Tag Archives: truth

To Be, or Not To Be American.

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.

To be, or not to be American. What does it all mean at the end of the day. To be American means to have the right to free speech, to bear arms, to practice religion without fear of persecution, to vote for what we believe in, but to believe in freedom and equality. This country was founded on the ideals of greatness, to lift ourselves up by our bootstraps and create something out of an opportunity. The rhetoric that is being spread throughout this country has been more toxic and more divisive than ever before. As an outspoken person, I usually have a lot to say, and have had a lot to say via Twitter, but never in a formalized format such as this.

Now, it’s personal.

I’m Kenney Tran. A child of two Vietnamese-American (now) citizens. I was born here, in America, with a passport, social security number, and a college education. I’m currently serving in the Peace Corps, another privilege that American citizens have. Yet despite all of this, my own citizenship is under attack. I get it, I’ve traveled a lot. But does that mean I should not be considered a person of my own country?

The concept of birth right citizenship isn’t unique to America, contrary to what our President has been saying, as a matter of fact, there’s a beautiful list.

Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

I was brought up as a Vietnamese-American, being taught about both cultures, playing a beautiful game of balance, learning about both and taking parts of each and molding my own individual identity. I meditate and reflect a lot on my days and how my actions impact others, a trait of the Buddhist-Centric culture of Vietnam, but also have a tendency to be wild and spontaneous based off of the Extroverted-favoring nature of the United States. I consider myself to constantly be a person under construction, as a learn more about the world, I learn more about myself as well.

My parents fled warfare, a corrupt regime that refused to let people speak out about things that were happening and how they really felt. They left a country that was not accepting of ideas. So here we are, in America. The golden land, the country that is held to the golden standard of the world. So what did it mean to be American?

To be American meant to be kind, to be welcoming with open arms, to help others, to love for our neighbors and our fellow citizens in our great melting pot. It never had to do with whether or not someone was born here, where they come from or where they are going, the color of their skin, or their religion. Yet here we stand, in a country more divided than other. Watching this country from the outside, I can almost visualize it tearing apart at the seams.

I have people ask, or rather tell me, that I don’t understand the other side of the argument. That I’m biased. That my view is skewed. I’ll acknowledge that truth, but I can also admit that I’m a little bit more of an expert than at first glance, I majored in Political Science and took many classes on Political Theory as well as the Politics of Immigration. I would now like to invite you to read a couple essays I wrote on refugees and immigration for you to better understand a few concepts, most being that immigrants actually IMPROVE the GDP of a host country while also shutting down Trump’s claim on Sanctuary Cities.

1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AUNPWKwb4vYDvFplbsHsAzWmCyqD3-T5yn8oG2BUyNY/edit?usp=sharing

2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ss5ZugxQOtFXJuAb627zRS22I1v7Que4cX4OO0Be3NI/edit?usp=sharing

I understand that from a different point of view, having an undocumented couple with a child born in the United States creates a situation where more often than not, the couple will get to stay with their American child. This brings up the argument on the right side of the aisle, with opponents saying that this would take jobs away, and it’s a quick and simple path to citizenship. Need we go back down history road to remember that we are ALL immigrants? Needless to say, the people who end up becoming parents of an American child will almost definitely be finding jobs, learning English, and contributing and becoming a part of a beautiful American society as well. It sounds just a tad better than the colonial days of forced westward expansion, slavery, and how manifest destiny created a power complex where we forget our own history and refuse to open up doors that were previously available to us.

As a citizen (for now) , of the most influential country on Earth, I would like to end with a few remarks. We are a country that should be building bridges rather than walls. With the rise of alt-right groups, hate crimes, and overall intolerance of civil discussions, it’s difficult to remember that underneath all of this, every person on Earth has a potential to be an American. To be an American citizen is not about a piece of paper or where we are born. For the longest time, it was about character. The person that we are. The person that we could be and have the potential to be. To use the rights given to use by the government in place to better ourselves, and in my case right now, using my first amendment right to express my mind… at least, while I still can.

“I received a letter just before I left office from a man. I don’t know why he chose to write it, but I’m glad he did. He wrote that you can go to live in France, but you can’t become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Italy, but you can’t become a German, an Italian. He went through Turkey, Greece, Japan and other countries. But he said anyone, from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American.” – Ronald Reagan.

How to Chase the Future (a slam poem)

each day my phone reminds me where I was a year ago.

I reminisce –

thinking I was smarter, nicer, prettier, younger “then” –

and for a minute I stop to share these memories.

with myself, my followers, my phone.

and I turn them- my memories – into something of  a show

something to brag and boast about

something and someone I used to be

someone who is now history,

someone who is… dead

dead.

I am not jealous of the dead.

I am not jealous of the lost.

the ones who are stuck in the memories.

the ones who we strive to be better for – because the fact remains that we –

were not good enough “then”

I think about the word “then” like a railroad crossing

the light doesn’t have to blink for me to slow down – I just do it automatically

“then” is like him

it is a one-word memory

it is triggering

it is a shotgun – no ammo – all recoil

it is – lost loves

and past lives

because you can’t hear the word “then” and not think of a memory

so we generalize it.

“then”

a time when freedom meant something to them

“them”

someone other than ourselves

“them”

an enemy labeled he, she, them

labeled

“him”

a friend, a lover, a parent

“her”

the same

“them”

someone we often forget because they were only on our minds back “then”

“then”

you see “then” is a shotgun

no ammo

all recoil

then is the trigger waiting to be pulled

“then”

I don’t envy who I was

but as long as I am stuck looking at “then”

racing toward the past as though I was chasing the future

as long as I am stuck remembering “then”

have I even changed at all?

 

 

Five Categories Netflix Should Add ASAP

  • Lonely, Horny and Desperate – aka when Rom Com’s aren’t enough but ‘unrated’ movies are too much and too crude for you to handle. this genre could feature
    • underrated as well as up and coming heartthrobs
    • scandals
    • romance
    • and anything that would spice up a lonely night in with a bottle of wine
  • DCOMS – because everyone needs to know what Disney Channel Original Movies are… Hello Zenon? Johnny Kapahala? Raven Simone? Where Y’all At?
    • *extra points to any reader or follower who can name their top five * in the comments below
  • Random for you – a list specifically made for the most indecisive people in the world – spin a wheel and decide what you are watching tonight! (because the number of times I have asked Google or Siri what I want to watch is out of control.)
    • roll a die pick a card – I don’t care just put something on!=
  • Movies Hulu and Amazon don’t have – not just Netflix originals
    • the number of times I have gone through all three sites to find the same damn choices is ridiculous. I am glad you all use the same algorithm but give me some variety!
  • Movies that will convince Baby Boomers you are more Cultured than the Average Millenial
    • classics like ‘Scarface’ ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ ‘Grease’ the original ‘Footloose’ with Kevin Bacon? or even silent movies or Hitchcock (I am talking good cinema people!!)

 

BONUS IDEA!

  • Netflix and Chill 
    • movies and shows to mindlessly watch or not watch… and enjoy for hours on end

 

pexels-photo-769307

Do you have any categories you would like to see? Comment and share your favorites below!

Why You Should Give Back

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” — Albus Dumbledore

In recent days since the chaotic scene in the Merrimack Valley that left numerous people without power, without homes and for one family without a son it seems like a nightmare that has bled into reality. For me and many who read this article, the Merrimack Valley; which includes Lawrence, Andover, North Andover and many more towns consider it their adoptive home, support has been pouring in to the area to help re energize the great area and her people. I know when i saw the tragedy unfold on TV and social media from miles away at Anna Maria College that i was devastated with the news. I have worked in those communities, with those outstanding people who are doing great work.  I can honestly say i wish i could have left at that moment to help volunteer somewhere to help out the community that took me in for five years of college. You may think that this has rocked them to their core and will change everything, but you are wrong.

The people of the Merrimack Valley are stubborn and resilient, they wont let this shake who they truly are.

So, Why should you give back to not only this community but all communities that suffer? Well simply its the right thing to do. It appeals to the human spirit of helping out their neighbor in times of need and doing what we can, when we can. The human spirit is always alive in those who are affected by the worst things, and those who reach out during the worse events we can imagine. Be the good people want to see especially in these times where people may not see the good very often even though its right next door to them. Help your neighbor out and they will help you out when time comes.

There are many ways that you can give back but i hope you don’t give back in two ways; Don’t Donate to the Red Cross and don’t do nothing for them.

Now the Red Cross is a very well respected organization and i applaud for what they do but there are numerous local organizations that have done fantastic work for the people  of the Merrimack Valley. They work day in and day out to help volunteer for their communities, not the ones they get assigned. These great people are just common folk, people who heard a calling to serve others in food pantry, shelters, thrift shops and numerous other ways they felt best to provided a genuine comfort of safety and security to the people. Merrimack College students who have done service learning with these organizations will agree with me on the time and effort they have seen given back to the less fortunate. So if you choose to donate, please consider researching these groups instead of the Red Cross and other Big Name Organizations.

Secondly, i really hope you don’t just sit by and wait until this event has passed to have done something. Being inactive in this time of need isn’t necessarily a sin, but its not what you should be doing. You don’t have to go up the Merrimack Valley and volunteer until you are tired and given everything away, its the simplicity of giving some time and money to helping the effort. The simple act of giving a donation to a local charity or even donating some time here and there makes the biggest difference even if you don’t see the effects first hand, they are there happening every day.

So i ask that you don’t just send thoughts and prayers or sit on the couch saying “Thank God it isn’t me out there” People can’t use prayers for clothing, or feed their kids with thoughts.

To those who have been adopted by the Merrimack Valley Community, its time to come home and give back.

 

Here are some of the great local organizations that are helping the Merrimack Valley:

  • Lazarus House
  • Merrimack Valley Food Bank
  • Emmaus Inc.
  • Bread and Roses
  • Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities
  • Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity
  • Donations can be made to the Senior Center
  • Lawrence Facebook Page has numerous other sites

Or donated to a GoFundMe Page set up for the people of the Merrimack Valley by Merrimack Student Audrey Regan

https://www.gofundme.com/lawrence-andover-n-andover-recover

 

 

A Letter To My Angels

It isn’t Invincibility – But it isn’t Faith Either

over the past few years I came to the conclusion that – while mortality is great and all – I have too many angels around and about to let anything of real consequence happen to me. Now to clarify this doesn’t mean I have taken to jumping out of planes or running into fires to save kittens but it has given me a renewed sense of surviving through the ordinary and the extraordinary.

By now many of you have heard of the fires, explosions and gas leaks in Lawrence Massachusetts – click here for the story – but what you may not know is that I live just north of the river, in an area that lay on the edge of Lawrence and Andover.

Today my heart goes out to the family who lost their son in one of the blasts, the families of the ten people whom were injured, and to those who lost their homes. But today my heart also looks up to the forces that be for protecting me, my friends, and all those who were effected but are safe in the wake of this terrible event.

I don’t believe in Immortality

Not beyond the way writing makes us live on past our own expiration date. But I believe that something stands to protect me because yesterday, in the wake of such frightening events, I was not for a moment – afraid.

The way I see it, I have too many angels to let me join them – and I have too much left to do in my life to allow it to be cut short. I don’t believe in immortality, I don’t believe I am invincible, but I am young and naïve enough to know that if my time was now – well then that would be beyond my control.

I used to NEED Control

But today I woke up with this feeling where [and yeah maybe it was faith] took over and suddenly I wasn’t as stressed as I usually was. In many ways I still would not call myself a godly woman – but if I believe in anything, I believe in my angels – and I could not be more grateful that they are here to watch over me and those I love.

Lastly

I want to ask that we hold all those suffering both here in Massachusetts and those in the wake of hurricane Florence in the Light [ and for those who aren’t familiar with Quakerism – this means we hold them in our thoughts and send love and positivity their way] and I would also like to thank the first responders who were not able to spend last night with their own families because they were selflessly giving to others. Thank you.

What Our Minds Do

When you think about it, every person is just a matter of bones, tissue, and skin, encased in a figure that our minds created, and for some people they can’t escape that casing. So trapped in their own head all the time, that they have more going on on the inside than what they show on the outside. You know what I’m talking about, when a person is “spacing out” ever wonder what they are thinking about, or how about those who suffer from mental disorders such as schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder. They have built worlds inside their minds, worlds that most people could not even dream of!

I mean worlds with relationships, dream jobs, tragedies, deaths, and more. A world where they aren’t even in control half the time. Is that not crazy to think about? That really who we are, we ourselves have created; physically we are just  bones, tissue, muscle, veins, and more; but who we truly are, we created ourselves, our personality, thoughts, perceptions, etc. So when a person dies, do they really die? Or is just their physical body that has stopped working, but there soul, who they created, relationships they built, are they gone?

I have never viewed death in a religious way, the thought that if someone is good they go to heaven, and i they are bad they go to hell. But who is to say what is good or bad? Who is to say that one person’s perception is universal? Obviously it isn’t since conflict is all around us every day. Personally I believe in what goes around comes around, kind of like karma, I also believe in the energy you give out you get back. We as humans are always looking for something to look up to, to follow, something to give us hope and faith. And from that sprouted religion, religion is a man maid creation; so how are people supposed to believe in an other worldly all powerful figure or figures when they were created from man. Don’t get me wrong it is a nice concept and gives people strength there is no question there, but what about those who don’t believe in an afterlife, when they die do they themself seize to exist anywhere, nothing but bones in the ground?

I tried the whole church thing for years but never really felt anything, it never really clicked or made sense, if anything I felt more judged and more alone. I like to think back over the thousands of religions that have died, been created, or even yet haven’t even been created. People were so sure that greek gods were the reasons for why the sky was blue, the tides changed, the harvest was plenty, the reason love existed, or even when it came to wars, battles, and deaths. And then one day everyone moved on, abandoned their beliefs for something new. All of a sudden those gods weren’t the reason for all those things?

What I’m trying to say is that our minds have created universes, worlds, hope, and so much more. That is the incredible thing about being human, our minds have the power to change the world, unlock thoughts that some people have never thought before, so for those who are silent or trapped in their own mind, they may not be what you think, they could be the people that see the world for how is truly is or they could be the next person who changes everyone’s world and history forever.

 

Heart for Rent – Not For Sale

“The more people you let in the more they have a chance to walk right out of your life.” At my age – I’ve let a couple guys lease my heart but I  have never been good at breaking down the walls and they never stay long enough for me to collect rent.

I’m that girl that indulges in toxic relationships. That listens to sweet talk and ignores all the warning signs – because when he tells me “you’re beautiful” I’d rather not translate that to mean – I want to sleep with you.

Truth is – I’ve never been good at finding the right guy. Never been good at knowing my worth – and with no experience in love I tend to go with the flow [ translation, lay down and get taken advantage of. ]

In short – I am the girl that wakes up feeling ashamed for something that wasn’t supposed to feel wrong – for drinking too much and walking herself home. Translation:

I am the cautionary tale you tell your daughters before they go to sleep at night because you never want to see them get hurt in the way most – if not all – girls inevitably do.

this isn’t a pity party

Of all the regrets I have, I wouldn’t change the lessons I have learned. I wouldn’t change the life I have lived, not only because I can’t – but because I have come to terms with the way my heart works.

To quote a movie – and a book – “The more people you let in the more they have a chance to walk right out of your life.” 

And as much as I wish this quote wasn’t true, it is – because I have felt it first hand. For me – and I think I have said this before – loss comes easier than love – because for me – I learned loss before I could understand what love was.

The reason I spent weekends watching trashy teen dramas [ and yes this is diluted ] was to understand the way other people thought. For them it wasn’t thoughts of falling one parent short of  being an orphan, it wasn’t contingency plans if mom dies. It wasn’t black dresses and churches and services and flowers and casseroles – it was boys, and designer brands – it was drinking yourself stupid and talking about the things you shouldn’t have done on Saturday come Monday morning.

So for me – teen dramas were the way out – because I didn’t have to let anyone in and I didn’t have to watch any more people I cared about – walk out.

me – I write sins, not tragedies

I get caught up in the nights I should have had, the boys I should have kissed, the mistakes I couldn’t make because – because if something happened to me my family would suffer. My greatest sin before being reborn in college was not living my own life but the mistake of only existing in the pages of my novels and pretending that I could escape from my nightmares.

My sin in college was pushing people away to see who would come back – and hurting more when the first guy I hooked up with didn’t. My greatest sin has not been a tragedy though. Because I don’t believe in living tragedies. Because – like Shakespeare – even the greatest tragedies can be made into comedies.

Cinematic Discretion

If my life was a movie – you would think it sad. But in reality the choices I have made – the decisions that have defined me only prove that when it comes to love – and when it comes to my heart.

When I watched “to all the boys I’ve loved” the other day I wondered how many people feel the way I do. I wondered what my chance at love was if it still scared me. I wondered what my odds were if my biggest fear wasn’t being forgotten or dying, but being left behind. And I don’t know when those answers will come, or when love will – and that sucks but it doesn’t mean I cant learn from what scares me. I guess it took me writing this [ and who knows what else in regards to soul searching ] that while

I may always [ for now ] be for RENT – I will NEVER BE FOR SALE

 

Know Your Worth

There are two types of people I see recently, those who know their worth and are confident and those who think they know their worth and are OVERconfident. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we live in a time where everyone is trying to out due the next; and at the end of the day still aren’t happy. I don’t just mean this when it comes to dating but with work, friends, school, and even our own families. Always trying to please people, and for what exactly? For their approval? Why is it that we put so much pressure on our own happiness, solely based on others.

I’ve asked a few people what makes them happy and they always list peoples names, hardly ever do people say their health, job, pets, concepts, etc. In particular people always say the person they are in a relationship with is usually their main reason for their happiness. So your telling me you were miserable before you got into that relationship? Interesting. We all know the phrase

“You can’t love someone else till you love yourself”

But do you ever consider that before jumping into dating or any sort of relationship? Probably not.

What people need to understand is that no one should be the reason for YOUR own happiness. They should contribute to it but they shouldn’t be the whole reason why they’re happy. Because guess what, when it ends or a fight occurs, it feels like they didn’t just leave, but your happiness left with them. Its like if your with someone and they tell you that you are beautiful all the time and then you break up, do you stop being beautiful? NO! But you have to know that before hand! Which is what I mean when I say

“Know Your Worth”

I don’t just mean it when it comes to look, but know what you are truly worth, look deep inside yourself. I know that can be hard for some people to do because they may not always like what they see but, hey that’s you. All 100%, wonderful, incredible you!

Like I said earlier this doesn’t just apply to dating, but to all sorts of relationships, that means friends, coworkers, family, and more. If you feel like you are being treated unkindly or walked all over its okay to walk away. It okay to separate yourself from what could be a toxic situation, doesn’t mean you’re giving up, but somethings take time to heal and some things aren’t always worth the energy. What is meant to be, will be. And what is meant to end, will end.

One big thing I have learned is that some people are put into our lives to help us through certain parts, and once they have dones their job it may be time for that relationship to end. Don’t get salty and petty about it or them, but

“look back and appreciate the times you had together and the lessons learned.”

If they stay in your life then that’s great, that’s what was meant to be. But I always say

“you can’t force someone to stay where they don’t want to be”

We are all growing and put on certain paths, which some are meant to walk alone. Not everybody can be so lucky to try new things with those they feel comfortable with. But in my opinion they might not be lucky in that instance.

“How can you find yourself, when you aren’t alone?”

I believe that sometimes the most growth happens to us when we are put in situations where we are the most scared and lost.

Just know that who you are is who you are meant to be, we are always changing and through our lives, and with that comes some people won’t like that; and they don’t have to. But they don’t have to bring you down either. Know who you are, know what you deserve, and know your worth. Doesn’t mean your better than anyone else, but doesn’t mean you should allow others to treat you any less than what you deserve. And definitely don’t give anyone the satisfaction of being the sole reason to why you are happy. Look at yourself in the mirror and reflect, that means see the beauty and see the ugly. Improve yourself everyday, and for those who don’t like what they see in you, let them go. Don’t hold on because you want to stop change, becuase sometimes change can bring the best outcomes.

Know. Your. Worth.  

What is dating nowadays?

Let’s be honest, dating is hard nowadays. Well not hard but not easy and definitely too complicated. It’s not as simple as just saying two people like each other and should start from there. Nope. You have to like the same type of shows, music, hobbies, style, brands, animals, colors, and more; and you have to agree on all that before you meet in person or even date. Not like you go on a date to get to know the person, nope that’d be unheard of. To actually spend time dating and then see if you two want a relationship with each other,

“nope because people fear wasting their

time.”

 Call me old fashioned but when I think of dating someone it isn’t just to kill time or because I’m lonely; I actually take it seriously. I don’t mean I viewing every relationship as “I may marry this person” but I know that it’s a commitment and takes time and effort. I just don’t understand how some people can bounce from one “serious” relationship to the other. How can someone jump right into another relationship after being “committed” and “invested” to someone else just weeks prior? Well here’s why, maybe, just maybe it’s because they weren’t really committed or invested to that person to begin with. They were committed to the idea of being with someone because it can be scary to be alone. Especially when you are constantly surrounded by those happy couples we see online. Because let’s be honest,

“Nothing’s official till it’s social media official”.

But do you really think those people are happy? In my opinion a relationship works best when the least amount of people are involved in it. In other words it should only include those two people!!!

Why is it that we live in the generation of having to show everyone everything? Why must we all gloat about who has the better life, or even worse, boasting about whose life sucks the most? Since when did being in a relationship have to be always being with that person; and if they aren’t together all the time or in constant communication, it meant they “fell out of love”.

No, just no, a relationship doesn’t mean talking all day everyday, it doesn’t mean posting about each other 24/7, and it definitely doesn’t mean spending every waking moment with each other and dropping everyone and everything around you for someone else.

A relationship doesn’t always have to be moving forward, it’s okay to be at a stand still for a while. It’s ok to be separate and live separate lives, its okay to spend time with your friends, and its okay to hold onto what makes you, you. You were who you were before that relationship happened and you still are during and after it.

A relationship is two separate people coming together and sharing moments, not being the same person and living the same life.”

You’re never going to find your perfect match so stop looking! A relationship takes time, it can’t be found on an app, can’t be made with social media, and certainly doesn’t work if there is no trust. But hey ever think there’s no trust because trust takes time? And if you’re jumping from one person to the next it won’t work? Everything takes time, especially when it’s getting to know someone else.

We are told the the trick to a happy and long lasting relationship is communication, but is there such a thing as over communication? YES

“Personally I don’t understand how people can text and call each other all day everyday, talking non-stop; because once you are physically with them what is there to talk about?”

It’s like our generation skipped the phase of relationships, where you actually go on dates and get to know the person. I don’t just mean “netflix and chilling” either, I mean an actual date where you stick it out even if you aren’t feeling anything. Scary I know! Actually being face to face with someone, being forced to enjoy each other’s company and not being able to hide behind a phone or filter! Terrifying!!!! Or how about actually going up to someone and asking for their number or just striking up random conversation? In this day and age, I don’t think so!! Right off the bat you’ll be called “thirsty” or “a creep”. It’s like you can’t win!

Dating is scary nowadays, and technology has not made it easier. I swear technology is the reason dating has changed. Now with social media being at its peak, you’re never sure if the person your with has 50 people sliding into their DM’s, or liking other people’s “questionable” photos. It’s so easy today to just move on it seems.

“It’s like ever since sex was easier to get, love is harder to find”

I remember growing up and hearing stories from my grandparents on what dating was like in the 50’s. Now that sounds like my kind of dating, where a date could be as simple as going for a ride in the car and just talking all night; and if you were lucky you got to even hold hands! But today, its like you meet on an app, meet up at someone’s house (because god forbid you go in public), turn on netflix, then BAM sex. Just like that, no effort was put in, the sex didn’t mean anything to anyone; you just leave and one person hopes the other one texts them the next day. Pretty sad if you ask me. No chase anymore, no respect, and yet that’s what everyone is doing nowadays. Then people complain that they feel used, disrespected, and cheap. WELL DUUHHH, did you really think that was the foundation for a relationship?

Everyone wants that picture perfect relationship but without any of the work”

Dating is a concept of truly opening yourself up to someone, allowing them to see all of you even, the sides of you that aren’t the prettiest. But what I have learned is that those who truly see your ugly sides and still chose to stay, those are the ones we should hold onto. Because in reality no one is perfect, and we are constantly changing and learning new things about ourselves our whole lives. Dating should take time, it should mean something to both people, and by all means it should be something that takes effort and work.

An Open Letter To the First Person To Fire Me

it started with the words – with all due respect

I know I am not a perfect human. In fact, most days I can be resentful, fiercely independent, and act in uncontainable ways that then haunt me long after they should. I understand that some people believe in forgiveness, but for many things I have done – big and small – I hold on to them as reminders of a person I never wanted to be. I believe in asking for forgiveness, but I prefer to ask for permission first – this is how I have always been at work.

Personally, I have never had an issue with respect. My bosses, my supervisors, I have always known the chain of command and how to follow it – but to that same end, respect is earned and it needs to be mutual for a business to work properly. That being said, disrespect is something I do not tolerate when I have earned the opposite. It took me too long to know my worth and know it shouldn’t be questioned or overlooked – so when it was, I acted in a way that was respectful, but demanded answers in a way that no one before me had dared to.

i do not regret being my own advocate

I value myself a thoughtful person, but back in the beginning of this year, after working myself ragged for an employer who did not know my worth, I played my  hand and lost.

Before February I had never been dismissed from a position. In my lifetime I have worked countless jobs, constantly doubted myself, thought of occasions where I didn’t deserved to be dismissed but was disappointed in myself and thought I should be – and through it all I kept working, kept striving to be better, kept improving and then – my streak ended.

If I am being completely honest, I kind of appreciate failure. I like the lessons it gives me, and the lasting feeling that I have to do better than before. If I am being completely honest – I love failing once, because it means that I will never let it happen again.

to the poet, educator, boss, and executioner that allowed me to realize what my skills are truly worth. thank you.

The reason I write this to you all today is because the other day my past came up in a conversation about someone’s present. You see she now holds a position I used to, and like me she was not trained and she now knows the weight all of us have bore.

It isn’t an easy job – but I picked my replacement wisely. It wasn’t an easy exit, I lost a lot of friends – But I did what I did because I knew I could do better, and I knew we were going no where fast if we continued the way we were going. Unlike a lot of people who may not understand this [understand what I did] I knew the risk of hitting send, and I nailed my coffin accordingly.

looking back

Despite popular opinion, I loved my job. I loved the torment of formatting, the pain of wordsmithing, and more than anything I loved designing – covers, websites, social media and more. I loved being in control of something with so much potential because no one around me knew about it.

I put hours, countless hours into designing, playing with techniques, making a product from nothing [while at other jobs], networking and [regrettably] sending emails from behind the wheel, restaurants, the dinner table, you name it.

and yet after all this I was asked to step down – not for being incapable, not for missing a deadline, not for hurting the image of the business, but because I asserted myself from the corner I was backed into. And none of it was legal – but it also wasn’t worth the fight or the fallout.

how did something so wrong allow me to feel so right??

Well, the day before I was asked to step down [sorry not asked, demanded] I sat in front of my employer who told me to sit down, be quiet and listen. Anybody who knows me knows how hard that blow hit. I was so excited about what I was doing, how could I not have so many ideas, so many plans? I talked fast but only because I was passionate, and to me that wasn’t wrong it was a benefit of someone who loved her job.

It didn’t matter.

And while most would be mad about that moment, for me it was a catalyst – it started the gears in my head. That day I was ready to conquer all of my plans. Then advice came – advice that didn’t read like advice and I cracked. I knew the trust was not there, the respect was not there, I knew I was meant to be a lap dog – but I am no lap dog.

Long story short I was fired days later [told to step down] and while at first I was utterly crushed. While I walked out of that room broken for more reason than one. I COULDNT BE MORE GRATEFUL FOR THAT DAY.

thank you

I think it benefits everyone to lose a job they love – to lose one thing they love – because it teaches value. That day I learned my own value, the value of my skills, and honestly, I would not be where I am today without that time I got fired.

So to the first person to fire me, I am sorry – because I don’t think I will ever be able to thank you enough for not only teaching me what I am worth – but for setting me free to do and continue to do what I have always known myself to be capable of.

-R

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It’s Y(our) time, now

Connecticut, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Vermont had their primaries yesterday.

General elections across the nation are on November 6th.

And voting is as important as breathing.

I’ve been learning a bunch about so called “adulting” since the tail end of college.

If anything stuck, it’s that the most important aspect of being a young adult is to put into action our training of being active members of society.

It’s one of the most mature, and critical things we can do for the world around us:

Vote.

Now, politics really have never been my ‘thing.’

The whole subject is confusing, complicated, and ever changing to say the least.

And I haven’t had enough education that actually taught me how things work; at least not past the general School House Rock structure.

I have been left to teach myself and learn about what is going on in my own government all on my own.

What I have learned, you ask?

My generation is CRUSHING the political game across the country.  We are suspected to be the most politically active generation over the course of our lifetimes the country has seen yet.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

For example:

On Sunday, the students of Parkland, Florida and other March for Our Lives members concluded their ‘tour’ around the country in Newtown, Connecticut; and I was fortunate enough to see it happen and speak with them first hand.

They visited over 20 states, with over 50 stops along the way – all within the span of about 2 months.

They have been actively registering people to vote, speaking to crowds that gather to hear their ideas, and informing the young voters on just how much they can impact their communities, and our country, with just their voices.

An amazing movement that started due to hundreds of tragedies across the nation.

crowd on the road
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

It’s the ‘kids’ making moves to change policies.

It’s the high school and college students who just want to feel (and be) safe on their campuses that are encouraging people to get out and vote for what they believe in.

It’s the young adults that are pushing to have the voting age lowered to 16, because all of these policies going into place are affecting THEM.

It’s the millennial generation, just barely pushing through the beginnings of adulthood, that are so passionate about encouraging people to get out and vote.

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So, my first valuable life lesson of adulthood:

Go out of my way to learn all about my political candidates and what they believe in.

My second lesson is to go out and vote for them.

Third, is to always listen to those younger than you are.  They see the world in a different light.  They have different experiences and education.  Putting our heads together, maybe we can find a solution to our nation’s issues.  Maybe we can get new perspectives and implement programs and policies to keep everyone safe, happy, healthy, and educated.

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As I learn the ins and outs of adulthood, these students changing the nation will be my reminder that I can change the world.  A little bit at a time.   One voice at a time.  One day at a time.

being the one they call

a leader doesn’t always stand in the front of the pack… but they do stand behind their friends.

As the friend who is most likely to do something wild or impulsive, few would think I am also the most reliable. And sometimes they might even be right.

I have never been a team captain, never been a front runner, and if I ran for any political office I would undoubtably lose – yet I am the first person most think to call when they are in trouble. Why? Because I answer, and more importantly, I show up.

As a sister, a daughter, and a friend my highest priority is “my people”. My chosen family includes teammates, old residents, coworkers, family and sometimes, that random person on the street who visibly looks like they are struggling.

showing up is easy, being present is hard

Growing up I constantly notice a deficit when it comes to showing up. People my age are criticized for their work ethic, their relationship status’, and their sociopolitical movements. But more than ever, my generation and the one to follow is showing up in big ways. Kids are leading movements, running for office, and acting in small ways with big results [simple acts of kindness]

It took some pretty rough -unplanned- life moments, like loss to make me realize that people don’t care enough about showing up in the long term vs. the short term – In this there proves to be a trend where people will ask how someone is doing, without actually wanting the answer. But with what I have seen lately, I am happy to see the revitalization of the long game.

Being the one they call isn’t always easy. In fact, on some occasions, it breaks your heart – but being the one they call is never about you. It’s about showing up – and I couldn’t be more proud to say that more and more young people are starting to answer the call than ever before.