat a little faster and brings a smile to your face.

New Years’ Resolutions don’t have to feel unattainable to keep. They just require work, as with anything that you want in this world. If you want something, a change, for example, then you need to put in the work for it to happen. You can’t expect anything to come to you, if you don’t try. Make it your goal to try and to work at what you really want. You want that new job/internship? Apply. You want to get fit and toned, like your fit role models? Put in more time at the gym and eat right. You want to get on the dean’s list this upcoming semester? You better hit the books and study. The list could go on, but when you think about it, these are all simple solutions to your goals.

I think what makes our resolutions feel unattainable are our expectations. Sometimes we get discouraged because we want results *snaps fingers* like that. The truth is, though, life doesn’t work out like that. You need to also learn how to be patient with yourself. Once you become patient with yourself and you hone in on how you can achieve those goals, you are then able to stay consistent with your goals.

Here’s my rule of thumb on how you can keep our New Year’s Resolutions in check, write them down and keep them in a place where you can always find them. I wrote mine down and I left the list on my desk where I can always refer to them.

But most of all, make your goal to live your life with arms wide open. Be open to new things this year. Achieve new things this year. Become a better person. Grow. Learn something new about yourself. Do more of what you love. Spend time with people who really see the amazing person you are. Live simply and strive for happiness in whatever it is that brings a smile to your face. Live for today.

Anything is possible. Sending lots of love and light your way.

Why I Blog

Hey guys, I know its been a while since I posted my last blog post and I’ve been pretty busy this past weekend, but I am so happy to be back on here and just post my thoughts.

So without further-ado, I’m gonna talk about Why I blog.

This idea came from watching Demi Lovato’s new Documentary called “Simply Complicated”. In it, Demi talks about her early childhood, how her singing and acting career took off, and more importantly how her mental illness all started as well as, where she is today. Demi talks candidly and unashamed about the events in her life, which was very eye opening to see in a girl who basically had to grow up in the spotlight. She opened up about how and when she started with drugs and alcohol, as well as her sobriety and how it really hasn’t been easy, but how it has been worth it. But the one thing I was able to resonate with the most and the one thing I am going to hone in on, was the fact that she deals with bipolar disorder, or manic depression, and how she was able to find her outlet in music.

From a young age, Demi was always involved in or with music, to her it was this thing that really kept her sane, it was her outlet and I find that to be absolutely amazing and impressive. The thing about bipolar disorder is that the people who suffer from it, they tend to have mania, or manic episodes where they will throw themselves into one thing and will spend countless hours doing the one thing they love or want to do. So for Demi, it was staying up all night making music. For people going through this it’s something that while it is a manic episode, sometimes they have no memory of said manic episode.

While watching this, I remembered a couple of times of when I  struggled with my depression. When I had depression the first time around, I remember not wanting to do anything and not wanting to do anything that would eventually help me in the long run. I felt like I didn’t have any options and felt completely and utterly hopeless. In the midst of the cloud of depression I was under, I managed to find one outlet, and that outlet became writing. Much like Demi, if I really needed someplace to vent, I would go to my journal and just try to write anything.

But unlike Demi, I wouldn’t sing, I would just write until my hand got tired. To me, there were no rules that were associated with writing in my journal, it was something that I learned throughout my recovery process. Writing wasn’t just something that I picked up during a time of need, for me, it was always there. Ever since I was about eight years old, I remember just being so fascinated with writing that I would write about things that happened to me on a daily basis. Writing became more enforced when I was a high school sophomore and I had this awesome English teacher who made all of his classes have a marble composition notebook.  In them we could write about anything, he would even have essay prompts up on the board. So when I was given that freedom, at 16, I knew I had to run with it. Writing’s been the most constant thing in my life, friends and boyfriends may have come and gone, but my writing has been something that has always stayed with me.  I am so happy that I get to use it as a tool to not only reach out, but also as a cathartic way to let my emotions out.

Writing began to have a big impact in my life and it was this moment where I decided to turn my writing into blogging and blog about my thoughts on various things. When I first started out blogging, I was in my freshman year of college. I remember feeling the need to vent, to write out something, and I just went for it, I blogged about the first things I could think of, which was about how I dealt with depression, panic attacks and the importance of success (if you want to read the first posts I made on here, I will put the links at the bottom of this post!). I remember feeling really happy after telling my story and wanting to tell everyone I knew at the time, about this new thing I discovered, called blogging. To every person who passed my way, I would promote my site to them and tell them, “Hey! Read my blog!”, I think I still do that today, but mainly over the social media and I’ll ask a select few friends what their thoughts were while reading it.

One of my main goals, is to create a blog, have people read it and feel empowered by what I write.  I find a clearer meaning in something that either bothers me or something that I really care about.  I really hope that telling my story will help other people in similar situations too. I thank God everyday for giving me an amazing outlet and I hope that He helps you find your way through other creative outlets! Mine just happens to be writing, but for you it could be anything. An outlet is something that really takes your mind off of the stressors in your life and can be super cathartic, examples include, but are not limited to: art, photography, dancing, working out, writing, coding, sketching, editing photos, singing, writing your own songs, driving, making food, baking, going outside, and many more!

With writing, I am able to feel sane and comfortable in myself, knowing that I have a voice. When you find your voice through any outlet, the benefits can truly be life changing. Make the decision to find your voice through your own outlet and you’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish in your life.

So my questions for all of you are:

What are your outlets? How did you discover them?

 

Heres the link to some of my first blog posts!

My Definition of Success

An Inside Look at Depression

Panic Attacks: What’s the Big Deal?

Also here is the link to Demi’s documentary on youtube!

 

If you or someone you know is suffering a mental health illness or is struggling with drug/alcohol addiction, please reach out!

Suicide Hotline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or log on to your browser and contact a trusted mental health professional, you are not alone in this and if you really do need help, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone!

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(SAMHSA):  https://www.samhsa.gov/

 

 

 

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