Some Shit We cant Share

These past few months, shit, this past year has broken me to my core. Just when I thought I was healing life threw me a curveball. The reality of it all is that we all go through shit that we can’t talk about. No matter how open we attempt to be there’s a lot that we go through that just can’t be talked about but it’s our own job to make sure we heal from these things. One big lesson I have learned in these past few months is that no one is coming to save me. That is my job. I leave for my sophomore year of college tomorrow and I am hoping this year is full of growth, healing, wellness, saving myself and eventual peace. I am sending love to everyone who is going through shit and feels like they’re not being seen. I see you. I love you. I hope things get better for you.

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My Body Is Not a Temple

“My body is not a temple. Temples can be destroyed and desecrated. My body is a forest, thick canopies of maple trees and sweet-scented wildflowers sprouting in the underwood. I will grow back, over and over again, no matter how badly I am devastated.” – Anonymous

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Self-love means loving myself at 160 Ibs, 217 Ibs, and 235 Ibs. It means loving myself when people “politely” advise me to lose weight and when I decide to make strides to do so on my own. It means being committed to loving myself during ALL of the phases of my journey with my body and being determined to embrace my body at all of those stages as well.



“It is impossible to shame a woman who is unashamed” – @erynamelism

Love, J

Finding a Community On Instagram

A few updates since I have been gone:

I have not been blogging for a while so here are just a few updates from while I have been away!

  • I landed an on-campus job for next semester which I am really excited about because I didn’t work this past school year so it will be nice to build more connections and to have some more dollaaas.
  • I haven’t been blogging because… life. So, I have been using Instagram as my “primary” social media account to stay connected with “yall”. I have added different story highlights such as food, words, journaling etc to give yall some inspiration and just a look into what I am up to on a daily basis since I do not blog often.
  • I finished the school year with all A’s and two B’s which is pretty decent. The first semester I made deans list which was a big deal for me at the time but given all of the emotional exhaustion and stress the first semester had on me, I am not really worried about making Dean’s list or anything like that. I just want to do good and feel good about what I have done.
  • Also, I came out to my family as bisexual in March so…(SURPRISE!! LMAO)

 

I posted a poll on my Instagram story and asked my followers if they would be interested in me making a list of Instagrammers I recommend to follow. I always get dm’s asking about different self-care and self-love tips and I always find myself giving the same advice and encouragement I have found on Instagram. With today’s technology and the world of social media it can be easy to get tied up in feeling insecure and like our lives are not good enough. I have found that for me, social media has been a huge role in my self-love journey. Seeing different people going through the same things that I go through and seeing how they cope with their insecurities and differences has helped me to do the same. I discovered Instagram when I was in seventh grade which was the exact time I started to notice just how insecure I was about my hair and my body. I had a pink sweater I wore almost every day, I wore two bras (gross) and I wore basketball shorts almost every week. My hair was relaxed so when it was not straightened I tried to manage to pull all of what little hair I had at the time into a bun and I would hold it all together with a headband and hella bobby pins. Just typing these details feels like a punch in the gut because I was in such a dark place at the time emotionally and really feel like no one took notice to it. Since I was on Instagram I started following pages that resonated with me and who I identify with. Instagram was an easy way for me to find an online community of women and young girls who were going through the same things that I was going through at that time.

I always say whatever I choose to do in life, I always want to make sure I am helping someone. With my Instagram, I want to make sure that I am showing people, not just women and girls, that it is okay to be flawed, imperfect and have insecurities. To the little girl, boy or non-binary folx out there that may be viewing my page or any page on Instagram and feeling the way that I was feeling when I was small I want you to know: You are so incredible. You will overcome your insecurities and your beauty and your intelligence is one of a kind. Do not aspire to be like anyone else except for yourself and always remember even if you feel like there is no one cheering for you, know that I am.

I have been uplifted by so many people on Instagram that it has encouraged me to use my own platform to do the same thing for others. Even though I really wanted to list all of the 3000 pages that I follow on Instagram I was able to make a “small” list of some of the pages I would recommend to anyone who needs encouragement, authenticity, love, self-care tips etc on their timeline. Although these are not all of the pages I have been impacted by these are some that I found myself referring to pretty often.  I hope you follow the ones that catch your eye and I hope they are able to inspire you as much as they have inspired me!

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We are all a community, when we love ourselves we are able to love each other.

Love, J

Voices For Puerto Rico

As we are all aware of the devastating disaster that has touched Puerto Rico I would like to share a website that is aiming to send support and donations to Puerto Rico and all of the victims affected by this devastation. Donald Trump has done little to nothing to help support our family, friends, and victims in Puerto Rico and we have to take the necessary steps to save our people at all costs. Voices for Puerto Rico’s mission is to

“identify and support non-profit local organizations working directly with the community to provide basic resources, including proven alternative solutions to housing, accessing solar energy as well as offering art, cultural and sports initiatives in an effort to promote emotional, physical and mental health.” – Voices Of Puerto Rico, Founded by Roselyn Sanchez.

I ask that you please visit this website and find it in your heart to donate and to help out in any way that is possible for you to do so. Please Visit http://www.voicesforpuertorico.com/about for more information about donating, helping and about who Voices Of Puerto Rico is.

Love, J

March To End Rape Culture: Philly 2017

TW// Mention of r*pe:

Yesterday I attended the March To End Rape Culture in Philadelphia down in Thomas Paine Plaza. This is the second march I have ever attended and I have got to admit I did not think I could feel more empowered and called to action after attending the Women’s March in DC last year but I was wrong. This march was filled with emotion and raw energy from everyone who was present. The speakers, some who are survivors of sexual assault gave such brave and empowering speeches and poems. It was so inspiring seeing how these women were able to overcome these difficult times in their life and turn their pain into action to help other women going through similar events in their lives. Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking to a woman about her life and the trauma she has experienced. She explained to me that she was drinking alcohol by the age of nine and addicted to drugs by the age of 15. She had been raped five times in her life but could only clearly recall two of the times. She started to tell me a story about her best friend and how one night while she was living in New York her and her best friend was walking and a man pulled his car to the side of the road threatened her and then through her best friend into his trunk and drove off. When she went to the police station to report that her best friend had been abducted and she had been threatened, the police told her that they could not really help her because the man was probably her “best friends pimp”. Till this day this woman (who will go unnamed for privacy purposes) has not seen or heard from her best friend. She told me ” I just pray wherever she is, she’s safe”. Mid-way through her story I had to put my sunglasses on because I began to cry. These are the kind of stories that I do not want to hear but I know are necessary for me to here in order to help to accomplish the goal of Ending Rape Culture. Although she has experienced so many things in her life that would be a good enough reason for her to give up, she hasn’t. She now hosts and organizes events for women and young girls that have gone through similar situations and helps them overcome it. I will forever hold on to this woman’s story, her resilience and her passion to want to help others.

 

 

 

Unfortunately, along with all of the beautiful speeches given and all of the love that was shared, there was the presence of hate as well. A counter protest was taking place right behind the location of the MTERC rally and they were holding signs that read “women belong in the kitchen”, “you promote rape”, “whores go to hell” etc. While they were displaying such messages they were also holding up signs that had bible verses on them as well… hilarious right? LOL! I am not religious but I know for certain that what I saw yesterday was not Christianity. I would like to believe that those people had nothing better to do and just thought they’d kill some time by being a pain in the ass but in reality, I know that there are people who believe and feel the things their signs said. Fortunately, there are hundreds of men and women who are not going to tolerate the bullshit. While the rally was going on these counter-protesters began to scream and raise their voices as survivors were giving their speeches. A group of women formed a human wall around these protesters and they began singing songs and hugging each other and showing compassion instead of hate. This is how you change the world- you will always attract more bees with honey than you will with water and although these counter protestors might have dismissed the kindness and love that was being shown by the MTERC protesters, I know that it greatly affected the people around them in a positive way.

Since I have posted pictures from the march on my personal Instagram and my public blog Instagram I have been getting a lot of mixed reactions. For the most part a lot of my followers have liked and commented positive things onto my post but last night two people made comments that I could not help but to ignore. One anti-feminist Instagram page commented ” This is so dumb, I can’t” and a WWE wrestling fan page commented “fuck you bitch” LMAO! I am trying to teach myself to not internalize things but also learning to allow myself to confront situations that bother me without doing it in a way that just perpetuates more anger and frustration. One thing I’ve definitely learned from having a blog and using social media in the volume that I do is that it is hard. People are mean, people are ignorant and people will say a lot more over the comfort of a keyboard than they’d ever dare say face to face. I acknowledge and applaud myself for being able to react the way that I react to counter protests and arguments that I have come across on social media because just two years ago I would have just attacked and badgered people who do not agree with me or choose to call me a “bitch” or tell me to “go fuck myself”. I’ve discovered that learning to deal with situations like this and deciding when to walk away from situations like this, is an extraordinary act of self-love/care and a necessary one.

 

 

For those of you who feel that rape culture and sexual assault is not your problem or does not affect you here are some statistics of the Rates of Sexual Assault Against Women in the US:

All Women: 17.6%

Latina Women: 14.6%

White Women: 17.7%

Black Women: 18.8%

Asian Pacific Islander Women: 6.8%

American Indian Women: 34.1%

Mixed Race Women: 24.4%

Sexual Assault is intersectional.

*To learn more about sexual assault and statistics amongst demographics in the united states visit https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence for more information. The only way to progress and attempt to make a change is if we first educate ourselves.*

Love, J

5 Things I have learned in my first week of college

1. You do not need to show up to every class thirty minutes before it actually starts. 

I am obviously still adjusting to my schedule and finding out what works best for me.  One thing I have already learned that does not work out for me is arriving at every damn class 30+ min before they start. My dorm building is relatively close to my classroom buildings and on average it takes me about 6-9 minutes to get from my dorm to my classes. I have been getting up super early and leaving way before my classes start with the fear of getting there late. I want to nip this habit in the bud early so that I am not wasting my time once my work load starts to increase and my time becomes limited. I was raised to always make sure I show up to things either early or right on time but I am showing up excessively early which could soon become a problem.

2. The girls you share your communal bathroom with were not raised the same way you were when it comes to cleaning. 

When I found out I had a communal bathroom in my dorm, of course, I was grossed out and nervous to have to share my space with 52 other females. The first couple of days on campus were not so bad. Everyone seemed like they were cleaning up after themselves, making sure if they made a mess they cleaned it up right away and, were taking care of our bathroom. Now I feel like some of the girls on my floor might be getting a bit too comfortable. Leaving toilet paper on the ground and wads of hair in the shower and “forgetting” to flush the toilet seems like habits they are having a hard time breaking since leaving home. This is hard for me to deal with because at my house this was never okay so I never got into the habit of doing these things. When I make a mess, especially in a setting such as our communal bathroom- I clean it up. Growing up I had daily chores that I was responsible for finishing and it is to my understanding that some of these girls were raised the same way but their transition from living at home and now alone in school is not going the same as mine.  I have learned that not everyone has the same habits, hygiene or common courtesy as I do and in some cases, there is not much I can do about it.

3. Take advantage of ALL of the free stuff your school is willing to give you.

I am now a poor college student. I do not have the time to pretend like I am out here in college balling. A few people have invited me to do things over the weekend and during the week which have all required me spending money I really do not have. I found that it is a lot easier to take advantage of the free activities my school has to offer me rather than spending money on activities I really can’t afford. After all, I am paying my own tuition to attend Temple. I intend on taking advantage of all of the FREE things they are willing to offer me. I am a sucker for a free t-shirt, I love free food and if it’s an event that gets me out of my sad dorm room I am all for it. I am so much of a free loader that a Redbull rep was handing out free RedBull to students in my dorm building this past weekend and I do not drink red bull but I love free stuff so much I almost took the Redbull anyway ( wait does this mean I like free stuff or am I just greedy? LOL!).

It’s still early in the semester and I do not want to find myself in a situation months from now that I could have easily avoided by planning and spending my money responsibly early on in the year. This past Friday I attended a free bus trip our Tyler school of art was hosting down into Old City Philadelphia. Although I am not an art major nor do I really enjoy visiting art galleries, I had a really good time. I went with a friend and we walked around, took pictures, got ice cream and talked for about two hours about everything! I am encouraging myself to get involved with trips and events like this even though I might not have an interest in it at first because I want to open myself up to things I have never done before.

4. Staying in does not mean that you are boring.

I have been kicking myself in the foot lately because this past week a lot of the people in my hall have been going out to parties. Just to give some background, I have never been a “party person” it’s never been my setting. I’d much rather hang out at a kickback or go do something else but being crammed into a sweaty house with alcohol and people I do not know just does not appeal to me. Because of this, I have made myself feel guilty for not going out. I have tricked myself into thinking I am “boring” or not experiencing the “college life” and all it has to offer by not attending parties. I have to remind myself that just because I am not going to parties does not mean that I am not having fun and also does not mean that I am not getting involved. I know that it is only my first week of my freshman year and that my attitude towards parties could surely change, but for right now I have just decided they are not my thing and that is okay.

5. It is okay to be “Freshman-y” 

Whether you are a freshman in high school or a freshman in college you are absolutely aware that you are at the bottom of the food chain and essentially no one has respect for you just because of the mere fact of you being a freshman. I HATE that coming into school there are so many Facebook posts and articles shared on “what not to do” as a freshman. Some of them were so crazy for example I saw an article that said that freshmen shouldn’t wear their lanyards around their necks, should try to avoid asking upperclassmen for help and “shouldn’t be so excited for college”. I just want to say right now that I feel like all of that is bullshit. I mean it is absolutely crazy to think that putting your lanyard around your neck… where it goes.. could make you look more like a freshman… which I AM. It is as if the motives of these articles and statments are to try an help us look like anything else but a freshman. I have learned from my own experiencs this week that I am okay with looking like an annoying freshman. I am prefectly fine with not knowing where my classes are and having to ask for help, or not knowing how to get a package sent to me, or not knowing how to work the washing machines in our laundry room. My pride and ego are not too big for me to ask for help and I hope that if there are any freshman reading this post ( whether in highschool or college) you understand that there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Use the tools and resources that are here for freshmen to succeed and take advatage of all of the help people are willing to give you now because they might not be so willing as you begin to get older. Lastly, it is okay to be excited about college. Some of us have worked so hard to get here and we deserve to feel excitement and pride to be where we are. Do not let upperclassmen or anyone else make you feel like you should not be excited.

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Love, J

The Next Big Step

In March, I was accepted into my number one school Temple University on my birthday. I almost did not apply to Temple because I felt like I was not going to get in but I applied anyway and I am glad I did. I am majoring in Communications & Social Influence. I am not sure what exactly I plan or want to do with my degree once I graduate but I assume I will figure that out over the course of the next four years. My move in day was on Thursday and let me tell you… it was hectic. With well over 1,000 students on campus plus parents and family members, there was so much going on at once. We had to park along the side of the side walk, unload our car, I had to go check in and get my room key and grab a cart to put my stuff in. Of course, the cart was not big enough to fit all of my stuff in at once so we ended up having to take two trips. My mom came up to my room and cleaned before I got up here which was really nice because it saved us some time. Did I mention I am on the 10th floor of an 11-floor building? Yup, just my luck I am on the tenth floor so that made move in just as hard because waiting for the elevators took forever. Once my parents and I brought all of my things up to my room we began unpacking and setting up the room only to discover my fridge didn’t fit … anywhere! We had to compromise and put my fridge under my bed because that’s basically the only place it’d fit in my room. Once my room was set up and basically finished, my parents and I went out to dinner before they headed home ( here come the tears).

As much as I did not want my parents to leave I know that obviously, they had to. I’ve never been without my parents for long periods of time so the thought that I will be living on my own 24/7 without them is scary for me. My mom and I are super close so it was hard to say goodbye but my parents made the transition as smooth and painless as possible. Gifting me with a love knot ring and a bumble bee Alex and Ani I always have a piece of them with me even if they aren’t physically here. My first night in the dorm was decent ( Pictures of my dorm are below). I felt weird and out of place but with the exhaustion from the day it was not hard for me to fall asleep. When I woke up the next morning the feelings of missing home smacked me like a sack of bricks. Now with the weekend just passing I felt like I should have been spending my Saturday night at home with my mom like I usually do. It’s going to be hard for me to learn that I really don’t have any plans unless I make them and being by myself doesn’t mean that I am alone.

I am excited and anxious to see what the next four years have to offer me here at Temple and in Philidelphia. I am nervous for my major but communication is something I enjoy and social influence is something I am passionate about. I plan to blog every Sunday from here on out and will give frequent updates on how my college experience is going.

Love,  J

Update: where have I been? College, work etc.

Hi guys!!
So some of you guys are probably wondering where I have been the past few months since I have not been posting on here that often. To answer your question, I have been working and getting ready to leave for college.

What have I been up to?

Between working 40-56 hour work weeks and shopping for school as well as squaring away any last minute things for college I have been super caught up in a lot. Just to give you an update of where I am at currently, I have most of everything I need to move into college. My move in day is the 24 and I begin classes the 28 ( AHHH!!!). I finish work this week ( thank god) and this weekend my family and I are moving my older sister back into school.
I am excited, nervous and super stressed to start college. I think the biggest fear for me is being financially responsible for my schooling now. I went to a private high school where my parents were in charge of paying my tuition and handling all of the financial aspects of that and now with college all of those burdens are now mine. I got a decent amount of help for school but still have a pretty heavy balance I need to pay before August 23 which has been the main thing stressing me out. Also, just the thought of finally being away from my family scares me but I know I have to do it. I know that even though my parents are super sad that I am leaving they're also very excited for me and proud of me.

What will happen to this blog when I leave go school?

I plan to hopefully blog A LOT more once I get to school because I will be in a bigger much more exciting city so I have fun ideas and topics to talk about with you guys. I plan to have a schedule of when I will blog and what days of the weeks my posts will be published that way it is easier for you guys to follow along and easier for me to fit into my schedule.

I hope this little update gives you some insight into what I've been up to and why I haven't been around. Thank you for still supporting me even when I don't post every day, week.
I have exciting and big plans for this blog as I move into the next big phase in my life so please stay tuned so you can have these experiences with me!
Love, J

“On this day a year ago..” 

Don’t we all love that facebook never forgets to remind us of that selfie we thought was so bomb a year ago, or the political rant we went on, or the song lyrics we posted during our first heartbreak or even the meme we thought was hilarious but we are now realizing was kinda corny?  Facebooks fairly new feature has been a tool that has helped me realize how far I’ve come. Surprisingly enough I am no longer embarrassed by the things I’ve posted 1 or 2 years ago, instead I am excited. 
Yesterday, facebook shared my memories from three years ago. Both of the memories are posts that I do not agree with now. The first post talks about “not being thirsty” and “having respect for yourself in order to receive respect”. I didn’t even realize it but my opinions have changed. I feel that self respect has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else but yourself. In order to receive respect you must give it to other people first. I don’t believe that in order for you to receive respect as a basic human being it should be based off of the amount of respect you have for yourself. It’s really coming for men or even other women to suggest that in order for them to respect a woman she must have respect for herself. When you ask a woman to have respect for herself before you can respect her you are suggesting that she already doesn’t have any respect for herself. In most cases, many women do respect themselves it’s just not in the way you want them to. It’s only when a woman doesn’t adhere to someone’s archaic views that they are told they “do not respect themselves”. Three years ago I did not agree with this, three years ago I would have told woman around me and on my social medias to “cover up”, “have respect for yourself” or “don’t be thirsty”. I’ve grown out of that thinking and I am so happy I did because I have realized that self respect looks different to everyone. It was differently, talks differently, acts differently and thinks differently and it’s not my job to tell anyone what they self respect should be. 


The second post was an article from WGAL (my local news station) talking about the new “trend” women have started by not shaving their armpit hair and some women were even dying their armpit hair different colors. My response to this article was “lol ew, not judging anyone who does this but I think it’s kinda weird” after I posted this my caption was followed with other comments made by women about how disgusting women were for doing this and how it was just another way to try and “disintegrate the beauty of women”. OMG!!! I cannot believe I ever said that, let alone believed those words. I don’t even shave my damn armpits anymore, or my legs, my lip or down there!!! Like I previously mentioned I did not even notice that my opinion on these things have changed. It’s like over the past three years my opinions have evolved and I did not even notice they did. The bottom line is I think women should do whatever they want to and with their bodies. Our bodies are our homes and, our temples and if a woman wants to shave it, tattoo it, pierce it or anything else for that matter, those decisions are solely up to her!! I believe there is a lot of pressure put on what beauty is and should be and I think a lot of that comes from society, some of it comes from culture and it can also come from the pressure of our families or friends but as women I think we should all realize that we are all beautiful. Most importantly I think we are all special and intelligent, innovative and, strong and we should focus on those characteristics more. 


I am so glad that facebook has reminded my that I have grown, will continue to grow and that even though I feel a certain way now there’s a possibility I will not feel that way a couple years from now.

 Lately, a lot of people have been telling me that my opinions and beliefs will change and that I won’t ” be this way” forever. Although I have just explained that I know they will change.  I would like to add that even though I know my opinions will change id like for them to change on their own and at my own pace. I think often times a lot of people discredit teenagers of their opinions and political standpoints because of our age and I’d just like to say that isn’t fair nor does it even make sense. I may not have as many experiences as someone older than me, I may not have been through as much as someone who is older then me but that does not and will not make my opinions invalid and should not take value away from my ideas or thoughts. 
If you are young and you are passionate about something and you have a lot to say, say it. Don’t be afraid that you’re too young, do not be afraid that you’re not “experienced” enough. Do it, because “experience” is birthed by taking risks and making decisions. You can always come back a year from now and acknowledge that you have changed and take it as a stepping stone towards growth. Do not allow people to tell you what you are and what you are not. For now, be young, passionate, driven, loud and, crazy about what you believe in!! 


Love, J