I am not embarrassed to love myself, and you shouldn’t be either

As I sit here in this coffee shop, drinking chai tea and looking at the people sitting around me, I quickly notice the diversity that surrounds me. There is an older woman next to me who looks to be in her late 40’s doing school work. A little bit farther, there is a black girl scrolling through Twitter. To the right of her, an Indian boy listening to music, mouthing out the words while looking through a textbook. Next to the door, a white girl who biked here, drinking a frozen mocha and looking out the window. We are all different, and we may have nothing in common except the fact that we all happen to be at Biggby Coffee on this day. With that said, I cannot find anything negative to say about these people, and that is exactly how it should be.

Confidence is a hard thing to have. Nowadays, it takes real courage to stand up for yourself. Why is that? Why should it take everything you have to look in the mirror and say, “I am an incredible human being”? There should be nothing that stops you from believing that. Other people should not affect how you feel about yourself; their opinions should not dismantle your own. However, that is much easier said than done.

For a long time, I believed that there was some magical recipe for being beautiful. I thought that if I straightened my hair every day and made any cellulite I had invisible and wore really expensive makeup, people would look at me and think, “wow, I want to look like her.” As I grew up though, I realized that there is no magic potion that would make me beautiful. In fact, I began to understand that the only way other people will perceive me as a beautiful person is if I believe that I am. I’m not only talking about physical beauty either – I would have to believe that my mind exhibits something amazing too, which was very difficult.

That is exactly the problem. Convincing myself that I am worth everything and anything should not be difficult. I found a quote on Tumblr the other day that actually presented this in a very deep way:

“At seventeen,
the hardest choice you should have
to make is what clothes you want
to wear,
or what food you want
to eat;
not sitting at the edge of your bed
at four in the morning
considering whether or not
your existence matters in this world.”

This is an issue so many people face, and it is one that often goes unnoticed. We are a generation of “I’m fine”, and “Don’t worry about it”, rather than “I need to vent, can you listen for a bit?” We are a generation that questions ourselves and whether or not we are good enough for the people around us even though we know that we will constantly disappoint ourselves by thinking this way. We are a generation that doubts our own beauty and worth simply because we aren’t up to date on the latest trends. We are a generation that blames society and by doing so, blames ourselves.

I dare you to look into a mirror today and tell yourself that you are amazing. Compliment yourself. Walk outside, think to yourself that you are beautiful, and do whatever you need to do. Smile at everyone you walk past and tell a stranger they look good. If you present an aurora of confidence, it will pass on to those around you. In order to breed confidence, you must start with yourself. Let me get you started: I am not embarrassed to love myself, and you shouldn’t be either.

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Why I cry in movies

Hello all,

Today I told myself I was going to write a long, opinionated post about the Eric Garner case and the protests and riots around the world. However, as I was scrolling through Twitter and WordPress reader, I came to the conclusion that there were simply too many posts about that subject – so I’m going to talk about why I cry in movies instead. I figured it might be a bit more original.

I’m a total sucker for cheesy romance movies; movies that bring about unrealistic expectations for love. I love the movies that hit you hard with emotional scenes. There is just something incredible about a movie that makes it seem okay to feel pain. It is a concept that we often forget sometimes – that pain is a natural feeling and if it is ignored, it will evolve into a darkness that one cannot even comprehend.

I am going to give two examples of recent movies that I absolutely adore:

1. The Fault in Our Stars; when I watched the premier of this film, I had felt a type of heartbreak I didn’t even know existed.  I was crying within the first thirty minutes, and did not stop until about two hours after I left the theater. It was as if I felt each emotion that flowed through Hazel and Augustus – I was involved in their fictional love and I was completely entranced by the two of them. I found the movie beautiful not because of the love story however, I saw beauty in the pain it allowed the viewers to feel. It did not romanticize cancer or death. It wrecked you inside and then told you that it was okay, because pain is a natural feeling. Like the movie said, pain demands to be felt.

2. If I Stay; this movie caught me off guard. I did not expect to cry at the parts I did. You would think that the tear-jerking scenes would be those where she is fighting for her life or where she experiences the death of all of her family members. I did not shed a tear in these scenes, instead my mind focused on the scene where she is heartbroken by the idea of leaving her boyfriend for college. This is something that I can relate to in an unbelievable sense – the fear and pain that comes along with leaving a boy you are in love with is absolutely horrible; it rips the heart to shreds. I have this fear and this pain, my heart is slowly breaking as each day passes by, and so when I saw the tears roll down her cheeks I felt them roll down mine as well. We were together in our heartbreak, and for once I felt at peace because I was not alone. The pain was natural.

Movies are incredible, they can spread messages to entire populations and can help form social norms in a generation. Film can also act as a therapy; it can show you that it knows your struggle and can suffer with you, film will be on your side in the fight. This is why I am so in love with cheesy romance movies, because they teach people that pain can be a beautiful thing.

Shadows

She was haunted by shadows,

And no one understood,

The way they scared her,

The way she collapsed in fear.

They were relentless,

Slow moving creatures,

Whispering softly in her ear.

Why are you still here?

You shouldn’t be here.

You need to leave.

But she had nowhere to go.

So she ran, just far enough away.

The shadows couldn’t keep up,

Now she was alone.

Tears crawled down her sweet,

Soft, beautiful face.

Laying down, she began to dream.

Dreaming of a boy to take it all away,

Dreaming of a life that fear cannot be,

Wanting to know comfort.

If only she knew,

He was having the same dream.

They say one is meant for another,

While they were made for each other.

But so many problems,

So many fights,

They were so far apart,

Needing to be close.

Emotions flying high,

No solutions found,

They stay apart in their separate worlds.

If only they knew.

Shadows began coming back,

Each forming a memory.

He couldn’t stand the thought,

Couldn’t stand the sight.

She craved the idea,

Addicted to reminisce.

They were apart in their minds,

But the feeling never changed,

Needing one another,

Yet staying apart.

This could have a happy ending,

As many things do.

This could be a tragedy,

In order to cause tears.

The boy so undecided,

The girl so lost.

What is left,

But a only a thought.

Walls

Walls I had built up

to keep you distanced, the hurt

I had been scarred.

You never had seen, never had noticed,

the pieces of me falling apart.

Crumbling fast, with each fallen tear.

Running was all I could think of,

Fast, faster, fastest.

I left, my trail silent,

Invisible to your eyes.

To myself I kept…

for a long time I could not immerse myself in the beauty of the world.

Not just yet.

One day, I will. I told myself constantly.

Once I don’t hurt, once the pain vanishes.

The ghost of you followed me,

the haunts of my past were haunting my present and future.

Again I ran. Faster than before.

Stares grasped my body, but my mind was sure.

I had to get away from you,

Or never would I let you go.

Moving on is hard,

distancing the closeness.

My walls now have cracks, holes;

from the cannons you had shot on them.

I am now strong, stronger than before.

The walls are not needed.

For i have brought them down with your surrender.

You are gone. And I am okay.

Stop Telling Me I’m 16

I am 16 years old, 17 in 9 days. I am a senior in high school. I go to football games and dances. I also have aspirations. Dreams of traveling around the world to small cities and interviewing native people, and then collecting all my interviews and putting them into a book. I have dreams of starting a nonprofit with someone who has as much passion for people as I do. I want to come home every night to an amazing guy that will be obsessed with the same Netflix series as I am and will stay in and drink wine with me while we laugh the night away.

I also have opinions. I think that money is a horrible, wretched thing. I think that the fact that we will kill for a piece of paper shows how immature our world can be. I believe that all people are good at heart. I believe that no one deserves to be put down or shunned because of the amount of pigment in their skin or who they decide to fall asleep with at night. No one deserves to be put down at all, because no matter what we are all made up of organs and muscle and bones and that will never change.

I am 16 but that does not mean anything about my voice. I can speak my mind and it will mean something. I can share my thoughts and people will listen. My voice can carry across oceans and over mountains. Every syllable has a significance that is desperate to be understood. My words have life and they are radiant.

I have 16 years worth of experiences. I have seen 6 different countries, seen the smiles and heard the laughter of many different cultures. I have read books that have made me cry for hours. I have heard speeches that made me want to change the world. I have dealt with divorces, new family members, remarriages, my father’s in and out girlfriends, therapists, psychiatrists, a dad living in a distant country, and so much more.

I do not need someone to tell me my age. I am aware of how long I have spent on this earth. I need people to understand that the number of those years do not affect the value of my words. I have enough knowledge to form my own opinions and I am fully able to share them.

I am not in Congress but I believe that our country needs to focus on more on education. I am not on the school board but I believe that our schools should stop forcing math and science classes on children and encourage creative writing and the arts. I am not a soldier but I believe killing is not the answer.

I am me. I am a 16 year old girl. I am me and I have value.

Just your average “I need to work out but I don’t have time” post

Hi everyone! So as a full time student I’m pretty busy, but with the added in volunteer work, student government, national honor society, work, plus social events, my schedule is absolutely booked! However, if I’ve learned anything from being a Lauren Conrad blog fanatic, it’s that everyone needs to make time for a quality workout. So I thought I’d let you guys know how I make time (and give myself motivation) to workout! 

First off, Get a great workout playlist. Thankfully, I have a friend who makes awesome mixes on Soundcloud! (Check it out: https://soundcloud.com/nate-schwalm) My current favorite is his welcome week playlist – truly meant for partying, considering it’s part of his “turn up” collection. But hey, use it for motivation to look stunning in the leggings & crop top! 

Second, Set a routine workout time. Since I usually shower right before I go to bed, I like to workout later at night. On weeknights I’ll set my workout time for 10pm to about 10:45, which is great for a quick full body workout! I get most of my workouts from either copying my volleyball conditioning or from Lauren Conrad’s fitness posts. (I told you guys, I’m obsessed.) It’s always a good idea to set an alarm for your workout time to give yourself a little reminder to head over to the treadmill. 

Third, Get someone else involved. I got my boyfriend and my mom involved with my workouts. I don’t actually workout with them, but when I’m feeling lazy, I know I can count on them to push me to workout and eat healthy! Getting your parents, sibling, or roommate involved is always a good idea because they can discourage the chips you’re pulling out of the cabinet and instead encourage some chocolate covered almonds or veggie chips. It’s also nice to have someone be aware of your workout schedule so they can either join you or remind you about it. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in everything around me that I completely lose track of time – having someone around to pull me back to solid ground is great! 

I hope this helped out a little bit – you can comment any questions/suggestions, and I’d also love to hear what you do to stay healthy!

p.s., check out Lauren Conrad’s blog at laurenconrad.com, and I really recommend Nate’s Soundcloud mixes!