My Love-Hate Relationship

So I’m gonna do something a little unconventional: a poem about my love-hate relationship– can you guess what it is? Read and find out!

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I thought I’d track my macros on MyFitnessPal turns out it’s something I hate

I have to log whatever I ate

Make it a habit of trying to eat healthy foods on my plate

On top of that, everyday I have to track my bodyweight

I wanna be strong and toned by a specific date

But with all this good food I hold so dear, it’s almost impossible to not frustrate

I dedicate this all to my people who demonstrate

What it means to be fit and that we can’t deprecate

On how our bodies are, we cannot dissipate into what the media celebrates

Therefore, it is up for us to educate

what it means to be strong and designate A plan of action and concentrate

on what we want, not what the world emulates I don’t write to devastate but I write to captivate the minds of young individuals

We must deviate from societal influences and innervate all that is good for us

Our weights fluctuate It’s so easy to hesitate on what we should eat and integrate a set of healthy habits

It irritates me to see that I have to take my phone out every time I satiate my palate

I appreciate my body for all it does and

I may hate MyFitnessPal and may even down rate it

But one of my goals this year was to accentuate my body, care for it and regulate it.

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I hope you found this empowering and if you would like to see more poems like this, let me know in the comments below!

Special thanks to Jamie Gist Writing for inspiring me! Go check out her work and show them some love!

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The Power of Respect

Hey guys so, I know it’s been a while, but I was just given this amazing opportunity to be able to give a talk today for this thing called a Read-in. We honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. So here is the piece that I decided to read yesterday!

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“The time is always right to do what is right.”- Martin Luther King Jr.

So today’s post is gonna be about the one thing that should be instilled in everyone from a young age but isn’t. There are going to be people in your life who genuinely either do not show you respect because of their lack thereof or they simply don’t know how to show you that respect because no one ever taught them.

Respect is a huge thing and quite honestly, it has been a huge thing for a while now. It is something that is so essential to everyday life, and so easy to do.

So why do people lack it?

Disrespect and ignorance kind of go hand in hand with each other. In today’s world, respect isn’t shown as much. They way you parent a child,

Like how do some people expect to be given respect, if it hasn’t even been earned? I mean, think about it, you can’t just walk into a position of authority and demand respect. That’s not how it works. You need to build that trust so that you can respect someone. If you want to be a better person, part of it has to do with being open to all opinions and respecting the opinions that may not be yours. Then again, you don’t have to agree with an opinion you don’t really see fit to your experiences.

Just respect their opinions and understand where they are coming from. You can’t really know what their experiences were, which is why you should always stay open minded and above all, be tolerant of those views.

Everyone has different experiences and come from all walks of life. You are given opportunities to meet these people everyday, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, and/or disability. R E S P E C T them, that’s all that anyone asks.

I feel like the more we respect, the more we can understand each other and listen to each others views, then we can learn about where other people are coming from based on their frames of reference.

By frames of reference I mean areas of knowledge, like general experiences we have had throughout our lives, that we can provide another insight or perspective on the matter.

We need to be open to those perspectives, respect one another and realize that we are all humans, who are capable of learning respect and tolerance. So begin today.

thank you.

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It was such an exhilarating experience to be able to listen to some of the poems that people found surrounding the topic of Martin Luther King Jr., the injustices in today’s society among many more. It’s amazing to see and learn a different perspective.

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.

They’re People, Too

Hey guys! It’s not just thanksgiving, but pretty soon it is gonna be early black Friday shopping, which means only one thing…. LET THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING BEGIN!! Fight to the death for the things you want…Right? Wrong. No one should ever raise their voice at someone who is clearly trying to help them get the products they want. I’m talking about the retail workers who don’t have a choice, but to work on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Etc. These are holidays where spending time with families and making memories are a crucial part of what make the holidays what they are. Special. I’m talking about all the general managers of the big toy stores, Office supply stores, Supermarkets, etc., who have to be at their jobs, especially on a day like today because they need to oversee operations, get everything in order and get merchandise stocked so that they can be sold to customers, among many other things. You guys are the real MVP.

Today and Tomorrow are going to be chaotic and because we live in a society where we want things right here and right now, it makes it difficult for people who aren’t retail workers to be conscious of how crazy they sound. But how the hell would I know, you ask? I used to work in retail. For 3 months. Now, 3 months doesn’t compare to 3 years of retail experience but its something that I can put on my resume, right? Haha.  I know that 3 months isn’t enough to know everything there is to know about the inner workings of a store, but it is enough to provide some insight to how retail workers feel and since I have had and exposure to what Season (what my co-workers and I would call the Black Friday/Christmas shopping season) is like. So without hesitation, I’m going to tell you all about how retail workers feel, how you can be conscious to their feelings, and most of all, how you can control the anger that comes with wanting everything here and now.

From a retail worker standpoint, their job description does not entail that they take your shit. Honestly, is it plastered on their forehead, “Hi, Welcome to *insert store name here*, I am ready to take your shit”? NO IT DOES NOT.  So before you go all, “This isn’t the product I wanted”, “Can I please speak with your manager”, “You’re doing an awful job”, Think about the fact that these are HUMANS. They are living and breathing humans, like you and me. They deserve the same amount of respect that everyone else does. You, the customer have no right to look down on these people. They take the time out of their day from their families, to go to work and to help people like you. Before you think about raising your voice at an employee, PLEASE consider the following:

Do you think you can make your point without yelling?

Are you harboring a deep seated anger that has nothing to do with the person who is trying to help you?

If you answered yes to the 2 questions, then you need to re-evaluate how you can diffuse the situation. Be conscious of the fact that they can make mistakes too. They’re not superhuman.  If you want respect from someone, you can’t just demand it. You have to earn it, regardless of where and who you are. Take a deep breath and realize that maybe you, the customer, need to make your needs known, so that the employee can do their part in helping you get what you need. It’s hard enough that you’re in the middle of chaos, but please understand that employees are in the middle of it, too and they are doing all they can to make sure you get what you need.

Please take a deep breath if you need it and ask, politely, where you can find your item. In the midst of all this chaos, keep in mind that one little deep breath can go a long way in making sure that the situation goes smoothly. If you’re a retail worker, don’t constantly do this every time you come across a guest who needs help, as it will look like you’re huffing and puffing and blowing down the house made out of straw (hah 3 little piggies remark), but do it as needed. Customers included. I don’t care what your level of patience is, but learn to be patient with the employee and customer, vice versa. Yelling at someone and constantly being on their ass, does not make them bring out your product faster. Calmly, but firmly telling them that you need something does. You have to understand that on days, like today and tomorrow, these employees have what feels like, 501+ things to do, please don’t be a dick and scream obscenities at them when they’re not bringing out your product. It’s disrespectful and quite frankly makes you look like a child throwing a temper tantrum. Don’t do it.

Keep in mind that the employees are there to help you, not be your second class citizen who you can just shit on. They are there to make sure you have a pleasant experience while shopping, in the midst of this chaos. Don’t chuck items at them and expect them to catch it, they’re people, too. Chucking things at them not only causes more chaos and does not diffuse any situation. Help them help you. Do your part as the customer and they’ll do their part as the employee/gen manager.

Have you ever realized that some employees, have to work on a day like today? Do you ever realize that more than half of these employees have their own families they need to get home to? Be considerate of the employees this holiday season, their job isn’t easy, but they’re the ones doing it. Holiday shopping is stressful, but we can all help each other have a good experience.

Happy thanksgiving, everyone!

Making The Best Out of Your Current Situation

We’ve all been there. That shitty part of life where you feel like nothing is going the way you want, where all you wanna do is curl up in a ball and role into a hole, never to be seen again. I get it. We are human and we are bound to fail one way or another, but that shouldn’t make you want to throw in the towel when life gets shitty or tough. No, you fight for the life you want to live because, well, it becomes well worth it when you make an effort to be mindful about the situations that you find yourself in. Always inculcate an idea of “that’s all you got, life?! BRING. IT. ON. I’M READY FOR YOU!!!” Taking on a boss ass attitude really shows how resilient you can be, it shows your ability to bounce back from whatever life throws at you. 

      Throughout my life, mind you I’m only 20, I’ve met a great deal of people who have gone through hell and back in their lives and the one question I always have for them is “how were you able to go through what you have been through?” Some of the responses I’ve gotten were “well I had no choice, but to move forward”, “I chose to look at the positive/mindful in my life”, “I focused on one thing and that one thing got me through my tough time” that one thing could’ve been his/her ticket that took them out of the situation and into a better life that they provide for themselves. Uh, yeah I’ll take a one way ticket to get me the FUCK outta here. Ha! Totally kidding. By ticket, I don’t mean a physical ticket where you can take the midnight train going anywhere *cue Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin'” *.

 What I mean by ticket is that, symbolically, it means something valuable, irreplaceable, even, to different people. Having that ticket, to them means the absolute world, it is something that they will work towards in order to obtain that golden ticket. Having a ticket also means that it instills a drive, a drive to make their lives better, a drive to become an inspiration to those around them, and ultimately, a drive to grow as a person.

In life, you have two decisions to make after having a bad day or a bad situation, all together: you can either give up, stop trying all together, and hold on to that anger OR you can get back on your feet, say “HEY LIFE! IS THAT THE BEST YOU GOT?!”, And remain mindful about the situation you’re in and try again tomorrow. It’s just a bad day, not a bad life. We’ve all had our own share of bad days and bad situations, but should that stop us? NO. Of course not. 

I’ve had my fair share of drama, my fair share of my bad days. Whether it be with boys, with friends, or with my own family members, it’s all been temporary. The people in my life have come, gone and some things have gotten better, while others were better left alone. For the record, those horrible situations didn’t break me. They made me stronger. They helped mold me into the person I am. Through all of these bad days, I have learned something very valuable about myself and about the people who put me in the shitty situation to begin with. I’ve gained so much perspective and have been able to focus all my energy in being mindful about the situations I find myself in. I used to lock myself in a situation and just think ” well shit. I’m in this situation, so I’m just gonna sit here and do nothing and wait till there’s a solution” . 

 If I were to give my teenage self any advice, it’d be this: You do not find a solution by just sitting on your ass and twiddling your thumbs waiting for something to happen! You find your solutions by looking for one! Don’t stop until you’ve found every possible solution for your situation. My mom taught me this important concept and I almost hate to admit it, but she is right. What good are you gonna do if you just sit and become afraid of the situation you’re in? Nothing! Get up and look for a solution.  You could have it worse, but you don’t! When I was a teenager, I thought every bad day would define who I am or who I would become. Looking back at it, it really doesn’t. What it does define, however, is your outlook or perspective. Coming out of each situation, your attitude changes.

How you react to the situation is based on your attitude and how you choose to react, is up to you. 

 How were you able to overcome a difficult situation? Was it your attitude or was it the people who helped you?

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control the way you think about all the events”

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