Two Years Ago Replayed

Two Years Ago Replayed

Around this time, two years ago, I was in the same position I am facing today. Two years ago, my heart raced at the thought of college. Two years ago, I had no clue what would become of my life during fall. Two years ago, I was checking multiple websites for any sign that my life was going to change for the better. Two years ago, I dealt with sleepless nights as I rolled around in bed terrified of what will I discover in the mail the next day.

Two years ago, I faced the decision that changed my life. Today, I face the uncertainty of the future that laid in the palms of my hands. Today, at the same time that I can’t imagine how much has changed, I can’t believe how similar my future seems.

Two years ago, I was counting down the days until April and May. I even looked at the hours on the clock as I waited for spring to near its end. I was a restless little girl waiting to see what would become of her future. Today, I am counting down the days until April and May. I am finding myself crossing off each day in my calendar is only making me more and more nervous as the big day comes closer. I am a wreck trying to keep it together as someone out there is deciding what will be the next few years of my life.

What will become of my life? What is going to change with my family? What is going to change around me? How many things are there to organize? How many uncertainties will finally become clear? What will become of the person I am today as I continue to grow up and become the woman I’m meant to be?

What is going to happen to…everything that I know?

Do you know?

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“That Girl”

“That Girl”

Growing up, I was always told of stories of young girls getting harassed by a friend, by a relative, by a stranger. You were always told to be on the lookout for these types of people. But you never thought, one day, you would be that girl.

The girl who is scared walking alone at night, even if just across a couple parking spaces with your friends just a few feet away walking to their car. The girl whose body is completely tense when she thinks she hears footsteps behind her but don’t know who it is yet. The girl who cant get her heart to come down or her mind to calm down when the sun sets and the night gets darker.

The girl who keeps her head on a swivel as she walks across campus, even though it’s still midday. The girl who jumps at any sudden hand on her body, even when it’s just her old friend’s hand on her shoulder as he walks up to her to say hi. The girl who doesn’t want to leave the house after dark anymore. The girl who still gets nightmares and visions of the day he grabbed her body.

The girl who is scared out of her mind.

I never thought I’d ever be that girl. That girl was just in the textbooks. That girl is only the girls who party. That girl is someone who is out in public a lot. That girl…is the girl I see when I look into the mirror and see me.

And you know what?

Fuck you. Fuck this world for making it such a scary place to be a woman. Fuck the boys who think they are obligated to our bodies. Fuck this world for making boys’ inappropriate behavior seem okay by saying “boys will be boys”. Fuck the ignorance people who think there’s any possibility that a woman would want to be treated like that. Fuck the stupidity that blinds one’s mind to think that kind of behavior is “manly” or is okay in any shape or form.

Fuck you. Fuck the person who says you’re making a big deal out of nothing. Fuck the person who shrugs off girls and woman getting harassed, assaulted, and raped as if it’s the next headline about the Kardashians. Fuck the person who makes you feel unsafe. Fuck the person who thinks any of this is okay.

Fuck you. Fuck the person who said, “she was asking for it”. Fuck the person who thinks a drunk girl is a consenting girl. Fuck the person who ever thinks to blame the girl. Fuck the person who made the girl feel like it was her fault.

She never thinks she’s going to be “that girl” one day. So, fuck you for making that ‘one day’ be reality. Fuck you.

Betrayed

Dreams

Dreams

When he moved to a different town, he wanted a fresh start. He wished for a place where he didn’t get bullied. He dreamed of an environment in which he could be comfortable simply existing the way he is. He wanted an outlet that gave him energy, not drain him of his life.

When he moved to a different school, he wanted to be left alone. He was tired of the drama that came with friendships. He was exhausted from the heartaches that one-sided friendships left him with. He was sick of society’s standards and the way someone had to act in order to gain someone’s heart and care.

When he graduated, he wanted to start over. Mistake after mistake, the life he wished to leave behind showed the worst part of him, the part he wanted to leave behind. Restless, he wanted to begin again and start a new adventure. He wanted to discover life for everything that it is. He wanted to push limits and challenge the norm. He wanted to make a difference.

When he thought of university, he dreamt of getting out there and getting discovered. He wanted to finally break out of his shell. Restless, he was ecstatic about the new adventures he would begin.

Then he hit a wall.

Year after year, he became more and more restless with the potential of ten soldiers within him pounding to be set free. Year after year, he wanted a fresh start to challenge the world and discover the wonderful life he knew he was meant to live. Year after year, he continued to dream of tomorrow.

That’s why he hit a wall.

Tomorrow doesn’t come until today is over. You can’t have ‘next year’ when you’re still in ‘this year’. Accomplishments don’t create themselves; they need work.

Instead of working towards the life he wanted to live, he only dreamt of it. He wished and prayed for a second chance but then never did anything about it when he was given one. Remember, every day you wake up is another chance to make a ‘wrong’ a ‘right’; every day your eyes open is another chance to chase your dreams.

If you’re standing there pointing at a ball on the playground saying, “I want that!” but not doing anything to get it, then what are you truly doing? Nothing.

Your dreams are there for you to take. Your wishes are there for you to achieve.

The stirring in your soul has left you wondering
Should you stay or turn around
Well, just remember that your dreams they are a promise
That you were made to change the world
So don’t let fear stop you now

By: Sidewalk Prophets

I know it’s tiring. I know there will be times where you want to give up. But, honey, don’t give up on yourself. Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t give up on…you.

“Your dreams…are a promise that you were made to change the world…”

The day he starts walking towards his dreams is the day he start living them.

Destiny?

Destiny?

You insist that everything should come naturally, that if you have to “work” at something maybe it’s not meant to be. I totally disagree.

Whether you’re talking about the relationships we have in our lives or the career path we wish to take down the road, your perception has blurred your sight of reality.

My good friend is working her ass off towards a new career path. She is struggling and she is swimming frantically through the pool of sharks that is the roadblocks in her way, but she isn’t giving up. And that’s the most important part here. Success isn’t easy. Having that fairytale dream life you wanted ever since you were nine years old is nearly an impossible task. But if you’re going to tell me that you’re so scared to fail that the amount of work you need to put into your life makes you want to walk away, then walk away.

If you’re talking about the relationships we have in our lives, then you really need to wake up. One relationship with one friend has the potential to give you a headache, but also has the potential to give you everything you need. Yes, your schedules are going to clash. You both have your separate lives. You both are working hard towards your goals. You have to understand that time isn’t for free. But it’s the friendships that you work on that are the ones that turn out priceless. You have to be understanding. You have to be patient. And if you aren’t willing to do that for a good friend, then walk away.

You insist that things that are meant to be don’t need work? Wake up.

I don’t care what kind of prodigy you are; I don’t care what you have up your sleeves that make everything work for you; I don’t care what you think is written in the stars. If you aren’t willing to work hard in order to get what you want, then walk away.

If something means enough to you, it should not matter how much work you have to put into it to survive. If something means enough to you, you wouldn’t complain about the work you have to put in. If something means enough to you, you will work towards it; you will work towards your dreams.

And if you’re just wasting your time with something for the mere existence of something in your life, then walk away.

Don’t stand in front of the exit with a foot out the door. Don’t stand in front of that person and waste their time if you are not willing to treat them with the care and respect they deserve. Don’t insist that you are always right when, in reality, you need to wake up and realize how wrong you are.

Not everything is “written in the stars” but that doesn’t mean you can’t write it in yourself.

Insist

One Day…

One Day…

When I have a daughter, I am going to talk to her about healthy relationships. When she gets to the age of liking boys, I am going to talk to her about stable relationships. When she starts dating, I am going to talk to her about safe sex.

Throughout her life, I am going to be there for her.

I am going to try my best to let her know what self-respect is. I am going to talk to her about her emotions. I am going to show her and introduce different methods to express herself. I am going to watch her grow and discover life.

I am going to try to have mutual respect in my relationship with her. I am going to try my best to hear her out and listen to her stories. I am going to stand by her side and let her know she can always lean on me.

I am going to let her have her own life. I am going to let her discover things on her own. I am going to let her have her privacy. I am going to let her be herself.

I am going to nudge her to be her best. I am going to push her to try her hardest. I am going to try to pave a path in whichever direction she wishes to venture to. I am going to be there through it all.

One day, I will be the best mother I can be.

Life #1. Life #2. Life #3. Life #4.

Life #1. Life #2. Life #3. Life #4.

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within.” – Steven Pressfield

When I got into middle school, I started spending hours at my computer writing. Whether it be short stories, potentially novel length stories, poems, songs, simple paragraphs or letters, I would spend hours typing away. I thought of the blank screen as a place in which I could pour out my heart. Being a kid who hadn’t had many people, if any, that I honestly talked to and trusted fully with my raw self, I resorted to expressing myself in other mediums.

That’s when I started to call myself a writer.

When I got into high school, I fell in love with photography and discovered a burning passion I never knew I had for this art. I always wanted to go shoot. I always wanted to take my camera everywhere I went. I became well known because of my camera and my photos. And all of that slowly shaped my vision of the world. A quote I once heard says, “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” I couldn’t agree more. I stand by this quote.

IMG_9883

Freshman year was when I started calling myself a photographer.

Today, I write. Today, I take photos.

But there will always be a part of me that wonders “what if writing or photography was what I devoted all my life and attention towards?”

We all have a similar question. That’s what I believe is to be my “second” and “third” life. The life of a writer. The life of a photographer. Though I hold both passions close to heart and continue to advance in both mediums at my own speed, the flame within tells me that there could be more.

Sometimes I wonder how happy I would be if I spent hours and hours of the days editing photos and going on photoshoots, if photography was my career. I wonder how many people would see my work, how many hearts my work would touch. Sometimes I fantasize about being a writer whose words make a huge impact in the world and motivated people to change their lives and ways of thinking for the better. I wonder what would have happened if I had followed my heart back when.

But then I look at the life around me, and stop. I love the life I have right now. I have another passion I discovered within my first programming class. I have high hopes for the future and this potentially life-changing career. I have a wonderful boyfriend who loves me. I have irreplaceable friends who adore me. I have a better life than I had expected.

After all, this is the life I’m living. If I weren’t happy with it, I wouldn’t be living it.

Swim. Don’t Drown.

Swim. Don’t Drown.

“The shark that doesn’t swim drowns.”
“Akula, kotorya Ne plavayet, Ne tonet.”

It’s been four years since I started to get questions about my future career. It’s been four years of pressure to get into a field that has a good payment, and a good reputation. And, honestly, I hadn’t gotten anywhere until a few months ago.

Since the beginning, I felt as if I was always facing a white canvas not knowing what the heck to do about it. I looked out into the world through a broken glass, unsure where to go next that won’t backfire. But, instead in the mist of asking others what they think I would be good at, I had forgotten to ask myself where I want to be in life. And, for that, I stood still for those years.

I didn’t venture out to see what opportunities I could have. With all the questions and the pressures to go into one field versus any of the others, I simply closed up in a shell where all I saw was darkness. I didn’t think I could live up to be what my parents wanted me to be. I didn’t believe I could do anything that would be worth of them bragging about me. Most importantly, I didn’t believe there would be a place for me to stand in the world when I grew up.

I started to lose parts of myself I was always defined by. I began to loose sight of what I had always wanted to do in life: be happy while making a difference. I started believing the words people yelled my way that told me I wasn’t worthy of the traits I held close to heart, or that they weren’t good enough in order to give me a good reputation. All the words, all the comments, all the pressures from everyone around me did the opposite of encouragement.

It wasn’t until I got away from what others had to say. I started going to school more; I ditched the old study room in which I felt trapped and trading it for a clean library desk where I felt impossibly free. I went back to my roots; I started picking up the pieces of myself I knew were worthy despite what anyone else had to say. I began exploring my options and talking to people who didn’t have a biased opinion that pressured me to walk down any certain path. I started swimming.

In my eyes, it wasn’t until then that I truly felt like myself. Before, it was always about reputation; it was always about how others perceived us to be. There was never any room for me to grow on my own because the person I was supposed to grow up to be was already molded and framed in my parents’ mind. I couldn’t learn from my own mistakes, because everything had always been planned out and simply told to me to execute. I wasn’t being me, no, I wasn’t being human; I was simply a robot.

Now, a year since I’ve turned away from being cooped up in a cage and a few months since I uncovered a part of myself I knew was always there, I feel whole. I feel independent; I can take care of myself and I can get through by myself. I feel like I have a chance at everything the world has to offer as long as I go out there and achieve the best I can. I look into the mirror and, though I might not have everything figured out, I can see the girl I was always meant to be.

I’m finally working towards the future, my future. And I couldn’t be more proud.